Sister Hope

31 Mar

More naps these days

I’m tired of talking about COVID-19.  I don’t even like that name.  Whoever thought of it lacked imagination in my humble opinion.  Lol

How about a writing exercise?  You don’t have to do a thing.  I’m just going to play with words and see what happens.  It’s kind of nice to have all this extra time to hone my craft.

Should I go dark or upbeat? Let’s see what happens!

Uncensored and unedited, here we go . . .


I figured I had seen pretty much all there was to see on these mean streets.

I was wrong!

Nighttime arrives early on these streets, not so much an act of nature as a shadowing of evil.  Humanity changes when the light ebbs and the obsidian darkness blankets us all in West Oakland.

They call me Professor, a reference to a former life, a life derailed by black tar and a weakness of the soul.

Walk with me any night and you will see a new species shuffling among the detritus and waste of the forgotten.  Mules and pimps, snorters and sniffers, AB’s and ballers, gang bangers and peckerwoods, flying the colors, ridin’ the rails, strapped and ranked, all leading to tear drops and ten toes down in the Wild, Wild West of Peralta Street.

You want it, you got the cash, you can buy it, simple as that, my friend, angel dust to fallen angels, and a twenty will get you both when there’s a downturn to the market, a market run by the 98 Crew, the 500 Locos, and a dozen other affiliates looking to cash in on the two-headed cash cow, drugs and sex, as old a story as time itself, and lead flies often, bodies tumble in the gutter, rats feast, and the cops continue a hands-off policy for self-preservation.

In the middle of it all, one night, July 8th, so damned hot that night, stood Sister Hope, swear to God that’s what she called herself, right there on the street corner, wearing a flowing white dress, as pure as the snow sold in dime bags ten feet from where she stood, Sister Hope, smiling at all who passed her, greeting them with “Blessings and peace to you all,” and the locals giving her space, thinking maybe the crazies could be transmitted by breathing her air.

Late twenties, early thirties, golden hair flowing over her shoulders, an unblemished face, maybe five-four, one-ten at most, intimidating in her vulnerability, you know, none of the soldiers knowing what to make of her, and not willing to be the first to find out.  One, two, three, four nights in a row she appeared,  origin unknown, same corner, the whores standing aside, making room for her, and “Blessings and peace to you all” coming forth to all, a smile which could melt butter, bringing light to the darkness, and I’ll be damned, man, but for four nights the drive-bys ended, the rapes ended,  the muggings and beatings and degradation ended, and it was like a new universe, you know, like we were all beamed down into, what do the mystics call it, Nirvana, yes, some state of inner peace, strangest damned thing I’ve ever seen.  It was on the news, check it out if you don’t believe my chatter, four nights, four days, all quiet on the west side, cops totally baffled, not sure what to make of it.

On the fifth day, Sister Hope was gone.


That’s all I’ve got for now.  Hope you enjoyed it!  Remember, if you need a writing coach, I’m available.

Be safe and happy!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

29 Responses to “Sister Hope”

  1. Susan Zutautas March 31, 2020 at 2:00 pm #

    Wow, I’ve always thought of you as a great writer but to just write something like that off the top of your head … Wow.
    Have a great day, Bill. I too am sick of all this C-19.

    • Billybuc March 31, 2020 at 4:01 pm #

      Thank you Susan! I am humbled by your kind words. Be safe, healthy, and happy my friend.

  2. manatita Hutchinson March 31, 2020 at 2:12 pm #

    I need some of that ‘Nirvana’ bro. Word on the street is that it is a great place to go right now. Send me the GPS. Ha ha.

    • Billybuc March 31, 2020 at 4:00 pm #

      Sending it your way, Bro! Be on the lookout!

  3. Janine Huldie March 31, 2020 at 2:17 pm #

    Yup, you more than always prove what an excellent writer you are being able to come up with stuff like this off the top of your head. Thanks for sharing and wishing you a safe and wonderful week ahead now, my friend 😉

    • Billybuc March 31, 2020 at 4:00 pm #

      Thank you Janine! It was nice to play around with words and turn my muse loose. I’m so happy you enjoyed it.

  4. RasmaSandra March 31, 2020 at 3:03 pm #

    This was wonderful and with such vivid imagery, I shall go outside and expect to see Sister Hope pop up on some street corner. If I do I shall let you know so you can write Part 2. I hope this new week finds you and Bev well and safe. I hope it’s an inspirational one for you.

