Its raining today so a little mellow reggae for the mood.
Ahhhhh what a cheeky phantom this La Diablesse is. She waited until Ian was all relaxed from his little romance to reveal herself again. Now the real struggle begins. What is she going to do now, will she just follow him, turn him into the village crazy person. Tune in Wednesday to see.
It was late afternoon and the sun was not as hot as it was earlier in the day. Jane held me hand and I could tell she was a lot more at ease. In the distance we heard gunshots but they did not seem to frighten she as much as they did earlier, I mean the girl grew up in West Virginia them mountains were known for a lot of hunting. We walked back to me house and got there in time to sit at the window and watch the sun fall into the imaginary line in the ocean.
Days went by and Jane had practically moved into me house I sure didn’t mind because she made the house smell like a flower garden. The medical school had gone back to its regular classes though some of the students had left the island, damn cowards were acting like the islanders were going to hurt them or something. Ken’s brother was back I would see him walking in the yard wearing the dirty green uniform of the People’s Revolutionary Army. He would wave at me and shout,
“Long live de revolution,”
I had gotten involved with some of the educational programs instituted by the new government, I mean these people seemed like they would try to do some good, I even spent some of me weekends helping the farmers and them, I tell you what working all day on the banana plantations was a real humbling experience. It amazed me how happy them people was, getting up at the crack of dawn, working until the sky turn gray and the stars twinkled in the sky, damn people had plenty resolve.
Slowly everyone was settling down to the way things were well except for the damn American government they were not too happy at all bout the change in leadership. President Carter had given a speech bout how the communists had taken over the island and somehow the civilized world had to stop the movement of the ungodly system that was spreading through the Caribbean and South America. The former Prime Minister was in exile in New York and was trying his best to trump up support to get rid of the new government. Soon Russians and Cubans came to the island claiming to help build it up I mean why in the hell didn’t them so called super powers leave we alone. Some of the people were not too happy bout them being there but most did not seem concerned with they presence.
I saw Alison at school every day; she was not as intense as she used to be the suspicious look replaced by an odd smile, Mr. Hopson quit and had moved to America, good riddance to bad karma. I even started participating in the military maneuvers the army held to train the people to defend the country in case of an invasion, still I was real cautious bout dealing too much with them, I mean all them damn guns in the hands of young people was not the best thing for the country. Jane sometimes helped with teaching classes with the older people who had not finished they schooling and she seemed to be enjoying sheself, I tell you what, that woman was not only beautiful but she was real generous too. Life was beginning to get back to some kind of normalcy.
One late afternoon, when the island was quiet and the sun hung overhead like a big eye looking down on the ocean, I took Jane to the northern part of the island where me father’s family had come from. It was early April and the landscape was lawn green spotted with while flowers everywhere. We went to a beach where my father used to take us whenever I visited him that was the only happy times I remembered with that man. About two miles off the show was an island, it was not your typical island, in fact in was a rock about one mile long surrendered with very little beach but was plush with forest like vegetation. It looked like the peak of a mountain standing out of the sea bout three quarter of a mile high with a flat top where people would have picnics while looking out at the ocean. We rented a boat from one of the fishermen and rowed the two miles out. I had packed a basket of lunch with a bottle of French wine I had gotten from a fisherman who moonlighted as a smuggler toting wine to South American bars. The sea was unusually choppy for April and the small boat rolled from side to side like crazy, causing Jane to hold on. She had this big smile on she face she hazel eyes alight with excitement. The basket of food slid back and forth on the boats bottom and I used me foot to jam it against the side of the boat.
When we got close to the island I jumped out of the boat intending to pull it the rest of the way in but I miscalculated how deep the water was and sank like a frigging anchor. I struggled to the surface almost hitting me head against the side of the bobbing craft, man, what a clumsy idiot I was. Jane laughed tears rolling down she cheeks and I started to laughed too but swallowed a mouthful of the salty ocean, I grabbed hold of the boat and fought against the waves kicking me legs real hard. After a brief struggle I managed to get the little craft close enough to the beach where me feet touched the sand and I walked the rest of the way pulling the boat behind. I pulled it onto the beach, the waves swirling causing me to lose me grip several times, Jane jumped out of the boat and helped me pull it rest of the way. I plopped down on the sand, exhausted,
“Are you alright?” she asked standing over me, I looked up at she the sun blinding me momentarily.
