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Parts Obeah Storyteller

31st Installment of Obeah

CHAPTER 14

Adofo and Henry stood on a hill overlooking a valley. A small river meandered down the middle; the crystal water glittered like diamonds, yellow, blue and red flowers lined the banks of the river. Henry sat down and he felt the cool dew on the grass soak through his pants. Adofo sat down next to him. They had walked most of the day and needed to take a rest.

“How can a place so beautiful have such evil things happen?” Henry asked, Adofo was drinking from a water pouch,

“You put man in anything beautiful and he finds a way to bring evil to it. Birds don’t enslave each other; butterflies don’t put evil spells on dragon flied. The difference between them and us is we have the intelligence justify that it is our nature to be evil, at least that is what my father once told me.” He replied. Henry scanned the valley. A flock of parrots flew into the trees on the other side of the jungle. Henry followed them as they glided over the water and back into the jungle.

“My father said that sometimes evil deeds are necessary for progress. My sister said it was his ways of making his job not seem as bad as it is,” Henry said. Adofo were looking around.

“Hey look,” Adofo said pointing. Henry looked in the direction he had pointed. A group of five people emerged from the jungle and walked along the river bank.

“It’s Akosua and the others,” he said and got up and started walking. They stumbled down the mild decline trying not to fall. Rocks tumbled down the hill taking chunks of mud with them. They reached the river and waded through a part of it that was ankle deep. The cool water felt good in the afternoon heat. Fish swam out of the way with every step they took.

“Akosua!” Adofo shouted. Akosua and her group stopped and looked around.

“Hey!” Adofo shouted again. Akosua saw them and began running. They met and stood in the middle of the river, the water rushed past their waist. It was crystal, until the point where it touched their bodies, then it was greyish, white. Akosua’s dress floated above the water, it looked like it was about to wash away with the rushing swell. Kwao stood his eyes ablaze with jealousy. Adofo and Akosua stood for a moment holding each other, and then looked into each other’s eyes. The parrots flew overhead, their feathers a rainbow of colours in the tropical blue sky. Kwao stepped forward.

“You were told to stay in the village,” he said walking past Adofo bumping him on his shoulder as he went.

“I wanted to make sure the lady I love was safe,” Adofo said, smiling at Akosua. Kwao kept walking trying hard not to look at Adofo.

“Come on, we have to get back to the village since no one is in charge,” he said.

“Ampah can handle it,” he said. The two warriors walked up to Adofo and hugged him,

“It’s good to see you friend,” one of them said as he smiled. Lassette walked past him looked at him then looked at Akosua and smiled. Adofo looked at Akosua.

“Long story,” she said “I will tell you when we get back to the village.” She said then took Adofo’s hand and they followed the others up the hill and back into the jungle.

It was late afternoon, hot and muggy as they walked across a field of wild cotton bushes. Small cotton balls floated around in the air around them and into the jungle. Bugs flew between them as if hypnotized by the sweat that glistened off their bodies. Kwao had not spoken since Adofo and Henry showed up. He pushed ahead trying not to listen to what was being said behind him. Lassette walked behind Akosua and Adofo. She was breathing hard, her mouth open, her eyes red from being in the sun too long. Her beige coloured dress was ripped and came to just above her knees. There were scratches on her legs from the bushes and thorns that ripped at her skin. Adofo and Akosua talked, their voices the loudest thing in an otherwise quiet jungle. Kwao stopped,

“Shhhh” he said, he looked around for a second. Adofo and Akosua walked up next to him. He stood like a cat; his eyes scanned the jungle, his spear at the ready.

“What is it?” Adofo asked. Kwao looked at him as if to silence him. They stood for a minute then Kwao relaxed.

“Stop the chattering and stay alert,” he said and began walking. Adofo caught up with him,

“We saw what looked like boats coming towards the island earlier,” he whispered.

“And you are just telling me that,”Kwao said. Adofo looked a little exasperated

“I just remembered,” he said, Kwao rolled his eyes,

“If you were not so captivated by love you would have remembered,” Kwao retorted.

“I am telling you now so be alert.” Adofo said and he stared at Bartholomew.

“Make sure and let the boys know,” Kwao barked and walked off.

