Everyday Hustle

The bus pulls up to the stop and everyone clambers on. Most of the blue seats are filled with a mixture of young kids going to the elementary school by the bridge, teenagers possibly skipping class and adults on their way to work and other responsibilities. The light turns red and the driver leaves the door open for any stragglers. A small boy with curly black hair, no older than seven drives a red toy convertible up and down his legs while the older man with a thick gray beard next to him taps his foot in frustration. The light turns green but the doors stay open. Two minutes that feel like ten pass and the bus still hasn’t moved. The bearded man begins to mutter under his breath. A young woman with a bright red mohawk sitting on the other side of the boy taps her fingers on the pole. One more minute trickles by and a teenage boy with a canary yellow bomber jacket yells “what’s the goddamn holdup?” The doors start to close like a four person crew of three inch high people are pulling levers and pulleys to bring them together. The bus slowly eases away from the curb as the light turns yellow and the bearded man sighs in relief. The small boy keeps making vroom vroom sounds. The hustle continues.


©Esther Valencia

An Unlikely Dad

     Cruz Glass had just finished giving Hawk his morning run when he saw Elías coming out of the stone ranch house his great-great-grandfather had built. This was the first time the boy had been outside since he’d been dropped off by his mother a week ago. He watched tv and asked when his mom was coming back. Looking at him, Cruz could see his father in the shape of his eyes and nose but the rest was all his mother. Cruz still couldn’t believe that Melanie, Elías’ mother had dumped him at his ranch because her new husband wasn’t a “fan of children”. 

     As the boy walked towards the stables Cruz could only wonder what his best friend had ever seen in Melanie. Isaiah had been crazy about her and so excited to be a father. He’d only had a few months with his son. They’d been deployed for a covert mission targeting a high ranking terrorist leader in Yemen. It should have been easy in and out op for their team. Too bad the intel had been compromised. The terrorists had been waiting for them. Isaiah was gone along with three other brothers in arms and Cruz had a limp and limited use of his left arm. Now he had to figure out how to help Elías. 

     Entering the stable with Hawk nickering, Cruz looked for the boy and found him in front of Pixie’s stall. The boy was petting the two year old filly that had a smattering of white spots on her back legs while the rest of her body was a dark rust color. He was talking about his room in Brooklyn. 

“Hey Elías how are you today?”

“Hi Mr. Cruz, I’m-”

“You can just call me Cruz.”

“Oh, okay. I, don’t want to umm get in uh the way so I’ll…”

Elías started to turn away but Cruz called his name.

“I want to enjoy your time here. You don’t have to leave right now. I was also thinking you could learn how to ride. What do you think?”

Elías just looked at his feet without saying anything. Cruz sighed and decided to give the boy more time. 

“I’m going to feed and rubdown Hawk if you want to watch.”

He moved past the boy to Hawk’s grooming area and noticed the boy hadn’t left. As he removed the bridle and noticed him watching from a distance an idea came to him. He started narrating what he was doing out loud.

“After removing the bridle, I take off the saddle, girth, and saddle pad. I place them on the saddle rack. Then it’s time to brush him. Elías can you go inside the tack house and grab the brush case that has Hawk’s name on it?” Cruz watched the boy go to the tack house and come back with the brush set. He took out the combs and picked up the curry comb. 

“We use this comb first. Do you want to try it?”

The boy nodded and took the comb. Cruz slowly walked him through the whole process and together they walked Hawk to his stall. This was a beginning of sorts and Cruz would always remember that morning fondly as the start of the boy becoming his son.

©Esther Valencia 

Veiled Tribe

Late again, just like my birth 😉


The sky was awash with colors. Pinks, purples, deep oranges all seeping into indigo. A cold wind swept through the oak trees, rustling the leaves and bending the grass. A few feet away stood a woman. She looked out at the field in front of her and watched the land become darker as the sun slipped away. This was the time when her people walked and she could guide them on their journey. Steam curled up from her Sailor Moon travel mug, filled with cider and bourbon. As the stars became more visible, she took a deep breath, rolled her shoulders back and grounded herself. In the distance, the first of many rose.


