This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Viewing everything with inward chuckles, Sally stands in the south hall, along with the other help, watching the growing crowd of gentility and expensive perfume like a hawk.
The young assistant’s fist clench tight as warm steel as she watches Vennessa McClaren prance by,along with her hateful sisters, wishing for a second that she could turn the silver tray in her hand into a weapon.
A few feet away, her eyes on Sally’s darting glances, Kelly ushers the crowing crowd into her drawing room, decked out just for the gathering. The young socialite had the large area redecorated in the style of a lavish english manor just
last week. Cost her a pretty penny.
Ushering each wealthy woman to her designated seating arraignment, the blonde flapper has everything planned out perfectly. To her right are a series of silk covered seats in which the wealthier of the gathering sit.
To the socialites left, silk covered seats sit the neuvo riche, those thathave just recently made their fortunes as well as hard earned reputations. Secretly,Kelly and Sally had planned the seating for a reason. Those that represent old money are usually the most cruel to their help,as well as other blacks in the world. The McClarens sit here.
To the right of the McClarens is Maude Huntington, from the Huntington family, a local banking empire. Her family are infamous for beating their help, especially young black girls. It is even rumored that Mr. Huntington Sr. is a known
rapist,having raped at least five black maids.
Nothing has been done and Maude could care less.
To her right,a few inches away from the snobbish gray haired wench is Betty ‘Bunny’ Wilcox, from the Wilcox grocers empire. As pretty as the brunette is, still a true beauty at her age, she is just as evil. The Wilcox often hire black young black men to stock their shelves and work in the back rooms of their stores,two of whom the wench gotten beaten very badly
because of stealing.
None of it was true.
She also hires only whites to work in the butcher department,something Kelly never understood.
When a young black butcher down from Oregon protested last year,her husband had Toby Wilks jailed on concocted charges.
The young man was never heard from ever again.
To the right of Bunny is Yvonne Mackie from the Mackie - Wilkenfeld diamondempire located in Atlanta, New York and London. The blonde woman,younger than most in attendance, is a true blue blood, an english transplant,her father a
Duke. Though Yvonne is not a horrid person, but her new husband is a Grand Dragon In the klan. Nothing else need be explained.
Across from the women is a dainty spread of sandwiches and pastries, as well as other woman that would be considered ‘nigger lovers’ by the latter.
Ursela Howard is one of these woman, another blond beauty, one of the oldest at the party but still undeniably stunning. Her family is newly wealthy, creating a successful empire from importing flowers from all over the world.
From the rarest orchids that are displayed at some of the most posh parties, to the simple rose and tulip arrangements at Kelly’s lunch, the beauty’s husband has a monopoly in the flower business stretching as far as Belgium.
The Howards are also known to treat their minority staff like actual human beings. Offering the men,usually black and hispanic, sick days, vacations, as well as health insurance for themselves as well as their families. A first.
This has not sit to well in Charlotte.
The family’s home and businesses have been
threatened a number of times by the clan as well as other hate mongers.
To her right is Lolly Richardson, her family is newly wealthy as well, though the young business woman does not depend on her husband for her ‘board and keep’.
Lolly is a self made woman,her cosmetics company is one of the most influential in the South,often competing with well known european brands. Lolly cornered this business in America by creating a small line of products that cater to black, hispanic and asian skin tones.
Though the offerings are small, just eight lips stick hues and twelve pressed powders, the business woman has struck a deal with premiere black business woman, Madame C.J.Walker, often selling her products side by side with the
black beauty business titan.
This has caused a wonderful stir with all ladies of color,especially those of the rising middle class up North. As bold as her business ideas are, a true pioneer, Lolly has created powerful enemies in the Deep South for her liberal views.
Her businesses have been sabotaged on many occasions. Southern banks calling in loans, local venders refusing to sell much needed machinery and goods, just to name a few complaints.
Being industrious and brilliant,just as she as pretty, the young entrepreneur now imports all of her materials from Paris and Holland.
It makes for a slightly more expensive product,but the business genius’s market has increased by 120% percent, now a hot brand in over thirteen countries.
Proudly, Kelly sits as she nods to Lolly. She has purchased a number of the woman’s products for Sally, watching her friend transform into a true flapper beauty.
With keen eyes observing everything, the hostess watches as her help pour tea and hand out refreshments. Kelly watches each woman’s reaction to brown skin
The hostess is not disappointed.
