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Stories Storyteller

A story about evil Ju Ju by my brother Raphael Charles

Sukuya story:  It was that time of the year when my vacation was due, 1999 there about, and I decided to spend the time with Dad in Morne Fendue. When I got to his house he told me that I would have to sleep in another house he rented a little further up the road in Rose Hill. The first night I slept in that house, I had a terrible time, I just couldn’t sleep, something was wrestling with me, I cried out but couldn’t hear myself, I fought and fought whatever it was, it was strong, cold sweat poured from my body, there was a frightening feeling of something evil in the house, I didn’t sleep that night. The next day I spoke to Dad about what I experienced, he just laughed it off telling me it was probably something I had eaten. The same thing happened on the second night, it was only after reciting Psalm 23 that I got some relief. At about 9:00 am, that morning I left the house to go down to the other house where Dad was for bre…akfast, on my way down I met a little old lady, she was sitting in the doorway of a house, she called out to me “good morning sonny, how are you” I stopped and told her that I was doing all right, she then asked me who I was, and I explained to her who my father is and that i was spending some time with him. She then said to me that she and I were related, and she called a number of names to prove what she said. We talked for a while, then I told her I had to leave. As I turned away I heard her say, “Young Man, whenever you go to bed @ night, you must sleep with your underwear wrong side.” I was shocked, how did she know that I slept with or without underwear? It means that she had to be in the house attempting to do her thing with me. Well, I did not take her advise, and for the rest of the time (Two Weeks to be exact) I slept like a baby every night in that house. I never saw that little old lady again, but that experience showed me that the ligaroo and the sukuya were not myths or stories conjured up to frighten little ones, they were real people, going about doing the devils work.
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Parts Dirty Immigrant Storyteller

Blackanova (From the novel I am a Dirty Immigrant)

I heard the same sentiments from a couple of women I sat next to everyday at work. I was a little taken aback because these women were always being extra-friendly with me. Anyway, I expected that from the older of the two women. The younger one took me by surprise because she tried her best to portray an understanding of the plight of black people.  She joined the conversation by stating that she did not believe in the mixing of races. This woman was a Jessica Simpson look-alike or wannabe, whichever way you see fit to categorize her. She stated emphatically that she would not allow her daughter to date a black man. I did not say anything at first, but when she insisted, I had to respond. I wanted to know why she felt that way, but she did not have a viable answer for me. I insisted, and she said that the children are the ones who suffer, so I informed her that it was people like her that made it hard for children of mixed origin.

She was speechless, her eyes rolling around in her head as she searched for an answer.  She finally attacked my failed marriage, stating that it did not work because of our color difference. To tell you the truth, I had to stop and take a breath so as not to explode. Once again I had to explain to her that it was people of her mentality that made mixed relationships hard to maintain. I also let her know that it was not the ethnicity that ended our marriage. But still she insisted. Hell, I even heard her say that if a black man painted his dick white, she still would not sleep with him.

I was not defeated in my effort to show her that color played no role in how people feel about each other. The following day I embarked on a campaign of flirting. I was more tenacious than a politician, and from the beginning I knew I had her attention.  I used my writing skills to woo her, using exotic images from my island. Every day she would come in and try to get my attention. She would swoon like a schoolgirl, always looking for my approval with what she wore or what color her hair was, and believe me she changed it daily.  I laid on the poetic charm until I knew she was addicted to the attention, and then I stopped. Her reaction to me stopping was a little hostile, the wrath of an ignored woman. At one point I was walking by her when she told me to kiss her ass. For someone who would never date a black man, she sure seemed a little perturbed about losing the attention.

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POEMS Storyteller

Here in the crispy cool morning, I find my daydreams, here in the crispy cool light, I start my new chapter.

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Parts Dirty Immigrant Storyteller

US

UK

 

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POEMS Storyteller

Johnny Revolutionary

Johnny was a good man,   That was not Johnny marching in the military parade,   That was not Johnny, shouting “Long live!” in the political rally,   That was not Johnny sitting on an armored car screaming “Power to the people!”   That was not Johnny, 19 years old, four children already.  That was not Johnny shooting an AK rifle into the air.   That was not Johnny, creeping around the bushes playing soldier,   But that was Johnny, laying still, with a sculptured smile on his face,   The old lady said “Dats wha happen when you put down de bible and pick up a gun,   Johnny was a good man.
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Storyteller

The dead lives to attack.

