There was no question at all that the front house belonged to Alison’s grandmother because bright colours distinguished it from the other two. The front door was painted in yellow and the frame in bright blue, the bright green roof shimmered in spots when the descending sun seeped through the trees round the house. I got off the bike and walked up the pebble-stoned walkway to a small wooden gate, I mean, what kind of strange people were they? No fence round the house just this bloody wooden gate. I shook me head and pushed open the gate and walked up three concrete steps, stumbled and almost fell into the door, damn steps was too small for me size seventeen shoes. I looked up at the door, there was a red cross painted on the middle of it and I leaned forward trying to get a better look at it, I remembered me grandmother telling me that some obeah priests used goat blood to paint crosses on they doors something to do with Passover I believe. Hesitantly I ran me fingers along the smooth surface when suddenly the door opened and I found meself looking up into the eyes of an old lady, she was wearing a gray dress the coarse material brushing against me face as a gently breeze escaped from inside the house.
“Wey you want?” she barked. I straightened up but still did not say anything I was vexed with meself, I mean, it was just a bloody old lady.
“You ah dummyboy?” she demanded a large mole on she bottom lip moved up and down when she spoke.
“I am Alison’s teacher,” I said, me voice a whisper. “She said I should come here to get help.” She eyes never left me face and for a moment she did not seem to know what the hell I was talking bout. I started to speak again but she raised she arm stopping me.
“Don jus stand dere, come in,” I got to me feet and followed she inside me heart pounding and me mouth suddenly dry. Before I could compose meself she disappeared into another room and I was left standing alone.
I sat down in the chair nearest to me wondering where the hell that damn woman went. There was incense lit in every corner of the room, teardrops oozed out the side of me eyes and rolled down me cheeks and I shut me eyes then open them trying me best to clean them. The chair poked into me skin and I looked down it was made out of Bamboo, now who in they right mind would have old bamboo furniture, I mean, the damn thing felt like I was sitting on needles or something. I cursed a little and slowly I shifted me position trying to make meself comfortable.
I looked round the room but I could not tell what colour it was because the smoke settled on the walls creating a black, gray cloud. There were dolls everywhere and the shadows on their faces made them look almost life like as if at any moment one of them would stand up and start a frigging conversation with me. Right then I wanted to get up and run but I told meself that everything was cool runnings so I settled back down. The curtains on the lone window shifted as the early evening breeze pushed it; I mean good lord, what have I gotten meself into? Alison materialized out of the smoke startling me, man, I need to stop talking to meself so much. She body made a pathway through the thick smog as she stopped in front of me smoke whirled round she then dissipated in the breeze.
“You all right Mr. Dickens?” She asked bending over and looking into me eyes.
“Yes, I am fine,” I replied, brushing away a teardrop that rolled down me cheek.
“Come on den, Ah go show you to you room.” I got up and followed her to a door that seemed to appear at the side of the room me water logged shoes squeaking as we went. I stepped through the door into a Victorian looking bedroom, I tell you what, the difference between this room and the one I just came from was like night and day. There was a huge window that took up one side of the room, a cream coloured laced curtain hung from it barely touching the floor, a mahogany dresser stood at the foot of the bed and on top of it were pictures of Alison, so I walked over to the dresser and looked at the black and white photographs. There was two of her as a baby and one of her when she was still a pupil at the small Primary school just a short distance up the road. There was a jewelry box over flowing with bracelets and necklaces, Jesus, did she think she had enough jewelry or what? I turned round in a tight circle surveying the room, surprisingly there was no smoke in there not even the sent of the incense violated the room.
“Dere is you change of clothes,” Man, I jumped so high me head almost touch the ceiling, I mean I had completely forgotten Alison was still in the room. She was pointing to a suit of clothes that lay in the middle of the bed so I walked over and picked up the garments
“Ah go come back to get you later on for de ceremony,” she said. I was still feeling the clothes not paying any attention to she at all so I was surprised when I turned round and realized the girl had already left the room.
I sat down on the bed me head started to hurt a little. I looked at the light blue paint on the walls it made the room seem brighter in the fading afternoon light.
There was a grandfather clock sitting in the far corner of the room and I watched the hands go round, I mean, I was looking at the bloody thing so long it’s ticking and me heart were beating the same frigging rhythm.
I heard a commotion in the backyard so I got up and walked over to the window, there were two roosters fighting while the other chickens scrambled round trying to get out of the way, dirt and feathers flew into the air as the two roosters tried to get the upper hand on each other. After bout three minutes of wings flying and intense clucking one of the roosters gave up and ran away its wings flapping vigorously, I chuckled to myself, run brother run before he kills you.
I opened the window and leaned out its wooden frame pressed against me elbow making them hurt a little, the late afternoon sun gave me enough light to see what the yard looked like, Aloe trees were planted along the sides of the house, it was common for Islanders to plant these trees because it was believed that they had the power to keep out evil spirits. Some people even eat the bitter plant believing that it would cleanse them, Idiots, that plant was so bitter it could make you hair stand straight on your head. The chickens had stopped milling round in the dirt and were beginning to settle down for the night, a bat flew by a mere shadow in the florescent light.
I went back into the room and sat down on the bed thinking hard bout why I was there and what good it would do for me. An owl hooted outside and I got up and began looking round for a light switch but stopped when I heard the door creek. Puffs of smoke seeped through then disappeared as it was sucked back into the other room. I waited, a dull pain in me chest as me heart rate sped up like crazy. It was just a few moments, but I tell you man, it seemed like a hundred years before an old man walked into the room surrounded by a cloud of smoke. He did not even look at me as he walked over to a chair beside the door and sat down, he wrinkled hands clasped round a homemade cane that supported the weight from he hunched over body, thick veins ran up and down he arms disappearing under the sleeves of his shirt. He dropped the cane onto the flow,