Short Story: The People Of The Lake

Lake Lanier

Silence filled the night as the young girl sat near the lake. 

“What you doing out here,” a whispering voice touched her ears. 

“Who said that,” she called out while standing. 

“Dangerous place for a lonely girl,” the voice said again. 

“Who’s there,” her heart sped up with fear. 

Backing up preparing to run, the girl saw something that made her want to pass out. A glowing figure began coming out of the water. It was a African American girl about the same age as her wearing old tattered clothing. Her eyes held a hint of sadness and a lot of anger

“Where are you going girl,” her voice got stronger. 

She turned to run, but a force stopped her. 

“Going so soon,” the spirit taunted her. 

Tears flowed down the girls eyes as she pleaded, “Please.”

With the snap of a finger, the spirit had the girl sitting back at the edge of the water with her. 

“Relax girl, I won’t hurt you right now.”

“What do you want,” the frightened girl asked. 

“What is your name,” the spirit asked back. 

“Nechole,” the girl answered. 

“Well Nechole, I am Polly. Named after my mother,” she said with pride. 

“Are you going to hurt me, Polly,” Nechole’s voice shook. 

“You intrigue me,” Polly looked closely at her, “Why would you be here alone despite the history of this place.”

“Lake Lanier,” Nechole was confused. 

“You people must do better with learning history,” Polly scoffed, “Have you never heard of Oscarville?”

“Oscarville?”

Polly waved her hand out towards the water and an image of a city appeared. In it you could see people running for their lives, buildings on fire, and so much death before water rushed through the town and the image sank back into the water. When she looked at Nechole there was tears running down her face. 

“Was that real,” Nechole finally spoke. 

Polly shook her head while sighing. It had been awhile since she told the story to anyone. Many were not worthy, but it was something that stopped her from letting happen to Nechole what happened to the others. 

“It was very much real. Those that didn’t make it out safely, were killed all because people felt we didn’t belong in a town we created. Then they lived in the town like nothing happened before flooding it further disrespecting  our bodies.”

Nechole sat there taking in all that was told to her. Not only was she talking to a ghost, but receiving a history lesson as well. 

“Is that why there’s so much death here,” Nechole’s voice rose like she had just uncovered and major secret. 

“Over 600,” Polly stood, You should go now.”

“What’s wrong,” Nechole was scared again. 

“The others will be waking soon and they won’t be as nice as me.”

Nechole backed up from the shore and moved quickly towards land. Looking out at the water she saw other glowing figures begin to rise out of the water lighting up the night and watching her. What appeared to be the leader, held up his hand and made her stop in her tracks. 

He then looked at Polly,” You told her our story?”

“Yes Father,” she moved closer to him.

“Why?”

“She has good energy. She is the one to tell the story.”

The father looked back at Nechole. In the blink of an eye he stood in front of her. He circle her with glowing eyes studying her before stopping back in front of her. 

“My daughter is a fine judge of character. You radiate purity. Will you tell our story?” 

“Is that what you want,” Nechole’s voice shook. 

“It is.”

“Will the killing stop,” she inquired. 

“We do not wish to kill,” he told her, “but with our sacrifice the descendants of others must pay the price as well. 

“You take our people as well,” she stressed. 

“They did not heed the warning,” he shrugged, “we were not welcome here then and we do not need to enjoy the creation that came from our deaths. Go back to your people, tell our story, and make sure the world knows what awaits them should they not heed the warning.”

With that he was back at the shore with the rest and they all disappeared except Polly. She lingered a second longer. 

“It was nice to meet you Nechole, “ she waved. 

“Interesting, but nice Polly.” Nechole waved to her. 

“Tell our story and don’t come back.” She warned with a smile before disappearing.

Note: Oscarville, Ga was one of the city’s located in Forsyth County that experience what many have referred to as a racial cleansing. 1,100 African Americans were chased out of the town making it an all white town. Many tactics were used such as burning buildings, lynching, and more. In two separate occasions, a black man and two teenagers were hung in retaliation to the rape of one white woman and the murder and rape of another in 1912. Towns like Oscarville and others were then flooded to create Lake Lanier which took 5 years to fill up.

