47 comments

Mar 18, 2021

Coming of Age African American Sad

Author's Note: I just wanted to thank the people who left kind and endearing comments and likes on my last submissions. That made me want to continue writing and showcasing my abilities. I will address you all specifically in my bio. I also take feedback to better my writing skills and the feedback I have taken has helped me become stronger as a writer. Thank you to the Reedsy community for making me feel at home, and to push me to write more! Now enjoy!

The roar of wheels thundered through the ground, making the tiniest shakes in the cracks of plush earth, as people of different ethnicity and background rushed past a 1970’s favorite. A slight rumble coursed through the freshly painted wood of a mom-and-pop restaurant in the middle of a bustling city, looking like a foreigner. A retro sign announced ‘Best Shakes and Burgers’ to passersbys. Various neon-colored bicycles and varieties of car brands flooded the stone-cracked parking lot. Ford Pintos, Pontiacs, and BMWs lined the streets and vacant lots in their polish, as if on display,  just to get a taste of the world’s finest in Mayline. 

When entering the restaurant on a fine blue skyed evening Mabel toted a baby blue and white striped apron, cloth strips dangling from her fingertips. As she made her way to the backroom marked employees only, the rubber black heel struck the black and white checkered flooring, making a hollow clackity-clack noise. After waving a polite hello to the manager on duty, Mabel made her way to the restrooms smiling at customers on the way. The same familiar clackity-clack ricocheted off of linoleum walls echoing back faint rhythmic remedies. 

Letting the metal stall door swing shut, Mabel pulled the black head loop through and tied the cloth stips behind her back in a tight knot. Using the soft pink scrunchie wound on Mabel’s willowy wrist, she gathered her lush brownie, curly-frizzed hair into a tight bun atop her rounded crown. Letting the metallic stall door clash against the linoleum, Mabel flounced out the bathroom, flashing her pearly whites as she did so. 

Making the trek to the back kitchen, Mabel reached to her back jeans pocket and produced a timesheet. When the large double doors swung shut with great force, Mabel made her way to the cool unchaotic break room. Where she then proceeded to punch in her timesheet. Before beginning strenuous cooking duties, Mabel took a deep inhalation, the smells of fried chicken and chocolate seeping through her nostrils. A smile was plastered on Mabel’s lips as she turned to begin the day’s work. 

At the start of the shift, Mabel and a few other cooks began working diligently on different orders hung neatly on a string. The chicken was dipped into spitting scorching oil along with orders upon orders of homemade waffle fries. Milkshakes were spun with great agility, mixing fine malt powder into the depths of each cup labeled Blue Spoon. A blue spoon dipped elegantly between the words Blue and Spoon creating a memorable trademark to the local townspeople. Biscuits and waffles were created from a fresh batter, divine drops of humanity in a plastic Tupperware bowl. Plates were filled from brim to brim with foods that could grant diabetes if eaten in large amounts. Pans clashed and spoons rattled with the tales of due diligence and hard work. 

When it seemed the chaotic vibes died down, Mabel was shocked to realize the shorthand on the clock had reached the end of the 1st half of her shift. Making her way to the breakroom Mabel bent to pick up a pair of cherry red skates. With adrenaline still coursing through her veins from the onslaught of a continuous lunch break stream, Mabel slithered her way through the kitchen to the front counter, meeting eyes with Scott. Flashing a quick smile with a slight blush playing on his cheeks, he turned back to an indecisive couple arguing over who was going to pay the bill. Mabel quickly slipped off her tall boots revealing tall neon stockings to her shins. Setting the boots aside with the others, Mabel slipped on the skates, testing the slippery wheels on the carpet before plunging onto the freshly polished floor scape. 

