Last Line Challenge- Monster – M.V. Freeman


By M.V. Freeman

“This place makes me wonder… Which would be worse, to live as a monster, or to die as a good man” The rough hewn man slammed down his heavy gloves and hard hat onto the bar counter. A puff of black powder drifted up from it, not unusual from the mines.
“Depends on the monster.” I couldn’t help the quiet words as I placed a napkin before him and his usual glass of whiskey. I’d never spoken before, just taking orders, getting money and doing my job. It was safer this way. My tips were the lowest because of my reticence, not like Jackie the other waitress, her laughter, flirting and ability to charm everyone gave her a good living. I barely covered my rent.
He turned to look at me and I jerked. No one ever responded to me, just gave terse orders for drinks and tried not to look at me. I didn’t blame them.
“Do you see many monsters?” His face was blackened by dust, masking his features, only his eyes could be seen clearly–a bright green, reminiscent of early color of the spring leaves. Those eyes really looked at me, no, through me. I tried hard not to duck my head and hide. This was the first real conversation I’d had in a very long while.
“Yes.” I muttered, not lying. There were many strange and scary creatures who came in seeking solace in drink, some carried their horror on as part of their skin, others held theirs in their soul—those were the dangerous ones. I didn’t want to discuss it with him, so I added inanely, “The rock trolls come in from time to time.”
“No. That’s not what I mean.” He smiled then, a small flash of white from his teeth. I couldn’t help the catch in my breath, with the curve of his lips his heavy features transformed into something—nice. I needed to get away from him, but he stopped me from turning away with a light press of his finger on my forearm. The sensation of his touch traveled through me with a shock of static electricity. “Stay for a minute.” He nodded toward Reed, the hulking bartender and my boss, “He can spare you for a few minutes of conversation.”
I gave a quick glance over at Reed, he didn’t like us servers to linger too long. Time was money was his favorite cliché. But, I think he was trying to protect us in his own way. I’d heard of some of my predecessors disappearing. I shouldn’t have worried my boss was engrossed in a low-voiced negotiation with a tall, thin, dark haired man. Probably a vampire, they had particular needs which sometimes couldn’t be met. Not everyone was prepared to donate blood, especially those with magic thrumming through one’s veins and here near the mines there were plenty.
I stayed where I was, even when the man next to me leaned down and spoke softly in my ear, his breath tickling my braided dark hair just at my nape making me shiver. “Do you think Monsters are like the vampire there? Willing to rip out a throat? Or the Banshee hiding in the corner, willing to kill for the right price?” I couldn’t help my eyes moving to the plain looking older woman with a hood over half her face trying to hide the tattoo on her cheek denoting her clan. Most Banshee’s supplemented their income as killers for hire, it paid better, but wasn’t great for longevity. She must have hatchlings at home to support, it was the only reason anyone saw them outside their nests their drive to provide for their young physiological and cultural. Another tremble ran through me and I wasn’t sure if it was his voice or what he was saying. I couldn’t stop turning to look into his beautiful eyes again. I wanted to drown in those eyes. He didn’t smell of sweat and rock dust, no, he smelled of moss, growing things and of the dampness of earth.
“I’m a monster.” The words tumbled out before I could stop myself.
Stupid, stupid girl, I castigated myself.
“What? Because you have scars?” It was as if he’d heard my thoughts berating myself for speaking. He smiled again, this one was genuine not a twist of lips. Taking one grimy finger, he touched my check with a breath of pressure and I let him, wanting the feel of it. “Because someone decided they couldn’t live with your beauty?”
“No. Because I couldn’t live with my beauty.” My heart thudded hard in my chest, the pulse of it echoing in my shoulders and ears. I wondered if he could hear it. Why had I told him this? He didn’t know my name, and I only knew him by his profession. Why was I sharing my personal darkness with him? In those few words I revealed my self-loathing and fear. I’d slashed my own face to avoid being auctioned off by my family to some rich man to make a buck. I was useless to them ugly—a monster, but at the least it was my life now.
He took a drink of the whiskey then, swallowing the amber liquid in one move. The form of his jaw was strong. I wondered what brought him here to the mines. He’d never spoken much to anyone, prior to this. Placing the thick glass on the bar, he regarded me with those amazing eyes and for a moment I wanted to know what he looked like under all the grime. The desire to see him clean and clear of the dirt was strong enough to make me ache.
“Beauty. We think it’s all skin deep.” He had a nice voice, clear, strong, not too deep, or too light. It was one made to orate stories, to speak to crowds, but instead he was here in the mines, excavating Rock, filled with properties magic users would kill for. “Monsters are like the foreman, who threw a miner down the shaft today as an example. All because the poor fool was trying to smuggle some extra stone to sell, just to feed his family. There’s a no tolerance policy about stealing, no matter the reason. Another miner stepped in to stop it, but it was too late and because he was a good man to interfere he lost his job. Now two families will be suffering tonight, all because of a senseless death.” He nodded when I lifted the whiskey bottle to offer him more and poured it into his cloudy glass. Cleanliness was not a priority here. “Good men die at the hands of monsters, to prevent it, maybe being worse is better.”
