Nightcap Vision: Short, Short Story

Her hair is fluttering in the air, dark burgundy, long and natural coils. This woman’s laughter refreshing the aura around them. The longing to catch up and grasp hold of her grows more intense.

But she is running. She is running away from him in this dream. Giggling playfully, but running in slow motion.

He realizes, while his vision adjusted to a panoramic view, that she ran naked on a clay path in a pecan orchard. Now, why would she do that? He is a homebody and open spaces he loves, but not the heat. Never the heat from the sun.

Then, he begins to run after this dark wine-colored hair beauty though he has yet to see her face. In all this, he has not set eyes on her chin, cheeks, eyes, or even connect to her soul.

This is dedicated to my special someone.

This original blog post was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her in January 2021 (C)

Death Stills: A Short Story Part One

The blue flashing lights of four black police sedans are silent in front of the two-story house. Everything seems perfect on the outside, embellished in blue siding with a charcoal colored roof and chimney. Yet, from the open front door, you can see dirt and blood commingled into the rug. Upon entering the foyer, there is a putrid blend of rotting flesh, urine and excrement. There is also bare footprints, of various sizes, going in and out of the house with the trail halting at the door’s entrance. The 35mm camera clicks go off throughout the house, capturing every moment of the past few hours.

The forensic photographer, Billie Adelson, does not blink an eye when he captures the first body on the living room floor. At the foot of the fireplace, the body of a middle-aged and overly tanned man lay face down, except–the neck and head are at an abnormal angle. The blue sweater and khaki pants he wore have no bloodstains, gashes or so much as a wrinkle. The man is wearing dress shoes which color closely resembles his khakis. Billie captures photos of the blood-mud fusion foot impressions smeared in a semi-circle around the deceased. There are no discernible signs of a struggle and a weapon to determine the cause of death. The dead man’s last cloudy gaze fixed directly into the entrance of the dining room and kitchen.

A detective wearing coverings over his shoes, stops to speak to Billie before he enters the dining room area. He motions to the top of the entrance, where the words are written by fingers in ash, “We EAT here?” Billie snaps some shots of the words written grotesquely on the wall and zooms in on the messy script. The detective moves past Billie and walk into the dining room.

The atmosphere is heavy with the blend of stagnant blood, decomposition of meat, and food left out on the table. Surrounding the elaborate dining room table, sat two more corpses. All are motionless and perched in their seats. A blonde woman in her thirties or early forties sat at the head of the table, farthest from the entrance. Her glassy eyes were so wide it seems as though it bulge from her head. Billie gulps loudly and the detective looks at him with concern but said nothing. He nods and Billie continues his tour of photos. The blonde had a black scarf with white and red roses which was made into a bow and wrapped tightly around her throat. Upon closer examination, Billie notices traces of blue-black bruises near her jawline. He also notices her posture seems posed, like a mannequin. As he examines her visually and notices that her hands lay on both sides of the salad bowl on the placemat in front of her. Her palms of her hands face up. On the right side of the blonde is a pallid brunette teen, judging from her development she was probably between the ages of thirteen to sixteen. Taking the time to close in with the focus on his camera, Billie captures the neck trauma and multiple puncture wounds. Her eyes, now glassy and almost colorless, stare downward but her chair was positioned towards the blonde rather than under the table. Her hands were also set with the palms up on the table as the blonde woman. Behind the teen is a large portion of blood that is still pooled on the tiled floor and gathers near the rear corner of the room.

Two detectives, a male, and a female are comparing notes. The female said, “I believe there was post-mortem manipulation of both bodies. I have a hypothesis that perhaps they were killed in or around the room and then were posed at the table for some significance which I am bewildered, but…another instance shows that there may be multiple murderers.” The male detective nods in agreement and moves to examine the slashes in the girl’s neck.

The female detective notifies Billie that there was a final body upstairs, in the bedroom adjacent to the staircase. Before taking the first step to climb the stairs, he sighs. He has been in the business of forensic photography for 12 years now, he is still fairly young in the business. The odors, blood and corpses do not unsettle or irritate him. But today, in particular, it is taking a toll. Just two weeks ago he buried his mother. A week before that he found her alone and dead in her apartment. After all these years seeing strangers dead, seeing a loved one dead that he has emotions and memories attached, gives him a different perspective on the business now. Everyone is someone, to someone else.

