I stood in the kitchen looking down at the bowl of seasoned fish. It was just yesterday I was sitting in the veranda watching some butterflies fluttering around the rose bushes when I heard the fish vender yelling, “Get yuh balahuuu buyers!!” I jumped up and ran to back of the house where Mommy Charles was washing clothes. “De fish lady outside Mamie.” I said. Mommy Charles went into her room and came back with two dollars. “Tell her to give yuh two dollars worth.” She said handing me two pale red crumpled dollar bills. I took them and ran off, out the front door, down the street. I was half way down the road when the jagged edges of the gravel covered rode bit into my feet. Damn I forgot to put on my slippers. I stopped and listened for the vender, she had not yelled in a few minutes. I heard the chatter of people on a side street to my right and turned in that direction. There she was, a bamboo basket perched on a red turban on her head. A group of people surrounded her, some holding dollar bills screaming what they wanted. I took off, hoping to get there before all the fish was gone. Before I got to her I started shouting, “Two dollars worth, two dollars worth!” I knew if Mommy Charles knew I was acting like that she would be less than please, but damn it I wanted some fish. The fisherwoman smiled as I ran in my skinny arms flailing over my head. She sat the basket down and turned to me. I looked into the basket expecting to see flying fish but instead I saw Jacks, one of my favorite. The woman dug into he basket with both hands and motioned for me to hold out the plastic back I hand in my hand. She dumped the fish in it and I was about to close the bag when she smiled and motioned with my head to keep it opened. She picked another handful and dumped it into the bag, the silver, black and gray fish sparkled in the sunlight. I gave her the two dollars and thanked her and turned and ran back to the house. Now to sit and watch Mommy Charles do her magic before she fried up the Jacks.
I found her standing at the end of a rainbow
Her black hair satiated with colours
Her skin glistened with small drops of rain
A tropical blue dress clung to her
Waves washed ashore covering her feet
And when the waves retreated
Fallen colours seeped through her toes
Her arms raised above her head
Mouth open, tasting the drizzle
Time did not stop
Though I wished it would
She turned and looked at me
Her Smokey grey eyes smiled
I started to say something
But she turned and ran off
And I watched her dissolved into the greyblue storm
I walked away with my soul questioning my common sense
And as she disappeared in the distance
I was a butterfly turning into a caterpillar
A Zebra with spots, a bird that dives to the bottom of the ocean
A man with legs for arms.
I felt like i had dove into the ocean
But was swimming in outer space
And as i walk away, i knew i was walking on quicksand
But i was stepping on the surface live Jesus walking on the ocean
Jane had moved into to me house hoping that one day I would just appear at the door she would go to classes and then spend most of she free time looking for me. The police and the soldiers came to know she real well and she was the only American they would let onto the barracks when she went to speak to Ras Itran, they had even let she go out on the Coast guard vessel to help search the ocean for me. Ras Itran did all he could to help she feel better but soon he was starting to lose hope that I would ever return I mean the man had other things he had to tend to. There was growing discontent for the revolution and some of the people and them were trying to turn back the revolution, in fact the army had shot and killed four men they claimed to be counter revolutionaries and the island was buzzing with rumors, man I tell you what, people was starting to get real vexed, some of them said that the soldiers were trigger happy and that they had killed four innocent men, but the official newspaper report said that the men were counter revolutionaries and they were stopped before they could destroy the revolution. Ras Itran was one of the soldiers who investigated the incident Jane could tell that what he saw was having an effect on him, I mean the poor man had to see they bullet ridden bodies, he even helped load they mutilated bodies onto the back of a truck.
Me mother came in from London and she and Jane spent hours looking everywhere she remembered I went as a child. Me mother told she that she suspected that the revolutionaries had done something to me but Jane assured she that that was not the case but me mother did what she did best agree but disagree silently. Jane told me mother bout the La Diablesse and me mother told she that even as a child I had a vivid imagination and insisted there was no truth to the folktales.
