“For Christ sake, cut, cut, cut!” Henry screamed. Finally, the plant went limp, and the funnel flopped to the ground, and the hairs wilted immediately. Henry cut Adofo out of the thick leaf. Adofo exhaled as he struggled to get air to his lungs. Henry tried to pull him up, but his arms were covered with slim. He stopped trying and stood over Adofo as he composed himself. Adofo was finally able to stand up and wiped his eyes, and blew slime from his nose.
“Are you O K?” Henry asked. Adofo tried to talk, but instead a glob of slime spouted out of his mouth. He coughed and bent over and threw up. Henry tapped him on his back and slowly, Adofo stopped retching and stood up still gasping for air.
“I will be O K,” he said between gasps then bent down and picked up his spear.
“Thank you I owe you one,” he said reaching his hand out. Henry took it getting slime on his hand. Adofo smiled.
“Sorry,” he said and he touched Henry’s face. Henry wiped the slime off.
“If you were not covered with snort I would give you a trashing,” he said and they laughed. The jungle was quiet, the big flowers swayed in a mild wind, the animals had disappeared into the jungle, and the scent of the rose bushes was even stronger. Adofo turned to Henry,
“Let’s get out of here, and stay away from those plants.” Adofo said.
It was early evening and swarms of bugs flew around in the jungle. Water dripped off the leaves from the afternoon rain that created a scent of wet wood. Baby birds chirped as their mothers brought them food, foxes barked in their dens. Akosua was lying on a straw mat her eyes closed. She felt like someone was looking at her and opened her eyes. Kwao sat against a tree staring at her. She sat up and looked around,
“You are beautiful even when you day dream,” he said. Akosua rubbed her eyes and yawned.
“You are even beautiful when you yawn,” he said. Akosua stopped and looked at him.
“What has gotten into you, have the heat fried your brain?” she asked and smiled. Kwao looked down at the ground. He was shifting a leaf with a piece of stick.
“I have always had special feelings for you,” he stuttered, shifting nervously against the tree. Akosua blinked surprised,
“I am flattered, but you know am in love with Adofo,” she said. A monkey swung in a tree above them, the branch broke and the monkey fell, but grabbed onto another branch before he hit the ground. Kwao looked at her, a flash of anger in his eyes.
“I am better for you than he is,” he said, but did not look at her,
“Its because am the son of a plantation owner isn’t it?” And before Akosua could respond he spoke again,
“I can offer you eternal life,” he said, Akosua looked at him,
“What do you mean by eternal life?” she asked. Kwao got up
“Never mind, I just wanted to let you know how I feel,” he said and walked into the jungle. Akosua got up and went over to where the two warriors and the blond woman sat. A pot of food bubbled over a fire; its small orange glow flickered in the dark. Akosua sat down next to the woman,
“He has a mean disposition,” the blond woman said and looked in the direction where Kwao had went into the jungle. Akosua smiled an apologetic smile,
“He has had a hard life, this is the first time he have been accepted anywhere, he still have to learn how to trust.” She said and looked at the woman. Her blond hair was matted almost like Akosua’s dreadlocks; her speech was different from the captains, she may have come from a different tribe in the Old Country. The woman looked at Akosua her blue eyes twinkled in the light from the fire.
“What was his problem now?” she asked, Akosua lowered her head embarrassed.
“He just has some feeling he needs to resolve,” She said her face felt hot as she smiled.
“What is your name?” Amelia asked just to change the topic. The woman put a piece of mango in her mouth and chewed. After she swallowed she responded.
“My name is Lassette; I lived on the French island where the first successful slave uprising occurred. My father worked for a plantation owner. Akosua looked into her blue eyes. She was not much older than Akosua,
“”How old are you?” Akosua asked, Lassette hesitated, and she knew that giving her age to an Obeah woman may not be the best thing to do, but this girl had saved her life.
“I am twenty,” the woman responded.
“How was it on that island during the uprising?” Akosua asked,
“It was horrifying. The night before the fighting I heard the drums playing and the slaves chanting, I knew what they were doing, I had seen one of their services. The animal sacrifices gave me nightmares for weeks. The day they revolted, we were prepared to escape. They chased us to the ocean and we were able to flee the island,” She stopped talking and looked up at the grey clouds.
“I stayed in the colonies, but my father and mother went back to the Old Country. I believe that slavery is barbaric, but my father believed that it was necessary to build the colonies. He disowned me.” She said. Akosua shifted to become more comfortable.
“I have been going from island to island opposing the slave traders and plantation owners,” Lassette said,
“How ironic,” Akosua said, “You were about to be sacrificed by the very people whose freedom you are fighting for,” Lassette nodded,
“It’s a chance that’s worth taking,” she said and smiled. In the dark Kwao spoke,
“What do we have here, a kindoki do gooder?” he said walking out of the bushes. One of the warriors looked up at him,
“Stop talking Kwao, no one wants to hear your hatred right now,” he shouted, Kwao walked over and grabbed the boy’s dreadlocks.
“You shut your mouth!” He shouted, the boy grabbed Kwao’s arm and stood up. They glared at each other.
“That’s enough,” Akosua said, neither warrior relinquish,
“Go for a walk Kwao and calm yourself down,” she said. Kwao hesitated.
“First Henry and now her, you can let these people into your lives but me, I refuse to trust them,” He said and looked at Lassette with pure disdain,
“Kindoki!” Kwao said then walked off.
“I don’t blame him I would be angry too,” Lassette said, Akosua leaned over and looked into the pot,
“He is a good person, but his anger may destroy him,” Akosua said.
Night slowly descended on the jungle and with it came all the sounds that were not heard in the daytime. Frogs croaked and mosquitoes buzzed, bugs swam around the flame, and one of the warriors put a lid over the pot. They sat mere shadows next to the fire, each with their own thoughts.