Inspiration

Halloween Short Story

While I am still working on changing platforms I have been working on a few new things. This is a short I wrote for Halloween just to get into the groove of writing stories again. I hope you enjoy. Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

 

Date Night

The night was particularly quiet. The fall sky was clear and the breeze was crisp. Each star in the constellation appeared to sparkle as they danced around the bright harvest moon. Nyanda sat curled up in her favorite chair sipping a glass of Shiraz, listening to jazz, staring into the moon waiting for her date to arrive. She met Aaron in the spring and was absolutely in love with his charm, deep voice, soft copper dreads, and green eyes. The sight of him was so intoxicating to her she could almost taste is the scent.

This was the first time Nyanda had ever invited Aaron over to her home and there was a nervous excitement stirring within her.  As she was consumed by the thought of having him for dinner she heard the charm of her doorbell. Nyanda stood, as she was about to open the door she stopped to look at herself in the mirror next to the front door.  Her oversized gray sweatshirt fell slightly off of her right shoulder and her black tights clung to her curvy body like a second skin. She smiled at how her coffee complexion and curly afro looked in the mirror. When she opened the door the sight of Aaron’s smooth honey skin and million dollar smile almost made her melt. He stood silently outside of the door in awe of Nyanda’s radiance when she whispered softly “Come in handsome.”

Aaron entered Nyanda’s apartment and couldn’t believe how much effort she put into the evening. The table was set with roses cascading from one end to the other, candles burning in tall crystal pillars, long-stemmed wine glasses, a chilled bottle of wine and the smell of the steak she had prepared wafted through the room. Aaron smiled admiring all the work this beautiful woman had put into making this night special. There was something about her, something so different about her. He had never met a woman like this in his life. There was something so sexy and mysterious about this new woman in his life. This woman that had sudden become his world. She seemed almost perfect in every way but still he felt like he knew so little about her.

Nyanda walked into the kitchen to get the meal she had delicately prepared, broiled prime rib, baby red potatoes, and steamed asparagus.  She slowly reached under the cabinet to get her serving platter bending over slowing just in case Aaron was looking at her move around her kitchen.  This man mesmerized her and she wanted him in with her every moment from now into eternity. For a moment she paused and wondered if Aaron felt the same about her.  As Nyanda turned to walk out of the kitchen she noticed him leaning on the door at the entrance of the kitchen watching her. His eyes scanning each part of her body and finally landing eye to eye with the most beautiful woman she has ever seen. He wanted her in ways she could never imagine. He was drawn to her like he had never been attracted to anyone before.  The heat from his stare caused her to blush, made her forget what it was exactly she was doing. For a second time seemed to stop for both of them.

Aaron started to chuckle, smiling Nyanda handed him the tray with his food. “Where’s yours?” Aaron asked waiting for Nyanda to grab another dish.

“I’m not hungry but I wanted to make sure I had something nourishing for you,” Nyanda moved by Aaron walking back to the dining table with him walking behind her.

“You went through all of this trouble for me?”

“Yes. I wanted to be sure you weren’t hungry.”

“I’m sorry. Food is not what I’m hungry for tonight.”

Nyanda walked over to the table and poured Aaron a glass of wine and lead him to the couch. They both stood staring at the moon thinking how perfect the night was to share their life and desires with the other. The two were unusually quiet tonight. Most of their time together was usually spent talking for hours sometimes lasting almost until the sun came up.  Aaron spoke first, “I know we haven’t known each other long but I want to share my life and my world with you.”

This was exactly what Nyanda wanted to here. She leaned over and kissed him lightly tasting the sweetness of wine on his lips.

Looking at his face and attempting to read his thoughts, she didn’t know if this was even a good idea even. What if he said no to want to spend forever with her the way she needed him to? What if he thought she was crazy when she told him exactly what she needed from him? She thought to herself perhaps this just wasn’t going to be a conversation at all. She was going to show this man exactly who and what she was and hope he was willing to accept it.  Aaron’s smile staring back at her was a bit mischievous as he had his own needs for her and he too felt like there was no discussion needed. Their eyes seemed to equally surrender to the needs and desires of the other. Somehow, Aaron knew that she wanted the kind of forever he needed to have.  He just didn’t understand how he knew. Was this woman really going to be ready to give up everything to be with him? All he really knew was he could not spend one more day without her by his side.

