Ferris Wheel...Part 2

    When the old mayor was elected, he promised the youth would be his priority. “Education brought me a way from the streets, and it will for the next generation as well!”

            Blazhia Hughes was born that same year. In Kindergarten, her dad lowered city taxes when the state was raising theirs. Her 9th birthday party began with a ribbon cutting to the park named after her.

            Congressman Hughes celebrated his first victory the same day she’d had her first victory playing varsity basketball sophomore year.

            This year, for her birthday, she drove her new car without him for the first time to the Coast Pier Boardwalk; Naim was the only passenger.

            “You know I’m joking right?” Naim said as they walked away from the Ferris Wheel.

            She squeezed his hand and put her head on his shoulder. They walked through loudly ringing games that flashed winning lights in their eyes until the ice cream stand beckoned.

            Blazhia used to come here often with daddy when he was mayor. Sometimes cameras followed and captured pictures that would be in the paper next day, but she didn’t care. One scoop of Vanilla Bean and one scoop of Black Cherry, the same order then was the same order now.

            What she didn’t realize was that she wasn’t with her daddy. While it was perfectly fine to be the silent girl that smiled for the cameras and ate ice cream on the front page of the newspaper with him, her boyfriend wasn’t interested in that. He preferred substance.

            Naim was reminded of that even now as he searched for something to say; all she ever seemed to want to do was cuddle and get her earlobes rubbed.

            “I might get drafted,” he said, breaking the silence.

            It hadn’t always been the case, but Blazhia hated baseball more each day.

            Hillandale Christian Academy’s greatest shortstop graduated last year and already, after his first season of college ball, was drawing national attention. From batting practice, to books, to Blazhia, the water in Naim’s days started to rise above his head and somewhere, the drain needed to opened.

            “Where are you supposed to go?” Blazhia asked. She tried to hide the alarm in her voice.

            “Don’t know, but, well it’s just a maybe right now so don’t even worry about it,” he replied.

            But she knew better. Whenever her dad said maybe, that meant yes. Like maybe he’s be out of town for her birthday. For the entire week, Blazhia watched news reports of her dad’s trip across China, promoting the President’s new greenhouse initiative. When she saw him shaking hands with China’s premier this morning, her expectations were sealed.

            “Well what about the baseball camp Coach Emerson does?”

            Naim is the only boyfriend she’d known. He was the teacher’s assistant in P.E. last year and Blazhia liked watching him swing the bat during class. He was at the field while the class ran the track. The high-pitched “ping” she heard, his sinewy forearms and solid calves made her forget she was in school, making P.E. the only “B” on her transcript. It didn’t hurt that she’d snagged the prize of the senior class as a sophomore.

            But two years seemed like twenty when Naim looked at her now, his affection an exercise in monotony more than mutuality. Her insecurities were childish to the young man whose cup ran over with confidence, because it was all he could fill it with.

            Naim Connelly turned seven at Our Angel of Faith Rescue Mission. After his mother died, Fred Connelly was left with Naim and the twins, Kyla and Kalyn.

            His eleventh birthday was spent wiping the twins’ tears after their dad’s funeral. Fred had decided the best thing he could do for his children was eat his brother-in-law’s gun.

            All Blazhia knew was that Naim and his two sisters moved in with their Aunt Rose and Uncle Douglas just before Naim started at Hillandale. He never talked about his parents.

            “The camp will be good without me, it’s not like I’m the only good player that’s come from Hillandale. Summertime is for the pros and coach knows that.”

            Ice cream in their spoons began to impatiently melt while they sta on a bench staring at the water under the pier.

            “Your dad back yet?” he changed the subject.

            Blazhia’s ebony hair danced slowly in the early summer breeze along her shoulders. A patch of intentional burgundy draped over the side of her right eye, her only real source of teenage rebellion. The congressman had sent his daughter exclusive sneakers from China, metallic green to match her new car. She folded her arms and crossed her legs, now under the lamp of questioning.

            “No. They said on the news that his trip would be over this week, but I haven’t talked to him today.” The sun shone off her shoe that dangled back and forth over her leg.

            Naim decided not to press further; the drop in her tone brought his caring side back and he put his arm around Blazhia so she could bury her face in his State Tech Baseball shirt.

            The pier was a backdrop for one-man bands, singers trying to find the right ear, lovers, fishermen, and wide-eyed kids, two of which stood near their bench devouring ice cream that ended up more on their faces than in their mouths. Blazhia lifted her head and her and Naim watched the boys together silently, worlds apart in thought.