 They walked over to the opening and walked in. It was dark, and the decline was steep, and they struggled to keep their footing as they went down. Fifteen minutes later, the passageway flattened out, and they stepped onto mud. The sun was bright, and it was hard to see after they had walked down the dark tunnel. Akosua stopped and looked around. They were in what looked like a wide valley surrounded by a rock wall as far as the eyes could see. The grass was brown, the trees had no leaves, and the flowers had died, the blossoms moldy. They stepped on the dead grass and began walking towards the dead forest. They had not gone twenty feet when there was a thud and a loud scream. Akosua turned around and realized that the girl was missing. She listened, the girl’s voice sounded like she was entrapped in a small cave. Akosua walked towards her voice and almost fell into the whole that the girl had tumbled into. She looked down into a freshly dug grave. Akosua leaned in; the girl was scrambling to get out, her fingers clawing at the mud. Akosua lay down on her stomach reached out, grabbed the girls arm and pulled her out. The girl was covered with black hairy spiders. The child slapped at them, her eyes wide open with fear. Akosua helped her and soon all the spiders were off of her. The Akan leader stood and looked around. At first glance she did not see the graves, but with closer scrutiny she saw the long rectangular indentations on the surface of the ground. All around them were freshly dug graves. Suddenly, there was ear splitting laughter. Bark fell off the dead trees; the rotted blossoms fell to the ground.
“It’s Guede; he loves death and uses the dead for his evil purposes.” Akosua said, and the group drew their weapons and looked around.
“Keep an eye out, there is no telling what he will send to try and stop us from getting the spear.” She said. They walked on, being careful of the open graves. They walked out of the dead forest and into lush green jungle right before they got to the middle of the valley. Still there were no animals, just beautiful wild flowers and lush green bushes. The grass was soft underfoot, and the air was filled with the scent of blooming flowers. Akosua stopped and listened, there was total silence. Suddenly a figure appeared in front of them and stood before them. Without saying a word he charged at them followed by several more figures that appeared out of thin air.  They were all the colour of ash, their eyes and tongue were red, and there were two small horns protruding from their foreheads. Their mouths were open screaming, but no sound came out at first. Akosua did not react immediately, but as they drew closer she sprang into action.
“Jab Jabs!” she shouted, as she moved out of the way of one of the devils. The Jab Jabs all had clubs that they swung as they charged. Henry swung his machete at one of the Jab Jabs; the demon looked at him in disbelief, and then looked at his own body. There was a long cut that went from his chest to his waist. Ashes spilled out of him cascading down his legs and onto the ground creating a small mound of ashes at his feet. He looked back up at Henry, then vanished leaving a cloud of ash floating in the air. Out of the corner of her eyes, Akosua saw a Jab Jab coming towards her, his club held over his head. She waited until he was close, sidestepped, and pushed him into a tree. The Jab Jab melted into the tree trunk and an ear splitting crack filled the rock valley as the tree exploded. It hit the ground and the valley shook. The Jab Jabs came in waves, their voices suddenly echoing through the valley, trees shookand swayed, leaves curled as if hiding with fear.
“This way!” Donkor shouted as he pushed around Akosua. Akosua and the others followed fighting off Jab Jabs as they went. The jab Jabs disappeared every time they were struck, but more of them appeared out of thin air. They ran until they were at the edge of the jungle looking down to the middle of the mountain top. It was like looking down on a snow covered field. The Jab Jabs were fast approaching and they turned around to confront the wave of demons. Akosua swung her Machete and two Jab Jabs disappeared, she coughed as the air around her became a mist of ashes. Their red tongues stretched out, their red eyes blazing but somehow seemed lifeless. Akosua jumped down onto the white ground and Henry and the warriors followed her.   The mountaintop echoed with crunches as they landed on the white earth. Kwao hesitated, his back to the Jab Jabs. One of them hurled his body at Kwao and disappeared into him. The boy stumbled forward onto the white ground. He turned and looked at Akosua and stretched his arm out. At first he looked like he was pleading for help, but instead, his expression changed into a menacing stare. Without saying a word he raised his machete and charged at her. Donkor raised his machete just as Kwao brought his down. The sound of metal against metal echoed loudly. Kwao raised his machete again and Donkor stepped back and blocked Kwao’s swing with his machete. Donkor stumbled back leaving Akosua exposed to Kwao’s attack. The boy lunged at Akosua, ash exploded from his mouth. Akosua looked into his eyes it was turning red. His tongue was stretched out; it was slowly changing from pink to red. The change started from the tip of his tongue, and soon his whole mouth was red. Slowly, he began to turn an ashy colour, the change going up his arm to his body. Akosua prepared herself for his charge, but before he got to her Adofo had wrapped his arm around Kwao from behind. Kwao struggled, his eyes completely red, his tongue had turned into blood red and the upper half of his body was ash coloured. He continued to struggled and almost escaped Adofo’s hold, but Donkor had rushed over and grabbed him. Suddenly his whole body jerked and he leaned forward and threw up violently. Grey bile spilled out of his mouth, and the white ground melted as the grey liquid landed on it. Kwao staggered and stumbled backwards as Adofo and Donkor struggled to hold him up. Akosua walked up to him, the bile bubbled on the white ground fizzed, then disappeared. Akosua touched his face and he opened his eyes. She reached into her sack and pulled her Aron. She shook it over Kwao’s head, its sound echoed with the sound of the wind in the trees. Slowly, Kwao began to look like himself again. The red in his eyes dissolved, as puffs of ash floated out of them. His tongue returned to a healthy pink hue as he coughed out ash. The skin on his arm moved as if the ash was rolling around right under it. It trailed down his arm then escaped through the tips of his fingers in small puffs of ash.. He straightened up and looked around. “What happened?” he asked, Akosua put her Aron back in the sack.
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Stories Storyteller

