ninetydaystogettingpublished's Blog

A gal with a lot of cool stories. Needs to get published. Like yesterday.

The Jewel ~ excerpt from my book ‘The Perfect Girl, the Prostitute & other Stories’

{14}
The Jewel
stomach in knots, clenched fists, tears in throat, pressure mounting behind eyes.
What am I gonna do, gonna do, gonna do?
Silent scream, noiseless cry, storm filled clouds in my sky.

Where can I go, can I go, can I go?

Suffocating, choking, can’t breathe, can’t stand, won’t sit, don’t lay, no comfort here.
Who can I tell, can I tell, can I tell?
Mind racing, rapid fire thoughts, internal conversations with myself. What I should have said, what I didn’t say, what I held back, what I conceded to, what he labeled me.

Where can I hide, can I hide, can I hide?
Pretty in pink on the outside – red bottomed shoes, Prada bag, gym toned abs, hair did, flashing smiles, dazzling ring, bling bling.
Colgate and Cartier but bruised, battered, ugly on the inside.

Who’s gonna believe me, believe IN me, want me?
Diamond choker, choke hold grip. Diamond ring, gilded cuffs. McMansion, luxury car, picket fence, 2.5 babies – formulaic perfection.
Marital rape, emptiness, HIS bank account, HIS world – you just live in it.
Barbie doll, barbaric world, barber shop – wanna chop all this hair off,
wanna not be deceitfully picture perfect on the outside anymore.
You sold your soul for a diamond ring,
your heart and mind for fancy things.
Who you gonna tell, gonna tell, gonna tell?
King and Queen, let’s play ‘house’.
I’ll be your boss, you’ll be my spouse.
You wear what I buy, move where I say – you have an opinion, I’ll make you pay.
Quiet as a mouse – ssshhhh.
Mortgage on the house – in too deep, cannot sleep,
cannot swim. Private school, six years in.
Who’s gonna save, gonna save, gonna save the day?
The rap on the glass broke her out of her reverie. “This is the happiest day of your life.” Or it should appear to be, his look warned “You are turning forty, you’re in Dubai with forty of your closest friends to celebrate. I did this,” he paused for emphasis, “Just for you.” He smiled with pride. She smiled back, through gritted teeth. “You did good, baby.” Dutifully.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fakest?

Who is the weakest?
Who is the most dead inside?
Ice sculptures in Dubai, oasis in the desert but drought in my heart. Lucky me, lucky her, mirrored pill box in her purse. Vodka, razors, overdose, how long before tub overflows?

Will she get to see his face as she slowly fades away? Hear him say, “Look what you did? Can’t take you anywhere – can’t even die right!” He’d scoff. What if she somehow survived? She stiffened with fear at the thought. It could quite possibly, be worse than death. He would have her committed for sure and then she would never see her kids again. At least dead she’d watch over them from heaven. Not like the useless figure head that she was now.

Rubber Stamp mother – ask Dad for the real decision.

Padded cell, padded life,
insulated in her strife.
The envy of the undiscerning, lusting eyes, envying, yearning
for this life of hers that she would end tonight,
just as soon as she could wriggle out of this tight designer dress. Lest there be forty more years just like this.

Who would end this, end this, end this?
Wanna be me? Be like me? My nightmare is your dream, so surreal it’s true.
Complicated and unsimple,
out of this world but happening next door – that neighbor a galaxy away. A cup of sugar from next door, but the closest house is on Jupiter.
I need a friend, need help, need a friend.
She had married ‘well’, her Prince had found her. Haha, the joke was on her.
Reverse zoo – animal on the outside, tamed in the cage.
But it looks good though, the people have gotten their money’s worth.
Spectacle, splendor, spectacular, expensive, unnecessary misery.
The price is dear, the priceless is cheap, loneliness trumps penury.