©Esther Moreira

Support InstaWriters August Prompts hosted by @journee_nicole and @t.alva



The Rising
by @corvina.de.obsidiana @poetry_goddess88 @trvp3zoid @open_journal @fictionvixen11 @kris_johnston_author Devon West and Erica Harris


I wake up and look over and the space she filled is empty. The pillow is cold, my arm isn’t numb and I can’t smell the lemon vanilla scent she always wore. Evelina is no longer here. Not physically, not spiritually, she’s gone and I’m left behind. The distant echo of Beethoven’s fifth reminds me I need to get up and get ready, that work and life are waiting. But what if I looked for her? What if I followed in her path, hoping to stumble across her smile? What if I ended up in her arms and she never let go? My eyes close and for a moment I imagine our reunion, touching her lips, her face, nuzzling her neck, finally feeling like I’ve come home. Staying buried deep within her and never letting go. I squeeze my eyes tighter but her image dissipates and rage rolls underneath the surface of my skin. I’ve forgotten how soft her skin was and the exact number of freckles on her shoulders. I’ve forgotten the feel of her nails on my skin. I’ve forgotten the sway of her hips when she walks in front of me. We didn’t deserve this. We were robbed. It shouldn’t have been her. Anyone else but her.

©Esther Moreira

Support InstaWriters August Prompts hosted by @journee_nicole and @t.alva

Chasing Eve by @tina_m_courtney

Sultry Glimpse

The sunlight glints off the just washed cherry red Honda Civic next door. The glare from the specialty rims in chrome blind the eye and if you look closely enough there are tendrils of steam from the water evaporating. The sidewalk is damp and the air is heavy with moisture that oozes into the recesses of your lungs. The sweet smell of a spring air freshener coupled with the sour tang of garbage juice gives this part of the sidewalk a specific aroma that signals home in a way that nothing else can. The kids next door are running around in cutoff jean shorts and thin white tanks with faded Animaniacs characters. They have old water bottles that they’re spraying each other with. Their gleeful shouts float above the deep bass line of the current rap song that is blasting from the electric neon orange portable speaker. A few brown sparrows bathe in a pool of water in a lip on the curb just down from the Civic, splashing and shaking their feathers and chirping. A soft breeze moves through and leaves behind a hint of raindrops.

©Esther Moreira

Todd – Part Five

Todd squeezed Lila’s hand as they waited for the train. She smiled up at him and he felt a flip in his stomach. He was still shocked at his forwardness and how comfortable he felt with her. He didn’t want to rush things because he didn’t want to mess things up. It usually took him a few dates to warm up to a someone but with Lila, from the moment he’d seen her face when she opened her door, he’d imagined what kissing her might be like and it was better than his daydreams. They were seated at a corner table and the soft lighting barely reached them. This made him braver than usual and after their mojitos were delivered he rested his hand on her thigh. She glanced at him but didn’t try to move his hand so as they ate, his hand traced a path from her knee to the top of her thigh, sometimes quickly, sometimes quite slowly. He noticed that Lila’s breath got shorter as he got closer to her waist and her skin looked slightly flushed even in the dim lighting. As he watched her eat tres leches, he had to adjust his pants because watching her tongue flick out made him think about seeing her tongue on his body.
“Do you want to try some Todd?”
“Only if you want to share. Don’t want to deprive you.”
Lila grinned and just held out the spoon for him to have a taste. As he leaned into the spoon he noticed her watching him intently and he flicked out his tongue and slowly lapped up the cake, while seeing her eyes widen and darken. He moved the spoon out of the way, cupped her face and brushed his mouth over hers softly. The soft kiss grew deeper and more insistent by the second as he thrust his tongue deep into her mouth and wrapped his arms around her. The sounds of the other diners and staff fell away as Lila kissed him back with the same intensity. “Lila” he breathed as he tried to catch his breath. “So sweet.”


© Esther Moreira

Want to start at the beginning? Read Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four.


The sky darkens quickly. Goes from bright blue, cloudless to a cool gray in a blink and then as almost black clouds dash by it becomes a sickly greenish gray that you imagine is the precursor for the end of the world. 

The air is heavy, oppressive and sits in your lungs making it difficult to breathe. The tree branches sway like flower power, beaded teens at a rave. The wind stings your eyes.

You hear a loud crack and see a bolt of lightning a few meters away and for that brief second the clouds glow purplish white. The loud rumble of thunder engulfs you stifling the sound of your heartbeat. 

A drop lands on your shoulder and then it’s followed by a deluge. Lightning strikes again and again, the air oozes ozone and the rumbles of thunder are all you hear. 

The downpour cocoons you and frees you from all your burdens leaving you unbound as the longest day of the year comes to a close.

