From the Novel Obeah

From the Novel Obeah

Henry was still asleep under the mango tree when suddenly his body became hot, like he was floating above the pits of hell. Out of the darkness he saw someone standing in front of him. Henry blinked and rubbed his eyes. The man’s face looked like it was made of iron; his green jacket had black stripes on it that made him look tall. He leaned down towards Henry, his hand hidden behind his back. Henry squinted to see if he recognized the man, but his dark face blended with the starless sky behind him. Lightening blasted, turning the night into a sheet of white. Thunder exploded and the ground shook like a violent earthquake rumbled across the island. Henry’s heart raced up as the blinding lightening flash again, followed by the ground shaking thunder. Henry tried to stand up, but he stumbled and fell hitting his back against the trunk of the mango tree. The man turned to Henry, his iron face blended in with the dark sky. He took another step towards Henry his right hand still hidden behind him. Henry cowered away, his vision blurred from the moving earth. Suddenly the man lifted his arm above his head; he was holding a machete,

“Gren mwe fret” he screamed in a nasal voice. The machete’s sharp edge glittered in the lightening flash. Henry screamed, as the man brought the machete down. Henry grabbed his arm, his skin felt like iron and he heard the pops and cracks as his fingers began to give out under the weight of the man. Suddenly he was sitting up looking up at the star filled sky.

Henry looked around; he was lying on the ground next to the mango tree. He checked his body to make sure all his parts was still where they should be. He tried to stand up, but his legs buckled under him and he hit the ground with a sickening thud. He lay there, as a mixture of hot and cold rushed through him. He shook violently, his joints felt as if they were being ripped from his body. Suddenly Adofo stood looking down at him.

“Are you O K?” he asked. Henry tried to talk but his tongue felt like it was glued to the bottom of his mouth. Adofo tried to help him up, but he stumbled and Adofo caught him just before he hit the ground.

Adofo took Henry through the village; some of the children followed them. Henry mumbled as Adofo led him into a hut on the other side of the village. Adofo sat him down in a chair next to a table, and then disappeared into another room. Henry looked around the room, but his vision was like looking through a glass bottle. His head throbbed; it was as if the drummers were sitting at the base of his skull ponding their drums. Adofo returned with a bowl made from a coconut shell and handed it to Henry. He looked at it for a second then took a drink, it was bitter and he coughed a little. Adofo sat in a chair on the other side of the table. His dreadlocks moved a little and yellow light escaped through it.

“What happened to you, you look like you saw a ghost when I found you,” he said, Henry swallowed before he spoke,

“Just a bad nightmare,” he said then described the dream to Adofo. The villagers stood at the door peeping in.

“That was the spirit Ogoun the warrior Loa. He loves the noise of battle and helps people gain political power. He revels in uttering vulgar phases that don’t make any sense, but such is the ways of his crude nature. Some say they have seen him cut himself with his machete, but there is never any blood or wounds on his body. Why would he be in your dreams?” Adofo said and looked at Henry.

“Indeed, why would he be in my dream?” Henry echoed Adofo sat back in his chair.

“It must be some kind of warning. The Ligaroo King and his followers are sensing that we plan to rescue our people so they are trying to scare us away.” He said, stood up and walked to the doorway and rubbed the head of a boy peeping in.

POEMS Storyteller

Lust (2002)

So he is at a quandary, Should he led her on, should he lay with her even if he does not love her.

Should he satisfy his want for intimacy. Will he love himself the next day.

Her mind is easily manipulated, her heart is like glass that would shatter at his words

He have always wanted to be selfish, get what he can and screw the consequences

Her eyes are him, the proverbial nice guy

The one every woman wants, but never pursues, everyone’s dream but his nightmare

She wants to be pampered, held, told she is worth something

If she gets that now she will always want more

The moment is not enough, it is mistaken for a lifetime

But isn’t life a series of moments that pass quickly, it’s the now not the future, the reality not the fantasy

So, having said that he asks again, should he, should he not

Should he be more concerned with his own satisfaction

Well once again he sits, his mind telling him yes, his soul in confusion.

Parts Obeah

Too real From the novel Obeah

After eating, Henry settled in for the night. Kwao and one of the Bokors were to take first watch; Henry and the boy were to take the second. He fell asleep the moment he lay down on the mat. Immediately, the dreams started. He was back in the Valley of the Weeping willow trees. He stood where there were no trees, the glow from the moon shined down on him. Silver light bounced of the creek in the distance. The La Diablesses were circling him, their white dresses misty in the light.

