Ninth Ward Flash Fiction Day 2 of 3

It’s time for the second installment of the student flash fiction pieces that explore what happens to Lanesha and TaShon ten years after the end of Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes.  Be sure to check out yesterday’s post too if you missed it.

Have fun reading, and don’t forget to comment!

A Class display about The Ninth Ward

Meeting Lanesha

By Ashton

I was walking around the neighborhood, trying to get to know the community. I just moved to a community called “Crystal Palms”, several counties away from the Ninth Ward. This place reminds me about my house in Ninth Ward, yet it could never be the same.

I walked to house 206 and knock the door. Tock! Tock! Tock! But no one responds. Tock! Tock! Tock! I knock again. I check if anybody is inside. The other neighbors said that she should be home around this time. I see that the lights were on, the television loud, with the weather channel on. I don’t want to remember Hurricane Katrina, but the weatherman said that there’s going to be a storm tomorrow. Tock! Tock! Tock! I knock for the last time. I heard a familiar voice say “GO AWAY!”

I said “Can you at least introduce yourself? You see, I just moved in, and I just wanted to get to know some of the neighbors.” She opened the door slightly and angrily said “GET OUT!” I only got a glimpse of her and she looked familiar. Then it hit me. It was Lanesha! I remember when we got separated at the bridge during Hurricane Katrina. It’s been eons since I last saw her and so I asked “Are you Lanesha?” She had a surprised look and asked me, “Who are you?”

I replied confidently, “I’m TaShon. Does that ring any bells?”

She yelled, “Get the heck out of my lawn!”

“Hey, we haven’t met in like a decade! Why are you so pissed off?” I ask.

Lanesha’s mind: Why is TaShon here out of all people? He never called, wrote or even E-mail me! He thinks he can just barge in and we can live happily ever after? He’s the one who killed Mama Ya-Ya!

The Last Goodbye

By Jennifer

When I saw TaShon again I knew it wasn’t going to be good. While we were talking he told me, “Why didn’t you get in contact with me all this time?”

I said to him “I didn’t know how to!”

The room was loud all you could here was both of us screaming. I said to him “why didn’t you come with me when I told you I was leaving the country?”

TaShon just stood quiet for a minute. He said “I was going to study here!” In his eyes you could see that he was still hurt! He raised his voice and said “why did you leave?”

I yelled “I had to leave, I had no future here I felt like I had to go reach to the very end of the world  to become an Engineer I always wanted to be, and I succeed what I wanted. That’s why I left.”

TaShon said “Really? I stayed here and I’m a good Veterinarian and I didn’t have to leave New Orleans’s.”

I couldn’t be here anymore so I picked up my dog Ginia and said “Bye, TaShon. I was trying to fix everything, but I guess not!”

He just stared at me. I went out and off again I go!

Time Changes Everything

By Mithila

           Last night it was raining cats and dogs and now the sun is shining brightly. The weather was giving me mixed signals foreshadowing Hurricane Katrina. I was on my way to Times Square, where the new skyscraper will be built. I rushed out of the car and suddenly I see someone. He looks very familiar. “Can it be?”  It’s Tashon! I run up to him ignoring what others may think. Its New York, not like anyone cares.

“Tashon. Tashon.”

“Do I know you?” The moment he said that my face was filled with disappointment.

“You forgot me?”

“Umm… Lanesha?”

“ Yes it’s me. It’s been so long since the last time I saw you.” I couldn’t hold my excitement, although the moment was a little awkward. “How are you? How’s Spot and where is he?”I ask.

“I’m fine but….” He paused for a minute looking guilty.

A student sharing his piece with the class

“But what?”

“I gave him away,” he replied

“what?! Why would you do something like that? He was your best friend.”I yelled.

“After the hurricane we couldn’t afford to take care of a dog so we gave him away. The hurricane destroyed everything and our financial status is really low.” he said as tears come down his eyes.

“This was supposed to be a happy moment;” I think

“I came here looking for a job. It’s not that easy.”

“Well I can help you. Maybe there’s a job available in my company.” I offered

“No I don’t need anyone’s help” Tashon said.

“But … you.” I stutter. He turned away and stormed off.

As time changes, it changes the person with it. The devastating hurricane did change everything.

Modern Warfare 4

By Mehrab

I went in my house and it was as cold as winter. I turned on my PlayStation 3 and started playing Modern Warfare 4 Online Survival. I put my headset on and got my mic and started talking with random players. Suddenly, I heard someone talking and it sounded familiar.

“Lanesha?” I questioned.

“Who are you, and how do you know my name?” the voice said.

“I’m Tashon” I answered. “Tashon?” she questioned.

“Where have you been? I haven’t seen you for a long time!”

“I’ve been very busy” I said.

“Why haven’t you tried to visit me or contact me? I’ve been going through a rough time” she somberly commented.

“I didn’t have time to visit you” I answered back.

“You could have at least called me.” She exclaimed. It went silent for a while, then Lanesha left the game. I was very disappointed in myself. I wondered if she would ever speak to me again.

