Friday, May 16, 2014

'Skeeter Hawk (A Saby Stone Story)' by Hubert Stokes


Attorney Ben Brooks was a self-proclaimed “Dragonfly”— he felt it was his duty to spread his wings and protect the people from insurance companies, doctors and corporations whom he viewed as mosquitoes sucking the life blood of the people. In the courtroom Ben was fearless, but when it came to love, he had been hurt time and again.

Jilted by his fiancée who refused to marry him, Ben goes back home to Gullah country. There, the Gullah people come to call him “Skeeter Hawk.” While rediscovering his heritage, Skeeter unravels dark family secrets. A beautiful childhood friend, Fula, becomes his guide as they travel the Gullah Trail from North Carolina to the Sea Islands in South Carolina in search of more answers. Ben falls in love with her and becomes torn between her and his former fiancée, who wants to rekindle their romance.

In the Charleston Market Place, Skeeter sees a vision from the past: slaves being sold before his very eyes. One of the slaves turns out to be his ancestor. Recognizing him, she reaches out to touch him. He is shaken. Who is this ancestor and what does she want from him?

While unraveling family secrets and the haunting of an ancestor, Skeeter tries to balance his feelings between two women. As he rediscovers his Gullah heritage, he also deals with a premonition that one of his enemies is pursuing him, providing a backdrop for mystery, romance, intrigue and suspense.

Read an excerpt:

Officer Rivers - Fula

When the State Trooper stepped out of the cruiser, Ben could see that it was an African American female Trooper. He watched her through his rear view mirror as she walked toward the car. She was wearing what he called police shades. They were dark and wide, covering most of the face. Though he couldn’t see her face clearly, one thing was for sure, she had a beautiful body under that uniform. He wondered why a fine lady like this would become a cop. She could have easily shared the fashion runway with Sheila.
He hadn’t allowed himself to look at other women since he had been seeing Sheila, but boy was he looking now. As she got closer male stereotypical ideas floated through his mind. I wonder does she dress sexy under that uniform. Wonder is she wearing a sweet cologne. Reality set in. She is wearing a gun stupid, so nothing else matters.
“Hello Sir, I saw that truck almost run you off the road back there. I put a call in to another trooper down the road to see if he could catch him. Are you okay?”
“I’m fine officer.”
Ben couldn’t tell for sure, but it sounded like she said “I know that’s right” under her breath.
“Can I see your identification?”
“Sure officer, but I need to step out of the car because my ID is in my back pocket and I’m having trouble getting to it in this small rental car.”
As Ben got out of the car, he noticed that the officer placed her hand on her gun. It looked like she was going to pull it out. Ben threw his hands high in the air quickly, almost causing his muscular chest to rip his shirt apart.
“Huh, wait, you, you won’t need that. There is no need for you to pull your weapon. I’m an attorney. I obey the law.”
“I’m not putting my hand on gun for you. It is to remind me that I’m a police officer, because you are a fine, tall, cup of hot chocolate.”
She is flirting with me. I thought that I heard her right the first time. Well as fine as she is, she can flirt with me anytime.
Ben let his hands down and a big smile came on his face.
“Are you flirting with me officer?”
“Well that all depends.”
“Depends on what?”
“Depends on if it is working or not.”
It was unquestionably working. He had not had a woman flirt with him so strongly and he took it seriously in years. He decided to let her advances go unanswered. He handed her his ID.
“Benjamin Brooks, Attorney at Law, Houston, Texas. Mr. Brooks you are a long way from home. What are you during in Magnolia?”
“Magnolia is my home.”
Ben couldn’t believe he said that. He was always trying to distance himself from his country upbringings and his African roots that he had forgotten that no matter where he went in the world. Magnolia was still his home, just like Africa.
“I’m a little lost. I was trying to find the Jackson Market. It is one of the landmarks that will put me on the right road to the James Farm.”
“The Jackson Market was torn down almost ten years ago. I see you haven’t been home in some time.”
“I see a lot has changed since I was last home. I heard that North Carolina had African American State Trooper, but no one told me that they had fine ones like you.”
“Are you trying to flirt with me Attorney Brooks?”
“It all depends.”
Depends on what?”
“Depends on if it is working or not.”
The two of them started laughing very loudly.