“Wow, now that was a bomboclart struggle,” I said getting to me feet. I walked over to the boat, reached in and picked up the basket and we made the short trek from the beach to the middle of the island. Birds with white feathers and long legs flew into the air as we went by them the bloody things squawking like crazy, me clothes and me dreadlocks stuck to me skin and I was a little chilly as the wind swept through the little island, Jane walked behind me picking seaweed from me back laughing. There were other people on the island some were playing soccer on the other side man them people sure like to scream when they playing. We got to the base of the hill and looked up,
“You up for a short climb?” I asked. She looked at me smiled and began to climb up the rocks that stuck out on the hill like steps, I followed she watching she body move gracefully up the steep incline.
When we got to the top of the hill Jane found the first spot she could and sat down breathing real hard. I sat the basket down next to she and looked round, there were small trees most bout nine to ten feet tall spotted round on the hilltop that was bout two or three hundred yards wide, the grass was thick and soft when it was touched felt like a plush carpet under me foot. I walked over to the edge of the hill and looked down, trees grew out of the side of the hill and the ocean crashed against the rocks bout forty feet down. I looked out at the endless blue sky that was spotted with white cotton candy like clouds, birds flew over the ocean squawking as they head out to sea. I walked back over to where Jane was sitting and dropped down next to she.
“This is beautiful; it is just like what I have seen in the travel brochures.” She leaned she head on me shoulder and we sat there watching a windjammer boat as it struggled against the chopping sea, it lay deep in the water obviously overloaded with cargo that was being shipped to another island. We heard the voices of the people playing soccer on the beach below; children screaming as the waves came ashore crashing into them. I got up and opened the bottle of wine and poured us drinks, Jane took the glass smiling at me, the wind roared through the trees behind us and swept out to sea taking the voices of the people with it, then it died down and the happy screams were loud again. I looked at Jane she was beautiful with the sun bouncing off she tanned skin, she glanced at me my heart was racing so fast I felt it throbbing in me neck.
She laid down the glass of wine, leaned over and kissed me, the wind whipped up she hair and it tickled me face, the sun hid behind a cloud, just for a second, then bright against the green blue ocean. Jane hugged me squeezing me for a minute she body was real warm and I felt she heart pounding against me chest. I opened me eyes and when I did I realized that the world was not as grey as it was the day of the revolution, maybe I am finally starting to get used to the political situation or maybe it was being with Jane that put some colour into my world. One of the birds with long legs landed on the grass bout fifteen feet from us its white body blinding me as the sun shimmered off its feathers. Jane let go of me she shirt wet from squeezing me, picked up she glass and took a sip, the red liquid blending in with she dark red lips. I turned me body to face she and we looked at each other without saying a word. I reached out with me hand and brushed me fingers against she face, she skin was so smooth it was like touching solid air. She leaned into me hand kissing me fingers, I lifted she head gently and kissed she and she wrapped she free hand round me neck, she lips tasting like the wine she had just sipped.
We kissed and caressed each other long enough for the sun to drop to where we could look out to sea and look directly into its glow. The wine glasses had fallen leaving trails of red in the green grass, I got up and refilled them and walked out to the edge of the hilltop. Jane came up behind me and interlocked she arm in mine and we stood there watching the sun play hide and seek behind the low clouds, birds gather on the beach below as the people got into they boats and headed back to the mainland, soon all was quite except for the wind rushing through the trees on the hilltop. When it was almost dark and the wine bottle lay empty on the grass. We headed back to the mainland and drove the winding narrow road back to the city
The blue sky had turned into a mass of twinkling stars, Jane had gone into the bathroom and was taking a shower so I walked over to the window and looked out, there it was again, the ocean I could smell the salt in the crisp night air. I leaned out the window and looked into the yard leaves flew round in small whirlpools as the tropical wind swirled round the mango tree. Out of the corner of me eyes I saw the bushes move I thought nothing of it and just kept looking round. There was calypso music coming from inside Ken’s home, it was an old song by the singer the Mighty Sparrow,
“Sink dem ships to the bottom of the ocean Kennedy is de man for dem,” For some reason President Kennedy was real popular on the island, Dexter’s mother was singing along to the words.
