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Marble Snatchers

Marble Snatchers

Here we were , three of use, Roach, Smakarootii and me, we were playing a hotly contested game of marbles. We were only eight years old, all of us small and skinny. I tell you what, I was beating the pants off them fellas, they did not stand a chance against a pro like me. I had a pile of marbles sitting on the ground, you see we were playing for keeps. Any marble you knock out of the circle, you get to keep. Roach was already vexed, I had won his favorite Iron marble, that boy would shine that marble like it was a gold chain or something. But now it was mine, it sat there sparkling in the afternoon sunshine. Roach was trying his best to win it back but I was in rare form today, hitting marbles out of the circle from impossible angles, smiling at the groans from my victims. I was just about to pitch my marble when I heard footsteps, they were coming fast. Then I heard someone shouted “Raaaafffff!” and four older boys rushed in, knocking Roach and Smakarooti over, grabbing all the marbles, it only took them a second to gather all the marbles, then they took off running, giggling like school girls. Roach went into a rage, that boy was cursing for so. Smakarooti started to cry, then took off running, his hands loosely swinging at his side, we heard him scream angrily as he disappeared into some bushes. Roach was still cursing, “Leh we go get we marbles!” He shouted, I looked at him, “Boy, yuh crazy or wah, is dem big bois dat tek de marbles you know,” I said then turned to walk away, “Ohhh I see how it is, you is a fraidy cat eh?” Roach said, I stopped, nobody challenges my manhood. I turned to Roach, “Leh we go den,” I said and walked in the direction the older boys ran, Roach hesitated, a little surprised I agreed. He followed me as we searched for the older boys. We were standing in front of a house when we heard laugher and an argument. We walked around the house and into the back yard. There were about seven older boys playing marbles. We stood there for a second not knowing what to do, one of the boys had Roach’s iron marble spit shining it. “Dat is me marble,” Roach said, his eyes red with anger, one of the boys looked over at him, I tell you what, he had the biggest nose I ever seen, he took a step over to us, “All yuh go come tek it from we?” He said, I did not pay attention to what he said, I was too busy afraid that I would get sucked into the two wormholes on his face. Roach immediately jumped behind me, as is that would do any good. “Well wah yuh waiting for eh? Come get yuh precious marble,” Mr. Big Nose said, and I swear his nose opened even more. It was then I realized that the heat from Roach’s body was no longer behind me, I turned around and saw the heel of his foot disappear around the house. Mr. Big Nose was still walking towards me. I turned and ran out of the yard so fast dust kicked up liken smoke behind me.

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Storyteller

From a work in progress

Andre was fourteen when he and his mother moved them Brooklyn New York. He did not talk much nor, did not try to make any friends. He had a hard time adjusting to the big streets, the tall buildings, and the constant flow of traffic. Back on the island, he had started to act out, burning down Mr. Jones’ corn field, getting into fights at school, being bullied by older boys turned him into real terror.  One morning, an older boy was bullying him, all the other boys stood around and laughed as the instigator unloaded a barrage of insults at Andre. Andre turned to face the bully and the boy blasted him with an opened hand. Andre blacked out for a second and when he came to he was surprised he was still standing. He turned and walked to the classroom, hoping he was not stumbling. When he came back out of the classroom they were still talking and laughing, Andre did not stop, he walked right up to the older boy, the bully turned around in time to see Andre’s arm coming down, he raised his hand and screamed, He staggered back, his hand raised to eye level, the pointed end of a compass from a geometry set was through the palm and projecting out of the other side. That incident was the last stray for Andre’s mother. His mother thought that moving to America would change him, but he just disappeared into himself. The school he went to was huge, so many children and none of them friendly. He was picked on because of the way he talked, or the clothes he wore. He never told his mother, he knew that she thought that this was the best thing for him and he did not want to disappoint her.

