20th installment of Obeah

“Step aside little girl let grownups take care of this.” He said and pushed Akosua aside retrieved the machete and walked up to the woman.

“Savages!” the woman screamed, her blue eyes sparkled behind the locks of blond hair that hung down in front of her face. The leader walked up to her until his face was directly in front of her,

“We are the savages, we are the savages. Have your walked down to the beach and watched your reflection in the waves. It was your people who brought us here, it is your people who keep us captive, and it is your people who are inflecting pain on my people!” he shouted. The woman whimpered tears rolled down her cheeks.

“Enough!” Akosua shouted, “Vengeance will not be your salvation.” The Leader turned to her and even with the paint covering his face, the expression of anger and hatred was still pronounced. He raised his arm as if he was going to strike Akosua, but his arm stopped in midair. The Borkors watched, as their leader stood helpless. Akosua turned to them,

“I promise you we can defeat the Ligaroos. All we need is faith and Yemaya and the Radas will help us,” she said,

“Why should we follow you, you are just a girl,” One of the Bokors asked. Before Akosua could respond another Bokor stepped forward,

“Because, she is the chosen one that the Loas have promised us,” he said as he walked up and stood next to Akosua. He was a giant of a man that towered over everyone.

“What does that have to do with anything?” the first Bokor asked. Akosua turned to him.

“There is a spear on Nkyene Mountain; it is the only thing that will kill the Ligaroo King. I need to retrieve it and we need your help to get there.” The first Bokor that spoke shook his head,

“Well why do we need you, we can go get it ourselves.” He said, the giant Bokor looked down at his fellow villager,

“Because she is the only one that can use it,” He said,

“I knew your mother; she was a good person, the best Obeah woman I ever knew. I was with her when she hid the spear. I know how to get to Nkyene Mountain. We trusted your mother and thus we can trust her daughter.” He said Akosua smiled. The man stood seven feet tall, his large hands gesturing as he spoke The Bokor leader still stood motionless, the giant Bokor looked over at him,

“Our leader was blinded by his hatred and quest for vengeance. The captain, before he became the Ligaroo king, had whipped the leader’s wife in front the whole village because she had ran away. She never recovered, and died from infections” He said. Red and blus paint striped across his bald head from side to side and down his face. He turned to the congregation of Bokors,

“We have freedom in this jungle, now; we want to live in peace.” He shouted, they all mumbled their agreement. Akosua stepped closer to him and peered into his face.

“Oh yes, I remember you now, your name is Donkor, my mother called you the gentle giant.” Akosua said. Donkor smiled flashing two perfect rows of white teeth. Akosua reached out and touched his shoulder,

“Help us and together we will free our people. Yemaya said that they are all still alive on the Jumbie Island. The Ligaroo king has turned them into Jumbies.” Donkor smiled at her then turned to the congregation.

“I think we should listen to her, she is the chosen one, the one we have heard stories about. Far too long we have tried the dark side, now we must go back to the ways of our Ancestors, be Hougans again.” He said his deep voice booming above the popping fire. The congregation erupted with cheers, the drummers’ began playing. Donkor raised his arm.

“We will join forces with the young Obeah woman’s village and together we will destroy the Ligaroo king. Freedom from tyranny will soon come.” He said. The Bokors danced, their bodies twisting with joy and relief. Akosua motioned for Kwao to cut the women down; he was less than gentle with her. The woman fell to the ground at Akosua’s feet,

“Thank you, thank you.” She sobbed. Akosua reached down, took her arm and helped her up. The woman threw her arms around Akosua sobbing uncontrollably.

“Take her to our hut,” Akosua said, Kwao hesitated, but followed Akosua’s instructions. Donkor turned to Akosua.

“What about him.” He asked and pointed to the leader. Akosua reached over and touched the man and he crumbled to the ground. Donkor motioned for two of the Bokors, and they stepped forward, picked the leader up, and carried him past the dancing crowd.

Parts Obeah Storyteller

From the novel Obeah

Later that night, as they lay dozing under the night sky, Henry saw Akosua pick up the spear and walk off into the night. He got up and followed her silhouette into the bushes. Just before she entered the jungle she stopped and looked back. Henry dropped to the ground and lay still. Akosua smiled in the dark, then turned and kept walking. Henry got up and followed her into the jungle.

Akosua got to the tunnel that led to the path down the mountain, but turned up instead of going down. She walked to a rock that was the highest point on the mountain and looked out at the darkness. She stood and took the spear out of its goat skin holster, and held it up to the sky, and stood there for a second. The spear glowed so Henry positioned himself behind a rock and watched. Akosua stood her head to the sky as she mumbled. Suddenly out of the dark a figure approached her. Henry ran to her, but he slipped on the pebbles on the path and fell. He looked up just in time to see the figure reach out and grab the spear. Akosua tried to hold on to it, but stumbled and fell off the rock. Henry scrambled on his hands and knees trying to get to her.

