“Stupid Girls” by Adeola Adeniyi
Mondays Are Murder features brand-new noir fiction modeled after our award-winning Noir Series. Each story is an original one, and each takes place in a distinct location. Our web model for the series has one more restraint: a 750-word limit. Sound like murder? It is. But so are Mondays.
“You must smoke crack if you think we’re riding with y’all,” Erica told Isaac while waiting for the Don’t Walk sign to change at the corner of Clarkson and New York Avenue as he sat behind the wheel of his father’s dark blue car. A dude wearing a Mets jacket rode shotgun. Erica watched Jolie sit in the backseat the second after the Honda pulled over and he offered a ride, but Vanessa obeyed the command not to get in there. The three fifteen-year-old girls should have been riding the Q train or a heated B 12 bus after Wingate freed them, but all the workers went on strike at two-thirty today so they had to shiver in the cold. Seven inches of snow already piled up on the ground and more continued falling from the gray mid-afternoon sky.
“You trippin’ girl. Ashley’s wifey and you’re her big sis, so it wouldn’t be right not helping you or her people out,” Isaac said.
Erica shrugged. “That don’t mean shit.”
Courtney climbed in the backseat to sit with Jolie and she rolled her window down halfway.
“It’s so warm in here, Erica.”
Erica lit a Newport. “You better get yo black ass back out here, Ms. Lawson.”
Isaac laughed, shaking his head, and Courtney played around with the radio until she heard the new Nas song on Hot 97.
“I swear, you live just to tell folks what to do, Erica,” Jolie said, stepping out the car and slamming the door.
The Walk sign flashed. Erica tried pulling Jolie by her arm but she shoved her in the chest. Jolie then went to stand by the car.
“Two years in Brooklyn and you still think like a West Virginia hick, Jolie,” Erica said after she shoved her back. “Only stupid girls get in cars with old niggas they don’t know.”
“This is Isaac and Courtney,” Vanessa whispered. “We’ve known them since the sandbox and eighteen is a good old.” She lit a cigarette. “Besides, Courtney is soft. L’il Nino whipped his ass last summer and he was too scared to get any getback.”
Erica sucked on her cigarette. “Shut up, ’Nessa.”
Vanessa frowned at Erica letting smoke leave her nostrils.
Isaac stepped out the car. “Where you ladies going anyway?”
Jolie said, “To see Safes at the shithole on Church.”
“We saw it twice earlier and it’s worth traveling in this weather to see. Them jewel thieves were wildin’ out for real.” He wiped snow off his face. “Come on, I’ll drive y’all.”
“Never,” Erica replied. She then faced Jolie. “You do know I have a ninety average and I’m born and bred in Crown Heights, right?”
Jolie said, “Let’s just go.”
Erica pointed her cigarette at Jolie. “You’ll see what happens for not listening.”
“I’ll see y’all in the lobby at five-thirty,” Jolie said, getting back inside the car.
Isaac sighed. “You ain’t acting right, Erica. Just let me give you a goddamn ride.”
“Never,” Erica repeated.
Vanessa shrugged. “I’ll die out here I guess.”
Isaac sucked his teeth, kicking the wheel, and went back inside. The girls then watched them drive away.
“Everyone would say we were stupid for riding with them,” Erica told Vanessa, after getting out of the packed white dollar van at Church and Flatbush. They each handed the driver the five bucks he charged due to the strike. “And the cops wouldn’t OD searching for us. No TV movie would be made when someone found us in the East River either.”
Vanessa stopped by a broken payphone. “Wow girl, you really think Isaac and Courtney could get down with something so grimy?”
“I’m from Crown Heights with a ninety average, Ms. Ramirez,” Erica said. “What’d you think?”
Vanessa said, “Some other dudes no doubt. But it’s still Courtney and Isaac, Ms. Chase.”
“That’s why I have a ninety average ’Nessa.”
They didn’t see a line outside the RKO Kenmore or Jolie in the lobby. The smell of popcorn hit them as the usher opened the door for a couple leaving.
Erica sighed. “It’s five-forty. We should have just forced her not to ride with them.”
“I’m sure Jolie’s fine. She’ll be here soon.”
Vanessa lit a new cigarette. They brought six o’clock tickets for the Disney film Zoo, and Erica saw 5:52 on her watch. They finally saw a dark blue car stop near the closed bodega. Erica ran there but two men got out of the Lincoln, and an old man drove away.
ADEOLA ADENIYI lives in Brooklyn, New York, and his work has been published in the fall 2010 and 2011 issues of Black Magnolias Literary Journal, aaduna’s winter 2012 issue, and the latest issue of District Lit Journal. His literary influences include Richard Wright, James Baldwin, ZZ Packer, Edward P. Jones, and Junot Díaz.
Would you like to submit a story to the Mondays Are Murder series? Here are the guidelines:
—We are not offering payment, and are asking for first digital rights. The rights to the story revert to the author immediately upon publication.
—Your story should be set in a distinct location of any neighborhood in any city, anywhere in the world, but it should be a story that could only be set in the neighborhood you chose.
—Include the neighborhood, city, state, and country next to your byline.
—Your story should be Noir. What is Noir? We’ll know it when we see it.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—Accepted submissions are typically published 6–8 months after their notification date and will be edited for cohesion and to conform to our house style.
—E-mail your submission to [email protected]. Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.
Posted: Jan 30, 2017