“No.” I couldn’t say why it bothered me that he thought like this. It was as if he was giving up hope, on himself …on life. Before I could answer a group of shifters entered bellowing for beers, excusing myself I rushed to comply. Twenty minutes later, I returned, cloth in hand expecting the strange Miner to be gone and to wipe up what dust I could, but still he sat staring at his full glass of whiskey. I’d left the bottle and most of it was gone.
I’d meant to just walk past, instead I asked, “Do you want some coffee?” I needed to stay away from him. Don’t chat too long with the customers is what Reed said and the warning lay heavy in my mind. But when the Miner nodded giving me a slight smile, I scooted off to the small kitchen in back like some infatuated tween. The cooking area was more for employees than for customers. It didn’t stop me from making a fresh pot and finding an actual clean mug to pour it in, I think it my boss’s, but I wouldn’t tell him. There was no cream and sugar, he’d have to deal with it black. It wasn’t long before I was back in front of him, placing the mug next to his hardhat. At the clunk of the mug on the scratched surface of wood his head came up and he gaze rooted me to the floor.
“Here.” I tried to sound nonchalant; instead it came out a low rasp. I’d been here a year and my ability to converse had disintegrated in this backwoods town, but I’d thought it safer here than among my family. I tried again, “You need this more than whiskey .” What he needed was lots of water, but even I wouldn’t give him that, it was tainted. We all bought bottled water, but Reed didn’t sell it here, saying if the customers wanted bottled water they needed to go to the mini-mart across the street.
“Maybe.” He shrugged picking up the mug.
Emboldened by possible insanity I spoke again, wanting to understand his moroseness, this willingness to talk to me. “You were the one who interfered, to prevent the minor’s death.”
He stilled then and something passed over his face, a grimace of pain so deep it resonated inside me, as if I were a tuning fork. I understood this pain of the soul, we all had one such wound, some even more.
“No.” He said finally. I should’ve left then, but the energy surrounding him vibrated with strong emotion and I was caught in its grip. He took a sip of the hot liquid.
“Careful, it’s hot…” I stopped as he took another swallow uncaring of the heat, even his lips became red with secondary burns. Instead he returned his attention to me, examining me as if I were a puzzle he couldn’t quite figure out.
“What’s your name…?”
My name? I blinked. The last person who asked my name had been my boss. Not even Jackie, the other server knew it, preferring to call me any number of things, the nicest one being “chick”. I hadn’t thought of myself by my name since I left my life.
“Bian. My name is Bian.” The memory of it opened up in my mind like a moon flower blossoming at night and my throat closed up. There was no happiness in the images associated with this name.
“No,” He shook his head as he stood. “It doesn’t suit you. I’ll call you Beauty.” Pulling out a wad of bills I knew was worth more than I made in a month he threw them on the counter. “For listening, which is a greater gift than talking.” He was taller than I expected. I had to tilt my head back to look up at him. Leaning forward he put a hand to my cheek eliciting a light bubbly feeling in my stomach. He’d touched me more than anyone had since I’d been released from the hospital onto the streets after my stitches were removed. I was starving and he was supplying nourishment I hadn’t known I needed.
“What is your name?” I wanted to know it. Needed to. I’d given him a part of myself, didn’t he owe me something back? I’d forgotten this wasn’t the society I’d grown up in. He didn’t need to give me anything.
He caressed my cheek with his thumb, I could feel the roughness of his skin from the hard work he did. There wasn’t a job in this town that was easy.
He didn’t answer right away, studying me with those brilliant green eyes seeing right through me. “Beauty suits you.” He murmured, “Those scars don’t define you.” With those cryptic words his hands dropped and he moved back giving me space. Air I didn’t remember I needed flooded my lungs as I inhaled. I’d been holding my breath. I tried not to lean closer to him, beg him to touch me again. I managed not to embarrass myself, but leaned against the bar fighting myself.
Picking up his hat and gloves, he looked inside his helmet as if debating something. With a roll of his shoulders he lifted his head watching as I observed his every movement, the pull of the blackened fabric of his shirt to the shift of weight as he stood in his heavy leather boots.
“You wanted to know my name,” It didn’t come out as a question, but his voice held something anguished in them. I nodded. I did want to know.
“Call me Beast.” His mouth twisted in a bitter smile, and I could feel the self-hatred roll off of him so thick it coated the back of my throat. “I’m the foreman who threw the miner down the shaft.”
He left then and I was bereft knowing neither of us would ever be good, but I’d go willingly into the abyss.