The woman on the right try there best to hide their looks of disdain,but can not help themselves, Maude Huntington even snatches a solid silver sugar bowl from Kelly’s butler,scowling at the older black man as if he had just slapped her face.
Bunny is no better,sarcastically commenting how hard good help is hard to find,glaring over at Sally, as if peeling the young woman’s skin with her eyes.
Determined, though feeling her blood start to boil, Kelly keeps her eyes to her cup and cucumber sandwiches. All in order to not curse out anyone. The crafty socialite’s plan is in action.
Vennessa McClaren, for some reason, as Sally serves the socialite sandwiches, smiles at the young maid knowingly,a dreadful mock. She knows whom Sally is and what she had done to the young woman’s uncle.
“So ladies ....... How are things ?,” Kelly finally says,breaking the silence.
Each lady shrugs, smiling politely, that is until Maude speaks her usual nasally posh faux british accent.
“These sandwiches are delicious Kelly - lovely,” the older woman says with a smile.
“Thank You Maude,” Kelly grins. “I try my best.”
“By the way, how is business?”
The trap has been set.
Like clock work, Maude starts complaining about the banking business, how ‘yankees’ are undermining the southern banking community with their liberal
ideas. Then the mean spirited woman starts complaining about how northern banks are giving blacks, hispanic and ‘lowly immigrants’ loans for land and homes.
Just like clock work, Lolly Richards chimes in, telling of her travels all over Europe,how such people are treated differently,especially blacks.
Patiently, the young business woman speaks of the lovely grand homes she has seen. Talking, drinking, consulting with the most cultured of people,all of whom were black or a hue thereof, many migrating from all parts of Africa.
In her signature hushed sexy drawl, the beauty goes on to express her mesmerized adoration for the ‘Bronze Goddess’, Josephine Baker.
With joy in her eyes as the ladies look on,Lolly tells of her joy in seeing beautiful black bodies on stages in Paris. All colors, moving in unison, like the most exotic of butterflies before her eyes. She goes on to brag that the famous dancer and singer is a patron of her esteemed cosmetics.
With a warm chuckle, Lolly brags about creating a custom compact powder for the famed French dame. A true achievement indeed for the beauty maven.
“She is glorious I tell you.”
Gesturing in the air with flair,the young socialite laments. “Ladies .... this dame is a true goddess if I have ever seen,” Lolly to coos.
“When this woman moves, it is as if she is made of liquid fire. Her feet never seem to even touch the stage. A beautifully strange event I tell you.”
As the business woman recounts what changed her life, Ursela Howard smiles. She has heard about the ‘Black Venus’ as well.
In Paris even the air seems different. Streets are filled with all kinds of people,everyone seems artistic, truly living life in all all its wondrous grandeur. Open air cafes and markets, each peddling their wares of culinary delights and fruits of the earth, there is no place like the legendary city on Earth.
Especially for people of color.
When Ursela first sailed to Europe, life was all it was expected to be. Her husband’s business was just starting, profits were rolling in and the young woman wanted to finally see all that the world had to offer.
Stepping off the boat in Germany, the young woman seemed to have stepped into another universe, a world very much like her own, but some how different. Germany was Ursela’s family’s ancestral home, a place of legends and folklore,butseeing it all for the first time, her breathe was taken away.
Taking weeks to eat and drink her way through the great cities in and around Germany, the young traveler wandered on into Austria,then Belgium,finally into Paris. This is when life became so much more.
Ursela watches as other woman tell of their travels to Europe, the woman on her side of the room, each wanting to explore humanity and all its complexities, relate tales of exotic drinks, decadently delicious food and conversation with all kinds of
people. As expected,the woman from the other side of the room look on with sullen faces,some even sighing as if such tales are lies.
Strident in her empty inner wage of ego and ignorance, Maude’s thin lips tighten till none existent, is if hearing the most sordid of sins and debauchery.
“Well -- I’m sure that is all fine and good .... but you all will see.”
“Mixing of the races will be Europe’s downfall,” she snides as several woman on her side of the room nod.
“Well-it seems to be doing very well for the Parisians,” another woman says with a smile. Her name is Gertrude Hildenstein.
Always bold and adventurous,one of the only wealthy jews in and around Charlotte, the tinted reddish auburn beauty, “Gerty” to friends, is by far the richest woman in the room.
Not only my monetary standards,but in life experience as well.