Aaron’s mind wandered about a future with Nyanda.  He was hoping she would enjoy as much as he enjoyed just the idea of forever with her, he felt her kissing and sucking on his neck. There was a coolness from her breath that hypnotized him for a moment and his yearning for her became guttural and he couldn’t hold back anymore. At that moment, as her kisses became more intense and his hunger uncontrollable Aaron tilted his head back, opened his mouth, and allowed his fangs to drop for the first time in Nyanda’s presence. She was completely immersed in the way he curiously tasted and supernaturally responded to her kisses, she was completely unaware of the fangs that were inches from her own neck.  Aaron then let out a deep groan from the mix of pleasure and pain which prompted Nyanda to lose all sense of control and allow her own fang to drop and burrow deep into Aaron’s neck. She felt the blood to trickle onto her tongue and drip down her chin. She paused when she Aaron jumped slightly, chuckled, and pull her closer into his neck. Nyanda lifted her head blood dripping from her fangs to look at him for reassurance. She wanted him to see her for exactly who she was. Once she lifted her head Aaron’s chuckle began to grow to a low roar of laughter. Suddenly Aaron grabbed her face in his hands and turned it to his to see his own fangs and glowing green eyes. She laughed a little shocked and relieved, wondering how she didn’t realize Aaron was also a vampire. She thought how was she to know she had never dated another vamp before and the difference between humans and vampires wasn’t as obvious as legends have led to believe. However, he never questioned the fact that they only communicated after dark or why they never shared a meal. She should have known but, none of it mattered now.

Though Aaron was unaware Nyanda was also a vampire he knew that she was his destiny. Her being vamp answered the question of her mystery. Now there were no questions or doubts this love was for infinity. With a smile still on his face and more in love than ever he leaned over gently and kissed his blood from her lips.

 

Lou W. Hargrove

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Inspiration

Part of the Learning Curve is Change…

One of the most important things in life that we all have to be prepared for is change. I have been blogging off and on this space for a few years yet and have never seemed to quite catch my flow the way in the way that I would like. I would start then stop, start then stop. I have never nourished this space in a way that gave room for this blog to grow. With this understanding I will be moving Red Butterfly Chronicles to a new space that will display all of the many parts to Lou Hargrove the Creative.

I will still continue to write about life, love, growth, and self discovery. However, this will be much different space that isn’t just a blog but a space that I can express more of me and hopefully a place that you can enjoy as well. Over the last year I have been paying attention to learn from my struggles in business and in my personal life. At one point I was very afraid to make changes or re-brand myself or my business but that is part of the learning curve. There is nothing in life that we are able to grow without change. Every time we step out into the unknown and work to improve, grow, or build there is will always be a learning curve that we have to experience to get to where we are looking to go. And without fail that learning curve will always bring about some level of change. Either we change our insight, our approach, or just our knowledge base in a certain area learning creates change.

So now that I have been taking to time to not only learn more about business I have also taken the time to learn more about myself as a creative. I do hope that you continue you this journey and welcome the new Redbutterflychronicles.com (coming early November).  Also if you have any questions or comments please leave them down below.

If you would like to be notified when the site launches please send me your email to:

lou@redbutterflypublishing.com

Inspiration

Love Is…

Like many other women recently my new favorite show on television is OWN’s Love Is… It is based on the love story of Salim and Mara Brock Akil producers behind hit show Girlfriends, The Game, and Black Lightning.  The show covers various relationship topics such as, financial differences, children, exes, intimacy, religion, and black love just to name a few.

Watching Love Is actually inspired me to go to social media with a few questions of my own. One of the things I asked was for people to describe love in one word.  I discovered that there is no one word answer for what love is.  Truth is love is a complex emotion that carries with it different descriptions and meanings based on what each individual needs and requires. Most people described love in terms of acceptance, sacrifice, loyalty, and of course as just love. These descriptions reminded that as individuals our definitions of love are based independently on our own personal needs, beliefs, and requirements. So what do we do when we meet and fall in love with someone that has an entirely different belief system and carry a whole separate set of needs than what we are used to? How do we learn to love each other to that we are both receiving what we perceive as love?

So the next question I decided to ask was: Do you love how you would want to be love or do you love how your partner wants to be loved? Interesting enough most people stated that thy love their partner the way that the partner needs love. However, there were still a few that said that they love the way they need to be love as an example of how they want their partner to love them. In both love styles people are loving the best way that they know how. So the discussion continued to when is the appropriate time for us to tell someone that we are dating about our love needs. Some say this is a great discussion for the first date, some say to wait awhile until you two have been dating awhile, and some say to just wait it out and just see what happens. I’m an advocate of having this conversation sooner than later when dating someone new. Most women over 30 agree one of the worst things that we can do is to waste our time waiting quietly for someone to love us without giving them the tools that they need. Or just wasting our time with people that are just not equipped enough to love us the way we need to be even with armed with all of the proper information. A very valuable love lesson learned.