They got to a part of the jungle where the trees stood tall and there were no bushes around their trunks. The red top soil was hard and it crunched when they stepped on it. A peacock trotted by, its tail a glitter of colours. They stopped and watched it go by. Lassette tried to step in front of it, but the bird evaded her and lumbered away. Henry took a drink of water, and then brushed the back of his hand across his forehead.

“Its bloody hot here,” he said, Kwao looked back at him,

“What Kindoki can’t take a little heat?” he said then snickered.

“Shhhh!” Adofo said, Kwao gave him an evil look and was about to say something when an arrow whizzed by his head and stuck in the tree next to him. They froze for a second, then there was a shrilling war cry and an army of men rushed out of the jungle screaming. Henry pulled out his machete and braced himself. Adofo bumped into him,

“Take Akosua and the lady and go hide,” he said.

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Storyteller

More Editing Disorganized Crime

A family walked by, perfect traditional, what most would consider the dream family. The little boy looked at Ramon, the giant winked at him and the boy smiled. They walked away and Ramon turned his attention back to the river, a surge of guilt rushed through him, his heart ached, he knew he had killed fathers, mothers, uncles, maybe one of them was kin to this little boy. He got up, walked to the railing and looked down at the river. There was a group of small boats in the middle of the river and a coast guard cruiser glided up to them and all of a suddenly the river became crowded with the coast guard, police, and forensic officials. A crowd gathered on the bank. News crews and helicopters arrived it was a bloody circus. Ramon felt a little sad, these people were disturbing the resting place of his victims, Ramon saw the detective that Vince used for information, he did not want the man to see him so he did his best to blend into the crowd that was assembling on the platform next to him and quickly walked back to his car. Nobody else knew where or how he had disposed of his victims’ bodies this place was his personal cemetery, he felt he was safe from being discovered, this part of the river was the turf of Vince’s rival he had dumped the bodies of associates of Vince on this side so if anyone was to go down for the bodies it would be the rival crew.

 

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POEMS Storyteller

River Days

Down by the river
Where the water trickles through the shiny rocks
I heard them singing
They voices echoing through the Nutmeg plantation
Floated with the wind
Up the hillside
And through the banana cove
I heard the melody
Now enhanced by a loud slapping noise
The wind became still
And I hear the river.
Rushing through the rocks
I followed the sound
Through the rows of banana plants
Parting the sea of big green leaves
Down the mud path
Slipping and sliding on the loose dirt
Out of the forest
On the river bank
Women and children
labouring our mounds of wet cloths
Slapping them against the rock
The rhythm like an old time spiritual
Some of the women were humming
One woman singing
A verse of hard living

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Storyteller

19th Installment La Diablesse Sinday

La-Diablesse

Looks like Ian have hit the end of the road, or is it the beginning? Now he has to face some of his demons. The old Obeah woman was waiting for him.

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Cool Runnings Storyteller

18th Installment La Diablesse

The path soon started winding downwards at a steep incline and I followed the women stumbling on lose mud. We walked for bout ten or so minutes before they disappeared ahead of me as the bushes became thicker, I mean, I could not even hear they voices anymore. I hurried up trying to catch up to them when suddenly the trees gave way to a clearing and in the distance there was a river with a whole lot of women talking as they washed they clothes, hitting the rocks with the garments while others used small rocks as scrub brushes. I took me shoes off and waded into the crystal clear water its coolness sending a shiver through me. It was real rocky, water swirled round the smooth stones creating whirlpools round smaller rocks, I jumped from rock to rock slipping and sliding like crazy, the women did not see me coming they were too busy talking and tending to they laundry.

“De boy maga, maga for so,’ said one of the women as she tossed she clothes into the water the rocks stopping them from floating away. I jumped onto another rock, slipped and had to put me hands down to stop meself from falling. They all turned round at the same time with surprised expressions on they faces, man I tell you what, I felt like I had intruded and turned to walk away but stopped when one of them called me name.

“Mr. Dickens, you wanting sumting?” I turned round and looked at the woman, it was Alison’s aunt

“No thank you, I was walking and I saw some women coming this way so I followed.” She had a smile on she face making me feel a little more comfortable. The other women were all smiling too some of them were teenagers, but most were in they thirties.

