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Parts Dirty Immigrant Storyteller

Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner (From I am a Dirty Immigrant)

Seems like I always get in some kind of confrontation with people in uniform. On the island during the revolution, sometimes at night all the electric on the island went off. Some say it was because of the inadequate power station. Others say it was because the army wanted to practice for an invasion. Well one night I was visiting the small city and was walking back to my village when suddenly the street plunged into darkness. It was pitch black except for the millions of stars. I got to a place called The Round About in a place called Tanteen, Luckily I was used to walking there so I was not having trouble maneuvering my way around The Round About. Then, in the dark I heard footsteps running towards me. I stopped to look around and felt something hard hit me in the back. I fell forward, landing in one of the flower beds in The Round About.  My heart was beating so hard I bet it moved the mud I was laying on.

What you doing out here?” a female voice said.

I walking home. What the hell you doing?” I replied.

You better shut your mouth!” the woman screamed, and I felt the muzzle of an AK rifle pressed against the back of my neck.

I started to sweat. “You just wait till I get up. I go bust you ass.” The second the word “ass” came out my mouth, I knew I had said the wrong word. I felt the muzzle of the gun trace down my back and stop between my butt cheeks.

You have a smart mouth. Who is you people?” she asked.

You know Sprinter? He me family,” I said, really shaking now. I felt the gun removed from my butt cheeks.

Boy get up. Why you did not tell me you is Sprinter’s family? That man good looking for so.”

I stood up, dusting the dirt from my pants. I thought, damn, I just had this woman put a gun in my butt cheeks and now she was talking about Sprinter like he is some Adonis. I tried to see her face, but it was too dark.  I cussed under my breath. I was tired of hearing how good looking Sprinter was. See, he was what you called a “Sagabuoy” on the island; that means “player” in this country. I remember when I was younger, there was one summer Sprinter would go to work at eight a.m. By eight-fifteen, he would bring home a girl. “Breakfast”, he called her. Midday he would come back with a different girl: his “lunch”. And when he got off at four p.m., he would bring home another girl: his “dinner”. I wish I could have seen her face. I wanted to know if she was breakfast, lunch, or dinner. As I walked away I heard her shout, “Tell you Sprinter I said hello.” I walked away cursing

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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.