The Luring Scent of Fudge Brownies

Flash Fiction

A fresh batch of brownies lay on the counter. We sniff the luring scent, slip on our clothes, and rush down the stairs. I’ve got my heart set on the two middle brownies & my sister craves two from the corners. She’s eager to dash from the entrance of our kitchen to the sweet smell of love and hard work.

Our mom outdid herself this time. We both knew it. The fresh scent travels throughout our home and wafts around every corner of every room. My sister looks at me, I look at her — hesitantly; we measure each other up — lingering in our newfound glory. I nod my head toward her and watch her cherub-like face light up. That’s her cue to take a bite.

We sink our teeth into the gooey goodness of chocolate. Every morsel melts in our mouths — we land on a small slice of heaven. The brownies are both chewy and moist and filled with everything we could have possibly dreamed up if anyone were to ask us.

We take another bite in unison — fudge drips on to our fingers. I lick remnants of evidence from my hands and advise my kid sister to do the same. There’s no hiding the fact that we’ve had our share of this exquisite dessert and we will not deny it if asked, but . . .

How could anyone ignore the luring scent of fudge brownies?


*This began as a response to a Twitter BraveWrite prompt. The prompt word was batch. I liked this so much, I decided to expound on it here.


Originally published in The Weekly Knob via Medium.

Young Minds of Medium

What are you looking forward to in the year 2021?

This is a call for submissions and your fourth and final challenge of this year. Young Minds of Medium — this is it! I am looking for work from the young writers here on Medium, ages 18–25. Submissions will be reviewed and posted on Mondays and Fridays beginning with a publishing date of Friday, November 13, 2020. I want to hear from you. I want to feel, connect with, and fall in love with the words you would like to share with the world.

Your theme: What are you looking forward to in the year 2021?

What am I asking?

What do you wish for the most in the coming year? What would you like to see more of throughout the year? How do you see yourself growing in your writing or other creative works for the year 2021? If you’re tired of the Coronavirus and want to see that eradicated — let’s hear about it. Tell me what you are looking forward to next year. I want to hear about it and I am sure others do too.

I am looking for:

Poetry
Micropoetry
Fiction (no more than 1200 words)
Non-fiction (no more than 1200 words)
And, your heart. ❤


•You will need to be a current user on Medium for this challenge. Request to be added as a writer by emailing me at acorneredgurl[at]gmail[dot]com with Please Add Me” as the subject line/title. In the body of the email, please include a link to your Medium profile. For the young ones already contributing to ACG, please submit your work in draft-form directly to A Cornered Gurl for review, scheduling, and/or publishing. You can submit twice per week, your works will be published on Monday and Friday of that week.

Please have a suitable image for your work with notable credit to its source/artist (Please include the link!). You can find plenty of great images via Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels. If you are the source for your image, please caption that.

Please subtitle your entries “Young Minds of Medium 2021 Hopes & Dreams” and tag your pieces with the following: “Growth” & “New Year.” CHALLENGE SUBMISSION BEGINS NOW!

The start date for publishing the YMOM pieces is Friday, November 13, 2020, and the end date is Monday, November 30, 2020. Other contributors to ACG, please, no worries. You can submit as you normally would to A Cornered Gurl and your work will be published as well, however, a total of six pieces will be published on Mondays and Fridays for all other writers, leaving the floor wide open for our young ones. I hope you will understand and accept this.


*Please remember that A Cornered Gurl is a read-for-all community and there will be no metered paywall or locked pieces published here.

Thank you.


A Cornered Gurl Submission Guidelines

Originally published via A Cornered Gurl on Medium.

Sweet As Sugar

A Haibun, 2 Parts

Musical Selection: Eagles|I Can’t Tell You Why

Photo from ds_30 via Pixabay

She sits across from us — hair pinned up tightly in an aggravated bun. I have my hands on my lap. I am centered in my chair — immovable. She invites us in for tea, this will calm our nerves, she says. We sit quietly. She gathers the good china, readies the table, and prepares some Earl Grey. He spies me looking at her precariously. I give him a cautious wink — I nod slowly. He knows something is wrong. He says nothing.

“Your sugar cubes . . . One lump or two, Dears?” We look at each other before speaking. We both shout in unison, “Two, please!” She plasters a fake smile on her face then offers us a drink we’re scared to consume.

afraid to drink tea
something’s not right with our host
but we can’t be rude


We sip our tea slowly — breathing in and out as we swallow. She eyes us nosily. I sit back in my chair — rock steadily. The air in the room wolfs around us — strangles us into silence. She seems nice. She seems sweet as pie — sweet as honey — sweet as sugar. But she’s not. We know she’s not. We just can’t put our fingers on it. He takes a few more sips then his head lands on the table with a loud thud. “Teddy! Baby, wake up! Wake up!” I look at her, she’s still smiling — the same fake one from earlier. What has she done?

host for evening tea
is a killer in disguise
we both die that night


Originally published in The Weekly Knob via Medium.

Writers: A Challenge

I am posting this here too, just in case any of you are on Medium and not Twitter, you’ll see this challenge/call for submissions should you fancy to tackle it along with us:


Writers: A Challenge

Haibun A Heart

Writers, this is your fifth challenge of the year and for this one, we will dive into form and structure once again and write our way through the haibun. What is this, you may ask?

