Segment of New work in Progress. “My Father’s Shadow”

Andre was getting ready to go to the student union,

“Wah you so happy for?” the shadow asked,

“A gurl man ah gurl,”

“You too excited bout dis one why?”

“She real nice,” Andre said. The shadow moved out of the dark and stood next to him in front of the mirror. Its body fluctuated between black and grey.

“Its bout time, you need to settle down,”

“Wah you say, I thought you said a real man don settle wid one woman eh?”

“What, are you questioning me, listen you are grown now time to start a family, a man needs a home base,”

“Oh so now you saying dat I should stick to one woman?” The shadow moved to in front of him and for the first time slapped him in the chest. A chill ran through Andre’s body. He stepped away from the shadow,

“Wah you trying to make me afraid of you?” he asked, the shadow slapped him again,

“You should be, remember I control everything, what you think, what you feel. Like I said you are a grown man now, things are going to be different from here on out,”

“hey am me own man, you don control me and don you forget dat, you hear,” The shadow swung his arm knocking some books off the dresser.

“You don talk to me like dat bouy. I been like you fada for the last ten years and don tink because you got big dat I don have no say in wah you do,”

“To hell with you,”

“Or is it to hell wid you huh, jus because you full ah education and you talking like a white man now don mean you is a bigman.” Andre walked to the door,

“You cant escape me not night or day,” Andre closed the door behind him and walked down the hall, the shadow was right beside him, running along the wall.

Andre arrived at the student union and looked around. He spotted her in the far corner; she was wearing a sun dress, no makeup and sandals. He walked up to her and for a moment she did not acknowledge him.  He stood there feeling stupid,

“Is dis her, man I tink you wasting you damn time here. She stuck up for so,”

“Am going to handle dis,” Andre responded. The shadow started to move behind her and Andre stepped closer to her. She turned around and smiled.

“I see you made it huh?”

“Why wouldn’t I?”

“Why would you?”

“Well if you here den am here,” Andre said.

“Oh dear lord, is dat de best you could do eh? You sound like a bloody stupidy,” the shadow said. Andre looked at him crossed eyes,

“Stay out of dis,”

“What did you say?” the girl asked,

“I sadi what is you name?’

“Claudette,” she said walking away. The shadow followed her and lifted its hand like he was going to smack her but. Andre ran up top her passing through the shadow,

Where to now?” he asked. She turned around and smilled at him.

“Your call,” she said.

“I know de perfect spot, you want to go,”

“Where is it?”

“Leh me surprise you,” he said as he walked ahead of her. She follows him.

From that day on they spent as much time as they could together. Andre was happy; he had stopped chasing girls and had slowed down on his drinking. Claudette was a nice girl and he tried his best to show her the utmost respect.

Wah wrong wid you bouy” the shadow asked. Andre ignored him, “Don ignore me damn it,”

“What do you what?” Andre asked

“OHhhh listen to de island bouy wid he high affluent talk, What do you what?” The shadow said,

“You jus jealous dat’s all,” Andre said going into the bathroom of the small dorm room. He turned on the light but as soon as he sat down on the toilet seat the shadow walked through the closed door.

“Who you tink you is eh? Did you tink you go become a bigshot and leave old shadow behind. Never, I go be here and dere is notten you could do about it,”

“Oh really, we go see bout that,” Andre barked back. Suddenly the shadow was right in front of him, its red eyes floating before him. The shadow inhaled and blew. A small puff of black escaped its mouth. Andre tried to move away, but the small cloud went into his nose and mouth stifling him,

“Nobody gets away from me, nobody leaves me behind. Wey you go I go, who you marry I marry, when you shit I take I is shitting too.” The shadow said. Small puff of black came out of his white mouth. Andre sucked in hard but inhaled nothing.

“Ah could kill you right now if Ah is ready to,” the shadow said then inhaled and the puff of black trailed out of Andre’s mouth and he inhaled.

“Now I is in charge and know dis, you could fight all you want but I go win in de end.” The shadow disappeared, small puffs of black floated in front of Andre. The light came back on and he got up and stumbled back to his bed. He lay there for a second to catch his breath then got up, went to his dresser and got a small bottle of rum and drank the whole thing.