Once he arrives at the top of the stairs and looks straight into the room, where the final display must be recorded–the moment, the essence of departure, and what remains. The male investigator was working on lifting fingerprints on a mahogany desk near the window, which was open. The bed is directly in front of the door and a deceased young woman lay face-up across it. In bloodsoaked yellow sheets and comforter, her pearly arms and legs sprawled out to where they resemble a starfish on a beach. As though she prepared to sleep, she wore a nightgown, which was lavender in contrast to her pale white skin. The nightie is long and covers most of her limbs except for her head, thighs, and arms. She had a collection of blood on her dress where her heart rests silently in her chest. Then the camera flash goes off again, documenting the stills of her soft shoulders to her delicate but bloody fingers and feet. Billie shakes his head and then continues to take snapshots of her bloodstained feet. He focus on the possibility that the smeared footprints from the living room and foyer, some may belong to her. But hers are just some of the many barefoot impressions captured on his camera. Numerous footprints are bigger than his and he wears size twelve in men’s shoes.

He looks at the investigator and inquires, “who is she?”

TO BE CONTINUED…

This original blog post was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her in January 2021 (C)

Destination Allure — An Erotica (Short Story)

At this height, the balcony is slightly concealed from the public gaze. I purposely asked for the top floor, to look over the city and beyond. And also, to become a witness to this Cuban pink-orange sunset. The atmosphere was a little humid during the summer months, so I removed my clothing, took a cool shower. Then, I threw on an emerald green satin robe while my dark copper tone figure was still damp and dewy. My dark brown hair was dripping wet, with kinky, coil ringlets going down my neck, back, and breasts.

At first, The soothing West Indian breeze made me close my eyes as I stood up against the balcony. I inhaled the air and I was filled with the awakening of all my senses. The smell of Latin foods and spices, the light chatter from passerby’s below me, and the touch of the stacked stones that made up the balcony conjured something seductive about this scenery. At the moment, I was at a loss of words as to what it was that was guiding me–but it made my hands move sensually. They made a trail starting from my face, down to my neck, and cupping my buxom bosoms before I softly pressed my nipples with my fingers. They became erect and it made my honey pot throb. I found the chair closest to the glass sliding doors of the balcony and sat. With my mouth slightly agape, I took in an intense breath. I dared to touch my central part, under my robe, and between my lean and curvy thighs. My right hand and fingers found their way to that incited area and my eyes slid half-mast, as I am aroused.

A gust of wind caressed my robe and nudges my breasts delicately. The robe’s fibers grazing the nipple, as my right breast became exposed to the elements. I whined, at first and tried to cover my curvaceous bust, but an assertive force revealed my physique undoing the thin sash of my wrap. At this point, I should be alarmed but I was so impassioned that I pressed my fingers against my bud and massaged it even further. Elevating my breathing, in swells and falls as I came close to climax. This made me thrust my hips up, my buttocks tightened and raised from the seat, as I fervently peaked in satiated ecstasy.

This original blog post was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her in January 2021 (C)

Dream: Caves to Alternate Realities

Most of this dream I can not recollect but what I can remember, I will write as much as I can so that it makes sense. We all understand that most dreams may not make sense or may make sense while you are in the dream state.

I found myself in a barren cave made of dark brown-red clay. I seem to have been wandering, lonely for some time it seems. There seemed to have been a mission I was on, but as time passed, I forgot. Along the way throughout the cave system, entrance off the main path. Curiosity took me to enter the path, a dark hole in the wall. On the other side was a lighted enclave which was also made of the same dark brown-red clay, except there was a forest. There was a flourish of weeping willow trees and vines with purple-pink flowers all over them, and there was a breeze. I don’t know where it came from and turned abruptly to exit from where I came. Back into the cave system.

The cave was not cramped in most paths but spacious enough for me to walk upright without my head crazing against the roof. In some portions of the cave, the roof was easily twenty feet high. As I walked further, I found that the cave had wildlife that roamed the length of it, mammoths, to be precise. They were huge and shaggy with long hairs that also matched the color of the cave walls. They could stand still and you would not notice them, but when they move, you could hear, see and feel their presence. Why mammoths? Not sure why my psyche pulled an extinct creature into my dreams but the mind has a way of showing you things and manifesting symbolism in their place.

That’s all I can remember…my subconscious will reveal itself in another dream state, soon.

