Long story short I got addicted to fanfiction and it took over my life. Sorry to everyone who was enjoying my stories, but I've disappeared from this site-hopefully-for good. I left a few things up on my profile because it felt right.
I won't be receiving PM's and my stories are gone. If you liked one of them feel free to use its ideas for yourself, but I would suggest doing as I am.
If you believe in Jesus Christ put this in your profile and don't just ignore this, because in the Bible, it says if you deny me, I will deny you in front of my Father in the gates of Heaven
Martin's Dream Journey onto the Promise Land by Ron Stimphil http://www.amazon.com/MARTINS-DREAM-Journey-Promised-ebook/dp/B006P1CUFG
I got two chapters for you guys!
Chapter 1 – Martin’s dream … or nightmare? Cars were being turned over or set on fire all around. People were running aimlessly, occasionally clashing with police officers in riot gears. Glass storefronts were shattered by rocks and cocktail Molotov’s as flames devoured some of the business houses around. Martin Winfred was racing desperately to get away from the commotion, but he just could not run fast enough. For a track athlete who has won many trophies and made his school and family proud, he was astoundingly slow, and his legs felt as heavy as lead. He turned the corner of the block where he lived, moving with great difficulty, hoping he was not being pursued. His home was within sight, but he was unable to reach it, as if his residence and he were moving in two separate parallel reference frames. Time stopped briefly while he thought of what to do next. Mentally, he seemed to have some level of control. However, while his mind was racing, his body was not fully cooperating. Just then, two cops materialized on the scene. He could not distinctly discern their faces, but he could tell, from deeply within himself, that they were Caucasian. He thought he heard the shorter one, a bulky and muscular officer, shout at him as he pulled his gun, “Stop, boy! Police!” He could feel a chill running down his spine. He hit the ground as fast as he could, even before he was ordered to do so, feeling powerless. He could not tell if he were angry or scared. His heart was bouncing against the walls of his thoracic cage. Cold sweats were running down his forehead. He was so close to the safety of his home, and yet safety seemed elusive. A gradually rising buzzing sound was slowly altering his state of semi-consciousness. Emergency flashing lights were paling in his mind. He was seeing some red and pink flashes through his squinted vision. It took Martin a few seconds to realize he was in bed. His right arm was extended off the bed, and the book he had been reading the night before was open, face down and pages fanning, on the floor. The radio alarm clock on his nightstand was still buzzing, and the red flashing emergency light was still gyrating inside its hard transparent plastic casing, a gift from his father’s uncle, Thomas Winfred. Uncle Thomas’s gift to Martin was an old federal system firebeam light, which he had acquired when he worked, as a volunteer, for the fire department. His sixteen-year-old, high-school junior, nephew turned it into an alarm. Using his rudimentary knowledge of Physics from an electrical technology course, Martin wired the light so that the clock’s alarm sound wave would turn on the power that fed it. The young man was endowed with a fit and healthy body, as well as an inquisitive mind. Among the many interests to which his keen intellect was attracted, the study of light and its effects stood as his main fascination. To him, light was the science of the future, perhaps even the next source of alternative energy. He reached up to the nightstand to turn the alarms off. It was time to get up and get ready for school. The aroma of his mother’s bacon and eggs reached his nostrils all the way into the shower. He hurried to get ready, so he could join them at the breakfast table. As part of cutting down on the amount of fat her family had in its diet, Mrs. Winfred had bacon perhaps only four times in the entire year – a remarkable feat for this southern belle whose own family grew up on that delicacy, and today was one of those rare times. Ava Marie Winfred, born Leafee, was quite a disciplined woman, who was adamant about making sure that her family was healthy. However, she had a special weakness for the taste and smell of bacon. Two years ago, she turned forty; but she refused to age beyond the thirty-nine-year-old mark. Her beautician was skilled at maintaining her youthful appearance by concealing her gray under a hair dye that matched very closely her natural hair color. It was aptly applied in areas where the gray was more prominent, especially by the temple area and the forehead, so that her entire hair would not have to be dyed. She walked gracefully, and was satisfied with a beautiful and athletic figure that she spent years keeping in shape through good nutrition, consistent cardiovascular exercises, and daily walks through the neighborhood. Even before they had set their minds on moving out of New York City a few months ago, her husband John Calvin Winfred and she had set their eyes