Family-themed art is a look into one's living room; it depicts celebration, crises, and the quiet moments of familial interactions.
« Zahra means rose» she replied, as Elay scribbled away in his little black notebook. She was amazed by how quickly that reporter could write while staring at her in awe, without flinching. Frail with divine innocence, golden-eyed beauty Zahra - the disobedient one - had just turned sixteen. She was the eldest of four girls. Her mother would only think « good riddance » on her wedding day.
The Flag And The Fountain
“He called today.” June said, addressing the studio more so than her husband. She was not anxious for the man she adored to talk to his brother. “Did you tell him I’m not available, to try back in four years?”
I found it in the baby grand piano my grandmother’s ghost plays in my ex-stepfather’s mansion. A composition book. I’ve plucked it delicately from the strings and hammers beneath the lid - which I have never opened until now - and cradle its binding between my slender fingers. Flicking through each leaf of paper, I see row after row of five-lined staff. Crawling across it are hundreds of scribbled music notes. Spider-like in style, twining stems and irregular dots scratched from top down as a lightning bolt is to sea…There are ninety-six pages of this, I notice, peering at the little numbers dotting each bottom corner. And on the last page, the ninety-seventh, there’s a final line of staff, only two notes inked across it. An unfinished measure. A final bar of mystery.
The Art of Gratitude
Drew was outgoing, single guy who worked as an art teacher at one of the local elementary schools. He also ran an art workshop at the community park on Saturday’s with his free time, mainly for kids, but anyone was welcomed. Drew always had a vision in his head that he wanted to start his own art center for the people in his community to gather, talk, and create, but he just never had the financial means to do it. Everyone in his community knew about his dream and thought that it would be a fun place to have in their town.
Olivia, standing in the gloom of the garden shed, one hand holding a paintbrush thick with paint, the other holding her short brown hair back from her face, glared at the mountain. Ben Cruachan dominated the view through the small window. The rounded mountain rose from the blue haze of the Dividing Range and sat impassive and lordly above the smaller peaks.
Love, Lost And Found.
Makai: Last Thursday started off just like any other Thursday during my junior year of high school did. My mom banging on my door for me to wake up, me pulling the covers over my head struggling to get a few more minutes of sleep. Which never seems to work. But anyway, once I finally make it downstairs I walk into the kitchen to my usual breakfast of mom's french toast and dad's bad jokes. I swear he must think he's the funniest person on Earth, in my opinion he's good but he's no Kevin Hart. So as I sat there listening to the same jokes he tells day after day and pretend to laugh at them like I'd never heard them before. I noticed something was different....mom wasn't laughing like usually does. She was kind of spaced out, as if something else was occupying her mind. She'd always described herself as dreamer, so I'd taken her silence as her daydreaming about her new sewing machine that was set to come in in a few days. And when she gets in those moods, the last thing you'd want to do is disturb her. I remember one time when I was a kid, she was just sitting and thinking and I busted in the room with what I thought was something urgent. As it turns out, she didn't think so and shooed me away as if I was a fly that kept buzzing by her head. So when I saw her drift away at the kitchen table I left her alone. By the time dad and I came to a pause in our laughter I looked at the clock and it was time for me to finish getting myself ready to catch the bus. As I approached the stairs I overheard my dad ask mom what was wrong. Her reply was faint but it was strong enough to make my knees weak trotting up the stairs. "I can't continue acting like everything is ok. I want out! I want out of this house....out of this marriage! So when you leave for work, don't expect me to be here when you return.....I'm sorry." As I approached the door to head to the bus stop, they both told me they loved me and wished me a good day. Of course I responded with "love you guys too." But without hesitation I mumbled, "see you later mom." That was my way of telling her that I'd heard she and my father talking about her plans. As if life wasn't hard enough being the only black kid in an all white school...it wasn't quite like the schools of my grandparents but close enough. I stuck out like a sore thumb, inclusion didn't exist in my world at least at school. Most days I sat by myself during lunch because I was obviously different and they made sure I knew how different I was. Normally I use my notepad that I draw in to keep my mind off of the fact that I was alone in this big space. But today my parent's conversation kept playing in my mind and I kept wondering if she was serious. Would she just leave like that? How long have they been like this? As these questions played through my mental, I lost track of the time and was almost late for my next class. Luckily Mr. Goldman our school's Football/track coach and also the only other black face I see walking the hallways besides when I look in the mirror shook me awake. Me and Mr. G became pretty close, he went to school with my dad 100 years ago or something like that and all he talks about is how my dad could jump out of the gym like no one's business. Well I guess today he could tell that something was off, I didn't want to tell him because I didn't want him saying anything to my dad about it. So I played it cool when he asked "Aye Mak, you good man? You seem a little down..." "Yea, I'm good Mr. G....I’m just get tired of eating by myself ya know." "Ah don't worry about that Mak...you don't want to eat with them anyway." "I guess you're right.." "Mak, I've known you since you were born...you eating alone isn't eating you up....your folks separating is what's doing it..isn't it?" I paused for a second trying to figure out how he'd know. All I could muster up was "You knew?" In true Mr. G fashion he said "of course I knew fool....they fight all the time...just not in front of you." Which threw my day off even more because I began to think of times when I may have missed an argument because I just wasn't paying attention. The day flew by which I was kind of wishing for the opposite. I mean who wants to go home to the house I could potentially walking into.
