Featured Writer for March

Photo by Tess on Unsplash

Askia Shantel:

When one receives a piece of writing from a family member to host in their publication, there is no describing it. Askia is one of my older cousins — one, I have always looked up to; she encourages me and has always supported me and reads my work regardless of where it appears. To see her share with all of us here makes my heart smile. Please, encourage her, beautiful people. It takes a lot to jump back into something you have neglected for such a long time. She is our Featured Writer for the next two weeks of March. And now, “Watchful Eye.”


Watchful Eye…

Leaving out of the dress shop, my brain is swirling — I just bought a formal dress for my daughter to attend the military ball at her high school. So, everything seems to be fuzzy because I’m feeling fuzzy all over. As we walk to the car, I see a little bit of a commotion that sort of snaps me back to reality.

A young guy and a very young girl having a bit of a confrontation.

Not really a confrontation — an altercation. He’s pulling her. She’s pulling away.

At first, I don’t think it’s a big deal. Lover’s quarrel. But she’s begging him to leave her alone.

So, now I have two options. I can pull off and mind my own business or I can make sure she’s ok. I choose door #2. I don’t leave because my heart aches for her.

Now I have another decision to make. Should I call the police and get them to help or do I put my window down and give the girl a ride? This time, I go for door #1. As I start to think clearly, if he’s bold enough to assault this young lady outside in broad daylight, he may be in fight or flight mode himself.

So I call the police. I’m moving my car from parking spot to parking spot. I want them to see meI want them to know that someone is watchingI want HER to know that I am there. It doesn’t seem to be deterring him — he’s still pulling, pushing and shouting at her. Another passenger sees this too and stops near the couple. I make eye contact with him and let him know that I’m calling the police.

The dispatcher eagerly asks for a description and a location. She is very helpful and thorough. I feel like she wants the girl to be safe and smart just as much as I do. I’m following. The dispatcher is questioning. The man is yelling. The girl is crying. My heart is breaking.

Just when I think she’s about to really walk away and find help, he grabs her around the neck in a hug/choke. He’s whispering now. Whatever he says works for him. She willingly gets in the car. He glares at me as they speed off.

I feel sick. I can’t believe my eyes.

I am trying not to cry. I want her to get in the car with me so that I can take her to safety. But she’s gone.

I get a glimpse of my daughter. She’s stunned and in disbelief. I can’t help but wonder if my daughter would know what to do if she were in this situation. I wonder if she’s ever witnessed anything like this. I wonder…would someone stop and check on her well-being. I pray someone does…


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

Sharp: Part IV

Back to Where Home Is

Budding Blossoms. Early Spring. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Robbie slugs away from their home, blade dripping blood, legs shiftless and without care. He will bury the child’s head in a toxic heap, far away from the townspeople. It’s where the others are. It is where he is thought to be from–garbage. The tale of his emergence is a strange, sad one. It is said among the gossipy that his Mom delivered him in an alley, tore him from her womb, and threw him in the nearest dumpster.

She was not quite human, but not quite monster, either. She was this strange in-between thing and fearful of passing down her likeness to her offspring, she rid herself of it. The city trash collectors came the next day. One, a father of two girls, heard the wails of a shivering baby. He ordered his partner to help him search through the pounds of garbage, finally landing on Robbie. They stood flabbergasted, exhausted from a day’s work, but also scared to death. What was this thing? They wrapped Robbie in a soft towel kept in the truck’s bed, and transported him to the nearest convent.

Let the nuns deal with him, they thought. 

Those who truly fear God are said to have ways of exposing evil and exorcizing it. After months of exorcisms and numerous Doctor’s house-calls, the sisters believed that Robbie should be sheltered, kept away from humanity, for they knew that others would fear him. From the very first time he walked, they took him to the local park and explained to him that his place was among nature. From dirt he arose, back to dirt, he would go.

And with fresh blood on his hands, Robbie hurried to his place of safety, away from the summoning calls of the neighborhood children, away from all that was normal.

From dirt, he arose, back to dirt, he would go.


Parts I, II, & III


*This concludes the Sharp series. Thank you for reading.

Sharp: Part III

Cruel Acts

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Front door mat. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Robbie slips away from the bushes at first light, his hands are contorted and shaped into demon’s wings, he cuffs his blade tightly to his chest. In front of their door lovingly displayed is a mat that says, “Love is all you need.” He wipes the muddy gunk from the soles of his shoes on it, twists the edge of the blade into the keyhole, slides another in between the door jamb and the knob, and shifts the door silently. It opens. He listens for every breath in their home–Jaimie’s, her mom’s, her older brother’s, and her dad’s. He sniffs at the air, pulls in scents from days past, and bites down on his bottom lip.

Towards the stairs, he creeps. His not-quite-right wings are tucked in slightly behind his back as he maneuvers up each step, careful of creaking floorboards. Slowly he makes his way down the hall. Jaimie’s door is a dead giveaway–white door with pinks flowers and unicorn stickers don it from every angle. He pushes his way through the door and gently closes it behind him. His fangs protrude, salty saliva drips from the edges. Jaimie, sleeping peacefully with her teddy bear cupped tightly in her little hands, does not hear a thing.

Quickly, before anyone can wake up to Robbie’s presence, he leans closer to the sleeping girl, breathes into her ear, licks the tip of its top, and bites down hard, ripping her flesh in one, swift tug. To quiet Jaimie’s screams, his talon-like palm thrashes against her mouth. In one gulp, her head is devoured.

On her chest, Robbie carves, “Number 125.”


Part I & Part II

Sharp: Part II

Raindrops and the poolside. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

The Rains Came

Robbie clicks his tongue, summoning a new day, the rains came along to cleanse what has been made dirty. Jaimie is still asleep. Her five-year-old dreams cause her to smile… Angels are watching over her. She snores lightly, unaware of the half-man/half-devil waiting not too far from their door. He toys with the blade, licks his sharp teeth, and smacks his lips.

He measures the distance from the bushes to her window. From the bushes to their front door. From the bushes to their beaten up, midnight blue sedan, and then counts…

He counts the number of minutes it takes him to beat the sun and kill again. Dawn does not wait for him, it awakens to the birds’ songs.

Just one more, he thinks. Just one more. 


Part I