Thursday, June 30, 2011


6 IMPOSSIBLE THINGS for June 31, 2011

BY Keith Kareem Williams

Every morning as I wash my face, I think of at least 6 impossible things. Here’s my list for today.

1. Selfishness will die out like the dinosaurs

2. I will be able to get every thought on paper smoothly.

3. I will bring balance to the force.

4. I’ll learn how to be a good husband (Not likely)

5. The truth will win in the war against lies.

6. There’s a chance I might lose and not become successful at this.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Reem’s Room by Keith Kareem Williams
Reem’s Room

By Keith Kareem Williams

Whether you like the song or not, “Marvin’s Room” by Drake (Jojo, Chris Brown or whoever else decided to remix it by now) it’s undeniable that the song received a strong reaction from listeners. People could relate to the lyrics because I believe that everyone has stood on BOTH sides of THAT fence. Well, I’ve decided to give you a “gully” version. Enjoy…

You and I were right where we were supposed to be but HE didn’t think so. He was such a bitch that he hated that I had what he wanted and in his mind, I didn’t deserve it more than he did. If HE was better, he should have gone and got his own and shown me how it should be done. Instead, he planted weeds in our garden. I felt the changes and tried to warn you not to eat the flowers. You were being charmed by a coward. I guess you didn’t recognize that his approach was cowardly. I guess I didn’t have the power to make you listen. I used to feel bad about that but I don’t anymore. As the story goes, Eve ate the fruit when her Creator warned her not to. If she didn’t listen to HIM then who am I that you should listen to me right?

Now, every time we disagree he’s right there, on time with a focused mind to kick dirt on me. He’s telling you that he can do better and you started to believe him. I really should hate you too but I only have energy to extend sympathy. He used fake empathy to turn you against me. When you spoke to me, it wasn’t even YOUR words anymore. I knew you well enough to know your voice. Of course, everything he said he’d do different sounded good. You gave him the blueprint when you told him everything you thought I did wrong. Then, for the first time since you realized that you loved me, you turned your head in another direction and weakened our connection. I realized this one night in a moment of quiet reflection…after you were gone. I was confused back then and didn’t know why there was suddenly this space. Originally I felt like the lesser man until I opened my eyes and realized that it was you who got caught up in his plans and fell into his hands.

It's Over
Then, he did the worst kind of harm and talked you out of my arms. To this day we could have still been friends if you had acted human instead of rubbing it in. Because missing you made me weak, you chose to abuse the power that the situation gave you. I had loved you so much that when we were together, I never ever played you. I used to take pride in walking beside you knowing that other chicks would go out of their way to get my attention. I never gave it to them. Everything I had was for you, even when I was mad at you. I was lost inside you but since you’ve been gone, I’ve grown to appreciate your absence. I remember who I am now and I don’t think I’ll ever forget again. I’m glad. I would never have gotten the chance to become what I am now, which is better than I was.

It’s funny how tables turn. I used to be the one holding the blade of the knife while you held the handle. At first the pain was mine but now it’s all yours and you’re forced to eat it. In quiet moments alone, I know you can’t believe it. You walk around with that fake smile so you can lie to the world and pretend that you’re happy to be his girl. Everything he gave you was hollow but he promised you the world.

It’s not the same when he touches you because the “new-ness” and the excitement is long gone. He doesn’t touch you like I can and he never really could. You lied to yourself by thinking he was good. You close your eyes and when he’s in you it’s only me that you see. The problem is you can’t feel me…not for real and it makes you want to cry. I knew exactly how and when to make love to you. I never got it wrong when I knew when you wanted to get fucked hard instead of romanced. I knew when to kiss you softly and when to hit it hard and pull your hair. He doesn’t know or maybe after he got to fuck he really doesn’t care. I’m not saying that you couldn’t do better than me but it’s obvious that “better” wasn’t him. YOU cheated on him with ME and told me so yourself. It’s too late now because I don’t love you the same and I really can’t help. The fun and games phase is over. Now, when real shit needs to get done you’re suffering in pain because that man and I are not the same.

Lying to yourself because you hate the man you’re with now. You’re in bed looking at him saying to yourself, “Damn. What the fuck! How?” Let me tell you how it happened and how I ended up missing. The bullshit he spit glistened and you listened. I don’t have to say, “Fuck your new man,” because you say that shit yourself. You don’t need my help.

I’ve never kicked dirt on another man just to get with a woman. If she chooses me, it’ll be on my own worth and merit. I prefer it that way. I’ve been hated on in the worst kind of way but I’m better off without the mess at the end of the day. He told you that he could do better. He lied.

*This is dedicated to every person who has ever been hated on by a loser*

That's just me throwing up the middle finger!!!!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Water Flows Under Doors by Keith Kareem Williams (Chapter 1)

***Sneak Peek***

Chapter 1: The Cage

As he swam through the crowd that moved out of the train station, people bumped against and brushed past him as if he wasn’t there. He couldn’t fight the feeling that he would drown in the mob of human bodies. It seemed like everyone else was in a hurry to get where they were going and he was caught underneath a human tidal wave. Their strides were steady whereas he seemed to be stumbling. As he climbed the staircase that lead to fresh air, the sun and sky, Tyler looked at the stone faces that passed him. As he reached the last few steps he walked faster because of the stench of stale piss at the entrance that flooded his nostrils. His feet crunched against broken glass as he slipped on a broken beer bottle. He stepped out into the sunlight and squinted with eyes that had become accustomed to the darkness below. As he made his routine journey home, he exchanged thoughts with people he knew and hard stares with those he didn’t. He could smell chicken and grease as he passed “Mr. Chan’s Chinese Restaurant” flooded with children whose mothers never cooked. Fried chicken wings, oily rice and French fries were the staple of their diets. As he looked at his dirty brown building two blocks away, he nearly bumped into little Linden who had five fingers full of hot sauce and a wax paper bag full of fried chicken wings. Tyler looked at the chicken and shuddered as he thought about the black grease it had been fried in; old enough to make you sick and dirty enough to look like engine oil. It probably hadn’t been changed in weeks because Mr. Chan and his workers knew how to save money as well as how to make it.