His ‘jewel of inestimable value’, he boasts, she grimaces a smile, but they both know, his jewel is a fake, he values her at zero.
Sotheby’s jewel is a swap-meet find.
Thrifting, take me, buy me, antique me.
Anywhere but here, anywhere but here. Not here, but nowhere.
Slashed wrists, wine sedated, birthday cake, most sated.
Show n tell for scars, the most ‘hurting-est’ wins – she got this. Show me your ‘boo-boo’ and I’ll show you mine.
Band-Aid ripped off, bloody, but internal wounds much deeper. Hurt better, more secret,
in the morning light disbelieved.
Liar, liar, pants on fire, it was so bad, so dire,
yet you sat there, unbound?
But not quite free – bought with currency so cheap (rubles, lira, cowries, now defunct) that we do not speak of it.
Except on pretend paper and invisible ink,
fear of being found out paramount – must not topple the bride from cake.
Cake fights only fun in movies, messy in real life.
Dry cleaning bills, catering bills, gossiping guests with averted eyes. Bride cries, mother cries, groom so mad, ooh he mad!
Fear: cost of cake way too dear
and value of her life not high enough – it does not outweigh the shame.
You let us down, you spilled the beans.
You ain’t the first, won’t be the last, but so indiscreet.
Tsk Tsk.
You should have let them eat cake. But it’s ruined now.
My bad, my fault, ALL my fault.

Let them grace our gala of destruction in their finery from Neiman Marcus and Bloomies. They have earned their right to dine on the debris of our union, chewing up fragments of children who will grow up thinking that this is how it has to be, cars and houses that will soon be not just theirs but ‘communal property’.

Toast your love,” they say and he does. She looks on through unseeing eyes, a clenched jaw and her perpetual noiseless scream.

No love here except for the fight.
Bound by battle, enemies on the same side,
fighting for the right to keep fighting
each other to the death.
Misery loves company and so
I got you babe.
I got you, I got you, I got you.

copyright CC Adetula November 2014

Read ‘The Perfect Girl’

So this happened!

Stay tuned!q and a with my writer sis

The Perfect Giveaway

Is happening right now on Facebook StorySheWrote.

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No big deal

Just a few STELLAR reviews of MY book ‘The Perfect Girl, The Prostitute & other Stories’ on Amazon.

The Perfect Girl

Eeek! I lied- this is like the biggest deal ever! Go on over to amazon and read them, read an excerpt of the book. Buy it in print and on Kindle. See for yourself- I always like to know what my fellow writers think. Be honest, yet kind.😉

Thank you.

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World Domination :)

I kid. Sort of. But did you know I started a publishing and media company?
No? Well, I am my first and only client, but an anthology could be in the works for next year. Watch this space and head on over to my Youtube channel below and subscribe to my ‘StorySheWrote Media’ channel
,STORYSHEWROTEMEDIA
for updates, excerpts from my book and general chit chat.

Thank you!

Raffle on StorySheWrote Facebook Page (ONLINE BOOK LAUNCH)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So, I am SUPER excited to reveal this to you all: As a thank you to all who’ve supported this blog, liked my page on facebook, followed me on twitter, purchased my book and also as a way to reach an even wider audience, I am having a ‘no purchase necessary’ 5 day raffle. If you’ve purchased the book, you get 10 extra entries, and one extra entry for liking my Facebook page, following me on twitter, tweeting about the book, five for posting a review on amazon etc.

The Prize: A ‘The Perfect Girl, the Prostitute & Other Stories’ themed basket/package that will include a print copy of the book and other specially curated goodies OR a $25 Amazon gift card.

The choice is yours, but unfortunately, if the winner is international then the only option will be the Amazon e-gift card, as shipping can be prohibitively expensive.
NOTE Although this is a RANDOM drawing organized via Rafflecopter, the author reserves the right to disqualify entrants that have not met the minimum entry requirements, such as RSVPing to the event.

This raffle will run from midnight 11/28/14 – midnight 12/5/14

Happy Reading and good luck!🙂

The book is here!

Wayyyyy more than ninety days later, but still far less than ninety years, so – WINNING!😉

Go get your print and or Kindle copy on amazon. (Fun fact- if you purchase the print copy, you are eligible to receive the kindle copy for $2.99!)

