Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Superstar-Chapter 42

Welcome all again! New Chapter! Like me on FB and Follow me on Twitter. Story!

Chapter 42: Play

All of the bands had to play one song, no longer than five minutes and their performances would be judged on originality, showmanship, cohesiveness and groovability. There were five judges: Lamont Mercer, club owner and former session musician, Judith Revel, vocalist for hometown heroes, Destiny, Juanita Colon, A&R executive for Musicmax records, Norman Blaisdell, A&R for Columbia Records and Maurice Rigell, one of the hottest guitarist currently in music.
Billie’s Bliss played first. They did a smoldering jazzy version of Lalah Hathaway’s “Somethin’” and their lead vocalist, Denise Jefferies by name, was charismatic and competent. They were followed by Chameleon, who performed a bouncy, frenetic original called “Juice.”
No, it didn’t have anything to do with nectar from a fruit.
The Armada brought out an original called “Blue”. It was funky, stomping and thumping beneath Mikki’s breathy falsetto. They’re saving the best for last, Terry smiled to himself.
All of the bands performed admirably, but the Armada garnered the most applause so far. Avant Groove took the stage and they quickly set up a keyboard in the middle of the space with a microphone. The plan was to go with an original song Lisa wrote called “Love Groove”. Dom knew it, but Terry and Eric decided to change the song to “What’cha Gonna Do For Me” by Chaka Khan, since Dom had played it and did vocals a couple of times in rehearsal.
Once everyone was in position, Terry tossed a grin at Dom and she returned it with a wink. She wished she felt the confidence she injected into the gesture.
Terry nodded at Larry and counted off the beat. Larry played a quick drum roll and locked onto a solid four/four beat. After two measures, the rest of the band flowed into the song. The crowd responded favorably, clapping along to the beat. Larry broke the beat down to rimshots and Dom began to sing.
Butterflies danced a hard tango in Dom’s stomach, and she started off a little too soft, but she quickly focused past the nerves and sang louder and more confidently. Terry was a little worried at first, but soon he was impressed with how Dom didn’t try anything fancy, she just played the melody and left the tricky stuff to Lisa, who handled it easily.
When the chorus came, Larry brought the drums back up to full snare and when the bridge came, Dom let out a soulful wail that Terry answered on his guitar. His improvised solo flowed in, out and around the music as Dom vamped her way to the end of the song.

The crowd exploded with applause. Terry looked at Dom and mouthed, “Great Job.” She nodded and smiled. She noticed the rest of the band looked happy as well. They walked off stage, smiling widely, confident that they the contest and the recording contract all sewn up.

(c)2015 Courtney & W.L. Sherrod

Friday, January 23, 2015

Excerpt from Facets-Backyard

Hey, everybody! Here's another sample from Facets, called Backyard. In it, we meet Lottie who has a jones for her best friend's husband...You can practically smell the disaster...
Like me on FB, Follow me on Twitter and go to the Kindle store to get a copy of Facets!

It all started last year at a get-together at Bernard and Cheryl's house.
Loretta McDowell(called Lottie by her friends) was minding her own business, drinking lemonade and ignoring the lame come-on lines from the brotha sitting next to her, when she was hit by a revelation : Bernard Shelton in a tank top and shorts.
It's not like Lottie hadn't seen him dressed like that before, but for some reason, Bernard's arms and shoulders looked more muscular, his chest looked wider and his butt was chiseled from granite. Lottie stared as he carried a plate of burger patties to the grill, and began to cook them. Cheryl Hawkins-Shelton, Lottie's best friend of ten years, and Bernard's wife, walked up to him and kissed him deeply. Seeing Cheryl snapped Lottie out of her daydream.
Lottie complained to Cheryl about a headache and went home. Lottie actually suffered from pangs of jealously, but she wasn't about to tell Cheryl that.
Later that night, Lottie dreamed of Bernard. She came so hard, it woke her up. Guilt seeped into her heart as she calmed down. She knew she was wrong for lusting after Bernard, but she couldn't help herself. In their ten years of friendship, Lottie had never wanted anything that Cheryl had until now.
For the next year, Lottie kept her crush to herself and played the “Faithful Best Friend” role like Angela Basset. Then, just the other day, Cheryl left her copy of Season Three of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' at Lottie’s house. Lottie called Cheryl and almost jumped for joy when Mrs. Shelton said she'd dispatch Bernard to pick it up.
Lottie quickly (but not too quickly) agreed to wait until Bernard came the next day before going anywhere.
After she hung up, Lottie cleared her schedule of anything that came close to one o' clock P.M. Later, she soaked in Country Apple Luxury and dreamed about the steamy, chocolate luxury of Bernard's embrace.