Parts Obeah Storyteller

6th Installment of Obeah

                                            CHAPTER 3

They arrived back at the village just when the moon rose above the trees. Everyone in the village came out to greet them. Chickens clucked, dogs barked, and children sang. They walked into the big dining hut. Food was brought out for Henry, he was hungry, he attacked the food growling and making a mess on the bamboo table. Akosua looked at him and smiled,

“Come see me when you are done, Kwao will show you where,” she said, and she got up and walked out the door into the night followed by Adofo. Kwao sat and looked at Henry,

“You eat like an animal,” he said twisting his mouth in disgust. Henry paid him no mind.

When he was finished eating and got all cleaned up, Kwao led him to a hut that sat just inside the jungle, and just away from the main village. It was surrounded by three smaller huts. Kwao pushed Henry into the doorway and stood outside. Henry looked into the dimly lit room, but saw no one. He walked to the middle of the room. It was a perfect square with a torch in every corner. The yellow glow casted shadows across the bamboo walls. There was a bamboo table to his left. On it sat small bowls with small flames that flickered in the slight breeze that swept through the hut. The table looked like the altar he saw in the Bokors village, some kind of homage to their gods. There were bamboo chairs throughout the room each had crudely made straw dolls sitting in them. There was a strong scent of palm oil throughout the room. Henry stood awkwardly waiting, unsure if he should sit or stand. Just when he decided to go ahead and sit down, Akosua appeared from a dark doorway. She stopped and smiled at him,

“Hi, come sit,” she said and motioned to two chairs next to the window. He walked over and sat down. He heard the wind rustle through the leaves outside, the flap of wings as birds flew around in the jungle. She looked at him still smiling and sat down next to him. The bright light from the torch directly behind her head made it look like there was an orange halo above her head,

“How are you doing?” she asked, Henry hesitated,

“I miss my family,” he said, Akosua rested her hand on his shoulder, her big hazel eyes sympathetic,

“I know, we all miss our family,” she said, Henry fought back the tears,

“Where are your parents and how did you end up on this island anyway. Where are the overseers, and foremen, and plantation owners?’ Henry asked, Akosua lifted a copper brown arm to

“Shhhh,” she said smiling, “I will have to tell you the whole story from the start,” she said, Henry sat and looked at her with anticipation. Akosua sat back, her eyes had a faraway look, and she took a deep breath then started talking,

“We were on our way to a sugar cane plantation on some colony. We spent days on that ship, chained and shackled in its belly. The scent of vomit, and feces, and blood and stale human odors filled the ship. Many got sick and died. My little brother did not make it; he died in my mother’s arms. It was hard to tell the time or the days, and after what seemed like weeks we encountered a massive storm. Many were swept into the ocean screaming. We heard an awful crash and the ship came to a stop and tilted to the side. The captain and some of his crew ordered us off the ship. We sat on that beach for days. The captain was hoping that a ship would go by and we would be rescued. Some of the slaves ran into the jungle and that sent the captain into a violent rage. From that day on he used a heavy hand to control the remaining slaves. But he could not because there was a feud between my mother who was an Obeah woman, and a Hougan, a Vodron priest on the ship with us. But he practiced in black magic calling on Baron Samedi the lord of the dead. He became a Bokor; they are rouge Hougans who try to walk on the fence practicing in both realms of good and evil. It is the Bokors who captured you in the jungle.” She said then stopped and took a deep breath.

“My mother and the Bokor leader John fought over everything until one day John tried to put an evil spell on her. When that did not work, he and his followers formed an alliance with the captain, but what they did not take into consideration was the fact that there were Ligaroos among us. At first some slaves said it was a myth, until a child was found dead, all the blood drained from her body.” Akosua stopped talking got up and walked into the room she had appeared from. Henry sat looking around the room. The dolls seemed to have a life of their own. Outside dogs howled, chickens clucked, and pigs squealed. An owl flew over the hut hooting loudly. Akosua came back out of the room and walked over to the window. Lightening flashed across the dark sky followed by ear splitting thunder,

