Un-fixable


Flash Fiction

Photo by Tyler Lastovich via Pexels

Readers: The following fictional piece is one of abandonment, frequent miscarriages, and self-harm.


My body decided to terminate my pregnancy. The phone calls won’t stop. Everyone says the same thing. Everyone thinks I can just pick up and start anew. It doesn’t work that way.

I’m broken. There’s no fixing me. This is the third time. It will be my last.


My name is Clara De Jesus-Mendez Moses. I am an only child to older parents. Friends say, maybe it’s my DNA. That I am full of codes and clues and puzzles that only lead to trauma. My mom was forty-two when she had me. Dad was fifty.

I grew up in a stuffy, one-percent, melanin-robbed neighborhood. Piano lessons. Debutant balls. Beauty pageants. Cozy Camp Lassiter. Passing . . .

My family denied our heritage. Mom, half Black & Israeli. Dad, half Mexican & Black. I fit somewhere in the middle as a conglomerate of all things and no things.

They married me off at a young age — 19. Todd Ramses Moses. Yes, it’s a weird name. But he was beautifully breathtaking. He was a God. My God. I worshiped him. I was his temple.

We tried for children immediately after saying, “I will.” No “I dos” for us. Our first time, I’d just turned 20. Nine weeks in. I lost the baby. Our second time, 22. Thirteen weeks in. Again. The last time, a third — I couldn’t make it to six weeks. That’s when I told Todd I was broken and if he wanted children, he should find someone else.

He found someone else.

The cutting started. I’d scrape my wrists with razor blades lightly. Just enough to see blood. Once a week or whenever I felt inadequate. I felt inadequate all the time.

I’d managed to leave that stuffy neighborhood, immersed myself in a diverse community, and taught at one of our schools. I decluttered my home. Anything that reminded me of Todd, I tossed. That didn’t stop the cutting.

I was supposed to be happy.

I have a huge attic. It’s quiet and dark and has great acoustics. I sit with my legs crossed early on Saturday mornings and strum old love songs on my guitar. It helps. I get through the day after seven or eight songs.

Every few weeks, a family member stops by. A friend. Someone from our church. They mean well. They want to be sure I’m eating. I nibble on plates of food but never finish a meal.

“Don’t name them.” That’s the advice my therapist gave me after my second miscarriage. “Don’t name them.” I named them. I mourned. I grieved. I’m still mourning. I’m still grieving.


Todd has three girls now. A set of twins, five — and a two-year-old. I saw him at the market with his mighty fine family one Sunday. He waved, cautiously. I nodded casually. I pushed my cart as fast as it would go.

I wanted to get back home as quickly as possible. The urge to cut again had taken over. I was remembering who I was — who I’d become. The woman who couldn’t have children.

My body decided to terminate my pregnancy. The phone calls won’t stop. Everyone says the same thing. Everyone thinks I can just pick up and start anew. It doesn’t work that way.

I’m broken. There’s no fixing me. This is the third time. It will be my last.

I throw myself at my door, crash into a chair in the kitchen, and dig deep into my skin.

The pain rushes over me instantly then stops. I feel nothing.


This piece began as a response to two different Twitter prompts; vss365 (anew) & vssmurder (terminate).


Originally published in The Junction via Medium.

Reflections of a Lost Love that Will Never be Found

Flash Fiction

Readers: This fictional piece has content that reflects upon depression and briefly mentions suicide.


I don’t know where we went wrong — don’t know what I could have done. I thought everything was fine — everything was okay. She’d been hurting, I tried to step up. It was hard loving her — hard trying to constantly fill in the spaces that had holes bigger than my heart. There were locked up voids — galaxies of pain unfit for undoing. Everyone said, “Don’t do it. She’s damaged goods.” I wondered what in God’s name would make people say some of the things they said about another human being.

Everyone needs love. EVERYONE! That was my response — to all of them who thought they were going to shift my position or move me toward a different path, I never flinched. I stayed until she left. I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew she was hard to love.

She was a wall — brick and mortar, impenetrable, but I broke through. Years of listening to her and learning her ways and loving her and being there for her got me through the thickest wall I have ever met. But she left. Six years — six long, sufferable years — she left. I feel fine. I am fine. I will be fine.

I AM OKAY! I say this to my younger sister who never liked her. She asked if she could stay with me for a few days or weeks or months, just until my eyes looked normal again. Just until I got up out of the bed without any coaxing from anyone else. Just until . . . She’s not a nuisance. I know she means well. I would probably want to be around her too if her heart had been plucked from her chest, flaunted in front of a hateful public, and stomped on.

She was a wall — brick and mortar, impenetrable, but I broke through.

I know I would want to protect her. But I would give her space. Would I give her space? Did I give her space? She used to say, “You know all the right ways to love me without smothering me. You grant me peace. I need that. I love that.” I thought I was in the clear — I was making headway. She didn’t even say goodbye. I got up on a cold, Saturday morning, rolled over to her side of the bed, pressed my hands into the space she used to fill, and lied there. She never returned.

Two days later, I received a text message that said, “I am holding you back from finding a partner who can love you much better than I can. I won’t do that anymore. Deena, I won’t be your burden — I won’t wear your shoulders down. I love you. I always have. I always will.”

And just like that, I found myself listening to Anita Baker, Michael McDonald, Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and a list of other artists who have a plethora of open up your heart and come back to me songs. One thing was certain — she wasn’t coming back. I could tell when I read the message — she definitely wasn’t coming back.