“What’s up Tyler? You got a quarter?” he asked as he licked his fingers and then stretched his hand out. “I wanna buy a juice.”

“No problem,” Tyler answered and reached into his jacket pocket to pass him a dollar.

“You want change right?” Linden asked.

“Naw, that’s a’ight. Just buy a soda and leave that paint and water, quarter-water shit alone.” Linden took the money, dodged a car and disappeared into the corner store across the street. Pappo, who paid Jose peanuts to work long hours in his Bodega, would have become a dollar richer but Linden had sticky fingers and would probably steal more than he would pay for. Only twelve and already the youngster was a hustler.

Tyler smiled and moved on. He adjusted the knapsack on his back which used to be filled with books before reality grabbed his life by the throat. Of course the government offered financial aid for those individuals who were unfortunately poor but still academically inclined. However, there were too few provisions for mothers who needed their children to work full time just to continue to suffer barely above intolerable limits. So, the knapsack on Tyler’s back that used to be filled with college textbooks now contained his work uniform. Since four o’clock in the morning Tyler had been on the ramp of John F. Kennedy airport loading and offloading airplanes. He could feel his mind shrivel away as he performed robotic, monotonous tasks where it had once burrowed into books and challenged professors. Now, his knapsack was stuffed with a blue uniform he hated. It was rank with sweat as well as jet fumes that probably caused cancer, along with every other man-made element in the modern world. Also inside his knapsack was a pair of dirty work boots that hurt his feet but were cheap enough to get worn out on the job and not be missed when they had seen their last days of service. Most importantly, right next to those articles of clothing lurked a machete with a short blade because the streets never ever respected nine-to-five wage earners. Tyler would be damned if he had slaved all day just to get robbed of his tiny salary on his way home.

Cigar trash littered the front of building 1003 as wise men sat and stood, here and there, engaged in marijuana induced, green haze meditation. Bush clouds crowned their heads as they stared blankly into oblivion, engrossed in silent contemplation. It was a circle of soldiers on break from the battles they fought diligently every day. Their battleground was the streets in which they waged war every day in a conflict they’d been losing forever.

Every soul in the Brooklyn apartment building was supposed to be broke but a pearl white Lexus was parked right behind a black, convertible Mercedes Benz would lead strangers and the N.Y.P.D. to believe otherwise. Tyler stayed with them for a while to find knowledge not found in any college and then passed through the thick clouds of smoke to get inside. The hand railing on the staircase rattled as if it would break and he found himself looking down to avoid steps weakened by cracks. He exchanged “What ups?” with little men who pretended to be bad guys and little girls in the halls with raggedy, blonde-haired dolls. Reaching the second floor he saw Tracy from the fourth floor tangled up with a stroller in her right arm and her daughter, Stacy, in her left.

“Need help?” he asked and took the stroller out of her arms.

“Yeah, thanks. We need a damn elevator in this building,” she sighed and daintily wiped a few drops of sweat from her forehead with her fingers. She secured little Stacy in her arm as she reached for her keys in her skin-tight jeans pocket. She walked up in front and made Tyler almost stumble more than once while he stared at her full, shapely, lower half. He would always laugh and tell her that she was lucky to be too young for him to touch. Somebody else however had decided that age really wasn’t anything but a number because at sixteen, she already had an eighteen-month-old daughter. Actually, her baby’s father was the twenty-nine-year-old owner of the Lexus parked downstairs. He felt that her fruit had been ripe enough to pick sooner than anyone else had. “Better me than the next man,” Remy would say whenever anyone commented on him sleeping with a fifteen-year-old girl. “At least I can take care of her and I don’t hear Tracy complaining.”

“How come Remy ain’t help you upstairs?” Tyler asked but then wished he had bit his tongue. He really wanted to mention that since Remy more than helped her get pregnant, he should have at least helped her upstairs with their child. Remy knew how far she had to drag the stroller and the baby but Tyler decided that it was best for him to mind his own business. Apparently she agreed because she uncomfortably acted as if she didn’t hear the question.

APARTMENT H6. The baby started crying as Tracy smiled, thanked Tyler and closed her door. Tyler lived on the third floor in the apartment directly below hers so, after standing there for a few seconds after the door slammed hard in his face, he turned and walked downstairs. The little girls must have been jealous of Tracy because her baby doll cried, wet diapers, ate food and breathed for real.

APARTMENT G6. It was a tiny apartment with too many people home and truthfully, outside on heated streets was the closest thing to being alone. He turned his key in the lock and the click echoed down the dirty, dingy, poorly lit hallway. As he pushed the heavy door, Tyler noticed that the chain held it shut. That was a sign that somebody was home which meant that he had no intentions of staying there for long. Annoyed, he rang the half-dead doorbell and waited for someone to answer. He saw the peephole go dark and then met his mother’s angry, stress-filled face as she opened the door.

“Why are you so late and where’s your brother?” she asked as he walked past her with his head down. An argument was inevitable. As he stepped into the living room he watched his step because the only source of light came from the twenty-seven-inch television that sat on a not-too-stable stand against the far wall. A horror movie must have been on because even the scene on the screen was dark.

“I don’t know. I ain’t seen him since this morning,” he answered, and threw his jacket on the beat-up, gray sofa/bed that had been there for as long as he could remember. It had become a permanent fixture in the room just like the paper-thin, sheet-rock walls, the almost impossible to open windows or the creaky wooden floor underneath the heavily trafficked, dusty Oriental rug.

“Where’s your belt? Why your pants gotta be hangin’ off your ass?” she asked. Tyler pretended not to hear her and dragged them down another inch. He didn’t bother to take off his boots as he walked across the rug en-route to the bathroom. His bladder felt like it weighed a ton as he pushed open the squeaky bathroom door. He didn’t bother to close the door behind him because the lock didn’t work properly and he might have been standing in a puddle by the time he got it to close. He didn’t bother to lift the seat either. Growing up in apartments with his mother, and at one time grandmother and two aunts, he had learned to just aim straight rather than the alternative; getting in trouble for leaving the seat up.

