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Storyteller

The Naked Drunk

I never saw crack-heads on the island. Mainly drunks, some people love their fire water, but if you ask me, they are just as stupid and equally as dangerous. I was on the beach chilling, watching some kids play football – soccer to some of you. I saw a drunk in ragged old shorts and no shirt. That man was the skinniest person I ever seen. He looked like the rum was drying him up. He was using a cutlass to open a green coconut, but he was swinging it recklessly, becoming a danger to those closest to him. One of his friends tried to take the cutlass away from him and he became belligerent. More of his friends tried to reason with him, but he began swinging the weapon wildly.

Call Babylon!” someone shouted, and the melee escalated. The drunk was not swinging at anybody who came close to him. He was screaming something about the devil and evil angels.

The police arrived but even they could not control the raging drunk. They shuffled around as if doing some kind of voodoo dance, then the drunk broke free and ran for the ocean. He splashed into the emerald-colored water, still holding the cutlass. He swam or waded until he could not stand, and then he started sinking. The police had no choice but to go after him. They reached him, grabbed the cutlasss and dragged him back to shore. When they got to the shore and laid him on the sand, laughter erupted when the people on the beach realized that he had lost his pants in the struggle. His little Dexter was exposed for all to see. That made the drunk furious. He started to fight again. He broke free and began running down the beach with the policemen in hot pursuit, followed by the crowd, laughing and shouting. They finally caught up with him when one of the policemen dropped him with a perfect football slide. But now that they had him down, they hesitated, not wanting to touch his naked body. They finally had to when he tried to get back up. You have never heard such cursing and screaming in your life as they carried him off the beach and to the police station.  

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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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Pics with verse Storyteller

Saturday Beach day

Saturday Beach day

Beach day, when all us young people would rush to the beach, and all the Sagaboi dem would try to pick up women, and all the cricketers and footballers would start up games alone the three mile beach, and venders would try to see their good to the tourists, and cops would make sure that the horny teenagers are not making out, and Grums the village drunk will run down the beach, trip and fall because his pants had dropped to his ankles, and a group of friends would be dancing to the calypso music from a boom box, oh yes, Saturday was always beach day and beach day means lots of good times was had.

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Storyteller

Revolotion )March 13th 1979)

Today marks the anniversary of the Grenadian revolution. On that day I woke up to my mother bursting in screaming “The communist are taking over.” It was the first time I saw real fear in my mother’s eyes. I jumped up and followed her to the living room. The transistor radio was on. The Announcer was screaming instructions at the revolutionaries, letting them know where pockets of resistants’ were. It was strangely quiet, I heard no cars, no voices of children going to school but most of all there was a revolution but no sounds of gunshots, no sound of a war raging. The world seem different, like something, not scary, I did not believe the the islanders would harm anyone, we are not by nature violent, but somehow the would seemed to get just a little grey for me.

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Cool Runnings

12th Installment La Diablesse

Round mid afternoon I took a long cold shower, got dressed and went out to the small shed at the side of me house opened the wooden door and went inside. Covered under a large tarpaulin was my Yamaha bike, I pulled the cover off and dust flew into the air causing sneeze, the metallic black body glittered as the sun came through the doorway and bounced off of it, man, I loved this bike I spent many of days straddled on the leather seat riding round the island. I climbed onto the soft seat pushed down on the crank and maneuvered the machine to the front yard rode through the gate stopping as two cars drove by, damn drivers acted like they did not see me. Carefully I pulled in behind them and rode down the graveled road small stones popping out from under the wheels as I sped up.

There were lots of cars on the road as workers rushed to get home, Saturday meant they only had to work half day and people wanted to get home to start the weekend partying. Despite the narrow streets, the large potholes and the pedestrians, the drivers were extremely patient honking their horns to greet each other. Most cars on the island back then were British made. Morrises and those bloody annoying mini cars would zoom by like mice running from a cat. Calypso music blared from the mini busses as they competed to pick up as many passengers as they could.

The traffic thinned out as I got further into the county side, the roads narrowed out even more making it impossible for two cars to go by at the same time, sharp turns made it seem like I had turned round and was going back the way I came. I had ridden this road many of times when I visited me grandmother, she had moved back to the plantation after me Grandfather died to live the rest of she life in peace on the land she family owned. There were always something spiritual bout these country roads, I mean; the air was filled with the scent of bananas, spices, sugar cane and tropical mud, I slowed down and began to appreciate the scenery round me.