on this mostly white neighborhood, because of the lower crime rate and the better school system it enjoyed. She thought John was irrationally more reticent to move, but given that the environment was what she wanted, there was no way John, or anyone else, would convince her of the oddity of an African American family moving to an all-white, elite, upper middle-classed neighborhood. They moved in, being the only African American family on their block, or blocks around them. For three months now, they had enjoyed the company of their closest neighbors, the O’Katells and the Bevains. Jonathan and Angela Bevains had walked over to meet them, and congratulated them on the day they closed the purchase of the property, which was a foreclosure deal. The Bevains had asked them about their professional lives, but only waved, or occasionally smiled at them afterwards, to the exception of the elder Bevain who must be either both hard of hearing and visually impaired, or he deliberately chose to ignore their greetings. He was that peculiar old man who was never introduced to them with the rest of the family. The O’Katell had been more engaging. Rachel O’Katell had baked them some homemade cookies the very first day they came to meet them. The O’Katell children, Anna and Jason, were polite and friendly, and they had helped Martin feel gradually more comfortable in this strange place. To Martin, having moved from an apartment in a boisterous cosmopolitan city, life in this quiet and calm community triggered quite a culture shock, but he was adapting quickly. Anna and Jason were kind enough to introduce him to some of their peers in the neighborhood, and Martin appeared to have had no problem fitting in so far. John was mostly silent at the breakfast table. He had outgrown his concern of being the only African-American husband, or father, in their immediate vicinity. He was frantically browsing through his inbox, his laptop on the breakfast table – something of which Ava was not fond. He respected most of her wishes, but he was expecting an email from a very valuable prospective client, and it had arrived. He mentally scanned it, as he degusted some omelet and toast. Then he addressed his wife. “Honey, I may be running late today. I have to meet with a new client.” “I will try to keep your dinner warm for you.” Ava said in her most sensual voice. “Oops! I had to meet her over for dinner.” “Her?...In this case, you meet her for lunch, and leave dinner for me.” Ava retorted setting herself apart from her husband’s obstructing female future client. “Come on honey. The entire team will be present. OK? How about we cut the meeting off early, so I’ll be home in time for dinner?” “That’s more like it.” “Deal?” “No deal. You just made me a promise. All you have to do is to keep it.” Ava rectified. “Alright. I promise.” After seventeen years of marriage, Ava had learned to provide a comeback for her husband’s subtle teases. She was a secure woman. John never cheated on her; neither did he ever show any inclination for that type of behavior. He was a respectable man who has earned a reputation of having integrity in all his dealings. John was six-foot tall and muscular, with young Denzel’s features. He appeared much younger than his forty-seven years of age. From the time he met Ava, he had begun a rigorous regimen of exercises, designed to providing him with the dual benefit of great physical fitness and increased mental health – something very coveted in these times of widespread economic downturns. The most recent recessions had taken a toll on many businesses, and John’s was not exempt. A larger firm swallowed up the small bank he was working for, and he had to settle for a severance package and leave. When his wife had set her mind on moving to Georgia, because of the proximity to relatives, John seriously considered the possibilities that he was presented with. He could look for a job as a newcomer in a place that topped the list of states with the most failed banks, or he could join the strand of entrepreneurs who were using their skills to create new opportunities in an economy where innovation was the key to success. He chose the latter. He got into investment banking seven years ago. Prior to being an investment banker, he had taught Mathematics for thirteen years at the high school level, but he was disillusioned with teaching. He decided to switch careers and do something he really had passion for, and investment was it. He was hired by a small bank, and was enjoying a successful career transition until the global recession hit. John was now happy to have started his own business. He has put together an investment consulting team of four people who provided services to some small corporations and financial businesses, so they could make sensible decisions and stay afloat. He was able to secure a few accounts, and he was aggressively seeking and meeting potential clients, believing he could use his experience to assist them in making sounder and wiser financial decisions. His conviction in the resilience of the American economy has allowed him to be a source of encouragement to the few clients he had. Ana and he met in college while he was finishing