“Sugar” by Dahlia Ge’ez
Thursdaze (because the weekend won’t come fast enough) features original flash fiction modeled after our Drug Chronicles Series. Each story is an original one, and each encapsulates the author’s fictional experience with drugs. Our print series has anthologized authors writing about marijuana, cocaine, speed, and heroin, but contributors to the web series can focus on any drug, real or imagined, controlled or prescribed, illegal or soon-to-be legalized. Submissions to Thursdaze will be judged on an author’s ability to stylistically emulate his or her substance of choice. Submissions are also limited to 750 words, so try to focus. (They have a pill for that.)
This week, Dahlia Ge’ez succumbs to the addictive qualities of sugar.
Unconsciously, I drove toward the ever-expanding bakery with its extra-filled jelly donuts and rum–drenched chocolate cakes smothered in white, flaky coconut frosting. My nose was attached to the glass outside; my eyes were only saved because of glasses perched precipitously on my nose. The thought of leaving floated in my brain, then quickly evaporated like the moisture coming from my nose, still pressed against the Divine Bakery Shop’s glass door on the corner of Hancock and Tompkins, in the heart of my newly gentrified Bed-Stuy, now referred to by the newcomers as Stuyvesant Heights.
Lord have mercy, why me? Why the hell is pleasure tightly wound in a tender, moist piece of cake? I tried; lord knows I tried to give it up. It was just last week I cleaned out my apartment, trashing every piece of cake I could find. Cake mix, even my baking pan, and the bag of Kit Kat I hid from myself in the cupboard, all the way up on the right side, far, far in the back. I even placed a mousetrap right next to it just in case one of them mice with a PhD decided to start nibbling on my stack. And I don’t even have mice!
“May I kindly have two extra-filled jelly donuts, a small chocolate rum cake with the coconut icing, and . . . let’s see, I wonder if that’s all Sandra said she wanted. Oh, I almost forgot, two blueberry scones and a pound cake.” The server smiled. I wondered what she found so funny. She should be happy. After all, I am one of her best customers, and just the smell of the place brought out my best English. She never notice how a twirl mi tongue and smile widely, displaying mi thirty-two. I mek sure a shine them up before a leave mi house. De Crest whitening toothpaste do a good job yu know.
As she boxed the items I remembered my uncle’s admonition: “If you continue to gorge on sweets you will pay for it with a mouth full of caries and a ass that will struggle to turn the corner when you have already reached your front door.” God know him was right! Wayne Brown, DDS, guess what? Yu right!
The kitchen table couldn’t hold the sweets. Placing some of the items in the fridge, I reached for my cake knife (the big one with the strong wooden handle); my best china, what I would use if Barack and Michelle were coming for tea; and my pretty, pretty yellow daisy–colored cloth napkins. Perrier was the liquid of choice, with a slice of lemon. That, of course, was poured into my champagne flute.
I sliced through the chocolate cake with its cloud of white frosting and crispy slivers of fresh coconut, the aroma making me swoon. Good china, champagne flute, and pretty daisy napkins were properly matched with mi granny’s silverware, a family heirloom of sorts. The knife slowly and meticulously pierced the chocolate cake; the fork knowingly engaged the dark brown morsel and brought it to my mouth. If cake was a man then the sweet taste of sugar must be his hands, because it sent a jolt of lightning from mi mouth to mi waist right down to . . . Lawd forgive mi, children are near. Dawling, when them say that man nice, a lie! Dem never get a taste of the Divine Bakery Shop’s chocolate cake. But to be perfectly honest, de suga yu know. Sugar is a killer and I know it. Once I start, I can’t stop. The more I eat, the more a want.
I drop to my knees, hands pulled up toward heaven: “Dear God a beg yu, a beg yu please, curb my need for these delicious sweets. Uncle Wayne told me and I didn’t heed his warnings, please father God, I’m on my knees. A beg yu open the door an let mi backside in please, because it’s stuck at the corner of Franklin and Greene.”
DAHLIA GE’EZ’s literary journey commenced with eerie tales her grandmother entwined as they sat on the veranda at night on the island of Jamaica. As crickets sang and tropical trees babbled, her curiosity soared, captivating her imagination.
Storytelling, she feels, is a source of connection, culture, and ultimately love which serves to assist us in maintaining our place in the world. Hence creativity, the life force of storytelling, leads to personal discoveries.
Daydreaming in biology class while attending college dashed her desire to pursue medicine. Upon completion of her B.A. at Queens College, she went on to nursing, working in the profession for several years. Responding to a clarion call, she acquired an M.S. in Education, thus beginning a new career in pedagogy.
Weaving tales infused with a bit of magic, her journey has been circuitous; leading to what she has enjoyed most: storytelling. Ms. Ge’ez has just completed a novel. She resides in Queens, New York, with her family.
Do you have a story you’d like us to consider for online publication in the Thursdaze flash fiction series? Here are the submission terms and 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 submission should never have been published elsewhere.
—Your story should feature a drug, any drug, and your character’s experience with it. We’ll consider everything from caffeine to opium, and look forward to stories ranging from casual use to addiction to recovery. Stylistically, we’ll respond most favorable to stories that capture the mood and rhythm of your drug of choice.
—Include your drug of choice next to your byline.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—E-mail your submission [email protected], and include THURSDAZE in the subject line. Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.
About the Drug Chronicles Series: Inspired by the ongoing international success of the city-based Akashic Noir Series, Akashic created the Drug Chronicles Series. The anthologies in the series feature original short stories from acclaimed authors, each of whom focuses on their fictional experience with the title drug. Current releases in the series include The Speed Chronicles (Sherman Alexie, William T. Vollmann, Megan Abbott, James Franco, Beth Lisick, Tao Lin, etc.), The Cocaine Chronicles (Lee Child, Laura Lippman, etc.), The Heroin Chronicles (Eric Bogosian, Jerry Stahl, Lydia Lunch, etc.), and The Marijuana Chronicles (Joyce Carol Oates, Lee Child, Linda Yablonsky, etc.).
Posted: Jan 22, 2015
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