On the left side of the road I looked down on a mountainside of banana trees rustling in the wind, despite the sharp decline they stood in perfect rows like soldiers on parade day, the space between the trees left enough room for the farmers to go through and pick the large bunches of bananas, man, I tell you what, me mouth started to water right away just thinking bout them ripe bananas. There was a break in the uniformity as the wind swept through the hillside causing the big green leaves to whip round. I saw small drains in the muddy surface a result of the heavy rains earlier in the month. Some of the trees sagged to the side and the farmer used sticks to prop them up, voices of the farm workers echoed in the valley as they made their way through the field cutting down the bananas.

On the other side of the road Nutmeg and Cocoa trees went up the hillside as far as the eyes could see the spicy aromor lingered in the air leaving a sweet taste in me mouth. The Cocoa pods that hung off the trees made me think of me mother, she grew up on great Grandmother’s plantation and always had stories bout helping work in the fields, she used to try to get me to work there on the weekends but manual labour and I was no friend. There was some mist at the top of the hill creating a bluish tint against the green leaves, the cool late afternoon breeze brushed off me face causing me shirt to flutter like a homemade kite in an Easter wind.

I heard a vehicle backfire so I turned me attention back to the road, I got as close to the edge of the asphalt as I could, but that still did not prepare me for the police land rover that came round the corner, them bastards must have been going bout eighty miles an hour or something because the five or so policemen inside were hanging on for they lives. The rover was not in the best shape at all, I mean, the bloody thing was tilted to the right and the wheels were so askew I could tell the driver was having a hard time controlling the deathtrap. They must have seen the look on me face because I heard them laugh as the heap of metal went round the corner behind me, ignorant Bobbies, somebody should arrest them fools. I pulled onto the road and even though I was shaking a little continued on.

I came up on some houses so I slowed down, there were some boys playing cricket in the middle of the road they had stopped the game and were arguing over a bad call, one of the boys holding the bat and another one was trying to take it away from him. They were so engrossed in their argument they did not hear the roar of me bike as it came up on them, I was about three feet from them before they scampered out of the way and onto the embankment at the side of the road. They shouted at me as I went by, bloody little hooligans, good thing they were not me pupils because I would have given them a good lashing. I looked over me shoulder and saw that they had resumed they argument, the two boys were now rolling round on the road each clinching to the bat screaming at each other in that country boy slang, the other boys were trying their best to get them apart.

I turned me attention back to the street just in time to see a shadow in front of me, I squeezed hard on the breaks me back wheel dancing wildly on the uneven road and it took all me skills to get the machine under control. I came to an abrupt stop almost falling over the damn handlebar, an old man sat majestically on he donkey like a Victorian king on he favorite mare, he shirt and pants were stained with the juices from the bananas he worked with all day, he stared at me no expression on he wrinkled face at all. Neither of us said a word, we just sat there looking at each other he eyes squinted, it was a stalemate and by the expression on he face I knew he was not about to give ground.
“Do you know where Alison live?” I asked not that I thought he would know but mainly to break the uneasy silence. He shook he head from side to side puzzled at me question. The hum of the bike echoed through the valley, a flock of birds swooped down off the mountain and flew over we head. He glanced up to the hills then looked back at me then he lifted a mud caked hand and used it to block the sun. He weather beaten face was still expressionless, but yet, you could see the years of experience running through every line on he face. I knew a lot of men like him, well seasoned with hard work life a constant struggle to keep the family farm running, poor fella, the slow but eminent economic change was destroying he livelihood. He raised he hand and pointed, I did not say anything I just maneuvered me bike round him and rode off.

The potholes in the road were the biggest I had ever seen in me whole damn life, bloody government, would it have killed them to fix the stinking roads? The bike bounced round as I tried me best to maneuver through the maze.

I rode for bout five miles passing small wooden houses on the way, they all had concrete steps leading to colourful doors they verandas almost as big as the houses themselves. On most of them, men sat in Bamboo chairs round tables playing dominoes or drinking sugar cane rum, arguments would erupt over whose turn it was next, they voices carrying through the hills and across the rolling plantations.