My mother left the island after a couple of months I mean the woman even had a service for me seemed practical, but then again practical was me mother’s middle name. She told Jane to look after the house while she was gone and that she would be back soon to take care of all the other business.
Jane was a typical hard headed West Virginia woman, she refuse to give up any hope, she went to the school on several occasions talking to Alison but Alison was less than cooperative.
“Don meddle in tings you don know bout Yanky gul” she said every time, but Jane was persistent until Alison promised to talk to she grandmother.
Slowly everyone began to settle back into everyday life, the revolution was rolling along except for rumours bout more counter revolutionaries popping up among the people, everyday there were gunshots and explosions, mainly it was over excited young men playing with guns, damn idiots acted like they did not have any damn sense
One night when the moon was out in all its glory and the night air was crisp with the Caribbean breeze, Jane fell asleep in she dorm room after studying and there I was in she dream wearing a white suit of clothes surrounded by darkness except for white flashes that swirled round me like angels, then I started to age me face pruning up real fast until I was a really old man,
“He did not believe!” The old man floated towards she he voice sometimes soft but suddenly turned into an ear-splitting scream, the white flashes that swirled round me were now black and slowly they ate away at the old man and he disappeared screaming as he evaporated.
Jane woke up but could not move she felt as if someone was sitting on she chest and she tried screaming but no sound came out, she struggled then suddenly she was sitting up, the shirt she was wearing was drenched with sweat. She got up and walked onto the corridor of the dorm the beach was real dark except for the light from a small bar a little ways down. She walked down the stairs and stepped onto the sand stopped and looked up and down the beach before walking away from the light, she walked until she came to the place where I kept the raft and on a whim she walked over to the bushes and looked in, the raft was sitting there and she stepped back a little stunned, then she turned and ran all the way to me house calling me name and laughing. When she got to me house she ran up the stairs to the bedroom calling me name as she went.
After bout five minutes of shouting she sat down on the bed she whole body shaking like crazy, then slowly she remembered the dream and got up and went to the window a shadow darted across the yard so she peered through the darkness and saw a flash of white in front of the bushes, I tell you what, she heart almost stopped beating as the form stood facing she daring she to come down. She turned and ran down the stairs into the yard and without thinking she ran over to the bushes but the person had disappeared. She stood, confused then she turned and ran back to the house and picked up the telephone, it was dead.
She ran back into the yard and stopped, looked at the bushes then slowly she walked up to it, hell; she was going to get to the bottom of this one way or the other. She parted the bushes and went in, the ocean crashed against the rocks like thunder on a stormy night, crickets and frogs chorused a haunting melody, dried tree branches popped and cracked as she stepped on them. She got to where the bushes were thickest when suddenly someone pushed she to the ground she head bounced off the dirt and the night turned florescent white, she rolled over onto she back just as a woman in a white dress jumped on top of she.
“Give up you Yanky whore. He is mine now”
“Who are you?” Jane asked she voice a mere whisper, the woman threw she head back and laughed
“Believe me you little bitch, you don’t want to know, now go back to your precious Appalachian mountains there is nothing you can do, right now ceremonies are being performed and when they are done he will be mine to play with.” The woman leaned down she long nose poking Jane’s cheek.
“Never!” Jane screamed. A dog started barking just beyond the bushes.
“Ahhhh, you are one hard headed little bitch, well I tried to talk some sense into you but nooooo, well have it your way.” The woman wrapped she fingers round Jane’s neck and began squeezing darkness descended on Jane flashes of red and yellow popped in the sky behind the woman like fireworks, the ocean, the frogs and the crickets became one buzzing sound Jane was giving up but right before she passed out images of she family popped in and out of she head and she grew angry and she felt round in the dirt trying to find something to defend sheself and finally she right had rested on a rock the size of a large grapefruit. She picked it up and swung, the rock hit the side of the woman’s head with a sickening thud, blood sprayed out of a large gash on she temple and she fell sideways. Jane scrambled to she feet the rock still in she hand the woman slowly get to she feet wiped some of the blood from she head and drew a cross on she face.
