Category Archives: fiction

David A. Green: Out of the Yoke of Bondage

David A. Green is the author of The Beginning of Sorrows, Tonya Baldwin, Predetermined Legacy, The Young and the Foolish, and Out of the Yoke of Bondage. He served as assistant pastor and radio evangelist for the Gospel Spreading Church of God for several years. He now lives in Hampton, where he continues to write for pleasure and encouragement.

Donald and Mickey were standing on the corner of Queen Street and Back River Road when the white utility van pulled up to them. The back doors flung open and the Satan Warriors that were in it saw the two standing there. Brandon was in the van, and when he saw Donald he said, “Who are you?”

“I’m Donald King, aka the Pharmacist,” he said. Everyone in the van looked at him with amazement.

Brandon could not believe it. “Get in! Both of you!” The two climbed up and closed the doors.  When they were seated on the floor the van took off.

Donald looked around the van to see that it contained eight members of the gang. To his comfort, Crack was not present. He then asked, “Who is the leader?”

“I’m Brandon, and this is King. You talk to us,” he said as King nodded.

“I’ve heard a lot about you, Pharmacist! One of my lieutenants wants to kill you!” said King.

Donald was slow to speak. “I came here today to make a deal with you.”

Brandon and King looked at each other. “Speak!” said King.

“Mickey Burns is not gang material,” said Donald. “His cousin got killed in an ambush over in Norfolk and he wanted to get even. He did not think, and before he knew it he had joined the Warriors. He has since realized that he has made a mistake, gang banging is not for him, and he wants out.”

Brandon looked at Mickey. “Why should the Warriors let him go?”

“Because Jesus Christ has claimed him as his own. He surrendered his life to the Savior earlier today, and he is determined to walk with the Lord, and obey his words.”

King said, “You came here to make a deal?”

Donald paused then spoke. “My life for his and his family.” Gang members looked at each other and laughed.

“Quiet!” said King as the van became silent. He then pulled a switchblade from his pocket, and springing the blade from the handle, he jumped at Donald, who did not move. Grabbing him by the collar and laying him on the floor, he placed the point against his throat. “You are crazy to come up in this van! I could kill you both and toss you over the James River Bridge! You took a chance!” Mickey was shaking horribly, but Donald did not flinch. King noticed that he was not afraid, and after a moment, he released him and let him up. “You not afraid of me?”

Donald said, “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Rising up off the floor, he said. “I came here to die, and I was expecting nothing less. I know Crack wants me dead and I am willing to make that sacrifice. But this young boy deserves a better chance than what you can give him. Jesus Christ took my place on the cross, and he died in my stead. Now I want to do the same for Mickey and his family. If you kill me, I will have lost nothing, because I have Jesus. But if you die in your sins, you will be lost through eternity. I want to take Mickey’s place. Do with me whatever you see fit, but let him and his family live.”

King listened to his words before he spoke. “I remember when I was little, my mother used to tell me about a man that could take away sin. She said he could exchange his good life for my bad life and I could be free. She was talking about Jesus.” He then looked at Mickey, who was still shaking, and said, “I wish I could be free, but I’ve done too much. But Mickey, he has done nothing. I say we let them both go, and his family not be harmed.” Brandon nodded, and so did the other gang members.

Just then, the driver’s cell phone rang. Answering it, he said, “Yo, King!”

King took the phone. “Yeah.” After listening a few moments, he said, “Keep him cornered and don’t let him get away! We’ll be right there!” Folding up the cell phone, he said to Donald, “You don’t have to worry about Crack anymore. He’s no longer a Warrior. My boys have cornered him down in Norfolk, and we are going to deal with him right now. You two can get out here.”

The van pulled over to the Hampton Public Library. As Donald and Mickey jumped out of the van, King said, “Crack should have left you alone! The Warriors have nothing against you, and because Crack disobeyed me, I am going to take him down.” The doors closed up and the van sped off towards the interstate.


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Elaine T. Jones turns memories into fiction

Elaine T. Jones is a retired educator who continues to be active in her community. Elaine holds a Bachelor’s degree from Drexel University in Philadelphia. PA. She did her Master’s studies at Temple University. She is the mother of four, grandmother of five, and great grandmother of one… After retirement, Elaine began to write; Price Road is her first novel.

