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Parts Obeah Storyteller

The Douen (From the novel Obeah)

Henry woke to whispering in his ear. He opened his eyes, and at first he was in complete darkness, then with the aide of silver light in the distance, he saw a shadow of what seemed to be a small child.

“Come wid me,” the child said and began to move towards the silver light.  Henry stood up and looked around, then followed the silhouette of the boy, but stopped when he saw a shadow dart across the light in front of the child. Henry stood for a second listening to his own heartbeat.

“Come on hurry up I go take you to safety,” the child said, his voice a raspy whisper. The silver light grew brighter, the sand under Henry’s feet got warmer, until he stood at the opening of a cave, and looked out into the night, and the moon hovered over what seemed to be a jungle. The child stood in a clearing looking back at Henry.  

“This way,” he said pointing into the jungle. Henry did not move. The only garment the child wore was pants cut off at knees. His eyes were milk white and he stood facing Henry, but his feet were backwards. Henry took a step back.

“What are you?” Henry asked, but suddenly the child was right in front of him

“Come wid me now,” .he insisted. Henry took another step back. The child jumped, floated in the air, landed on Henry’s chest and grabbed him by the throat,

“Get off me you little devil,” Henry yelled. The boy jumped off of Henry and looked around,

“Damned Akans,” he hissed as he sniffed around, then turned and disappeared into the night. Henry started to run towards the jungle, but he was knocked backwards. Henry crumbled to the ground, and the shadow of a man materialized from the dark, followed by six other shadows.

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Parts Dirty Immigrant Storyteller

The Naked Drunk (from the novel I am a Dirty Immigrant)

 

I never saw crack-heads on the island. Mainly drunks, some people love their fire water, but if you ask me, they are just as stupid and equally as dangerous. I was on the beach chilling, watching some kids play football – soccer to some of you. I saw a drunk in ragged old shorts and no shirt. That man was the skinniest person I ever seen. He looked like the rum was drying him up. He was using a cutlass to open a green coconut, but he was swinging it recklessly, becoming a danger to those closest to him. One of his friends tried to take the cutlass away from him and he became belligerent. More of his friends tried to reason with him, but he began swinging the weapon wildly.

Call Babylon!” someone shouted, and the melee escalated. The drunk was not swinging at anybody who came close to him. He was screaming something about the devil and evil angels.

The police arrived but even they could not control the raging drunk. They shuffled around as if doing some kind of voodoo dance, then the drunk broke free and ran for the ocean. He splashed into the emerald-colored water, still holding the cutlass. He swam or waded until he could not stand, and then he started sinking. The police had no choice but to go after him. They reached him, grabbed the cutlasss and dragged him back to shore. When they got to the shore and laid him on the sand, laughter erupted when the people on the beach realized that he had lost his pants in the struggle. His little Dexter was exposed for all to see. That made the drunk furious. He started to fight again. He broke free and began running down the beach with the policemen in hot pursuit, followed by the crowd, laughing and shouting. They finally caught up with him when one of the policemen dropped him with a perfect football slide. But now that they had him down, they hesitated, not wanting to touch his naked body. They finally had to when he tried to get back up. You have never heard such cursing and screaming in your life as they carried him off the beach and to the police station.  

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Stories Storyteller

Early day

Up early at work, this is the first time i see this place this early in the morning. People are a little grumpy. I never understand why people hate early mornings. I remember as a kind on the island getting up at 5am to cook lunch. Back then, schools did not offer lunch so I had to get up early to help Mom cook lunch. The house will be filled with the scent of rice and peas and stew chicken.  Then when lunch was prepared and put away in the containers, the house was filled with the scent of salfish souse, bakes and coacoatea, ahhhhh the good old day. When we were all ready, we would walk in the early morning sun to get to school. Ahhh yes, waking up early is the best feeling in the world.

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Parts Dirty Immigrant Storyteller

Election Fraud, I am Home (From the novel I am a Dirty Immigrant)

There was one defining moment that made me feel like I was still living on the island: the voter fraud allegations that stunned the country during George Bush’s first presidential bid.  All those rumors of missing votes reminded me of our leader who had ruled for twenty-five years. His tenure was racked with accusations of cheating to remain in power. There were times that ballots were reportedly found floating down rivers or just simply missing from polling stations. Now think about this: here I am in an industrial country, and just like third world nations, there are questions about the great democratic process. I remember sitting in the park thinking how much it felt like home at that moment. Once again, we may not be as different as we believe we are.
Let me give you an idea of the perception we have of the people of The City of Golden Streets on the island. We perceive that all Americans are rich because of the tourists that visit the island. They were all well to do and most of them were rude. In essence they were as rude as the rich Europeans who lived on the island. To tell you the truth, the most respectful were the soldiers; that is, after the war was over. I realized that most of the young men and women in the armed forces were from the lower economic bracket in The City Of Golden Streets.  Just like any other country, the poor fight the wars of the rich men, many of them never living to enjoy the liberation they dreamed of.

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Parts Dirty Immigrant Storyteller

Day Of The Invation (From the novel I am a Dirty Immigrant)

On October 25 1983 invasion forces landed on the island. This is where I was went it went down.