Haibun is a prosimetric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku. The range of haibun is broad and frequently includes autobiography, diary, essay, prose poem, short story and travel journal. — Wikipedia

The challenge: I am asking you to “Haibun a Heart” which is to write a prose piece centered around your heart’s desire or passion or pain or love in any form and to also incorporate a haiku too. 


An example:

The night’s wind sunk deep into our bones — drenched us in pain. We waited for the evening to end. Nothing could relieve us of the passion that festered in our hearts. We begged to be rid of it — to move away from it — to grow in another direction, but it was not our time. If we had our way, we’d lose ourselves in the midst of it all — consumed by love’s touch. Drowned once again.

passion was our pain
this night’s gift led us to love
we seal off our hearts


Let’s make this happen, people!


•Request to be added as a writer by emailing me at acorneredgurl@gmail.com with “Please Add Me” as the subject line and please include the link to your Medium profile. Don’t want to be a writer in A Cornered Gurl? Simply comment with your response in this challenge post, or create your own post to your profile or in another publication, however, please use the tags, “Challenge” and “Haibun.”

Since this is a challenge call, all submissions received by 6:00 pm, US ET Thursday, October 29, 2020, will be published by 7:00 pm, US ET Friday, October 30, 2020. Any other submissions received during the week and by 6:00 pm on Sunday, November 01, 2020, will be published by 7:00 pm on Monday, November 2, 2020, US ET. CHALLENGE SUBMISSION BEGINS NOW. 

Show me what you can do with this challenge and “Haibun a Heart,” beautiful people! 

*Finally, this is a read-for-all community. There will be no metered paywall or locked pieces in A Cornered Gurl. If you do not know how to unlock your submissions, please learn how to here. The Weekly Knob gives an excellent breakdown on deselecting the option to curate/distribute for paywall prior to submitting to a publication.

A Cornered Gurl Guidelines


Originally published via A Cornered Gurl on Medium.

Featured Young Mind of the Week

Fatima Mohammed is an exceptional young one. She never backs down from a challenge and truly tests the limits of her writing. She’s versatile, expressive, candid, and doesn’t publish with us often, but when she does–it’s always something to look forward to. This quarter’s Young Minds of Medium Challenge was: “Tell Me About Your Neighborhood/City/Country” and Fatima not only tackled the challenge brilliantly as I knew she would–she did so uniquely. She is our Young Mind of the Week. And now, her featured work . . .


Simulation

Young Minds of Medium My Home

The sound of her friends from the next compound playing a game of ten-ten, stamping their feet in drawn up chalk squares on the dusty ground, drifted up to Ebi’s ears like the aroma of the spicy Suya from across the street often drifted up to her nose and made her mouth water. The urge to defy her mother’s rules and run out to play with them spread slowly to every inch of her body like spilled water meandering into the cracks of the kitchen tiles.

But Ebi knew she couldn’t give in, so she watched from her room. The criss-cross of the mosquito netting depicting tiny cage bars and obstructing the full view of the fast-paced movements of her friends’ hands and feet.

She imagined she was there. She was the one playing a game of tinko with Blessing, her hands moving swiftly, and every slap of their hands together caused a resounding clap that put a smile on both their faces.

Next, she saw herself playing “African bend down” as the other children, after finishing their extra lessons, joined in and the group got larger. They chanted, “sugar!” “pepper!” and clapped their hands over one another’s heads as each person ducked at their turn.

Ebi saw herself roaring in laughter as her hands collided with Amaka’s head when she failed to bend. She saw herself vehemently disagreeing when Amaka begged for another chance and explained to her that the whole point of the game was bending and if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be called African “bend down.”

Ebi felt the pain in her legs from running around after a long game of fire on the mountain. She also saw herself sitting breathlessly with the others as they each sipped a bottle of fifty Naira zobo from the vendor under the pawpaw tree. She saw herself, cheeks bulging with the red, almost blood-like colour of the sweet drink, threatening to ruin both Blessing and Amaka’s white school uniform shirts with a single drop from her mouth just because she had worn her sweater over her own shirt that day.

She saw the three of them roam the streets, stealing mangoes from Mr. Chubi’s tree, which seemed to produce long after its season. Then she saw them walking all the way to Blessing’s house just to sneak into the cinema close by and watch R-rated movies.

She saw them as they would sing “I’m not okay,” by My Chemical Romance on their way back, louder than their voices allowed them, every note cracked by their unpleasant singing as they affirmed themselves that they weren’t going through a phase like their mothers had said but they really loved everything about classic rock, metal music and screamo.

She was about to see herself under the pawpaw tree after the vendor had left; the stars illuminating the very spot she was sharing a late-night kiss with Dele, the senior boy who had taken an interest in her. But her mother shouting about the spike in Coronavirus cases in Nigeria aggressively flung her from her daydream and back into reality.

It reminded her that no one was outside. Not her friends in the next compound playing, nor the mallam selling Suya across the street orthe vendor under the pawpaw tree with chilled bottles of zobo, and the cinema hadn’t been open in months.

The sounds she thought she heard were a simulation her brain had created to survive the isolation from everything she loved. It had been happening a lot lately, but Ebi couldn’t deny that it made it all easier.

So she lay back down, ignoring her mother’s rant, and continued her conversation with Dele, standing in the spotlight from the stars, under the pawpaw tree.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.