Choose Your Relationship Or Your Children?

This is a guest post of a bright & talented author of Speculative Christian Fiction. I think Brian Thompson is making his own path in a genre that doesn’t have many African-American authors.  Sometimes we can be reluctant to try new things. For example, I didn’t think I’d enjoy legal thrillers, but I read one and I got hooked. I encourage you to stretch past your comfort zone.. try speculative fiction. And you might as well begin with The Anarchists, Brian’s newest release!

Choose your relationship or your children?

I was raised by a single mother. Once I reached adulthood, I said “Mom, I can count the number of men I remember you dating on my hands.”

“I didn’t want to parade a lot of men in front of you,” she replied.

Deciding not to date often for my well-being was a tough, but mature decision to make. Was it necessary? The jury’s out on that one. But, it permanently shaped my view of courtship from a positive standpoint. I didn’t date just to date.

You hear stories of men and women choosing their own happiness over the welfare of their children all of the time – in your family, from your friends, and, God forbid, in the news. 

Teanna Kirkwood, a character in The Anarchists, is one such mother. Off of the pages, she took the side of a boyfriend many times over that of her children. Inside of the book, however, she does it one time too many.

“Tiny,” her boyfriend of the moment, expresses an inappropriate interest in Teanna’s 12-year-old daughter. Because of Tiny, Teanna’s son takes drastic action.

 Below, read an excerpt of The Anarchists that reveals a little bit more about Teanna’s character. Leave a comment to qualify for a free autographed copy of The Anarchists and Tia’s latest novel, Stepping Into the Good Life.  

*****

Teanna slipped from underneath the meaty arm across her midsection. Its owner, Theodore “Tiny” Mitchell, slept as if he’d been drugged.

True enough, traces of sniff lined her nightstand and sniffers were clumsily hidden inside its top drawer. After inhaling the residue, she stumbled into her nightgown and set the bottle of Hennessey on the floor close to the snoring man. When Tiny awoke, he would need it to fend off dehydration. If he was nice, she’d give him water. If not, she’d let him boil up into a ball of pus.

Lately, her unemployed lover appeared to have mellowed. It wasn’t the drugs. Sniff heightened Tiny’s aggression, and that put Teanna on guard. But she needed release.

The craziness of her circumstances necessitated it, but she could not afford to be caught with narcotics. State officials conducted surprise visits on people they suspected of abusing the system. One slip up and her assistance would be revoked. Then, Tiny could bankroll her lifestyle, if she needed it – which tended to happen.

She’d often rung his holophone for financial aid. Most times, he did not answer, but this past Christmas, he did – showing up around 6:00 p.m. with groceries and contraband.

Two hours later, both were flying high. Teanna did not remember much about the past few days, besides waking up naked. She would be 43 this November and too old to continue like this.

Outside her bedroom, she found her 17-year-old Teiji, or “Tay,” and his preteen sister Meleasa in the cluttered dining room eating turkey sandwiches and barbecue potato chips. Teanna scratched her head. “Tay, you lost your mind? There’s milk, cereal. . .”

Teiji eyed the clock on the kitchen wall. So did Teanna. One in the afternoon. “Happy New Year. I figured you wanted to sleep.”

She yawned and pointed to the water faucet. Teiji filled a glass with cold water and continued doing so until Teanna held up her hand. She finished drinking and kissed him on the forehead. “Happy New Year.”

Meleasa followed her lumbering mother back into the kitchen. “We go back to school on Monday, Mom. Can I go over to Mia and Tiffany’s? I know I’m grounded, but just for a few hours?”

“I’ll think about it. What’s on your agenda Tay? Hot party?”

 He sighed. “No hot party because I’ll be studying. Miss Buff’s pushing me for the poly-sci summer internship in D.C. with State Representative Mateo. Don’t know if I want to do it.”

“You got the credits to graduate now, so it ain’t like you missin’ anythin’. Why not?”

Meleasa sucked her teeth. “He’ll miss Kelly. That’s why not.”

“That true?” Teanna crossed her arms.

“No.” He cut his eyes at Meleasa. “Not entirely. It’s my decision, isn’t it, and I’ll have to live with it. So, back off, Mel. Kelly’s cool with whatever I do. You are too, right?”