Juke Joint Love

I fell in love in a juke joint

Surrounded by moonshine and bourbon

Soulful sounds flowing from Buddy Guy on stage screaming oh baby please don’t leave me

Brown skins gyrating closely

All speaking different languages to their lover

With one mutual understanding

Suddenly there you were in the center of it all

Skin the color of molasses and honey dipped eyes penetrating every inch of me

Caught up in the moment I moved my hips

Activating a sirens call only meant for your ears

You answered and we danced as if we were the only ones being serenaded

Slow and steady movements while staring in one another’s eyes

No words were needed

Our bodies did the talking

Song after song telling many stories

Last call for alcohol and we still weren’t in a hurry

As the last note played you placed your lips on mine

Sealing an unspoken covenant to

The beginning lyrics of a blues song detailing a love

Found in a juke joint

No Longer Living To Die

Artist Unknown

Are we living to die?

Constant tears watering graves as countless mothers cry.

Brothers, sisters, husbands, uncles, nieces, and somebody’s cousin gone away.

While it’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday is left in the background to play.

What is it about us that you fear?

Is it the melanin engraved deep beneath our skin?

The skin the gives proof of where live begins?

Within us we gave birth to many generations,

Powerful enough to lead nations.

Or maybe you’re scared of what we leave behind; Legacies

Legacies you intended to strip from us with your privilege

Your privilege that no longer compares

To the generational wealth we now create

The generational wealth that scares you like our melanin

Our generational wealth that will transform our black dollars into black businesses

So you’re scared

Scared enough to use your badge and privilege to sin

That many sins you committed by taking the life

Of the descents from where life began

Confident, that’s what you have been with each one taken

Our silence has had you severely mistaken

We have walked in the light of peace like Martin

But oh how quickly we can get it cracking like Malcolm

For it was he that said:

Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.

Now that I have your attention, let me be clear

We are done being filled with fear whenever we get pulled over

There will be no justification for the wrong doings of others

Our voices will not be silenced or bought

No longer will loved ones spend countless times in the cemetery

Consider the grass to be overwater by mother’s tears

No longer will we live to die.

Love Your Hair

Kai, the gorgeous girl who now loves her hair.

You hated your hair.

You wished it looked more like the girl on tv.

Long and straight.

But you’re not like the girl on tv.

You are one of my greatest creations.

Coffee with a dab of cream colored skin,

Brown eyes that sparkle in the sun,

The brightest smile that winks with dimples

In each cheek.

And your hair;

The hair that you didn’t like,

Is now your favorite after a year with locs.

Locs that resemble the strong roots that you come from.

Roots that want you to see the beauty that is inside and out.

Roots that will do whatever to protect you and shower you with love.

Roots that have now taught you to,

Love your hair.

Thoughts while writing: As a parent, we want our children to love everything about themselves. Especially when living in a world that does everything to get them to hate themselves. Although Kai is young, I noticed she was very self conscious about her hair. Mainly because a lot of videos she saw would have girls that looked the complete opposite of her with long straight hair and she thought that’s what she needed. For Kai that’s not possible since she’s this chocolate ball of energy with the curliest hair that shrinks. So she would always ask if her hair was short and things like that. Fast forward to her brothers getting locs and she fell in love. She asked for a year to get locs. I made her wait so long because she’s young and I wanted to be sure that she really wanted them. Finally I started them for her and a year later she is the only one still going strong with her journey.

Letter To My King

Photo Inspiration: Artist Unknown

Dear King,

Tonight as you come in and rest,

I need you to know..

I see your pain.

You try to hide it and

you’ve done a good job so far.

I get it…

Society says you have to be this big brave

Man that never shows any pain because pain is weakness,

But the Queen in me won’t let you suffer in silence.

Where you are weak I’ll be your strength that

Strengthens you to walk in your light.

Walk in your truth

So that you may be that best you

The best you that walks with the fierceness

of a lion

Unfazed by the dangers that prey on your weakness

The dangers that really aren’t dangers

because your

Lioness lies in waiting to protect your neck

Should they strike

You are not alone with me by your side

So let me see all there is to see of you

Your worry’s, your fears, and your uncertainty

Hand me the key to your heart that you hold onto protectively

And let me love you

I Thought

Artist Unknown

I thought we had a connection

A connection that no one understood

A connection only you and I could comprehend

Because we were the intended

On an alternate plane

Tattooed with a mixture

Of guns and roses

We created a love

Swirling in a pool of melanated bliss

You completed me

I completed you

Together we were one

Heartstrings laced together

Soul ties that became soul lies

Lies that flowed from your lips

Like the loose lips that sink ships

Ships that contain our love from that alternate plane

Now down at the bottom of the abyss

Never to be found and easy to miss

If only someone would tell my heart

The truth

My heart that finds it hard to get over you

Days and night filled with thoughts of what had been

Until I’m overcome with passionate rage

Turning my world like that ship that dwells in the dark murky waters of the ocean