his graduate studies, and she was just a freshman finishing her first year of college. They were married five years later. John had always thought that Ana has been God’s gift to him. “You were made from one of my ribs,” he would often say half-jokingly. Their marriage was very rocky at the beginning: John was actively involved in church-related activities, and devoted very little time to nurturing his relationship to his wife. It took him a few marriage seminars, and stepping back from ministry-related activities, to come to terms with his new wife’s needs for security and closeness – something she let him know in no uncertain terms, when she threatened to leave the marriage if he did not change his ways. He abhorred the threatening tone, but he had the good disposition to change, and their marriage had been flourishing since. He was working on plans for his next team meeting with his three-worker crew when his son’s voice slowly brought him back to his home reality, but he only caught the word “dad.” “What did you say, son?” John asked. “I need to stay after school to rehearse for the school production in honor of Black History Month.” “Why don’t you wait for Austin then?” “I can’t ride with him.” “Why not?” “Well… He has a basketball game. Besides, he’s not taking part in the production. Either you or Mom will have to pick me up. Unless one of you will let me borrow your car…” That was out of the question. Martin had just acquired his driver’s license, and he was trusted to be a safe though inexperienced driver, but neither Ava nor John could spare their car. Ava taught Junior High School, which was dismissed forty-five minutes after High School. Moreover, there was a faculty meeting scheduled this afternoon, and she had all that grading that she might have to complete after the meeting, as she has had SST’s and IEP’s to schedule during her planning period. As far as John was concerned, his own schedule could get quite unpredictable. Martin had gotten in the habit of riding with his neighbor Austin Bevain who was a senior at the same high school. The Bevains had bought their eldest child a car in his senior year, and occasionally, Martin rode with him to and from school. However, Austin would have to leave school early since Males High was playing today’s basketball game away. “Call me on my cell. I’ll pick you up then.” John said. “Did you get everything you need for the day?” Ava asked, as they were leaving. “Oops! I forgot my English paper in the printer. Ms. Pratts would have killed me.” “I’ve got to meet that teacher who would kill you for not submitting your assignment on time,” Ava said, hardly concealing a smile. “You’re kidding me? This woman is a grade slasher. You breathe too loud in the classroom, and she takes points off your grade.” Martin said jokingly as he ran to the printer. Mrs. Pratts held her students to the highest academic standards, and she inspired much respect and admiration from her colleagues and students alike. However, there were horror stories about her from students who failed her AP English class, which she taught. Martin had heard those stories, and he had no intention of being a character in any of them, willingly or by accident. Being their only son, the Winfreds have tried their best to teach Martin good notions about responsibility, work ethics, and the value of a good education. He enrolled in five AP courses, was taking some technology courses at the college level, acting as the secretary for the student body, and he was on the track team. It was 7:15 AM. The school was fifteen minutes from their home. Ava just had enough time to drop her son off to school and get to her job, five minutes away, not figuring in the traffic factor. They quickly got in the car. Martin was overexcited about going to school today. He had acquired a major part in his school’s theatrical production for the black history month this year. He had been reading much on the civil rights movement the day before in preparation for his part, and the last pictures he had on his mind before he fell asleep last night were those of the riots in Harlem soon after the announcement of the death of the civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin was as equally proud of his part as he was of his first name, given him by his father, an avid admirer of the famous civil rights leader. Martin was lost in his thoughts. He barely heard his mother saying “good bye,” as he got out of the car to walk toward the school’s entrance door.
Sorry it's all bunched up, I couldn't find a better one.
And yes I do have permission from the author!
The bus dropped him off a block away from the subdivision where the Winfreds lived. Deshawn felt very strange in these unfamiliar surroundings. He looked around in amazement at the manicured front lawns and the perfectly trimmed bushes around the magnificent colonial and federal residences.
The entrance to Martin’s subdivision was about half a block down, opposite the street where he got off the bus. Wealed Haven, the subdivision’s name, was written in mammoth gold letters on a wall diagonally placed at the corner among a shrubbery populated with euphorbia, hibiscus plants, and some evergreens.
