Breana Lee


Breana Lee is 17 years old. She is a pure blooded Davisite who loves smiles, sunsets, and cereal, especially Honey Bunches of Oats. She aspires to meet the cast of Captain America: Civil War and Neil Patrick Harris, just to hear him say, “Challenge accepted” in real life. She spends her free time baking, admiring art with bright colors, and watching the Food Channel. She is in pursuit of becoming a better writer, videographer, being updated on current news, and overall becoming a better person. She especially loves nature and hikes with bodies of water whether it be waterfalls, lakes rivers, or even puddles. She loves rain, but only occasionally. Her style is Comfy and she loves her dog Turbo more than words can describe. Most of all, she hopes for true happiness in her and everyone else’s lives.    

How long were you in prison?

         Malcolm X entered the tiny bookstore early one summer day in 2017. It was humid outside and despite the sweat that beaded on his forehead, Malcolm X adjusted his tie and entered the store. He looked around at the stacks of books as the door closed with a soft twinkle of the bell overhead. The only person in the store was another mustached man standing in the Poem section, engrossed in a small paperback book.

         The mustached man was standing, shoulders hunched, among the masses of books ranging from small pocket books to thick dictionary-like ones. Quietly, Malcolm X strode to the nearest pile of books and picked one up after lightly running his hand over the smooth spines. A golden flash had caught his eye. The Adventures of Samuel Thomas, Malcolm read to himself. This looks interesting, he thought. He flipped to the first page and began reading.

         On July 9, 1892 Samuel Thomas was killed in an unusual accident near Cherry Hill. He was hit by an oncoming train moments before his final act. He was about to jump off the New River Gorge Bridge as a part of his one man show.

         As Malcolm X continued to read, he was sucked more and more into Samuel Thomas’ wild adventures. Malcolm X read slowly but persisted until he had read five full pages. He was still learning how to read quickly since his time in jail where he taught himself how to read and write using a dictionary. Closing the book, Malcolm X decided to read it later.

         “What other kinds of books does this bookstore have to offer? Do they have any dictionaries?” He spoke aloud this time.

         Looking up, he noticed the mustached man, with his attention still invested in the book he had been reading when Malcolm X first entered. Making his way over, Malcolm X picked up a book on the shelf at random. Startled, the mustached man noticed it was the same book he had in his hand.

         “Do you like poetry?” the mustached man asked.

         “No, actually, my favorite book is Merriam Webster’s dictionary! Have you heard of it?” Malcolm questioned, excitedly.

         “Yes, of course I have,” the mustached man chuckled.

         “It’s how I learned to read and write with such flawlessness,” Malcolm X joked.

         “You probably saw me reading over there. I only got through 5 pages,” Malcom X said.

         “That’s very impressive! What’s your name young man?”

         “Malcolm X,” he responded extending his hand.

         “Juan Felipe Herrera,” the mustached man replied.

         “Why did you choose to use a dictionary, of all books, to learn?”

         “Well, sir, it was the only thing I could get my hands on in prison.”

         “Prison? What did you go to jail for?”

         “Oh, just some of the civil rights rallies I was apart of,” Malcolm X said off handedly.

         “I’m about to go to get a coffee, would you like to join me?” Juan Felipe Herrera asked.


         “Okay,” Juan Felipe Herrera said.

         “Let’s call an Uber, oh wait I mean Lyft, we don’t want to support you know who,” he decided, pulling out his iPhone.

         “What is that? And I don’t know who you are referring to...” Malcolm X responded, bewildered.

         “How long were you in jail for?” Juan Felipe Herrera asked, laughing.

         “We really do have a lot we can talk about,” he said, as he exited the bookshop, Malcolm X eagerly trailing behind him to find out more about this shiny rectangle. 

© The Acentos Review 2017