The bushes moved again and I focused me attention on it, I mean that damn goat better stay on the other side. Me frigging heart started to race and the hair on the back of me neck seemed to have a life of they own. I reached up with me hand and rubbed me neck and then I watched as the bushes parted like a crowd at a wedding making way for the bride and for god’s sake there she was, the frigging woman in white. I tried to look away but I was fixated on she as she began floating towards me, me breath came in short bursts causing me lungs to burn like crazy and I grabbed hold of the window frame in an effort to stop meself from climbing out. Suddenly I felt someone touch me on the arm I spun round almost knocking Jane down. At first she looked kind of stunned but then she realized that something was wrong and took me hand,
“What is the matter?” she asked looking into me eyes, I raised me arm and pointed to the yard and she looked past me and scanned the yard for a second then looked back at me took me hand and led me to the bed and sat me down man what a relief it was to get off me weakened legs. I began to catch me breath as she rubbed me back, I tell you what, she sure knew how to rub feeling back into someone.
“I saw she again, she was standing in front of the bushes,” I could see the concern in Jane’s face.
“Are you talking about the woman you told me would appear to you?” she asked and I nodded me head me damn eyes felt like they were on fire or something. She said nothing, she just got up and straddled me and pulled me to she, man that woman sure knew how to relax me.
When me breathing was normal and the tension in me chest had gone Jane kissed me and then got up and walked over to the window, I wanted to stop she but I thought if she saw anything then she would not think I was crazy. She peered out the window looked right then left then turned and walked back to me,
“I did not see anything,” she said sitting down next to me and placed she right palm on me forehead.
“You are burning up,” she said getting up and going into the bathroom and returning with a wet washrag, she placed it on me forehead and the cool material sent shockwaves of chills all through me. I shook a little and she removed the rag for a second looking into me eyes.
“It must have been my imagination,” I stuttered but to tell you the truth I felt like someone knocked the frigging wind out of me
“Shhhhh,” she said and placed the rag back on me forehead, I sat and looked at she forcing a weak smile, she smiled back a loving concerned look in she eyes. I reached up and moved she hand and stood up, the whole damn room turned black and I had to sit back down. I laughed a weak laugh flopped back on the bed and looked up at the ceiling, Jane leaned over me looking into me eyes but she disappeared as flashes of the woman in white floating towards the window ran through me mind and I stiffened a little, Jane rubbed me face with she fingers. I closed me eyes and when I opened them I saw Jane’s face but everything round it was a colourful blur. I tried to smile but by the expression on she face I knew she did not believe I was all right. She leaned over and kissed me cheek and for a split second everything seemed real normal, but then me head felt like a hundred little elves were at work at the base of me skull with tiny rubber hammers. I started to drift off and soon I was unaware of me soundings, I mean I went out just like that. When I woke up Jane was sitting on the bed next to me.,I sat up, now I knew how Rip Van Wrinkle felt after forty years of sleep, Jane went to the kitchen and came back with a glass of water with ice in it, I took the glass and sipped the ice cubes clanged round on the crystal
“You feel better?” She asked as she brushed she fingers cross me face. I shook me head and tried to sit up but Jane gently pushed me back down.
“Get some more rest,” she said took the glass then got up and walked away. I lay there I must have slept the whole damn weekend because before I knew it I had to get up and go to the school.
The week went by slowly, classes in the school were uneventful, and the government seemed as if they were settling into a pattern. Alison would sometimes ask me how I was doing but I never told she bout the last encounter. The suspicious expression crept back into she face whenever she spoke to me bout the woman in white, but she never really pressed the issue. Everywhere on the island were young people dressed in military uniforms carrying guns, I mean I even saw a fifteen year old in uniform I didn’t like the fact that them children were carrying guns round.
Ahhhh yes, a little romance can sooth the soul, but did the La Diablesse forget about IAN, DID THE Obeah ritual fight off the curse, or is the phantom woman just waiting, waiting for Ian to get off his high? Come back Sunday to find out.