“Why is it that the closer you get to the toilet is the more it seems like you have to use it?” Tyler asked himself as he struggled with the button, then the zipper on his jeans. As he used one hand for aim and the other to lean on the cold tiles on the wall, it seemed like he had been standing there for ten minutes already. Finally, he pulled his zip up and turned around only to face his mother behind him with his jacket in her hands.

“You must think there’s a maid around here to pick up all your shit?” she yelled and threw the jacket at him. While he tried to fix his pants, he had no free hand to catch it so it landed on the cold bathroom floor. He looked at the jacket, paused then looked up at her as if to question her sanity.

“Well? Pick it up!” she shouted as he made an attempt to step over and leave it right where it had landed.

“Bitch,” he mumbled, knowing he would live to regret uttering the word. If no one else, she would make sure that he did. It was a term considered taboo when referring to one’s mother.

“What? Who’s a bitch? …,bitch like your father,” and on she went. Once she got started it would take something dramatic to stop her. Sometimes she would start late at night, fall asleep and then pick up where she left off in the morning. As he left the bathroom and grabbed his walkman from inside his jacket, he wished she would just hit him and get it over with. The physical pain he would feel after she was finished was something he could deal with but her mouth, along with the words that erupted from it, were the biggest threat to his sanity.

“…call me bitch,…where was your father when,…brought you into this world,…clothes on your back,…food in your mouth,…you can get the fuck out,…you and your piece-of-shit brother!” Now, besides the hurt he lived with every day, he felt a huge lump in his throat. For every curse that spewed from her mouth he had an answer but to argue his point of view would only make the situation scarier. Just as he knew better than to let her hear him call her a bitch, he also knew that he shouldn’t let her see him put on his earphones given her current frame of mind. He knew this but sometimes, it was the only form of rebellion he was brave enough to attempt. Also, besides his girlfriend, (who had recently become his ex-girlfriend), the music was the only thing that kept him sane. He closed his eyes so he couldn’t see any mad faces in what he considered an insane place. Through his eyes he only allowed a taste of what existed outside them as everywhere curses were mixed with his name. Even though the familiar voices and drums in his ears were too loud for him to hear her coming, he could feel her stomp heavily towards him.

“…when I’m talking to you,” was all he heard as she slapped him so hard that the earphones flew off his head. Before they hit the ground he was up and eye-to-eye with her, his fists clenched tightly. The stinging sensation he felt let him know that if he was as fair-skinned as she was, her hand would have printed out on his face like a violent, primitive, signature. However, he was as dark as his father so the slap only left marks on his spirit, which had already been scarred by bitter memories of a flawed father he didn’t miss. Tyler’s mother looked into his eyes and knew that he was heated enough to hit her back but she also knew that he would never touch her. That would have made him just like his father; something she knew he feared. Although her conscience told her that she was wrong to carry things so far over something as trivial as where he put his jacket, she continued the one-sided argument.

“Oh, so you wanna fight somebody? You wanna hit somebody? Go ahead! Be a little bitch like your father!” she yelled. He didn’t answer. He just put on his jacket and went back into the bathroom. This time he decided to take the time to close the door behind him. The click of the lock sounded like a note of music more powerful than an entire concert. Tyler turned to look in the mirror to see if he was bruised or if she had split his lip.

“If I didn’t look so much like him,” he thought. He hadn’t seen the man in years but he still remembered what his father looked like every time he looked at his own reflection and he was sure that his mother did too, every time she looked at him. As he examined his face he thought about how his father’s friends would always remind him of the resemblance.

“…just like his father,” they would say; alcohol heavy on their breath. If his mother were under the spell of the bottle it would have made it easier for him to accept the way she acted. He knew that somewhere within her sometimes psychotic, always depressed, soul was the woman who used to cradle him in her arms while his father tried to destroy their world. Tyler knew she didn’t mean to act the way she did. He only wished that sometimes they could whisper and still hear each other but she had nowhere else to direct her bitterness. She had to remain humble at work where she was the manager of a clothing store or it would mean the loss of her job and more problems she didn’t need. Rose knew that neither of her sons would hit her the way their father had so many times. Through watery eyes they had seen her beaten bloody and sprawled out in pools of tears too many times. For what she suffered and for her scars, (seen and unseen), she sometimes inadvertently made the physical reminders of her abuser pay for the sins of their father.

“If you leave you better go live with your father ‘cause you ain’t comin’ back in here you ungrateful bastard!” she yelled as Tyler brushed past her and opened the apartment door.

“Yeah, whatever. You say the same shit every time we leave,” he mumbled as APARTMENT G6’s heavy steel door slammed shut behind him.

He stepped out of the dark building and into the darker night. It hadn’t taken long for the sun to abandon the sky. The steel and glass apartment building door slammed noisily behind him. Heavy Hip-Hop baselines pounded from the sound system in Remy’s trunk and practically shook the ground as Tanya, Jasmine and Nawana leaned against the sparkling, recently washed Lexus. In front of the car, an assortment of petty crooks, gamblers, wanna-be-players, thugs and hustlers were engaged in a ritualistic dice game. The dice clacked against the concrete inside the iron circle of players. The longer the dice clicked, clacked and rolled inside the ring was the bigger the dice game became. The dice game was like a beast and just like a beast it became more dangerous as it increased in size. And, just like a beast, if it was touched the wrong way it became deadly and people got hurt. Hard earned money was squeezed to death inside sweaty palms and lost to hot hands. As Tyler waved to the girls he could hear June’s high-pitched voice above everyone else’s as usual.

“ . . .see, the way I see it, bitches ain’t shit. To the day I die I’ll stay sayin’ and believin’ bitches ain’t shit because they stupid.”

“Why you always talking ‘bout ‘bitch this’ and ‘bitch that’?” Nawana asked while she rolled her eyes at June in disgust.