“You will pay for that you bitch” and she began to walk towards Jane but there was a deafening growl as the dog ran into the bushes and attacked the woman, she picked the animal up and swung it into the air, but the dog was determined and immediately got up and charged at she. She turned and ran into the bushes, not one leaf moving as she went. Jane stumbled out of the bushes all the way back to she dorm.
She Picked up she phone and called Ras Itran and frantically told him what had just happened to she and insisted that he took she to a witch doctor, he tried to convince she that going to an obeah man would not help but Jane was adamant willing to try anything. After bout ten minutes of pleading Ras Itran agreed to take she to a man he knew, he told she to meet him the next day on the beach and he would take she to the Obeahman’s village. Jane was real relieved that he agreed, I mean, she would do anything to find out what had happened to me.
Now Ian knows what happens when you don’t believe in the La Diablesse, but is this all they have planned for him, hmmmmmmmm. Tune in Tomorrow.
Nelson’s friend stood in front of an old folk’s home, the building was white and surrounded by flower beds, and a well-manicured lawn. Hedges lined the perimeter, green with yellow blossoms sticking out of them. He walked in and went to the front desk,
“May I see Mrs. Sarah Mcclinton please?” he asked, smiling, the nurse looked at him,
“Are you a friend of the family?” she asked, the man hesitated, his thick Irish accent a little hard for her to understand,
“Does she know you are coming?” She asked,
“Yes she does, her son set up this meeting, we are working on a movie and he thought her voice would be perfect for this part, I just need to record it,” he said and winked at the woman, she smiled, “Check your book you will see that we called,” he said, the woman’s smile broadened, her face turning red as she looked downwards to avoid eye contact. She was pretty, black hair, perfect shaped face, dark eyes that danced when she smiled. She leaned forward,
“Is there a part in there for me?” She asked, Nelson’s friend winked again, his tropical green eyes sparkling as he smiled,
“Maybe, give me your number and I will see what I can do,” he said, she giggled reached into a draw and got out a piece of paper, and wrote her number down, and handed it to him as she walked out from behind the counter,
“Let me take you to her,” she said and Nelson’s friend followed her, she walked as if she was on a runway, her hips swaying from side to side, her hair bounced and looking like some unseen force was curling them as she moved, her white uniform hugged her body and he saw the lines of her panties.
“This way,” she said standing in front of room five,
“Thank you,” Nelson’s friend said, and then walked in. The nurse stood at the door, Nelson’s friend stopped and turned to her smiling,
I came back to reality when the chanting had stopped and I realized they were not standing round the Alter anymore, they had formed a circle round the leader, she stood in the middle with she hands raised as they all mumbled what seemed like a prey, I tell you what, I felt like I was at some anchaint Catholic ritual. Then to some unknown rythem they slowly danced out of the circle they movement graceful seductive they hips moving in small circles, they white dresses twirled round them as they moved like ghosts at a disco. The air smelled of Lilac, and jasmine and roses and for some reason the fragrance was more poignant, I mean, me nose started to burn like hell. I tried sitting up but them bloody shackles were back on. One of the La Diablesses started singing in the language of the slaves it was a mixture of African dialects, French and Spanish the melody was haunting yet beautiful as it echoed through the cave, then out of the darkness the little girl came, she was carrying a small bucket and she looked at me menacingly then lifted it and poured its contents on me. An explosion of scents filled the air causing me to choke me body tingling, me heart speeding up real fast, man, there was this voice in me head screaming control youself you fool, they could never have they way if you don’t become excited.