I don’t want to forget you
But I need to forget you
In the dark as I lay
I can hear your laughter
Echoing in my head
Vibrating through my body
A rhythm of comfort
Or is it torture
When I walk
I can feel your body heat next to me
Making my skin tingle
Making me forget to breathe
Forget that I exist
Wish i exist just for you
But I will try
To reserve myself
To remember to forget you
To forget that I remember you
After supper we went into the yard and sat on the bench in me garden, Little Ken and his friend walked into the yard, they were each holding a string with the afternoon’s catch hanging on it.
“This is not a roadway,” I said and Ken walked over holding up the fish almost splashing us with seawater.
“A lota fish ehh?” he said, dangling the fish in Jane’s face, she laughed and agreed, Little Ken’s friend stood behind him smiling, I pushed the fish away from she face and Ken sucked he teeth.
“Well, is time to cook,” and he turned and walked out of the yard he little friend following. Jane looked over at me,
“Why were you so uneasy when we were walking on that road earlier?” I hesitated, the last thing I wanted was for she to think I was some kind of crazy man or something. She waited and I had no choice but to tell she the whole damn story. I made it clear that I really did not believe in the folktale but when I could not explain what was happening to me I went to Alison’s grandmother. She did not say anything but listened with intense interest until I was done.
“You don’t think I am crazy do you,” she looked up at me and smiled.
“No, it is kind of funny though,” she said, laughing a little. Then she stopped.
“I am not laughing at you, it’s just that where I am from we have our own superstitions and some people truly believe in them. Even I can tell you some stories bout things that have happened to me.” I wanted she to tell me more but she stopped talking as the sound of steeldrums playing filled the air, they always seemed louder in the early evening, we sat and listened to them until it got a bit chilly. We got up and walked into the house and up to me bedroom, I opened the window and the cool breeze from the ocean swept through the room. Jane sat on me bed and watched as I walked round the room lighting the candles I had in every corner, then I walked over to she pulled she up and kissed she. The wind rushed through the trees outside bringing with it the sound of church bells, then we lay down on the bed and cuddled up against each other, she breath tickled me chest as she slowly fell asleep, I dozed off feeling she heartbeat against me body.
I woke up hours later, Jane was still lying on me she hand on me chest and she leg lying across me waist. I had to go to the bathroom real bad so I gently moved her, she resisted a little reluctant to give up she comfortable position, I finally was able to slip away and tiptoed into the bathroom. When I returned I stood over she watching she sleep, she chest was moving up and down gently, she hair spread out on the pillow like a Japanese fan. I walked over to me desk picked up a pen and notepad pulled the chair over to the bed and for the first time in months I started to write. The words came easy, like I had them in me but never could find the right time or situation to write them.
The early morning light was seeping through the window and I was still writing when Jane stirred then opened she eyes and saw me writing.
“Morning,” she said melodic West Virginian accent and all, I smiled and she got up and walked over to me. I reached up and took she hand and she sat down on me and laid she head on me chest.
“Did you sleep well,” I asked and she mumbled in a sleepy voice that sent a small wave of warmth through me.
“Yes,” she said snuggling up to me, then she raised she head again and looked into me eyes,
“I love you,” she said and then rested she cheek on my chest I leaned over and whispered in she ear,
“I love you too,” and I felt the sides of she mouth curl up into a smile. The sun shown through the window creating a square of gold on the wooden floor in front of the bed and soon she was asleep again she breathing deep and slow.
We spent the rest of the weekend never leaving me house I mean there was no real reason to. We talked and laughed till the sun rose above the green hills that overlooked the ocean, I would caress she skin while I kissed she and I swear she lips tasted like I was drinking a cup of hot, sticky caramel. I did everything possible to make those two days last, but on Sunday night we had to part ways, she had to study for an exam and I had bloody papers to grade.
I woke up the next morning feeling like I had slept on a concrete floor, I forced meself out of bed and went into the bathroom, today I get to see Jane and I smiled and did a little dance as I walked through the bathroom door. I stood in front of the sink and saw me reflection in the mirror, bloody hell, I looked like a skeleton with eyes man. I opened the faucet and splashed water on me face the cold liquid ran down me skin waking me up and with a spring in me step I began to get ready to go meet Jane.
