Lyric & Verse

Lyric & Verse (17)

“LOVE: On the Battlefield" A Flash Story by S. M. Phelon

Bombs were going off all around them. Cadets Jake and Lori felt as if their eardrums were exploding. She wanted to go one way, he wanted to go another. Their team was divided, and their alliance was shaky. Every time they made a move, something blew up in their faces or somewhere nearby. At times they found holes in the ground to hide in, but trouble always found its way into their hiding space. Tired of the confusion, Jake grabbed Lori, uncovering themselves from their protection as they tried to find their way out of the maze of trees. They turned in time to see their newly evacuated hiding hole blown to kingdom come.


Unshakeable Faith by Rickey Teems II (Chapter 12)

“I just don’t get why it’s so difficult, Faith. You’re a smart girl. We’ve gone over this so many times.”

Faith looked up at her aunt. “I know, Auntie.”

“Oh, I know you know. I just need you to know how to do,” Paulette lectured. “Or you can bet this will be our last time eating out like this. I’m talking Cup-O-Noodles until all those grades are B’s and better. Got it?”

“Yes ma’am.” Faith turned her sullen face from the plate of pizza to the enormous walkway of the Santa Monica Promenade where hundreds of shoppers on their way to the surrounding trendy and boutique stores passed by the outdoor café she and her aunt were having dinner at.


Unshakeable Faith by Rickey Teems II (Chapter 10)

“Faith? Faaaith?”

Faith opened her eyes and sat up slowly. She hadn’t imagined being able to rest so peacefully. After being so resistant to the idea, she now regretted not accepting sooner so she could have gotten an extra thirty minutes. Whether it was the hot water from Sister C’s shower that seemed to melt away much of the filth she hadn’t been able to mentally escape the last few months, or how she was reminded of old trips to the laundry mat with her mom because the towels and blankets had the same Bounce fresh smell, at least for this morning, she was at ease. And in this instance, the pleasant aromas didn’t stop at the comforter and pillow cases.


Unshakeable Faith by Rickey Teems II (Chapter 9)

“Faith! Faith! How many times do I have to tell you, this is a cash and dash business?”

Faith looked over at the busty Hispanic lady dressed in shorts so skimpy that most women’s panties covered more. The lady walked over and looked inside the car at the occupants Faith had been conversing with for the last five minutes.

“See Faith, these are what we call, window shoppers. They call you


Unshakeable Faith by Rickey Teems II (Chapter 7-8)


Faith wiped the emerging flow of tears from her cheeks, but couldn’t prevent her chest from heaving.

“I’m sorry, honey.” Sister Clara wrapped her arms around Faith and squeezed her so tight that more tears fell from Faith’s eyes. “But you know the best part about our lowest points in life? We give God that much more space to take us higher. Is Brian here with you today?”

Faith wiped her eyes and runny nose. She had to take a second so she could speak a complete sentence without sniffling. “I never saw him again after that night. I counted every second of that fifteen minutes, and when his time was up, I ran over to that bench. I looked and called around the whole school. I couldn’t find him anywhere. There was a janitor working late that let me use the bathroom to clean myself up. But the group home wouldn’t let me back in because of excessive violations, and I just ran when they said the social worker was coming to pick me up. I stopped by our high school, the mall, I even went to 18th Street to look for the house he mentioned. The only one people knew about was a crack house.”


Unshakeable Faith by Rickey Teems II (Chapter 6)

“C’mon, baby. It’s just like Treach would say, ‘You down wit’ OPP?’ Now you say it with me, ‘Yeah, you know me!”

Faith wasn’t so adamant about the new hit single from Naughty by Nature. Especially considering Brian seemed to be taking the words well out of context. “There has to be some other way? Why don’t we try to get jobs? Why don’t we just go back to the group homes?”

“I ain’t never going back to that hell, you hear me?” Brian took a long toke from the joint they were sharing, and then passed it to Faith who followed suit. “You only have to do it this one time. We’ll get the money, grab something to eat, and then there’s an old, abandoned house over on 18th Street that we can sleep in.”


Unshakeable Faith by Rickey Teems II (Chapter 5)

“See, a lot of people have it backwards. FAITH, actually comes before prayer.”

At the sound of her name being shouted, Faith jerked back to consciousness from her half sleep. She looked around at several full rows of people actively engaged in Pastor Thompson’s sermon with clapping and cosigning. Others quickly diverted their attention from her when she made eye contact with them. The sanctuary was quaint, several large windows near the ceiling allowed the sunlight to beam in on the two-hundred or so attendees. A group of young boys in pastel colored suits that resembled Tubb’s attire from Miami Vice, occupied the drum set, guitar, and piano near the choir pews behind the pulpit. They couldn’t have been more than fifteen or sixteen years old. Even the term choir was generous given there were only seven members with crimson robes in the seats. Faith directed her focus back to the charismatic man that had posted her bail.


Unshakeable Faith by Rickey Teems II (Chapter 4)


It wasn’t so much the whisperings of a few people that bothered Faith. It was all the attention being directed solely on her. It always seemed like everyone, even those that didn’t know her, had some sort of grudge.

“Yeah, Patricia. I saw her all hugged up on Rodney at lunch time. She was playing with his little African medallion and running her fingers through the part on his Gumby. An, um, Shayla say she saw them passing notes in Social Studies.”

“Yo, you tryna talk to my man?” Patricia was a heavy set girl with cocoa smooth skin, short curly hair and the best air-brushed jean jacket at school.


Unshakeable Faith by Rickey Teems II (Chapter 2-3)


“Faith! Come here, baby!”

“FAITH BAILEY JONES! Don’t you go nowhere near that miserable, pants-always-to-his ankles, no self control−”

Young Faith looked up at her mother who had just gotten off her night shift at Burger King, and followed her mother’s shaking arm from the shoulder to the chrome gun she was attempting to steady on the man standing on the other side of the glass coffee table. Her favorite song, Upside Down, by Diana Ross was still playing on the record player. She just wanted to dance in her Strawberry Shortcake nightgown.

“Come on, Virginia,” his voice was calm, “I told you that it ain’t like that. We was just playin−“

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