“That’s why I hate his ass,” Tanya added, and turned her head so she didn’t have to look at him. “He just mad ‘cause he don’t get no pussy!”

“Ain’t you got a mother and four sisters? They bitches too?” Jasmine asked and sarcastically waited for his response.

“Well, first of all, I can’t stand my sisters so yeah, they bitches too. Y’all don’t know what it’s like to be the youngest and the only boy. Shit, with all they fat asses around I had to practically fight for food.”

“That must be why you so skinny, you ugly bastard. Look at you, tight white T-shirt and them tight-ass brown jeans, lookin’ like a dirty cigarette,” Nawana laughed loudly and slapped Jasmine on the leg.

“A’ight. What about your moms? She gave birth to your dirty ass and you would stand there and call her a bitch?” Jasmine asked, feeling like she had gained leverage in the debate over ‘bitchery.’

“First of all, I said that by nature bitches is stupid so hell yeah, she a bitch too. I mean look at it. My pops was a player and she knew it and she still went out of her way to fuck wit’ him. She got pregnant for him not once, not twice, not three times, not four times, BUT FIVE TIMES before she stopped fuckin’ with him. She be talkin’ ‘bout how he was her first and she was in love with him but to me she was a dummy ‘cause he ain’t give a shit about her. Matter of fact, my sisters learned how to be bitches by watchin’ her so that makes her the ‘Queen Bitch.’ Matter of fact I shouldn’t even call them bitches ‘cause women is dumber than dogs. A dog got sense enough to bite a master that ain’t treatin’ ‘em right.” At the end of his dramatic, philosophical, politically incorrect speech, every man broke out in roaring laughter while the women twisted their lips and wore frowns.

Tyler moved closer to the center of the circle and watched as Steve, Remy’s right-hand/general, took everybody’s money with a gold grin. Out of vexation one man threw down his hat but picked it right back up when Remy gave him a look that must have made his blood stop running. Tyler watched as Steve shook the dice in his closed fist, released them gracefully and watched them hit the gritty concrete landing four, five and six. Tyler’s thoughts began to wander and he thought about all he could do with the money on the ground. Just then, an arm around his shoulder interrupted his thoughts and brought him back to reality just as fast as one of the gambler’s guns would have. He turned and saw June smiling next to him.

“What the deal baby?” the infamous woman-hater asked. Tyler also knew that June was a troublemaker so it was more than wise to avoid him whenever possible. More than a few people ended up in bad situations because June planted the seeds of stupidity in their brains.

“Ain’t nothin’. What’s goin’ on?” he answered and tried his best not to pay June too much attention while he hoped he would just go away. Tyler just kept his eyes trained on the dice game and all the money at stake.

“Who me? I’m just here fuckin’ wit’ dese bitches. They gonna be the death of me yet. Anyway, I ain’t tryin’ to be nosy or nothin’ but I noticed that you ain’t been to the other end of the block all week. What’s the matter? You tired of fuckin’ Deborah already? Oh wait, my fault. It must be period week. You doin’ the right thing. Stay away from them when they on that shit man. They get all evil and shit. Likely to try some crazy shit like tryin’ to cut a nigga dick off and then I would get on some even more crazy shit and kill a bitch. You know how I get down.”

“Me and Deborah don’t talk no more.”

“Why not? Wasn’t you the one tryin’ to sell me that, ‘… when you fall in love,’ shit just a week ago?”

“Yeah I know. Guess you was right and I was wrong. Fuck it. She got on some ol’ stuck up, ‘You’re not what I’m looking for in life,’ shit so I don’t fuck wit’ her no more.”

“Damn, that’s fucked up. Well I guess it’s a good thing you don’t talk to her no more anyway.”

“What?” Tyler asked while he tried to decipher what June was getting at. “What you mean by that?” he asked and made it clear that he didn’t like the direction the conversation was going. Here he was, telling June that he just broke up with the woman he loved and here was June telling him that it was a good thing. Tyler was in no mood to play head games with anybody. His brain had already been in the blender long enough for one day and if June was trying to be funny, Tyler didn’t see the humor or appreciate the taunting tone in the slender man’s voice.

“Well, I mean that I just saw Patrick goin’ up in her crib.” June answered.

“Who?” Tyler asked with his voice heavily saturated with an intoxicating dose of surprise mixed with traces of jealousy.

“Patrick from around the corner. You know, ‘Mr. Model’ all these bitches around here keep talkin’ about? Pretty nigga always lickin’ his lips?”

“What the fuck he doin’ goin’ upstairs?” Tyler asked himself, barely loud enough for June to hear.

“Ain’t that just like a bitch?” June answered purposely adding a fresh clip into Tyler’s mental machine gun. “Tell you they love you but break up tomorrow and they openin’ they legs fuh some other nigga. DAMN! She probably been plannin’ to fuck that cat for the longest time. That shit ain’t right. See what I’m talking about now? All bitches is FUCKED UP!” That was enough to make Tyler snap and in his insane world, Tyler knew only two reactions to pain. He could either walk the way of silence or become violent. Youth blinded him to any other way. The path of silence left him lost upstairs with his mother only a few minutes before and his blood was too hot for him to stay calm. There was only one way for him to deal with how he was felt. June smiled as a man with a full belly and an easy mind would. He had lit the fuse and now all he had to do was play the back and watch the fireworks. June just disappeared into the crowd as Tyler pushed past those in his way and marched up the block with blood in his eyes and grim determination in his step.