By the time I had finished taking a shower and got dressed I was feeling much better singing as I walked out of the bathroom. I went downstairs and into the living room and turned on me stereo they were playing one of me favorite Peter Tosh songs, I went into the kitchen singing along to the lyrics. I looked at me watch and saw that it was almost ten o’clock, the sun shined through the window in the kitchen leaving a smoky golden trail from the window to the kitchen counter. I opened the fridge and took out a sapodilla fruit and bit into it, the juice ran through me fingers and dripped onto the floor, I did not stop to clean it up, I mean, who cares? I was going to see Jane. The beat in the song stopped and I stopped with it and when it started back I jumped and twisted me body, yes, life will be like a bed of roses today. I walked out the door and headed to the beach.
Jane was already sitting on the sand waiting for me, she looked up and saw me and that beautiful smile spread cross she face. I tingled all over as she reached out and took me hand, I pulled she up and our bodies bumped and we almost fell over, she laughed she hair twirling round she neck.
“So what do you have planned for today?” she asked looking into me eyes. I beamed staring into she sparkling hazel eyes.
“I know a spot where no one else goes, we can go there and have a nice quiet afternoon” She squeezed me hand sending what felt like small electric shocks through me.
“Are you doing O.K this morning?” she asked looking at me with some
“I am doing much better right now,” I said swinging she hand. She pulled me towards she and kissed me she lips tasting like bubble gum, they were warm and soft and I closed me eyes trying to savour the moment. We came to the dirt road where I was last night and I felt a little uneasy remembering the woman in white.
“Where is this place,” she said jolting me out of that thought.
“You will see, I think you will love it,” we reached the place where the ocean was crashing against the rocks and the blue water disappeared into the sky in the distance. She stopped and looked round, to the left of us was a grassy field the blades almost as tall as she was, the field slanted downwards to a small beach where a flock of birds floated by on the water just below us. Jane let go of me hand and ran down to the beach, the sand here was not as white as on the other beaches it sparkled black and gray and there were more seashells stuck in the grains. I watched she run she hair bouncing from side to side, man, she had some silky hair, she turned round moving backwards.
“Come on.” She shouted and I followed she. She started to sing an old country song by Glen Campbell and I joined in, she stopped and looked at me surprised.
“How do you know that song?” she asked looking at me.
“My parents loved country music, my mom used to sing them to me when I was little,” she smiled and took me hand and began singing again and we walked down the beach sometimes stumbling over the words. She laughed it was melodic sending more tingles through me, man I tell you what, If I tingled anymore me body would have exploded.
We got to the end of the beach, rocks jutted out into the ocean and the water foamed round them creating a kaleidoscope of dark green, dark blue and black. She jumped on to one of the rocks determined to see what was on the other side. I followed her as she jumped into the sea, the water was waist deep and she struggled to go round the rocks, she stopped realizing that there were more rocks on the other side so she turned round and waded back to me. I took she hand and pulled she out of the swirling tide she blue running shorts clung to she upper thigh. She came back onto the beach and I wrapped me arm round she as she giggled and tilted she head back. She body was warm against me like a blanket on a cold day. She wrapped one of she perfectly shaped legs round the back of me leg leaning she body back like a meringue dancer. I placed the palm of me hand on she back so she did not fall over, she hair hung loosely swinging gentle in the breeze. She pulled sheself back up looking into me eyes still giggling and we began to walk back to the field were the grass was dancing in the wind. I found a clear patch in the tall blades where the sand was white and soft and sat down. She sat with she legs drawn up to she chest looking out at the ocean she eyes wide open with amazement.
“You love the ocean don’t you?” I asked.
“Yeah, But I love the mountains too.” Then she began to tell me bout she home, the big mountains and the green landscape ran for miles, the rolling hills that looked like giant waves against the late afternoon skies, snow covered mountains, brown yellow and orange leaves on lawn in the fall, coal miners coming home covered with coal dust, they were hard working people them West Virginians. She told me about the small town where she went to university, the river that separates Ohio from West Virginia and Kentucky the trains that ran through the middle of the town at rush hours. The city was called Huntington, a small town in comparison to the big cities she had been in America. I listened without interrupting, I had been to America before but I had only been to the large cities. A rowboat went by on the mildly choppy sea the fisherman waved at us a big smile on his face. I lay down on me back trying to picture she descriptions in me head, she looked at me she eyes squinting as she spoke.