Little Black Notebook
The Little Black Notebook. By Dguima. My Mom use to tell me I was destined for greatness! My father kept saying, “dream as high as you can my love, because if you don’t get to see your “higher” of “highest” dream come to life you will still have gotten all those other ones granted.” My grandma, a tarot reader, would also add, your spirit guides and ancestors have told me that, “You will have many blessings throughout your life”. I carried their words close to my heart and found comfort in them, as all three of them passed away when I was still a teenager.
Hiding in Plain Sight
“Wait,” I said, looking around at my siblings and the checks they held. Behind his desk, the attorney winced and adjusted his tie. I got the impression he’d seen this kind of thing at will readings before, and was expecting me to blow up at him. Luckily for him, I’ve never been given to blowing up at anybody. However, even I felt the weight of all the zeroes my siblings’ checks had, and mine didn’t. I mean, $20,000 is a lot of money—most of a year’s pay for me—and I was grateful to Uncle Leonard for thinking of me in his will. He didn’t have to. But every. Single. Check. That my siblings now held had two more zeroes than mine did.
"With the faith of a mustard seed, anything you imagine is yours" popped into my mind as I stored my drumsticks in my bag. That's what mom would tell me whenever I'd beat myself up for not getting a gig--
Fatherless Panther “Don’t let anyone take your manhood.” a well stated quote from the legendary Martin Luther King Jr. I was born out of a beautiful relationship between my mother and father. Two individuals, whose relationship embodied the Webster definition of love within all aspects of life. My earliest memories of my family begin at the age of five, nothing short of fun in the household, in addition to being an only child. The warm days and cozy nights of laughter and love, all changed the day my father, who was my superhero, did not return home. Leaving me on a path to learn about manhood by myself, my views about manhood changed when my mother gifted me with his Black leather journal when I turned 21 years old.
The Book Of Fortune
"License and registration”, stated the police officer. “H-here you go”, Joel muttered as he handed over his license and registration, in a car that smelled like a skunk that had done its best to protect its self. Despite the stereotype to dislike and show no support towards police officers in my community, you know the people that they arrest, I was quite encapsulated by this police officer's good looks and gentle aura. He was quite the scene to see and his energy was so intriguing, but he still was a cop and we still had illegal substances inside the car, I was both nervous and infatuated. The police officer then takes Joel's driver's license and registration and takes it back to his car. “I told you not to race that Evo!” I shouted. “What did you expect? He was teasing me!” “Yeah, teasing you because you drive a stock WRX and wanted to let you have fun by doing some pulls with you, did you not notice he didn’t even bother to keep going after you hit 90 miles?” ”Yeah whatever, what you should be worried about is that acid that you have in your bag and the stench of weed coming out of the car!” “Shut up! Let’s just tell him that we hit a skunk and it flew inside the car or something” “Oh yeah and I might as well tell him that the Evo was the one who threw the skunk at us too huh? You think that’s gonna do something then you might as we-“ “Ahem, you know why I pulled you guys over”, interrupted the police officer. “Because you saw us hit the skunk, saw it fly into the car and wanted to know if it was okay”? I said, “That’s a good one”, the police officer said while laughing. “You guys were going 120 in a 75, I mean I understand you have a fast car but doing such speeds on the freeway imposes a danger not only to yourself but the other people driving alongside you guys as well and, as a police officer it’s my job to protect the community.” “I understand, sir”, said Joel. “But you guys feel like some good folks just trying to have some fun, I have a Mark 4 Supra myself so I know how it is, next time I do ask if you guys can please take other people safety into consideration and go somewhere less populated with vulnerable citizens just trying to get from point A to point B, can you do that for me? “Yeah, of course!” Joel said with excitement. “Yes sir,” I said. “I’m going to give you guys a warning this time just don’t let me catch you putting others lives in danger in any other way you got it, I guarantee if you run into another officer again they’re most likely going to give you a fat ticket and