The closer Tyler got to the private houses on the opposite corner was the redder his eyes got. All he could see through that red haze was Deborah hot, naked and wet underneath some pretty boy who probably had something to do with the way she was thinking lately. His heart pounded in his chest and he breathed heavily as he got closer to her house. He thought about how surprised he was on that first day she gave him her own invitation and let him inside. Every other man tried to get her but she actually approached him and let him into her life. From the dirty looks and stares shot tastelessly in his direction, he could feel the jealousy like a bad cold that wouldn’t go away; even among those who called themselves his friends. When they were together, the eyes and expressions on everyone’s face said plainly, “Why him?” or “What’s she doin’ with him?” Now, as he walked up the block without saying anything to anyone, he did notice that all eyes seemed to be a slightly lighter shade of green. Some came to their fences like children at the zoo or aquarium. The streets always had a habit of minding other people’s business. The block either watched closely with envy or felt fortunate to not be in a similar situation. Whether or not they seemed nosy didn’t matter to them because they weren’t going to miss tonight’s main event. He became even angrier at the whole situation when he thought of how he must have been under everyone’s malicious scrutiny. It was as if the neighbors had been conducting some kind of sick, social experiment in which he and Deborah were the test subjects. Patrick now served as the catalyst that would give the spectators the explosive results they desired.

Tyler walked up the steps to Deborah’s house, rang the bell and waited impatiently for someone to answer. After he looked through the three panes of glass in the front door and saw no one come downstairs, he sat down on the top step with one hand on his chin and the other in his jacket pocket. The longer he waited on the cold concrete step was the more his imagination became infected with wild thoughts. Deborah’s bedroom was in the back of the house on the second floor but he could almost swear that he could hear her moaning softly. His ears joined the madness of his mind and imagined they could hear Deborah’s headboard knocking rhythmically against her bedroom wall. He thought about how she would lean her head back and bite her bottom lip when he would hold her. He could almost taste her full lips and as the chilly night breeze blew, he thought he could smell the incense they would burn whenever they made love. That directed Tyler’s thoughts towards Patrick upstairs touching her in ways that brought a burning, fiery feeling to the depths of Tyler’s soul. His blood ran cold even though he could feel his heart pounding as if it would explode out of his chest. He could actually hear it beat like a thousand drums in his ears. Just then he heard footsteps on the stairs inside and he stood up to face the door. As he heard the wooden door at the foot of the stairs inside open, he took a deep breath and waited for whoever would step out to meet him.

The front door opened and Denise, Deborah’s sister, stuck her head out. Her ears still buzzed with the infectious tunes from the cross-cultural, mainstream, happy-go-lucky, music video show she walked away from to answer the door. She was only wearing a pair of shorts and a T-shirt so she didn’t step all the way into the night air that seemed to grow colder as the night grew older. Tyler almost wished Patrick answered the door so he could have beaten him to death right there without going inside to do it.

“Oh, hi Tyler,” Denise greeted him uncomfortably and tried not to look him in the eye. She focused instead on her pink, fuzzy, open-toe slippers and her freshly painted pink toenails. She twisted one of her pigtails nervously while she chewed her bubble gum. Tyler stepped closer to her and noticed that, from the way she held the door, she had no intentions of letting him inside.

“Where’s Deborah?” he asked dryly without a hello, good morning or goodnight just to let her know how serious he was. He moved so close to Denise that he was nose-to-nose with her but she still did not move out of her “guard dog” stance.

“She can’t come out right now. She’s sorta busy,” she told him. There couldn’t have been a more wrong answer short of, “ . . .she’s upstairs fuckin’,” and Denise realized this when a wild look suddenly engulfed his eyes.

“Doin’ what? Who’s upstairs?” he asked and gripped the doorknob to prevent her from slamming it in his face. It was impossible for him not to notice how uncomfortable she was answering his questions, which served only to push him closer to the edge. Once Tyler fell from there, he would want nothing less than blood.

“Me and Deborah,” she stuttered as Tyler moved forward as if she wasn’t there. Denise felt herself rapidly lose ground in a battle that was only the prelude to a larger, more terrible war.

“Who else?” he asked as he pulled the door completely open and pushed her aside. If he was fighting his way into Hell, an army of demons could not have held the gates against him.

“My mother is home too,” she shouted in desperation as he ran up the carpeted stairs without looking back. Denise stood at the front of the stairs with the house door wide open, afraid to even follow him up. To make things worse she remembered that she left the upstairs door unlocked when she came down to answer the doorbell. She wanted to scream as Tyler disappeared through the doorway but found that she was frozen in place without a voice as her stomach twisted in torturous knots.

“What the hell is this? What’s going on?” Deborah’s mother asked as Tyler passed her in the living room sitting on her cellulite-covered ass; on top of her cream, three-thousand dollar leather sofa; in front of her big screen, plasma television; all of it sitting on top of her wall-to-wall, plush carpeting; without wiping his feet on the “welcome” mat. Mrs. Henry got right to the point and, unlike Denise, skipped the plastic pleasantries. Although he hadn’t looked at her face for more than an instant, he did notice that she no longer wore the “merry” mask she usually put on whenever he was around. Tyler wondered if he was seeing her true face because she wasn’t wearing her wrinkle-hiding make-up or because her true self finally leaked from the inside.

“Good! There we go,” Tyler thought to himself. He had always wanted to slap the fake, forced, grin off her face and he felt that this was close enough. A part of him was glad to finally see what her face looked like under the mask and to finally understand how her real eyes saw him. There was also another part of him that mourned the passing of the illusion. That piece of him would have shed tears if it hadn’t become consumed by wrath, obsessed with the destruction of any tea parties and the burning of dollhouses. Tyler knew he was wrong for practically breaking into the Henry’s house but he didn’t care because he had already made himself an unwanted “guest” when he first started seeing Deborah. Besides the anger that now consumed him, he also felt like a fool that tried to belong to something that would never understand or welcome him. Tyler had forced himself into a circle that was never meant for him and he didn’t know what to do when he found himself cast back to the very same place he had tried to escape.

He didn’t bother to search the rest of the house because if Deborah and Patrick weren’t in the living room, he knew exactly where they would be. As he walked up the hallway towards the bedrooms, Mrs. Henry walked briskly in his direction.