“Chango is angry tonight,” she said, Henry looked at her,

her lips and touched it with her forefinger,

“Who is Chango?” he asked, Akosua walked over to him,

“He is a Loa, a God that controls storms,” she said Henry shook a little as a cold wind swept through the hut causing the bamboo walls to moan eerily. Akosua was standing in front of Henry, her white dress shimmered a little with every flash of lightening, then as if from nowhere she handed him a cup made of coconut shell,

“Lime juice,” she said, and then sat down,

“The feud between my mother and John grew worse until one day another child disappeared and rumours spread throughout the village that the Bokors had used her for black magic. The next day the child was found, all the blood was drained from her body. It was then that my mother and John joined forces to defend the village from the Ligaroos. The beasts attacked John and dragged him into the jungle and he was never heard from again. The rest of the Bokors retreated into the jungle. The captain then resorted to brute force to bring calm to his colony, but he had very little help. His crew was sick from the tropical diseases, their bodies unaccustomed to the climate and most of them died. He knew that it was only a matter of time before the Ligaroos got him. Then one night as I lay in bed, I heard this chilling scream and the village was ablaze. My mother ushered us kids into the jungle and told us she would be back,” Akosua shook a little as she remembered that night. A tear drop rolled down her cheek landing on her dress making a small dark circle on it. The animals in the jungle became silent and the air was still, just like the calm in the middle of a storm. Akosua took a deep breath, and not knowing what to do Henry spoke,

“Were the Bokors going to sacrificed me?” he asked, Akosua looked at him wiping the tear drop from her cheek,

“There are romours that they would sacrifice people to Congo Savanne, a fierce Loa that would grind his captives up like corn and consume them, but that is only romours. They are holy men first and will not harm anyone.” Akosua stopped talking and walked over to the window. The sky had cleared up, the stars and the moon hung over the jungle sending silver light bouncing off the leaves. Henry started to talk, but hesitated, he did not want to ask too many questions, but he wanted to know,

“Who is Marinette- bu….?” He struggled to pronounce. Akosua smiled.

“You mean Marinette-Bwa-Check?” She asked. Henry looked at the ground a little embarrassed.

“Yes,” he said, Akosua shifted her feet in the dirt

“She is an evil spirit. She is known to eat people.” Akosua responded. Henry felt a little more comfortable.

“What is this word that Kwao keeps calling me?” He asked Akosua smiled again,

“You mean Kindoki?” She asked Henry nodded. “It means evil spirit.” She said as lightening flashed behind her. She continued with what she was saying before Henry asked any more questions.

Parts Obeah Storyteller

5th Installment of Obeah

They arrived at the pole where Henry was tired and one of the warriors used a knife to cut him loose. He was crying and stumbled, but Adofo caught him, Akosua touched his face,

“Don’t be afraid, we will take you to safety,” she said, Henry felt suddenly calm. He did not know why, but the moment she touched him, all his fear seemed to dissipate,

“Thank you,” he said as the serpents began to disappear into the jungle. The Bokor leader stepped out of his hut,

“You will pay for this,” he screamed, pointing a finger at them.

“Why, are you going to beg Marinette-Bwa-Check to destroy us? You used to be Hougans, good priests, but you had to be weak, evoking Baron Samedi and Marinette- Bwa-Check.” she said, the Bokor looked at her, his eyes shifting from side to side,

“We will use any means necessary to protect ourselves from the Ligaroo King and his army,” he said

“It does not have to be this way, we have one enemy, he is the one who have taken our family, and he is the one who enslaves our people. We should join in our fight against him, it’s the only way we can have freedom,”

“Why would we want to join with you, you little witch, we have Baron Samedi to protect us he is stronger than any Loa you evoke,” He said, Akosua was silent for a second,

“Your ways will be your downfall unless you come back to our village and be what you are supposed to be, healers of souls” She said

“We will take our chances with Baron Samedi, now get off our land before I set Marinette-Bwa-Check on you,” he screamed and two of the serpents flew at him. He retreated into his hut as Akosua and her companions walked into the jungle.