 This is my own contribution to the last line challenge, a quick magical romance:




              He trudged through the airport, sidestepping businessmen and tourists, his own overloaded backpack colliding with more than a few passersby.   Pulling his baseball cap low on his forehead, he made his way to the shuttle that would move him to his boarding gate and that much closer to home.  

            He missed his little house near the lake, his front porch that caught just the right breeze in the late afternoon of spring.  He missed sitting on his patio, staring at the water of Lake Ponchartrain , he missed his father’s red beans and rice  Monday’s and his mother’s fried seafood Fridays  He missed the music, the smells, the people but most of all, Declan McAllister missed his bed.  He’d spent three months in hotel rooms, easting room service or Kraft services while he filmed his latest movie.

            As the shuttle came to a grinding halt, his cell phone buzzed in his pocket.  Groaning, he stared at the screen and shook his head before answering.

            “Hello Ma.” He said and rubbed his tired eyes, before running a hand of two days of beard stubble.

            “Declan, where are you? We expected you hours ago.” She asked and he smiled.

“Sorry, I sent you a text. I had to reschedule my flight after a last minute problem. I’m actually at the gate to board my plane.  I will be home in about fifteen hours. I have a connecting flight in New York.”

            “You sound tired, Dec. Are you getting enough sleep?  Are you eating?”  He couldn’t help but smile at his mother’s concern.  Even at thirty six years old, she still treated him as a kid.

            “I’m a little tired and I eat fine.” He assured.

“I don’t believe you. And I won’t until I see for myself.”  She said.  Declan held his phone away from him, took a quick selfie and pressed send.

            “Well, see for yourself, I just sent you a picture.”  He yawned.  There was a long pause and he could hear his mother grumbling as she retrieved the photo. She sighed then mumbled something he couldn’t understand before returning to the call.

            “She’s not there.” She said, and Declan was only puzzled for a minute.

“She’s always there.” He mumbled, suddenly coming awake.  He paused just before stepping onto the motorized walkway, stepping aside when someone complained loudly.

            “Well, she’s not now. And you do look a little thin.”  She hung up and Declan found himself staring at his own face in a photo.  He had expected to see her there, just over his left shoulder as she always was, her dark eyes looking at something in the distance. Sometimes she smiled, her face light her thick curls framing a perfectly pretty face. Sometimes she was sad, with solemn and alone, but mostly she was just…there.   Only, today for the first time in nearly ten years, she wasn’t.  Instead he only saw his own face wearily staring back at him as the crowds bustled around him in a maddening rush.

            Declan managed to make his way to his gate, sitting near the windows he watched as the plane was brought onto to tarmac.  He looked down at his picture every few minutes, half expecting her to appear, but she didn’t and he didn’t know how to feel about it.