probably search your guy’s car for that skunk you ran over. “Yes sir,” Joel and I said simultaneously. “Alright well you two have a nice night, you take good care and get this lady home safe tonight you heard?” “Got it”, said Joel. “Wow, he’s so sweet!” I thought to myself. As the police officer was walking back to his car, I knew it would be a miracle for me to cross paths with such a handsome and caring person in the same body ever again so I called out to him before he got to his car door. “Hey, officer!” I yelled while waving my hands and speed walking. He looks at me. “I was wondering if I could get your number, I know this is probably not allowed or something, but you’ve just really caught my eye and I would love to get a chance to get to know you a bit more because I already admire what I feel so far”. He smiles, gives me a hug, and pulls out his phone, is it okay if I get your Snapchat instead?” “Oh yeah, that’s fine!” I said as I pulled out my phone. It felt as if we had an immediate bond like I already felt so comfortable around him even though I just met him. “What’s your name anyway?” “You can call me Jay,” he said as I scanned his Snapchat code and added him on Snapchat. “Alright, I’m Dasia nice to meet you, Jay!” “Nice to meet you too, well I gotta get on out of here, hit me up on Snap for sure I’m off duty at 12”. “Sounds good, thanks for your service, you be safe out there”. He nodded, as he got in his car and drove off. It’s 11:59 PM I’ve been playing Call of Duty for 3 consecutive hours and look at my phone for the first time since I added Jay on Snapchat. “Oh shit!” I yelled as I search for my phone hesitantly through my blankets and unlock it after swinging my blanket and flinging my phone into the wall. It’s midnight, I think about messaging Jay, but I stop myself. ‘No I don’t wanna look too desperate… ugh who am I kidding, if he thinks I’m desperate for being myself, then he doesn’t deserve to be with me. I’m just excited to talk to him, that’s all. “What’s up!!” I message him excitingly. 4 hours pass without a response, “I knew it was too good to be true, maybe he’s just busy, maybe he gave me his work Snapchat and now I’m being tracked and watched. I get messages from other guys who see that I’m online and try to talk to me, they don’t want to talk to me, I know why they’re messaging me... I think to myself. I ignore those messages and play Call of Duty until the sun comes up. I look at my message on Snapchat, embarrassed because I messaged him so enthusiastically and right at 12 when he told me he gets off. I then see that we have mutual friends in common, we know a few people in common. He must be a cool person based on the mutual friends we know. I must be overthinking, I should just get some sleep.. “Hey. I’m off early around 12, wanna go grab some lunch? Stay out of trouble !” Reads Jays Snapchat to me around 5 AM. I wake up around 11 AM and notice I received a Snapchat from Jay. I immediately read the Snapchat and see that he invited me to go eat lunch with him. “Yeooooooooow!!!! Wahoo ahhhhhhhhh” I scream as I dance around my room. “Yeah I’m down for some lunch, thanks for the invitation. Let’s meet at Dennys on 47th?” I messaged back. “Sounds good”, he immediately replied. I didn’t respond to him after that, we just met up at Dennys, had some lunch. Went out for lunch another time, and again, and again, until lunch finally moved to my house, and eventually we became a couple. One year after being together Jay ask’s me to watch his little brother while he works, he say’s something important came up and that his parents are unable to watch his little brother today. Not being a problem, after all me not having a job, no family and having a fairly good relationship with Jays little brother I didn’t mind. After a couple hours of watching Jay’s little brother by myself, I hear a loud crashing noise come from outside the house. I tell Jays little brother to stay in his room as I go check to see what the noise was. I look outside the front window and see that the brick fence in the front yard appeared to be broken, it obviously wasn’t a car. I rushed back to Jays little brothers room, I knew I had to get him out of the house. I call Jay and tell him what had happened, Jay tells me to go into his parents room and grab a little black book that is under their bed, confused but trusting that my boyfriend knows what he’s saying, I rush to grab the little black book. “Okay I got it! Now what?!” He tells me to get myself and his little brother out of the house as soon as possible. Assuming that whoever broke the front fence was looking for the black book Jay was telling me about, I hurry Jays little brother out the back door and have