“What did you study at Cambridge?” she asked
“English with an emphasis on creative writing,” I replied.
“Do you write poetry?” she asked and I sat up’
“Yeah, but I have not written anything in a long time,”
“I would love to read them some day”, she said and I shook me head smiling at she. We looked at each other not saying a word for bout ten seconds then she took me hand in hers and leaned she head on me shoulder. She raised she head back up and was bout to ask me another question when a yellow and blue butterfly swooped out of the grass and landed on she left knee, she let go of me hand and sat staring at it, then slowly stretched she hand out palm up and used she fore finger to brush the butterfly into it. I lay back down watching she hair, it was a mixture of black and dark brown that cascaded in small waves down to the middle of she back, she moaned in disappointment as the butterfly flew off the palm of her hand and disappeared into the grass, I rose up resting all me weight on me left elbow.
“Why don’t you walk into the grass and shake it,” she looked at me a questioning expression on she face.
“Go ahead, you will really enjoy it,” I said and she got up and walked bout ten yards into the field. She shook the grass and butterflies fluttered into the air surrounding she, blue, green, orange multi coloured butterflies made the grass shimmer in the sunlight man you should have heard the squeal of delight as they glided round she tickling she skin, I sat watching I was smiling so much me cheeks began to ach a little. After bout five minutes the butterflies began to settle back into the grass, she walked back to me and sat down giggling, I lay back down on the sand and we sat in silence. She looked back at me and then lay down next to me resting she leg across me body, she reached out with she hand caressing me face and I closed me eyes for a second enjoying the soft touch of she fingers. I opened them again to see she smiling at me then she leaned over and kissed me, ahh yes there was that bubble gum taste again.
We kissed for what seemed like an eternity stopping when we heard giggling. I looked over she shoulder and saw Ken and another boy standing a little way down the beach holding homemade fishing poles.
‘Afternoon Mr. Dickens,” he said with a big old grin on his face.
“Afternoon Ken,” and he and his companion turned and walked away whispering to each other. Jane smiled then looked out to sea.
“I love being around you,” I sat up and looked at she.
“I love being with you too.” She reached over and took me hand leaning she head on me shoulder. We sat, not saying a word, just enjoying being close to each other.
When the sun was almost down and the dark clouds began to hide the view of the sea I suggested that we leave. We walked down the beach holding hands and stepped onto the dirt road. As we passed the place where I saw white figure I became uneasy, Jane looked up at me but said nothing.
We got to the beach in front of her dorm, I took both she hands in mine and pulled she towards me and kissed she. She leaned into me letting go of me hands and wrapping she own round me neck.
“I don’t really want us to part ways here,” I said and she smiled.
“Me neither,” she replied.
“Well, how about you come over to me house and I cook you the best Caribbean dinner you will ever eat on this island,” she laughed and took me hand.
“This better be as good as your kiss,” she said and I laughed, my voice drowning out the sound of a small boat engine going by on the ocean.
We got to me house and I went right for the kitchen while she took to take a tour of the house, I heard she footsteps going upstairs as she walked round stopping to look at one thing or another. She finally came down stairs and walked into the kitchen.
“Was that a picture of your mother on your desk?” she asked. I nodded.
“She is beautiful,”
“I know,” I said smiling from cheek to cheek. She walked over to a stool that sat at the small counter next to the window. We talked as the scent of the food cooking filled the house and into the yard.
check out the beautiful scenery in this. Love it.
So I was walking to the store this morning in an alley alongside 4th ave when I came up on a dumpster. A man and a woman were there collecting cans and tossing them in a shopping cart. He was wearing a torn and tattered hoodie and jeans and she was wearing a dirty jacket and sweat pants. When they were certain the dumpster was void of any more cans they walked off, the man pushing the cart with one had, while holding the woman’s hand with the other. They were laughing and talking, him looking at her like she was the most beautiful person in the world. Reminded me of a reggae song by Freddy McGregor that says “Mama was poor, Papa for aint got no money, but we go love,”