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Cool Runnings Storyteller

37th Installment of La Diablesse

Ras Itran walked back over to she and told she that he had called the Coast guard and they would keep an eye out to see if I had taken the raft out and had gotten in trouble. He stopped talking for a while as a young soldier handed him some papers and he quickly looked over them and handed them back to the young man.

“Now listen, de best ting for you to do is to go back home, get some rest and Ah go call you if Ah hear anyting, cool.” Jane hesitated, it seemed like everyone just wanted she to go home and wait, Ras Itran sensed she hesitation and repeated what he had said, Jane looked at him and he smiled she did not say anything she just got up and walked out of the building, Ras Itran stood at the doorway until she got into the taxi.

Jane got back to me house and sat in the front yard for a second, Ken came up to she, he was still wearing he Sunday outfit.

“You look spiffy today,” She said and he smiled, he sat down next to she and asked she if she had heard anything from me, she told him no and he sat with he chin resting on the palm of he hands.

“I like Mr. Dickens, he does help me with me homework and thing, he even stopped me moder from giving me a licking a couple of times.” Jane rubbed him on he back and they sat there until Ken’s mother called him.

`Jane went inside and went up to the bedroom, she lay on the bed looking round at the room, tears rolled down her face as she mumbled,

“Where are you?”

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Cool Runnings Storyteller

36th Installment of La Diablesse

The next morning she woke up and rolled over half expecting to see me lying next to she then she sat up with a start remembering that I was gone. She got up and walked over to the window, Ken and he mother were walking through the yard on their way to Sunday church. The church bells were chiming real loud and the yard was filled with me neighbors on they way to church, Ken looked up at she and waved she could tell that he was in no way happy bout having to go.

She left the window and spun round the middle of the room confused for so, then she grabbed she bag and went to the beach a little bit angry that I had left without telling she where I was going. She got to the beach and walked the length of it hoping that she would find someone who knew where I was, soldiers were running along the sand singing as they went their A.K rifles held in front of them, some of them smiled at she as they went by. The island had become more militant I mean they even got new armored cars like they were preparing for war or something. Some of the other medical students warned Jane bout being friends with the locals I mean, after all the American government was fast becoming an enemy of the people of the small island, damn Yankees would not mind they own business always want to tell we Third World people how to think.

After bout an hour she decided to go to the police station on the other side of the beach. She arrived at a small wooden building painted in green, yellow and red its weather beaten door was swung open so she walked inside. A policeman was sitting at a desk that was directly in front of a big window, he was not wearing a uniform and his shirt was unbuttoned down to his waist, he looked up as she walked in,

“May I help you?” he said standing up, hurrying to button up his shirt. He pointed to a chair that sat at the front of the desk facing him Jane sat down and tried to talk but began crying instead. A young soldier came out of another room and stopped looking at she. The policeman looked at him a confused expression on his face then walked round the desk and sat on it looking down at she, I mean, the last thing he needed was an American girl crying in the station.

“Get a glass of water,” he said to the soldier, the young man did not move at first a little stunned at seeing the pretty American girl crying but he moved real fast when the policeman shot him a stern glance and he turned and hurried into the other room.

“Now calm dung and tell me wha’s de matter?” Jane took a deep breath and stumbled through she story not stopping to take a breath, she insisted that I would not be gone a whole two days without letting she know where I was going, the policeman listened to she he eyes never leaving she face. The soldier came back in with the glass of water and handed it to Jane, she thanked him took a sip then continued talking. When she was finished the young soldier spoke,

“She talking bout Mr. Dickens he used to be me teacher.” The policeman looked over at him.

“You mean 94 Dickens son?” the young soldier nodded he head and the policemen picked up the telephone sitting on the desk behind him and dialed the rotary dial clicking real loud. He spoke for bout five minutes then hung up.

“O.K, nobody seen im but dey going to have a look round, O.K” he mahogany brown complexion glistened as sweat rolled down he face, Jane looked up at him, she hazel eyes tearing up again.

“Do you think they arrested him?” The policeman looked over to the soldier they knew too well that some of the revolutionaries were going through the island arresting some of the children of people who were part of the former government

“No mam, if he was we would know bout it, Ah mean everybody round here know im right,” he said and looked over to the soldier the young man nodded he head.

“Rite now de best ting for you to do is to go home and wait, Ah promise you we go investigate and as soon as Ah find out anyting Ah go call you, Ah promise. Me and he fada was policemen together so Ah go do me best O.K.” Jane got up and walked towards the door, the young soldier followed she,

“Don worry mis, we go find him.” He said touching she arm, she walked down the steps and onto the sand the young soldier stood at the doorway watching she walk away.