Mabel for the next couple of hours skated from red tabletop to red tabletop, filling glasses and clearing surfaces. The familiar sounds of The Beatles, Elton John, and Fleetwood Mac drifted frequencies through the air, booming over the commotion of constant conversation. Bobbing her head to the music, Mabel hummed the tunes as she skated with handfuls of dirty dishes in a translucent container. Customers turned their curiosity-filled heads to stare as the almond-colored 20 year old lost herself in the music as she cleared and refilled. From a short distance, Scott watched with amazed wonder at the swift and graceful motions Mabel was making, smiling within himself.

When the sun left the Earth in a wide range of hues, night fell over the crowded restaurant and Mabel knew it was time to turn in the skates and head for home. After doing so Mabel slipped on the boots from hours before, casually fixing her stockings. Similar to previously in the day, Mabel returned to the break room, pocketed her timesheet, and stumbled with exhaustion out of the glass-faced doors. Waving a quick goodbye to Scott, Mabel mounted her luscious pink Gresham Flyer and pedaled for home. 

The constant chitter-chatter of various voices rang through the silence as Mabel wheeled her only mode of transportation into a quaint garage. Stammering to the front door with overwhelming fatigue, she nearly fell to her knees at the entrance. The green-handled dial phone seemed to be beckoning to Mabel as she rested her aching and blistered feet. A forceful movement of air forced its way out of Mabel’s airway, getting a moment’s rest. Mabel’s fingers found the holes of the dial phone, and without much contemplation, she dialed her best friend’s number. “Hello,” greeted another voice on the opposing side. Not soon after conversation ebbed and flowed through the tongues of the best friends for hours, pouring over the tasks and situations of the one or the other’s daily responsibilities. When the hour hand on the grandfather clock struck 12, Mabel omitted a yawn, and excused herself for bed, to reset her mind and body. 

These same daily activities, Mabel continued for years upon an eternity of years, until she got frail and wrinkled with time. The day Mabel was forced to retire dealt a major amount of damage to her heart. Blue Spoon was more than a restaurant to Mabel, the old shack harbored pent-up feelings and endearments of admiration and love. This shack didn’t just have hours and hours of labor, this shack had hours and hours of human interaction whether it was negative or positive. Mabel not only gained lifelong friends, but she also received the best years of her life. This shack was the beholder of memories, everything Mabel has never known, between right and wrong, happened in this very eatery. 

These same thoughts rushed through her nimble mind as she sturred in bed, head plagued by the destruction of the beloved family favorite. Rubbing her hand on her temples, Mabel bolted upright in bed, her body protesting with the sudden jolt. Pains and aches burst through the graying woman, moaning in agony. Quickly, Mabel stifled her painful sobs and looked down at her sleeping husband. His frail body hitched with snores as Mabel shook him awake to leave for the last walkthrough of the restaurant. Before it gets obliterated from the face of the Earth frowned Mabel with tears already welling in her eyes. Grabbing clothes from the bedside dresser, the couple dressed and made their way to the kitchen. A nutritious breakfast of wry toast and black coffee was consumed before heading to the rickety car parked in the gravel of stone. The only noise uttered from the inside of the car was the whur of the engine and the low murmurs of a car beyond repair. 

When the restaurant came into view, Mabel practically broke into a whirlwind of emotions, tears spilling over her cheeks, but a smile playing on her lips nevertheless. The husband did all he could to comfort her before the couple exited the car. Mabel’s other half rushed with mighty slowness to the rear of the car to retrieve the women’s walker. With the stillness of a weeping willow tree in a freezing vendetta of ice, the couple stood in front of the restaurant watching with eyes of scorn, taking notice of the new features of the time. The hands of the couple conjoined together, sadness seeping into their pores. 

The miserable sight towered above them in subliminal glory, with peeling paint and permanent graffiti. Shattered windows and stripped wood were nonchalantly ignored, the couple only seeing the ghostly memories left abandoned In the eyes of the elderly standing before the eatery, it reflected a castle, all of its glorious features shining through the shattered facade. Mabel released her hand from her husband’s and made her way to the door hanging on its hinges. 