The explosions grew louder and more frequent; that was the angriest sound I had ever heard. Villagers ran up and down the street, their lives even more uncertain than when the communists attacked. Members of the People’s Revolutionary Army used anti-aircraft guns to defend the airport. A couple of the paratroopers disintegrated in midair, their bodies exploding like fireworks, but there were no bright colours. I left the window with my heart beating so hard I thought it would explode. I ran back into the house and turned on the radio. The announcers frantically shouted for the islanders to pick up arms and defend their country.  I was confused, wondering if I should go to the front lines, or just let the warmongers murder each other. After all, this was my island, my forefathers had fought to free the slaves on this very ground. Why should I let these outsiders occupy my homeland? After five minutes of the announcer’s erratic talking, a Bob Marley song, “Ambush in the Night” was played. To this day that same song plays in my dreams over and over again. The young announcer’s voice shook as he began talking again, sometimes struggling to get the words out. Suddenly, his voice was replaced by the annoying sound of static; then the radio went silent. I sat there for a moment not knowing what to do. Then I heard a loud explosion and our brick and mortar houses shook. I jumped like someone had poked me with a nail, and ran to the front yard. A puff of smoke bellowed into the air beyond the lush green hill, top to the left of my house. It was then that I realized that the explosion had come from the direction of the radio station. Then as if with a predetermined purpose, I got up and walked into the house, went to my bedroom, and retrieved my Red Bear-made pistol. Now you may wonder where I got the weapon. Well the government wanted a militia, and they got one – lots of islanders with guns. I checked the chamber to make sure there was a full clip, then reached into my dresser and got a few extra rounds. I walked down the street, my eyes scanning the rows of houses, anticipating any attackers. Trucks loaded with people’s revolutionary soldiers raced by, creating a gray cloud of dust that covered the village. Young men and women clenched their AK-47 rifles, some screaming at me to join them in the defense of the island. I shook my head; poor bloody souls were off to fight a war they could not win. I ran my finger along the smooth metal edge of the pistol. You can’t imagine the false sense of safety I felt with that bloody thing stuck in my waistband. I did not know what I was going to do, but I was becoming angry. First we had to endure the rule of the Union Jack. Then the Red Bears came with their inadequate ideology, brainwashed the population into believing they had a chance to determine their own destiny. Here I was, locked in this battle, confused, frustrated and scared. It did not help knowing that lives were being lost all because we were just a pawn in the destructive cold war. Now the invaders were here claiming to save us from certain destruction. I remember thinking was this not destruction I was witnessing at their hands. 
Angry Guns
I snapped out of my thoughts when there was another explosion. Jeeps raced down the street from the airport, carrying the wounded. Their screams caused my skin to tingle and burn, like someone injected hate under it. I forced my mind to shut out their agony, but the sound was unbearable; those screams still linger in my dreams today. The antiaircraft guns were firing constantly now, causing the air to taste like sulfur. Deafening explosions shook the brick houses, and the screams of frightened children echoed through the village. A debilitating exchange of M-16s and AK-47s erupted just down the street as the paratroopers hit the ground. An earsplitting explosion rocked the village as a building disintegrated. Villagers scattered in every direction, screaming. I instinctively pulled out the pistol and ducked into the yard of the house closest to me. I was shaking so hard I was barely able to keep my grip on the weapon. More trucks screamed by, stopping to pick up some volunteers on the highway. I wanted to get up and join them, but I decided that it was not my fight. Instead, I stood up, the pistol hanging loosely in my hand, my heartbeat echoing in my head. I stood there listening to the sounds of war around me. I have to confess, there was a rush of adrenaline running through my veins. Strangely the explosions were dull hums, like a fishing boat engine in the middle of the night when you are half asleep. For the first time in my life I did not feel human. There was a monster growing in me. I wanted to kill someone, make them pay for the fear I felt. A jeep sped by, fleeing the battle. There was a young man in the front seat with a bloody stump where his arm used to be. I almost threw up, but swallowed hard, then turned and walked back to my house.

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Parts Dirty Immigrant Storyteller

Nightmares of war (From the Novel I am a Dirty Immigrant)

