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Leonard Earl Johnson (photo credit Frank Parsley) covered Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2005), and the 2010 British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico for ConsumerAffairs.com. He is a contributor to Gambit Weekly, New Orleans Magazine, SCAT, Baton Rouge Advocate, Advocate Magazine, The Times-Picayune, Country Roads Magazine, Palm Springs Newswire and the anthologies: FRENCH QUARTER FICTION (Light of New Orleans Publishing), LOUISIANA IN WORDS (Pelican Publishing), LIFE IN THE WAKE (NOLAfuges.com), and more. Johnson is a former Merchant Seaman, and columnist at Les Amis de Marigny, New Orleans; and African-American Village. Attended Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship at Piney Point, Maryland. Winner of the Press Club of New Orleans Award for Excellence, 1991, and given the Key to The City and a Certificate of Appreciation from the New Orleans City Council for a Gambit Weekly story on murder in the French Quarter.

Friday, March 01, 2024

⚓The Day After Mardi Gras / March 2024

~ Fiction ~

Roman à clef, cher

Written with a point of view and 

Certified A. I. free

by Leonard Earl Johnson 

of Lafayette and New Orleans, Louisiana

 www.LEJ.world 

© 2024, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved 

⚓ 


March 2024

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⭐ THE DAY AFTER MARDI GRAS

Continuation of the Red Women Warriors Series

BY  Leonard Earl Johnson


              www.LEJ.world http://www.LEJ.org

 
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© 2024, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved

Your comments and corrections

are welcome

click here

💞

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Snowball at Rêve

first published November 2023, in a slightly different version

 http://www.LEJ.org

by Leonard Earl Johnson

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All over Louisiana, on Ash Wednesday 
The Day After Mardi Gras ~
 Carnival lifted its joyous mantle leaving Lent's ashen smudge in its place. 

At Saint Louis Cathedral, New Orleans business suits stood 
cheek-by-jowl with crimson capes and smeared-lipstick ladies awaiting priests dressed in Vestments of Sorrow, smearing
 The Sign of The Cross on the celebrant's forehead with thumbs dipped in the ashes of last year's Palm Sunday Palms. 

In Lafayette, Silvia stood outside Rêve Coffee Roastersacross Jefferson Street from the Amtrak stop at the Rosa Parks Transportation Centré.

Abandoned Railroad Baggage Wagon
Photo credit, Charles M. Johnson 

"The Great Art Way of Lafayette," she muttered, opening a green alligator briefcase.  Amtrak's Sunset Limited sheepishly blew its whistle a third time, calling back smoke-stop passengers westbound to Los Angeles and points between. 


🚬

As Dillard, Sylvia's friend and fellow Red Women Warrior, had instructed her, she lifted out the sealed clear plastic cube. 

Contained inside was The Republican Snowballa prim part of The Party's answer to Climate Change.  Shipped from Party Central Command, in Washington, D. C., and reaching them as they exited The Rectory at The Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist.  Handed to them at The Rectory gate by Hildegarde Bottlebrush, housekeeper to The Rector.

"The Snowball was clear proof,"  according to Senator James Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, "that climate change is nothing to fret about."

"Merely an anomaly," later added a trained spokes-critter for the well-oiled mostly Republican Louisiana Delegation ~ ever more emboldened, as they are ever more deeply imbedded inside the gun and petroleum soaked D. C. Beltway.

Soaked by what for momentary clarity we will call, "money!"  

The elderly Louisiana Junior Senator, 
Oxford University educated Appropriations Committee member, with the incongruous name of John Kennedy, pointed out, in his folksy manner of speaking while greeting depositors standing in line at his unofficial perpetual Campaign Headquarters on K Street,
 in The District:

"It's just a big ole learnin' curve, sugar dumplin'! And, heck fizzle, you all ain't never gonna learn it."


👀   🎥  👀

The good Senator said this to television cameras watching him scratching his back against the doorframe like it was a barnyard fence post.  In the background, an aide departed for The Senator's bank vault pushing a wheelbarrow filled with that morning's lessons.

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Sidewalk Seating at Rêve
photo credit, Leonard Earl Johnson 

  

Sylvia placed the cube, "For all to see," atop her curbside table, and sat herself in a chair facing the railroad station at the Rosa Parks Centré.

 


Its handsome clock tower 

keept watch over everyone.


Rosa Parks Clock Tower

Sunlight made the pristine white snowball inside the cube sparkle.

 

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The waitress with dreadlocks, a Café au lait complexion, and the nickname, The Malatto sat cups and a glass French press coffee maker beside the sparkling snowball. "That some softball trophy?" she asked, pushing down the plunger on the coffee press, and pouring the black liquid into white and grey Rêve cups.

Silvia explained it was not. It was a snowball kept frozen in her coaldust-fired green alligator briefcase, To illuminate the Republican mantra:

"Government that governs best is government that doesn't govern at all."

A crackerjack crackling snap of the oracle whip from a Neue Ultra Rechte (German, New Right Wing) Republican Party.  This time, American made and grown mighty by the old-time wedge method of chaos, extortion, and vigilante rule.

"Pass me that fiery cross, there, son!" the waitress, nicknamed The Mulatto, said to no one in particular, as she returned inside.

✞ ✟ 

🔥


Sylvia passed out cards espousing to all this curiously contradictory message

🛹  She even poured a coffee for one young man radiant with the confident aroma of youth ~ and a blue grey skate board.

The Skateboarder accepted, and accidently splashed hot coffee on the Snowball Cube.  Paper napkins sopped up the spill.  Sunlight dried the cube and set the Snowball inside shimmering.  A small drop of moisture rolled down its curve and formed a tiny puddle. 

© 2024, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved

www.LEJ.world http://www.LEJ.org


🗣😷

© 2024, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved

Your comments and corrections

are welcome

click here

~    ~    ~

Lagniappe du Jour

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The Ladies Wore Red,

July 2021

Origin Story of



 

If you wish to read any month's column go to www.LEJ.world anytime. 
They are posted on the first of each month and polished for the next few years.

~   ~   ~
 LEJ's Louisiana, Yours Truly in a Swamp
is a monthly e-column @ www.LEJ.world,
Hosted by GOOGLE BLOGGER,
and historically at
Les Amis de Marigny, New Orleans
publication of the

It is written by Leonard Earl Johnson
of Lafayette and New Orleans, Louisiana

🗣😷

© 2024, Leonard Earl Johnson, All Rights Reserved

Your comments and corrections

are welcome

click here