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Monday, November 16, 2020

"Hurricane Love 2" PROLOGUE


The sun rose on a deserted Caribbean beach and the calm, blue waters were a welcome sight to Gwen and Rowan as they stood in the shade of one of the few palm trees that still remained in the wake of the hurricane that had just slammed into the island, just days before. The tropical storm had almost claimed both of their lives and as they stood side-by-side, they were both grateful that they had survived.

Gwen was saddened by what she saw as she leaned on Rowan and rest her head on his shoulder. Debris washed up on the beach told part of the story of what the storm had destroyed. Bits and pieces of fishermen’s boats decorated the sand. So much devastation and destruction was a sight that she would never forget. She thought about all of the people who had lost their businesses and their homes.

Rowan’s mother had told him about the hurricanes she had experienced as a girl, growing up in Jamaica but, he didn’t remember any of her stories describing anything as terrible as what he had just experienced. He had a story to tell his children one day for sure.

“Are you okay?” Rowan asked Gwen. He noticed that she had been quiet the whole ride to the beach and she hadn’t said more than two words since they got there.

“I’m just thinking about how hard this hurricane hit the island. How are people going to recover from all this?” Gwen asked with tears in her eye.

“They’re Jamaicans. Slavery and oppression didn’t break them. English colonialism couldn’t break them. They’ll recover. They’re too stubborn and tough not to,” he reassured her.

Rowan took Gwen’s hand and they walked down the beach, closer to the shoreline together. They stopped, spread a beach blanket on the gorgeous sand and sat down together. They watched the gentle waves meet the sand as the sun climbed higher in the sky. Normally, the beach would have been packed with tourists on vacation and locals earning a living but, Gwen and Rowan found themselves all alone. Most of the tourists were long gone, back in their homes, wherever they from, safe in places that they came to Jamaica to escape from. With the tourists gone, or still too terrified to venture outside of their hotels, the locals were home as well, as they tried to rebuild their homes and their lives.

Gwen slipped out of her oversized Bob Marley T-shirt and laid on her back in her sexy, black bikini. She desperately wanted to relax but she felt as if the happy moment she was supposed to be enjoying wasn’t going to last. Ever since she had randomly run into Rowan, all kinds of feelings that she believed were long gone had started to haunt her. She thought about how falling in love with him all over again could end tragically, just as it had the first time.

“What’s wrong?” Rowan asked as he took off his shirt.

“I’m just thinking,” Gwen answered as she lowered her sunglasses, not just to shield her eyes from the glaring sunlight but to also hide them from his gaze. She was afraid that he might look into her eyes and snatch her soul.

“Thinking about what?” he asked. Rowan knew better than to try to guess what was on a woman’s mind. Men usually made a mess of that, including him.

“What is this?” Gwen asked as she turned her head to face him, her eyes hidden safely behind the dark tint of the lenses of the designer frames.

“I don’t understand what you mean,” Rowan answered.

“This thing between us…is it real or is it temporary?” Gwen asked.

Rowan leaned in and kissed Gwen gently on her soft lips. “I don’t know…it feels real to me,” he said.

“Yes, for now…it feels real…but what happens when we go back home to our lives? What happens when we leave Jamaica behind?” Gwen asked.

“I don’t know,” Rowan answered honestly as he lay down beside her on the beach blanket.

As they soaked in the sun, they both wished that they could stay there forever. In that moment, their bond felt unbreakable but they both worried about what would happen once their time was up and the vacation was over.

“I don’t want this to end,” Rowan whispered as he soaked up the rays of the Caribbean sunshine as he lay beside Gwen.

“What do you mean?” Gwen asked. She understood the words that escaped his lips but she wanted to hear his heart.

“I chose wrong. I didn’t see how I could be with you the way I wanted to be, without being so close to you. I didn’t see how I could put my all into my career and have anything left for us. I made a mistake before. I know that now,” said Rowan.

“You couldn’t abandon your dreams…not for me…not for anyone. No one should ever ask you too,” said Gwen.

“I know…but I didn’t have to choose. I was afraid that I would have to. I was afraid that you would make me, but I was wrong,” Rowan answered.

“How can you be so sure? Maybe I would have made you choose. Maybe, it might have been too hard to love you long distance,” said Gwen sadly.

“If that was true, we wouldn’t be here right now, on this beach, together like this,” Rowan insisted.

“And what if this thing, whatever it is between us, just goes away…just like it did the last time?” Gwen asked.

“It won’t,” Rowan tried to reassure her.

“Are you sure?” Gwen asked. She didn’t want to get her feelings hurt because of unrealistic expectations. What Rowan insisted would not happen had already happened once before so, she wasn’t completely convinced, for obvious reasons.

“I missed you too much for this to be a temporary thing…a one-time thing,” said Rowan nervously. “I mean, do you want it to be a one-time thing?” he asked.

“No, of course not,” Gwen answered as she rolled over and hugged him tightly. “I just don’t want you rushing into any type of commitment, or situation, or relationship,” Gwen started to say but Rowan cut her off by leaning close and pressing his lips to hers.

As they kissed passionately under the hot sun on that lonely, beautiful Caribbean beach, Rowan gave Gwen his answer. She felt his strong hands on her body as he pulled her close and that made her shiver. Gwen remembered how his touch had felt before and every time he touched her, she wanted him more.