I lay on the bed looking up at the ceiling. Sleepless nights were now part of my life. I was running through the forest, an AK-47 rifle in my hand. I heard the voices of soldiers as they chased me. The forest was dark despite the sun being high in the sky. My lungs were on fire as I maneuvered through the trees and bushes. Bullets whizzed by my head, hitting the trees, creating a buzzing noise in my head. Leaves flew into the air; branches fell in front of me. I hurdled over bodies. Some were still alive, begging for help.
I kept running as the footsteps of my pursuers grew closer. I was so panicked, I did not see the wounded man step out in front of me. Part of his face was blown off and one eye had tears of blood pouring out of it. He lifted his arm as if asking for mercy.  I bumped into him and he fell backwards. I stopped and looked down at him. He was trying to get back up, his voice a mere gurgle as blood oozed out of his mouth. I reached out to him, but he fell back to the ground. I looked back and saw the approaching soldiers; I turned and ran off, my legs feeling like they would freeze up. I ran until I came to a precipice. It was about a sixty-foot drop, so I looked around for another escape route. Sweat poured down my face, getting into my eyes. I wiped it off and looked up just in time to see the soldiers standing in front of me. I wanted to run, but I knew I was cornered. I closed my eyes for a second hoping to block out my fate, but I opened my eyes and they were all pointing their M16 rifles at me. I watched as the bullets shot out of the rifles. The closer they got to me, the darker the scene became. I closed my eyes just as the bullets exploded in my body. I screamed, my voice disappearing into the darkness. I sat up in bed, my heart racing so fast, I almost fainted. My ex-wife moved a little asking me if I was alright. I mumbled that I was, got up and went to the bathroom. I looked at myself in the mirror. I was white as a red-headed step child. Sweat rolled down my face as a sudden chill went through my body.  I splashed some water in my face, then walked back to the bedroom and stood over her for a moment. She looked so peaceful, that smile on her face. I hoped she was having a better dream than the one I’d just had. I crawled into bed and snuggled up against her. I always felt better when I was close to her. The scent of Egyptian Musk on her skin, the slow throbbing of her heartbeat; quite frankly, it was those moments that kept me sane.

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Parts Dirty Immigrant Storyteller

Sharks On The Dance floor (From the novel I am a Dirty Immigrant)

I went to this club and a friend of mine wanted to dance. She was beautiful; part white, part Japanese. I took her hand and began walking to the dance floor. Halfway out, I felt my hand jerk, so I turned around. There was this young man with his hand around her waist, grinding. She pushed him away, but a couple of seconds later, I felt a jerk again. I felt like I was in the ocean with a string of fish on my line and a Barracuda was ripping at it. She pushed him away and I maneuvered her until she was in front of me. He made his third attempt. Idiot was persistent. I stuck my butt out, knocking him in the face. His little body went sailing across the floor, bumping into people.

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Stories Storyteller

Mama Melody

Sometimes at night we could hear she, crying, crying crying. At times others would join she, and man, they could make some real noise, wailing like de wind through de Bambo on de hill behind de prison. She walk by me window, I could hear she deep angry breaths, de ‘oman was real sad,. Me granny came into de room with that mischevious smile on she face. “You hear dat,” she said, That is de Mama Melody, she did dead while she still pregnant, dats why she out dey crying all de damn time,” The old ‘oman din say nutton else, she just got up and left de room. I laid there listening to the crying. When I was older and breave enouff to go outside when I heard the Mama Melody crying. I snuck round de house, me heart beating for so. The some animal ran cross me foot, I almost jump out me skin. I heard de crying in the bushes ahead of me. I crept up to the bushes and shook it, five cats jumped out at me. Damn ole ‘oman, she had me fraid all dem years.
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Parts Dirty Immigrant Storyteller

The Coal Miner’s Daughter (From the novel “I am a Dirty Immigrant”)

Jenny had dark brown hair brown eyes, caramel complexion and a beautiful smile quite frankly, she had an island personality so I immediately felt comfortable with her. The first time we kissed was in front of the little chapel in the middle of the campus. I remember her looking shocked and then said, “Look what you went and done.” We were inseparable from that day, she always found a way to make …me laugh, she was and still is a good person. Our wedding was completely crazy, no one knew about it but my friend from Ethiopia and another friend from Zambia and her best friend, who now hates me, I guess because I am so bloody good looking, was also there. We left the campus and drove three hours to Richmond Kentucky. When we got to the courthouse I was told I had to have identification, so we drove the three hours back to the school and low and behold the bloody car broke down. We borrowed my friend’s car and drove the three hours back to Richmond. We got married at the house of a preacher, an older black man with his aging mother in attendance. When all was done we drove back to the school, I went to the gym and got dressed for a ball game, I played the game and after I saw her for about ten minutes then went to my dorm. Yes my friend I spent my wedding night sleeping on the top of a bunk bed that was about five inches too short for me.
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Stories Storyteller

Run skinny run, de bully dem come.

My sister was a teacher at the all boys school I went to. Now the school was a two story concrete building that was shaped like a squared U. I had just finished playing cricket in the grassy middle and was on my way to meet my sister in her classroom. As I was about to go up the stairs I heard her shout, “Andy run!” I stopped and looked up, “What?” I shouted back, “Run!” she shouted, suddenly I he…ard a thump and I was struggling to breath. I turned around and saw the meanest bully in the school, Ricky, that boy was the devil himself. His eyes was red from being in the sun, his hand raised, and before I could react his hand crashed into my chest, I stumbled back just as my sister ran up. Ricky turned and ran off. You see back then teachers were allowed to spank students and guess punished Ricky the bully, yes my sister. After that day it seemed that the word spread, Mrs Charles had a skinny brother with bird legs, as a matter of fact I still have those bird legs, why do you think you all never see me in shorts. I spent a lot of time running from bullies. My skinny ass was not going to get licks everyday. I was the fastest moving stick you ever seen.