Sunday Photo Fiction: Fertility Goddess

“What the hell is that?” Jasmine asked as Alana placed a wooden figurine about two feet tall onto the end table in Jasmine’s living room.

“It’s an African fertility goddess. Mbaba wana . . . something or another. It’s Zulu. Do you like it?”

“Girl, you know I don’t believe in that stuff.”

“I know, but you and David have been trying so hard to have a baby. And I know it’s really been getting you down that you’re still not pregnant. I thought this would cheer you up.”

Jasmine twisted her mouth.

“If it helps, I only paid five bucks for it,” Alana said.

“Thrift store?”

“Girl, you already know!”

* * * *

That night, Jasmine awoke to someone poking her stomach. A heavy-set, brown skin woman with long dreadlocks stood over her. Jasmine thought about screaming, asking the woman how she got in her house, who she was, demanding she leave.

The woman turned, looked straight in Jasmine’s eyes, and making a popping sound with her mouth, she poked Jasmine one last time in the navel before vanishing.

Jasmine quickly shook her husband lying beside her.

“Whaaa,” he said groggily.

“Take off your shorts!” she said as she shuffled out of her panties underneath the covers.

word count: ~200


This is in response to Sunday Photo Fiction: write a story around 200 words based on the provided photo prompt. Click the froggy icon to read other stories and add your own.

sff 3-29

No Holds Barred Poetry Writing Challenge: Day 7

African . . .

American . . .
Elsewhere . . .

These are the words my four-year-old son
pushes from his lips
as we drive by American Furniture Warehouse,
leaning over his car seat
pressing his face into the glass window
attempting to read the letters
displayed across the front of the building.

I want to applaud him,
congratulate him for getting at least one word right,
but I wonder why he chose the other two

African . . .
Elsewhere . . .

as if he’s throwing a part of his heritage away.

And I worry.
Did I not read enough tales of
Anansi, the cunning spider
before he fell asleep?
Did my forgetful husband let him watch
Saturday morning cartoons instead
of the Gullah Gullah Island reruns
I recorded and set aside for him?
Does he still play with his action figures—
Green Lantern from Justice League Unlimited?
Falcon from the Marvel Comics?

I did it, mommy. I read the sign!

I look at him through the rearview mirror,
smile weakly at my baby boy’s reflection.
Does he know who he is?
Can he see himself in
the myths and fables,
the educational programming,
the animated superheroes.
I want to pull over,
sweep him up in my warm, Black embrace.
There’s nothing elsewhere about being African American
I wish I could say with an undeceiving heart.

Instead I continue driving.
Good job, I tell him.
Good job.