“ . . . son of a bitch, . . . knewhewasnothingbutapunk, . . .never liked him, . . .,” she roared. Tyler stopped as he heard giggling coming from inside Deborah’s slightly ajar, bedroom door. He had been with Deborah for almost two years and still, her parents had never allowed him in her bedroom, even if they were home. He wasn’t even allowed near the house when they weren’t home. It was months before Deborah herself let him sneak in and here was Patrick, all relaxed like he lived there. As much as Mr. and Mrs. Henry pretended to like him, Tyler always found himself sneaking in to see their daughter like a thief. He stood there like someone had just dropped a bucket of cold water on his head, not only to wake him but also to ridicule him. Mrs. Henry cursed at her younger daughter for letting this, “ . . . street thug, good-for-nothing, bastard,” into her house. He stood on the brink now and the pressure of the situation almost made him turn around and leave but the devil on his left shoulder strangled the angel on his right shoulder while whispering that it was too late to turn back now. The voice whispered that he would never again be able to sleep if he didn’t look inside the bedroom. As Tyler lifted his foot and kicked the door wide open, a jeep passed by playing music so loud that it shook the walls and unknowingly served as a grim herald for his arrival. All the laughter stopped but the sudden quiet that replaced it was louder.

“Tyler?” Deborah gasped and looked at him as if he was the Grim Reaper himself. Her mouth hung open while she fumbled for words and realized that none were the right ones. A jealous boyfriend who had recently become an ex-boyfriend foaming at the mouth plus a potential replacement in her bedroom at the same time could only equal disaster.

“Sorry,” was the only thing she could think to say after the silent, dead air between them became unbearable. She suddenly felt guilty and ashamed. Lately she had found every way to avoid Tyler but as she watched him standing there quietly without saying a word, mixed emotion washed over her. She knew that she had once loved him in her own way but she didn’t know if she still did. Deborah understood that once you love a person, even if you fall out of love, that person still haunts your heart. She simply didn’t know if Tyler haunted her enough for it to matter. It wasn’t as if she and Patrick were having sex but she imagined how it must have looked and how Tyler must have felt. She knew how she would have felt if the situation had been reversed. Her eyes fell to the ground and as she stared at the ocean-blue carpet on her bedroom floor, Patrick chose the worst possible time to prove he was a “tough guy.”

“Sorry? Sorry for what?” he asked her. “Who does he think he is running up in here and disrespecting your parents’ house like this? Fuck him!” he shouted and flashed his hand at the man standing in the doorway like, “Death.” Tyler’s mind flashed back to the events of his particularly disastrous day. He had kept the beast caged behind bars that had started to bend long ago. Now there was space enough for it to fit through and only five feet of air stood between him and “Mr. Model.” Now, Tyler would make it his job to show Patrick why wild things were best left sleeping on the opposite side of the gates. Tyler glimpsed at his own reflection in Deborah’s bedroom mirror and barely recognized himself.

In Kindle and Paperback

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bring Me Back by Keith Kareem Williams (Preview)

Bring Me Back

By Keith Kareem Williams

PART 1 - It Echoes… the Dream…That is…

“Shoot him!” were the words that boomed from the deep male voice that still echoed in his ears but it was her beautiful face that haunted his sleep. The look in those pretty green eyes as they filled with tears, right before she pulled the trigger had become a permanent fixture of his nightly nightmare. His blood ran feverishly hot and caused him to sweat profusely in his sleep. The look in those pretty green eyes as they filled with tears, right before she pulled the trigger had become a permanent fixture on his nightly nightmare. His blood ran feverishly hot and caused him to sweat profusely in his sleep. His body shook uncontrollably as he remembered how the slugs felt as they tore through his flesh. Over and over he re-lived the same scene in his dreams. Each time he felt like he died, again and again. He choked on the deep darkness of troubled sleep until a feminine hand on his shoulder brought him back to the safety of the bright lights of his room.

“Wake up. You’re dreaming again,” she said. Her voice sounded like it was coming from far away although she stood right above him in his hospital bed. Rome Wade opened his eyes to Magda Riley’s warm, pleasant smile.

Magda was his favorite nurse. Her touch calmed him and her voice was like the sunrise after a night of terrors. She worked the night-shift so he knew that it couldn’t be morning yet. He turned his head and a quick glance out of the window confirmed that it was still night. The darkness imposed its will heavily on the few lights that still illuminated the windows of the buildings in the big city. Because of his recurring dream, the wee hours of the nights had taken on the persona of a deadly living thing to him that heralded terrors he couldn’t seem to escape. He turned away from the window and found comfort in the sadness of Magda’s eyes as she looked down at him with genuine worry and concern. There was also a veil of grief that covered her face. This was because whenever she looked at him, she remembered her own son that had been gunned down violently in the streets, years before. She had never truly recovered from the death of her only child. Rome’s eyes reminded her of her son’s so much that she had taken it upon herself to give him extra, tender, loving care above all others on her floor. The other nurses teased her for babying him but she didn’t mind. For her, it was a chance to do something that she hadn’t been able to do for her own child. It was therapy for her. Every night Rome would toss violently in his sleep. Every night Magda would bring him back from the place where his recent past tormented him. Her soothing voice and her touch anchored him to the real world and kept him from drifting away to be claimed by his own dark thoughts.

“Thanks for waking me,” Rome told her, putting his hand on her hand. She delicately wiped the sweat from his brow with a clean cloth.

“Same dream?” Magda asked.

“Always,” sighed Rome.

“She really did a number on you didn’t she?” Magda asked. Many times, he’d described to her exactly what he dreamt of every night.

“Yeah, I guess she really did. You know, I used to get turned on every time I even thought about Gia. Now, the only time I can even remember her face is in this damn dream,” he said.

“You told me that it was her that shot you. I don’t know why you don’t just tell the police,” Magda said, shaking her head.

“I can’t,” he answered.

“And from what you tell me, she shot you on another man’s command? What loyalty do you owe this girl? She shot you so he could leave your body to rot in an alley in the streets,” she reminded him.

“I’m not dead yet though,” he answered.

“No, but you could have been. You almost were. Why are you still protecting people who tried to kill you?” Magda asked.

“Because I have to,” he answered.