In a current society where most people like their relationships the way most like their food (fast, hot, and easy). Love is… is a refreshing reminder of what it is to find a love worth the work. It also beautiful to find a show that is able to open up exploratory conversation about what love.  Hopefully, you are able to watch and also ask some of the probing questions that each episode brings to the surface.

Lou Hargrove

Uncategorized

The Power of Walking Away…

Over the last few years one lesson that I have had the hard task in learning over and over again is the power of walking away. Though more often than not it doesn’t feel powerful at all, many times I left feeling exhausted, defeated, and for the most part powerless. I have had to walk away from friends, relationships, projects, a job and for awhile this blog.

Though none of it was fun, each time opened my eyes to new moments and opportunities that I would have never had the ability or time to discover if I wasn’t able to leave some people and things behind me. However, before I was able to come to understand some very important ideals first. The first epiphany that I had to learn was that I had to let go of somethings in order make room for new things in my life. For example, it took me a long time to realize that I had to let go of a relationship that was not growing or no longer fulfilling in order to make room for the type of man and love that I desired. Honestly, during the entire course of the relationship I knew that it didn’t have a future and I was still hoping to find my Mr. Right instead of continuing with Mr. Right-Now. So I finally let him know how I felt and eventually we went our separate ways. This was not easy for me and ending things really hurt but so is staying in something that you see no future in. I had to make room for what I really wanted so I walked away. Now I’m not going to say that this my magical man of my dreams have swept me away already but I am closer to being ready for him when he does that I have ever been before. Another example, would be leaving a job that I had for 15 years because I was exhausted, under valued and the financial benefits just were no longer worth the sacrifice. I had become tired and cranky all the time, my physical and mental health was starting to suffer. The lesson I had to realize by walking away from this job was the value of myself, my time, and my well-being. I also began to think more about what I needed and wanted out of my life other that just working for others around the clock (literally). Once I left this employer I was able to launch my accessory brand Red Buttafly Designs and release my second book Red Book Chronicles all because I now had more time to focus on things that were important to me instead of wondering around like a sleepless zombie.  One other very important lesson that I learned was to let go of things and projects that I was not able to put my all into, because it’s selfish to hold on when you don’t have enough to give. So for a while I had to walk away from this blog, because I had so much going on I wasn’t able to put the time and effort into growing this blog into the resource that I truly wanted it to be. I was trying to pour into my readers when in reality my own cup was empty and I really needed to pour into myself. So what I was leaving you with was inconsistency instead of the inspiration, and in a way I way I felt like a failure by walking away from it. In time as I was making an effort to pour back into myself I had the realization that walking away doesn’t always mean forever sometimes you just have to step away from somethings until you are completely ready for the project, job, or relationship.

The reality of walking away is that there always a level of growth made by the sacrifice. Unfortunately, we don’t always feel the growth in the beginning it usually feels like a piece of us is being ripped to shreds or often like we have given up. In the end there is sense of freedom that is so comforting and undeniable and nothing and no one can take that away from you especially the situation that you walked away from.

Lou Hargrove

Inspiration · Uncategorized

When Busyness Seems to Spin Out of Control, It’s All Just A Distraction!!!!

Happy New Year!!! I know it’s been a long time since I have been able to chat but things have literally been spinning out of control and my focus has been on everything except for writing. There just seems to be so much going on at one time that for awhile I didn’t even seem like myself. It was almost as if I was beginning to morph into this other individual that I did not recognize, I did not know, and quite frankly nor did I care for her very much.
I was finally beginning to see the result of my overactive lifestyle and the product of my busyness. Now don’t get me wrong during the last 6 months I have learned a lot about myself and all about how creative of an artist I really am and have grown a great deal in that area. I took some time to explore my other creative talents such as beading, crocheting and learned how to make jewelry. I even opened up my Etsy store RBD Designs this morning, but I haven’t been doing is writing. I have not written one word in well over a month. I work and I craft and then I go back to work. I try to sleep a little in between once in awhile but I’m still not very successful at that. Oh and then, of course, there is family and other personal obligations, plan making, self-discovering, the I’m getting too damn close to 40 to be single woes, and the list goes on and on. Then recently I looked in the mirror and saw a very tired, worn, reflection staring back at me.
That’s when I realized that this new image that I was seeing of myself was not me, but a shell of me of who I used to be. I know longer go out, shop for shoes, get dressed up just because, get my nails done and very rarely wear my full face of Friday night make up on Tuesday afternoon just feel perky. My busyness had finally taken control of me I was always drained and unhappy to where I didn’t even have a desire to write. Somewhere in the midst of my busyness and normal life hiccups I have given up. I had given up on my likes, my wants, and my desires. I had given up on me! And for a brief moment giving up almost looked like growing up, but it isn’t. It’s a deterrent, it’s a distraction. When the busyness and other life factors seem to completely take over and run your life, it’s often a sign that we are running from life. Things will come up, life will change, schedules will change and we will change. However, we can’t lose ourselves in the process or run from it. We will grow and we will learn, but is an essence of ourselves that is so deeply part of our making trying to change that part will only make us unrecognizable. Now please don’t get me wrong I enjoy the new skill set that I have developed and you will be seeing a lot more of my new creative ideas very soon but it is not a trade in for the other parts of me. I’m not ready to trade in my sexy for a skein of yarn just yet or my writing for beads. These things are part of my essence, my core and I am here to embrace them fully. I can no longer run into the busyness.