him climb the back yard fence first so I can help him up. Dasia there’s somebody behind you! I look back and see a masked being running in our direction. I then start climbing the fence myself despite Jays little brother still climbing down from the fence, the shaking of the fence from me climbing so fast causes him to fall onto the floor. I jump down from the top of the fence, pick up Jays little brother and start sprinting towards the school across the street. I notice the relocatable’s as soon as I enter the school grounds and run towards them as a first instinct to lose the person chasing us. I run into the maze-like relocatable’s on the side of the school, taking the second left turn, another left, then a right. Finding myself with Jays little brother in the middle of the relocatable’s. I then get an idea to further our hiding by crawling under a set of stairs nearby. We wait… a couple minutes later we hear footsteps running around the area we are hiding in, Jays little brother scared for his life he lets out a little whimper. The masked being then makes their way closer to us, I couldn’t let him make another noise so I cover his mouth and nose with my hands as I hold his arms and legs down with mine to restrict him from making noise with his arms or legs. I hear footsteps making their way further and further away from us. I then let go of Jays little brothers mouth. We then make our way to a nearby neighbors house and ask them to help us, covered in dirt and tears running down our faces the neighbors let us in. I immediately call Jay. “Where are you guys at?! He exclaims, I’m at the house”. “We’re at the neighbors house, the blue one to the left of the school right across the street. “Alright, I’m on my way”. Jay then shows up to the house and rushes to hug the both of us, asking us if we’re okay. “What the hell was that all about?!” I yell. “Dasia, my parents were getting chased right before you called me and told me to hide the black book under their bed before they hung up… I’m just glad you two are okay.” “Are your parents okay?” I ask. “To be honest I’m not sure. “What the hell even is this book? What’s inside of it?” Jay sighs, “Dasia our parents work together in secrecy, worked their whole life mining and finally discovered a gold mine out in Arizona, they made these maps to pass down to their children. “Us…” ‘I knew the book looked familiar, I always just wrote my dreams, or wises, you know things I want to do in there, I never even got past the second page because I fulfill all my dreams by being by your side, Jay. Jay hugs me and his little brother, “everything is going to be okay”. Jay’s backup that he called while he was on his way to the house show up to the neighbors house and investigate Jay’s parent’s house. The next day I bring my black book and I flip it to the end, there’s half of a map on the back side of the book. Jay then opens his parents book, flips through the seemingly empty notebook until he finds the other half of a map on the back and then puts it next to mine, perfectly forming a completed map of where to dig to find the gold mine that our parents discovered. You know all those dreams and wishes you wrote when you were a kid? Let’s make those come true. We then head to the gold mine led to us by the completed map, and find the mine. “Our parents were really here…” I said. “Yeah… Let’s just make the best of it, I know its what they would have wanted”. Said Jay. “20 pounds is enough for us, don’t you think? We can save the rest for our kid”. I said. “What are you saying?” Said Jay. “I’m pregnant”! We received $400,000 from the 20 pounds of gold we harvested from the mine, and raised our child comfortably in our new house in Costa Rica with Jays little brother.
Amara, On Worlds and Manifestations
Amara was born in the morning twilight. The amorous violet-rose sky laden in shadow, the time of transition, being neither one thing or another, but an evocative period full of mystery and portent ~ was suited to her being. She was born in a city nestled in a valley, to two exceptionally fierce and beautiful spirits. On the night she was born her mother was high, it was raining, the night was dark and the car full of smoke. Her mother felt the birth pains on a long winding road outside town. She had had a cesarean with Amara's older sister, and had been told throughout she would have another. Terror engulfed her when the neat and clear-eyed military base nurses assured her she could have a vaginal delivery. She was overwhelmed by the ferocity of pain, she was hindered and unsettled by the induced fluctuations in physicality and thinking. This dichotomy too, its unexpected opposition and harmony, was suited to Amara's being.