“You wan help?’ One of the women asked and they all giggled, I looked round Alison’s aunt to the woman who spoke, she big brown eyes sparkled she white teeth gleamed, I smiled back.

“Why not?” I said and walked over to them, picked up a pair of jeans that sat between two medium sized stones and began hitting it against the rocks, man, I tell you what, them women was real surprised, I mean, they just stood there watching me, little did they know I used to do this with me Grandmother all the time. The minuit I got to she house she would be waiting for me with baskets of clothes that needed to be washed, we would go to the river and spent the greater part of the day laboring with the laundry. I stopped swinging the jeans and stood smiling back at them, yeah man, I showed them who they dealing with, I mean, I am not just some educated city boy. The woman that had asked me to help shook she head and went back to she own laundry, the rest of the women laughed and went back to their washing. I set the jeans down next to one of the pile of clothes as the women started to sing.

“Down by the river side, down by the riverside, down by the riverside” I remembered that song me grandmother used to sing it every time she was doing a chore. Further down the river there was a group of children playing, it was deeper down there because one of the boys was waist deep in the gently moving water. He was holding a crayfish in his hand and the younger children were looking at it too afraid they would be pinched. Up on the hill on the other side of the river, banana trees swayed in the slight breeze causing the big leaves to whistle like farmers on harvest day. A shirt escaped the rocks and floated towards the children, one of the women, she was bout me own age, skipped from rock to rock until she was able to retrieve the run away garment. She skipped back to the other women and we eyes locked for a second but she looked away with a shy smile on she face. I thought of Jane, man, I wished she was here because I knew I would be able to find a romantic spot round here for sure. The children had left the river and were disappearing into the bushes so I got up and walked past the women.

“It was nice helping you ladies,” I said as I walked away.

“Wha,” Said the woman that had asked me to help. “All Ah saw was you standing dere daydreaming while de rest of we work.” The women all laughed they voices echoing down the river valley. I smiled and waved being careful not to fall into the river, they were still whispering when I reached the banks, damn women, I bet them gossips were talking bout me.

I walked back to the house and into the backyard, there was a bench under a skinup tree so I sat in it and looked down into the valley, birds flew by, they wings flapping loudly as they went, a donkey brayed in the distance as it hauled bunches of bananas. I sat there thinking bout what had happened to me in the last three weeks, who would have thought that I would turn to an Obeah woman to help solve a problem, me Mr. Big shot teacherman, maybe I was searching for something, maybe I was not satisfied with who I was, who knows man, but I tell you what, I had to stick this out and if anything it will be a learned experience.

I heard laughter at the front of the house so I got up and went to see what was happening, two of the boys from the river were out there with three other children playing with marbles. They saw me standing there and immediately started whispering among themselves, then they stopped, looked over at me as if they wanted to say something. One of the bigger boys was pushing a little girl towards me, she was wearing a pair of shorts with patches on it she long hair tied back in a bun and she blue blouse hung loosely above she navel. She looked no more than seven year’s old, poor little thing walked over to me visibly afraid, she stopped in front of me she big brown eyes shifting from side to side.

“Mister, Sylvester want to know if you go play wid us?” she asked pointing to the tallest boy, I smiled at she and she turned and ran back to she little group, so I walked over to them and one of the boys handed me some of his marbles.

“You boys better watch out, I used to be the greatest marble player, schoolyard reigning champ.” The tallest boy smirked,

“Well lets go den, ole mon” he said rolling he marble towards the ring on the ground in front of us.

I spent the rest of the day playing with them children stopping only to eat, I mean, I felt rejuvenated, like a child again. They became more comfortable and with their comfort came wild arguments bout who was winning, or losing or any small reason to scream at each other. I did not see Alison or any of the adults for the rest of the day and that was fine with me because I did not want to worry bout what was in store for me that night.

The afternoon wore on and the children finally grew tired so we sat in the yard eating plumbs and mangoes until they parents began calling them they voices echoing through the valley causing dogs to bark, each child scampered to their feet and ran off. Soon I was alone watching the sun disappear behind the mountain, a Bob Marley song was playing loudly on a Hifi down the street, ever so often laughter and the sound of dominoes hitting a table disturbed the peace. I started thinking bout the woman in white, would she appear to me here, or would the chance of fighting with the Obeah spiritualists keep she away? I mean, despite me skepticism I felt safe here, that disturbed me a bit because in the back of me mind I still thought what I was doing was uneducated and counter-productive.