My mom came over on a Monday morning while my sister was at work. She called herself tidying up the place — but I’m what they say is “a neat freak,” so there wasn’t anything left to tidy up. She opened up the curtains and blinds in my bedroom and implored me to get out of bed. I turned to my right side and continued to lie still. I wanted the comfort of my covers. I wanted to pretend I was being shielded by her — loved by her.

I got up on a cold, Saturday morning, rolled over to her side of the bed, pressed my hands into the space she used to fill, and lied there. She never returned.

No one prepared me for the day the dam would break. No one told me heartache would feel this tormenting. Everyone thinks you should move right on past the pain and get back to living. But, shit . . . don’t I get time to mourn my failed relationship? Don’t I deserve my grief? Don’t I get to say when I am ready to move the hell on without being told to?

A long-time friend, part-time lover called me one day when I was sulking. I looked at the name and number as they flashed across the screen. Something deep within me told me not to answer. I did.

“Hey . . . If you want to talk, I’m here. I know you — I know you’re over there thinking it’s something you did and it isn’t. You only know how to love all parts of a person even when they’re truly hard to love. Sometimes, people just have to find their own way and it has to be without anyone else tagging along.” I held the line. It was so good to hear her voice — to sit with her words and remember who we were. She had a point, right? It wasn’t my fault. I thanked her for calling and found my way to the kitchen.

I splashed my favorite bowl with some homemade chicken noodle soup — filled it to the brim. I slurped every mouthful, enjoying the flavors — deeply experiencing the calming powers of comfort food. The phone rang as soon as I licked my lips and wiped them clean. An unfamiliar number . . . A call I probably shouldn’t take. I did.

A long-time friend, part-time lover called me one day when I was sulking. I looked at the name and number as they flashed across the screen. Something deep within me told me not to answer. I did.

“Deena! Deena, you there?! Please, say something!” I couldn’t I just sat there. A hollow space in my soul sunk even deeper. It was as if I’d known what would follow next. “Deena! *sighs* You’re listening to me, I can hear you. Parker was found dead this morning — slit wrists, in the tub, by her next-door neighbor. I’m coming over.”

Why’d my sister call me from a number I don’t know? Did she say Parker is dead?! Is she coming over? I slapped the spoon from my bowl, turned on the water from the faucet at the kitchen sink, and slowly — the tears began to fall again.

I knew she was never coming back.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium

I Waited, He Never Came

Musical Selection: Kendrick Lamar & Rihanna|LOYALTY

I Waited, He Never Came

Flash Fiction

You talkin’ ’bout Tony, right? That dude never came — had me waitin’ on the corner for him for like two hours. No show, man. A straight-up no show. I missed my mom’s-n-’nem homemade spaghetti for that dude, too. I don’t usually put anyone before a good meal and I did for that guy.

I thought he was real, ya’know? Thought I could hang tight for’em up there, make the exchange, get the money, then go home.

I bet you think I’m talkin’ bout drugs, dontcha? Yeah. Nah, pahtna. Me and the homie had a deal. I got a closet full of Jordans, some I ain’t even wore yet — still chillin’ in the boxes they came in — he wanted two pairs; some Retro 11s and a pair of Dub Zeros. Yo, that’s $375.00 I expected from Ole Boy!

I ain’t mad, though. I got two other cats hittin’ me up for a few more. But, I would’ve liked to have that extra $375, ya’know? I found me a nice spot over on 5th Avenue; 2 bedroom/1 bath, patio, hardwood floors. It’s time to get outta my mom’s place — been thinkin’ ’bout this for a while. I’m 25 now.

I thought he was real, ya’know? Thought I could hang tight for’em up there, make the exchange, get the money, then go home.


She all sad and whatnot. Shufflin’ ’round the apartment playin’ those bluesy, heartache tunes. I can’t take that shit, man. So I work, come home, make a few calls, and try to close these deals with some legit folk.

I got two sisters and a brother. My brother and one of my sisters, they’re twins. My other sister, she’s right under me — 23 and if she even thinks about tryna move, Moms on her like white on rice.

It’s time to get outta my mom’s place — been thinkin’ ‘bout this for a while. I’m 25 now.

She’s afraid of an empty nest. Afraid to hear her breath as the only one amongst the echoes and shit of a child-free home.

I told her, “You gotta let us go. Loosen your grip. We’re grown. We’re meant to leave.” She ain’t tryna hear that. The twins are 17. I feel for them when they get ready to make moves. My mom’s holdin’ on to these parts of her, you see . . .

My dad died 6 years ago — lupus. He had some type of relapse and couldn’t get back on track. Nothing helped. None of those damn meds they pumped into his body pumped him back into our lives.

He died right there at Mercy Medical Memorial Hospital and my mom been searchin’ for bits and pieces of him to hang on to since then. I don’t know what it feels like to be a widow but I know pain. I miss him as much as she misses him, but I know my missin’ him and her missin’ him are two different things.

“You gotta let us go. Loosen your grip. We’re grown. We’re meant to leave.”

But back to that dude Tony . . . No, I haven’t seen’em. Trust me, if I had, I’d be smilin’ right now from ear to ear. I’ve got 3 more weeks until the big move and I’m gathering up funds and saving as much as I can.

My gig — I’m a DJ, is enough to pay the rent and a couple utilities each month, but I need rainy day and play all day money, ya’know?

But, listen . . . if you see’em, tell Ole Boy, I waited and he never came. But if he still wanna get at me ’bout them Jordans, I got him. He knows how to reach me.


Originally published in P.S. I Love You via Medium.

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.