A creak rang through the entirety of the restaurant, like the passage of time being opened. Mabel upon entering could feel the wheels of her skates on her feet spinning, in great motion, carrying her from place to place. Voices and jukebox crackles seemed to break through the crevices of Mabel’s memory, as she swirled with the invisible music and phantom voices. 

Breathing in heavily, with great strain, the loafed feet of Mabel found their way in the kitchen, void of delectable smells and mouthwatering sensations. The stickered lettering advertising Blue Spoon still hung helpless to the checkered wall. Rusted stoves and molding counters were all that inhabited the kitchen, but Mabel opened drawers anyway not expecting to find anything of importance. An omen seemed to shine bright in the dusty and webbed corners of a rotting drawer, a colored plastic spoon had hues of blue drifting up to her. With great gingerness, Mabel picked it up and lost all sense of reality. Memories flashed through her mind like a thunderstorm of continuous emotions. On the soiled ground, Mabel sat with the spoon cradled to her bosom, outcries of pain escaping her cracked lips. 

Her husband burst through the dilapidated double doors, with great care, and found the sight of his wife, broken and hurting. Rushing to her aide, the loving tenderness of frail love brought Mabel to her feet. Mabel lay her head in the crook of his neck and made the nape of his shirt wet with salty tears. Rough hitches coursed through Mabel’s body as the couple made their way back to the front of the building containing broken promises.

Sad absent eyes watched as the destruction team came and went, reducing the building of memories to fallen stone and pierced wood. The construction team, to Mabel, seemed to be the proverbial Grim Reaper, robbing her of happiness and jubilee. The destruction team drove away, leaving little room for apologies and comfort. Mabel turned to her endearing husband once more and said with little strength, “Scott, the infinite reigns of time has taken ahold of my heart and rendered it useless.” A shuddering sigh escaped her lips as she glanced down at the blue spoon she was clutching in her brittle hands.

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47 comments

Michael Boquet
18:10 Mar 19, 2021

This is the first story I've come across for this prompt and it's very well done. This is a very well woven story and you inject real emotion into the narrative. I love your penultimate line. The poetry is beautiful and perfectly sums up Mabel's feelings in a subtle way. Maybe take another look at the paragraph that starts: "Letting the metal stall door..." there's a typo and I think parts of it could be made clearer. I very much enjoyed reading this. I think it's one of your strongest stories and definitely my favorite that I've read of...

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Kaleigh Montague
21:01 Mar 19, 2021

Thank you so much! I will definitely look into that paragraph! Like I've told multiple people I'm going to try and go through stories and leave comments, but thank you! This is much appreciated!

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Malini S.
15:16 Mar 27, 2021

I really loved this. As I mentioned before, the imagery in your writing makes it beautiful to read, and I could visualize a proper setting for the restaurant and Mabel's day. The plot's realistic and the emotions really well done. Awesome job :)) I saw in your bio that you would like to make more friends on the website and with me as well. I would love that too, honestly flattered <33 I'll maybe invite you on a hangouts chat soon so we could talk?

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Kaleigh Montague
02:21 Mar 29, 2021

Ooh that sounds cool! I would of course have to download it again, but I would love that!

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Malini S.
14:51 Mar 29, 2021

If you're down and comfortable with it, you could download it, I've sent your email from the bio an invite :)

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Kaleigh Montague
14:55 Mar 31, 2021

I didn't get anything. Did you type in my email correctly? I made sure it was right in my bio.

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Malini S.
15:05 Mar 31, 2021

I copied and pasted it in from your bio. I think it won't come as an email, I think it'll be in your invite list in hangouts, either from the left side in the gmail web or the hangouts app.

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Kaleigh Montague
15:06 Mar 31, 2021

Ah okay, I will look into that!

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16:24 Mar 23, 2021

Well done!

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Kaleigh Montague
16:28 Mar 23, 2021

Thank you! It's an honor, you seem to be a very successful author! I read you're bio and you grew up in the same state as me. I still live in Ohio, sadly, and will probably remain here for a while. But thank you for the compliment!