            There was just enough time for them to start running when a truck barreled through their thoughts and into view. Vehicles weren’t allowed on the pier but the screams and scattering that littered the wooden peninsula didn’t affect the driver’s foot except to make him go faster. 

            The boys were no match for the truck, their once-bitten cones rolled just a few feet away now amidst the chaos, dripping stickiness onto the pier. 


Ferris Wheel...Part 1

“It’s not that, I’m, I’m not trying to be difficult,” sweat swam down his face looking at her like this for the first time. Four years ought to be enough for anyone but it wasn’t for him.

            The best faces can wear a mask anytime they’d like. If skies threatened with dark clouds, the only sunshine could come from such a masked face. The best of them could do that. This, though, was not one of those faces.

            She stopped him before he could go further. “You are a weak, pointless man.”

            The quaternity of 365 days pulled on his shoulders by ropes attached to boulders.  Here he was, in the lion’s den, at the mercy of the slaughter. Only one had survived such an onslaught, Daniel claiming that prize many moons ago.

            They were unshakable. Custom made, walking hand in hand towards a horizon only they saw, listening to words only they heard, a clock that ticked just for them.

            If the Ferris wheel that was turning them around and around now could talk, it’d ask where they’d been. There was a time they could walk this boardwalk with their eyes closed. Now, they struggled to even look at one another.

            He’d brought her here because his mom did, or she had. The woman he’d never suspect of the same vitriol that buttoned her face now had giggled at his every word then. She reminded him of his mom, and that was a good thing. It was even better to have someone hold his tears at mom’s funeral a year after that first Ferris wheel ride.

             Marty was the old man who took the Ferris wheel tickets. He knew them by their nicknames: Lilah and Gospel. She liked his hair cut low so he had called her Delilah while all he would sing to her was gospel songs. He didn’t want to sing her anything that would encourage his masculine lusts.  But that wasn’t the problem.

            Technically, blame could go to a couple of places. Lilah was much too young for those years in her stepbrother’s room, but nature is rarely concerned with the circumstances and explanations of life.

            Her mom was wrapped up in now-bygone first nuptials, her only string of joy in a long time, with Lilah holding on for dear life at the end of it.

            So, it certainly was not completely Gospel’s constant rejection of Lilah’s wanton encouragement that broke them up. 

            There was a brown-grassed patch near their tenement that was an unmarked football field just before it started to snow and a racing track just after it ended. It also became the scene of their first argument.

            “You’re the only boy I know that sings to somebody he don’t wanna touch!” she’d said.

            Gospel’s serenade was a love letter to Christ. Pastor Wells said he could sing so well that God sent the birds to listen to him and report back. Lilah though, was lost in her own string of happiness and only knew of one way to express to Gospel that he was the reason.

            His rejection was uninspired but, to her,  totaled treason.  Although he begged forgiveness, the decision never changed. More and more, she became less interested in the gospel.

            Partnerships start out sublimely enough. Yet, the promises of eternity, feelings of potential nobility all laughed now as a distant memory, claiming another victim in their killing fields.

            And so here, at the same Ferris wheel that was unfamiliar with the looks on their faces, it was her turn to be stubborn.

            “You are a weak, pointless man.”

            His faced drooped even lower and his heart heard itself rip in two.

            “All the time,” she continued, “you tried every way ‘cept the one I wanted.”

            “But we promised, you promised. It was a coven-“

            “I don’t wanna hear all that,” she interrupted.

            The ride was coming to an end, the squeaks of its screws getting longer and slower.

            Among the crowd of Ferris wheel-riders putting their feet back on the ground and looking with hungry eyes towards their next metal sideshow, a boy walked by that same couple ending their ride together and leaned into the girl whose hand rested in his.

            “Think we'll end up like them?” he laughed.

            Lilah strode away and Gospel walked with slow aimlessness, waving a quiet flag of defeat. The girl watched Gospel, her sympathy as quiet as his waving flag, brooding over a personal anniversary.


Male book clubs? anyone?

