Category: Snippets

Flash Fiction: Creshendo

This pieces is significantly older, and from 2007-2008. It’s actually a favorite. And I’m sure y’all will also. -JBHarris

Unmade Bed Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash

It had begun to storm.

I tried to keep my eyes closed, and the smile from spreading too far across my face. I rolled over, not surprised that he wasn’t there. There was so much on his mind lately. I called him name, almost as a reflex, waiting quietly for the echo from the hallway. He made a noise and came to the doorway of his bedroom. This was still his house after all…I could claim nothing in it as mine or ours.

He stood in the doorway, flushed and shirtless, smiling at me. I tousled my hair as I slowly sat up, wrapping the sheet around me. I grinned inwardly, I had no need to be modest, he has already seen all that I had and am. “Cleaning it?” I said, gesturing to his trombone and the rag in his hand. Clad only in dark blue boxers, he grinned at me boyishly. I lived for that grin. He walked over to me, the dim lamp upon the dresser being washing him in this pure bronze aura. He sat next to me, cupped my face, and kissed me. All of me that was female wanted him all the more. Yet, I knew I had no claim, no tie to him, and thought it rather foolish to have one so soon. He held me then, his natural scent comforting me. “I don’t want to leave. I hate leaving.” He kissed my forehead as if to scare away all the bad things I was thinking. He put a finger under my chin, and kissed me again. “For as long as I am here, and you want me, I will be here.” I wanted to cry. It had been so long since I had felt anything. I was more interested in savoring it, than deciphering it. “Close your eyes.” He told me.  I obeyed, as I heard him shuffle around his small room. Then I heard it, my favorite song by Norah Jones. I told him never to play it, because it evoked so many memories and emotions.

I heard him walk over to me again, placing something on my shoulder. “Open your eyes.” He whispered. I smiled, putting on this shirt. Standing not even five feet from me, eyes as warm as the sea, he stretched his hand out to me.I reluctantly climbed out of bed, and moved to his embrace. He held me so close, as if I were meant to fit. I slipped my arms around his neck, kissed him as we swayed. He whispered in my ear part of the verse:  “I’ll need no soft lights, to enchant me, if you would only grant me, the right—to hold you ever, so tight—and to feel in the night, the nearness of you.” I put my ear to his chest and remembered what it was like to feel and be special to be cherished, to let the world and its inhabitants be damned. To take a deep breath, and inhale him, and know I’d rather be nowhere else.

Flash Fiction-‘He Won’t Hit’

For those of you that are unhip, Flash Fiction is piece of fiction that is between 250-500 words–between 1-2 pages. With nothing but time and words to chase, I decided to craft this one. I’m sure there will be more to come. Flash Fiction is challenging, and dope! Enjoy! -JBHarris

How to Choose a Winning Slot Machine | Casino Market

Curtis watched as he swept up the lobby, watching the late night early morning crowd come in. “The look like gas station dogs!” he looked up, giggling in the direction of Ms. Lucille, the chef that came in at 6:00am for the morning shift. She always came in humming Amazing Grace while she got the food ready for the Lucky Morning buffet. He watched her go through the heavy gold doors to the kitchen. “Morning Ms. Lucille!” Curtis, still sweeping, said after her.

He was right thought. There, on the casino floor, every morning he worked was the wrecking of the night before. There were the regulars that came in because their rooms were comped. There were those that were too drunk to go home because they would have to explain why checks were bouncing the next week. And then there was who Curtis nicknamed The Wanderers. Every day, these group of six people would come in al in their Easter best and they would leave about 7:00am. They would eat after gambling and then they would just…go. Upon seeing them, Curtis thought they looked like Jehovah witnesses. The ‘spiritual walkers’ Stevie Wonder talked about.

They would be these three women in their church hats and dresses. These men would be in their suits and they would just…leave. Curtis watched them leave as he vacuumed, watching the other stragglers either leave or settle by the machine. The Wanderers were leaving, all 5 of them without their 6th. Curtis looked towards the slot machines, and saw him there. The last one, with gray hair, unbrushed and a dusty brown suit. He walked away from his vacuum and looked and walked towards the flashing and dingings light, and the angry voice in the machine that kept screaming “You lose! You lose!”