Gwen felt Rowan skillfully slip his hand underneath her bathing suit and caressed her breasts, slowly. Her nipples stiffened and he squeezed them just enough to make her gush between her legs, eager with anticipation. He must have known that because, his fingers found their way there next.

Rowan felt how wet Gwen was and it excited him. He listened to the tranquil sound of her moans mixed with the waves a few feet further down the beach, not too far from their toes. As he climbed on top of her, the warm sun was on his back, like a thousand sweet kisses. As he kissed Gwen’s neck, he loved the way she smelled, like cocoa butter and candy.

Gwen pulled down her top to expose her breasts. She wanted Rowan to see all of her as she bathed in his shadow. She saw the way his eyes devoured her and it made her whole body tingle. She reached down between Rowan’s legs to see if he was as excited as she was and quickly discovered that he was. She felt his girth, and length and didn’t want to wait another moment to feel him deeply.

“I want you,” Gwen whispered as she pulled down Rowan’s shorts.

“I want you too,” Rowan growled as he parted her juicy thighs.

Rowan didn’t take Gwen’s bathing suit bottoms off. Instead, he pulled them to the side so he could slowly, gently slip inside. The way she moaned has as he made love to her made his heart race. Sex is always different for a man when he’s with a woman who he truly loves. Rowan loved Gwen more than any other woman he had ever been intimate with and he never wanted to let her go. She made him feel greedy as he buried himself inside her with slow, deep strokes. She felt like more than just an ordinary woman. She made him weak in ways that scared him but strong in ways that he craved.

Gwen nearly got swept away in the intense pleasure but she managed to remain present and in the moment. She felt every kiss on her skin and every inch Rowan gave her. She felt all of his love and welcomed it, with open arms and open thighs. She looked up and became hypnotized by the passion in his eyes. She gripped his shoulders tightly when he finally exploded inside her. As he came, she moaned his name as she drained him until he eventually pulled out and collapsed beside her.

For a long while, they didn’t speak. They just stared out at the ocean and the calm waves that broke against the clean, sandy beach. It was so peaceful that the silently, mutually agreed not to disturb it, especially since the day had been almost perfect.

“I don’t want to let you go,” Rowan told Gwen as the sky turned orange as the sun began to set.

“So, don’t,” Gwen said and squeezed Rowan tightly.

Copyright © 2020 Keith Kareem Williams

All rights reserved.

I hope you've enjoyed the Prologue of my next scheduled release, "Hurricane Love 2." If you haven't read the first book, click HERE to check out "Hurricane Love."


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Welcome to July 2020

Today marks the unofficial halfway point of the 2020 calendar year and there are a few things that I’ve learned so far. These things are things that I’ve been fighting against for years but the world had other plans for me, and my stubbornness. This covid-19 pandemic has FORCED me to sit still. Under normal circumstances, I’d be running around, constantly hustling to make things happen. I always felt as if that was necessary in order for me to see any progress. In fact, I believed that so wholeheartedly that I actually manifested that reality. I wasn’t able to earn the money I needed to earn unless I was pushing myself to the point where it was actually unhealthy, physically, mentally or spiritually. For years, family, friends and even my readers would beg me to get rest. Thus plague on the world forced me to do just that when people close to me couldn’t even convince me.
When the world got put on “time out,” I finally had all the time in the world to do just what I’ve always wanted to do, which was to sit still and just write. I did the complete opposite because I felt lost. My regular routine was out of whack and I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself at first, so I fell into procrastination. I should have written five new books by now. (I’ve written two though so I’m kinda proud of that.) I had to accept that the “old normal” was toxic to me. I’ve evolved and I’ve been able to still maintain what I need to maintain without killing myself. They key to that has been faith. Faith that opportunities will come to me if I remain focused and consistent. I believe that good things will happen and then they do. I don’t panic or behave as if I fear struggle so, I don’t. I am finally realizing that I have the ability to create my own reality. I am recognizing how blessed I truly am to have folks who go so hard to support me and my work.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always operated and functioned in a state of chaos, which is powerful in a way. It’s magic to take chaos and organize it into tangible things but, I definitely need to be more organized. The world is already chaotic. It’s a tall task to make sense of it on most days without me adding more of that to my life. I’ve decided to be more deliberate, methodical and consistent with my efforts to continue to grow my career.
Procrastination is the enemy of progress and consistency is one of the major keys to any semblance of success.

***I'm really grateful for all of the love and support everyone has been has been showing my latest romantic/erotic novella, "Hurricane Love."***

Click HERE if you'd like to order an autographed paperback copy directly from me.

Click HERE if you would like to read it on Kindle.

I also accept CashApp. You can send $12.72 to $reemafterdark for an autographed copy but PLEASE remember to include your shipping info in the notes. Otherwise, I have no idea where to ship your book. (If you forget, you can email a screenshot of your purchase and your shipping info to )

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Toll

I used to always wonder why I always feel so tired and exhausted after I finish a project. I had always assumed that my fatigue was the result of lack of sleep but recently, I’ve come to a completely different realization. When a person creates from a place that originates from their heart and soul, there is a toll.
It is one thing to follow trends, mimic whatever is popular and copycat others but, it is a completely different thing to create something original, thoughtful, created with passion that is also unique. Being that type of artist or creator comes with a price. The more time I spend creating is the more I become drained and the more time I need to recover. Those quiet moments that I need to spend alone to recharge are often misinterpreted as me being distant, or unavailable.
I am starting to believe that people who aren’t actively engaged in being creative on a regular basis simply can’t relate. Every time I sit down to write I pay the price, willingly.