One of the things that kept me from taking writing seriously for so long was the fact that it was percieved as something that females mostly do. Reading and writing, two of the things I truly love in this world, had the admonition of being considered "sensitive", and "soft" and here I was trying to be a man.
And then I decided to teach. Right. 
Most of the authors I had read were black and female, since the only person I'd lived with for the first 18 years of life (the only one that read anyway) was black and female. I'd had my fill of Terry McMillan, Connie Briscoe, and April Sinclair. I didn't graduate to Toni Morrison and J. California Cooper until later on. Finally, when I found out that James Baldwin and Langston Hughes, two of my favorites, allegedly lived alternative lifestyles, that didn't encourage the wordsmith that may or may not be in me. 
Older, wiser, and more sure, I now openly search for what seems to not exist in great supply: male book clubs. 
A google search takes me to a couple of interesting places and arbitrary message board surfing only leads to some posts that maybe should be kept a little more private. 
I have nothing against female book clubs, my mother belongs to one. But they are for females. And co-ed book clubs seem to be in even rarer air than male ones. 
There is a good possibility that anyone reading this may ask, "Well why don't you start one?" Not a bad idea, not a bad idea at all. However, not the social maven, I don't know too many people out here on the West Coast. But let's not rule anything out. 
To be plain, if anyone knows of a good book club...male or co-ed...on the West Coast, I'd appreciate a shout. New story coming soon...


My tardy reasoning...

I’m a huge fan of the written word. To look at a blank piece of paper and know that the combination of words that are put on it can evoke any spectrum of emotions, intellect, or action is something that “powerful” can’t adequately describe.

So why not do what you love? Not for kudos or vainglory (though their appeal to human nature is well-proven) but just to say you contributed. Rightly. And that, in essence, is what I write for, to contribute.

My most earnest hope is that you enjoy what I have here and that it evokes something. Thought, conversation, even an undertaking of some sort, whatever it is, don’t let it be a passing fancy.

This is a proverbial “journey” for me, taking my writing seriously for the first time; please leave your comments, kudos, criticism, and questions. Let’s advance together…


aaron wilson, jr.


art of storytelling...4

A light had a string attached to it that would turn on and off with a simple, but sure, tug. The bulb was strong enough to light the otherwise dark room it stayed in and provided security to the person whose hand pulled on its illuminating string.

The man of the house left the dinner table, and his family, and made the light glow. With the door closed behind him, he reached as far as he could in the security of the light (and the closed door) and let his fingers run slowly, but trained, along a dusty pane until they touched what they were searching for. He heard his daughter talking excitedly about the Poesias de la Madre Oca (Mother Goose) story she’d finished earlier. She was just learning to read.

A velvet-covered box, outlined in metal the color of gold, was in the man’s grasp. The anticipation swelled quickly as it always did when he practiced this ritual. Gazing excitedly at the top of the box, he opened it as his eyes adjusted to the secret that was inside. His secret that…was…not…there.

Human nature immediately pulsed through his thickening veins and the light became more and more blinding while he looked around. He didn’t realize that he was turning to check the door every 4 seconds between frantic eyefuls of anything but what he was looking for.

There was nothing there. Nothing he wanted anyway, but his fear now turned from loss to gain, his family’s gain in knowledge of what his box held.

The other side of the door would hold a paranoia that, no matter the mask he put on, would close in like high tide on barnacles. Slow, but inevitable.

He did not know who had the treasure inside of what he had assumed was his unmolested box. Well, one man’s treasure is another man’s trash as one man’s villain is another’s hero. His heroic treasure would soon, if not already, be found out.

He pulled the string for the darkness he wished still surrounded his secret and opened the door. No one. Maybe he expected all of them to be standing there or maybe just his wife. Dear God, what if it was his kids? Whoever it was now knew the man that sat at the head of the kitchen table each night for dinner to be a liar; the life they lived a figment in the world of imagination.

In the kitchen, his son rose from the table and walked away without a word and his wife looked longingly at him, wishing the young man that used to be her baby boy would sit just a few moments more. Her daughter happily scraped the peas on her plate, proud of herself for cleaning the plate of food.

There was no easy way to say what the man needed to say; it’s never easy being the one to shine the light on your own darkness, but he had bought the bulb so he supposed he really had no choice.

Before he opened his mouth, his daughter left the table, ran over to him and hugged his leg, since that was as high as she could get, and told him she had a present for him and mommy and brother. She looked lovingly at her father; neck tilted as far back as it could go while he looked at his wife who shrugged her shoulders looking back at him.

Their son, a 14-year-old recluse whose lock on his door was his best friend rolled his eyes. Protesting was pointless. She was the baby and they all had to indulge her stupid child-like whims.

Leading her mom and dad by the hand, she pulled them towards her room and in the clueless anticipation of the moment, dad had forgotten about the mystery he still had to search for.