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16:38 Mar 23, 2021

You'll get out! lol Ohio isn't all that bad, just too cold for me.

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Kaleigh Montague
17:30 Mar 23, 2021

I just feel like Ohio is really uninspiring. Ohio weather is just too up and down for me.

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18:55 Mar 23, 2021

I'm trying to get closer to the equator.

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Kaleigh Montague
20:01 Mar 23, 2021

Like how close we talking lol? What state?

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Jen Park
16:44 Mar 19, 2021

I'm glad you invited me to read this. Last story was amazing too but this is much better. :) I loved the descriptions here, and the emotions you poured into thr story. I would like to write more but I have to go to sleep now so I will re-read it carefully tomorrow morning and leave a detailed comment with my opinions and suggestions (if you want them).

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Kaleigh Montague
17:33 Mar 19, 2021

Of course, you know I will always accept feedback! Good night! You and I are in a different time zone because I'm in school right now lol. I put so much hard work into this story.

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Jen Park
14:04 Apr 01, 2021

Oh no I'm sorry for being horribly late :( I'm so sorry but I'm here because better late than never 1. As you know you have golden talent on descriptions. You don't use words that are too obvious and they fit in to each other in poetic way. The ones about emotions tickles my heat and makes me want to cry. I am so jealous bruhh!!!! No just kidding😂 anyways I enjoyed them so much. Genious really. 2. If I have a suggestion, I guess is that you should delete some useless descriptions(I am so weird I just said that I love descriptions and now...

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Kaleigh Montague
18:18 Apr 02, 2021

Aweee thank you! I might go back and expand on it more. The only reason it is like it is with little back story is because I didn't have enough words for it. But thank you for the suggestion, I wouldn't put yourself down either. I still haven't had the chance to read your stories yet but I'm sure you write amazingly as well!! Thank you fo the comments and suggestions, I will definitely be looking into it more. Also, you seem really nice, if you aren't too bothered by it I was wondering if you and I could talk more and bounce ideas off of eac...

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Jen Park
23:09 Apr 02, 2021

Woah thanks!! Yeah of course! I will be around whenever you want:) And embarassing thing is that I don't have Snap.....

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Kaleigh Montague
02:19 Apr 06, 2021

That's alright lmao, is there anything else you have that you're willing to use? I'm willing to use anything as long as my parents give me an okay!

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Kaleigh Montague
02:20 Apr 06, 2021

Also sorry I didn't get back until so much later. I have been really busy lmao. I missed the last 2 writing prompts😂

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Hugo Millaire
00:33 Apr 22, 2021

Whoa that was awesome. Even if it was a challenging prompt this was very smooth and interesting to read. I'm really encouraging you to continue with this story and like you said to do a longer version would be FANTASTIC!!!

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Innocent Noble
13:40 Apr 09, 2021

Raleigh is the most talented author ,

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Kaleigh Montague
14:21 Apr 09, 2021

Me? My name is Kaleigh, but if you're talking about me thank you! I greatly appreciate it!

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Innocent Noble
19:52 Apr 09, 2021

Yeah , typing mistake ,K to R was written

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Innocent Noble
19:52 Apr 09, 2021

Yeah , typing mistake ,K to R was written

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Innocent Noble
19:52 Apr 09, 2021

Yeah , typing mistake ,K to R was written

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CORPSE <3<3

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Kaleigh Montague
15:31 Apr 08, 2021

I'm such a CORPSE stan lmao. If you wanna simp with me just lmk lmao. My Snap is posted on my bio!

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Your vibes are AMAZING! It feels like you always have such a great image inside your head of what you want to see, and it always works out how you want it; I can imagine everything in my head, from the chaotic scenes to the characters themselves!

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Kaleigh Montague
21:44 Apr 06, 2021

I do have a knack for this kind of thing, but the only thing I wish I could do better is to have a better vernacular. Like there are some things I can't describe all that well because I don't know enough words lmao. But nonetheless thank you for your compliment :)

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