            It had begun just over ten years ago, her sudden appearance a shock.  It began with a cellphone that he’d received for as a gift at his college graduation. A sleek flip phone with a camera in a vibrant silver.  He’d been so excited to receive the gift that He’d taken pictures of all of his friends and family. When the camera had been turned on him, he posed happily with his two older brothers, his smile as wide and bright as it ever. Excitedly, his mother had glanced at the picture, her brow furrowed curiously.

            “Who is that?” She asked, point to the screen.  His father had stared at the picture and shrugged.

“Dec, do you know this girl?”   She held the phone out to him and he saw her, just in the background, a teen aged girl in cut of denim shorts and a bikini top laughing.  He shrugged and looked at the people milling around the quad outside of the auditorium where the ceremony had been held.  There were dozens of people, but not her.  She would have stood out like s sore thumb in a crowded of conservatively dressed parents and families.

            “No idea.”  Declan mumbled and thought nothing of it. He snapped the phone closed and had thought nothing of the girl again.  Until three months later and he had landed his first job as a production assistant on a movie filming right outside of New Orleans.  On one particularly long night of shooting, he and some of the crew had gone to a bar and sang karaoke until the sun cam up.  There had been several pictures taken with several cellphones, and Declan had been in lots of pictures.  And so had she.

            But only in pictures taken with his cell, never with anyone else’s.  “Maybe it’s some sort of technical glitch. Like they crossed wires somewhere with this girl.’ His older brother Bishop said as they pondered the issue.

            “Nope,” Declan assured. “I took it to the store and got a new phone.  It’s still doing it. She keeps showing up. “

“Maybe she’s like a stalker, popping up then disappearing.”  His brother Deacon teased.

            “Then she is one hell of a stalker because I have never seen her in person. Not that I would mind.”  He stared at her photo, her profile alone was gorgeous, but that face, that smile was stunning.  She had large deep brown eyes and curly hair that she wore in loose ringlets around her face. When she smiled there was a light within her.  She was young free and he wanted more than anything to find out who this girl was, problem as he had no idea where to start.

            Deacon grabbed the phone and stared at her face.  “Nope, I wouldn’t mind a stalker like that either.

            “Maybe it’s like some sort of dimensional wormhole. Your cell phone is a portal to another plane.” Bishop had teased and Declan snorted.

            “I doubt it.  “

“Maybe she’s your guardian angel.” His mother had offered. “Maybe she is watching over you, guiding you in your life.”

            “I have you for that.” Declan said, kissing her cheek.

“Maybe,” Deacon said with a grin,” its elaborate hoax. Like The Truman Show. You do work in the movie industry, little man.”

            “Don’t call me that. “ Declan mumbled. He was the youngest, but he was larger than his brothers. He stood just over six feet tall, but had been a football player in high school and college which gave him a good fifty pounds of muscle over both Deacon, a lawyer and Bishop, a doctor.  He had gotten the moniker of little man when he was seven and his brothers were in their teens. It stuck, even if it didn’t fit and was a nickname Declan had never been truly fond of. ‘Anyway, it can’t be a hoax, it’s been five years already. I think one of you would have broken by now if it were like the Truman show. You can’t hold water.  Either of you.” Declan had mumbled.

             ‘I have a question,” he father started, surprising everyone in the room. From the beginning Earl McAllister had remained quiet on the subject, only grunting his agreement or derision whenever asked for his opinion. “How do you plan on explaining that little anomaly to any woman your might date. A girlfriend will get tired of you always staring google eyed at some strange girl who just happens to pop up on your phone.  Better yet, how are you going to get her to believe that you don’t know that girl when you have hundreds of pictures with her in the background?”

            With that, Earl left the room, beer in hand while Declan, his mother and brothers stared at each other. How had none of them ever thought about that?


He had been right, of course. Big Earl was usually right.  Declan had a hard time convincing women that had no idea who the girl was. Even when he proved to them that it was some sort of glitch with his phone, they all stared at him suspiciously.