The road abruptly changed into a mud path and I almost lost control of the damn bike. The sun disappeared behind the large mango trees that lined the path, damn it, now I had to ride through large holes filled with water and me shoes was now soaked down to me frigging socks. The late afternoon sun was turning into a dull yellow orange causing visibility to be almost impossible, soon darkness engulfed the path as the trees and bushes became thicker and I had to turn on me headlight. Dogs barked up ahead and I was concerned because I was afraid of them infernal animals.

As I rounded a corner and came upon three houses that sat on a hillside they formed a perfect triangle against the dark green backdrop. The sun seeped through the trees giving me better lighting, the two houses higher up on the hill were painted in conservative colours of gray with red and green roofs. There were no fences round them, but they boundaries were distinct where grass gave way to shrubbery at the edge of the yards, yard fowls clucked as they fought for scraps of food, pigs squealed as they moved round in they pens. I turned off the bike and sat there looking at the houses the silence was real eerie man, where the hell was all the people?

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Pics with verse Storyteller

Old time

Old time

Ahhh Lucas Street, me old stomping grounds. Just to your right, that is where Roach me buddy used to live, at the top of that hill, that’s where Roach confronted Vung the blood sucking Ligaroo. Ahh yes, we had fun on this street. You see where that police box is with the policeman in it, well me and Raphie, me brother, we would watch him all day directing traffic, then at nine o’ clock at night, when he got off duty, we would run to the box and direct traffic, boy I tell you, is a lot of time we almost cause accidents. Drivers would curse and threaten to beat we up. We used to get old truck tires and roll them down that hill looking to see where it would end up. I surprised Mommy Charles never found out, cause if she did, we ass was grass. Ahhh yes, good old Lucas street, were we did lots of mischief, and got into little scrapes with bullies.

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Parts Dirty Immigrant Storyteller

From the novel I am a Dirty Immigrant

The very first day I began working at the retail store, a group of shoplifters helped themselves to quite a bit of merchandise. I had forgotten to lock the doors and they entered and grabbed as much stuff as they could. I was at the other store when I heard a ruckus outside. I ran to the door and saw four young men running down the street, arms filled with cheap panties, oversized bras; I mean the street looked like the poor man’s Victoria Secret was having an auction. The off-duty policeman that worked with us was in hot pursuit. The storeowner, a short arrogant sort, his short legs churning like a propeller, screamed profanities as he gave chase. The four young men ran past me, balancing boxes in their arms. Panties, pants, shoes and shirts fell to the streets. The owner stopped picking up his merchandise as he yelled at me to join the chase.

So here I was, running down a strange street in the middle of the ghetto, wondering what the hell I was doing. Now understand, there were no ghettos on my island, hell, there were no real bad areas. All I had on my mind were the horror stories about gang fights and murders. You can thank Hollywood for me expecting to be attacked by gangs. We got to the projects and the young men scattered in all directions. The off-duty cop yelled at me, commanding that I go after the two young men who turned right down a narrow street. I ran after them, but they disappeared into an abandoned building. I looked at the dilapidated structure, black holes where doors and windows once were, hollow reminders of lives long past. A dirty-looking man stumbled out of the main entrance, disturbed by the commotion. He was eating what looked like a sandwich. He looked at me like he saw a ghost. His mouth opened, food dropped out of his mouth and he pointed in the direction the young men went. I stopped. There was no way in hell I was going into that bloody place. I turned around just as the cop pulled out his revolver and disappeared into the projects. For a second, I thought about following, but I changed my mind. Not only did he have his service revolver, but he also had another gun stuck in his waistband. Now would it have killed him to share? I walked back to the main street just as the store owner ran up, all out of breath. “You got them?” he asked. I shook my head.

Where did they go?” I pointed to the abandoned building,

Well go get them!” I looked at him, shook my head and brushed past him. That man was crazy if he thought my big ass would go into that place.