Inside of her room, with her own handprints of paint on the walls and a new bookshelf to hold her growing library, they stopped in the middle. The girl’s brother stuffed his impatient hands inside his pockets waiting for a good time to rejoin his friend.

She announced that she wanted to read to them.

Dad watched her skip to a drawer and open it carefully, as if whatever was inside would be lost forever with only the slightest touch of carelessness. She reached inside, her eyes wide with glee and when she turned around with her tiny fingers clutching the book as carefully as tight could be, her father’s eyes widened…but with fear. Mom was puzzled and her brother’s indifference was to be expected.

Naïve to jaded reactions of her family, the girl sat down and opened the book to her favorite part…


*Queridos hermanos, amémonos los unos a los otros, porque el amor viene de Dios, y todo el que ama ha nacido de él y lo conoce. El que no ama no conoce a Dios, porque Dios es amor. Así manifestó Dios su amor entre nosotros: en que envió a su Hijo unigénito al mundo para que vivamos por medio de él. En esto consiste el amor: no en que nosotros hayamos amado a Dios, sino en que él nos amó y envió a su Hijo para que fuera ofrecido como sacrificio por el perdón de nuestros pecados. Queridos hermanos, ya que Dios nos ha amado así, también nosotros debemos amarnos los unos a los otros. Nadie ha visto jamás a Dios, pero si nos amamos los unos a los otros, Dios permanece entre nosotros, y entre nosotros su amor se ha manifestado plenamente.

¿Cómo sabemos que permanecemos en él, y que él permanece en nosotros? Porque nos ha dado de su Espíritu. Y nosotros hemos visto y declaramos que el Padre envió a su Hijo para ser el Salvador del mundo. Si alguien reconoce que Jesús es el Hijo de Dios, Dios permanece en él, y él en Dios. Y nosotros hemos llegado a saber y creer que Dios nos ama.

Dios es amor. El que permanece en amor, permanece en Dios, y Dios en él. Ese amor se manifiesta plenamente entre nosotros para que en el día del juicio comparezcamos con toda confianza, porque en este mundo hemos vivido como vivió Jesús. En el amor no hay temor, sino que el amor perfecto echa fuera el temor. El que teme espera el castigo, así que no ha sido perfeccionado en el amor. 
Nosotros amamos a Dios porque él nos amó primero. Si alguien afirma: «Yo amo a Dios», pero odia a su hermano, es un mentiroso; pues el que no ama a su hermano, a quien ha visto, no puede amar a Dios, a quien no ha visto. Y él nos ha dado este mandamiento: el que ama a Dios, ame también a su hermano.


She did not know all of the words and was not completely sure of what everything meant. But she knew the word “amor” and since Dios es el amor, she wanted to be like Him.

The man reached out his hand and sat his daughter down, requesting that his wife and son stay in the room. He went on to tell them about his secret, about the Bible he had been reading and no longer wanted to be a part of their faith, though it went against their cultural upbringing. They listened in love and because of the broken secret, the revealing of the mystery, lived happily ever after…in Jesus’ name.


The End.



*(1 John 4:7-21 NIV) Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. this is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.


art of storytelling...3

The raindrops skydived to the ground, without parachute, splattering one on the other upon arrival to their final destination. One group of skydivers found themselves racing towards a concave slab of concrete that flowed downward and led to the backside of a small, yellow-trimmed house, filled with struggling spots of grass and errant cat droppings from the neighborhood strays.
A small tin awning sheltered a place large enough for one person at a time outside of the backdoor, where the lock worked sometimes. Tonight, a boy with nothing remarkable about him sat, taking up the spot large enough, at the time, for him.
He gave attention to as many drops as he could, watching the end of their time of identical solitude turn into a traveling caravan, destination unknown but the only place they were ever destined to go.
And he wanted to be one of the raindrops. If not for anything else other than that purpose that they served. Each one, flying full speed towards it with no hesitation, no doubt, only complete and unshakeable faith that their final place, the place where they would evaporate and reincarnate in the clouds, was the place they were meant to be all along.
The thought of this place, with the tin covered back porch fit only for isolation and seclusion, shuddered through him as his destination. If there was more, he begged to the home of the raindrops for a skydiving excursion there.
His helplessness was matched only by his comfort in the isolation he had become so loathsome of, but accustomed to.
He heard a car door slam. It wasn’t the same hollow, almost aluminum sound he knew from any other car door that would slam in these parts, no, this was a thicker sound, a full sound. As if the car brought so much with it, a body would have to close the doors and then come back to get the rest.
There were no voices, though, after, just steady footsteps, different ones, then a knock on the entry of the house next door. He had seen her face many times, his neighbor, but never knew her name.
He realized that he’d never heard her voice either, until now. Perhaps it sounded different when it was lower, like the soothing tune of anyone named “mama”, but his introduction to her pitch was a scorned wife. The voices got louder, his neighbor and the two men with the steady footsteps and heavy car.
But as quickly as they had risen, they fell to a silence only barged upon by the still falling raindrops.
After it was all over, and the raindrops ceased, and the blackness of the sky began to find its next part of the earth and the boy under the tin roof decided on packing small provisions, a change of clothes, the Word, and a picture of the only woman that had loved him, the police asked him about all three bodies in front of the heavy car.
He knew nothing of any of them but that they’d all reached their final destination, and he had no intentions of following them to that same place.