Click HERE to order an autographed copy of "Time Doesn't Stop for Broken Clocks."

Click HERE to order the ebook version for Kindle.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Passing Time

Passing the Time
Hey guys. I realize that most of our lives have changed drastically since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. I'm sure that we realize that life will never quite be the same again. That is a very heavy thing. I really hope that all of you guys are healthy and safe. I'm not a doctor, or a scientist so I can't reassure you, or tell you that everything is going to be okay. I'm not a politician so I can't do anything to improve your quality if life. But, what I CAN do is give you something to maybe take your mind off of all the stress and the horrific news. I can share my work and give you a momentary mental break from it all.  I am going to be sharing chapters from previously published work and also, NEW books that I am working on. If you enjoy the work, please consider signing up at ANY tier you can afford. That will help to keep me from having to go OUTSIDE to sell books. Love y'all. 

Here's a sample from a book I plan to release this year. For those of you who have already read, "The Prerequisites of Perdition," you will be excited to see that the book didn't quite end the way you thought it did. Here is the prologue of the follow-up novella and a sneak peek at the 1st chapter. Enjoy. 

-Prologue -
“Quickly, the hallway is empty. We have to go NOW!” Brenda told the nurse and the orderly she had bribed to help her.
“I don’t know about this. I could lose my job. If we get caught…if I get caught helping you…I could lose my career,” the nurse complained nervously in a thick Russian accent as her heart raced in her chest. She had never been much of a risk-taker or a rule-breaker and there was, about to help some stranger sneak a gravely wounded man out of the hospital.
“Well I already paid you and you already took my money so it’s a little too late for this chicken shit now bitch!” Brenda snapped at the nurse in a muted, harsh whisper through gritted teeth.
“Hey, hey, hey. Take it easy,” the orderly told Brenda as he put his hand gently on her shoulder and pulled her away from the nurse who had begun to tremble terribly like a leaf in a hurricane.
“I’m not gonna take it easy. We have to get him out of here right now!” Brenda snarled as she slapped the orderly’s hand off of her shoulder. He stood almost a foot taller than her but she wasn’t intimidated by his height or the width of his shoulders. She was far more afraid of her estranged husband and what he would do if he discovered that Nash was still alive.
The nurse continued to quiver where she stood as she wrung her chubby, pale hands together nervously and stared down the empty hospital hallway as if she expected to be discovered at any moment. The money Brenda had paid her was more than she made in six months on the job, even with overtime but, she still couldn’t afford to get fired, or even worse, lose her career.
“Don’t worry Ruby. I’ll wheel him out. You just make sure that this I.V. is hooked up and good so she can travel with him and I’ll take it from there.
Ruby nodded, relieved, despite the harsh stare from Brenda who felt as if she was being shortchanged. She had wanted Nurse Ruby to come along for at least part of the ride to help her keep Nash alive but it didn’t seem as if the woman she had paid handsomely had the stones or the nerve for something so risky.
“You can move him now. He should be stable for a little while but you need to get him to someone who knows what they’re doing quickly or he might not make it,” said Ruby once her task was done.
“Thanks for nothing,” Brenda sneered. “Let’s go,” she told the tall, dark, burly orderly in the green scrubs and they were off to the freight elevator to spirit an unconscious Nash out of the hospital before the detectives came back to ask more questions about how he had been shot.
-Part 1-
Almost Dead
“I was dead for five minutes. For three hundred seconds I was gone. They tell me that one EMT refused to give up on me and eventually brought me back to life but, since I’ve been back, I don’t feel like myself. It’s like I left some part of me somewhere else. I should be dead. I think about that every moment and every breath I take, but I’m not. I’m not sure why I’m still here but I do know that there is one man that is going to regret that I am.”
Those were the thoughts that ran through Nash’s mind as he lay flat on his back, on a bed that wasn’t his own as he stared up at the peeling paint on the ceiling of a room he didn’t recognize. As far as he could guess, it had been a whole month since Brenda had secretly smuggled him out of the hospital. As per the procedure with all gunshot victims, the police had been asking questions and it would have only been a matter of time before the wrong people found out that Nash hadn’t died. A sniper’s bullet had barely missed his heart.
***I hope you enjoyed this and I can't wait to share more. Be well. Stay safe.***

Please show your love and support by clicking HERE and subscribing to my Patreon page at ANY tier you can afford. I'll be posting chapters from all of my books there along with NEW stories created exclusively for the page. 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Writing “Time Doesn’t Stop for Broken Clocks” Part 1: From Singularity to Trinity

Writing “Time Doesn’t Stop for Broken Clocks”
Part 1: From Singularity to Trinity

Well, well, well….as I write even more and more of this story, it really has evolved into WAY MORE than what I originally intended…and that is a GREAT thing. About a week ago, I realized that I’m going to have to seriously update the synopsis I wrote for the back cover. (See? THAT is EXACTLY why I try to wait until I’m almost finished with a book to write one.) What I bleed onto these pages is almost always fluid and changes often.