Curtis got to him, shaking him, his eyes shut at the Keno machine, wishing he was dead. In the year that he had worked at Happy Cherokee Casino, he had never spoken to these people. He couldn’t remember anyone speaking to him. “Um, sir?” he said, sounding more awake than he was. “It aint hittin’! I ain’t sleep!” The old man’s eyes opened as if they were snatched. He looked at Curtis. “It ain’t hit! I ain’t lose nothin’!” He slid from the stool, half shuffling completely cursing at people that weren’t there. Curtis watching him walk away muttering to himself, cursing like spurts from an old Monte Carlo. “I can’t eemb shut my eyes without folk bothering me.” Curtis walked behind him, scared he would fall over for how he was walking. He trotted to the seat he was in and found his wallet. “Chester Humphrey Allen.” The wallet said. There was an old Steel worker union card inside. Receipts, a casino rewards card and a note. And a crumbled five dollar bill.

‘Babe-

Remember to come home by 8.

Mama.’

Curtis ran to this man, newly discovered as Chester Humphrey Allen. Retired steelworker. Mama looking for him. He tapped his shoulder, giving the wallet to him. “Mister Chester?” he caught him right before he left the casino floor. He turned, the pain in his face, willing his body to move backwards. “You left your wallet.” Chester looked at Curtis’s face, as if it were mirror. “Thank you.” He blinked, Curtis blinked. And he turned toward the direction of bacon, biscuits and eggs. “It just ain’t hit. Idda made it up if it had just hit!” Curtis went back to his world, consumed with vacuuming and screen checks and checking for drunks for the next 8 hours. Chester would be back tomorrow.

[image from casinomarket.co.uk]

With An Heir (Narmon)-#9

The amshuns had come to see me early the morning. The sun was still red, but yet I was covered in a sheen of sweat. The closer Tzipporah had come to birth, the harder it had become to sleep. I wondered if my brother, now my Alpha had experienced the same thing. She was his mate, not mine. It was his child, the new heir, which was theirs.

There red robes looked like an Egyptian plague. The Grand Amshun, was always the oldest. This was Tzipporah’s mother. The other amshuns were her cousins, Makara and Henjah. “Get up, Narmon.” It was her mother’s voice in my head. As my eyes adjusted to the predawn light, I saw them. All with some permutation of Tzipporah’s face and eyes.

“Get up, my Prince. Get up!” It has Henjah’s voice. I had thought to make her mine before Leah had grabbed my attention. I sat up, making no attempt to cover my chest. I smirked when  the Grand Amshun nudged her nieces to remain focused. “Narmon.” her voice was morose, as she always seemed to be. “We know about the bond.”

I was silent as a weight settled in my chest. “I need to know if you were with Tzipporah before she was fated to be with Farron.” I stared at her, held her eyes. She knew I had been. She didn’t need to ask what she already knew. I only blinked and nodded. Her mouth moved then, her voice real and palpable. She kept her hood on, an spoke, her words like acid in my ears. “You need to tell me how. How many times. And why!” I heard the rage below her decorum. I never liked her mother, she always spoke to me as if I wasn’t the oldest. “It was moment of passion after her father died, your husband.” I wanted to tell her more, but thought it best not.

“Your moment with my daughter, ” she swallowed, keeping her eyes on me, never leaving the foot of the bed. “The mate of our Alpha, has caused an errant bond.” I closed my eyes, wishing she would go away as quickly as she had come. “That is a superstition Ahandra. Errant bonds don’t exist.” I opened my eyes an saw her eyes shift from brown to gold. “This is why you were not chosen, and could never never be Alpha!” I stood to my feet, wrapping the white sheet around my waist. “This was all your doing that I am not Alpha! You loved my father and hated my own mother!” She moved closer to me, her flanking nieces staying at the foot of the bed. “You are not Alpha, because you were chosen not to be.” her voice was cool as she approached me, eyes still gold. “You are not Alpha because you are not an Alpha.” She dropped the hood of her cloak, the gray and black length of her hair framing her face. “Your father  knew when you ran away before the Consecration for your Beginning, you could not be Alpha.”

“Liar!”  I turned my back on her, feeling as she was seeing what was happening on the inside of me. “And you now turn your back on your Amshun!” There was thunder in her voice. “This errant bond between you and Tzipporah must be severed! Errant bond can only be servered by the oldest Amshun and the Alpha.” The words stung at me, opening memories and wounds.  My Concsecration. My night without Leah. My night with Tzipporah. Both of us broken. I thought nothing of her after. It was only after she was with Farron did it all matter. I couldn’t get her off of my mind.  She was in the Open Plane. I could smell her when I woke. She robbed me of sleep.

“Have the dreams lessened?” It was Makara’s voice. “I know they haven’t. You know that during the Beginning, our kind are most sensitive.” I kept my eyes to the window, feeling the tears come as I was too stubborn too before. “You have bonded with the mate of our Alpha, your brother.” My heart began to break at the truth of her words. “You need to renounce her in order for Narmon to have her totally.”