Forever Lonely

By Kasheda

I was taking my daily walk eating ice-cream. It is very hot here in South Carolina. It is like the ice never made it to the freezer. All of a sudden, I see my good ole’ friend… TaShon! I saw him like a week ago. In my head I’m thinking ‘’Who’s that pregnant woman and that child with him? Maybe I should ask him…’’

“Hi Lanesha!’’

I then say “Hi”

“Have you met my wife Katie and my daughter Sasha? Also the baby on the way, Lorenzo.’’ In my head I was disappointed but I didn’t want to show it. So I just said, ‘’Oh nice to meet you!’’

Katie says ‘’Hi! TaShon has been talking a lot about you lately. It is day and night all the time Lanesha this and I remember when Lanesha and I… but I am glad I finally got to meet the world famous Lanesha!’’

I say ‘’Oh, he does. Nice. I am glad to meet you too!’’ In my head I’m excited because he really talks about me!

Then TaShon says ‘’Well Katie, take Sasha to play on the slide.’’

‘’Okay Sasha let’s go.’’

In my head I’m saying ‘’OMG I cannot believe that my crush is alone with me!’’

Then TaShon says ‘’So. What’s up?’’

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9 thoughts on “Ninth Ward Flash Fiction Day 2 of 3

  1. Pingback: Ninth Ward Flash Fiction Day 3 of 3! « Behind the Book

    • @Mehrab – your story was very creative. I like how you incorporated a bit of yourself in it, since I’m sure you’re a Modern Warfare fan.

      @all – great job with these short stories!

  2. Jennifer: It’s very sad that they had to give up each other as they followed their separate dreams. You’ve created a nicely bittersweet story.

  3. Mithila: The sadness in your story is also very beautiful. You really captured both characters’ emotions well.

  4. As I mentioned in my response to the previous section, I love these pieces! They continue the lives of Lanesha and Tashon in fascinating directions, and add new elements to each character. I hope you all hold on to that spark, and continue writing – perhaps with existing characters, or maybe by creating your own.

    Here are some thoughts on individual pieces:

    Ashton, you have a lovely writing style, and a great sense for details. Others have pointed out the ending, which I think is only one trademark of your consistent sensitivity for timing and psychological nuance. I also love how you started off, giving us a real sense of where Tashon is, both physically and character-wise. Lovely work.

    Jennifer – your work is so intense. I love that you hit the ground running, from the unflinching first sentence to Tashon’s speechless ending; the conversation is written so emotionally I felt (uncomfortably) as if I were in the same room as them. Keep writing – I’d love to see what you’d do with characters of your own!

    Mithila, I love how you started your piece, situating it in an environment you are familiar with. ” I run up to him ignoring what others may think. Its New York, not like anyone cares.” – spoken like a true New Yorker. You have a great sense for little cultural details like that, as well as emotional beats that really make your characters seem real. I love love love your ending.. what a conclusion!

    Mehrab, there’s something so perfect about using a gaming platform as the site of their meeting – it really drives home their loneliness, and how precarious their connection has become. As the conversation progresses, we see more and more of their deeper feelings, and your ending really drives it all home. Bravo.

    Kasheda, you bring up some really interesting moral questions in your piece. I found it interesting that Lanesha’s girl-crush thoughts continued even after she realized Tashon was a married man and expecting father, and there’s a subtle implication of Sasha feeling jealous. These are complex psychological situations, and you handled them well, with a sense of sympathy especially for Lanesha’s character. Good work!

  5. Ashton,
    You have a strong voice as a writer, and a great sense of character and building tension; fabulous choice having them meet again on a night when another hurricane is brewing. I also applaud your choice to make Tashon the narrator, which gave your piece an enlivening twist. Please don’t let this be your last story– you have a real talent for this!

    Jennifer,
    I appreciate how you’ve shown our two characters moving on with their lives and finding success, but in very different ways. Life is funny that way, isn’t it? We don’t always know why, but what works for one doesn’t always work for the other. A very insightful piece!

    Mithila,
    You have a real grasp of the complexities of human relationships and the nature of change. How hard for Tashon, to have to give away a pet for financial reasons; hard, but realistic. You’ve also brought new life to the story by setting it in New York, which furthers the sense of change for these characters. Nicely done!

    Mehrab,
    Your story surprised me in all the best ways! How creative to have our characters meet again online. I myself am interested in video games, so your story resonates with me. So much of our lives take place online now (like this comment I’m leaving!)– why couldn’t an unexpected reunion? Truly innovative!

    Kasheda,
    You’ve really developed an interesting new spin on the story. It seems as though Lanesha and Tashon have stayed in touch, but aren’t close. Your ending leaves me longing to know how this complex situation will play out, if Lanesha will be able to transition from a girlhood crush to an adult friendship with Tashon. Great grasp of character and motivation!

    To All,
    I continue to be surprised and impressed with your creativity and talent. As I’ve said to the first group, I can’t thank you enough for the time and energy you have put forth. As a writer, you have given me the greatest gift possible: to know that my story has not only impacted my readers, but inspired their writing in turn. You’re all brilliant! Well done, and keep writing!

    Hugs,

    Jewell Parker Rhodes

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