Their Hungry Hearts Were Fed in Full

Flash Fiction

Their Hungry Hearts Were Fed in Full by Tremaine L. Loadholt

He lay in the middle of the road, shivering from the intense cold. Darius slows the car down to a stroll. Serena opens the door — tightens the feel of her winter coat around her, and rushes to scoop up the precious thing into her arms.

It is a cold, late autumn night. She and Darius had just left a charity event thrown by her company — a non-profit organization built on the premise of revitalizing their city and finding homes for stray dogs and cats. What were the chances they would land upon a chocolate Cocker Spaniel/Labrador mix in the middle of the road on their drive back home?

She looks into its eyes and rolls it over onto its back, staring past its belly to check its gender — male. She whispers to the drenched ball of fur, “Fate. I think we’ll call you, ‘Fate.’”

She runs toward their car, pulls the door open, and quickly slides onto the heated seat. Darius is thumping his ashy thumbs on the steering wheel. He stares at her intently and says, “Who could leave such a sweet baby to fend for itself out here in all this?!” His hands flail dramatically in front of him.

“I named him ‘Fate.’ I think he will be a great addition to our family, Darius. Sebastian and Nora will fall in love with him. They truly will!”

Darius and Serena had a two-year-old Goldendoodle and a four-year-old Maine Coon cat at home. Both were rescues. Sebastian, the Goldendoodle, had been found in a ditch three miles away from their home on a sunny July morning. Nora, the Maine Coon, had been seen running feverishly out of a burning shed one mile away from their church.

Their home had been a quiet, welcoming spot for both animals. And now, it will be one for Fate, too.


As they pull into the driveway, Serena towel-dries Fate with one of the heavy towels the couple keeps in their car as part of their “emergency kit.” The little thing moves gingerly in her care as if to signal he understands what is going on. She scoops him up and places a gentle kiss on his snout.

Inside their home, Sebastian sits with Nora in their living room — his fluffy bottom faces the fireplace. Nora nestles alongside his chest — sleeping to the sound of his heartbeat.

Serena tiptoes to their kitchen — pulls out a favorite brand of puppy dog food, and sprinkles one scoop into Fate’s bowl. Next to this hearty meal, she fills another bowl with fresh water. She places Fate on the floor and watches his reaction.

The puppy lunges toward the bowl housing the food — hungry for a meal he hadn’t had in days. He swallows hurriedly, breathing in small pants between each bite. He shuffles his furry little body over to the water and sips until his belly pokes out.

Serena’s eyes fill with tears. One slips away and slides down her cold face. Darius stands at the kitchen entrance and gazes upon his wife and their new baby as they bond.

Who’s feeding whom? Who saved who?


As time passes, Fate grows along with Sebastian and Nora. The three of them fill Darius and Serena’s hearts with so much love. The couple watches their three fur babies interact with each other daily. The connection can only be described as “kismet,” — they were meant to be.

And with Fate’s name literally tying the family closer, Serena knows it is time to announce their newest addition. She turns to Darius as he watches the threesome plop around playfully in their backyard, leans closer to him, and nudges his chin. A glimmer in her eyes appears when she says, “Babe, I’m pregnant.”


The news floors Darius. It overcomes him with joy. They had tried for years to conceive and now … they could breathe easier. As the two of them zoom in on their small family, they envision it becoming bigger.

The work they do — the families they connect with when finding the best homes for stray dogs and cats invigorates them.

How will they continue their cause with a baby in tow?

They can and they will.


Someone has to fight the brutal fight of maintaining beauty and comfort in their thriving neighborhood. Someone has to feed the babies of the world — both humans and animals. Someone has to clear the streets of garbage, lost sneakers, and cigarette butts.

Fate brought more to Serena and Darius than just peace — he brought love — deep, everlasting love.

And now, on a chilly night in late November, not only have their hearts bloomed with indescribable joy, they are fed in full.


©2022 & 2023 Tremaine L. Loadholt

This is a slightly edited version of a piece written for Hinged.press’ (formerly, The Weekly Knob) annual participation in “Thankmas”. Thank you for reading.

Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

I Want To Be a Lasting Voice

An Audio Flash Nonfiction Piece

I Want To Be a Lasting Voice
Photo by Rene Ferreira via Pexels

I never thought I’d live to see the mass destruction of all things different–but here we are. As many reflect on the 6th anniversary of the Pulse shooting where 49 people were gunned down and killed while 53 others had been wounded, I am sitting with my thoughts on just how insane the world in which we live has become. At the age of 42 and as a Black woman who is bisexual, and also lives in the South, fear and I are “kissing friends.” We have a relationship where she pulls at my hair and I slap her hands away assertively yet with just a bit of caution, too. We are warped bosom buddies–our lives entwined for decades because this has “become the norm.” I can’t slip out of my skin to appease the majority, however, if you asked them if I can, they’d rebut, “Yes, it can be done.”