            When he was hired to direct his first feature film, Declan had been honored and relieved.  He could bury himself in his work and not worry about a serious relationship.  Dating was much easier than having an actual girlfriend.    Dates never looked in his phone, he never got calls on set about the girl on his Facebook page or in his Instagram pictures. He was not constantly explaining that he did not know who the beautiful woman with the curly hair and deep dark eyes was, that she just appeared.

At the height of his obsession with her, he’d tried to send her messages, writing small notes of a dry erase board.  He’d write a note and take a selfie, hoping that she would respond. She never did and he was sure that the portal was like a two way mirror only allowing him to see her.

            He made three movies in three years, and in those years he watched as she grew more sophisticated. The glimpses of her began to tell a story, she was a runner. He captured several pictures of her in jogging gear, her thick hair pulled back in a ponytail as she ran every morning.  She worked in a corporate field and apparently made a very good living. He clothes, not flashy by any means were expensive and well-tailored.  She wore reading glasses and loved mystery novels.  She played softball and went to the opera.  She dated, he assumed, by was not engaged or married, he knew from the absence of a ring.  When she hung out during her off time, she wore jeans, sneakers and vintage t-shirts that ranged from bands from the 60s and 70s to cartoons from the 80s.  He had the distinct impression that she was a music lover and that she was a girly girl. Her toe nails were always pedicured and polished in bright glittery rainbow colors. He’d spent more than one sleepless night holding his camera above the bed and snapping pictures just so he could see her sleeping next to him. Even though he had never heard her speak, Declan McAllister had fallen in love with the girl in his pictures.

            And now she was gone.


He sat in one of the plush leather seats in the first class lounge, pulling the bib of his cap down low over his eyes.  She was gone, he thought, and he wasn’t sure how he felt about it.  He contemplated life without the beautiful dark haired girl peering over his shoulder as he drifted off to sleep.

            “Sir,” He was gently being shaken, stirring him from his nap. “Sir, you can’t sleep here.” He lift the bib of his hate to stare at the young man standing over him.  Clearing his throat, he sat up and looked at his watch.  He’d been asleep for twenty minutes it would only be five minutes or so before his flight would begin to board.

            “Sorry,” He mumbled and sat up, pushing the cap back on his head.  He stretched and looked at the young waiter who’d woken him.

“Would you like a cup of coffee?” The young   man asked and he nodded.  He stood as the waiter moved away from him and stretched, pausing when he saw him sitting near the window.  She turned to look at him and smiled, and his heart stopped.  Slowly, she stood and come towards him, surprising him by planting a kiss full on his lips.

            “Declan,” She whispered against his ear, before taking a step back to look him in the eye. “I knew today was the day.  My grandmother was right as usual.  She said when the pictures stopped we would meet and she is never wrong.  “

            “Your grandmother?” He asked still stunned but exceedingly excited.

“She has the sight and when you started popping up in my photos she said that you were the one. My soul mate. She said that when it was time, the pictures would stop and there you world be and – here you are.”  She brushed a stray curl off of her forehead and looked at him expectantly. When he said nothing, only stared open mouthed she sighed. “You did see me too, right? I’m not crazy am I? Oh God, you didn’t-”

“No,” Declan said when he found his voice, “No, I just- I just never imagined- you aren’t crazy.  Neither am I. I just- you’re real.  You’re really real.” He laughed unable to keep his heart from soaring.

            “Of course,” She said, “You don’t know my name do you? I’m Selena.” She said and the name sounded like music to his ears.

            “Selena, we have so much to talk about.  I want to know all about you. What you do, where you live. Everything. ” He couldn’t stop touching her face and hair, inhaling her scent. She smelled like sunshine, just like he knew she would.

            “Flight 736 to New York is boarding at gate 12.” A disembodied female voice chimed into the lounge. Declan looked at her and her smile widened.

            “Babe,” She said lacing her fingers with his, “I think you’re going to miss your plane.”

Last Line Challenge- Friends by M.V. Freeman

The first person to meet the challenge comes out swinging!! The first of her two submissions is amazing. Enjoy!