The long main street had two brick posts on either side of the entrance, with a golden lantern atop each one. Maple trees lined up along both sides of the streets at regular intervals.
At the end of the dividing lane of this main street, there was a magnificent water fountain featuring a ballerina in fifth position. She was placed in the middle of a large bottom pool, with water pouring out of her fingers onto her head, and cascading from her tutu. Water was also spouting up from the inside circle of the pool toward the ballerina’s legs. Christmas decorations, left over from the holiday season, still hung across the street.
Deshawn recalled the directions mentally: “Make a left when I reach the water fountain at the intersection, and it should be the third house on the left.” “That looks like it right over there,” he thought. As he turned the corner, he noticed a patrol car coming down the main road toward him at very low speed.
At first, he paid little attention to it. However, as he was looking for the house number, the private security patrol vehicle drew slowly closer. Deshawn instinctively hastened his strides. He identified the house number, and, with short and rather gimpy strides, walked down the driveway toward the back door and rang the bell.
Martin was expecting him. Since the day that his dad and he had dropped Deshawn off from school, he had felt the burden to reach out to him. He had felt compassionate toward his classmate, and he had shared his feelings with his parents. Ava had proposed to her son to extend an invitation for Deshawn to dine with them, and Deshawn had accepted wholeheartedly.
“Hey. Come in, Deshawn. I told you it wasn’t much trouble finding us.”
Deshawn might beg to differ: his heart was still racing within him. There was that negative vibe he got from uniforms or vehicles that reminded him of law enforcement. The house might not have been hard to find, but Deshawn was feeling out of place in that environment. The doorbell suddenly rang as he followed Martin into the family room.
“Did anyone else come with you?” Martin asked him.
“Nope. I came alone,” Deshawn answered readily.
“I wonder who that is. We’re not expecting anyone else as far as I know,” Martin continued as he prepared to answer the front door. He looked into the surveillance monitor and recognized the familiar face of the armed security guard patrolling the area standing behind the door. He opened it.
“Ah. Mr. Jenkins. How are you, sir?”
“Can’t complain, young man. Can’t complain. Is everything alright?” the guard asked as he scrutinized the space beyond Martin, looking over his small oval glasses. Deshawn was waving at him from the family room as if to poke fun at the redoubtable looking guard.
“Everything is fine, sir. Just my friend visiting with us. We’re about to have dinner, would you like to join us?” Martin proposed.
“That’s very kind of you young man, but I must decline. I’m on duty. Perhaps another time,” Mr. Jenkins replied. “Are your parents home?”
“Yes, sir. My mom is in the kitchen, and my dad is in his office.”
At that moment, Mrs. Winfred came out of the kitchen and walked toward the front door. She had heard the guard ask for her, and she temporarily left the confinement of her kitchen to address the latter’s concern.
“Is everything alright, officer?” she asked.
“No problem at all, ma’am. None whatsoever. I just wanted to make sure that you all were home and OK.”
“Thank you, officer. We really appreciate you checking on us, but we’re doing very well. Is there anything else we could help you with?”
“No, ma’am. Thank you. But if you need anything don’t hesitate to call,” replied the guard as he eyed Deshawn from above his glasses.
“I surely appreciate you dropping by, and of course, if we need your help, we shall surely not hesitate to call.”
Mr. Jenkins tipped his hat off to Ava like the perfect gentleman that he was, walked back toward the patrol car, got in, and drove away. Mrs. Winfred closed the front door, and upon returning into the kitchen, she suggested that Martin give Deshawn a tour of the house.
“This is a really nice house!” Deshawn exclaimed.
“Thank you, Deshawn,” Mrs. Winfred acquiesced.
Deshawn nearly stumbled against the large aquarium in the living room. He was looking around at the sumptuous room with its grand piano separating it from the dining room. The floral-patterned window drapes matched the sofa pillows, and the maroon velvet valence blended nicely with the Victorian furniture set that was resting on an elaborately decorated oriental rug spread over the mahogany hard wood floor.