This original blog post was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her in January 2021 (C)

Unfinished Business at Hollow Manor – A Short Story

A few weeks ago my mother was lowered into her final resting place of the EverGreen Memorial Park. My three siblings and I surrounded the hollowed burial place to mourn her passing. As I stood there with glass tears in my eyes, my mind filled with the bittersweet memories that still held images of my mother—her presence, her voice, her hugs, kisses, her love.

After the somber ceremony we went to my mother’s home. She hadn’t moved since we all lived together decades ago. Reluctantly, we walked into the house. None of us wanted to be there, but mom left some loose ends and we couldn’t decide who would be the one to tie them, so we all decided to work together. The house looked as if it was vacant for months—no dishes in the sink, brown house plants, stack of newspapers sitting on the coffee table. None of us were ever really good with keep up with her, so mom’s illness came as a total surprise for us. In some semblance of respect for her, we pooled money together to hire home care nurses to watch her. Some of us—two of us, came to visit on a monthly bases. Her passing was still a surprise, however. We separated and each took a room to complete. The emotions flowed heavily as we sorted and collected forgotten memories of our lives—joys, disappointments, successes and regrets.

By the time we were done going through all the things that once mattered, the feeling of a life long lived seemed to flow about. It was her home. It was our home. Even though she’s gone, It will always feel like our home. We all lived most of our lives there. Some of us grew up, left, returned and left again. Our very beings were forged within those walls. As we gathered in the black SUV, still shedding our tears, our hearts were full. But grief took us in waves. I sat in the passenger seat, watching our home shrink away on the horizon and I smiled through the grief. I smiled as the happiness followed us from behind.

Credit to Jae Davis, as Editor of this story.

This original blog post was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her in January 2021 (C)

TOUCH HUNGRY: CHAPTER THREE – SHORT STORY

CLICK HERE FOR CHAPTER ONE

CLICK HERE FOR CHAPTER TWO

At the end of the work day, Frankia came home to relax, but first, the plants need to be tended to, watered and touched. Plant care created such a sense of tranquility and oxygen production within her studio apartment. During her encounters as a plant mama, she would feel her mood lighten up while the connection and appreciation of nature heightens. Touching all the plants reminded her of how precious life is, daily.

As she observed each plant she realized something. The Sliver Leaf blades were taller, it was not a drastic change but subtle.All the plants seemed to have shrunk…perhaps. She wasn’t sure now, that in one night one plant grew or the others became smaller. Her instincts told her to measure the mysterious flora that she purchased and see if her suspicions were correct. Immediately, she picked up a sheet of white paper, a pencil and measuring tape to record the data. The tallest leaf blade was 16.4 inches long.

Then suddenly, her fingers grazed the Sliver Leaf and she was paralyzed, frozen in her retreat. Everything within her was still, her heartbeat escalated. She thought, “what is happening?” She could not tell how long she was standing perpetually in place. It felt as though she was under a spell, which made her as a stone statue. The light from the window, declined into dusk as she stood. After what seemed like an eternity, she could feel her body slowly relieved of this hold.

When her body was, once again, fully in her own control, a sense of panic filled her chest. Confusion flooded her thoughts: Was it the plant that caused this reaction? How could a plant do this? No, no I may have to go see a doctor, I may be sick. She thought. Denial, disbelief and rationalizing what happened during this incident made her slow her movements and gently lower herself to sit on her couch. She was exhausted but decided to move towards the bed within her studio space to lay down. Surprisingly, she was able to drift to sleep as soon as her head laid on her pillow. Deep slumber took her and she did not realize that this was part of the enchantment.

TO BE CONTINUED…

This original blog post was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her in January 2021 (C)

TOUCH HUNGRY: CHAPTER ONE – SHORT STORY

Frankia Krane collected the small shovel, potting soil and a terra cotta planter pot set from the garden supply shop. She took her time looking at all the indoor plants in the nursery. There was a vivid array of selections all about her and every time she passed a plant she wants that very one, then two steps ahead she would fall in love with another plant.

She finally came upon a plant that was very unique from the others. The leaves were similar to that of a snake plant or Dracaena Trifasciata. Snake plants usually have speckles of green and cream colors, naturally detailed in natural waves and ripples with long, tall blades for leaves that look as though they want to reach for the sky. The only difference is that the other plant bared leaves with a texture like that of a lizard or reptile, with splotches in spectrums of browns and greens, with varying tones commencing from the very tips of the leaf to where it connected to its roots, hidden in the rich dark brown soil. The tag on the pot read, Dracaena Valiveal, also known as the Sliver Leaf Plant.

