The First Floor Is On Fire

But that's ok, because the second floor is flooded.

Mike Russell

Mike Russell
Location
Portland, Maine, USA
Birthday
July 16
Title
baby vegetable murderer
Company
The Yoko Ono Scream Catchers
Bio
I grew up in the country in Arkansas, spent 12 years in Philly, was widowed at 30, taught five years in a rough inner city high school in Philly, then moved to Maine in 2007 to be with my hubby. At this rate, we'll be living at the North Pole when we're 60. Being with my hubby Jason is the best thing that ever happened to me. I believe I've created a powerful novel and want to show it to the world. It's available on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0043RS45O.

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AUGUST 25, 2009 12:39PM

First Floor on Fire, chapter one, scene one

Rate: 1 Flag

Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. –

Psalm 137:9

Chapter One: Nevaya Briggs

Yeah, I just threw Chardae down the stairs, so what? I don’t give a fuck.

My boo died a year ago today. Nobody got no business getting in my face. They all should of shown some respect. Can’t take my cats with me to school to calm me down. Why didn’t I just cut school today? For an anniversary, I’ve earned a break.

Chardae and her friends spotted me minding my own business on my way to Ms. Dee’s corny English class. As soon as my feet touched the second floor, I saw them, ten feet away, and don’t even try to say they ain’t been waiting. They must of known my girls weren’t with me. Oh, hell no. She did not bring her mom in to help her. That is too ghetto. The whole family fight on the street, everyone do that, but in school?! Chardae didn’t waste a second. “Your mom!”

“Your grandmom!”

“Your mom a teabagging bitch! Bet she was fucking your man like a champ when he got popped!”

So I did what I had to. I grabbed that smut by her hair, shoved her to the door, kicked the door open, dragged her a few feet and pushed that shitball of hate down the stairs. Tough and fast, I got her to the stairs before her stupid-ass friends and nasty bitch of a mom got to me. She dropped just as the first blow struck me. Chardae hit the next stair. A foot to my belly. The third stair. Fist to my head. Fourth stair. Police officer grabbed the next fist, half a foot from my eye. Fifth and sixth stair. The next officer pinned me to the wall.

Damn right we had an audience. Look at all those wannabes scream. I got something done, and they had to live through me. Got they phones out, filming me, screaming, wanting more. I could always see things they couldn’t, and they hated me for it. I been making my dreams, and they wanted me to burn them one by one. They tried to steal from me, but I’m the part that can’t be stolen.

Bunch of them laughing they asses off. They think the whole fight funny, like something on YouTube. Build theyselves up by trying to tear me down, but they gonna fall. And if you think I could ever fall, then y’all have done lost your minds. Anyone can see Chardae on the floor, curled up, broken, twisted, blood carving up the shape of her face. I saw my blood, too, but it winner’s blood.

Wait - oh, my fucking God, she stood up again. Lots of blood, but nothing really broken. Never yell “I won!” before you know for sure they down for good.

Chardae moaned, “You ugly dark bitch.“ I tried to run forward so she could get got proper, but the officers held me back.

I done the right things all week. Ain’t nobody can say different. You know, you really know I’m never no teacher’s pet, but I can do right without kissing ass. Why can’t these corny police leave me alone? “Get your fucking hands off me! I don’t need your help! I’m gonna fucking kill those bitches! They can’t beat me! They gotta be in a group to even try any shit!”

Officer Alina, stone and hammer, wasn’t having it, dragged me into one of the security rooms, just her and me. “Nevaya, you little fuckhead, I been tired of telling you to stop this shit. How about it? What happened this time?”

“So what??! Chardae shouldn’t of called my mom a teabagging bitch!”

Officer Alina threw me her don’t-even-think-you-gonna-try-that-shit face. “I told you time and time again to ignore them when they try that. You let them set you off like that, you let them control you.”

Every grown up try to say some corny shit to trick me into not throwing down. “So what??!! You ain’t my mom, so don’t say nothing to me.”

“You better be glad I ain’t your mom! If you was mine - “

“And you got a nerve! When I ever see you ignore anything? You always in our business! Come around here and pretend you’re some motherfucking role model!” That always gets them mad, find any way that they wrong. Don’t matter how small it is. If it change the subject, it good.

Call me out my name like that again.” Yeah, I knew she really meant it that time, but I never kiss no ass.

I leaned against the cracked wall, looked her clear in her eye. “Aiight, you a fatherfuckin’ role model!”

Lava melted in Officer Alina’s eyes. Her left hand hit the wall, her arm cutting me off in one direction. “Navaya, you think you so hard.” If I pushed this much further, she’d snap. I knew I had better say something corny.