The Ten Year Old Snap Chat Hacker

This Sunday I decided to try and sleep in. I never do that but I needed the rest from being at the radio station late. So here I was of sitting on a beach, the sun blasting down and a cold drink in my hand. It was about 6am when my phone buzzed. Who could it be, nobody sends me messages this late. So I picked up my phone and looked at it and this is what I see,


I smiled and tried to go back to bed but then my phone went off again and this is what I see,


I shook my head again and tried to go back to sleep, but just when the sweet darkness of sleep completely overcame me, my phone buzzed again. Once again I picked it up.


What she changed, ohhh why is this little girl up so early, hmmmmm, she must have sneaked her mother’s phone and decided to send message to people on her mom’s friends list. Just look at that mischievous face. The glee of messing with someone. The anticipation to see if I would response. Now mind you this did not stop. Throughout the day I would get this messages,


I even got on that said Hacked in Wal Mart. So IK sent a message, then het mother responds. Seems like every time she sets her phone down, it would disappear and that is when I got these message that said HACKED.The last one I got said Hacked by this Gangsta. Her face was all twisted, trying to look hard core, but her fingers holding up a peace sign. Sometime tells me, this is not over. I may just be getting lots of these.


Kid Knows the Slang

So I was walking down the street when a group of kids, looks like they were from a day care, were walking past me. Of course me being seven feet tall, the kids were amazed, they stooped, eyes wide open, bumping into each other. I passed several of them and when I got to the middle of the group this little blond blue eyed girl, no more then four years old, looks up at me and said “What it do bigman.”  Then strutted away, smiling.


Father’s Shadow

From that day on they spent as much time as they could together. Andre was happy; he had stopped chasing girls, and had slowed down on his drinking. Claudette was a nice girl, and he tried his best to show her the utmost respect.          

            Wah wrong wid yuh boi” the shadow asked. Andre ignored him, “Don ignore me damn it,”

            “What do you want?” Andre asked

            “OHhhh listen to de island boi wid he high affluent Yankee accent, What do you want?” The shadow said,

            “You jus jealous dat’s all,” Andre said trying to sound more like his old self, like an islander then got up and went into the bathroom of the small dorm room. He turned on the light but as soon as he sat down on the toilet seat The Shadow walked through the closed door.

            “Who yuh tink yuh is eh? Did yuh tink you go become a bigshot and leave old shadow behind. Never, I go be here and dere is notten yuh could do about it,”

            “Oh really, we go see bout that,” Andre barked back. Suddenly the shadow was right in front of him, its red eyes floating right in front of his nose. The shadow inhaled and blew. A small puff of black escaped its mouth. Andre tried to move away, but the small cloud went into his nose and mouth stifling him,

            “Nobody gets away from me, nobody leaves me behind. Wey yuh go I go, who yuh marry I marry, when yuh shit I is shitting too.” The Shadow said. Small puff of black came out of his white mouth with every word. Andre sucked in hard but inhaled nothing.

            “Ah could kill yuh right now if Ah is ready to,” The Shadow said then inhaled and the puff of black trailed out of Andre’s mouth he saw it go into The Shadows mouth and down to its stomach.

            “Now I is in charge and know dis, yuh could fight all yuh want, but I go win in de end.” The Shadow disappeared, small puffs of black floated in front of Andre for a second. The light came back on and he got up and stumbled back to his bed. He lay there for a second to catch his breath, then got up, went to his dresser, and got a small bottle of rum and drank the whole thing.  


The Whisper Poet Zee


Parts Dirty Immigrant Storyteller

Giant On the Dancefloor( Don’t grind on my Knees) From I am a Dirty Immigrant

I stopped going to bars, not only because of the fighting, but because the atmosphere was so much different from the island. For one, the dancing was too sexed up for me. Booties flying everywhere, people faces contorted with sexual pleasure. Being seven feet tall was not consummate with slow dancing. No woman wanted to slow dance with their face pressed up against my crotch, nor was it any fun to do all that grinding and gyrating on the back of some woman’s head. Yes, being seven feet sucks on the dance floor. I remember one time I was standing against a wall in a club, looking at all the people going wild on the floor. Suddenly, I felt a bump on my knees. I did not think anything of it, but became a little annoyed when the bumping persisted. I looked down and there was this short blonde girl grinding against my knees. Her blonde hair was whipping from side to side, her drunken eyes glazed with pleasure. I gently bumped her with my knees, but soon she was back at it again. I shook my leg as if trying to stop a dog from humping me, but she was relentless. I leaned down and whispered in her ear, “I don’t know about you, but you grinding on my knees is not doing anything for me. Now stop attacking my bum knee.” She looked up at me, rolled her eyes and stomped off into the crowd. When I went out back home, I always danced by myself. I would park right next to the speaker and just sway to Bob Marley, or Denis Brown, or whatever cool runnings music that was playing.