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The Origin of Skeeter Hawk

Many years ago, an African warrior and his soon to be queen roamed freely through fields of African violets. Their playful love was interrupted by slave hunters, who captured them and took them to Bance Island off the West African coast. Before they were separated and placed on different slave ships, they promised to find each other again, no matter where they ended up.

Both were sent to the Sea Islands to work the mosquito-infected rice fields of South Carolina. They had a plan; she was to plant some African violet seeds that she brought with her and he was to follow the scent to find her. They never saw each other again but they longed for each other.

In the rice fields the mosquitoes feasted on the African slaves, but because of their climatic history, they were strong and able to survive. They had one friend that was able to help them with the mosquitoes— the dragonfly. The dragonfly is nature’s way of dealing with an overpopulation of mosquitoes, hunting down and eating mosquitoes much like the hawk hunts and kills chickens. The African slaves, because of their West African dialects, couldn’t say “mosquito,” so they called the dragonfly a name worthy of his role in nature: Skeeter Hawk.

Over a century later, one of the descendants of the two African lovers became one of Houston’s most powerful lawyers, vowing to protect the African American people from “blood sucking” corporations and insurance companies. He took for his emblem of justice the name Dragonfly. Even though he had forgotten his Gullah heritage and had disavowed all knowledge of his people, his Gullah Geechee community called him Skeeter Hawk.

Follow the story “Skeeter Hawk” as attorney Ben Brooks rediscovers his Gullah Geechee heritage and find romance along the Gullah Trail and the Sea Islands.

About the author:

Hubert R. Stokes taught mathematics in the Detroit Public School for forty years. He worked exclusively on the eastside of Detroit and helped to educate generations of children. After graduating from Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, N. C. in 1968, he embraced the school motto to “enter to learn and depart to serve.” Later he received his master’s degree in Middle School Mathematics from Wayne State University and continued his dream to motivate his students to be the best that they could be.

Mr. Stokes has spent time tutoring youngsters and managing after school recreation programs to help develop well rounded young people. He worked with the Detroit Public Schools, Enrichment Program for Institutionalized Children (EPIC) for over twenty years, laboring to support and educate our at risk youth.

He was retired in 2008 by his former students but continues to sponsor activities like Girl Talk and Career Day at his former school. After retirement, he has rekindled his love for Afro-American Studies, choosing to convey our Black Heritage to others in a series of romance novels called Saby Stone Stories.

Mr. Stokes has received numerous awards for his teaching abilities, including Outstanding Young Man in America, the Booker T. Washington Educators Achievement Award and Teacher of the Year at Corinthian Baptist Church, just to name a few. Mr. Stokes holds most precious, five awards given to him by his former students who recommended him to “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” in 1994, 2000, 2002, 2005, and 2006.

Teaching for Mr. Stokes is a unique calling from God. He has kept in contact with many of his former students. His doctor, lawyer, accountant, mechanic, banker, insurance agent and florist are all his former students. Mr. Stokes says, “some teachers teach a lifetime and never know what their former students are doing, but I take pride in knowing about my former students’ accomplishments because their success is my success.”

The “Skeeter Hawk” Novel

A Modern Day Historical Romance Story

A Saby Stone Story

Saby Stone is the pen name for Hubert R. Stokes a retired teacher who loves to write novels to teach Black History. So many of our young adults between the age of 21 and 45 years have not been told the complete story our history so it is his dream that his novels will help to enlighten them as well as others about our history.

A Saby Stone Story is a unique story touched by the human experience, seasoned with the spice of African-American History and dashes of romance. It is the goal of Saby Stone writers to tell unique stories, but at the same time, tell the hidden or untold history of the African people as they adjust to their new home in a different land.

The title of my second novel is "Skeeter Hawk." It was released on Feb. 26, 2011 during Black History Month. The Author's name is Saby Stone (My pen name). It was self-published by me using my publishing co. Saby Stone Publishing. Books are available on my website in soft and hard covers. The ISBN number is 978-0-9817770-2-3.

Please contact me at or on Facebook Hubert Stokes.

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