Shires Press Series – Spring 2019 Sneak Peak

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The Shires Press Publishing Program offers a unique experience to all students of SVC- the ability to publish their own book. With only the requirement of taking 4 classes, it’s free to publish your manuscript. Printed copies are sold in both Northshire Bookstores and the online site. Students will also receive royalties from book sales twice yearly, and their very own ISBN assigned to their book. If interested in joining the program, contact Daisy Levy at dlevy@svc.edu.

Here’s a sneak peak of my own book, to be completed this year:

Author: Takiyah Douglas

Book title: Undetermined

Summary: Teenagers Tara and Tatiana are twin sisters living in the Southern Heights area, where neighborhoods are rampant with poverty, organized crime, and up and coming gentrification. Fabulous Tara just wants to live the fast live with her already married boyfriend, who happens to be a notorious drug lord reigning over the neighborhood. On the other hand, the socially awkward Tatiana dreams of becoming a successful career woman, but will she be held back by the complicated relationship she has with her boyfriend and his prestigious background?

 

Prologue

Tara

I’m not sure if Terry Crews has a twin, but if he does, I’m gonna need Terry’s autograph.

Like every Friday night, I was kicking it at the nightclub my boyfriend owned, Club Haze. But I didn’t see any boyfriend, so I was temporarily single and ready to mingle.

That led me to search for some eye candy. Instantly, I  picked out the Terry Crews look alike, one arm leaning against the bar while he sipped his drink. The man was built like a house and every time he took a sip, I could see his arm bulge through his sleeve. That chest was nothing to joke about either, looking ready to break through his shirt. I bet he could bench press 350 and me.

Deciding staring wouldn’t be enough, I walked on over, making sure to sway my hips side to side like I was in Ariana Grande’s video, before tapping him on the shoulder.

“How would you like to buy me a drink?” I said while looking down at his ass fitted in some Levi’s.

“Excuse me?” he said turning around fully to face me.

God, and he had a thick southern accent? Blessed be.

“I couldn’t help but notice you all alone over here and thought I could keep you company.” I said being sexy as f*ck, a finger twirling around a kinky curl. Didn’t y’all know yo girl was a vixen?

He gave me a small smile and shook his head.“That’s very nice of you, but I think I’ll be alright.”

Ha, you thought.

“Don’t be shy.” I intimidated men, I get it. My black halter dress hugged me in all the right places and I had some cute ass toes that were painted a dusty pink. Guys don’t like ugly feet. Pulling myself closer, I squished my chest up against his bicep, but he just gently shook me off.

“No, I mean it. I just came out tonight to chill and be by myself.”

“Why can’t you be by yourself with me?” I don’t think I could’ve batted my fake lashes any faster.

Before I could blink, he reached towards the bar and threw his drink on me! I was gasping like a fucking fish with alcohol dripping from my hair and face. My mascara was definitely running.

I heard some people laughing around the bar causing my face to heat up. I saw some of them pointing and whipping out their phones to take video. Could’ve sworn I heard someone yell “Worldstar” in the back.

“How dare you? I did not come out tonight to be harassed by some pig like you! No means no!” Dude said angrily. With a huff, he rolled his eyes and left the bar, practically sashaying away with attitude. The nerve!

“Your ass deserved that.” A voice said in my ear and I turned around to see my boyfriend Deon. He was shaking his head, but laughing once he stepped back and got a good look at me.

Tonight he was dressed casual, choosing to wear sweats instead of the normal boujee-ass suits. His beard, which he always bragged about, was looking jacked up. Deon was a whole hot mess right now.

“Shut up! This is all your fault! You took too long!” I hollered, already (sexually) frustrated with the night’s events.

He sighed and pinched my cheek.

“Ow Deon, stop it!” I said before slapping his hand away.

“My girl was on some shit today, my bad. But I don’t wanna hear your mouth tonight either. Ight?”

I felt bad when he said that and understood why he looked a little bummy. I calmed down, deciding to be on my best behavior. I didn’t want Deon thinking I was trouble like his wife. I was supposed to be his peace.

I crossed my arms.“Fine, I want steak though. I want new clothes too.” Get me food and it was a wrap. Instant mood lifter.

“Sure fat ass. I ain’t getting you clothes though.” He said. “You ain’t gonna need em.”

I smirked up at him. Guess he really needed to de-stress.  He rolled his eyes before pulling away from the bar. “I still got shit to do, so come on.”