Parts Obeah Storyteller

From The Novel Obeah

Night descended on the island and the drummers began to play. The villagersdanced around the bonfire. Henry joined them and danced until his legs began to ache. The fire popped and cracked, and some of the children chased the sparks that floated into the air. Their voices echoed into the jungle, dogs howled and barked, some chasing the children that ran around the fire. Akosua and Adofo had disappeared to their special place on the small beach. Kwao was missing too. Henry knew that he was somewhere spying on the two lovers. It was late when he went back to his hut and flopped down on his bed. The events of the day played out in his head like a living dream. This was the most fun he had had since his mother died. He thought of his sister and said out loud,

“I am coming to rescue you,” his voice interrupting the crickets outside the hut. He fell asleep to images of him and his sister playing in the field behind their home in the Old Country.

He was asleep just a short time when he was woken up by Ampah. He got up and followed the boy outside. Several of the villagers carried torches and were screaming a name. Henry walked over to Ampah. He stood next to some of the boys giving them instructions.

“Whats going on?” Henry asked and Ampah turned to him.

“Adwoa is missing,” Ampah said.

“Grab a touch, we are going to look for her,” Ampah said. Henry walked over to one of the huts and got one of the torches that sat in front of it. He walked back to Ampah and lit it with the one that Ampah held.

“Adwao!” they shouted. The jungle was dark except for the torches that seemed to float through the air between the bushes. Rodents rustled in the underbrush, owls hooted in the trees, bats screeched and flew off into the night. They searched for hours, combing the underbrush until someone shouted,

“Over here!” footsteps sped up as they rushed to the voice. Henry got to where the voice came from and looked down into a grove of small trees. The little girl lay under a hibiscus tree motionless. Akosua was on her knees next to her.

“She is gone,” she said as she caressed the child’s face. The jungle was silent except for the cracking of the fire from the torches. They stood, their faces illuminated by with shadows. Akosua picked up the girls lifeless body and carried her back to one of the huts next to her own.

The Villagers stood, some cried, while the older ones tried to console them. Henry and Ampah stood there for a while then walked back to Henry’s hut.

“She looked like all the blood was drawn from her body,” Ampah said, his face a mere shadow in the pale yellow light.

“I did not hear the Ligaroos attack,” Henry said.

“There must be one among us,” Ampah said and they sat in the chairs outside Henry’s hut for a second listening to the jungle.

I can’t wait to get my hands on a Ligaroo,” Henry said. Ampah was silent for a moment looking into the dark jungle.

“So do I, I will spill blood for every person who died at their hands,” he said. The sound of frogs croaking filled the silence, crying could be heard in the hut next door.

“I knew something was up, the other night, while I slept, I felt someone next to me, their breath was awful, but when I woke up, there was no one there,” Ampah said.

“The same thing happened to me,” Henry said. Ampah looked over at him and said nonchalantly.

“You should sleep with one eye open, and your machete near my friend,” and got up and walked away. Henry got up and walked into his hut. He stopped at the doorway and held the torch out in front of him. When he was satisfied that no one else was in there he walked in. He took the unlit torch from its holder and placed the lit one in it. He walked over to the chair where the machete lay, picked it up and went to his bed. A dog howled and he lifted his head and looked around. Whenever the wind blew shadows rushed at him, then retreated when the wind dissipated He rested his head back down and closed his eye. The image of the Adwao imprinted in his mind. He felt himself falling asleep and jerked awake, then felt around in the bed next to him for the machete. He hugged the weapon and soon fell asleep.


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.