Thoughts while standing in line for coffee

topless man with black hair and suspenders

I love a man with long hair. Loose or loc’d—it doesn’t matter. As long as he can throw it up into a messy bun, I’m his. All his.

I would gladly bear his children.

“Excuse me, miss?”

The way he rubs his goatee, stares at me with those piercing brown eyes, I worry he may have heard my thoughts.

Good, that voice in my head says, cut to the chase.

He bends down and I lose my nerve. “Not in public!” I squeal.

“I’m sorry?” He hands me my pen. “You dropped this.”

I just might pee on myself.

© Nortina Simmons

Single mom magnet

Front driver's side of the pulpy ice cream truck.

“Pistachio mint, please.”

“Aren’t you a little old to be chasing after the ice cream truck?” I ask as I dip a scoop, drop it into the waffle cone, and dip another.

“Well, that doesn’t clear my suspicions that all ice cream men are perverts.”

“Ouch!” I exchange the cone for her three singles. “We’re just trying to make a nut like all the other squirrels,” I joke.

“Still not helping.”

Something about the way she licks that ice cream tells me she’s willing to test her theory.

“So you’re joining me in the back of this truck or what?”

© Nortina Simmons

His name was Triton

close up photo of bear chested man with tattoos posing by the beach

I met him under the sea—knocked unconscious by powerful waves. He swam me to shore.

He had a goatee thick like seaweed, long rope-like dreads, skin glistening like sand under the hot sun.

He said he was divorced, never considered finding love in a land walker until his youngest daughter married one.

He proposed with a conch shell. I brought it to my ear, and his voice drew me out to the ocean like the tide.

My family didn’t believe me when I said I was marrying a merman.

Not until I dipped my head underwater and never resurfaced.

© Nortina Simmons

Alone at last

Jeffery agreed to take the children out for ice cream and a movie. Finally, she’d have the house to herself.

She would reminisce of a life before a husband and kids.

She untied her robe, let it drop to the floor, felt the cool kiss of air on her nipples as the air conditioning kicked on for the final day of summer. She imagined a younger Jeffery behind her, cupping her breasts in his hands, biting her neck.

She kept a rose toy in a shoebox in her closet. Desiring a quick release, she would finally put it to use.

© Nortina Simmons

Guilty conscience

“Guilty!” the judge declares.

I lose all feeling in my legs.

My sister helps me up, and I watch, through tears, the bailiff handcuff Michael and guide him to the door left of the defendant’s bench.

He doesn’t take one glace back at me.

“This can’t be happening,” I say breathlessly. “I can’t let him go to prison for something I did.”

“Shut up!” she snaps. “What’s done is done. Let’s go.”

But I can’t move. Because the man in my freezer isn’t the first. And with Michael locked away, what will happen to me when the next one dies?

© Nortina Simmons

Desperate housewife

Woman in Red Dress Leaning on the Wall

Waiting outside his hotel room, I feel desperate. This defeats the whole purpose of a one-night stand.

“No strings,” I told him with slurred speech.

But I’m sober now.

My husband is dead.

And I need an alibi.

Like I said, I’m desperate.

When the door opens, I straighten against the wall. He jumps when he sees me.

“Oh, it’s you.”

I should be relieved he remembers me.

“I need you to say you were with me last night.”

He scoffs. “I’m late for a conference.” He puts on his blazer and sidesteps me. But I’m desperate, so I follow.

© Nortina Simmons

A longer fleshed-out version of this story (or maybe even a serial) could be in the works. 😉 Let me know what you think.


Woman sitting in bathtub with water

Work was traumatic. My frustration with constantly being asked stupid questions had reached its limit.

“Learn to do your fucking job!” I snapped at my boss.

Meeting with HR in the morning. I might be unemployed by lunch.

Tonight will be about self-care. I draw a bubble bath, pour myself a glass of wine, light a few candles, play smooth R&B from my phone’s speakers.

A knock on the bathroom door catches my attention. It’s my husband.

“We need to talk about what the lawyer said.”

I might be divorced by dinner.

I sink to the bottom of the tub.

© Nortina Simmons


“Emil was a wonderful husband and father,” Fiona says between sobs. She gazes out into the audience of seven mourners, one of them her son, Ryan.

And Rachel.

She opens the tissue in her hands, remembering she’d scribbled her eulogy notes on it in pencil, having waited to the last minute to think of something to say about her dearly departed, cheating, soon-to-be ex-husband.

Maybe it was good the divorce wasn’t finalized before he croaked.

After the funeral, she feels a cold hand on her shoulder.

“We both loved him,” Rachel says.

“Nice try. But you’re not getting a dime.”

© Nortina Simmons

Ghostly affair

When he decided to spy on his wife, the last thing he expected was to discover that she could talk to ghosts.

And that she’d been secretly seeing his father’s.

Over dinner, he asked her about her day.

“Oh, I did this or that.”

Later that night, his father stood at the foot of their bed, described to him what “this or that” meant.

“You can’t have sex with the dead,” he whispered.

“I beg to differ,” the translucent figure responded, making hip thrusts in the direction where his wife slept.

Even after death, that man continued to torment him.


Written for Fandango’s Story Starter. Click the link to read more stories inspired by the teaser “When he decided to spy on his wife, the last thing he expected was to discover that she…”

Death in Death Valley

I’m not imagining the man in black. He’s wearing a long coat and wide brim hat, entirely too hot for a walk in Death Valley.

When Brian tells me there’s nothing there, at risk of looking crazy, I approach the man that only I can see. His face is hidden in shadow.

He tells me his name is Death.

“Will you kill me, Mr. Death?”

He shakes his head. “I only deliver souls.”

“Then who?” But before he can answer, I feel Brians fingers around my neck.

The man lifts his hat, and I see the face of my dad.

© Nortina Simmons