Originally, I intended to write about the struggle between two central characters who were trying desperately to love each other without fear stopping them the way it had in the past. However, as is the case with most stories, a few more characters crashed the party with voices so loud that I couldn’t ignore them. They deserved and demanded to be heard in such a way that I had no choice but to make them a part of the story. They belonged in it and now that I’ve added them, it is THEIR story as much as it was the story of the two characters I started out with. I haven’t leaked much of the book yet so I know that this isn’t making a ton of sense so, let me explain.

Years ago, when I first started writing this book, Gracia was the main focus of Keon’s hopes and desires. He desperately wanted her in his life and the book was going to be about him trying to convince her just how much he loved her. As I wrote the story, another woman named Georgia appeared on the pages very early on which let me know that she was MEANT to be there. I haven’t even written the chapter where another character named Sadiya makes HER first appearance but I feel her approaching. She has a powerful presence so I know that she BELONGS on these pages. Her character binds, balances and grounds the whole story. So, I went from having one heroine/love interest to having THREE. (And NO…it didn’t evolve that way to provide unnecessary drama or to gift the male protagonist with a harem of his own.) I asked myself WHY this happened and it didn’t take long for me to figure it out.

Those of you who’ve read a decent chunk of my body of work already know how the events that unfold on my pages are either metaphors for real life OR, laced with metaphors I use as poetic devices to make sense out of real life. I asked myself why I had shifted from writing about one female protagonist linked powerfully to the male protagonist to making the story much more complicated with TWO more. Each of the three women are different from each other in certain ways but, there are qualities that they share that make them warped fun house mirror reflections of each other. That’s when I realized that, even though I’ve been writing DIFFERENT women on these pages...metaphorically...those three individual women represent the SAME woman at different stages of her personal growth and evolution. That revelation and realization was so profound for me that I haven’t stopped writing since.

I can’t wait to give you my latest offering from my heart and soul, translated by my pen.

*** See you soon with some free-styled fiction to keep you reading while I continue to work on all of these new books. ***

Click HERE to pre-order your copy.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Life Update and "God of the Ring" Prologue

Hey folks. It's been a LONG while since I've updated my blog and for THAT, I apologize. As usual, I've been buried under work but, this time, a big reason for my prolonged absence has been my complicated, insane, movie-like personal life. I'm still trying to decide how much of it, if any, I feel comfortable sharing. I'll just say that I found an old love again, and before I had a chance to really embrace it, old, familiar issues between myself and a woman I really did love deeply caused me to end things. Sometimes you grow and evolve but, not nearly enough to rekindle old flames into anything sustainable. As the saying goes, "You shouldn't water dead flowers." Eh, I'll probably write about it in a book. Some of the highs and the lows I experienced feel as if they belong on the pages of "Time Doesn't Stop for Broken Clocks" which I plan to release for my birthday in January which makes me feel like everything that happened...actually happened for a reason. I figured out early on how to balance being a full-time dad with being a full-time author but, finding a way to manage my love-life while putting the energy I need to exert to make things work with my career has always been a challenge. I always feel like I have to choose and THAT frustrates me. Anyway, enough about me. I am going to share the opening scene from one of the books I hope to release before the end of the year. I hope you enjoy it and I'll try my best to get this blog poppin' again.