She went back to the beach walking aimlessly frustration setting in then she stopped and looked out to the ocean and suddenly remembered where I stored me raft. She walked over to the thick bushes and parted the shrubbery and found that the raft was gone. She stepped back feeling as if someone had punched she in the stomach, she looked at the ocean then turned and walked down the beach. Just before she got to she dorm she saw a group of Rastamen sitting on the sand laughing and talking, then she remembered what Ras Itran had said to she the day of the revolution so she walked up to the men hoping he was there. One of the Rastamen looked up at she he hair was so long it dragged on the sand when he turned.

“Do any of you know where Ras Itran is?” she asked. The man laughed a little he thick lips quivering as he did.

“Ah like how you say he name wid dat yanky accent,” then he turned to the others and asked if they knew where Itran was, a younger Rastamen looked over and spoke smoke bellowing out his mouth. A flurry of gunshots filled the air and the rastaman looked down the beach, a group of young soldiers were laughing as one pointed he gun in the air and shot, the Rasta shook he head but continued talking,

“He dung at de barracks in de city,” he said and the older man turned back to Jane and gave she directions on how to get to the barracks, she went out to the road and found a taxi and asked the driver to take she to the city.

The taxi pulled up in front a building that looked like an old British warehouse or something, it was constructed with stones stacked on each other like blocks, the tin roof was rusting and sometimes it leaked when heavy rains fell, soldiers were walking round some of them stopped and looked at she suspiciously as she got out of the taxi. She walked through the grounds looking round at all the military equipment when a young woman in military uniform walked up to she.

“You looking for sumbody?” she asked eyeing Jane suspiciously and Jane told her she was looking for Itran, the young lady pointed to a small building at the other end of the compound and Jane walked up to the building and went inside the young woman watching she all the way.

There were bout seven soldiers in there and they all stopped talking and looked at she as she walked in. Ras Itran walked out of another room a big smile appearing on his face, he walked over and took she arm guiding she to a chair in the corner. She fought to hold back the tears as she told Ras Itran she story, he agreed with that it was not like me to disappear like that, he chuckled as he said how anal I was bout time and letting people know where I was it was the way me mother raised me. Itran told she he knew bout me missing because the policeman had called earlier and told him bout it, he said they were already investigating and he was sure they would come up with something by the end of the day. Jane told him bout the raft not being in its spot and he told she that he had warned me bout that damn death trap then he got up and went to the phone. Jane sat and looked at the activities going on in the building, young soldiers came in and out; some looked confused as if they did not know what the hell they should be doing. Jane turned and looked out the window a jeep raced by outside and a soldier cursed at the driver as he sped out of the compound. There were not just young men in uniform, but there was an equal number of women walking round holding rifles, I mean it looked so disorganized but she knew that the new government had total control of the island, guns have a way of keeping people under control. The last few months were strange, she parents wanted she to come home but she insisted on staying on the island, I would think that me being here had a part to play in she decision to stay.

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Cool Runnings

7th Installment of La Diablesse

I endured the uncomfortable ride home me knees aching as I stepped onto the street. I walked by the spot where the body was found someone had washed the blood off the road, I tell you what, it felt real strange walking by there. I went up the gravel road, the scent of island cooking floated out of every kitchen and I sniffed the air me stomach rumbling a little. Bob Marley music blasted from radios on verandas and the sound of children playing cricket filled the air.

I arrived at me gate and pulled it open, stopped and sniffed, the pungent smell of Ganja filled the hot afternoon air, two Rastas walked by one of them puffing on a joint that was as big as two bloody Cuban cigars, I shook me head and walked into me yard.

I stopped and looked at me house, I tell you man, I was real proud of me little house it was one of the more modern looking ones in the village. Its wooden frame was painted white and the blue shutters were almost the same colour as the tropical sky. I stopped for a while and looked round at me neighbourhood, there was no set pattern as to how the houses were situated, I mean there was no straight rows of manicured lawns, no uniform architectural design they were just built into the landscape so as not to disturb nature. Most of the back yards in the village had gardens of corn, lettuce, green peas and an assortment of fruit trees, they green leaves gave off a golden tint as the sun rained its rays on them, butterflies fluttered round on the grass and in the shrubbery nearby, a Humming bird flew by me hovered over a hibiscus flower then sank its beak into the middle of it. I loved this little village everyone was friendly and most of all they respected me, I mean I was a teacher damn it. I turned me attention back to me yard it too was decorated with different types of tropical flowers, bougainvillea flowers were used to fence of the yard from the pebbled street, roses of different colours littered the yard, hibiscus plants lined the walkway that led to the front door. The heavy mahogany door creaked as I pushed it open sending light streaks across the varnished floor making it shimmer. I walked through the living room and up the stairs and into me bedroom, set the papers down on the desk, went into the bathroom looked at meself in the mirror then slowly peeled me cloths off and took a long cold shower. I was in there for bout two hours hoping I could wash off this stinking day and stopped only when me fingers and toes looked like prunes.