Teanna drew a deep breath. “I ain’t Kelly and I ain’t ‘cool’ either. If you gonna be successful, can’t be makin’ your decisions based on a girl. See my life and the way it’s turned out? I love ya’ll, but I wish I’d decided some things on my own instead of considerin’ your daddies.”

“It’s not that simple, Mom.”

“Oh?” Teanna asked, feigning shock. “Un-complicate it for me, then. Can’t be that lil’ piece of job you got. What we ever gonna do without that?”

Tiny appeared in the kitchen wearing boxer shorts and a tank top. “Don’t play,” he interrupted. “It’s good money – even for him.”

Though Teanna had an American Indian, Black, Filipino, and Caucasian background and Meleasa was one-quarter Dominican, Tiny held judgment for the half-Japanese boy, whom he considered  effeminate.  

“Not this mornin’!” Teanna crossed the room. “Babe, I told you a million times not to be out here half-dressed. At least act like you half-Christian up in here.”

“Relax.” He stroked Teanna’s shoulders. “She’s going to see it sooner or later. You probably have already, haven’t you?” 

Meleasa audibly gagged and crossed her arms over her breasts. If she knew. “I ain’t old enough to date, Theodore.”

“I didn’t say you dated one. Don’t be ashamed. It’s natural. Admit it.”

“Not gonna tell you again, go put somethin’ on!”

Teiji waited for Tiny to disappear before speaking. “Mom, when’s he getting out of here?”

“I don’t know, later? Why? Need him to drop you off, Tay?”

“No, I mean for good. He’s useful when he’s working, but now? Wait a couple days and you’ll be complaining about how he doesn’t do whatever. Again.”

Meleasa watched her mother’s flush of embarrassment morph into anger.

“You 17-years-old,” Teanna reminded him. “What you know? Nothin’ ‘bout nothin’. Wanna waste your life on some blue-eyed white girl?”

“You’d know about it,” he said underneath his breath.

Teanna raised a finger to her son’s face. “What’d you say?”

“Momma.” Meleasa drew closer. “It’s okay Momma. He ain’t say nothing.”

 Teanna clutched Teiji by the shirt and pulled him close. “Mind your business, Meleasa. I wanna hear him say it to my face. Now, what’s it you say, Tay? Say it again. . .to my face.”

 Teiji clammed up and dropped his head. “Nothing,” he muttered.

“Come again?”

“Nothing,” he repeated louder. “I didn’t say anything important.” 

Teanna slowly backed away until her nerves relaxed. Teiji fled the room and bumped into Tiny. “Easy,” he joked. “Open ‘em up, slant eyes.”

Meleasa trailed her brother, careful not to touch Tiny or allow him to brush up against her. Tiny stood behind Teanna, his breath tickling the hairs on her neck. “It can’t be that bad.”

 “Yeah,” she admitted. “Trouble is I ain’t know how to fix it.”

“You need to get away.” Tiny produced two full sniff containers. “This always makes it better. Well, this and other things. Both of them are available. . .in the other room. Let’s fly.”

Just give me somethin’ to take it all away. She followed him into her bedroom, where they indulged in a haze of copious sniff and alcohol.

*****

About the Book:   After a failed coup, a revolutionary named Noor is exiled to earth and sentenced to death. Vowing to rule the inferior planet, but separated from his lieutenants, he is forced to use human beings instead.

In the year 2050, tragedy strikes. Harper Lowe loses her son’s father to violence. A tipsy Damario Coley is maimed in a crash. High on drugs, Quinne Ruiz is arrested, and single mom Teanna Kirkwood witnesses the death of her daughter.

The alluring Kareza Noor, CEO of the Genesis Institute, pilots the “Begin Again Initiative.” Out of 300 million applicants from across the nation, Harper, Damario, Quinne and Teanna receive the chance to erase a past regret. One of them must be forced to go along.

When the project’s true motives are revealed, the group is sent hurtling toward an uncertain future with unpredictable consequences.The Anarchists poses the question “what if?” with high-stakes action inside of a page-turning, reality-twisting adventure.

 About the Author:  Brian Thompson is a speaker, independent publisher, and author of The Lost Testament and The Revelation Gate. He continues his tradition of carving out complex storylines for an ensemble of textured characters. A graduate of Morehouse College and Temple University, Thompson is also a former educator and professional journalist. He and his family live outside of metro Atlanta, Georgia.