Before the bell, I am not afraid, and then I am but, I welcome the fear because it’s that fear of failure that keeps me sharp. There are thousands of eyes on me here in the arena and millions more focused on me through the lenses of these video cameras, watching intensely via pay-per-view television screens with all of their hopes and dreams rolled up tightly in MY fists. Some of them have wagered everything they own except their souls that I will win…again. Most of them still hate me and pray that I will lose but didn’t have the nerve to foolishly bet against me. Above the thunderous music booming from the arena’s sound system, I can hear the serenade of hateful words the mob spits at me as I walk towards the ring where a giant will fall tonight. Although he outweighs me by at least twenty pounds and has a much longer reach, I do not fear my opponent. He is a large man indeed but, he is ONLY skill and training, wrapped in flesh that I will bruise and bones that I will break. He is only a student who has studied me diligently, searching for weaknesses to exploit. No matter what he thinks, he will find none. I will destroy him because the truth is, he is only a man…but I am a god. Even those that hate me will roar my name, even if it’s only to curse me when he is unconscious, face-down on the canvas and they realize that I cannot lose. They will watch the recordings of this fight long after I am dead. I am immortal.
I step into the ring. I see my challenger bouncing gracefully from one foot to the other for confidence and to settle his nerves. I stand perfectly still with my feet planted firmly beneath me. We stare each other down and I peer into his soul for the truth that he is trying to hide behind his eyes. He has trained hard but still isn’t sure if he’s ready. That doubt alone lets me know that he is not.
After the ring announcer dramatically shouts our names and our fight records into the microphone dangling in front of him, the referee summons us to the center of the ring. He gives us a speech about the rules of the fight and what he expects of us. I don’t listen. None of it matters. I am a god. Everything else that happens feels like a dream with muffled background noise until the bell sounds. Then I see red, everything slows down and the fight begins.
Round 7, and I’ve taken his best shot. He doesn’t know it but he nearly broke my jaw before I opened up that cut above his eye. I watch his cut man trying desperately to seal it up. That was his best shot, his only chance to win and as the blood flows into his eye, he knows it. From his corner, he can see in my eyes that I’m laughing. He doesn’t want to be knocked out…not yet. For pride and honor, he has tried to avoid the inevitable. His children and his woman may be watching so I’ll grant him that and let him survive another round. I am merciful. I can finish him as soon as the next bell rings but I’ll wait and let him have his pride before I end it. Besides, the ravenous, ringside mob wants a good show…so I’ll toy with him. I will show them style and flair combined with deadly skill. That’s why they love me. The smart ones, the experts, will see that I am holding back. It will feel as if we’re sharing a secret and they will love me for it. I feed off their energy and become stronger. For tonight, I am their deity, their false idol to worship…but I am not just GOOD at this. I am the BEST at this. Inside this squared circle, I am unconquerable and unstoppable.
The 9th round is the last round. This is where this battle comes to an end. In the 8th round I punished his body with body blows and I’ve broken at least two of his ribs. Another shot to his body will make him drop his hands and then I will put him out of his misery with some of his dignity. He has fought bravely…with honor. I almost change my mind about knocking him out until I remember his brazen bravado at the weigh-in and all of his foolish, arrogant chatter in the media for weeks about how he would kill me in front of my weeping family. Blasphemy!
Everything…slows…down. One  crushing punch to his body followed by an uppercut that nearly lifts him off the ground and his eyes roll back until his pupils disappear until only the whites remain. He is broken, cast down from the self-made pedestal he stood upon. He hits the mat, limp and lifeless. He stays down for more than the referee’s count. He is no more and I am still undefeated. I raise my gloves, covered in blood and bask in the glory.
From the corner of my eye, I see that my opponent is still motionless on the canvas. His trainers are frantically trying to revive him while a woman ringside with a baby cradled in her arms weeps hysterically for her fallen husband. I step out of the way as EMTs rush into the ring.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

I'm Back

I’m Back!

Hey there folks. (I hope you missed me.) I know I haven’t posted in a minute but, life kinda started coming at me fast. And when I say fast, I mean avalanche, speed-of-light FAST…but in a good way and THAT is definitely okay.
At about the hallway point of 2018, I started to feel a shift, almost like weight being lifted off my shoulders. You all know how hard I work but, the effort I put in also tends to make me impatient, especially when I don’t necessarily feel the rewards of my labors immediately. (I know, I know, slow down and be patient son.) Because of that, I often found myself anxious and frustrated more times than I care to admit. Last year, I eventually, miraculously managed to take a step back so that I could truly appreciate how FAR I had come. I took a deep breath, gave thanks and waited for what was next. That’s when I started to feel GOOD!
If you know me in real life, then you KNOW what I’ve been working towards securing for my family. If you follow me on social media, you’ve seen me say that, in my heart, I felt as if 2019 was going to be different…not because of any goofy New Year’s resolutions but because I honestly believed that all of the seeds I’ve planted for these years would start to sprout…and that’s EXACTLY what happened! That’s why I’ve been somewhat missing in action on my blog. I’ve had my hands full taking advantage of the opportunities in front of me. (Stay tuned to see what I’m up to.)
My message to anyone reading this is: Never give up and just accept being “regular” if you know that you’re capable of doing extraordinary things. As few weeks ago, shooting my own films was just a dream. After a trip to B&H Photo in Manhattan to buy high-end cameras, mics and equipment, I’m on the cusp of doing just THAT!
Not everyone believed in me. Not everyone believed in my books. Thanks for that. My stubbornness made me use all of those vibes to vibrate at MY OWN frequency to get me to where I need to be. Now…watch THIS! I said that 2019 was going to be different…and HERE it is!
I have to thank God, the Universe and my Ancestors for giving me a chance. Now, I am NOT going to waste it.

P.S., Fuck struggle!
        Fight for prosperity.
        I ain’t accepting LESS…from myself or anyone else!

Thursday, April 11, 2019


QUESTIONS: “What do I want? Where do I want to be?”

I think these are two questions that everybody has asked themselves at one point or another. Sometimes, the answer is simple. At other times, it can be multi-layered and complex. Still, complicated or simple, there’s one thing you need to know in order to figure out how to end up where you want to be and how to get to what you want. The first thing you need to know to answer those two, very important questions is where you are.
You will continue to either feel lost or, waste time wandering around trying to figure out things on the fly if you don’t have any realistic idea of where you are, right now, in this moment in time. Because of social media and self-induced delusions, we can lie to ourselves and lie to the rest of the world but, to get to where you want to be…and to get whatever it is that you want…you have to take a LONG look in the mirror. You have to be brutally honest with yourself about your current circumstances. How can you know which direction you need to go, what moves you have to make, if you don’t even know where you are? Whenever you look at a map on a wall in a building, you’ll see a marker that reads, “YOU ARE HERE,” with an arrow to show you exactly where you’re standing.
Many people never achieve their goals or get to the level where they can happily live their dreams simply because they’ve spent too much of their lives completely lost. That’s why you have to take a moment…take a breath…take some time and figure out exactly where you are. Then, and ONLY then will you figure out where you need to go next to travel on the path that leads where you want to eventually end up.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Crumbling Tombstones - A chapter from "Death in the City" by Keith Kareem Williams

I apologize for not posting in a while. (If you follow me on social media then you already know that I've had my hands full lately.) I am working on some new pieces to post here for you guys. Some of the posts are short stories that I wrote specifically for the blog and others are meant to give you an update on what's going on in my life. Stay tuned. For today though, I'd like to share a chapter from one of my bestsellers, "Death in the City." Enjoy...and subscribe to my Patreon Page. I've been posting chapters from all of my current works in progress over there.