At one corner of the room, one could spot a lone beautiful Victorian floor lamp. At another corner, a solid oak grandfather clock stood majestically. Two ornate armchairs were facing each other across a tea table set by the brick fireplace above which a multitude of family photographs, spanning several generations, hung, along with some paintings.
As Deshawn continued to look around at the paintings on the wall, some of which were well-executed copies of originals, his eyes came to rest on “the Last Supper” by the Renaissance painter, Raphael. A provocative question came on his lips. He turned to Martin and said, “I know ya believe in God and Jesus and … Well… Lemme ask ya, WuzJesus black or white?”
Martin could have anticipated a question about the fake painting, for Deshawn appeared to have been looking at it with a particular interest. However, he had seldom questioned the painter’s human model for his Jesus. Deshawn’s question, though not unusual, took him by surprise. He knew it to be a well-documented fact that the Jesus figures painted on most European works of art were most often white while African art portrayed Him as black. He nonetheless ventured an answer based on his biblical convictions.
“According to the Bible,” Martin replied, “Jesus was a Jew. Therefore, I assume he must have had middle-eastern features like any other Jew, but who knows? There has not been any portrait made of Him by any artist of the period when he was on earth, as far as I know. The Shroud of Turin has a depiction of Jesus’ appearance, but…”
“The Shroud of Turin. It’s a famous religious artifact that depicts a face that many believe is the face of the Christ, but regardless of what Jesus really looked like, I think who He is and what He came to do are more important than what he looked like: He was the Son of God in the flesh who came to reconcile man to God the Father, if you’re willing to believe it.”
“If his skin color is not important, why do white people make him to be white and black people say he wuz black, bro?”
“I think people will do and say things because they are human, whether they are black or white.”
“So, you guys like da white Jesus better, don’t ya?” Deshawn whispered within Martin’s earshot, as though he was concerned that anyone else would hear him.
“What makes you say that?” Martin asked him.
“I see a white Jesus, but I don’t see no black Jesus.”
“Not that it matters, but my mom does have an African painting showing a black Jesus in the hallway that leads to our bedrooms.”
“My bad,” Deshawn conceded as he continued his tour.
“You’re asking me all these questions, Deshawn. Let me ask you this. Do you believe in Jesus?”
“I dunno. I think Jesus wuz a racist.”
“I can’t believe you said that.”
“Yes. I’ll say it again. Jesus is racist, bro. OK. OK. If Jesus is not racist, where wuz he when black people wuz slaves?”
“I don’t know if you will ever be satisfied with an answer coming from me, but I know this much: black people have not been slaves in this country for the past hundred and forty-five years at least.”
“And your point is?”
“My point is that if Jesus were a racist, black people would still be slaves.”
“You still haven’t told me if you believe in Jesus,” Martin proceeds persistently.
“I dunno. If it’s my mama’s Jesus, I dunno if I do. I remember when I was ten years old. We wuz in church one Sunday, and the preacher wuz asking people to plant a seed. It’ought the pastor wanted the church property to be full of trees. People lined up in three different lines to bring money to dat puppet.”
“You mean to the pulpit?” Martin rectified.
“Yeah. Whateva. They were throwing money all over the floor while the pastor was encouraging them. Some guy kept showing her to the back of the line because doze with the larger bank notes had to go first. Chuch was very long dat day. After chuch, we went home hungry, and we ate not’n but crackers and water the rest of the day since we ran out of food stamp money the day before, and she had just gave her last ten dollars to thechuch, to JEE-ZIS. She gave and got not’n back. She wanted so much to plant seeds. She continued to give, but I ain’t never seen no money tree grow in our apartment. But I’ve seen the preacher’s car. He changed his raggedy navy blue Cadillac for a brand new brown one. You know, I want me one of doze.”
“I’m sorry you had to go through that.”
“I swore dat when I could make my own decisions, I’d never go to chuch again. So when I turned thirteen, I stopped goin’. I would just stay in bed and pretend that I could not get up, or I was sick or somet’in. Eventually, my mama left me alone. And eventually, she too stopped goin’. Maybe she finally felt like I did.”