Vung the blood sucker

 One mid day, when the grey clouds covered the orange sun, and sprinkles of tropical raindrops made silver droplets on the green leafs. I was sitting in the drawing room reading a book when I heard banging on the front door, “Andy, Andy, you dey mon?” I dropped the book and went to the door. It was my buddy Roach, he was about my age, thirteen, light skin, one of those people… we used to call Grenada White. He had an attempt of an afro hairstyle, one that his hair texture did not agree with. He was skinny, just like me but a lot shorter. ‘Dat bloody ligaroo did it, he suck me mudda, I go kill him?” I looked at him and shook my head, “Mon, you real crazy you know, no ligaroo suck you mudda,” I replied “You doh believe me? Mon I thought we were friends,” he said disappointed. Then with marked determination he said, “Lets go!” “Go where?” I asked, Roach was already at the door. I followed him, down the concrete steps outside the house, onto Lucas Street, past the police directing traffic and up the steps to his house. He stopped and whispered, “Look at she neck,” I looked at him, “Buoy, I doh wan look at you mudda neck,” I protested, he frowned, “Mon, jus look at she neck,” He opened the door and walked in, “Mammie I home,” He said and walked into the drawing room. His mother walked out and was a little surprised to see me, “Hey Andy, what all you doing today?” She asked, “Nutton mam,” I said not looking at her. Roach walked up to me and smacked my arm, signaling that I looked at her neck I nudged him with my elbow protesting. Trying to be slick, I looked at her neck and there it was, a mark that looked like someone had sucked on her neck, the middle was real purple and the edges was red. My heart stropped, dear lord, ligaroo suck her real hard.  I immediately headed for the door. “Where are you going?” She asked, I..I…I have to go cook lunch,” I said and walked out. Roach came running after me. “See, I tell you, de ligaroo suck she,” He said. “You duh know dat,” I said walking faster. “If it not a ligaroo den who eh” he asked, I did not respond, “I tell you is dat one name Vung, Jeffrey said dat de other night he saw Vung flying flying over he house and den he go in Mis Steele’s window so he could suck she,” he insisted, “You cawn believe anyting dat boy say,” I retorted, “Mon, you saw it, right on me mudda’s neck, I go get dat Vung. you go go wid me”  I looked at him, he was just as frightened as I was, We all heard stories about the ligaroo, how they would peal their skin off, jump out their window and turn into a ball of fire and climb in people’s window to suck their blood. Vung was a little old man that everybody in the town accused of being a ligaroo. He would walk around, eyes red as blood, smiling menacingly at us kids. He carried a crudely man walking stick with a black piece of cloth tied on the top of it.  I was afraid to confront him, but I did not want to be his next victim. What if he get greedy and suck out all my blood. So later that day, when the sun was setting, Roach and I went up to Market hill where Vung always stood, never saying a word, just giving people evil looks as they walk by. We stood on the other side of the street, Vung saw us, his red eyes not moving, just staring. I looked at Roach, hatred replaced the fear in his eyes like a rain cloud blocking out the moon. He started walking towards Vung. The ligaroo smiled got bigger, Roach approached him, “Leave me mudda alone you devil, you blood sucking Jumbie, leave me mudda alone I say,” Vung was giggle now, his voice like a growl, I took a step back, Roach was determined, he stopped just in front of Vung who was laughing maniacally now, slowly raised his arms and made a cross with it, “Die devil, die! He screamed. Vung took a step forward, Roach was fast, but I did not realize how fast until that day. He turned and took off, Vung looked at me, this time he was not smiling. “Ah put a curse on you liccle buoy.”  I turned and ran as fast as my skinny legs to go. Roach was real happy, he was sure that Vung would die because he heard that if you showed a ligaroo the sign of the cross they would explode. But the next day, Vung was back at his usual spot standing at the top of Market Hill, and ask for Roach’s mother had a new mark on her neck, and she did, the next day and the next and the next. I remember thinking, damn that would had a lot of blood to suck.
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Stories Storyteller