As though the plant’s leaf was charmed, Frankia instantly became compelled to caress the Sliver plant’s leaves. The texture of the leaves instantly incited an emotional response from Frankia. While she stood there near the table, stroking the leaves of this two-foot tall plant, she did not care if anyone was watching her. Though not far in distance, the store clerk, an aged woman stood watching her as she smoothed and massaged the plant’s blossoms. A cooing sound escaped Frankia’s lips, and a calm and nurturing feeling washed over her mind and body. She was not consciously aware of herself in this moment. There was also a cautionary note below this plant’s name that read, “please do not touch.”

“Excuse me ma’am, can I help you” The older woman who was on staff at the garden shop offered.

“I was looking for a new houseplant…and I think I found the perfect one!” Frankia responded.

“Well,” said the employee, “This one is a new species, similar to the snake plant that its origins are from the Congo Basin.”

“Congo? You mean in Africa? Well…”

The clerk spoke abruptly. “Oh yes. They both have origins in that region of Africa but the Sliver Leaf grows specifically in Equatorial Guinea, deep in the rainforest…growing wild, but still very rare.”

Frankia only blinked, then her attention went back to the plant.

“Oh and please do not touch it. Just water occasionally and we have a specific liquid…serum that helps with its nourishment. If you would like to purchase it, I’m available to receive your payment.” The little old lady said then motioned towards the direction of the cash register. Frankia immediately picked up the plant pot and followed the little old lady to the front of the garden shop.

TO BE CONTINUED…😬

CLICK HERE FOR CHAPTER TWO

This original blog post was written and copyrighted by Juana M. Gumbs. All rights are reserved by her in January 2021 (C)

Poem: Focus On The Good

While the bombs go off about me

While the time-lapse scurries by

And my clothing drenched with mud and tears

And I

Just wondering while wandering

What happened

How I’d forget the details too

All the motions and how they connect

Through the motions, through duress

The distant bombs still tell of danger

And in this greatly catastrophic time

I found a crevice to hide, bound

And binding

Licking wounds encrusted with dirt and tears and blood

In belief that if I do so

Then perhaps all of this is dream

Not fact

The rights to this poem goes to Juana M. Gumbs as of 01/03/2021

Blog – How I Plan on Saving Myself #2: Failure and Picking Yourself Up Again

“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.” -Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Macbeth is my favorite Shakespearean play and we know what end came to the character, though he had goals and with his goals came failure and ruin…but with goals most of us do not prepare for failure. Most of us, our goals don’t end in ruin but yet we do not plan for those obstacles that may impede our path to accomplishing success. We visualize what must be done and by the end of day one, we are ready to either quit and/or exit promptly. Have you encountered this before?

So, I fell off last week with my first “how to save myself challenge” on meditation. Yes, I felt like Macbeth in that soliloquy, acknowledging my failure but I am working to recover this week. Getting back into the discipline of meditation is not quite as easy as it was over 8 years ago when I practiced diligently. At that time, meditation was also a part of my practice along with my spirituality. I have lost my path again even with that (looking into the vast nebula which is made of me).

Moving forward and getting back on track towards that goal is often put off for another day. Then you try again and feel empowered that the next day you have accomplished what you set out to do with laser focus. A week has gone by and you haven’t skipped a day of your dedicated purpose. Your pace is as steady as a heartbeat, not erratic or slowed.

At first, with your goal set, you then decide attainment and timeframe. Such examples are saving for three months for a new car or reduce that belly fat to a sexy midriff for summertime or build-a-business using these successful tips and steps to financial freedom. In any case, no one leaves room for the fumble, the failure or the agony of defeat. Nobody realizes that they can fall and get back up again, tomorrow. And it is alright. Trust me when I say it is and don’t stop getting up after it all.

These are my original thoughts…life lessons and fumbles. I’ll being posting on my journey. Please subscribe for original content and leave a comment if you like!

SHORT STORY: AwAkEn (Limited)

It was a faint touch on the shoulder that stirred her from sleep. The sun crept across the window, but she wasn’t conscious of it in the least. The second touch was on her elbow, then on her ankle, then an aggressive tap on the brow. This rouse her from sleep abruptly.

She sat up quickly from the shock, realizing that no one was in the house she slept soundly in for the past several hours. Her breathing quickened and she searched around her bedroom, but there was no one.

All rights reserved to Juana M. Gumbs 08/2020