“Why? Why do you have to?” Magda demanded to know. It was the first time he had seen her anywhere near angry. His stubbornness had been the main cause but unbeknownst to him, there were many other mixed emotions tied into her shift in temperament as well. She was also slightly jealous of this “girl” that he would often ramble on and on about.

“Because I plan to handle this myself, in my own way,” he said, hoping that her mood would lighten. It didn’t.

“So they can finish what they started? Or, maybe you succeed and end up spending the rest of your life in prison for murder?” she continued to scold him in her own quiet manner. She still hadn’t raised her voice but he could feel the fury in her tone.

“I’m sorry to make you worry about me so much. I know you really mean it. You’ve done enough. I’m grateful for how you take care of me. I see the way you look at me,” he told her. Magda blushed and couldn’t look at him. She wondered if he sensed the times when she looked at him with more than just motherly eyes? The sudden wave of embarrassment that came crashing down on her almost made her leave the room. Instead, she composed herself, stayed by his side and tried her best to make him as comfortable as possible.

Meanwhile, Rome was comforted and soothed by her bedside manner. His own mother had died when he was very young. After that, his father had remarried three times with much younger women who all treated him like wicked stepmothers. He hated how his childhood had turned into a cheesy, cliché mockery of a fairy-tale. Now, as he lay in a hospital bed recovering from gunshot wounds, Magda reminded him of how his mother used to treat him for the short time he had her in his life. He felt like a pervert because there were times when he became aroused as Magda cared for him even though he believed he shouldn’t have been. She was a much older woman and came very close to being old enough to have a son his age. He wondered if he had developed some sick type of Oedipus complex. As much as he had tried to keep his intentions innocent, the way her nurse’s uniform hugged her body, top and bottom, excited him. The bright white of the material made her seem pure and angelic. He tried his best to control the random sexual thoughts that entered his mind when he looked at her. It felt like the worst kind of sin to even think about corrupting this woman who had showed him nothing but kindness.

“Do you want me to stay? I can read to you until you fall asleep again if you’d like?” she asked.

“Yes, I’d like that. Your voice keeps the nightmares away,” he answered. Magda smiled, sat down in the chair next to his hospital bed and began to read softly to him until he drifted off to sleep again.

PART 2 - Clean

Magda could have let the next shift of nurses take care of Rome’s sponge-bath but she preferred to do it herself. It relaxed her and reminded her of the times she had done the same for her husband when his kidneys had failed him, leaving him almost helpless when his condition became grave. It felt better in many ways to care for this young man for many reasons. In the past, she had nursed her husband to ease his suffering as he died. This time, her efforts brought a young man who probably should have died from his injuries closer to being well again. It was very different from the time when, no matter how hard she tried to hold on, she had felt her husband slip closer and closer to that final darkness that we are all guaranteed to see eventually. It was beautiful to watch someone bloom instead of wither and it was magical to use her hands for healing instead of struggling to hold on.

Rome kept his eyes off of Magda as she bathed him. He tried his best to keep his thoughts clean and innocent the entire time. Still, it had been such a long time since he’d been so close to a woman that he couldn’t help but get excited. He imagined that it was her soft hands and not the sponge on his bare flesh. He looked at her but quickly turned away. The sight of her breasts squeezed against the front of her uniform as she bent over him was too much. He shut his eyes and made up his mind not to look at her again until she was finished. Gia still haunted his dreams but he found himself more and more attracted to Magda despite the fact that she was the total opposite of the woman he had loved.

Magda was a pretty woman even though she was also much older than Gia. It made Rome wonder just how good-looking she had been before time had taken its toll on her. He imagined that she must have truly been something to behold. Even with the age lines on her face, she was still amazing. Also, her spirit burned brighter than anyone he had ever known. He figured that was the explanation for his strange attraction to her. He had a lust for her light. He had fallen in love with the deep sadness that had always seemed to surround Gia. He understood it and he had been able to relate to it. Before she had riddled him with bullets, he believed he had found a kindred soul. He wondered if he only liked Magda because her pleasant optimism was refreshing in comparison to what he had been obsessed with before. His foolish, undying hunger for Gia had not diminished but the seeds of his desire for Magda had been planted. He wondered what those seeds might blossom into. He didn’t see how following his instincts and seducing Magda would end up growing into anything good.

While Rome tried to tame his own passions and make sense of his emotions, Magda wrestled with her own feelings. She noticed his gaze when it landed on her breasts and she saw how quickly he uncomfortably looked away. She was flattered rather than embarrassed and made no effort to close the two top buttons that she was certain left her uniform way too open. She liked his eyes on the soft flesh of her cleavage. It had been a long time since a young man had looked at her the way Rome had started to. It had been far too long since she’d felt like a young woman. She’d grown far too accustomed to having old men gawk and grope at her. It had been far too long since she’d been this close to a man she was attracted to. She openly admitted to herself for the first time that she was hungry for him. She studied the bullet wounds on his body as she bathed him. The scars told the story of his near-death experience. It was nothing short of a miracle that he had survived. It was nothing short of a miracle that he had survived. Magda put the sponge down and used her fingers to touch the where places where Gia had blown holes in him. He had healed nicely. As she ran her wet fingers down his stomach, her eyes became fixed between his legs as she realized that he was once again well in other areas. The longer she kept her hands on him was the larger his erection grew. She could feel herself become damp in her most feminine place as she watched it throb as it swelled. Rome’s eyes were still closed but she wondered if he could sense how she stared at it hungrily. It was like watching a tree grow unnaturally fast, right in front of her eyes. It had been too long since she’d tasted a man or felt one deep inside her. Her body ached for that feeling again and before she could stop herself, she reached out and grabbed him by the shaft. It had been too long since she’d done something bold and impulsive.