There was one thing I noticed about The Melting Pot City: shoplifters were different from The Wild and Wonderful City shoplifters. When they got caught, they would destroy the loot instead of giving it back. I was standing at the door of the store when a fat lady ran out of the store next to mine. She was jingling and tingling. Small pots and pans fell out from between her legs. The woman looked like she was giving birth to cookware. Three burly men were in hot pursuit. To tell you the truth, they looked like cartoon characters. The Road Runner theme song resonated in my head.  When they caught up with her, they proceeded to beat the hell out of her. Lotion, soap, perfume: you name it, it fell out of her dress. I mean, where the hell was she holding all that stuff? As I stood, astonished, the woman started stomping on the items. You should have seen the malicious look on her face. It seemed more like a political statement than shoplifting. At the time, rap music was more lyrically conscious. People felt they had to do something to make change. If they were not going to get their piece of the pie, then no one will. People without power will do anything to better their situation. It is not greed that drives poor people – it’s need.

Anyway, if any of the men got any of the items from her, she would grab it and destroy it. In The Wild and Wonderful City, they just gave the bloody items back. I had never seen anyone shoplift on the island. I don’t know if they were too afraid or just honest, but for the sake of humankind, I hope it was honesty

 

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Parts Dirty Immigrant Storyteller

Realli Ralphie From the novel I am A dirty Immigrant)

Here is another story about our illustrious police force. I was living above a headstone store, an ugly blue building.  One late afternoon in the summer, I was walking to the radio station to hang out with some friends of mine.  Yes, I do a radio show. What can I say? I am a jack of all trades, master of two: being tall and being good-looking. Anyway, I got to the entrance of a parking lot just outside my apartment when a police cruiser pulled in front of me. Hell I almost walked right into the vehicle. The cop, a remarkable resemblance to Ralphie from the movie, “A Christmas Story,” barked at me to come to the window. I took a step back and asked him what the problem was. He stated he was looking for someone and asked my name. I told him and he looked at me suspiciously, and then said I was not the one he was looking for. No shit. How many seven-foot tall men with a large Afro did this man know? I almost said something, but I remembered in the movie, Ralphie sitting on top the bully, beating the shit out of him. When he saw the expression on my face, he quickly changed his reason. He said that he stopped me because I looked like I needed help. I looked around; the only people on the street were some Asian students. Maybe he thought they might have used Karate to attack and rob me.  I had just come back to town a couple months before and this one I had never seen before. I believe he was trying to let me know it was his town and no immigrant was going to cause trouble.

 

 

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Stories Storyteller

Revenge on the Bully

Brian Smith, one of the biggest bullies I ever encountered, that boy used to beat up anybody he could get his hands on. I once saw him give this other boy so much licks he turned the boys shot pants into a mini skirt. When you have a father who is a cop every bully love to take turns testing you. I do not remember why but Brian accosted me in the classroom. He stepped towards me, a menacing look i…n his eyes, “Teacher’s liccle brudda eh? I backed up until I was against the wall. I wanted to fight back but my skinny butt was not trying to get licks. “Wah, you fraiiidddd?” he asked smiling. “You touch me an I go tell me sista,” I said, that made him vex for so, “An wah she go do eh, I could beat he up too you know,”  I balled my fist up and took a swing, he ducked and everything went black and a rainbow of colors exploded in my head. “wah you tink eh? You tink you go beat me” I heard Brian say. His figure materialized surrounded by bright light. His shadowy figure walked away from me laughing. I leaned against the wall rubbing my face, he had slapped me so hard I felt imprints of his fingers on my face. I found my brother and told him what had happened. Rafi was vexed for so, but fighting was not an option, Mommy Charles always said, no fighting. We went home and when Mommy Charles saw the marks on my face he was real mad. She looked at us and said “Give dat buoy good licks tomorrow. We stood surprised, Mommy Charles said give him licks? The next day we followed Brian from school, stalking him like a lions would its pret. We got to the courthouse  and that is where we got our chance. We attacked and a crowd soon gathered. Brain was taken by surprised as me and Rafi punched, slapped and kicked at him. He rolled into the gutter and I jumped on him. A policeman came out of the courthouse to see what was going on then went back inside. I was sitting on Brain’s chest going Ralphie from the Movie A Christmas Story when the policeman came back out and pull us off Brian. “Ah go tell alyou mudda, stop dat fighting.” Brain stood up, a stunned look on his face. Without saying a word he took off running. Years later I saw Brian, he walked up to me and stopped. Slowly he lifted his hand, “You want a liccle weed?” He asked and smiled.