The quintessential ‘flapper woman’, Gerty is everything the modern woman wants to be, black or white. Rich beyond what is humanly possible, gorgeous almost to a filthy sin, the dame always has a flair for dramatics.
Just last year, at the Bicentennial Ball held by the Fathers of The Confederate Council, the audacious beauty made a entrance that is still talked about and probably will be well on into the twentieth century.
First,being a jew, the impulsive beauty was not invited to the function, a top tiered social gathering in all the South.
For Gerty that did not matter, the makings for a wonderful scandal to be had.
That night the air was cool and flowing in the large hall while on display was every Parisian designer known to man, along with the most impressive tailored finery. Jazz music was sweet as a live orchestra playing popular tunes of the day,igniting everyone in a jovial flair. In a ballroom filled with the wealthiest old families of the Deep South,some traveling from as far as Mississippi, Gerty strode in as if she had owned the place.
Wearing more diamonds than the earth was ever thought to
produce,especially the grand 67 karat “Eternity" diamond bought from Swedish royalty, the ravishing beauty strode in with her powerful husband, arm in arm.
Wearing a custom made gown created from black tinted, crystal encrusted peacock feathers and the finest in black satin, the socialite had moxy written all over her face.
So audacious was the Coco Chanel created masterpiece, as Gerty passed, swaying her hips as if a jewish Mea West, sighs and gasp could be heard from far and wide.
Once at the end of the hall, then so silent, a mouse could be heard pissing on cotton, the diva twirled the long black train of her legendary ball dress around,waving diamond laden arms in the air, as if giving her blessing to the festivities.
Smiling to Gerty, Kelly remembers the event fondly, she was there that night. The moment will go down in history.
When a jewish woman showed the old patriarchal South how it was really done, as if ushering in a new age.
Grinning, the hostess remembers the moment when Gerty looked the representatives of the council square in their bigoted faces, daring each to even breath. Her money and power would crush each of them like ants.
“Gerty, my dear - dear sister ...... that dress my love. Whatever became of it?,” Kelly gushes, right as Maud glares at the jewish woman.
Smiling proudly, Gerty glares over at Maude. “My dear Kelly Anne, Coco placed it in her flagship boutique hun. She says I am her muse my love.”
“ It is on display for everyone to enjoy,” the dame says expressively,her arms outstretched as if embracing all in the room and the world.
“Imagine hunny pot - lil’ ole’ me. A muse,” Gerty smiles sweetly.
Then the crafty beauty raises a small demure hand to her heart shaped painted lips, one of which is wearing a sibling of ‘The Star of Africa’, 35 flawless karats of decadence and wonder.
Looking over, Gurty grins at Maud’s attempt to maintain her twisted self demeanor,plotting and planning.
You see,it was Maude that recommended to the committee that the jewish socialite not be invited to the well known ball, even going as far as organizing a surprisingly effective champaign explaining why. With heated words like ‘crooked thieves’ ‘christian haters’ and ‘God’s inflicted’, the hateful shrew had gathered over 12,000 signatures.
Sipping her tea, Gerty has been waiting for a chance to verbally lash the old battleax into an early grave.
She is about to get it.
“Mrs. Hildenstein,as wonderful as Europe maybe for your people, Europe will one day became overtaken by the savages she has opened her arms to.”
“ I know this to be true by experience,” Maude says with her nose in the air.
“Yes indeed-they are primitive in their nature’s indeed. Europe will fall.”
“Alas,we are seeing the decline of thousands of years of civilizations,” another woman chimes in on Maude’s side of the luncheon.
Her name is Mary Hayes, another stunning brunette from South Florida. Out of all the woman at the luncheon, Mary has her own type of distinction and none of it has to do with money nor family connection, though the beauty has both abundantly.
Quick as a whip,Gerty looks to Kelly,both woman eye each other stealthy.
Time to shed some blood. So to speak.
Putting down her teacup, crossing her long creamy legs, wearing another Chanel boucle’ custom creation, a suit that will become a staple for the designer onwards in fashion history, the flapper’s eyes narrow with hatred.
The brazen maven glares right at Mary with a heart shaped smile.
“Is that what you tell your black lovers, before or after you have had your way with them ..... ?”
Everyone in the room is silent, nothing is heard, not even breathing.This is Mary’s distinction. She is a coward in the worst way.
Several years ago, a young Mary was sent to boarding school in Atlanta. There she met Jenkins ‘Joe-boy’ Washington, a bright, deliriously handsome black man from Alabama.