    • Billybuc March 31, 2020 at 3:55 pm #

      Thank you for the kind words, Rasma! We are safe and well, thank you, and I hope the same for you.

  5. Shannon Henry March 31, 2020 at 7:45 pm #

    Well, you’ve got a way of leaving us hanging on for more, now don’t ya?

    Okay, so wanna know something funny? I was trying to focus on reading the particular paragraph where you mentioned ten toes down in the Wild. But they guy my kids all call Nine Toes showed up and my son was telling his daddy that Nine Toes is here. I had to re-read the paragraph a couple of times because of that particular distraction.

    Just in case you wondered, he freelances mowing lawns around town. He calls his little one-man company NIne Toes Mowing because, well, he only has nine toes. Mowing accident. LOL. I know. I shouldn’t laugh at that, but it’s amusing. I figure he must see some amusement in the irony himself or he wouldn’t have given his business a name that makes curious people ask questions.

    • Billybuc April 1, 2020 at 1:50 pm #

      Now that is funny, Shannon! Probably wasn’t funny when he lost the toe, but it has provided many people with laughs since, so morbidly it’s a good thing,right? LOL

  6. phoenix2327 April 1, 2020 at 9:39 am #

    Well done, Bill. I really like your vision of Hope.

    Of course, you do realize you’ll have to finish this piece, don’t you. You can’t just leave us hanging like this. That would be most uncool.

    I wonder if deep down you wanted to give yourself more stuff to do. ‘Cause we all know your plate just isn’t full enough. lol

    Have a great day, Bill. 🙂

    • Billybuc April 1, 2020 at 1:39 pm #

      Eventually this will find it’s way into the sequel of the 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday to Today….eventually!

      What are you going to do with an overact imagination, Zulma? Write, of course!

      Happy Wednesday!

      • phoenix2327 April 2, 2020 at 8:00 am #

        Regarding first paragraph: Eeee…

        Re: second paragraph: True. So true.

  7. Shauna L Bowling April 1, 2020 at 4:59 pm #

    Every town needs a Sister Hope, Bill. I see she’ll be making her way to the 12/59 sequel. I think that’s the perfect place for her to shine her light!

    • Billybuc April 1, 2020 at 5:09 pm #

      I do too,Sha, and she better hurry! She is needed NOW!

      Be safe and stay healthy, my friend, and thank you!

  8. Sue Dreamwalker April 2, 2020 at 1:14 pm #

    Brilliant Bill… We could all do with a Sister Hope on our corner.. Loved your story-line and I am sure there is more of Sister Hope to come…
    If all in their spare time could imagine her sacred glow shining upon them… 🙂
    loved reading Bill…
    Now is the time for all budding writers to get their fingers clicking.. as they engage their imaginations… Time no longer an obstacle… 🙂

    Take care Bill…. Enjoyed this piece immensely. 🙂 🙏💚

    • Billybuc April 2, 2020 at 1:36 pm #

      Thanks so much,Sue! I’ve very happy that you enjoyed this. Truth: time is no longer an obstacle. I hope the world is flooded with new writings. We need them!

      Be safe and always happy, my friend.

  9. Andrea Stephenson April 4, 2020 at 4:49 pm #

    An intriguing story Bill. What great characterisation. I want to know who the Professor is from just the couple of lines you introduced him by and of course I want to know more about Sister Hope…!

    • Billybuc April 5, 2020 at 2:31 pm #

      Thank you Andrea! I will have fun developing the Professor’s’ story when I turn to this in a novel.

      I hope you are well during these strange times.

  10. nightlake April 6, 2020 at 4:22 am #

    We all want Sister Hope in our lives now. And that was a brilliant read. Thank you.

  11. Billybuc April 6, 2020 at 1:38 pm #

    Thank you my friend! She will always be there for those who believe. 🙂

  12. William F. Kovacic April 8, 2020 at 1:07 pm #

    Liked the ending, Bill. HOPEfully, she moved on to another corner where she was needed and that could be any corner, every corner. Any possibility of another episode?


    • Billybuc April 8, 2020 at 1:38 pm #

      We sure could use her right about now, William!

  13. William Kovacic April 8, 2020 at 1:10 pm #

    Liked the ending, Bill. HOPEfully, she’s needed on another corner, anywhere, everywhere. Might there be another episode coming?

    • Billybuc April 8, 2020 at 1:37 pm #

      I hope so, William, if time allows! Thank you!

  14. Akpederi Raymond April 29, 2020 at 2:23 am #

    Covi19 a coded name lol

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