I almost had all me clothes on when the telephone rang so I went down the wooden stairs and picked it up, it was Jane, yeah man, sweet Jane, she was an American medical student I had met on the beach a few months ago. When I first saw she I was taken aback by how beautiful she was and despite having no real skills with women I strummed up all me courage and went over to she and stuttered up a conversation. She full name was Jane Marie Coleman and she was from a small town named Ansted in the mountains of West Virginia. I had never heard of that state before except for it being mentioned in a John Denver song that my mother sang all the time. Anyway Jane, yeah man, she skin was caramel coloured from being in the sun a lot and it was so smooth it made me think bout eating ice cream on a hot Sunday afternoon. She eyes were dark brown except when the sunlight shined on it directly and then it turned real hazel, she hair was long, almost to the middle of she back, it was wavy and was a perfect mixture of jet black and dark brown, man I tell you what, the girl was so beautiful I forgot to breath when I first met she.

I stood with the phone in me hand listening to she talk she accent reminded me of the blue grass music me mother used to listen to every Sunday morning. She wanted to see me so we made plans to get together later in the week I told she I was looking forward to it and she giggled causing me skin to tingle like crazy. We talked for a while until she said she had to go study so I hung up the phone did a jig and went back to me bedroom.

Later I sat at me desk and begrudgingly graded papers straining me eyes to read the handwriting of the students. When I was finished I stood up stretched me arms to the ceiling and yarned me mouth opened so wide it almost refused to close back. Me stomach rumbled a little reminding me that I had not eaten since lunch so I went down the narrow wooden stairs to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator, fruit and vegetable were neatly packed in the small space. I did not feel like cooking, so I took out two golden apples and walked back up the stairs to me bedroom, sat down in the chair in front of the desk and leaned back, yeah man I got real relaxed. I looked at the papers piled in a stack on the cherry coloured desk, they writing skills were under developed but the imagination was beyond what I thought bout when I was they age. I sat there for a second then reached out with me free hand picked up the papers and placed them in a folder. I looked up at the ceiling, shadows from the dim yellow light marched across the wood and I stared at them until they morphed into Alison’s face and I wondered what she was doing at that moment. I got an image of some Obeah ritual in some dark place in she village, I shook me head stood up and walked over to the window, a cool breeze brushed me face as I looked out. I peeled the skin off one of the golden apples and bit into it, man it was sweet for so, juice escaped through me fingers and ran down me arm merging into one big line and I licked at it until it was gone.

It was real quiet in the yard the moon was not out just yet but there were hundreds of stars lighting up the ocean, I looked over at the clump of bushes, a cold chill went through me as I remembered the woman in white. I looked away from the bushes dismissing any thought of the woman and scanned the houses, dim lights luminated from opened windows with laced blinds swaying in the breeze ever so often I saw the shadow of a person as they moved round inside.

I saw the dark form of Fort George against the star lit night, the British and French had won many battles from that fort, sometimes I would sit at the window and daydream bout the battles fought by the European powers as they struggle to keep control of the sugar cane trade at the expense of the native Carib and Awarack tribes. The fort still had some old cannons and when I was a little boy the policemen would shoot them off on New Year’s Day. Me attention turned back to the bushes as I took a bite from the golden apple, the fireflies were out in earnest that night they bodies flickering on and off lighting up the surface of the bushes.

I finished eating the golden apples and went into me bathroom. After washing me hands I crawled into bed and fell asleep real quick and in me dreams I saw Alison, she was wearing a white turban and a long white dress that covered she toes, she stood on a rock with the ocean behind she and waves smashed against the rock yet the damn girl did not seem to be wet. She lifted she right arm slowly and pointed to a cliff on the other side of the lagoon, the moon was above she head like an over sized halo making she look like some kind of saint or something, I mean, the bloody witch child looked like the devil’s right hand angel. She raised she other arm beckoning me towards she, but I stood there as the moonlight bounced off she skin making it shine. She began to float away from the rock the sea bashed against it spraying silver pellets of water in all direction, I closed me eyes so as not to get the salty liquid in them.

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Pics with verse Storyteller

History hidden

History hiden

I used to go to these old sites, where time tries to hide the past with shrubbery. I would stand there and close my eyes, that to relive history, just so I can see first hand what really happened. The British, the Spanish, the French. The Arawaks, the Caribs, the slaves. Is history as it was written, as we see it the same from them, if only I could see it in their eyes, feel their emotions. I would stand there, feel the Trade Winds brush against my face. Like the ghosts of the past touching me, sending chill down my back. I opened my eyes as a plane flew overhead, and for a moment I am caught in two different centuries, and for a second I had to decide where I want to me.