“Yeah, every morning, I eat puppies on toast!”

That gave Alina an out. She didn’t have to beat my ass now. “Well, you oughta know better than that. Ain’t you never heard toast is bad for you?!”

She almost made me smile with that one. At least she tried. Don’t mean she wouldn’t rat me out for the price of a cup of coffee. Don’t mean I couldn’t take her in a fair fight. But she a cop with a gun, she got the advantage for now.

I know I messed up big earlier in the school year, and nobody better pretend they got any business reminding me about that. But I’m not gonna let myself fail, drop out, spend my life doing hair. I’m getting out of here, gonna go to college, make my brothers proud, and those nasty-ass, dickeating-all-night, take-it-up-they-ass smuts can’t stop me. They hated me since third grade, can’t let nothing go. If I insulted them seven years ago, you can bet cash money they remember every word I said, very gesture I made, all programmed in they brains. Yeah, I know everything they said, so fucking what? They keep track of me, I return the favor.

My face must of snitched what I was thinking. Officer Alina glared at me. “You can’t go on like this. Richard Allen and Blumburg girls have hated each other for years, and for what?! Can you even remember when or how it started? And now you gonna be damn lucky if you not in jail tonight.”

Huh, who she think she talking to? I been threatened with jail enough times to know when somebody talking shit to try to scare me.

Those bitches from Blumburg should not of fucked with us. They never learn. They too grown. Those dickeaters is drawin’. Nobody from that dirty project ever been shit. We live in Richard Allen. We don’t play. We didn’t start nothing but we will end it.

Nana said to me, “You make me so mad you make my ass wanna chew tobacco.” She know how it is. The way you feel just before you explode and rain your blood all over the city. I’m about to snap. Anybody give me any shit all all, I’m a snap. Especially today, the one day any fool should know to let me be. Officer Alina ain’t been here long, so she don’t know.

I gotta get out of here, nobody knows me. Gonna kill the next motherfucker who look at me wrong. Cut you open and burn everyone to ash. Nobody say nothing to me - get out my mind and my face, punk ass teachers and haters think they know but they don’t know shit GET THE FUCK OUT you ain’t gonna know me, never gonna touch my fire, my heaven and hell. You just go on thinking I’m some dumb bitch, and it’s your loss, cause you’ll never know. Yeah, go right ahead and call me out my name. You won’t break my skin, you won’t tear up my guts, I won’t pay no attention to you at all unless I beat you down. You go ahead and think I bathe in the blood of baby bunnies so long as it keep you off my pussy.

Officer Alina don’t understand me. She say she do, act like she do, but she one of them, not one of us, especially not one of me, so she don’t know. She kept her eyes on me, got me alone in this falling-down room til they decide whether I go to jail or not. I bet I don’t. Those bitches hate the police as much as I do, they won’t press charges. They want to get they own revenge, and the law would just get in the way.

(c) 2009 Michael Russell

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Does anyone have any good advice regarding how to present novels and other literature here?
"Damn right we had an audience. Look at all those wannabes scream. I got something done, and they had to live through me. Got they phones out, filming me, screamin’, wantin’ more. I could always see things they couldn’t, and they hated me for it. I been making my dreams, and they wanted me to burn them one by one. They tried to steal from me, but I’m the part that can’t be stolen.

Bunch of ‘em laughin’ they asses off. They think the whole fight funny, like somethin’ on YouTube. Build theyselves up by trying to tear me down, but they gonna fall. And if you think I could ever fall, then y’all have done lost your minds. Anyone can see Chardae on the floor, curled up, broken, twisted, blood carving up the shape of her face. I saw my blood, too, but it winner’s blood."

I'm home from work and not in the mood to read but I was drawn in and read the whole thing. I'll take me a bit to get through the rest, but for tonight I have to say this is good writing. The paragraphs I quoted were perfect beginning to end--and the final sentence of each really knocked me back. Really, really, really good. I read avidly and have a thing for being blown a way by words and both of those sentences struck me hard.

How has posting your work here been? Are you done with your manuscript?

-e
Thank you so much, gazoo73. It means a lot that a good writer like you appreciates what I've done.

Yes, I'm done with my novel. I haven't gotten much attention for it here. The short essay I composed about the Maine marriage vote got more feedback than the rest of my entries put together, largely because that post was put on salon's front page for a couple days.

I've sent out about a hundred agent queries, with no interest so far. I get the impression that in this economy, nobody is willing to take a chance on anything riskier than hot teen vampires. But I won't give up. Thanks again!