 1 - Crumbling Tombstones

he nightclub resembled a graveyard that early in the day compared to how alive it would be when it was filled with decadent people partying later on that night. Enoch, the owner, stood alone in his office on the second level of the swanky establishment and grimly stared down at the empty dance floor as the house DJ’s crew tweaked the sound system. As the boss stared down at his kingdom through the tinted window, he sipped warm, vintage, red wine straight from the bottle and savored the bitter sweetness of it. He had been saving it for a special occasion but with all of the strange things that had taken place as of late, coupled with the murders of two men that were the closest things to friends that he had, he thought it was a great time to celebrate the fact that he was still on his feet and not buried under a tombstone six feet deep.
Enoch had a good idea how things had gone sour at the body shop which ultimately ended with Manuel catching a bullet to the face. Enoch had warned the man many times about greed. There was no need for a shepherd to fuck the sheep that he sheered and if you don’t find a way to keep the wolves around your borders at bay, they eventually do what wolves do. Enoch didn’t need all the details to know what had probably caused that bloodbath. Manuel’s habit of robbing his own customers from time to time must have come back to bite him. That was something Enoch knew would eventually happen. However, Sammie Slim’s murder disturbed him. The fact that his burnt body had been found inside the smoking ruins of Manuel’s place of business wasn’t a coincidence. Both incidents weren’t the result of any prior conflict as far as Enoch could tell. He had ears to every wall on every street so he was aware of almost every beef in the city, big little or small. Even though Enoch couldn’t figure out who may have done the fat man in, he felt the crows circling above his own head. That made him think of a man that he hadn’t heard from in a few days. As he took another sip of wine from the bottle, someone knocked on his office door and derailed his train of thought.
“Come in!” Enoch barked.