The forms of the La Diablesse became blurs as they moved they hips gyrating faster more sensuous, every muscle in me damn body was aroused I mean I felt like I was going to combust or something. Some of the La Diablesse was dancing with each other they bodies bumping, they white dresses a cotton like mist, then as if possessed by some spirit they came at me they hands groping me body, they finger nails digging into me flesh and I groaned as every touch felt as if they were holding me soul in they hands, man, I was breathing so fast me throat felt like I had swallowed a piece of burning firewood. I tried to roll over but they kept me on my back and then I felt the thin suit of clothes being ripped off me the material tugging at me skin as it was torn away, they faces twisted with sexual expression damn women looked like a pack of hungry wolves.
Suddenly they stepped back and the room was so quiet I could hear a crab scurrying cross the sandy floor. Someone was breathing right next to me so I cowered away but soon realized it was me breathing hard. I looked down at me body trying to access the damage it sparkled a little in the glow of the torches, I was surprised to see that there was no blood on me, I tried to sit up but the restraints kept me trapped to the Alter, then another of the La Diablesse came forward with a silver cup held me behind the head and tilted the cup to me lips. I tried not to swallow but the liquid got into me mouth and I had to swallow, man I tell you what, I was coughing so hard me head felt like it would explode, she made sure the cup was empty looked at me smiled a little turned and walked away. The second she walked away me body felt like I was laying at the top of Mount Everest struggling to breath and I was cold for so, the leader came towards me and removed the restraints I tried to sit up but me body was like a rock. The women were real silent holding hands as if in pray then suddenly they broke into dance, they hands moving in provocative gestures, they gyrating hips hypnotized me as they moved side to side up and down grinding they pelvis.
The dancing became more frantic as they bodies began to twist in unnatural yet seductive positions, they dresses became a blur of white highlighted by the yellow glow from the torches they were holding. I was totally aroused me heart pounding causing me whole body to pulsate, a dull humming sound filled the cave. They danced faster and faster man, I felt like I was lying on a cloud of fire. One of the young La Diablesse left the group and came towards me and leaned over me pressing she lips against me ear, she spoke slow and in a low voice she tongue touched me ear lobe I could not help meself, I reached up grabbed she head and pulled she to me and I kissed she a deep slow kiss. She pulled sheself away from me and with cat like agility she jumped onto the Alter and straggled me she eyes closed as she concentrated on what she was doing. I too closed me eyes trying to block out the fact that I was about be raped by a subhuman being. I still heard the echoes of the others voices, they moans, they feet hitting the sandy floor, I felt the vibrations from they voices, I mean, it was pounding like a base steel drum. The La Diablesse lifted she dress and grabbed me guiding me into she. I felt the course hair on she goat leg rubbing against me thigh as she began to move. Every touch, every movement seemed to grow more powerful as the oils they had poured on me saturated into me skin, she fingers slid down me body gripping into me flesh as she moaned and grunted, I closed me eyes and flashes of colour replaced the face of the La Diablesse. Before I knew it the damn woman was screaming, she hands slapping at me chest, she hair twirled round as she swung she head from side to side.
When she was finished she rolled off me, I mean, the bloody woman’s eyes were glazed and small sparks of crystal light popped round in them like exploding fireflies. They leader came forward with a bowl and wiped round me private area with a warm rag, the liquid that she used burned me skin feeling like someone had sprinkled tiny fireballs on me, man I tell you I was aroused for so
Another La Diablesse climbed on top of me this one was less than gentle as she trashed round gratifying sheself. When she was done another one had she way with me, I tried to struggle but it was useless as the potions they used rendered me incapable of resisting they advances, I mean, I could not feel a damn thing below me waist except the up and down movement as she grinded on me.
I was almost unconscious when the last of them had satisfied sheself, I lay there as they washed me, me lower body throbbing like crazy. The spot on me thigh where they goat leg had rubbed was raw and burning, sweat ran down me body and unto the sheet, the night sky lit up with stars that twinkled silver and there seemed to be more seagulls circling the cave damn birds, I hoped they enjoyed me humiliation. I heard the water trickling out of the holes on the walls of the cave for a second then singing echoed through the cave as the women performed some kind of ceremony just outside the entrance of the cave.