By M.V. Freeman

“Oh yes, I believe in friends. I believe we need them, but if one day you find that you just can’t trust them anymore what then? What then?” His voice held a tremor never heard in the board room as he held the manila folder in his hands.
A soft low laugh, and the swish of skin sliding on skin, as a woman perched up on her elbow from the reclining position she’d been in on the burgundy couch. Her Marilyn Monroe bleached hair fell over her shoulders , caressing her too perfect naked breasts, the pink tip of her nipples teasing the eye. Her impossibly red lips smiled over glimmering white teeth. Sometimes she chose different hair colors and skin tones, but the teeth; they were always so very bright.
“Why darling, you kill them of course.” She ran her hand down her flank, along her hip as his eyes followed the movement. He hoped he didn’t show his desperation it twisted in his stomach making his fingers tremble, the folder falling from his hands to the desk with a soft plop.
“Sophia, killing former friends would not lessen the tragedy of what they’ve done.” He loosened the tie around his throat, unfastening the top button on his shirt as she swung her long legs to the side of the couch, still wearing her six inch stilettos and stood. She could look him in the eye as she strolled over, rolling her hips. Her eyes were impossibly blue, the color of the sky on a clear fall day, bright enough to make one squint.
“But you wouldn’t have to worry about revenge.” She purred, running her carmine tipped nails over his chest, goose bumps erupted along his skin. “I’m the only friend you’ll ever need.”
“You’re right. You’re the only one I can trust.” He murmured fighting the instinct to touch her. There were rules and he had to wait. She pushed him back on his desk. The scent of her filled his nostrils making his head swim with lilacs and spice.
“Of course I’m right, Daniel.” She smiled again, this one was predatory making his heart skip a beat as her hand darted out with unnatural speed and picked up the folder as everything on the top of his desk fell with small thuds onto the thick carpet. She straddled him, bringing her knees up to lay on either side of his hips. The warmth her flesh burned through his clothes and everything hardened. “Let’s see who betrayed you this time.” Sophia flipped open the folder and read the contents. There really wasn’t much in there, only two sheets of paper typed neatly. The information laid out concise and orderly, just like he instructed.
“Greg is the one,” and mentioning it caused something sharp to press into his heart. “He helped me start the company.” It had been only five years ago. They’d been young and full of dreams. Now he wanted to oust him and buy his share.
“And now he’s trying to yank it out from under you. Silly boy.” With a flick of her wrist, Sophia flung the folder away from her. She reached down and unbuckled his belt and with a quick yank jerked it from around his waist and throwing it in the direction of the folder. “But don’t worry, he won’t bother you for long.”
Speech fled him as she unbuttoned his pants and put her strong hands on him, but he was ready for her. He grasped her thighs as she raised herself to kneeling.
“But first,” She growled softly, “You’ll give me this payment, and I’ll take care of the rest.” She sank onto him, all hot and wet.
He was helpless. Lost. And as she rode him, this succubus, he wondered what would happen when he ran out of friends. What then?

Last Line Challenge

As some of you may know, I have a very unique writing style as evidenced in the article “Let’s Start at the Ending” – which you can read here: I also have a tendency to write dark, sometimes erotic, stories – Just read my short story Serenity. Anyway, I am offering a challenge to anyone willing to participate. I challenge you to write a short story inspired by the last line of a movie. Below are some examples but feel free to use one of your own. The most interesting, funny, sexy or spooky will be posted on my blog for a week. Be as creative as possible but remember- no torture porn or excessive blood and guts.

“Let Me Sleep” –Insomnia

“You met me at a very strange time in my life”- Fight Club

“Now , where was I?”- Memento

‘Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.”- The Matrix

“Why don’t we just wait a litte while… see what happens…” THE THING

“Hang on Lads, I have a great idea”- The Italian Job

“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that… he is gone.” –The Usual Suspects

“I’m da boss, I’m da boss.”- Ragging Bull

“I’m not even gonna swat that fly. I hope they are watching. They’ll see. They’ll see and they’ll know and they’ll say, ‘Why, she wouldn’t even harm a fly’…” Psycho