“Hey Boss, I have a gift for you,” said Molly, one of the bottle service girls that worked at the club, as she entered the room. “I figured that these might cheer you up a little bit. I heard about Sammie,” she said as she handed Enoch a little wooden box.
“Thanks Molly,” said Enoch as he opened the box of hand-rolled Cuban cigars.
“You’re welcome Boss,” she answered and blushed when she noticed the way he looked at her. “I know he was your friend.”
“I don’t have friends,” Enoch corrected her. “Still, it’s fucked up…the way he died.”
Enoch was so numb to seeing the girls that worked in the club for him dressed in skimpy outfits that it actually turned him on to see Molly dressed in tight jeans and a regular blouse. He carefully removed a single cigar from the little wooden box. He smelled it and admired it before he set the box with the rest of the cigars down on the red sofa next to where he and Molly stood. He never took his eyes off of her as he bit the tip off of the Cuban and spat the end of it on the floor.
“Need a light?” She asked and then handed him a pack of wooden matches that she had stashed in her designer clutch.
“I always wonder why you girls spend your tips on shit like that,” said Enoch, pointing to her little purse as she let his cigar.
“A girl’s gotta have at least a few nice things when she works hard,” she giggled.
“I suppose,” he said as he brushed his fingers gently against her cheek and tucked a few loose strands of her hair behind her ear. She had dyed it a dark shade of red, almost the same color as the expensive wine he had been drinking all day and Enoch liked it. “Everybody likes nice things,” he said as his eyes worked down to her deep cleavage.
The bright-red, broken heart that was tattooed in between Molly’s breasts were a bigger tease and more attractive to Enoch than her ample chest. It took serious commitment, completely reckless impulsiveness and very deep pain to prompt her to make such a bold statement on a part of her body where most women wouldn’t have marked themselves. He wasn’t sure if it was because of the wine or maybe the feeling of impending doom that loomed over his head but Enoch knew what he was in the mood for. He figured that Molly did too when she started to unfasten his belt. He unbuttoned her blouse all the way and pulled down her bra to expose her D-cup breasts before she got down on her knees in front of him.
Enoch had always kept his hands off of the girls that worked for him. He believed that if he made any one of them feel as if he sexually desired them, he would lose too much of his authority. Most of them were used to men always pawing at them and if they got a sense that their boss wanted to sleep with them, they would view him as the same as every other man they had ever played. However, the way he was feeling that day, there was no way he wasn’t going to make good use of Molly’s hot, wet and willing mouth. She kissed the tip of his privates and flirtatiously batted her eyelashes when she looked up at him. It was sweet and she was very cute but Enoch wasn’t in the mood for sweet. He grabbed the back of her head, forced her to take him deeper than she expected and nearly made her choke. Then, when Molly realized what he liked, she didn’t back down or shy away. While she was down on her knees she aimed to please and she showed him just how deep her throat was.
Enoch smoked the cigar while Molly went down on him like a porn star. His office door was still wide open but neither one of them cared if someone walked in and caught them. As good as she was at what she was doing, Enoch held on for much longer than even he expected. He even felt sorry for Molly for a moment and wondered how much more her jaw could take but she didn’t seem like she needed a break. When he felt his orgasm coming, he grabbed her hair, pulled her head back and let everything go, all over her face and the tattoo he admired so much. Molly smiled, smacked her lips and did her best to lick up everything that dripped. Her mascara had run and streaked down her cheeks but there was no sadness in her eyes. There was only a longing gaze as she waited for some look of approval from Enoch that never came.
“Go clean yourself up,” Enoch told her as he pulled his pants up.
“Okay,” Molly answered as she looked around for napkins.
“You can use my restroom,” he told her and pointed to the restroom door. “When you’re done, I’ve got a couple hundred in my desk drawer. Take it,” he offered.
“You don’t have to,” she started to say.
“Just take it,” he cut her off. Enoch didn’t want her to assume that what had just happened between them was personal or that it would lead to anything else. For him, it was what it was and that was all it was going to be.
“You sure that’s all you wanted? You know, we could do more. You have a nice dick,” she flirted. Going down on him had left her wet. She didn’t mind living out her kinky boss and secretary fantasy. She also knew that none of the other girls at the club had been with him which made it even sexier.
“Not now…but thanks,” he politely rejected her offer.
While Molly freshened up in the restroom, Enoch slumped down on the red couch with his wine and his cigar. When curvy Molly reemerged from the bathroom, he pointed to his desk to remind her to take the money, which she did and then strolled out of his office. Enoch was happy that she closed the door behind her so he could be alone with his own thoughts again.
A thick cloud of smoke swirled above Enoch’s head as he thought about all of the death that seemed to be lingering all around him with a taste of cigar and the wine on his lips. He thought about the girl he had allowed to be tortured and murdered downstairs in the gambling room at the back of the club.
“Stephanie didn’t deserve that,” he slurred and murmured to himself.
Because of him and his schemes, a lot of people had been sent to the reaper but, he wished that she hadn’t died the way she did even though he couldn’t have let her get away with pulling a gun on him. She had just been a sweet girl that fatally got caught up in someone else’s drama. It was true that Sammie Slim had done the deed but it was Alicia that damned that poor single mom to an ugly death because she got mixed up with her. As soon as Alicia crossed his mind, Enoch thought about Mr. Crowe and what both he and Sammie Slim had paid the man to do. For days, Crowe hadn’t answered any of Enoch’s calls and that gave Enoch a good reason to suspect that some sinister deal might have been struck between the contract killer and the woman he was supposed to kill. He wondered what currency Alicia might have used to save her own skin. Crowe had never failed to fulfill a contract before so Enoch wondered what could have possibly persuaded a man that had always been cold-blooded and professional to suddenly forget what he was about. Then, and even more troubling thought entered Enoch’s head. He wondered if Alicia had somehow managed to turn the tables on Crowe. That was and even scarier scenario to consider because if she had killed Crowe, it would mean that Alicia was way more dangerous than Enoch could have imagined. Underestimating her was what might have gotten Sammie Slim butchered and burned. Just in case that was true, he didn’t intend to make the same mistake.
Enoch half-stumbled, half-staggered over to his desk and unlocked the drawer where he kept the prepaid burner phone he used to keep in contact with Crowe. He dialed the only number he had stored in the cheap flip phone but once again, it rang over and over again but no one answered. He snapped the flip shut and flung the phone back into the drawer. Even drunk, he could feel something very bad riding towards him and whatever it was, he planned to be ready for it. He had no intentions of being someone’s prey, as it seemed Sammie Slim had been. He pressed the panic button under his desk and a panel in the wall behind him slid open to reveal a room that only he knew about.
Enoch spun around in his leather swivel chair and peered into the eerie blue light that illuminated the secret room where he kept a deadly arsenal of assorted firearms. On the shelves and on the walls he had everything, from revolvers, to automatic handguns, to high-powered assault rifles. Whatever, or whoever was coming for him would find him ready and well-prepared. His life was not going to be easy to take.