Health & Wellness · Uncategorized

Too Busy To Be Sick?

Last month I did a post “Relax, Relate, Refresh” discussing the busyness of life and how we get so easily overwhelmed with all of the things in life we attempt to juggle. But what about when we become too busy to even be sick or even too tired to know we are sick. I know I am a huge culprit of saying every time I get a sore throat that I am too busy to get sick, and in the midst of it all ignore the signs that my body is giving me to let me know that I need to rest, recharge, or even see a doctor. We constantly set other priorities in our lives on other things such as school, work, family, relationship, etc., that we totally forget about ourselves.

Last week a woman very close to me had a severe health crisis, she was so tired from her long days with work and school that she didn’t even realize that something was wrong. Then while being hospitalized she was more preoccupied with missed work and deadlines than she was getting well. Which means she still was not taking the time for herself that was necessary in a proper recovery.

Even with more and more information now available about how we should take care of our health and wellbeing, we still seem to be trapped in a society where the superwoman is no longer super but expected. We watch on television these extraordinary women that go through cancer treatment while never missing a day from work, have major surgeries or babies and return to work right away without their doctor’s permission. Their was a time in history when this is what black women were forced to do and that’s when we were slaves and housemaids, now we do it because that’s what we are used to. Because we must work harder than anyone else either because of our own goals and dreams or because have others that depend on us to keep moving and providing. And most of us feel like we can’t afford to stop or slowdown even for a moment.  But we still seem to be missing a major question, “What happens when there is no us?”. The point is we cannot allow ourselves to be worn out to the point that we are no longer available to help ourselves or anyone else. Taking care of our health and well-being is a major contribution to this world because it allows us to be around a lot longer to do what we do.

Sincerely,

Lou Hargrove

Inspiration · Uncategorized

Magical Women

Believe it or not this is a wonderful time to be a Black Woman. Now there are times when it won’t feel like it and honestly it should always be a wonderful time to be yourself, but there has been some beauty in the horizons. Starting with the Emmys Viola Davis’ amazing speech last week made it very clear that we are doing some amazing things in areas Black Women were never taken seriously. We may not be doing everything that we wish we were or have climbed to the top of the game as we would like to but we definitely are making some major moves and have started to be recognized for our achievements. This demonstrates one very important thing- Our voice is starting to be noticed.

As black women our voices have been smothered, silenced, and even beaten out of us. Remember when Celie decided to leave Albert in Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple”- ” Who you think you is? You can curse nobody. Look at you. Your black, you’re poor, you’re ugly, you’re a woman, you’re nothing at all!”  As I’ve gotten older I realized how much emphasis he put in that statement and that her being a woman was the worst on that list and her blackness was the first of her nothingness. How many times have any of us experienced this type of labeling just because we are black women? We see it in the media, in the workplace, even in our families and intimate relationships. We have even seen it amongst other women. But the beauty in this scene in the movie was no matter what Albert said to Celie he couldn’t undo her realization that she too was a magical woman she no longer stayed stuck in the box that others had put her in her entire life. Like Celie many of us get boxed in we are just little girls.

This weekend I had the pleasure of seeing Black Girl: Linguistic Play by Camille A. Brown and Dancers at the Joyce Theater in New York City that focused on just that us being girls. The show celebrated the magical power of being a being a black girl from the games we play, the bonds we make, through our discovery of self with the rhythms and gestures of childhood. It was a wonderful demonstration how we grow, play, and evolve into something bold and unstoppable with our voices only growing louder and more powerful where we can longer be ignored.