Angelia Vernon Menchan, Serialist...

Angelia Vernon Menchan is an avid serial writer. Her goal is to engage readers in ongoing stories filled with people like them, who they can grow to know. Some will inspire love and devotion, others rage and ridicule, perhaps. They will all inspire feelings and generate conversation!


Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Having always been fearful of being hurt, Abasha Celine shunned love and relationships. She found herself in situations, which meant she had random sexual encounters with a couple of her friends who provided benefits. However, the day she walked into the art gallery and Shaka Fortune spoke to her, things changed.

"Hello...I'm Shaka Fortune, welcome to my work."

 Color suffused her mahogany face as her eyes drank in his tall, ebony countenance. Usually very verbose she said nothing for several minutes. His face opened in a grin as he rubbed her hand, sending colorful shock waves through her.

"And you are?"

"Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place." flew from her mouth. She felt as if she would collapse from desire and embarrassment. Staring into her eyes, he willed himself not to lick her face. He'd never enjoyed such a visceral reaction to any woman.

“So, it does. I love a woman, who loves Zora."

Finally, pulling her hand away Abasha maneuvered her way through the gallery. Shaka was known for his ebony nudes, highlighted by swirls of color. Most of the canvases were huge but a medium one caught her eye. The woman was in recline, her skin the color of teak with shades of orange showing as veins. Her natural hair covered most of her face, but her orange lips showed prominently.

Watching Abasha, Shaka held his breath. At thirty seven and having travelled the world selling his paintings, his confidence in his work was notable but there was something about the woman staring at them that made his insides pulse and undulate. Her stance was provocative with her curly head thrown back and her legs slightly apart. She was wearing faded blue jeans that weren’t necessarily snug but it was clear she was well formed and her curves screamed Africa. He also loved that she was above average height with no slumping. She would fit perfectly in his arms.

Abasha was startled by how the painting resonated within her, what she couldn’t immediately see were the similarities. It was as if he had painted her.

“Ma’am, is that you?”

Sliding out of her spell, Abasha turned to the cultured French voice. Standing next to her was a man of indeterminate age dressed in a suit with a beret. He wasn’t very tall but something about him indicated wealth and power. Her coffee colored eyes met his olive ones.

“No it isn’t. She is stunning.”

“So are you, Cherie."

Bowing, he made his way down the aisle. Having watched the exchange, Shaka made his way to Abasha.

“He is right you know. That woman came to me in a dream. She begged me to paint her and I could only do what I was asked. When you materialized, I knew I had painted you and here you are.”

“I was born thirty two years ago and I am no dream, I am real. Nice work Mr. Fortune.” Throwing her scarf around her shoulders, she walked into another room, leaving Shaka with a smile on his face. He still didn’t know her name.




Scene One

Abasha walked into her apartment in a state of bemusement. She spent several hours in the gallery, mostly checking out the extensive work of Shaka. She had known of his work for years and had a few small prints, but his paintings were well out of her range. Her salary as a guidance counselor did not allow for purchasing paintings costing in the tens of thousands. There had been rumors he was now living in Fernandina Beach but there had been no sightings of him. He was known to be reclusive. When the one day notice had appeared about his showing, she knew she would attend. It never occurred to her she would actually meet him and say something so inappropriate. She was the biggest Zora Neale Hurston fan and was always thinking of her words but that had been highly inappropriate and embarrassing. She had also had no idea he was so damn fine. He looked like an ebony god and the way he filled out those jeans and the black jacket had her insides, still in a dither. Shaking those thoughts from her mind, she kicked off her boots, making her way to the kitchen. There was nothing she wanted more than a glass of cabernet and quiet. Her life was filled with demanding students and study. Her mom and younger brother lived across town but there were days she simply had to avoid them. She loved her mom fiercely, but for some reason she decided eighteen years ago to have another child at forty and now at almost sixty, Reginald was driving her nuts and she wanted to take Abasha along for the drive but she wasnt going.

Undressing and wrapping herself in a thin robe, Abasha took her full glass and made her way to the porch. She loved the night air and quiet. Trying to keep her mind still, she took a sip of her beverage of choice but her mind wandered back to the man who had her shaken and stirred.

Damn Shaka.