“What are we doing here?” Alicia asked as Crowe drove right up to the rusty metal gate of an old, private cemetery.
Crowe didn’t answer but before long, an elderly man with a grizzled grey beard that extended well beyond his chin, hobbled up with a huge ring of keys. With uncanny familiarity, he put his wrinkled finger on the one that would open the gate and then unlocked it. For a moment, Alicia felt bad for the old man as he struggled mightily to part the heavy, iron gate. Crowe didn’t blink or make a move to get out to help him. Once the opening was wide enough for the car to pass through, Crowe drove inside and the old man locked the gate behind them.
Underneath the thin layer of untouched virgin snow, there was the faint hint of a paved trail. Crowe navigated his way through the twists and curves with the familiarity of a man who had driven down that winding hidden road many times before. Alicia looked out of the passenger window and stared at the rows of weathered tombstones. She had never been in a place where the air felt so still. The only things that moved were the blackbirds that were perched on some of the headstones or the ones that darted across the winter sky on jet black wings. She remembered that her mother had told her that crows where the guardians of the dead souls that remained here stubbornly after they should’ve moved on to the other side.
“We’re here,” said Crowe as he gently applied the brakes and stopped the car.
“Here? Where is here exactly?” Alicia asked, still confused and in the dark about what they were doing an old cemetery in the middle of the day.
“Let’s go,” he said and got out of the car without answering her question.
Alicia reluctantly stepped out of the car into the cold winter air and immediately missed the heated seat that had been keeping her butt warm. Once she was outside the car, she regretted not wearing jeans instead of the short black skirt she had on as Jack Frost put his cold lips to both of her ass cheeks. She quickly zipped up her short, bomber jacket before he also froze her tits.
“What the fuck?” she said as Crowe appeared from the back of the car with a shovel he had just retrieved from the trunk.
“Come with me,” he said as he handed her a large, empty black duffel bag.
“It’s cold out here and I’m not really dressed for this…whatever this is,” Alicia complained as she pulled the fur-lined hood of her jacket up over her head.
“I told you to wear jeans but you wanted to show off your thighs,” he reminded her as she walked behind him.
“Why not? My thighs a magical,” she mumbled.
Crowe and Alicia walked through the cemetery and its rows of graves that no one visited anymore. The tombstones defiantly poked out above the snow as they displayed the names of the people buried there, even if no one would ever place flowers in front of them again for the dead people who were laid to rest beneath them. Alicia’s eyes watered in the cold and as she walked behind Crowe, she felt as if they were trespassing in the home of hundreds of lost souls. An eerie feeling started to become stronger and stronger until it made her skin tingle. She had never believed in ghosts or any kind of strange, unexplained, otherworldly things but nothing could’ve convinced her that THAT place wasn’t haunted. There was absolutely no breeze but she thought she felt the wind whip across her face and heard whispers.
“Here we are,” said Crowe as he slammed the blade of the shovel into the ground in front of one of the graves.

“What…the…fuck?” Alicia whispered when she saw the name etched deeply in the tombstone.
It read: Patrick Crowe.
“Don’t worry. I’m not a zombie or some dead man who has come back to life,” he laughed as he started digging.
“Why is your name on that headstone? Did you?” Alicia started to ask.
“No, I didn’t steal someone else’s identity either. I am who I say I am,” Crowe reassured her.
“Well, that’s just fuckin’ creepy. Who does that? Who has their own headstone made and placed on the grave before they’re even dead?” she asked.
“People who won’t have anyone to bury them, or mourn them after they’re gone,” Crowe answered as he continued to shovel up piles of earth.
“I would mourn you,” said Alicia.
“That’s sweet,” he answered but sounded skeptical.
“Why are you digging up your own grave now? You plan on dying in the next hour or so?” Alicia asked.
“You’ll see,” he answered, a little out of breath from the effort it was taking to dig up the frozen soil.
Twenty minutes later, Crowe’s shovel hit something and made a hollow sound. Alicia assumed that it must have hit the lid a coffin but after ten more minutes of his digging, she found out that it was a wooden, coffin-sized crate buried in the shallow grave. Crowe used the shovel awkwardly to pry the lid open and Alicia was completely surprised by what she saw inside it. Along with bundles of money that were stacked neatly and wrapped in plastic, there was an assortment of deadly firearms as well.
“Give me the bag,” Crowe told her.
Without hesitation, Alicia quickly handed him the large black duffel bag she had been carrying and looked around nervously as if she was worried that someone might discover them.
“Aren’t you afraid that somebody’ll rob you?” she asked as he began to stash cash in the bag.
“No one else knows about this except for me…and now…YOU do too so, you’d have to be the robber I suppose,” he answered.
“But the old man at the gate,” Alicia reminded him.
“The groundskeeper? Don’t worry, he’s blind,” Crowe answered. “And besides… I own this place and no one visits these poor souls anymore. I’m the only one that comes here.”
“You own a cemetery?” she asked, somewhat surprised.
“I told you…me and Death have a special relationship,” he answered and Alicia couldn’t quite tell if he was joking or being serious.
“What are those for?” she asked as he also stashed a few guns in the bag along with the cash.
“You’re not done. You’re not going to stop with Sammie Slim,” Crowe answered. “You haven’t mentioned him but I know that Enoch’s been on your mind too, and I know what you want to do. Right now, after the fire, he’s off-balance and confused…trying to figure out what’s going on. He’s been calling my phone nonstop but I haven’t answered. If you want to get him…now’s the time. You won’t get another chance. Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked Alicia one final time.
“Enoch paid you to kill me. He let Steph get tortured and then shot her. He doesn’t get to live either,” she said with grim determination and concrete resolve.
Crowe reached up and handed Alicia the duffel bag but he purposely left it open, curious to see what she would do next. He watched as she briefly stared at the contents of the bag; enough cash for her to disappear and live comfortably somewhere quiet along with loaded guns, any of which she could easily use to kill him, right then and there. Crowe waited tentatively for her next move with the words of the prophetic palm reader heavy on his heart. He was in the perfect spot if the sands of time in the hourglass of his life have finally run out. He had already done her the favor of digging his own grave if she decided to betray him.
“You know…when I killed that pig Sammie, it didn’t make me feel much better about what happened to Steph so I doubt that killing Enoch will make me forget everything he took from me but…it’ll be a good fucking start,” said Alicia as she stretched down her hand to help Crowe out of the grave.

Copyright © 2016 Keith Kareem Williams
All rights reserved.

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