Just as I was beginning to relax a little they walked back in holding candles, I laid me head down I mean for god’s sake, did they not have enough. They stood at the foot of the Alter shifting from leg to leg humming, they shadows dancing on the walls as the candles flickered in the breeze. Then they formed a line and walked towards me as if in an Easter Sunday procession morning the loss of they virginity yet celebrating the beginning of they acceptance into another spiritual realm. They stood round the Alter mumbling and humming moving like seawater foaming as it rolled up on the beach, then the same heat I felt earlier surged through me like a wave of boiling water, burning yet relaxing at the same time. The candles went out and darkness overcame the cave, I screamed me voice bouncing off the walls of the cave, in the darkness I felt they hands rubbing more oil on me I felt a pinch as one of them bit into me arm, then as suddenly as the candles went out they stopped touching me and I heard them breathing next to me, slow rhythmic, at the top of the cave seagulls screeched, they wings flapping furiously. I heard the swish of a dress and felt one of them press down on top of me. She began to move this time with less urgency as if wanting to savor every frigging moment. As she moved I felt the hard joint of the goat leg digging into the raw spot on my thigh, at first I tried not to pay attention but as it scraped me skin it began to hurt, disgust welled up in me and I began to twist me body trying to change me position but that only excited she even more. In the dark I saw she white dress moving in unison with every movement of she body, I began to scream and for the first time all night me body tensed up and me muscles twitched and trembled. At first she was taken back, but she did not stop moving she just moved faster she fingers digging into me chest, then she too began to scream she voice echoing in the cave. The other La Diablesse began to sing, they voices blended with she screaming creating a macabre melody, then she fell forward she whole weight came down on me knocking all the wind out of me.
Suddenly she was gone and another La Diablesse jumped onto the alter and began moving. Me body went limp surrendering meself to them as they came one after another like a pack of hungry Hyenas.
I closed me eyes and began to lose consciousness, the stars at the opening of the cave were blinking they sparkle dulled as clouds partially covered them, then the rain came, big drops falling through the opening I felt them hit me face and I closed my eyes, the cold pellets bounced off me skin rolled down the side of me body soaking the sheet and the foam under me. The moon forced its way out from behind the dark clouds, a lone silver beam illuminated the Alter and the La Diablesse on top of me, she hair was soaked and it clung to she head cascading down she shoulder, the thin material of she dress stuck to she skin revealing the contours of she shapely body. I moved a little it was a reflex action that surprised both of us. She smiled and threw she head back and began to move faster and slowly she body began to fade as I sank into unconsciousness me body tingling and me heartbeat rolling into one dull hum. She was still screaming, at first it was loud but as I slipped deeper into unconsciousness it faded away leaving the sound of the rain falling on the Alter and on the ground round me. Then nothing, just complete darkness as me body shook violently and then bloody darkness sweet, bloody darkness.
Looks like Ian’s time is near. They are preparing him for something. First the potion and then the ceremonies. Will this ladies satisfy Ezulie Freda, will they be set free from this life of limbo, come back Sunday to find out.
I was in the cave for months, but it felt like frigging years. I eat as much as I could and walked the perimeters of the cave trying me best to maintain me sanity and strength. I did not see much of the leader of the La Diablesse in that time then one day when I was completely healed she came into the cave. She instructed me to take off me pants.
“You have healed nicely the ladies have been taking good care of you.” She said shaking she head with approval, I stood there looking down at me feet, I mean, I felt like a damn slave on an auction block, ironic is it not?.
“I think it is time for the ceremonies to start,” I kept looking down so she did not see the fear in me eyes but she walked up to me and held me head.