Greeen leaf or Beat down

 At boys school I went to we played a game called Green Leaf. Simple game really,  most of the time it was just two of us playing. The premise is that you have to always have a green leaf on your person or get their ass kicked. I always won, meting out beatdowns regularly. You see I used to always have a green leaf in my pants pocket. That was until one Saturday when Mommy Charles was washing my pants. “Anderson!” She screamed, I always knew that she was angry when she used my full name. Why are dere green leaves in your pockets, now your pants have green stains all over it,”  I went into my bedroom and hid. That Monday, before I could get to a tree to pick a leaf my friend, lets call him Ian, came up behind me and shouted “Ggggggeeeeeennnn LLLleeeaaaaffff!” I took off running, he gave chase, “Ah say green leaf!” I got to the school and tried to hide but he found  and unloaded a barrage of punched onto my arm, I tell you what, for weeks I was not able to raise my arm above my head. That game between me and him lasted for years until he moved to a different school.  A yeah later, on my first day of secondary school, I was looking smart in my new uniform, strutting like a sagabuoy. All of a sudden I head Grrrreeeeennnnnllleeeeaaaffff!” I turned around to see Ian springing towards me, I took off but he caught up with me and blasted me with cuffs. For the next two years we beat each other black and blue. Running through the school, the city, the woods, even if one of us was playing cricket or soccer, when we heard green leaf, time to run.  This continued for two years until Ian moved to Brooklyn, to tell you the truth, I was glad, I was tired of getting my ass beat up everyday. Five years later, I was a married man living in Brooklyn. It was a cold winter day with snow on the ground. I got off the subway and was walking to my job at the Fulton Mall when I head “Gggeeeeenn Leaf!” I thought, man that voice sound familiar. Then I heard someone running, instinctively I took off, slipping and sliding in the snow. Bumping people sometimes pushing them. “I say green leaf!” Ian shouted, laughing, gasping for breath. As I slide across the side walk I thought, what the hell, I am a grown man, this is not h=secondary school. Here I am in New York, running from a grown man as he shouted green leaf. People must think that a dealer was running from his client. I turned around just in time to see Ian slip and fall. He was laughing. He got up and came towards and I braced myself. He lifted both arms and stumbled into me and gave me a bear hug.

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Stories Storyteller

Wha a durty movie, de police dem know?

 We walked in to the theater, two young boys all excited to see the latest Ku Fu movies. I remember it well, it was at the Regal movies theater in Tanteen, I used to love going there. There I was, sitting in the dark, my heart pounding as I waited. I looked down at my lap, one pound bag of warm grounds, check, big box of Chiclets check, bottle of Pepsi Kol…a, check.  The lights dimmed ad a blast of sound erupted from the speakers.  I cracked some nuts and shoveled it into my mouth. Men in traditional Chinese costumes flew through, pow, slam, hi yaaa. A chop here a flying kick there. The crowd roared. Then the theater went black and slowly the movie started. There was a scene of a boat gliding through choppy waters, then the scene panned in, a man stood at the bow of the boat, his had on his waist like a pirate, his chest pushed out. The camera followed the deck and down to the belly of the boat. There were several women in there shackled , I was confused, why are all these white girls in a Kung Fu movie. Where is Silver Fox, Where is Golden Fox, where is Soji, and that funny one we used to can Cawn Set. The boat arrived at an island and the women were hoarded off. Oh the creams the complaining, the bad acting.  They were pushed into a hut that looked more like a 1930s makeshift army barracks. The women huddled up together and devised a plan of escape. Then the movie took a surprising turn, the women confronted the men and before we knew it they were moaning and growing, at first I was shocked, I looked around, everyone else seemed to be in shock also because the theater went into a dead silence. One of the women took her close off and that was when the theater exploded, men were screaming, “Tek it off,” women were scream, “Dat gal is ah slut,”  Dey booming, dey booming!!” I shouted, ground nuts and Chiclets flying everywhere as I bounced up and down in my seat. Rayphie had that look on his face like he was expecting Mommy Charles to walk in and then he would be in big trouble for letting his little brother see this. We sat through the whole movie, well we did not sit, there was a lot of clapping and screaming and shouting, “Dey doing stupidness, oh God dey doing stupidness,” When the movie was done, we walked by people, most of the men had they hands in their pockets, the women with their heads down, walking in shame. That day in school the movie was all the talk, everywhere you went there were groups of boys laughing, making dirty questers, planning to go to the movies. I had never seen boys soi happy in my life. That afternoon we walked by the theater, man, you should see the lines, they were back up on the hill leading to the GBSS school, down the road almost the lagoon. You could taste the anticipation in the air. From the Theater entrance, a road of boos and angry shouts was heard. The crowd parted and through the gauntlet of horny young men walked two police constables with the reels of the forbidden movie clutched in they evil paws. I head curse words I have never heard before and some I have never heard since.
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Stories Storyteller