Quickly, I grabbed his hand as he led us through the crowd of people on the dancefloor sweating they asses off. The bouncers standing in front of the entryway that said “VIP”, straightened as soon as they saw Deon. They nodded at him before unhooking the velvet rope that separated the two sections. Smoke lazily came from the behind the curtain, surrounding my feet. It made me think of a horror movie, where the fog is a dead giveaway that some shit was gonna go down. The smoke here was a warning for me, telling me to turn back from the world that I already knew took place behind that curtain. And if this was anything like a horror movie, I was definitely gonna die.

_____________________________________________________________________

 

Tatiana

“Would you like to donate to Saint Jude’s?” the cashier asked as she finished bagging my groceries.

Hell no. Your organic honey was $9.00.

“Sure.” I said out loud. Reluctantly, I pressed the $1 option on the machine. I could’ve bought an Arizona with that dollar.

I looked at the total of my purchases on the cashier’s screen as we waited for my hard earned money to be taken away.

Being healthy can be very rewarding. Being healthy can also be very expensive. That was evident as I felt a pang in my chest once I got my little bag of purchases. I honestly wanted to return everything.

“Here’s your receipt. Thank you!” And thank you for encouraging corporate greed.  

“Uh huh.”

I didn’t know how I felt about about the new store Organics. It had just opened about two weeks ago, so I’m not sure if that explains the lack of people, but it was probably the pricing. Everything was organic and fairly healthy, but who’s going to pay for $20 worth of ingredients for a single dinner?

I walked out the store, shielding my eyes from the bright sun. It was a nice day for a walk or something outdoorsy, but I hate the sun.

Well, it does help give plants the nutrients they need to grow and contributed in making this jar of expensive honey, but it makes people happy. So I hate it, and people.

A lady came jogging from up the street wearing some gawdy gym outfit. She stopped at the entrance of Organics to catch her breath. “Great day isn’t it?” She said smiling at me.

“Oh yeah totally!”

I wish I could say “it’s hot and you probably smell like ass” but that’s called being rude.

She gave me a thumbs up before walking into Organics. Not surprised. I didn’t see any hesitation when she went in.

I started my way home, wishing it was closer and giving me another reason to hate the damn sun. The heat was unbearable and I know I probably smelled freshly cooked. I was practically melting. All my lotion was sweating off and my hair felt so hot on my head.

I felt my phone buzz from my pocket. Quickly I pulled it out and answered. “Hello?” I spoke.

“Why did you take so long to answer?” I heard my boyfriend Les say.

I resisted the urge to sigh loudly in the phone. Leicester James and I have been with each other for two whole years. It’s crazy to me that I even have a boyfriend, but I  guess someone doesn’t mind when I get excited about calculus or pickled onions. I also never saw a problem with his love for collecting figurines. Or as I would say, action figures.    

“I’m carrying groceries home.” Okay, it was one bag, but still. Get off my back.

“I thought you already went last week? Why would you need to go again?” Said Les with a doubtful tone.

Apparently it’s strange if I go to the store every week, but I pushed down any feelings of irritation, opting for patience instead.

“Tara had used all the honey for her hair mask and I needed some for dinner tonight.”

My sister loved to incorporate food into her beauty regime because it saved money when she couldn’t purchase her usual expensive hair products. Other times it burned my wallet because she was using my expensive ass ingredients.

“Ah, yeah she’s an idiot.” I could practically hear him rolling his eyes through the phone.

“Do not call my sister an idiot.” A constant reminder I had to tell him.

“Whatever. Do you wanna come over for dinner tonight? My mom’s making green bean casserole.”

I really didn’t have the heart to tell him that it was the most disgusting thing on Earth. “Yeah sure, I’ll be there. Can’t wait.”

“Oh yeah and my dad will be here, so don’t be late.” He said laughing awkwardly.

Now I really wanted to decline the generous invitation. There was one time I was late to dinner at the Jame’s household due to my part time job and Mr. James just couldn’t help himself from being petty the entire night. It was an awkward occasion, with the constant “ahem”s and lectures about punctuality being an admirable trait.

“Great I’ll see ya then.” I said hanging up.

Mr. James was also just plain scary. He had an aura of power and wasn’t about any nonsense. He made you feel equal to shit in his presence and I just knew he didn’t approve of the relationship I had with Les. Les didn’t care though and liked me despite not having a prestigious background like his family. That immense love from him was the reason why I put up with this shit and why I was putting my stomach in harm’s way at tonight’s dinner. Please pray I don’t end up in the ER.