© Esther Moreira

The Collector

Behind the teak door carved with a relief of an open book, there was a room where the souls that Libretto had snared were kept. Each soul was held inside a box made of copper from Bingham Canyon and the front was inlaid with a miniature cameo of its rightful owner in black sapphire. The boxes rested on shelves made of black marble with veins of gold and silver running through them. Down the middle of the room, there were waist high islands of the same color marble with three bowls per island. The bowls were graduated in size from small to large and were made of smooth crystal with gold edging. All souls differed in size depending on the age of the person when they had been taken. A copper canister next to the bowls was filled with flakes of crushed carbon mixed with alexandrite and it’s serving spoon hanged from its curved handle. To see the souls in their entirety, Libretto always placed them in the correct bowl and added one spoonful of the carbon alexandrite mixture. He then swirled the bowl seven times clockwise and four times counter-clockwise. When swirled correctly a cloud formed above the bowl and everything inside played out like a video recording. When the last moment had played, the cloud then exploded into raindrops that fell back into the bowl. He poured the water that glistened red, blue, purple and green like an oil slick back into the copper box and it always transformed into a dense mist. Depending on the innocence of the soul at its capture, the mist could be as white as freshly fallen snow or as dark tarnished gold. The newest addition to the shelves was pure white. It had belonged to a sweet baby girl with fat ginger curls, dimples, blue-green eyes, freckles across the bridge of her nose, skin the color of cream laced coffee and a very sunny disposition. Libretto had been collecting an elderly man’s soul in the house next door, when he’d spied her through a large bay window and her smile had entranced him. He couldn’t leave without her so he slipped in and offered her a teddy bear made of lace and bubbles. By accepting his gift, she gave away her soul and he quickly took it before anyone could interrupt. Back in his room of souls, he poured the mist into the small bowl and swirled it so he could see her again. Her smile was the first thing that struck him and as he stared, his mouth formed a name, Tomia.
© Esther Moreira

for #MayBookPrompts

White Noise

Sound comes into my ear and swirls into my chest down my spine exploding across my back and even though I try to block it I’m not able the gunshot
is loud so are the sirens there’s so much blood and it’s not bright red like in the movies I don’t know him I’m relieved and horrified he’s someone’s son, brother, father but he’s not one of mine the sound of something popping like the bubbles

of champagne or ginger ale won’t leave me it’s not my fault I tried to save him I tried to be what he wanted I don’t understand why he didn’t choose me I gave him

EVERYTHING and still he left me he left dammit how could he just walk away how the face looking back at me is not the face he fell in love with this new face is gray and gaunt and so sad who is she and why is she in my house

© Esther Moreira

for #MayBookPrompts – May 7

Todd – Part Four

He tasted like coffee and the mint they’d been given with the check. As he deepened the kiss, Lila grabbed his shirt to ground herself. He flattened his hand on her nape and let them up for air but continued to scatter soft kisses on her face. She was completely lost and sank into him trying to get closer. Todd nipped her throat when she slipped her hand under his shirt looking for skin. The loud continuous blare of a siren made Lila jerk away as she became conscious of the lack of privacy. She looked at him feeling unsure but Todd just leaned forward and nuzzled her throat as he threaded their fingers together. A shiver raced down her back and in response he sucked the skin just below her ear lobe. Lila arched into him as pleasure bit into her and pooled in her breasts and between her legs.
“You’re lucky we’re in a cab because your response is killing me, honey.”
“Todd, I..”
“Shh just let me hold you.” he murmured as he rubbed his hand up and down her back. She looked at his jaw and pressed a small kiss to it liking the feel of his beard on her lips. The rest of the ride was quick and as they got out of the cab, she missed touching him. Todd took her hand though once they started walking in and didn’t let go. For the rest of the afternoon they got in cars and trucks, took silly pictures, Snapchat videos and through it all he held her hand. By the time they were walking out, the sun was setting and the wind had created a chill. Todd pulled Lila into his side and wrapped his arm around her. At the light she looked at him and once again was blown away by how attractive he was. Impulsively she planted a kiss on his cheek. He smiled and then lifted her face up and kissed her. This kiss was deep and hungry. She felt it everywhere as she leaned into him. He stroked her tongue and slanted his head to reach more of her mouth which had her wondering what being in bed with all that focus would feel like. She heard a moan and a whimper and wasn’t sure where the sounds had come from. His hand cupped her ass pulling her even closer to his rock hard hips. A loud wolf whistle suddenly broke through the sensual haze and she jerked her head back. Todd’s eyes glittered with lust and his mouth was kiss swollen. They were both breathing heavily and when she tried to step back, he tightened his arm.
“I need a momentary shield, hun.”
“Shield? Why, I..”
“I’m too happy in my pants, so I just need a moment to think of sad puppies and algebra.”
“Is it working? Should we recite formulas?”
He laughed and hugged her. “Just another minute and I won’t be arrested for indecency.”
They stood with their arms linked for a few more minutes and then he took her hand and laced their fingers together.
“Are you hungry, Lila? Do you want to grab dinner? I know of really great Dominican place not too far from your place?”
“I could definitely eat and I love Dominican tres leches.”
“Perfect. Let’s grab the A train.”
She smiled at him and wondered how their night would end.

© Esther Moreira

Want to start at the beginning? Read Part One, Part Two and Part Three