Never to see the light of day again

I thought we had something real

I thought we had something only you and

I could comprehend

I thought we had a connection

I thought

Not My Independence Day

As the colorful display lights the sky

And God Bless America plays

Take a moment to remember

Remember that on this day

A day that many people celebrate

It is also a day that not everyone can relate

Relate to the feeling of pride and freedom

Love for a battle won

That battle won was only for some

Those melanated Kings and Queens were still

In chains

Destined to sacrifice for another 2 years

And years to come as the physical became mental prisons and modern day lynchings

Replace the plantation with projects

Slave masters with white supremacists with a badge

Throw in the school to prison pipeline

and most importantly

Separate the King’s from the Queens

As long as they are not together America shall have its freedom

After all 3/5ths of a person couldn’t possibly need freedom

So yes, let the fireworks shower across the sky and God Bless America play

As we celebrate NOT MY INDEPENDENCE DAY

Letter To America

America…

Hello,

I am fed up.

Fed up with being expected to lead your battles

While staying silent for mine.

Mine that consist of the countless black men and women fallen victim to senseless Killings by police officers.

*Pause*

This is the part where someone says, “Melanin, black on black crime is a thing.”

Honey, of course black on black crime is a thing.

What do you expect in a neighborhood that is predominantly black?

Just like in white neighborhoods.

Now let me tell you the difference.

The spotlight is on the black neighborhoods.

Why?

Because the hood is a project,

The project is a trap,

In the words of A1 Juug Trap Lives Matter.

In the eyes of the creator of the trap

Trap lives don’t matter.

Insert the flooding of drugs and weapons being used to turn the hood to a war zone.

Destined to kill the rose that grew from concrete,

But how can you stop the rose from growing back

When the roots are embedded deep in the soil?

You can’t.

Just like you cannot continue to expect us to be silent,

While watching our brothers, sisters, and children’s lives be taken.

Although silence is golden,

That silence ends now.

When The Mask Comes Off

Photo Obtained from Pinterest. Artist is : Laurie Cooper

The façade has ended

The person you created is gone

The one I’m truly intended

To be has arrived

I gave you all of me

And you still couldn’t see

The damage done over time

Digging deep inside

I cried out for help

I begged you to stop

Let me be

And set me free

But like a bird you caged me

Determined not to let me sing

The trauma you inflicted

Has been evicted

I have found my voice

Now you must listen

As I unburden my truth

When the mask comes off

Blog: Justice For Elijah McClain

Elijah McClain’s last words to officers

Who is Elijah McClain?

Elijah McClain

Elijah McClain was a 23 year old massage therapist. Everything I have read about him screams gentle. On his lunch break he would play the violin for the kittens in the pet shop next door. He ran in barefoot running shoes because he felt it was more natural. Many of the runners I’ve spoken with in the past have voiced similar things. He was anemic and could be found even in the summer time wear layers of clothes and a runners mask due to being cold. That I can also find true because I have a son that’s anemic. He taught himself how to play the guitar and violin. HE TAUGHT HIMSELF! So what could he have done that would’ve been so wrong to cause him death?

Summary of what I’ve read about his death…

Police received a call about a person acting suspicious flailing their arms and wearing a ski mask. The caller also reported that he didn’t appear to be a threat and did seem to have a weapon. So basically an unnecessary welfare check? How did that in turn lead to his death?

When officers arrived, orders to stop were not responded to. Why was that? Because he was wearing headphones! He couldn’t possibly comply if he did not hear the orders. Once he did notice and proceeded to turn down his music to hear, it was too late. The feeling of “disrespect” had already been planted. Now a need for authority had to be shown.

For 15 MINUTES the officers had him in a hold that applied pressure to his carotid artery. For 15 MINUTES he begged, pleaded, and even complimented the officers. All to no avail. They still applied pressure to the point he began to vomit. Then EMT’s gave him a shot of ketamine (sedative) because he was determined to be “agitated”. Who wouldn’t be? Then to make matters worse, the dose he was given was for a 220 LB. man. Elijah weighed 140 lbs. This lead to him going into cardiac arrest not once, but twice before later being declared brain dead.

Final Thoughts

I am sadden, I am heartbroken, and I have shed tears for this young man that did not deserve what has happened to him. I’ve seen pictures and watched the video where he was filled with happiness while indeed wearing layers of clothing as friends and family described. I also can’t help but to wonder again, how many others we still have not heard about. Especially when Elijahs life was taken almost a year ago and we are just now hearing about it. WE NEED JUSTICE FOR ELIJAH NOW!