Someone has poured some type of creamer in their coffee that deteriorates brain cells and as my friend’s mother used to say, “Something in the milk ain’t clean.” Who are we to cast down or out those who do not look, act, agree with, or follow our beliefs? Who are we to denounce a community because we do not understand their lives? Who are we to harbor hate for those with different socioeconomic backgrounds, upbringings, and work ethics? Everyone is so busy playing God they’ve forgotten just who God truly is.

If God IS love, why are so many who claim to follow him displaying the opposite? I want to be a lasting voice. When I am gone, affix my words to my tombstone–compile a few of my most vulnerable pieces and share them with my hurting loved ones. When my body is ash, spread me along the Savannah River, purify its depth. I do not want to be remembered as someone who was merely existing during a time when all hell broke loose and lifted herself in phases because living in whole parts had become too exhausting.

Living now is exhausting. 

And it pains me to reflect on the past, observe the present, and admit that I do not want any parts of the torturous future ahead. Not if there aren’t serious changes. I am one voice. I say to you now, do not let yours go silent–do not allow yours to be stunted. Pull whatever morsel of goodness you have dwelling within the pits of your belly out, and spread it all over this world. 

We are dying by the hundreds. We are hurting by the thousands. We are struggling by the millions. And soon, if we do not become wise, we will all be dead without forgiveness. 

I want to be a lasting voice. Do you?

©2022 Tremaine L. Loadholt Originally published on Simily.

Spring’s Mighty Grip On the Cusp of Summer

Musical Selection: The Isley Brothers|Here We Go Again

Another shot of my best friend’s plant therapy room. The Healing Space. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

An Audio Poem

Bugs, blooms, and birds are wild
with life, each pressing through their
own way of being.

I am gifted by the heavens to
open my eyes, spread out
my arms, and let the rain wash
over me.

Chirping pummels through my
windows, louder than I can
tolerate, but the harmony
is mesmerizing.

I won’t complain.

The dog and I walk around
our neighborhood at a fast
pace, picking up speed as
the wind howls on a subtle
spring day.

The sun plays hide-and-seek
with the clouds and every other
day is a race to beat the
grip of Winter while waiting
on the cusp of Summer.

“I have no fight left in me”
is what I tell a friend who
asks how I’m dealing
with death.
 
Death of a season
Death of a job
Death of a hobby
Death of family
Death of a friend . . .

“I have no fight left in me.”
And it’s part true and
part lie but she doesn’t
ask a follow-up question
and for this, I am grateful.

I spend most of my
vacation time away at my
best friend’s house lulled
by nature in her
plant therapy room,
losing who I was — 
finding who I should be.

I am changing with the
season and with every breath
I’m given, I look forward
to shedding this skin.

I want to see the person
under it.

I’ve been waiting to
meet her.


Originally published in Where Wild Things Grow via Medium as a response to the May the Seasons Change prompt.

I loved a woman once…

Audio Prose

Odilon Redon|Angelica on the Rock–1904

And, I thought that perhaps, she loved me too. We find out the strangest things when we confess–when we reveal our feelings to others. What seemed to be a connection built from words and learning the backgrounds of our lives’ pasts was just… two people sharing a oneness and the similarities that surrounded us were not meant to be taken and held up to a promising light. There would be no romance, no spinning of the times, no eruptions of heart-throbbing, pulsing love-making, and nothing else that would classify in the realm of labels, a relationship.

Communication, I was always told, is key and when I communicated to her my feelings, that proved to be my doom. It was not the only time, for I am a knower of rejection. It has laid up with me, it sometimes has a home when I do not seek its company. Yes, it was not the only time, but it was the last and it hurt like hell. I still see her in my dreams, hear her voice, know her words. When you love a Writer, you know that they have the power to build you up or tear you down, and they do not do it as a courtesy to you, in your face, it comes in their work. And you, being a Writer yourself, you do it too.

I loved a woman once…

And, she taught me that it is not always best to share one’s feelings, that the tides have various shifts and changes and if you are not careful, you will be swept up with the seashells and gritty sand. I do not know what it is like to turn off my heart. I wish I did. There are days where I wish I did not know her voice, did not know how common words such as “caress” and “safety” sounded as they rolled away from her tongue. We take things along with us from the hurt places. Unknowingly, sometimes we keep them and when they see fit, they raise up at the wrong moment, reminding you of just how sharp that pain was.

I loved a woman once…

And I have written fifteen poems about her, only sharing two of them when asked, and reminded of just how close I am to dying an early death in the game of love. She would have no remorse, and why should she? The line had been drawn and I watch where it lies, mindful not to cross it. What have I learned? That the heart wants what it wants yet the mind has to remind it that sometimes, it cannot have what it wants… And sometimes, without its knowledge, it is for the best.

I loved a woman once…

And she loved me enough to not love me back.