The Perfect Girl, the Prostitute, & other Stories

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The affair

Gosh, it has been a busy week- make that two. But I promise I have written- just not on here. It’s the transcribing from my old fashioned hand written notes that is hard, the tapping and auto-correct on my iPhone is pure craziness. I really do need to dust off my trusty little laptop and become more efficient. But I do love writing in a fresh notebook (paper) with actual ink. It makes me feel, well, you know- like a writer.🙂 This piece was/ is part of a larger novel I’m writing about a regular woman (like me) that has an affair. Just how it starts, how she deals, how it ends. Nothing too dramatic, just how it could happen to anyone.
One of the challenges of writing and being good at it, is your audience is never quite sure if it is autobiographical, and if not, how was your research conducted? I think we must claim artistic license and shrug coyly, like magicians – “It’s magic, baby…”:)

I got up from the bed with a start, nudged awake by the uncomfortable damp spot – a badge of our illicit love making. Silently, but deliberately, I began to dress. Tunic over head, leggings over hips, flats on feet, thong in purse. Who am I? My lips twist wryly as I tiptoe out the door, looking back for a final glance at Jaques, my lover as he sleeps, arm fling over his eyes and the other still curved, where I had nuzzled up to him just a few minutes prior.
“Oh what a tangled web we weave.” I mutter under my breath to myself, even as my eyes fall on the tangled mess of his taupe bed linens. Yes, I am the mistress of played out irony. Lover of the staggeringly handsome Jaques. Wife of(blank). It is a peculiar relationship we have, my husband and I. He needs me, and I need to be needed by him- together, the ultimate cliche. But we have weathered so much together! His alcoholism, my miscarriages. His unemployment, my depression. We owe it to our marriage counselors and therapists, if only for not to have wasted their time, and our money. It seems sad, written in black and white like that, but it really isn’t that bad. There is more that binds us than separates, and I for one am not ready to, nor capable of even – making this exhausting journey with anyone else. Or again, for that matter.
He thinks that this is a sign, of course. ” We are made for each other. No other couple in the world could go through what we have been through and still be…us. You know?” I know. Like I said, I wouldn’t do this with anyone else, but I do know that we do not have the healthiest of relationships.
Jaques says I’m his soul mate too. Poor kid. I kind of understand his rationale. I mean, why else would I be jeopardizing my marriage to be with him, he must wonder. “You are meant for me. We are meant for each other.” He says this after sex one day, as we share a cigarette, blowing rings of smoke up at the ceiling, circa 1800 B.C. Again, who am I? I almost groan with disbelief- what, has he been meeting up with my husband for coffee or something? I’m uncomfortable enough with the situation without the hearts and flowers stuff. I turn on my side and mumble some endearment that means nothing to me, but everything to my infatuated Lothario. But I think to myself how convenience has more to do with it, than any kind of destiny.

The Nanny

Are you seeing a theme here? Because I sure am – most of my short stories revolve around women, and I get a kick now with labeling them as, ‘the such and such’! I’m working on ‘the widow’ and ‘the lover’ next – soooo excited that at last the theme of my short story collection is taking shape. Why should you buy it if you can get it all for free here? Easy, you don’t get it all for free. You get excerpts, and I will have at least ten to fifteen new stories in the book. Besides, don’t you want to know what stories do eventually make it in the book? What I edited out or added in? How will the new stories compare? Also, if you let me know you’re a reader of this blog, you’ll get an autographed plate for your book or an autographed discounted copy – if you order directly from me. Details are fuzzy right now. But remember 90 days equals a lot of good stories and maybe only a third of those will make it on here. I know, plug, baby, plug.