            It was between classes and he was walking in the hallway when one of the older boys approached him,

            Ohhh, look at the nasty Jamaican,” the boy said and all the other kids laughed. Before Andre could get away, a crowd formed and he was caught in the middle of jeering teenagers.

            “I is not Jamaican,” Andre stuttered, “I is Grenadian,”

            “What is the difference nigger; you are all the same rat eating jungle animals.” Andre stood surprised that a black boy just called him nigger.

            “Me name is Bob Marley and me eat rats for dinner,” The boy rapped in a forced Jamaican accent. And the crowd of children laughed. Andre tried to push his way past the boy, but the boy grabbed him by the throat and pushed him to the ground,

            “Where do you think you are going dawg, I am just trying to be friends,” the bully said and offered his hand. Andre reluctantly took it and the boy started to pull him up but let go and Andre fell onto his butt.,

            “Man, are you stupid,” the kids roared with laughter. Andre lay on the ground looking up, his face red with a mixture of anger and embarrassment.  The boy looked at him,

            “Well, are you not going to fight back B?” he said, Andre just looked at him, not saying anything.

            ‘Forget you then, I don’t have time to deal with idiots like you,” the boy said then stepped over Andre, stomping him on his chest as he did. The crowd laughed. After the crowd had dissipated, one of the girls came over to Andre as he was picking up his books,

“My brother is a fool, don’t let him get to you,” she said then helped Andre pick up his books,

“Whats your name,” she asked, Andre did not respond, he just stood looking down at the ground. The girl smiled

“You have a nice day,” she said and walked away. Andre stood in the middle of the hallway as students brushed by him some snickering.

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Stories Storyteller

At the Catholic Boys School

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 heard a thump and I was struggling to breathe. 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 every day. I was the fastest moving stick you ever seen.

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Storyteller

A Portion from the new book The old Man’s Shadow

He walked into the classroom; the teacher was already at her desk.  The bully snickered as he walked in. Andre sat at his desk not looking at anyone. No sooner the teacher began to talk Andre felt a wet piece of paper hit him on the neck and rolled down into his shirt. He did not move. Another piece of paper hit him, then another and another followed by the snickering of his classmates.

“Yuh go let he do dat to you?” The shadow said almost transparent in the light that came in from the windows.

“Leave me alone,” Andre whispered. The teacher stopped talking,

“Is there something you want to say Andre?” the teacher asked, Andre looked down at his desk. The teacher walked over to him but said nothing, turned and walked back to the front of the class.

“Boi you is a fraidy-cat, do sumting, I go help yuh, show yuh how to fight,” The shadow said. Another piece of paper hit Andre on the neck, then the snickers. Andre looked down at his shadow on the floor.

“Wha yuh want me to do?” He asked in a horse whisper,

“You book, it big enough to hit him real hard,” The shadow said. Andre looked at the teacher, then back to the shadow. Slowly he picked up the book,

“Yes man, now yuh go show he who is bigman nah,” the shadow said. Andre got up, his heart pounding, sweat rolled down his forehead,

“Andre, what are you doing?” the teacher asked. Andre ignored her and stopped in front of the bully. The boy smiled,

“What are you going to do with that book?” the bully asked, confident that Andre would do nothing. Andre raised the book and smashed it against the boy’s head. He fell to the floor, a drizzle of blood floated in the air after he fell. He looked up at Andre,  a stunned look in his eyes,

“Andre, what has gotten into to you?” the teacher screamed. Andre swung the book again hitting the bully behind the head. The boy curled up and began whimpering. The teacher was behind Andre grabbing at his arm. Andre threw the book onto the bully. The teacher bear hugged and dragged him away. Andre kicked knocking over a desk.

“Dat’s the way to do de ting boi!” the shadow shouted. Andre broke loose from the teachers hold and ran at the bully. The boy was sitting up, Andre kicked him in the face and a tooth flew into the air, one small square followed by  a line of blood that culminated with drops at the end of it. The teacher grabbed him again and pulled him out of the room.

