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.

Non-fiction Saturdays

theblackvote
Photo by Bruce Davidson via The Civil Rights Movement Archive

Mister Charlie Has No Blues

Flash Creative Non-Fiction

An Audio Piece for Sam McKenzie Jr.

There were some, only a few — they wanted you to believe your best interests were at heart. They cared. They gave you underpaying jobs and called it “honest work” while dipping into your pay. They raped your wives — “sowing wild oats” and pillaging where they could. If you are property, you mean nothing. You are nothing. A calf had more value — a farm over your life . . . You, to them, were subhuman or not human, depending on who was speaking. Your backs — the commonplace for burdens and griefs, yet shedding tears offered you nothing. If you were given what you were due, that did not go unnoticed. It was praised and worshipped.

It hung over you like the holy good deed.

But, let them tell it — they were good to you. You had it all. A shed out back big enough to draw a circle in the middle of the common room and walk around it twice. A rickety shot-gun home, drafty year-round. This was your life until you wanted to live — until you figured out this was not living. And when brains met action, you were dangerous. You figured out a ground was meant to be stood upon and stand your ground, you did. And this was trouble.

Trouble . . .

For “Mister Charlie” who has no blues but too many black folks causing him tension. If you wanted more, knew you could get it, and were meant to have it . . . If you figured out that equality meant “for all,” they had a problem. Your voice was your weapon. Your feet were your vehicle. Your strength was your saving grace. The power of a race built to be resilient does not diminish. When all you have is your heart to guide you, your hands to push you forward, your faith to bless you, and your family to believe in you, nothing else matters.

You stomped. You ranted. You raved. You conducted peaceful marches and picketed for justice. Back and side doors, balconies, separate water fountains, the backseats of buses and trains . . . Segregation — separating you from the “better” race for your own good — for their own good. And what good did that do? Remember, the voice is a weapon. You sounded off — refusing seconds, scraps, and the bits and pieces that did not add up to your whole. You took the front seat. You spoke up. You realized that you had rights and rights you fought to get.

Bless the black man who knew he was more than just a black man . . .

Bless the black woman who got tired of being silent. The voice is a weapon. Shots fired. Bullets had no name. Words dig in deeper. Movements sparked up in your favor. The right to vote. Integration. Front doors opened. Floor seats became yours too. Oh, look at that bus now with you sitting up front — ain’t it a sight for sore eyes?

The work you did, have done, no one takes for granted. You washed your hands with the blood of your sisters and brothers who were slaughtered before your eyes. Nightmares haunted you at noon instead of deep into the night. When you are believed to be ghosts, people treat you like one. But you were never invisible.

You were never invisible.

And that’s what scared them.


*Author’s Note: I am currently reading Blues for Mister Charlie, a play, by James Baldwin. To say that it is moving would be a gross understatement. This piece is my “Thank You” to Sam for his tireless efforts and the ultimate weapon that is his voice. He is such a powerful writer & advocate for equality and justice for African-Americans and People of Color.


Originally published on Medium. The link shared is a friend link as this is a piece behind Medium’s paywall.

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.