Shaka stood in the parking lot after the showing, looking around. He wanted to see the woman he met earlier in the night. His assistant told him, her name was Abasha Celine and she worked in Jacksonville as a high school guidance counselor. He was trying to reconcile her job with how he saw her. Everything appeared to him as colors and she was a nice mix of orange, reds and yellows. In his mind, a counselor should give off blues and greens. Chuckling at his absurdity, he pulled open the door of his truck. He felt rather than saw someone walk up behind him. Turning, he looked into the eyes of Drita, the woman who took care of his shows, scheduling and formerly his physical needs. It had been months since he had been inside her and he recognized the look on her face. Drita was a short, curvy, buxom sister who was open and honest with her desires.

“Are you interested in company tonight Shaka?” Her voice was low and husky. He looked down at her, with a smile.

“Not tonight. I am drained. That show was a smash and it has left me tired. It took months to prepare for it and now in a few hours, most of the paintings are sold.”

“True, but thats a lot of money for you.”

“And you, my plucky assistant. Your seven percent should be considerable.” Throwing her hair back, her eyes never left his face.

“True but a woman cannot live by commission alone.” His grin grew wider at her provocative words. She had earned over fourteen thousand dollars in a few hours.

“True, but you can purchase what you want. I am heading to the hills now but we will talk soon.” Getting in his truck, he honked the horn as he pulled off into traffic.


Pacing like a naked panther around his home, he stopped to stare out at the ocean waves and the black night. It had been a long time since a woman had gotten under his skin. A few years ago he had been involved with a woman he was growing to care about but when she gave him the ultimatum of choosing her or his art it ended. He smiled to himself at the thought of Sara. She had been older than he and had money with which she thought she could purchase things, including him. Sara was a beautiful, sexy woman but Shaka Fortune had never been for sale, not even when he was a poor black boy living in Beaufort, South Carolina wondering where his next meal was coming from. He learned at an early age to work and make it happen for himself. His dad left when he was born and his mom cleaned hotel rooms to feed him and some nights they ate what she brought home that people had thrown away but she taught him to work and work hard and once she learned he had a talent for painting she had done everything she could to help him realize his potential. She died five years earlier in her early fifties from leukemia but lived to see him successful and reap some of the rewards. At that moment an unbidden picture of Abasha entered his brain and he knew, even as tired as he was, he needed to paint. Racing to his studio, he locked the door and turned up the music. He knew he wouldn’t stop until he had a perfect rendering of the woman in his mind.




Scene Two

Reggia Celine stared at her son and rage bloomed in her chest.

Reginald, I dont have money for that. You need to get a job for stuff like that. I am a secretary and it takes all I have to keep a roof over our heads. You are barely passing your classes and you expect a new phone, it isnt happening.” Reginald was a tall handsome kid and was spoiled by Regina. She had fallen in love with his younger father when she was forty and he thirty and gotten pregnant. She hadnt seen his father since but every month she received a check for a couple hundred dollars. At fifty-eight, she was wondering what the hell she had been thinking about. But she knew. She was lonely and horny and the first sexy thirty year old who showed interest had ended up in her bed. She refused to listen to anyone, including her fourteen year old daughter at the time. She was convinced Reggie Brown was her man. As soon as she told him she was pregnant, the hot sex and date nights ended and by the time their son was born he had fled the city. The only thing in his favor was the checks.

“Moms, you get two hundred dollars for me and I only get one of them. If you give me the other hundred, I could get me a phone.” Staring down at her, he put on his charming face that always worked with his mom but for some reason she didn’t budge.

“Reginald, it isnt happening. My car needs new tires and I just dont have it.” In an instant his face changed.

“Get it from Abasha. She makes good money.”

Shaking her head, Reggia sat at the table. She was exhausted. It recently occurred to her she was almost sixty and had been working forty years and had very little to show for it. Her modest home was paid for but had very little in the way of savings. After Abashas dad died in a car accident she used the insurance policy to pay off the home but nothing was left. Her salary covered their expenses and a few things beyond that. Abasha had never craved expensive things and once she was in tenth grade she always had a job. Reginald on the other hand was lazy and spoiled and she knew it was her fault. She had taken her last to try to make up for what his dad didn’tt do but she knew she wanted to retire in four years and it was time to start saving extra to supplement her retirement.

“Thats her money Reginald. Abasha has her own home, car and expenses and if you want a new phone, you need to get a job and pay for it.”