Over time, as men and woman do, regardless of societal constrictions, the two became lovers.
Under the solitude of the night stars,often out in the woods, Mary and Joe-boy made love,sharing their bodies and care,just as they were created to do.
That is until the Dean of the boarding school caught wind of their nightly excursions into twilight.
One night, while in mid-stroke, the couple was caught in the act. To save face, Mary’s family convinced the young girl to say that Joe-boy raped her.
That is exactly what she did.
After a short trial, the young man was never seen again, as if disappearing into thin air. Years later a corn farmer was tilling his land and came upon human remains. It just
so happens that the farmer had a small group of sharecroppers, several whom were Joe-boy’s brother and cousins.
As the story goes, when the farmer called the authorities, they investigated,at least pretending to, all while others looked on. When the human remains were pulled from the earth, a gold ring was found.It was a clue, as well as a death sentence for an entire family. Joe-boy’s relatives promptly told the family what had been discovered, their father contacting a new organization called the NAACP.
This was their undoing. Soon lawyers,black and white, were arriving from Baltimore,asking questions to any and everyone that was brave enough to speak.
All except the family.
The family’s house had been fire bombed two days before the lawyers were to arrive. All perished, seven adults,including a ninety-nine year old man as well as thirteen children.
The investigation was over.
“ You measly-lilly livered bitch.”
“ You was the cause for that whole family to die !,” Gerty seethes.
“ I have a good mind to take of these diamonds and kick your boney ass !”
“And I’ll sue you for all your worth,” Mary snides,sipping casually with a devious grin.
Brazenly, Gerty takes of one of her most coveted diamonds,placing it politely on the table in front of the ladies. “Will this do bitch ....?”
Quickly, Kelly rises,snatching the pastry tray from her butler’s hands, offering more goodies,hoping to defuse the situation.
Secretly the socialite wishes only to do the opposite.
“Look ladies, I called all of you here to speak about the formal gala to take place this fall. ‘Midnight In Savannah’,” the hostess smiles, handing out sandwiches.
“All of you have connections and we need to make sure this goes off without a hitch. Our fair city does well on its own but tourist dollars would do our economy good. Especially a new hotel in downtown Charlotte.”
Taking a silver teapot from Sally with a wink, Kelly continues to lull differences of opinion. “Maude - your husband is powerful in banking. Dear - this project needs investors,” she says, looking to all the women.
Kelly sits,crossing her long legs. “So lets be civil ....... please.”
“All of you have bottomless wallets ..... er .... purses. I need your help in getting this off the ground. ”
As Sally serves hor d’ourves, the hostess watches as each woman looks to her newly filled teacup, some still scowling ofcourse.
Secretly, Kelly already has the investing she needs for ‘The Biltmore Hotel’. Slick took care of that. Several of her husband’s well heeled clients were keen in investing in a legal business for a change. Sally and herself have their own reasons for calling known enemies together in one
To start a societal war.
One of which will hopefully lead to cold blooded murder.
Nothing is said as dozens of eyes glare to each other, as if peeling skin and wishing death. Kelly looks to one woman in particular, Dorothy Hamil, a young beauty known for her kind ways, as well as her many lovers, Slick being one of them.
Sipping, the hostess tries to understand why she invited the woman, suddenly remembering. Dorothy is a brazen ex prostitute that married very well. She also has a very dirty mouth.
“So Dorothy - dear .....,” Kelly coos.
Standing a few feet away,Sally shakes her head. She knows what is about to happen.
Dorothy eyes rise from her teacup, looking to the hostess with a smile. She knows what is about to happen as well. “Yes hun ...,” the vixen asks politely.
“So dear, tell all of us about your exploits. Fill the ladies in on some hot gossip.”
“Who’s with whom,all while being self righteous every Sunday in the front pews,” Kelly grins.
“Were all flapper woman . There will be no judgment.”
Hearing the comment, Sally quickly leaves.
If she does not the young maid is going to belly laugh all over the parlor floor.
Always a lady, the young seductress crosses her legs as shifts her round hips in her seat. Dorothy sees a few in front of her that need a little knocking off their pedestals and she is just the woman to do it.
But first she has a question.
Turning to a smiling Kelly, the ex-escort grins, pleased to be invited to such a small esteemed gathering. “How’s Slick .....?”
There is a gasp in the room.
Kelly smiles,not missing a beat.
“He’s fine my love. Still a mighty fine lover indeed. You know that man. I still can’t get enough of his lov’in,” the socialite laughs.