art of storytelling...2

At the apex of a grassy incline above a lair inhabited by Love, Sex, and Hate, there’s a small cabin made of stone. Normally, such a building would be called a home, yet in this case, it is simply called a cabin since it is surrounded by trees taller than its own roof.
There was nothing in it; no furniture, televisions or familial pictures on its walls. Just a lone chair that didn’t remember how it got there, but, nevertheless, found itself to be the only evidence of life in the empty place that could only use the sun through its one window for light.
Hate would walk up to the cabin, alone, just to get away from Sex and Love sometimes and sit to think of all of the power it had. It would try to figure out what new forms it could take to do its damage and cause chaos among the inhabitants of the world and even those that sought to destroy it.
Hate’s roommates, Sex and Love, were already settled in their ways. Hate had never been in Love’s room and didn’t want to be either it had decided. Sometimes it would visit with Sex, though, until Love would knock on the door and sweetly demand entry. Because, Sex could never deny Love when it came calling and Hate couldn’t stand to be in the same room with Love. At least, that’s what Hate tried to convince itself of.
The truth was that Hate and Love weren’t allowed to be in the same room because Love conquers all it touches and Hate’s only weakness was Love.
So, one day, Hate went to the cabin because Love and Sex were in a room together and it was horrible when they got together. Trees would grow and the yellow tulips on the front of Hate, Sex, and Love’s dwelling would open up and sing their arrival. Red roses blossomed around the perimeter of the house, that would become a home, and seven birds would come serenade the lair.
Hate could only stand the darkness of when it and Sex would get together. Nature would not come out for that, only a dark midnight that reeked of unpleasant lung-filling odors; eventually suffocating the room until the life was choked away from a soul. That was why nature would stay away, because there was no life there and nature can only survive with life.
There was a knock on the door and Hate looked up because everywhere it went, it was alone. It rose from the chair and looked around at the walls. They were suddenly covered with pictures of smiling, joyful faces, beautiful hills and valleys and stunning creatures. This angered Hate because it knew what was on the other side of the door: Love.
Hate looked around for a place to leave and saw the only exit was the small window the sun began peeking into just as it headed for it. Hate was much too big for the window and its anger only made it larger and slower to move.
Love began banging on the door and demanded to be let in, letting Hate know that it was trapped and this was the end of the road. Hate refused to quit and went over to the pictures, flinging to and fro around the cabin and trying to destroy everything in its sight. This was to no avail however, for Love had put the pictures there and whatever Love built could not be destroyed.
Sensing that its time was drawing nigh, Hate had one last idea. It had never tried before, but decided it was going to kill Love. If Hate could come up with the greatest disguise it ever had, it would be able to fool Love into thinking it was no longer there and then, would take the lone chair that rested in the cabin and beat Love with it. Because that was the only thing in the place that Love had not built.
Hate found its disguise; it would become a child, because Love could not resist children.
And with that, Hate opened the door and asked Love to follow it into the room that held the chair. However, Love was always smarter than Hate, and realized that this was only a ploy. When they entered the room together, Love asked Hate to come to it. Hate paused and said if only it would sit in the chair. Hate could feel itself getting weaker being so close to Love and had to act quickly. Because when Love walked over to the chair, Hate’s plan was to grab it from under Love and then beat the Hate into it.
Love agreed and stood next to the chair and said to the child that was Hate, “Child, whatever mistakes you make, I love you anyway and I forgive you.” Hate could not stand to be given any of this, this, Love and a tear dropped from the child’s eye, washing away part of its disguise.
Love grabbed the child and hugged it, thus ending the Hate inside.

The End.