“I was cured alright”- A Clockwork Orange

“The horror, the horror”- Apocalypse Now

“Still, things won’t ever be the way they were before he came. But that’s alright because if you hang onto the past you die a little every day. And for myself, I know I’d rather live.” Cape Fear

“You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry: you will someday”- American Beauty

“Oh yes, I believe in friends. I believe we need them, but if one day you find that you just can’t trust them anymore then what then? What then?”- Shallow Grave

“And no matter what they did to build this city back up again … for the rest of time … it would be like nobody even knew we was ever here.”- Gangs of New York

“Baby, you’re gonna miss that plane”- Before Sunset

“This place makes me wonder… Which would be worse, to live as a monster, or to die as a good man”- Shutter Island

“We each owe a death – there are no exceptions – but, oh God, sometimes the Green Mile seems so long.” The Green Mile

“Well, nobody’s perfect “- Some Like it Hot

“What a day. What a motherfuckin’ day”- Training Day

I can’t wait to see what you come up with!!!!


Until I work out the kinks in my short story Photo Bomb– I’m posting some of my poetry. I don’t write poetry often, but this is one of my favorites. It was published in a literary journal a few years ago. Enjoy!



Us? What are we? What s this thing- this thang between you and me?
An alliteration, an illustration of what we are?
What is the pull that draws us together?
A definition of your position in my world?
Us is?
Us is…music
Everything from smoothed out back beats to
Jazzy ballads
Sexy head bobbin R & B,
And down right dirty blues

Yea, Us is bebop and hip hop
That beat you just can’t get out of your head
The song that makes you jump out of your seat
And shake your ass
(Ooh, That’s My Song!)

Us is…
Al Green (before he found religion)
“Love and Happiness”
“Let’s stay together”
Frankie B and Maze
“Happy feelings,”
“Joy and Pain,”
Al Jarreu and Teddy P
“Close the door,”
“Turn off the light
And Light a Candle”

Us is…
That weird shit that Outkast does
That sticks and your head
And won’t let you go
It stirs you up
With complex strange-ness
It’s Mary J crying to your soul
It’s Sade… “Lover’s rock”
“Diamond Life”
“Cherish the fucking day”

Us is..
Jimi burning his guitar
And Aretha making your skin crawl
With that gospel soul
It’s Patti kickin off her shoes
“Somewhere over the rainbow”
“Where somebody loves you, baby”
“The right kind of lover”

It’s Billie, mellow and cool
Singing about “strange fruit “
And “stormy weather”
It’s Bessie singing about
The broke down blues

Us is…
My girl Etta
“At Last, At Last
I’ve found a dream that
I can sing to
A thrill that
I’ve never known
Then You Smiled”

Us is
Blood sweat tears,
Pain and love
And heartache
But it feels so good
It makes you stand up
And shout like a gospel hymn
And touches you to your soul

Us is…
Lyrical, magical
And wondrous
It’s a gift, a blessing
And sometimes
A Curse

Us is. Blazing
Us is …burning
“Hotter than July”
Like Stevie
I’m overjoyed
“As .the sun goes round the moon”
“All I do.“
You know the rest
Us is… Jazz
Dizzy and Miles and Ella
You even have a little Duke in you, boo
When you play me like a piano
“(Round midnight)”

Hell, us is even Elvis
“Hound dog” and hip swivels

Us is… electric
And mystifying
Hypnotizing and mesmerizing
Us is contagious
Us is harmony
Free flowing
Slow moving,
Ass groovin’
Sweaty, sex funky
A little bit raunchy

US is. life
Us is the earth moon and stars
And all that lay in between
Us is….. unexplainable
Sensual, arousing
Us is … motion
And movement
Us is….climatic throbbing, pulsating
Bass beats
Us is percussion
The snare to the drum
The boom to the bip
Us is ..Fire
Molten and melting’
Dripping and oozing
Us is connected
Spiritual and magnificent
Us is… Love

Us? What are we? What ‘s this thing- this thang between you and me?
Alliteration, an illustration of what we are?
What is the pull that draws us together?
A definition of your position in my world?

You are the melody to my lyric
And our beat goes on and on and on and on…..

Us is Music.