                                                 (c)2015 W.L. Sherrod

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Superstar-Chapter 41

Hello all! I'm back with another installment of Superstar! Thanks again for checking out the blog, Following me, Liking me and Retweeting me! I appreciate all of it! And now...Story!

Chapter 41 It’s Going Down

The Semi-Finals took place a month ago and of the eight bands that competed, only four made the cut: Avant Groove, The Armada, Billie’s Bliss, a four piece jazz outfit and Chameleon, an R&B/funk group.
The Finals were held at the Clique Nightclub on South Michigan Avenue. The dance floor was converted into a stage where all four bands would play in the cavernous space. The judges were on a dais next to the stairs by the exit. There were other tables and chairs as well as a bar directly across from the dance floor. The Clique was filled to capacity as hundreds of people came to watch the Cream of Chicago’s crop of musicians compete.
Avant Groove walked into the highly charged atmosphere with a bold, swaggering step, looking to anyone watching that they owned the place and were ready to rock the crowd.
“Where is Wanda?!” Terry asked, highly exasperated.
“I called her earlier,” Eric replied, not sounding much happier. “I don’t know where she is.”
“Doesn’t she understand she’s fuckin’ up her chances as well as ours?” Terry asked no one in particular.
“You know she does. That’s what she’s counting on,” Lisa answered. “She’s probably figurin’ this is payback for being put on probation and getting embarrassed,” She shook her head. “We shoulda fired her ass.”
“We did,” Rob said, glaring at Dom. “But somebody wanted her to stay,” Dom returned the glare. “Don’t look at me. You the one that said give her another chance. Look what she did with it.”
“Chill, Rob,” Terry said.
“Naw, Man! Where the fuck we gonna get another keyboard player?”
“We’ll be alright,” Dom stated.
“How the fuck do you know?!” Rob bellowed. “Please fuckin’ enlighten me.”
Dom looked around and saw that they’d picked up eyetracks from very curious people. She figured they thought Avant Groove were either gonna fight or break up before they even got onstage. Defintely not good. She grabbed Rob’s arm and led him to a more secluded corner, away from prying eyes. The rest of the band followed.
Dom turned on him and said, “We will have a second keyboard player.”
“How?!!” Rob asked.
“I’d like to know how this is gonna happen myself,” Terry chimed in.
Dom looked at Lisa, who was grinning, and said, “I’m gonna play and sing.”
Everyone, except for Lisa, looked kind of shell shocked, not really knowing what to say or how to react. Then Rob started laughing. Everybody looked at him, which made him laugh harder.
“You think she’s jokin’?” Lisa asked.
“She has to be,” Rob said as he caught his breath. “Oh, hell. We are fucked.”
“I ain’t playin with y’all…”
“Oh, we know that.”
“No, ya brain dead bastard, I’m gonna play and sing tonight,” Dom spat.
“But, I didn’t teach you any of our material,” Terry interjected.
“I know,” Dom grinned. “Lisa did.”
“What?” Terry said. “When?”
“For the past three weeks.”
“You could’ve let us know,” Terry said.
“You could’ve taught me all our material instead of tryin’ to control me,” Dom said as she crossed her arms.
“It wasn’t about control…”
“Yes, it was. Every time I asked you to teach me, you brushed me off. So, I went behind your back,” Dom stated. “It’s a good thing I did or we’d be screwed right now.”
“We haven’t had time to rehearse…”
“Damnit, Terry, we don’t have time, period,” Lisa spat. “Wanda’s fucked us and Dom knows the music. Basically, she’s all we’ve got.”