“Don’t worry it will not be as bad as you think. I will try to make it as painless as I could and if you comply with what we want I may not let the Warriors have their way with you.” Me whole body tingled as anger boiled up in me I mean hell lady, how stupid does she think I was not painful! One of the other La Diablesse came up behind she holding a suit of clothes in she hand the leader took it from she and handed it to me. I hesitated as they both watched and waited and for a spilt second I thought of making a run for it, but hell, them women would have overpowered me for sure. I slowly put on the ceremonial dress white pants, white shirt, I thought what is it with these people, La Diablesse, voodoo practitioners, what’s with the white clothes? I looked into she eyes and with the most sincere tone of voice I could muster blurted out.
“What is your name, I mean I cant very well be receptive to you if I don’t know your name?” She looked at me, trying to figure out what me angle was.
“My name is not important, not to you anyway.” She stopped talking but kept looking at me.
“Why me?” I persisted and she looked at me a small frown forming on hserforehead.
“I chose you because of your lack of faith. From when you were a child I knew you would be one I could seduce, even with those ridicules rituals that Legba John performed I knew you would never really believe, I knew sooner or later you would fall from their protection.”
“How did you know about that?” I asked amazed at how much she knew bout me and she chuckled she eyes sparkling with pride.
“I have been watching you for years. Remember when you were eight and your mother took you to the carnival that came to the island and a woman came up to you and handed you cotton candy.” She stopped talking and looked at me to see if I remembered a jolt of recognition hit me and me whole damn body shook. I remembered that day like it was yesterday, a woman in white had come up to me when me mother had gone to the restroom and handed me a stick of pink cotton candy. The La Diablesse chuckled again.
“We don’t just pick someone at random we watch and wait until the time is right, after all we have all the time in the world. You my boy was destine to be here, we thought we had lost you when you left to go to that bourgeois college, but you came back. So you see it is destiny that you are here.” She floated round me she hands crossed in front of she I mean the woman looked almost regal.
“Our ways are subtle. A cool breeze, the hot flashes you got and your mother thought you were a sickly child, those inexplicable fevers you suffered as a child when your mother used to wrap you in banana leaves to control your rising tempreture, that was us.” I remembered those times me mother was frantic trying to figure out why I was always sick.
“All this just for sex?” I questioned, she seemed a little agitated but took a deep breath and controlled sheself.
“Its more than sex, it’s about acceptance into the other world, it’s about defying the gods and the men who worship them. Like me these women while alive was told that sex is the devils pleasure. It was supposed to be for reproduction and reproduction only, even after death the gods kept us from experiencing the pleasure of the most spiritual of acts all simple because they wanted to keep us to themselves. We were objects, subhuman in a society where sex was only pleasurable to them.” She was beginning to get angry and stopped talking for a second.
“Erzulie Frieda came to our rescue, requiting women like me to help women like the ones in this cave they will be completely free and she in turn defied the gods and now here we are, free to explore our own spirituality free from male domination and when the ceremonies are over she has prepared a place for us in her upper room. That is where the women will go after their baptism.” A death like silence filled the cave as we stood eyes interlocked, she hair swayed in the breeze and she green eyes reflected what seemed to be a little sympathetic expression, I understood what she was saying I mean we lived in a society where women were treated like possessions and not like equal human beings.
“Why do I have to die?” I asked, the words almost stopping at the tip of me tongue.
We have to protect ourselves, if the living knew that we were here they would surely hunt us down and destroy what we have. It has happened before back in the motherland. I resolved to take extreme measures not to let that happen here.” She stopped talking and seemed to shutter at the thought of the cave being over ran by the living.
“We also have to be wary of the gods, those Obeah societies they will do anything the gods ask of them. I would hate for these women to spend the rest of their lives in a state of constant suffering, I will live in the domain of the evil spirits before I let that happen.” She glided away followed by the other La Diablesse. I started to call after she but decided it was not a wise thing to do.
Come back tomorrow to see what the La Diablesse has in store for Ian.