As he was getting back up to his feet the mountain lit up with a brilliant white light. He stood up and watched the figure; it stood lit up just like Akosua when she first touched the spear. The blinding white reached the sky. And even the stars were like shadows against it. Henry heard the figure laugh as the power of the spear rushed through him. Light shot out of his mouth, as if trying to from the noise that his laughter made. Suddenly the figure screamed, as the light from the spear grew brighter. It lit up the mountain top and the jungle thousands of feet below. Henry looked over the edge, he saw the tops of trees that grew out of the mountain side. Birds soared around the mountain disturbed by the light, wild goats retreated stumbling on the rocks. Henry put his hands over his eyes to protect them from the light. Small white beams penetrated the clouds, giving the impression that solid streaks of raindrops was showering down from the heavens. The figure screamed in pain, as white light exploded from his body making him look translucent, as small beams of white light escaped his body. Henry got to the base of the rock and looked around for Akosua, but did not see her. He began to run towards the figure using his hand to block the light. Just as he was about to reach out and grab the spear Akosua appeared next to him,

“No Henry!” She screamed. Henry stopped and looked at the figure, the light had begun to dim and the mountain top became dark, until it was like before the figure grabbed the spear. Akosua reached out and grabbed the spear and the figure’s hand broke off, its fingers still wrapped around the stem of the spear. Henry stood and watched the figure; it was motionless, like a statue in a Catholic church. There was no more light coming from it, it stood just a dull white glow. Akosua touched it and put her finger on her tongue,

“Pure salt” she said. Slowly the feet of the figure began to crumble and it fell over the side of the mountain, Henry heard it hit the trees on its way down. He walked up to Akosua stood holding the spear

“That was the former Bokor leader. I knew someone had followed us here. It is a shame he could not join us,” she said as she put the spear back in its holster. It hung down her back almost touching the ground.

“Are you O K?” Henry asked. Akosua smiled,

“Am fine, let’s get back to the camp,” she said and they walked down the path, through the bushes and back to the camp.

Parts Dirty Immigrant Storyteller

Day Of The Invation (From the novel I am a Dirty Immigrant)

On October 25 1983 invasion forces landed on the island. This is where I was went it went down.

The explosions grew louder and more frequent; that was the angriest sound I had ever heard. Villagers ran up and down the street, their lives even more uncertain than when the communists attacked. Members of the People’s Revolutionary Army used anti-aircraft guns to defend the airport. A couple of the paratroopers disintegrated in midair, their bodies exploding like fireworks, but there were no bright colours. I left the window with my heart beating so hard I thought it would explode. I ran back into the house and turned on the radio. The announcers frantically shouted for the islanders to pick up arms and defend their country.  I was confused, wondering if I should go to the front lines, or just let the warmongers murder each other. After all, this was my island, my forefathers had fought to free the slaves on this very ground. Why should I let these outsiders occupy my homeland? After five minutes of the announcer’s erratic talking, a Bob Marley song, “Ambush in the Night” was played. To this day that same song plays in my dreams over and over again. The young announcer’s voice shook as he began talking again, sometimes struggling to get the words out. Suddenly, his voice was replaced by the annoying sound of static; then the radio went silent. I sat there for a moment not knowing what to do. Then I heard a loud explosion and our brick and mortar houses shook. I jumped like someone had poked me with a nail, and ran to the front yard. A puff of smoke bellowed into the air beyond the lush green hill, top to the left of my house. It was then that I realized that the explosion had come from the direction of the radio station. Then as if with a predetermined purpose, I got up and walked into the house, went to my bedroom, and retrieved my Red Bear-made pistol. Now you may wonder where I got the weapon. Well the government wanted a militia, and they got one – lots of islanders with guns. I checked the chamber to make sure there was a full clip, then reached into my dresser and got a few extra rounds. I walked down the street, my eyes scanning the rows of houses, anticipating any attackers. Trucks loaded with people’s revolutionary soldiers raced by, creating a gray cloud of dust that covered the village. Young men and women clenched their AK-47 rifles, some screaming at me to join them in the defense of the island. I shook my head; poor bloody souls were off to fight a war they could not win. I ran my finger along the smooth metal edge of the pistol. You can’t imagine the false sense of safety I felt with that bloody thing stuck in my waistband. I did not know what I was going to do, but I was becoming angry. First we had to endure the rule of the Union Jack. Then the Red Bears came with their inadequate ideology, brainwashed the population into believing they had a chance to determine their own destiny. Here I was, locked in this battle, confused, frustrated and scared. It did not help knowing that lives were being lost all because we were just a pawn in the destructive cold war. Now the invaders were here claiming to save us from certain destruction. I remember thinking was this not destruction I was witnessing at their hands. 
Angry Guns
I snapped out of my thoughts when there was another explosion. Jeeps raced down the street from the airport, carrying the wounded. Their screams caused my skin to tingle and burn, like someone injected hate under it. I forced my mind to shut out their agony, but the sound was unbearable; those screams still linger in my dreams today. The antiaircraft guns were firing constantly now, causing the air to taste like sulfur. Deafening explosions shook the brick houses, and the screams of frightened children echoed through the village. A debilitating exchange of M-16s and AK-47s erupted just down the street as the paratroopers hit the ground. An earsplitting explosion rocked the village as a building disintegrated. Villagers scattered in every direction, screaming. I instinctively pulled out the pistol and ducked into the yard of the house closest to me. I was shaking so hard I was barely able to keep my grip on the weapon. More trucks screamed by, stopping to pick up some volunteers on the highway. I wanted to get up and join them, but I decided that it was not my fight. Instead, I stood up, the pistol hanging loosely in my hand, my heartbeat echoing in my head. I stood there listening to the sounds of war around me. I have to confess, there was a rush of adrenaline running through my veins. Strangely the explosions were dull hums, like a fishing boat engine in the middle of the night when you are half asleep. For the first time in my life I did not feel human. There was a monster growing in me. I wanted to kill someone, make them pay for the fear I felt. A jeep sped by, fleeing the battle. There was a young man in the front seat with a bloody stump where his arm used to be. I almost threw up, but swallowed hard, then turned and walked back to my house.