Terry stood and folded his arms across his chest. Lisa walked over to him, put her hands on his shoulder and said, “I’m sorry we did this on the downlow, but you know we gotta do this. What other choice do we have?” Terry looked at the male contingent of Avant Groove, a question in his eyes. They looked back and shrugged, as if to say, “It’s on you, boss.” He looked at Dom and saw the raw determination on her face, a look he’d recognized in his own eyes many times.
“Okay, you got it,” Terry said. “Don’t let us down.”
“I won’t,” Dom smiled and kissed him on the lips.
“Well, isn’t that sweet?” A shrill and instantly recognizable voice said.  The whole group turned and saw Mikki and the rest of the Armada standing in front of them.
“So, Terry, Whassup?” Mikki smiled and asked. “Y’all ready for that ass whippin’?”
“As soon as you show us who’s gonna do it,” Terry responded.
“Yeah, whateva, son. You know the deal,” Mikki made a show of looking for someone as he said, “So, where’s Wanda? You know y’all need all the help y’all can get.”
“What we need…”, Eric hissed through gritted teeth, “…is for you to leave us the fuck alone.”
“Don’t get nasty just ‘cuz ya know y’all asses are smoked,” Mikki smiled. “Just be a man about it, son.”
“Nigga, ya betta step off ‘fore I put my manly foot up in ya skinny ass!” Rob strode up to Mikki, intent on knocking him across the room. Terry, Eric and Larry ran over and pulled him back.
“Save it for the stage, Rob!” Eric implored.
By this time, everybody’s attention was on them. They smelled a fight and were trying to get a good view of the battle. Mikki’s band mates got wind of what was happening and ran to back him up.
“Whassup, Mikki?” A blocky, dark-skinned brotha with close-cropped hair said. “These trick niggas giving you static?”
“Ain’t nothing I can’t handle, Freddie…” Mikki said. “…Especially these tricks.”
“I gotcha trick, nigga…” Rob started to say.
“Anytime, anyplace, Biiiotch!” Freddie snarled.
“Whassup, nigga? What! What?!” Larry barely held Rob in check as members of the Armada kept a tenuous hold on Freddie. The crowd was really starting to get into everything going on, when Groove looked up and saw security coming their way, led by a tall, suited brotha.
Eric cursed as he pushed his way between the warring factions and bellowed, “Yo! Yo! Squash this shit! Security’s comin!” Everybody immediately backed off of each other, but there was plenty of tension in the space between them and a wealth of anger in their heated glances.
“What the Hell is going on here?” The suited brotha thundered in a basso profound voice.
“Everything’s cool,” Mikki lied.
“Yeah, Melody cool,” Terry said through a strained smile.
The man folded his arms and cast a hard stare at the lot of them. He radiated personal force and a manner that said he was used to being obeyed. “You folks do realize that this is a talent show and not a prize fight. If you want to act like Mike Tyson, you can take it outside of the club.”
“We don’t want any problems Mister…” Eric began.
“…Mercer. Lamont Mercer.”
“…Mercer, but they came to us and interrupted a private conversation.”
“A ‘private’ conversation that I, and half the patrons, could hear,” Mercer said.
Eric swallowed a cutting retort and reiterated the fact that they were minding their own business before Mikki and his crew came and started making waves.
“Hold on, now,” Mikki interjected. “We just came to offer Avant Groove good luck on their performance tonight.”
“Pardon my French, but bullshit,” Mercer spat. He leveled a hard gaze on both groups and said, “I’m gonna give you all a choice: either you comport yourselves like mature adults and you get to perform or continue acting like children, get disqualified and escorted out.” With that, he turned and strode towards his seat and security melted back into the crowd. Avant Groove and the Armada walked off in opposite directions, not bothering to risk a glance, lest something jumped off again.
“Those bastards are goin’ down.” Rob growled, pacing back and forth.

“Definitely.” Terry agreed.