.”You are a fool; you should have come with us. A far worse fate awaits you on Jumbie Island.” They chanted. One of them came close and leaned in. Loose skin dangled of her face and brushed against his nose.

“You are no warrior, just the son of a slave driver. These people will turn on you and this time they will sacrifice you.“ She said, stood up strait, a dagger in her hand. In one sweeping motion, she brought it down. He felt his skin rip and blood meandered down the sides of his stomach. Henry tried to get up but she pushed him down. The others chanted, danced faster and faster, until they were a blur of white, then suddenly one of them was in front of him again. Those eyes like burning coals looked at him and suddenly he felt warm inside. She spoke, but all he heard was a humming noise. The La Disables’ threw her head back and laughed then floated away from Henry. Then she was right in front of him again, her corpse like face close to his, and she caressed his face with her rotted fingers. She grabbed the back of his head and kissed him. Henry pushed her away and she screamed.

“You can’t reject me!” lifted her dress and kicked him with her hoofed leg. Then she leaned down and licked the blood from his face. Henry tried to resist, but she was kissing him again. He pushed her away and she spat at him and piece of her tongue landed on his chest. He turned away from her, but looked back when she took her hands away. She was gone and replaced by the former Bokor leader. Henry looked around, he was tied to a pole and a fire blazed around his feet. The man’s face was painted red and blue, the hood on his robe covered his eyes.

“Am right behind you,” the man said. He sounded like they were both submerged in the ocean. The Bokor floated away and there was darkness for a second. He reappeared in the distance and floated towards Henry, a spear held over his head. He threw the spear and as if in slow motion it came at Henry. The tip of the spear sparkled in front of his face, and he shook violently,

Get up it’s your watch,” Kwao said. Henry slowly sat up and looked around. The others were asleep, Akosua lay by herself and Adobo was nowhere in sight. Henry stood up and stretched.

“Henry, Henry,” he turned and saw the boy sitting on a rock just above the campsite. Henry grabbed his spear and joined the boy.


Wake Me Up Please

I lay on the bed looking up at the ceiling. Sleepless nights were now part of my life. I was running through the forest, an AK-47 rifle in my hand. I heard the voices of soldiers as they chased me. The forest was dark despite the sun being high in the sky. My lungs were on fire as I maneuvered through the trees and bushes. Bullets whizzed by my head, hitting the trees, creating a buzzing noise in my head. Leaves flew into the air; branches fell in front of me. I hurdled over bodies. Some were still alive, begging for help.

I kept running as the footsteps of my pursuers grew closer. I was so panicked, I did not see the wounded man step out in front of me. Part of his face was blown off and one eye had tears of blood pouring out of it. He lifted his arm as if asking for mercy.  I bumped into him and he fell backwards. I stopped and looked down at him. He was trying to get back up, his voice a mere gurgle as blood oozed out of his mouth. I reached out to him, but he fell back to the ground. I looked back and saw the approaching soldiers; I turned and ran off, my legs feeling like they would freeze up. I ran until I came to a precipice. It was about a sixty-foot drop, so I looked around for another escape route. Sweat poured down my face, getting into my eyes. I wiped it off and looked up just in time to see the soldiers standing in front of me. I wanted to run, but I knew I was cornered. I closed my eyes for a second hoping to block out my fate, but I opened my eyes and they were all pointing their M16 rifles at me. I watched as the bullets shot out of the rifles. The closer they got to me, the darker the scene became. I closed my eyes just as the bullets exploded in my body. I screamed, my voice disappearing into the darkness. I sat up in bed, my heart racing so fast, I almost fainted. My ex-wife moved a little asking me if I was alright. I mumbled that I was, got up and went to the bathroom. I looked at myself in the mirror. I was white as a red-headed step child. Sweat rolled down my face as a sudden chill went through my body.  I splashed some water in my face, then walked back to the bedroom and stood over her for a moment. She looked so peaceful, that smile on her face. I hoped she was having a better dream than the one I’d just had. I crawled into bed and snuggled up against her. I always felt better when I was close to her. The scent of Egyptian Musk on her skin, the slow throbbing of her heartbeat; quite frankly, it was those moments that kept me sane.