Crossing her long legs, smiling over to a woman she has gotten to know in the most salacious ways,Kelly giggles like a young girl.
“But ...... your welcomed to him once again.”
“ That thing you taught him to do with his mouth. Lord be - good job sister.”
Dorothy laughs bubbly,looking in front of her, seeing all types of disgust and disapproval. “ I do my best hun,” she grins.
“Well love, as you know, church men are some of the most adventurous men in bed,probably because their wives are as frigid and cold as iced over lakes in December ,” the young beauty purrs, looking directly at Maude.
Rising,the older socialite gets ready to storm out of the parlor with huff until Dorothy mentions one name.
Maude turns, four others behind her stopping in their tracks.
The socialites eyes are suddenly red with fury. “What did you just say you hussy?,” she seethes.
Dorothy coyly smiles, enjoying the attention.
“You heard me. I won’t repeat myself.”
Sarah Hemsley is another daring twenty two year old red head, a sort of protégé. The young woman is as smart as a whip, gorgeous and a sure fire man-eater. Maude’s husband has been secretly been spending huge sums on the young vixen.
Furs, jewels,a new luxury apartment as well as a huge monthly spending allowance.
Maude does not say much concerning her husband’s infidelities. As a southern woman,you accept that fact. Men stray from time to time. But the old socialite is infamously cheap,often cutting severe corners when it comes to payment of her black staff. One young maid some years back had to wait one year to receive her payment. Since Maude had hired her as a live-in, the wealthy blue haired miser did not feel
she had to pay the young woman.
That was not the worst of it.
Since the young woman had no income,always at Maude’s every beck and call, she was dependent on the socialite,even for meals during the week.
It was later found out that the cheap hate monger was feeding the young woman leek soup and bread every day for lunch. Her dinner was no better,usually what was left from the dinner that night, which was often not much.
Dorothy and a few other housekeepers came to the woman’s rescue. The maid now works for her, a dear version of Kelly’s beloved Sally. Best friends to the end.Glaring up at the gray haired socialite, Dorothy wants to rip off the matron’s wig
and beat her with it. But what would that solve?
Her tongue can do so much more.
“Anyways .... I heard your husband has been sliding into something young and tight, as well as spending what you hold so dear to that col heart of yours.”
“ M-O-N-E-Y,” the vixen coos.
Maude knows of her husband’s roving eyes, as does every woman in the room. With her back straight, looking to the red head with a stern eye, Maude smiles coldly. If she was twenty years younger she would have dragged the young
socialite by her hair,beating her all over Kelly’s front day room.
The matron continues to smile.
“And what do you know about it ........ whore ?”
Suddenly the room is in a eerie hush,dead silent. The gloves are off.
Gently, as light as butterfly wings, a slight giggle arrives from Dorothy’s robust bosom, the beauty chuckling at words said to make her feel small. She has been called far worse by far better.
Slowly walking up to the seated seductive young woman, Maude sifts in her girdle, feeling her Cartier pearls and diamonds move around neck, dabbed with the
most expensive french perfume. Her head held high,the snobbish matron,decked out in a silver fox stole and silk dress, arrives in front of Dorothy as if a school marm to a young student.
"You will watch your damn mouth -- you filthy thing," she hisses.
Someone: This was a fun, entertaining read. Although the novel wasn’t stylistically polished, and although the first couple of chapters struggled to hold my attention, the rest of the novel was engaging and beautifully done. You had me fooled until the end. The rest of this review will contain spoilers fo...
: The book was hella great. You never know what's going to happen next. There's a lot of clues that shows to the next scene. I thought Miley and David would marry each other in this book but too my disappointment, they didn't. I have a ques. Will there be a part two to this book?
Andria M. Redlin-Author: "For those who play the game: you just lost." These words from "This is Not a Joke" pretty much sum up the plot. The story centers around three drug addicts who are playing the game of addiction, only to discover that it comes with a cost that is much higher than any of them can pay. ...
Carolyn Hahn-Re: I really liked this story! The writing was well done, and the plot was suspenseful. I couldn't stop reading chapter after chapter, on the edge of my seat! The characters were well developed, and true to form. Thank you so much for this wonderful read.
Alex Reltin: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...
: This story was gripping and very professionally written. With lots of twists and slight of hand tricks, the author deceives the reader until finally showing their cards at the end. With several subplots all intertwining to create the main plot, this really is an interesting and engaging read.
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."