She sat in the large foyer, nervous, in the exact same spot the unsmiling housekeeper had shown her to moments before. She trembled
slightly, but not from the cold -getting the job just meant too much to her was all. It would mean heat in the winter, and food on the table, and the comforts that she could only dream of back home in mexico. Oh Dios, mio. how she wanted-no needed this job! She glanced down at her outfit, a black and white patterned dress with dark stockings, half obscured by the plain cloth black coat and matching
scarf that she always wore around her neck. Dress to impress, the lady
from the agency had said. Well, this was about as impressive as it got
for her. The lady with the large glasses from the agency had also told her frankly, but not unkindly, that this was the last interview they would send her on, as she was proving ‘rather difficult to place’. She stroked her throat, unconsciously fingering her scar as she often did when she was nervous. And nervous she was.
Mrs. Broadwater, walked in, tall, blonde and impeccably groomed in that Manhattan, rich kind of way. “Grisela, is it? Did I say it right, Gree-seh-lah?” She talked a mile a minute, almost like she was the nervous one, this reasurred Grisela and she relaxed a bit. “Si Senora.”
Mrs Broadwater or Kath, as she insisted that Grisela refer to her as,
led her into what looked like the formal living room, full of over-stuffed sofas and paintings, mostly of young children and cockerspaniels. “This is a beautiful house, Senora.” Kath waved a hand
at her in that nervous impatient way she had, brushing aside her compliment and motioning for her to
sit all at the same time. “It’s Kath, please.” She pointed to the canvases on the wall. “I painted most of these – you like?” She flashed her eager smile again.
“Cliff- my husband,” again that slight wave, ” calls it my stress
outlet, but I’ll tell you a little secret, I just love to do it, stressed or not. Sssshh, that stays between us, okay?.” She smiled at Grisela, delighted, as if
they had just shared some delicious naughty secret. “They are beautiful.” Grisela hesistated, she could not bring herself to call her Kath, so she fell silent again. Kath smiled again, not just a mere flash this time, exposing her impossibly perfect veneers. “I knew I liked you for a reason.” She played with a cigarrette absent mindedly. “Can
never find any f***ng ashtrays in this place. Cliff wants me to give
up smoking so he hides them, and Aida,” she glanced over her shoulder
lowering her voice as if afraid of being overheard. ‘Aida- she’s on his side, you know. Me against them. So, another secret. This house has more secrets than the f***king CIA, you know?” Her tone was matter of fact, but she grinned, self-deprecating, “Sure you still want to work for us, Grisela?”
Grisela stared at her and nodded slowly. She reached into her bag abd
pulled out an empty plastic bottle. It said Hi-C orange juice on the
worn label. “Ashtray?” She handed it to Kath. Another genuine mega watt smile. “You my dear, are a wonder.” Kath enveloped Grisela in a hug, leaving her smelling faintly of rosewater and cigarettes.”What can I say Grisela, you’ve got the job!” Again, a flash of the veneers, “Cliff will probably have a fit,
but who cares, huh?”
Grisela swallowed, barely comprehending, “Si…gracias…” She
reverted to her native tongue in her confusion. Kath was barely
listening, flushed and enthused by her own impulsiveness. “Ofcourse you’ll have to stay and meet Kimmie – she gets back from school in about half an hour. She will adore you, I’m sure
of it. And it will be nice to have her speaking spanish again…” She
clasped her hand over her mouth. “Oh my gosh, let me take your coat- I
know, a mere thirty minutes later.” She made a moue at her lack of
hostessing skills and tugged at Grisela’s coat. Grisela watched
immobile as the loosely knotted scarf came undone leaving her scar
exposed, a crude thick line accross her throat. “Oh…” Kath’s mouth
was a perfect circle as she searched for the appropraite words. They
never came. Grisela spoke softly, but rapidly, tears rolling down her
face. “He said he would kill me, but I never believed him. My husband,
he…” snuffling she accepted the handkerchief that was wordlessly
offered. “…he was drunk and angry, like a mad bull- he chased them
down with a knife, I begged him not to do it… but he killed our children,” she sank to her knees in anguish, words muffled by the hands that covered her face. “Then I cut my throat.” Kath gasped at the stark finality of her words. Grisela smiled bitterly,”Si. I had
nothing to live for…my son…” Her voice broke as Kath sank to the
floor cradling her in her arms.
“Shhhh…it’s okay Grisela. You’re safe now, he can never touch you
here. I’ll send for your things so you don’t ever have to go back. No,
I insist.” She was firm and in charge now, reaching for the telephone.
Grisela watched her from the floor where she still lay, crumpled in a
heap. She crossed herself twice rapidly, hidden by the mass of curly
hair that now hung over her face like a dark web. The lie had been a
big but necessary one. She knew from experience that few people if any
actually believed that such a hideous looking scar was nothing more
than a birthmark. They prefered to think that she was a former gang
member or worse. Her Mother used to say that sometimes a lie was more palatable than the truth and she had been right, as always. She glanced around the room with its paintings and expensive furniture and smiled inwardly.
She was going to love it here.