My body, with all it’s strength, committed to not moving. Renounce her in order for Narmon to have her totally. I fought back the wolf, phasing would change nothing. Ahandra spoke again. “Her birth will be soon. The heir will be born to the rightful Alpha.” I turned to face the three of them, feeling the snarl in my chest. “She belongs with Farron. She is his mate.” Henjah spoke, her eyes green rather than gold. “We are looking for another Alpha to break the bond.” Ahandra spoke, her voice resonating. “But you must renounce her.”

They turned to leave. Henjah, Makara and Ahandra. As the door shut, I fell to the floor and howled. “She is an errant bond?!” I howled. My mind and body rejected. If this be true, I knew there we cases of weres whom died when they had to renounce a bond, because of the pain. It is said errant bonds can kill a were more than anything known to our kind.

Ahandra had been The Grand Amshun for more than a century. She knew this. Ahandra had sounded my death knell.

With An Heir (Farron)-#7

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tzipporah was separated from me for the first time in a decade. I mean, really separated. I couldn’t reach her, not even in the Open Plane. I couldn’t find her there. What was more, because she was with the amshuns  I wasn’t allowed to see her.

She had been my mate for a century. Promised to me before then. The Second, my father and her mother, the Grand, had foretold that she would be mine. Just mine. But I had no time to reflect on this, the loss I felt at not being at her side. I knew it was time. The babe she carried was coming. The amshuns had said it would be so. I knew that the time would be swift, but I had no idea it would be as swift as this! During the ceremony where I was to lead my people? Only the ancestors would have planned this.

With custom and tradition, Tzipporah and I were supposed to be separated for this week. It was hard for her, but I couldn’t pinpoint why. When I reached for her on the Open Plane, she hid from me. Tzipporah had never hidden from me, not there. Or anywhere. The Grand had told me it could be happening because of her impending delivery. “My Alpha, she is in a tender state.” She had touched my shoulders in the heated room I was left in. “Let us tend to her. We all knew this day would come, but none thought it would come so soon.” I stared at her, Tzipporah’s steady brown eyes in her face. I grimaced as she left the room.

Something was wrong, I knew something was wrong. I wish someone would have been brave enough to tell me what it was!

The separation for The Beginning was for purification. Tradition said this time was to prove the mate bond, to make sure it was true. That the Alpha was bonded to the right mate. Errant bonds happened, but if an errant bond happened to or with an Alpha the line could not produce the next Alpha. Without an Alpha, there could be no lineage. Without a lineage, there would be no pack.

The Grand left me in the heated room with the light off. Centuries before The Beginning, the first two days of the ceremonial week were in the dark. The Second told me this would be some of the deepest peace an Alpha could have. Here for two days, the ancestors would speak and I would listen. I would know what the previous Alpha knew. I would be asked questions, strength regained and deepened. It was the ancestors that gave the second set of confirmations for your mate. My mate.

I closed my eyes, counted my breaths as my father told me. As my Alpha had instructed. As Alphas had done since our pack began. I felt my hearing heighten, and the wolf that I housed groan and wish for the comfort of Tzipporah. The sweetness of her skin. The smell of her.  I heard my own growl in my new hearing, startled at the hunger found in it.

I

With An Heir (Narmon)-#8

 

They were keeping her from me.  The amshuns were closing her off from the Open Plane. Yet, I knew exactly where she was. I knew that the entity she carried would be due right after The Beginning ceremony. It would only be fitting for this child to be born the same week my brother becomes The Third.

For this week, all the members of the new Alpha’s family were supposed to be around them. This time of seclusion was to prepare for the transition at the end of the week of The Beginning. As the older brother, I was delegated to a special type of seclusion. I wasn’t allowed to talk to Farron. I wasn’t allowed to be in seclusion.  I was charged with preparations. I had to talk to the amshuns, and be a part of the chain from the Open Plane that would allow Farron to become The Third. This was tradition, unbroken for centuries. The brother of the Alpha is a part of the ceremony to ensure there are no errant bonds. That the mate of the Alpha, is the mate of the Alpha.

I knew when the amshuns had come to rouse me and dispatch Leah from my bed, that they knew. They knew I had been with Tzipporah. I knew, as well as they knew, the child she carried was Farron’s and our tryst was long ago. But there was something wrong. Errant bonds were rare, but not impossible. They happened when there were those weres whom either denied their mates when presented or ran from them.  In the case of Tzipporah and it was after her father had died in war between our pack and another. She was restless and sad, Farron had to go with our father, The Second. He going to lead one day, and had to be a part of the battle first hand.

She came to me. Tzipporah, gorgeous and full of rage, was in my bed before I could open my eyes.  I knew she was there before I knew she was there. Her skin soft and hot, mouth the same. She pleaded for me to be inside her, so she wouldn’t have to think or feel. I obliged, filling all that she opened for me, impaling her with girth and length as furious as pounding rain.

