Behind a Window: Stairway to Heaven


nowme takes the pics; i write the stories*

Sunday drives are tradition in the Hernandez household. “Audrey, Eddie, Luis! Vamos!” I grab my favorite book, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and dart out the door. Mom tugs a pigtail and giggles as I run past.

When we pull off, I look up at our building. “Look Daddy,” I say, “doesn’t it look like a giant’s ladder?”

“Baby girl, that’s the stairway to heaven.”

Today the sky is a murky aquamarine, the clouds pregnant with rain. I wonder if God is hidden above, watching me. Daddy’s plastic rosary swings from the rearview mirror. We begin today’s adventure.

*Behind a Window: NYC windows, 100-word micro-stories

I’m reading for ‘Hey You, Come Back!’ Thursday @ The Crown

Come out and hear me read an excerpt from my story Candy, Lies, & Larceny about being a bad little roach whom my mother (mercifully) did not stomp out for being such a pain in her ass. Writers Naré Navasardyan and Rachael Clifford will be representing as well! Hope to see you there.

  • What: Hey You, Come Back!, a Baltimore reading series.
  • When: Thursday 11/3/16 @ 8pm
  • Where: The Crown in Station North | 1910 N Charles St. 2nd Fl Baltimore, MD


Behind a Window: Freedom Soon Come


nowme takes the pics & i write the stories

Tonight would be the harvest moon, freedom soon come. Simone would climb the narrow flight of stairs to her roof for access to a wide swath of uninterrupted Brooklyn sky. That was the only way to be sure it was time.

A week ago, on an abandoned stretch of subway track, her brother Silus gave the instructions, “Tie your curtains to the left.” Mother Moon would then know who wanted to escape the pussy-grabbing tyranny of the vacant-eyed mass of deplorables. Simone pressed her headphones to her ears to block their torrent of abuse. Time to fly.


Behind a Window: Goodbye


nowme takes the pics & i write the stories

The new owners wanted to chop her down. Their conversations about her drifted through the screened windows. She didn’t look like much but she knew her worth. Her roots reached deep into the earth and she shaded the second floor. The Clayton’s, an older couple who had lived in that apartment for as long as she’d been alive, valued her. Last year Mr. Clayton left the house, never to return, in an ambulance. Later Mrs. Clayton left for good, a passenger in her daughter’s minivan. On her way out, she rubbed the rough bark of the tree, “Goodbye old friend.”


Behind a Window: Wanderlust


nowme takes the pics & i write the stories

At the tip-top of the narrowest building on the narrowest island surrounded by an infinite sea, Serefina leaned on the windowsill in her room. The sun—in its last brilliant flush before dusk—bathed the room in a warm yellow light. Below, a ship docked in the distance. She wondered if her mother was on it. She’d left when Serefina was ten, to fulfill her wanderlust. Every few years her mother visited, but her absence made her father protective. He wanted Serefina to marry and start a family here, but like her mother; she yearned to explore the world.

Behind a Window: Home

Photo by nowme. She posts the pics (NYC windows) and I write the stories (female lead, 100 words or less).
Selena rounded the corner. The warm yellow of the living room lamp meant Mom was home. She quickened her pace, the light like a beacon in the early evening dusk. I wish I could pack up this block and take it with me to Cali. Selena sighed; she’d be off to UCLA soon. Her days of white button-downs and navy blue pleated skirts, were numbered. So were her days of running home to Mom’s homemade spaghetti and meatballs. She took the steps two at a time and flung open the door, dropping her backpack in the foyer, “Mom I’m home!”


Behind a Window: When I’m Gone


Photo by nowme. She posts the pics (NYC windows) and I write the stories (female lead, 100 words or less).

The first time Tawanda’s mother shared her when I’m gone instructions, she rejected the information. “Come on Mom, I’m not tryna talk about that,” said Tawanda.

“Don’t matter, you need to know,” replied her mother, “Your brothers aren’t going to take care of my funeral. Who’s going to run my salon?”

Six months later her mother shoved a key in her palm, “My papers are in a safe deposit box.” Two months later, cancer claimed her. Tawanda stood outside Fly Sheila’s staring at the faded posters in the window. She’d keep the salon, her mother was there.