Price Road is the story of a White postman, Ed O’Reilly, who delivered mail on Price Road, a primarily Black community in North Carolina, in the 1940s and 50s – when Jim Crow Laws were in effect below the Mason Dixon Line. The place is real; the history is factual; the characters are composites of people Elaine recalls from her youth when she visited her grandparents, who lived on Price Road.

A large white delivery truck came down Price Road – fast – just as a car turned onto Shady Grove Road; the truck couldn’t stop fast enough, and the car was pushed into a tree on the church grounds. The car was crushed like an accordion.

Although Ed had only been on the job for a few months when the car accident happened, he was already friendly with the people on his route; therefore, he knew who was in the mangled car. Every cell in Ed’s entire body recalled the same pain, anxiety, fear, and sorrow that he felt that on that dreadful day. It was hard for Ed to look at that tree – it still smacked of tragedy, yet he couldn’t stop himself from looking every time he drove by. Someone planted a beautiful white rose bush at the base of the tree where the crushed car had been; the magnificent flowers shared the space with the large roots of the elderly tree and defiantly reappeared every year. Larger.

The accident occurred on a Wednesday afternoon; Ed was driving back down Price Road, on his return trip to the post office. It was Ed who instinctively drove as fast as he could to tell Big Mom what happened. He took Big Mom and Perry to the scene; they never stopped thanking him for that even though Ed told them that he didn’t think he had done anything extraordinary. Ed remembered how he instinctively removed the mailbag from the passenger seat to let Big Mom sit in the front of the car because it was the right thing to do. Still, Ed remembered the sense of relief he felt when he saw that there were no other White people around; thank God, he didn’t have to explain his actions to anyone.

As Ed looked back on that day, he wondered why such thoughts even entered his mind. As he relived his thinking at the time, Ed recalled the feeling of an internal conflict. That was the day when he first became aware of the fighting going on in his head between the Inside Ed and the Outside Ed. It was as if he were two beings rolled into one. His mind was as much a battlefield as Gettysburg. The Inside Ed felt stifled, and struggled with the fear of being discovered in his hiding place because if he was recognized he might be required to lead or act in some way – like John Brown. Ed knew the song about John Brown lying in the grave. John Brown was executed, and Inside Ed did not want to be placed in the position of opposing the majority; he was not a John Brown. The Inside Ed was concerned with what other people saw in him every time he emerged; therefore, he spent most of his time imprisoned deep in the dungeon of denial. Still on occasion, Inside Ed found the nerve to escape from his hiding place to do something he felt was right, albeit only covertly, as he did on the day of the accident.

The Outside Ed fought for the dominance of Ed O’Reilly’s mind; he was the smiling, happy go lucky, carefree personality that enjoyed being accepted by his friends and relatives. Outside Ed did not think his own thoughts; he always chose the path of least resistance. As long as he wasn’t the instigator, his position regarding racial and social issues was – ‘It’s not my responsibility.’ It was fear that controlled both Inside Ed and Outside Ed for different reasons; a fear that was hidden under the skin, but a fear nonetheless. Neither of these personalities was free, and their fight for the control of Ed O’Reilly’s mind felt like pure pandemonium under his skull.

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Jennifer Busskohl, writing as J.B. Kohl

From her new book, One Too Many Blows to the Head, a collaboration with Eric Beetner:

Ray was a hard cord of a man, with muscles coiled tight enough to fire bullets without a gun if needed. His hands were cuffed together and rested on the table in front of him. Like the cuffs would do me and Bob any good if Ray decided to pounce.

Bob wiped the sweat off his forehead when he saw me and led me over to the corner to tell me what he’d got so far . . . which wasn’t much. “Says he was there looking for a girl.”


Bob nodded.

I moved back over to the table and told Ray I was sorry about his brother—and that was the truth. I was sorry about a lot of things and his brother’s death was just one more on the list. “Let’s talk about what you were really doing in Negrotown.”

His fists clenched a little when I said that, the tendons of his wrists straining against the metal of the cuffs. “Get those off him, Bob,” I said.

Bob looked like he wanted to argue, but he took the cuffs off and stepped back, like maybe he’d let a tiger out of the cage or something. Ray just nodded and sat there, not giving in to the urge to rub the raw spots.

“You want a cigarette?” I asked.

“Don’t smoke.”

I shrugged. “So how about it? What were you doing there?”

“What makes you think I’m lying about the girl?”

“I think you’ve been too busy to think about girls.”

He was silent.

“Tell me about the fight.”

See another book by this author, the Deputy’s Widow, at

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