I was deep in thought when Alison walked up to me, the late afternoon sun had given way to the early evening and the moon hung over the peak of the hillside, Alison looked down at me,

You better get ready,” she said and turned and walked away, that girl puzzled me, all this time she spent trying to get me up here and now that I was here she rarely said a word to me. I went into the house and changed me clothes, it was a new suit, creamy white and starched stiff for so. The drummers had already begun playing the rhythmic beat came and went as the wind whipped through the valley.

I sat there for what seemed like forever thinking at first it was bout me mother and then bout Jane, man, I sure miss seeing she smile, feeling she fingers touch me face, I tell you what just thinking bout she made me relax. The chickens in the backyard clucked and flapped their wings as a dog went through the yard, the mutt was panting and growling, it sounded like he was just as afraid of the chickens as they were of him. The door to the bedroom opened and Alison walked in she was wearing a white dress as milky white as me own outfit.

“Come Mista Dickens,” she said and walked out of the room. We trekked up the hill and I was afraid as hell but at least this time I was more sure footed.

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Pics with verse Storyteller

The Mighty River Photo by Joshua Murdock

The Mighty River Photo by Joshua Murdock

Here where I live, the mighty Ohio River is nestled between Huntington West Virginia and South Point Ohio, slowly meandering along, reflecting the brilliance of the early Appalachian evening.

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Storyteller

From the novel Ladiablesse

The people in the procession began dancing to the rhythm of the drums their movement slowly becoming more emphatic, long white gowns covered their feet making it seem like they were floating. As the old woman danced by the crowd some of them reached out and touched she others jerked they bodies uncontrollable.  The old woman stopped in front of the woman with the chicken, she took the fowl and spun it round over she head its neck snapped sending its body flying through the air. One of the men danced over to its twitching body, picked it up and drained a couple of drops of blood into a silver cup. Everyone in the circle was dancing now they bodies twisting and turning, they faces contorted yet no sound came out of they mouth. The old lady took the cup from the man and approached me and I was forced to me knees by a strong pair of hands, sweat poured down me body like I was in an invincible shower or something, I tried to get up but the hands were still holding me down. The old lady danced towards me, the cup raised above she head, she white dress twirling round she ankle, she eyes were so big they almost looked like stars that had fallen from the sky. I struggled against the hands holding me, but it was fruitless.

The old woman stood above me tilting that bloody cup, I closed me mouth, hell they were going to have to force feed me that damn potion. Someone held me head back causing me mouth to open and I felt the liquid fall into me mouth, oozed down me tongue and hit the back of me throat. Some of it escaped out of the side of me mouth and I brought me hand up and tried to wipe it away, a woman in the crowd was screaming she voice echoed in me head, the old lady was chanting imploring the spirits to come to me aid. Someone pulled me head further back causing some of the liquid to flow into me nose, I swallowed quickly so as to stop meself from drowning, I mean, what the hell were they trying to do kill me or something? The sweet, sticky liquid went down me throat settling heavy on me stomach and I fell forward coughing me head spinning like crazy.  The rhythm of the drums ran through me like a raging river and to top things off I sprang to me feet and started dancing round the circle me body twisting in ways I did not know it could. I bumped into other dancers as I swung me arms around, then I felt it, this strange tingling feeling. It was the same damn feeling I had when the woman in white appeared to me, me head felt as if it had floated off of me body and I was looking down on the circle, the crowd became one big blur of slow deliberate movement and God help me but my head felt like the one time I tried smoking ganja. 

The moon looked like it was bouncing round in the sky. It was then I realized that I was trashing round on the ground looking up at the starry abyss, sparks from the fire floated in the air above me, stopped then dropped to the ground some landing on me, but I felt nothing.  Me stomach felt as if someone had placed a sack of rocks on it and soon I was throwing up me chest burning as the bile erupted form me stomach, then I lay there not moving the sour taste in me mouth the only thing I was aware of.

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Pics with verse Storyteller

Swiming

Swiming

Only the ducks came out to play.