(c)2015 Courtney & W.L. Sherrod

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Quote Me On This-Fabian Nicieza

"Where I'm from affects, but doesn't dictate who I am and who I am affects, but doesn't dictate where I'm going."-Archangel (Fabian Nicieza)

Quote Me On This-Joi

"Love me for who I am for I love what I've come to be."
Joi-I Found My Niche

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Superstar-Chapter 40

Hey everyone! New chapter! Thanks for all the love on Twitter and on the blog! Like me on FB and follow me on Twitter! And...story! 

Chapter 40: Hungry Eyes

At the movies, Dom tried to watch Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks do their thing on the silver screen, but her eyes kept being drawn back to Terry. She drank in his profile and hungrily devoured the sight of and smell of him. In her mind, she was overpowered by him and made a willing partner in their lovemaking. Dom wondered what it was about Terry that made her want him so much. None of the other men she’d been with sparked the raw desire that kicked off whenever she looked at him.
Dom was keeping her hands to herself. She was afraid that if she touched him, she wouldn’t be able to control herself. As if he could hear her thoughts, Terry’s hand brushed hers. They looked at each other, smiled and held hands. Dom sighed and relaxed against Terry’s shoulder.
“Are you enjoying yourself?” He whispered.
Dom looked at him in the shifting half-light and said, “Oh, yes. Definitely.”

“There’s a song I wanted to play for you.” Terry stated as they walked into his apartment. “I wrote it for my Mom.” Dom acknowledged him, but all of her thoughts were completely in the gutter. He wore a snug fitting white t-shirt that showcased his lithe, muscled arms and chest, a black vest, baggy jeans and black leather dress shoes.
 Dom watched and lusted for him, watching the play and movement of the muscles of his body under his clothes. As he excused himself to get his guitar out of his bedroom, This gave Dom a chance to stop thinking with her libido and concentrate on his home.
The walls were beige with pictures by different African-American artists adorning them. The living room, where she currently sat, was conspicuously free of clutter and there wasn’t a T.V. in sight. Instead, there was a large stereo system with racks of CD’s and cassette in the space between the picture window and the couch. Behind her, there was a small dining area and the kitchen beyond that. The bedroom and the bathroom were off to the right through a small hallway. Like his car, Terry’s living space was neat and well kept.
“I like your place, baby.” Dom said. “It’s very neat.”
“Thanks. I try.” Terry said as he walked back in with his acoustic guitar in hand. He sat at a comfortable looking chair to Dom’s left.
He played a melody; it was a little sad, yet celebratory as well. Dom listened and thought of her father. Memories of how life was when he was there, and how it completely changed after he left, flooded her mind. Tears came to her eyes as she looked at Terry and completely understood what he was ‘saying’ through his song.
He put down his guitar, looked up at Dom and asked her, “What do you think?”
She sat for a moment, just looking at him, imprinting the moment in her memory. Then she got up, crossed the space between them and said, as she sat on his lap, “It’s beautiful, just like you.”
Dom held his face in her hands and leaned forward to gently kiss him. A shock ran down her spine as the kiss grew warmer as their lips and tongues began to dance. Terry’s arms wrapped around her and she pressed herself harder against him.
A groan that started somewhere around her chest escaped from her lips and Terry answered with one of his own. He rained wet, warm kisses down her neck as his hands caressed her breasts and focused on her nipples.
“Mmmm, yesss.” Dom hissed as Terry’s mouth replaced his hands. In a matter of moments, Terry divested Dom of her clothes, knelt down and used his lips and tongue to drive her mad. She wrapped her thighs around his head as he brought her, screaming, over the edge.
Dom was dimly aware of Terry carrying her to his bedroom and taking off his clothes. She was sharply aware of his hardness penetrating her velvet folds. She lost track of how long they made love, but when they stopped, sweat drying on their naked bodies, Terry wrapped her in an embrace and softly said, “I love you.”
Nestled safely in his arms, Dom momentarily panicked, not really sure if she could handle the intensity, the passion of the man. Then she smiled as the doubts melted away and her heart soared as she said the words that she’d wanted to say since they first kissed: “I love you.”

Terry kissed her and held her tighter. She returned it and the both of them fell into a deep, peaceful slumber, the warmth of their love covering them like a blanket.