He stared at her for several minutes before grabbing her keys and speeding away. She knew she should have called after him but she was glad for the peaceful moments. Getting up, she went to undress before starting a meal. Abasha always stopped by for dinner on Thursdays. Reginald sped off fuming. He couldn't wait to graduate and leave Jacksonville. His sister was always on his case about being responsible and his moms was becoming just like her. His grades were okay but he didn't have a clue what he wanted to do with his future. He knew he was tired of hearing about Abasha graduating high school at sixteen and graduate school by twenty-two. He wanted more than a nine to five, a condo and a Honda Accord. He wanted it all.


There was something different about Abasha, Reggia immediately noted. She was dressed in a long flowing dress instead of her usual jeans and boots and her head was covered with one of the many scarves she collected. Abasha was very frugal but spared no expense when it came to her travels. She saved all year to go somewhere she never visited and always came home with either scarves or bolts of fabric to create scarves. Throwing her oversized bag on the sofa, she leaned over to kiss her mom. Her daughters affection always brought a smile to Reginas face.

“Abasha you look mighty casual in that emerald green dress and that beautiful head rag.” Throwing her head bag, Abasha started preening.

“This scarf, my lovely mother is not a rag, this is a one of a kind scarf from the hands of the women of Senegal, I would have you know.” She plopped down to the floor near her moms feet. “Where is your son?”

A sigh expelled from Reginas throat.

“He left in a huff because he wants a note phone or some such and I told him he needed a job. I need to save more for my retirement. In four years I will be sixty-two and I am retiring. My company will pay a bit, my social security a bit more and if I can save I will be good and wont have to work at all. He is eighteen now.” Nodding at her moms words, Abasha agreed but she knew it was more than that. Their mom had waited to eighteen to try to teach him things she should have been teaching at birth. He was now wired to think the world owed him something.

“It is about time. Is he in your car?”

“He is. I was too tired to chase after him. I am sure he is with that girl he is fooling around with. She isnt a girl really; I hear she is twenty-three. She will probably buy him the phone.”

“That seems to be how it works nowadays. Their mamas spoil them and when that dries up they find a sugar mama they can get sex and gifts from. That is why Im single; I dont have time for any baby boys raised by mamas who miss the daddies.”

Pushing her daughter away, Reggia stood. They had been having the same conversation for the past ten years. Abasha giggled, following her mom to the kitchen. The scent of basil and garlic wafted to her nose. Making her way to the sink she washed her hands before peeking in the pot. She started dancing at the sight of pasta with chicken, garlic, herbs and spinach.

“Get out of my pots. After all your sassy talk, I might not let you eat any of my food.” Balling up her fists and taking a stance, Abasha pretended to box her mom, knowing it would delight her and smooth away the words she had spoken.

Once they were seated and eating, Reggia asked about the art show. Abasha had tried to get her to go along but she had refused as usual. She worked, went to church and stayed home. Immediately she noticed a light come on in her daughters eyes.

“I did, it was something. The artist was actually mixing and mingling.”

“Is that why you look like you just slid honey on your tongue?” Reggias words caused a huge swell of laughter to gather in Abashas belly and spew forth. She laughed uproariously for several minutes.

“Whats so funny?” Reginald's voice cut through the feminine conversation. Glancing at him, Abasha nodded and started laughing again. Reggia held her breath because she didn’t want Abasha to start in on Aaron and him to get defensive.

“Just girl talk Reginald, did you eat?”

“I did, my old girl hooked me up. Im going to my room so yall can continue talking about me.” The laughter dried in Abashas throat.

“Reginald, you really take yourself entirely too seriously. You are not the highlight reel in anyones movie but your own. Now be a good little boy and go to your room.” He scowled at his sister.

I got your little boy.” He hissed. Abasha stood up, moving closer to his face. He was at least several inches taller than her but he knew Abasha didn’tt play with him.

“Watch your mouth Aaron; I am not impressed with you, at all. Dont disrespect me, ever. You got it.” He looked to their mom who was eating before nodding. “You had better. What you need to focus on instead of old girls is graduating and getting a job. I told you I will send you to community college if you work and handle your own.  Otherwise in a few months you need to be employed full time.” Nodding again, he walked down the hallway. He would talk back to moms but he knew his sister wasnt the one to disrespect. Sitting down, she continued as if they hadnt been interrupted.

“Yes, Shaka Fortune is some kind of fine but I’m sure I’m not his kind and I dont have a kind.”

“You never know child, stranger things have occurred.”


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