 Purchase links (for autographed copies): www.authorbrianthompson.com

 Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_20?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=the+anarchists+brian+thompson&sprefix=the+anarchists+brian%2Caps%2C483

10 thoughts on “Choose Your Relationship Or Your Children?

  1. Great story! I want to get this book! Thank you for sharing this with us!

  2. Wow! This is a must read based in what I just read. Such great talent as a writer. The characters jump off the pages. The setting was so real and descriptive. I can still smell the Hennessy. LOL!

    I definitely will read this book. However, I must admit I’ll probably be mad at Teanna throughout the entire book. I despise women that put their children in harms way and who put men before their children.

    I can’t wait to read it. Bravo Mr. Thompson.

  3. Interesting dynamic within the Kirkwood family but unfortunately one that is all too real. My mother as well did not bring many men around me growing up as well as stressing the importance of romantic relationships. I would like to know your thoughts on the following two questions: What brings us to the point where we are selfish in our choices when we have others who we are accountable for? In our efforts to reform our past through our children do we lead them into other roadblocks unintentionally?

  4. This seems like a good read. Interesting dynamic within the Kirkwood family but unfortunately one that is all too real. My mother as well did not bring many men around me growing up as well as stressing the importance of romantic relationships. I would like to know your thoughts on the following two questions: What brings us to the point where we are selfish in our choices when we have others who we are accountable for? In our efforts to reform our past through our children do we lead them into other roadblocks unintentionally?

  5. To Brian C. – My personal belief is it has to do with your emotional well-being. Teanna made decisions from an emotional state-of-mind where she never matured. Further on in the book, it talks about her dating life, which started early, and an experience she had in her mid-20’s. Emotionally, she was still stuck there and made relationship decisions filtered through that lens. Our mothers did not do that, necessarily. Other do, which makes them tragic.

    In reference to your other question, we can lead our children into other roadblocks. For example, if your father was wild in his younger days, he might keep a tighter grip on you to keep you from doing what he did. That, in turn, makes you resentful and you may strike out by doing the same things he wanted you not to do.

    Cherlisa – Thank you. My wife said the exact same thing about Teanna. She’s kind of a mess (Teanna, not my wife!).

  6. An old familiar story…Albeit it may not be the story line for some, it is however for too many. I ALREADY dislike Teanna and feel for the kids…I am excited to see how the story will proceed. May suggest as a read for my book club…Much success to you, Mr. Thompson!

  7. Wow, this seems like a very interesting novel. I appreciate the investment of your personal story, even if in the slightest bit, as it relates to their family dynamics. Though I cannot say the i was fully aware of the struggle, I can say that i understand the position being the child of an at-one-time single mother.
    That being said, I, now in my 16-17 y.o. mindset, acknowledge that Teanna K’s circumstances are representative of the situation that a lot of women face in the real world; and that is something that i commend the book for – being real. Unfortunately my high school curriculum does not afford me the opportunity to read books that are built to examine the vulgar reality that our people face on a daily basis.
    That being said, because i know my mother will be checking your page every 4 minutes, despite whatever tribulations we may have endured while I was younger, my mother has never freely exposed her romantic relationships to me. In fact, she continually tells me today, that I still don’t know her, even after we’ve drifted more towards a interdependent relationship. In addition to that, she continually expresses the caution with which i should approach intimacy with another person.
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to read this, Mr. Thompson. 🙂

    p.s.- You’ve now captured the attention of a second Brown generation. XD

  8. Thanks Sheila, Odessa, and Parnell! Odessa — if you’re reading, and you do suggest it to your book club, I’d LOVE to sit in on a discussion via Skype, etc. I’ve done that before, and it’s really fun!

    Parnell — Really, Teanna is the opposite of my mother. Unfortunately, I’ve seen instances where maybe the child’s viewpoint isn’t dismissed, but it never raises a question. I’m a firm believer in the microcosm is evidence of the macrocosm. That is, if someone does it on a small scale, they’ll do it on a big one, too. It’s the reason why cheap people who win the lottery are rich cheap people. It’s also why some of the decisions Teanna makes in both parts of the book largely shape who she is, and she may or may not improve because of them. If you win your own copy (or manage to get your mom’s copy), we’ll have to talk!

Comments are closed.