(c)2015 Courtney & W.L. Sherrod

Monday, January 5, 2015

Superstar-Chapter 39

Greetings and Salutations! Welcome to the 1st post of the New Year! Happy 2015! Y'all know the drill: Like me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter! Don't forget to get your copy of Facets: Stories of the Mundane and the Weird from the Kindle store on Amazon! And...story!

Chapter 39: Fallin’

“So, what d’you think?” Terry asked.
“It’s so big,” Dom responded with apparent awe.
“I know. Sometimes when I have the chance, I just sit down and look at it.”
“I have to say, I am impressed,” Dom said as she surveyed the inside of Trudy’s Soul Food Emporium. “It’s so much bigger than it looks from outside.”
Terry and Dom stood in a small waiting area that led to a sprawling main floor with plenty of tables in the middle and comfortable booths along the walls. There was a raised dais along the rearmost wall with more tables. The walnut stained wood and matching carpet gave the interior some warm color against the white walls and the small chandeliers, along with the wall sconces provided a cozy and relaxing venue to dine in.
It was Five-twenty-five when Terry and Dom walked in, only a few tables were full and the evening rush hadn’t started yet.
Perfect timing, Terry thought to himself.
“Whassup, Terry?” The hostess said with a wide smile.
“Nothin’ much, just taking a beautiful woman to dinner,” Terry turned towards Dom and said, “Dominique, this is Shaunda; Shaunda, Dominique.” Dom and Shaunda shook hands and exchanged pleasantries.
Dom noticed a little gush in Shaunda’s voice as she spoke to Terry. The girl was brown skinned with micro braids that framed her face. She had a little cute thing going on, but Dom wasn’t worried; She knew she looked better.
“Where d’you wanna sit?” Shaunda asked.
“Is Jomanda workin’?”
“Yep, and she’s got a booth open on the dais.”
“Good. Put us in her section, please?”
“Alright.” Shaunda said as she grabbed two menus and led them to their seat. Dom followed Shaunda with Terry behind her. (and she knew he was checking out her posterior, which she didn’t mind.)
After reciting the evening specials, Shaunda left Terry and Dom to themselves.
“So, did you enjoy ogling my butt?” Dom asked Terry.
“Sure did.” Terry smiled. “Why d’you think I had you walk in front of me?”
“I knew you was freaky.” She quipped. “Anyway, this is very nice. I feel like I’m in one of those fancy joints.”
“Yeah, but the magic’s worn off for me.”
“Well, you are here every day.” Dom observed.
“True dat.”
“You just had to rub in the fact that you’re off today, didn’t you?” said a tan colored sista as she walked up to the table, glaring in mock outrage at Terry.
“Of course,” He replied. “Wouldn’t you?”
“In a New York Minute.” She extended her hand to Dom and said, “Hi, my name is Jomanda. Since Mr. Mosley has no manners I have to introduce myself.”
“I was about to…,” Terry began.
Dom smiled and shook Jomanda’s hand. “You know how Terry is: if it doesn’t have to do with music, it’s pretty much not on his mind.”
“Forget the both of y’all,” He groused.
Jomanda laughed. “Now that I’ve embarrassed Terry, what can I get for you tonight?” Terry and Dom gave their orders and Jomanda left to get their drinks.
“So, what are we going to see tonight? You never did tell me.” Dom said.
“Philidelphia.” Terry answered. “That new one with Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington?”
“Oh, yeah. That looked good.”
Terry nodded. “It’ll probably turn on the Inspirational Well.”
“’Inspirational Well?’”
“Where I get song ideas from,” Terry explained. “Just about anything can turn it on: a movie, sounds on the street…”
Jomanda brought back their sodas and their salads. “…or thoughts about a certain woman, whose eyes are so beautiful it’s like looking into a pool of twenty-four carat diamonds.”
Dom blushed and said, “Thanks, but don’t think you’re gonna get some just because you’re all charming and stuff.”
“Damn,” Terry grinned. “You figured me out.” They both laughed at that and ate their salads quietly for a few moments.
“Can I ask you a question, Dom?”