Rome gasped as he felt Magda grip him firmly. He touch could not have been mistaken for being innocent or inadvertent. She wrapped her delicate fingers around him with purpose. He opened his eyes wide, almost believing he had fallen asleep. Their eyes met for an awkward moment and he expected her to let go. She did not. Instead, she began to stroke it slowly as she looked into his face, yearning for his approval to do more. He raised his hand slowly, nervously. He wanted to hold her head and guide her lips to his tip. The look in her eyes said that that was exactly what she was longing for him to do. The danger of being discovered caused her heart to pound in her chest. Her chest heaved as she looked over her shoulder to make sure that the room door was still closed. Rome put his fingers in her thick, black hair but then he hesitated. He pulled his hand away and turned away from her. Magda was disappointed and embarrassed. She let go of him and felt like a silly, horny, old woman.

After reading Part 1........would you like to read more?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father’s Day by Keith Kareem Williams

Happy Father’s Day

By Keith Kareem Williams

Father’s Day 2011 began for me officially as soon as I stepped out of my bedroom this morning. My son and daughter raced down the hallway, bear-hugged me and nearly knocked me down as I stumbled sleepily to the bathroom. To be loved is an amazing feeling. Even after al of the scolding, discipline, “frustrated dad faces” and all, they still view me as the best father alive. (They told me so themselves) To be loved unconditionally is inspirational and moves the soul.

These moments are times that I have to cherish. I’m sure there will come a day when they’re both busy with their own adult lives. I understand that a time will come when they won’t be able to take the time and effort to make six different Father’s Day cards by hand, just to make sure that they express every good feeling that they have for their dear old dad. There will be a time when it will be greeting cards from the pharmacy and pleasant phone calls instead…maybe even just emails or text messages. That is why I make sure I store these moments safely away in the sacred vaults of my memory. There will come a time when they’ll be worth more than any treasure. These are the day that will be more valuable than the total sum of the days that will be left in my life, if I’m fortunate enough to make it to old age.

Yes, I’m a single-father so I receive praise for it….praise that I don’t necessarily feel that I deserve. If I had abandoned my children I would not have been a man. To leave their lives to random chance would have made me inhuman. I understand why I’m viewed as special for my status. There are too many scumbags who don’t care enough about their children in the world. I just feel that I’m only doing what I SHOULD be doing. Both of my children are pieces of me. They are my immortality and the Heaven that is closest to me.

What’s amazing is how both my children love me, in spite of my imperfections, Make no mistake, they may be very young and may never express it to me directly but they know I am flawed. (All children know their parents are) No one has ever, or will ever, know me better than my children.

I appreciate the way they see me for many reasons. I try my best and I’m grateful for the credit everyone gives me for it but I am also my own worst critic. I’m brutally honest with myself. As much as I have a positive influence on their lives, I also recognize that there are areas where I have failed them. I’m proud that I’ve managed to take care of them on my own but I don’t necessarily wear the title of “single-father” as a badge of honor. Children deserve a father AND a mother. They suffer as a direct result of decisions I have made as well as my flawed judgment. There are a million ways that I could have handled things differently I blame myself for more than anybody that ISN’T God would ever understand. The best I can do now is be the father that they need and pray that it is enough. It is not all bad though. Along my journey, “LIFE” has put many surrogate moms, godmothers and female guardian angels for them into my life that I know they’ll be fine. Even some of my crazy ex’s would throw down their lives for my babies. Even though I couldn’t get along with THEM, I’ll always love them for that. Those are remnants from a time when I was desperate to provide a mother figure for them. I’ve learned my lesson though. Any woman that knows my children personally should understand how important she must be to me to have earned that.

Like I said earlier this week, as far as the praise and accolades for my writing goes, I cherish it. It lets me know that I’m on the right path. It feeds my ego constructively and fuels my talent. However, as far as “bottom lines” go, I’m mainly in this financially to create revenue for my children that will outlive me. A job won’t do that. No salary on earth will do that. Once I’m gone, that’s it. The source of the money would die with me. With my novels, screenplays etc. even when I’m cold in the ground, residual income and royalty checks will be my legacy to help them along in life. (Sometimes grown women don’t understand my drive.)At their young age, my children understand what I do. It echoes and resonates whenever they speak about me. I’m proud of that. “My dad the writer” is the title that I claim like a badge of honor because my kids don’t look outside our doors, desperate for role models. I’m not sure if I have the hang of being a husband or even a good boyfriend. (I’m too neglectful. LOL) The daddy thing is what I’m more concerned with. I sleep at night with the feeling that I’ve done something right.

PS, I'd like to say that I love everyone who wished me a Happy father's Day today. I appreciate each & every one of you who called, sent a text, inboxed me, tweeted me, emailed me or posted a message on my Facebook wall. Today was a good day & you helped make it that way.

Friday, June 10, 2011



By Keith Kareem Williams

Why is it necessary that I have to constantly fight people for my own happiness?

“Selfishness” is a disease that I feel like I was put here to eradicate…at least out of my circle. I won’t do ANYTHING for a person that I KNOW they wouldn’t do for me. Selfishness is a sickness worse than any plague because so many people are infected with it. I don’t mind because I have the cure. A healthy dose of GTFOH with that is called for!

“Greed” is a monster that I’ll put hands on and destroy its territory until it starves. Greed won’t survive around me because I won’t be used, hoodwinked or ripped off. I’ve learned from the generations of people before me. I won’t make the same mistakes. Come correct or don’t come at all. Greed has no place over here because it won’t find it easy to exist around me.

“Hate” has its place in the world but it’s an exercise in futility to direct any towards me. I absorb it and feed off of it. It’s a permanent part of my diet. It doesn’t make me angry and it doesn’t make me sad. I grow stronger the longer you send it at me. Thank you. It motivates me and drives me to make your hate grow until it consumes you and I can roll your ashes in a cigar to smoke you.

“Mind Tricks” don’t work on me. I’m immune because my brain is too strongly constructed. I’ll make them fall into the same traps they set for me. I don’t get caught up in politics that don’t affect or concern me. I fight under my own banner and go to war waving my own flag. The only clique I need is the one that’s always with me.

“Obstacles” I don’t fear at all. If a mountain blocks my path, I’ll weather it down like time until it’s just a pile of sand. Determination and diligence on this journey is required to win it all. If I get discouraged then I’ll lose for sure.