“And how is that?” Martin asked inquisitively.
“Maybe she finally saw dat dis Jeezis thing was all a big lie, because we visited my grandma’s chuch for a while, and the same thing wuz goin’ on. You know, jest a way for preachers to make money off weak-minded people.”
“Deshawn, you shouldn’t say that Jesus isn’t real just because a few preachers are doing the wrong thing. It’s like saying that peanuts are to be eliminated from people’s diet because some have died from deadly allergic reactions to peanut products, or that you would never take a ride in a car because some drunk and irresponsible drivers have caused innocent people to die. There are many fine preachers out there who are doing things right, you know.”
“Thanks for the thought, bro. But I decided that no one would take advantage of me no more. I’ll be strong and let no one mess with me. I’m gonna start working out, get myself a few tattoos, and be a thug. Yeah, baby. Be a thug. That’s right!”
“Deshawn, don’t you have the desire to get a good education, to be successful someday, to live a better life, to be doing better than your mama or grandma ever did?”
“College is for guys like you, Martin. I ain’t cut out for this s_. Oops! Excuse my French! Wa don’t you go to college and become a lawyer or somet’in? I might need you some day.”
“Deshawn, do you realize that a lot of people sacrificed themselves, so you and I could get a proper education and equip ourselves to compete in this world? Their dream is being fulfilled. We now even have a black president in the White House. Their sacrifice was worthwhile. You can make something out of yourself if you’re willing to get an education.”
“Martin, even Obama cannot change America’s image. In America, money is the name of the game. Better yet, you know how they say. Money makes the world go ’round. I saydat the American dream is a racket. Life is money in my pocket.”
“Money isn’t everything, Deshawn…”
“But America would sell her soul for money. Tell me…Isn’t dat why black people were slaves in this country? Isn’t dat why there are so many poor black people today? You know what? I’m proud to be black, but I’m tired of being poor. I don’t care if those bills have pictures of dead white presidents on ’em, I’m gonna find a way to make maself some money, baby.”
“You worry me, man. I hope you’re not thinking of doing illegal stuff. You can end up in jail one day, or even dead.”
“Ah! Ah! This is America. It’s called free enterprise, baby. If I’ve got enough cash stashed away, I can pay me a lawyer to get me out of trouble. I can even afford my own funeral if I end up dead. You only live once, man.”
“Be careful, Deshawn. The Bible says that the love of money is the source of all kinds of evil.”
“Are you saying that the white man is evil? Because these muthaslove money, bro,” Deshawn said with a smirk.
“Deshawn, I’m not talking about the white man. I’m talking to you. Besides, it’s wrong to call an entire race of people evil. There are good white people as well as good black people. There are evil white people as well as evil black people. Do you have a problem with white people?”
“Yes, I do.”
“I’ll tell you why. My grandfather told me the story of how he became a drunkard. He told me he saw something when he wuz a little boy that he couldn’t get out of his mind. He wuztoo afraid to even tell the story for a while. He saw white men set fire to a black man who was hanging from a tree, not even dead yet. He knew he wasn’t dead because the man was kicking his legs until he stopped moving. He said he heard them laugh and cuss and joke about it. He could never take away the sound of the fire crackling, and he never forgotdoze laughs and dat stench. Not even a strong moonshine could silence those noises in his head, he said.”
“I’m really sorry about your grandfather’s experience, Deshawn. I read about those things. Those were awful times.”
“You don’t get it, shawty. You think it’s over, don’t you? Well it ain’t. I hear of dozestories of nooses that they hang in schools and universities…”
“Those are unfortunate incidents indeed.”
“I get mad when I walk in the park, bro, and white people walk away from me as doughI’m gonna mug’em. I walk into stores, and security follow me ’round like I’m gonna stealsomet’in. They look at me; they don’t know me, but they think I’m a thief, or I’m violent or somet’in. You see. Hanging a man and setting him on fire while he is still alive is violent. I may be an angry black man, but I ain’t violent.”
“Martin! Deshawn!” It was Ava calling the young men. “Dinner is ready!”
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