It wasn’t meaningless. Intimacy is everything to us. But there was a shifting to this intimacy, I hadn’t found my mate. I hadn’t wanted to, and didn’t have access to the Open Plane. Yet, once inside her, I did. I saw a lush forest. Trees, water and sun. There was a river she sat by, looking like one of Nanja’s water nymphs. Her skin the color of cinnamon, hair raven dark, wearing a white dress.

Tzipporah sat on this rock by the river, looking at the water, never turning towards me. She looked at the water that rushed over her feet. “This was…this hasn’t happened to me before. This wasn’t supposed to happen.” I touched her shoulder, smiled at the contrast between her skin an the addition of my coconut brown. I said nothing, only watched her watch the water. We knew the Open Plane for was for those whom had mated, that’s when it opened. This space where your heart, mind and soul connected with that of your mate. This place where you both were safe, protected and heard–even when distance separated.

Now, the errant bond was a secret no longer. With the amshun’s knowledge, Farron would have to know. And I would have to explain.

With An Heir (Narmon)-#3

I had her.

She was still mine, so close and supple. I knew that the Elders would know she was imprinted wrongly to my brother.  I knew with the death of the Alpha, there would be no one aged enough with the discernment to oppose this. Tzipporah, as an amshun could only be with an Alpha. I am the oldest. I was the stronger of the four of my brothers.  I had been here with mother, and father. I had fetched water, listened to stories and learned how to lead. I knew of the legends of our people, of the land we were birthed out and from.

I knew that there would only one Alpha. Father had been grooming me for this for a century and more. There was an affliction that come over both he and his brother. There was this virus that had killed his brother, my uncle. No one knew what it was, where it had come. I felt kisses along my shoulders. I looked at my walnut brown face in the mirror.  “Lana, please.” I heard a low chuckle along my shoulder. “You always tell me that, I didn’t think you would be so distracted now.” I turned to face her, her ebony skin and dreadlocked hair enticing me all over again. I kissed her, bold and slow. Tasting the inside of her mouth my tongue. I needed the distraction. I needed her. I need not to think. My thoughts kept swimming with thoughts of Tzipporah and how to win her heart again. The fact we were still connected meant I had a chance. No matter now minute, there was still a chance.

I moved Lana against the wall, cupping her breasts as I moved my mouth from hers. Lana moaned as she had nights before. She wanted  not to think as well. Lana had let me read her thoughts, hear them as Tzipporah would never let me. I growled in her ear as she moaned name as I marked her once more. I bit into her neck, licking the wound so it would heal. She yelped as she moved my hand between the wetness of her thighs. Lana grinded into my wrist and I held her against the wall by her left shoulder.

Farron had marked Tzipporah, weakening the bond we had. He was erasing me from her memory, I could feel it. I fought it. I still called to her when she called to me in the vulnerable moments. She would be home soon. She would be mine. Farron would not take her from me again. I scooped her in my arms, kissed her on the way back to my bed, and make the stars witness the ache within me I had to subdue. I lay Lana on the cream colored sheets and she squirmed as I scratched at her thigh. “Please, Narmon. Make the ache stop.” I crawled on top of her, sliding my length inside as she kissed me. “Make the ache stop, love.” I pulled myself from her mouth, and nipped at her bite. I felt her body open and the climax ripple from her ears. Indeed, the ache would be sated for now.

*******

I watched Lana breathe, with her back towards me. I traced her spine with my finger, watched her body recoil. I thought about speaking to the Council about Lana. I knew she was a hybrid. Her mother was human. It was a miracle she had survived as long as she had. When I met her years before, she was betroved to the second son of an Alpha in Zaire. She had run away and been dehydrated when my father, The Second, found her. The Council wanted to kill her because she was a hybrid. I defended her. I loved her then. I had taken her as a Chosen as soon as she was healed. Lana was the closest thing to a true love that I had. This was one of the reasons why I needed to have Tzipporah. My mother had told me there was a way to break the bond. “Dangerous, yes. Impossible, no.” But I needed an Alpha to do that! They were strong enough to channel and shield the energies that would manifest from the breaking.

By right, I was supposed to be the Third. Not Farron. He did not hold father’s hand, his Alpha’s hand as he died. What right did the Council have to usurp millennia of succession and ritual! I was supposed to be the Third, the Alpha. Not the Beta. I was the first born. Tradition said I should be next.

I leaned over and kissed Lana’s shoulder. Her warmth settled me. I closed my eyes, hoping Tzipporah wouldn’t be there again.