The beggar (or charity)

This was my first or second writing assignment- and i think it shows in my writing, which seems a little stilted and green. These were the instructions:
(ps- an obsession didn’t quite come to mind, so I did the ‘writerly’ thing and embellished. A lot.🙂 )

Our personal obsessions can be responsible for
producing the strongest
writerly material in us. Think about an event in your life, one in the
past ten years, that continues to haunt you though it’s safely distant
in the past. Or–if you prefer–think of a “cheerier” kind of
obsession, your love for your child, perhaps. Create an entire scene
based on this obsession, using dialogue, if you wish, and external
details (don’t stay “trapped in your head” but actively try to render
the physical world of the event). Try to keep your exercise at 750
words or fewer.

She would not take my money. I to this day, cannot fathom why it
bothered me as much as it did. True, it was slightly embarrassing, but
hardly the end of the world, as I have told myself over and over again. I will forever associate this encounter with the work of one prominent author I once read, – titled I think, “The Beggars Strike” – the picture on the cover was of a hand stretched, palm facing downwards, over a beggar’s bowl. It had always seemed somber and
chilling to me- why would a beggar refuse money, their very raison d’être for getting up in the morning?

I had seen her on several occasions in the winter, huddled on the
other side of the street, in the covered alley, seeking refuge from the
elements. She stood out from the rest of the ‘street people’ with her
floor length fur coat and boatload of makeup, mostly red, so it looked
as if she had stumbled upon a red crayon and scribbled on her face, or
maybe fallen face forward into a bucket of red paint. I remember a guy
turning to me one morning and remarking amusedly, “Well, isn’t that
something… begging for money and has the nerve to wear fur…
probably has a house in the suburbs and an SUV… I tell you, these
people, frauds every last one of them…” I didn’t smile because for
some reason I found his familiar approach a little annoying- he seemed
to assume that I would share his views on pan-handlers. It was
hypocritical of me, of course, as I was thinking the exact same thing;
my ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude came solely from the fact that I was
not forthright enough to voice my opinion out loud.

I grew bolder as the summer wore on, walking at an increasingly
leisurely pace past her, making brief eye contact and gaining
proximity. Why did I feel the need to work up courage to approach her and give her my money? I wish i could figure that one out. I did truly feel, (even though there was absolutely no
basis for this) like she was in a funny kind of way, my secret friend, and we were privy to an inside joke that the rest of the world was excluded from. She was leaning by her usual bus stop post clad in old nurses’ scrubs, sans requisite fur coat. Her lips were bright red as usual, but she had neglected to use her blush, or should I say rouge. I lingered around the general vicinity, pretending to be talking on my cell phone, while
observing her through the corner of my eye. She looked like she might have come from money, or at least dallied with it, I thought. One could almost imagine her seated in some
chauffeur driven luxury car, fur coat thrown carelessly on the seat
next to her, puffing away on a cigarette with an elegant cigarette
holder. For some reason, cigarette holders (circa 1800, I know) have always been the emblem
of the absurdly rich and proper for me. While not pretty, you could
tell that her face had been one that you would look at, at least once,
but age and hard street life had taken its toll, so she looked almost
blurred – like a smudged painting of a work titled maybe ‘The rich
man’s wife’ or something along those lines. “Can you spare a quarter,
Sir?” I turned around, startled. It occurred to me that I had never
heard her speak. In my head, I just knew that her voice would be
throaty and rich, as if from smoking too many cigarettes and hosting
the late night soirees that undoubtedly would have come with her
status. Instead it was high pitched, nasal and I reluctantly conceded,
annoying. She sounded like she was doing a bad imitation of some
character — maybe Eliza Dolittle in ‘My fair lady’ minus the cockney
accent. Feeling disappointed and strangely sad — like she had somehow
let me down by not sounding like I felt she would sound, I ventured
close to her, fumbling in my wallet for a five dollar bill. As I walked towards her I noticed she had turned away from me and was looking in the other direction. Determined, I turned around to face
her, “Here you go…” I said cheerily, smiling and gesturing towards
her cup. Her eyes- they were hazel- held mine for a second and I saw
scorn, or was it disgust, and she slowly, deliberately put her palm
over her cup and turned away. Stunned, I skulked away on wooden legs, praying that no one had seen me get rebuffed, (again, why did I care? ) I
could have sworn I heard her say, or maybe it was in my head, “I said
a quarter, Bitch…”

So much for good deeds, huh?

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