POEMS Storyteller

Past Meet Presant

I was standing in the middle of a street. There were people running all around me. Fear covered their faces like a mask at a freakish circus. A humming sound muffled their voices. Schoolchildren wearing white shirts and blouses with dark coloured pants or skirts ran by me. A thick grey mist hung overhead like an angry raincloud about to burst. The panicked crowd moved around me, one moment in slow motion the other so fast I could barely make out their forms. When they slowed down I saw their faces clearly. Their mouths opened their eyes frantically searching for a place to hide. I saw smoke coming from an old eighteenth century building down the street. Its old brick walls containing the screams of the people I saw scampering around inside. The blue skies turned grey with dust and the ominous scent of tear gas. Sirens bellowed in the distance as ambulances sped down the street.

I turned around slowly and looked down the street. A group of schoolchildren appeared from around a building and came towards me like a stampeding herd. I tried to run, but my feet felt like they had taken root on the asphalt. For the first time since I had been standing there, the muffled voices became an ear splitting chorous of fear. I stiffened my body anticipating the impact but nothing happened. They rushed by me like I was not there.

As they went by I saw shirts once white now crimson with blood. Close on their heels were men wielding long sticks and cutlasses. Some of them were shirtless, their ebony skin glistening as the sun bounced off their sweat drenched bodies. They too went by me as if I was not there. Their faces were contorted with a devilish expression of hate, intolerance and determination. Their eyes red and wild like jungle predators hot on the trail of a prey. I knew some of those faces, fathers and brothers of friends.

When the first wave of souls went by I turned my attention back down the street. Out of the mist I saw three attackers standing over a fallen student mercilessly beating her with their sticks. The unconscious student was oblivious to the onslaught. When the men were finally satisfied, they stood over the girl as if digesting her spirit. Then in slow motion they turned and ran towards me. I braced myself for an attack. They came closer to me, their eyes orange, and smiles of triumph on their faces. As they came abreast of me they disappeared in a blurry shadow. I relaxed a little and walked over to the girl.

I stood over her my heart pounding so hard my chest ached. Blood seeped out of a gash on her Forehead like water from a small spring. I dropped down next to her my knees sinking into the hot asphalt. I took her head and rested it on my thighs. The blood ran down her forehead and into her eyes. Then like rivulets it channeled down the sides of her nose and into her mouth. I brushed her hair from the wound and tried my best to stop the bleeding, but it was in vain. I looked up at the sky. Tears as hot as the anger in me ran down my face. Beyond the mist the sky was blue. The sun looked down on the scene like a one eyed deity. Seagulls fluttered back and forth as if confused their bodies’ mere shadows against the blue. I looked back at the girl. The blood had now settled between the spaces in her teeth causing them to look like crimson and white piano keys. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw shadows milling around as people tried to help other victims. Suddenly, I felt as if someone was standing over me. I looked up and saw a shadow. I went numb as the black ghost stood over me with it’s arms raised over it’s head. Like a slap in the face the noise of people screaming and sirens bearing intensified. I looked back at the black ghost just as its arm came down. Darkness engulfed me like the ash from a volcano.

I opened my eyes and looked around. I saw shadows dancing on the walls like puppets at a carnival. I knew I was conscious because of the cool breeze that brushed across my face. I sat up and stepped out of the bed. Sweat rolled down my back and into my pants. I walked over to the window at the other side of the room. it was quite on the street outside except for a lone car driving by. i heard the muffled sound of music coming from inside. As it disappeared up the street, the melodic bumping was replaced by the singing of Bob Marley in my head. The song was “No Woman No Cry”. Suddenly scenes from the past rushed through my head like lighting flashes. I turned away from the window and walked over to a desk next to my bed. I reached out and turned on the small lamp. The yellow glow lit up the desk. I sat down and picked up the pen that sat on an opened notebook.

POEMS Storyteller

Dance Uncertian

Dreams turn into nightmares
Nightmares to reality
Hate is a ballerina
Nimble on her feet

POEMS Storyteller

The Old Revolutionary (written December 1983 Grenada)

I left my footprints on a beach with blood red sand
I left my soul clenched in the fists of a dying revolutionary
I sang a song of silent words to the shadows in my nightmares
I surrendered my consciousness to the taste of cold steel in my mouth
I accept that I am the living retribution for the sins of misguided leaders
I don’t expect loyalty and I don’t expect love
Because in this world, ideology trumps humanity