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Parts Obeah

From the novel Obeah which is still free today on Smashwords

They got to the centre of the village when suddenly what looked like a small child appeared in front of them. The small figure turned and ran ahead of them then dissolved into the darkness.  Akosua stopped and held her arm up. Once again the childlike figure darted in front of them and disappeared between two houses. The figure moved so fast Akosua could not tell if it was a boy or a girl. Akosua raised her machete and looked around. The warriors joined her in the centre of the path; they too held their machetes up expecting an attack. Laughter filled the village, it was one lone shriek that bounced off the stoned walls and echoed through the mud huts. They huddled together trying to see if anyone was close to them. As if materializing from thin air, someone was among them swinging a small club with spikes on it. Akosua looked around just in time to see the figure charging at her. It was a little person, she looked like she was covered in dirt, her dress was ripped, and her bare feet were caked with mud. Her hair was grey and her face looked like leather that was left out in the sun too long. Her eyes were bright red and she breathed like she had a bad cold. Akosua moved out of her way as she ran by screaming and cursing. The little woman stumbled and fell, grunted, then jumped up and faced Akosua.

“You want the Ligaroo King, you will have to go through us first,” She said then put her fingers to her mouth and whistled. Twelve other little people materialized from the darkness behind her. They stood, none of them above four feet tall. They all held clubs in their hands and they looked at Akosua and her friends menacingly. The little woman turned to her friends,

“Look here, we have some visitors. I bet the king would be real grateful if we captured them and bring them to him, don’t you think? Yes I think, yes I think. Yes this will be a rich bounty,” She said. Her friends laughed and snickered, some snorting, their eyes wild with anticipation, hitting the ground with their clubs. The dog reappeared next to them and started barking. One of the little people kicked dirt at it and the dog scampered off. They stared down Akosua and her warriors, their eyes gleaming with the prospect of getting paid for the capture of the intruders.

“You children ready to play,” the little woman said as she raised her hand.

“Lets get them” She shouted and they charged screaming. Dogs barked and came running. The sound of wooden windows closing filled the air as the villagers stayed clear of the ruckus.  Akosua grabbed a little man by his shirt but she lost her grip, and he stumbled to the ground. The man landed on his back, his legs in the air. He looked up at her, his eyes on fire with rage. He scrambled to his feet and hugged Akosua’s leg trying to sink his teeth into her flesh. Akosua grabbed his hand and pulled him off of her, the little man growled and grinded his rotting teeth. She held his arm as he struggled to kick her. Behind her, she heard some of her warriors groan in pain as they are struck with the spiked clubs. The little man was still struggling and managed to pull himself away from Akosua. He fell and rolled across the ground, ending up at the feet of the little woman who had first attacked them. She whistled again, and her companions scrambled to stand next to her. They surrounded the fallen little man and helped him up. When he was up, and they had dusted him off, the little woman turned to Akosua wagging her index finger at her,

“You are nothing but a big bully!” She screamed shaking her fists. They all gritted they rotted teeth and growled at Akosua. The sound of drums floated into the village on the winds that made leaves swirl around on the ground. The scent of smoke from the bonfire filled the air. The little woman held her club up.

“You want us you big bullies, come and get us,” she shrieked, and she and her companions erupted in a chorus of yells, their shadows moved around on the ground as they danced.

“We know where your people are,” the little woman sang mocking Akosua and her warriors. Akosua took a step towards them. They turned and ran, leaving a cloud of dust in their wake. Akosua hesitated, but Ampah ran past her and went after the little people,

“Ampah, wait!” Akosua screamed and ran after him, the others followed close behind. Ampah turned right ahead of them, and they followed, but stopped to avoid running him over. The boy stood looking up at the big house. Vultures circled over the roof, loud splashes came from the moat.