Crazy Lady is a playa.

Grums stood at the top of the hill, he was dancing only his feet did not move, the upper half of his boy leaned like a coconut tree in strong wind. Then as if the wind pushed him, he stumbled down the mud path, who is grums you may ask, well Grums is the Crazy Lady’s boyfriend, on yes, that woman had a boyfriend. He got little way down the hill and stopped, looked around. A woman and her seven year old son started to walk down the hill behind him, but I do not think he saw them because he unbuttoned his pants, whipped his penis out and began to relieve himself. “Mommy, Mommy, Grums have a little ting!” The boy said pointing, “Boy, you want me to wash you mout out wid soap?” The woman said, turning to Grums, You is ah dutty bastard,” Grums stopped relieving himself and turned to her, “Wuman, you know he like it,” he said, the lady stepped to him and slapped him. Grums staggered back, almost falling. The lady walked away, “You betta run, you betta run!”Grums prancing around like one of them karate fighters he saw in movies. His pants fell to his ankles, he bent over to pull it up and one of the village’s trouble makers ran past him and kicked his naked butt. Grums stumbled forward but by some miracle managed to stay on his feet. He continued stumbling on, he walked past the corn patch and tried to pick a cord, but the corn survived. He walked by the empty field, a goat looked up, still chewing on some weeds. “Wah de hell you looking at?” Grums yelled at it. The goat looked at him. “Wah, you wan fight?” Grums yelled, then lowered his head and charged at the animal. The goat took off. Grums chased, hishead lowered, holding up his pants as he went. The goat got to just befopre the corn patch and stopped, Grums stumbled to a stop. The goat faced him, kicked its back legs and charged. I tell you what, I have never seen Grums move so fast. He ran around the corner next to our house, stopped and looked to make sure the goat was not behind him. He stopped in front of our gate, Hey tall buoy. I go go see me wuman,” he said laughing. “Get away from me gate nah mon,” I said. “Oh you jus jealous, I go go in dey and I go wuk dat ting,” He said gyrating. He was laughing so hard he let go of his pants and they dropped to his ankle, The neighbor on the other side of me laughed as Grums pulled his pants up. “Wey you laughing at?” He said and started to walk towards the man but changed his mind when the man started walking down to him. He got to the front of the Crazy Lady’s house and stopped, swayed back a little then walked up to the front door. Just as he was about to open the door Rasta walked out, yes, Rasta, the Crazy Lady’s new boyfriend. “Who you eh, who you!” Grums screamed, Rasta did not say anything, Crazy Lady stepped out from behind him. “Dat me new boyfren,” “You wah, you wah?” Grums screamed and took a swing at Rasta. Rasta pushed him and he stumbled back into the road. Preacherman walked by, his bible held close to his chest, he stopped looking at Grums, his pants down around his ankle, shouting curse words at Rasta. “You mudda!” Grums shouted, pointing at Rasta. The dreadlock boy ran past Preacherman and pushed Grums, he stumbled back about ten yard and sat in a bush of thorns, the man let out the loudest scream I ever heard. Preacheman ran over and pulled him out of the bushes, “It hurt for so, it hurt for so, tek dem out tek dem out!” He screamed. Some villagers were holding Rasta, Crazy Lady was laughing, and Preacherman was pulling thorns from Grums bare bamsi praying under his breath. I tell you what, I never laughed so hard in my whole life.