“What is it you like about me?” Dom rested her chin on her hands for a moment, just looking at him.
“Well, besides the fact that you’re a talented musician, you’re sweet, you don’t try to be Mister Pimp-Playa-Mack-Daddy…”
“No future in it,” he added.
“…And,” Dom said, ignoring the comment, “You’re attentive, very supportive, passionate, sexy…”
Dom stopped as Jomanda returned with their dinners and refills. He’d just taken a sip of his soda when she said, “…and you have the cutest ass.” Terry raised his hands and coughed loudly as Dom got up and patted him on his back, her face bright with laughter.
“Thanks,” He said.
“You’re welcome,” Dom giggled. “Now, let me reverse the question.”
“What do I like about you?”
“You really know how to dance,” He said with a grin.
“You’re not funny.”
“Okay, seriously,” Terry gazed into her eyes, boring deep into her soul and said, “Everything.”
“Can you be a little more specific?”
“I like your walk, your eyes, your mouth, your smile, the way you look in a pair of jeans, the look in your eyes when you nail a vocal the way you wanted…shall I go on?”
“No, I get the message,” Dom said. “You don’t do things in half measures do you?”
“Nope. It’s all or nothing at all,” He answered.
“Why is that?”
“What the point of doing anything, if you’re not gonna put everything you have into it?” Terry explained. “I don’t see the point of holding back. Do you?”
Dom trembled a little inside. The intensity in his eyes, in his voice unnerved her. She felt for Terry, but he was looking for more from her obviously and part of her wanted to step up and let him see the passion inside of her. Once she did that, there’d be no turning back. The love between them would either help her to fly or fall.
After a significant pause, Dom asked Terry about his mother. If he noticed the attempt to change the subject, he gave no sign.
“My mom was a great woman. She was a nurse, by trade, very warm, encouraging and didn’t miss a thing,” Terry smiled. “She was my first fan.”
“That’s sweet,” Dom smiled.
“Yeah. She and Carl met at a party where he and his friends were the house band. Carl told me that the moment he saw my mom, he promptly forgot what he was playing.”
“Really?” Dom asked.
“Yeah,” Terry stared off into space, as if he could see the past playing behind Dom’s shoulder. “When me and Carl were cool, he told me all about that and how once their eyes met, it was all over.”
“Love at first sight, hmm?”
“Yeah. Hard to believe, huh?”
“Not really,” Dom grinned and looked into his eyes.
“Anyway…” Terry continued “…Mom was completely supportive of Carl and his music. She was at every little place his band gigged at and kept him encouraged when things got difficult. He knew he’d found a good woman and after a year, made an honest woman of her. Eventually, Carl got a job in a factory, because music wasn’t bringing in enough.”
“But, your mom was a nurse.” Dom interjected. “She could’ve supported the both of them.”
“True, but along with a prodigious talent…”
“Ooh, big word.”
“…Carl had a lot of pride. He couldn’t let his woman take care of him like that.”
“Even though he could’ve pursued his music full time?”
“Hey, I just live on this planet and I wasn’t even thought of when all of this went down.” Terry shook his head. “Maybe Carl wanted to make things more difficult than they had to be.”
“Hmm. Maybe.” Dom agreed. “So, when did you come into the picture?”
“1968. June,” Terry smiled. “’And unto you a son is given…’”
“Angels announced your arrival?”
“No, nothing that auspicious. Carl did write a song for me though.”
“That’s beautiful,” Dom said. “What did he call it?”
“’Terry’s Song.’”
Dom had the grace to look embarrassed. “I guess that should’ve been obvious.”
“Not really. I didn’t call your song by your name,” Terry said. “I called it ‘Angel.’”
“Stop making me blush.” Dom smiled as her neck and face grew red.

“You’re beautiful when you blush.” Terry said as he grabbed Dom’s hand. They gazed into one another’s eyes and Dominique felt her heart leap in her chest the way it always did when he looked at her. Yeah, she thought to herself. I’m definitely under his spell.

(c)2015 Courtney & W.L. Sherrod