Akosua walked to the edge of the moat, it was wider than she expected. There was a large splash and the dark water came alive with ripples. Akosua jumped back as the cold water soaked her dress; she turned to the front of the house, a stone bridge led to a large wooden door that looked more like the opening to a cave than a doorway. Akosua heard the laughter of the little woman and her friends inside. It reminded her of the drunken parties at the plantation. She would lie in bed at night and listen to them, as the slave owners rampaged through the slaves’ quarters. She once asked her mother why they would come to the quarters, but her mother never told her. The little people’s voices echoed, as if they were in a big empty room. Akosua walked up to the bridge looking around to make sure there was no surprise attack. They got to the beginning of the bridge, and she raised her hand. The little woman laughed again,

“Come and get us, or do you need a little incentive?” she said and continued laughing. Akosua knew that this may well be a trap, so she turned to her warriors and motioned for them to walk away. Just when she was about to give the order, a woman appeared in the doorway. The woman wore a white dress that was torn and dirty, and she stood with her hands clasped in front of her like a humble slave. Akosua looked at the woman for a second. Ampah stepped forward,

“Ma Ma?” he said and started walking over the bridge

 

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/118879

                 
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Pics with verse Storyteller

Old time

Old time

Ahhh Lucas Street, me old stomping grounds. Just to your right, that is where Roach me buddy used to live, at the top of that hill, that’s where Roach confronted Vung the blood sucking Ligaroo. Ahh yes, we had fun on this street. You see where that police box is with the policeman in it, well me and Raphie, me brother, we would watch him all day directing traffic, then at nine o’ clock at night, when he got off duty, we would run to the box and direct traffic, boy I tell you, is a lot of time we almost cause accidents. Drivers would curse and threaten to beat we up. We used to get old truck tires and roll them down that hill looking to see where it would end up. I surprised Mommy Charles never found out, cause if she did, we ass was grass. Ahhh yes, good old Lucas street, were we did lots of mischief, and got into little scrapes with bullies.

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Stories Storyteller

Revenge on the Bully

Brian Smith, one of the biggest bullies I ever encountered, that boy used to beat up anybody he could get his hands on. I once saw him give this other boy so much licks he turned the boys shot pants into a mini skirt. When you have a father who is a cop every bully love to take turns testing you. I do not remember why but Brian accosted me in the classroom. He stepped towards me, a menacing look i…n his eyes, “Teacher’s liccle brudda eh? I backed up until I was against the wall. I wanted to fight back but my skinny butt was not trying to get licks. “Wah, you fraiiidddd?” he asked smiling. “You touch me an I go tell me sista,” I said, that made him vex for so, “An wah she go do eh, I could beat he up too you know,”  I balled my fist up and took a swing, he ducked and everything went black and a rainbow of colors exploded in my head. “wah you tink eh? You tink you go beat me” I heard Brian say. His figure materialized surrounded by bright light. His shadowy figure walked away from me laughing. I leaned against the wall rubbing my face, he had slapped me so hard I felt imprints of his fingers on my face. I found my brother and told him what had happened. Rafi was vexed for so, but fighting was not an option, Mommy Charles always said, no fighting. We went home and when Mommy Charles saw the marks on my face he was real mad. She looked at us and said “Give dat buoy good licks tomorrow. We stood surprised, Mommy Charles said give him licks? The next day we followed Brian from school, stalking him like a lions would its pret. We got to the courthouse  and that is where we got our chance. We attacked and a crowd soon gathered. Brain was taken by surprised as me and Rafi punched, slapped and kicked at him. He rolled into the gutter and I jumped on him. A policeman came out of the courthouse to see what was going on then went back inside. I was sitting on Brain’s chest going Ralphie from the Movie A Christmas Story when the policeman came back out and pull us off Brian. “Ah go tell alyou mudda, stop dat fighting.” Brain stood up, a stunned look on his face. Without saying a word he took off running. Years later I saw Brian, he walked up to me and stopped. Slowly he lifted his hand, “You want a liccle weed?” He asked and smiled.