Tammara Mencias

Born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, Tammara is a graduate of West Los Angeles College, and is currently a part-time student there, completing transfer classes in order to attend Cal State Dominguez Hills in the fall of 2013.

Of herself, Tammara writes: “I have always loved writing and reading stories filled with drama and romance. At the age of 11 years old my mom bought me a journal to write my feelings in; instead, I wrote made-up stories that sounded so real about my family and friends, so when I shared them with her, she was kind of upset with me because she said they were all lies ,and I shouldn’t write stuff like that about people. I understood completely what she meant, which brought a great idea to my young mind: ‘change their names!’”

When Tammara is not working on her marketing campaign for her property management company, you can find her reading one of Jerome Dickey’s or Mary B. Morrison’s books.

Justine’s Test

(300 words without title)

It’s New Year's Eve, and I thought to myself, “Alone again." No man, friends were all out with their men. So, what better to do then get drunk and fall out?

Phone rings: Hell-lo in a slurred voice…Justine, is that you? Mom! Hey, how are you? Fine, sweetie, I just wanted to tell you Happy New Years! Mom, are you headed to bed already? Yes, child, you have a good night and stop drinking while you’re ahead; you know the devil is busy tonight.

Night, Mom.

The time was now ten o’ clock and I’m singing from the top of my lungs, my all-time favorite, Celine Dion. Celine had soul! She knew exactly which notes to hit to make someone really feel just how deep the song was.

What my mom said resonated in my head over and over, “The devil is busy tonight."  Humph, I had been tested all week at work, and thankfully I didn’t have to resort to hurting one of them young heathens there. Back to my “party.”

Phone rings: Hey…..!

Justine, are you drunk?

Uh, yes, who is this?

This is your sister, who’s over there with you? 

Who do you think? Me, myself, and I; oh and my girl Celine.

Who is that?

Celine Dion!

You getting drunk all by yourself? That’s just sad. I just wanted to tell you Happy New Years, since you know I can’t stay up past eleven o’ clock.

Night, sister.

KNOCK, KNOCK!!! Who is it!? Freddie!  

Oh GOD, why me!!!   I haven’t seen Freddie in almost a year. This has got to be a test!

Be strong, Justine, be strong!

Hey, can I come in?

Hell, no!  Lying: The police are on the way; now get the hell out of here!

The devil is busy, whew.


The Other Woman

(299 words without title)

I’ll never forget the day I met Paradise at a real estate seminar; he sat in the back tugging at his hair, which was a mini afro, skin was a beautiful dark chocolate; just what I liked.

I walked over to an empty seat next to him and said “hello”; he barely looked up from the agenda to greet me. The seminar began and the real estate guru introduced himself and motioned at me to stand and introduce myself. I mumbled, “Of all people, me first? Fuck.” Paradise chuckled at me. “Hello, my name is Clark, and I’m a real estate broker…”

Paradise stood up and introduced himself; his voice reminded me of Theo from KJLH. Paradise was an investor.

After the seminar ended, Paradise asked if I had a business card.  I said “but of course.” A month later I got a call from him asking if I had access to the Multiple Listing Service.

Paradise and I met up for coffee at a local café that day. After coffee and hours of nice conversation, we met up all the time after that. Two years of just wonderful bliss.

I enjoyed when he would spend the night, but hated when he dashed off early in the mornings. This particular morning felt different, dunno why. My phone rang, I picked up, and a woman on the other end asked if her husband was there. My eyes opened wide, and I said, “Pardon me?” She said she found my business card and had a gut feeling, since her husband detested real estate agents.

I froze at what I was hearing; the woman repeated, but louder this time, “IS MY HUSBAND PARADISE THERE?” I said “NO” and hung up.

I began to shake uncontrollably.  “I’m the other woman?"

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