From “My Father’s Shadow”

Andre ran down Eastern Parkway, he ran until none of the buildings looked familiar to him, and then he stopped and stooped over breathing hard.
“Bouy, you run fas for so,” The shadow said. Andre looked around; there was a bodega on the corner of the street. Some older boys were standing at the door. They looked over at Andre and started walking towards him. Andre looked at the shadow; its eyes were suddenly bright red. The boys walked up to Andre, 
“You lost little man?” One of them asked. Andre did not respond.
“Whats wrong homeboy can’t you talk?” The grease from the boy’s hair ran down his forehead leaving dark spots on his denim shirt.
“Why are you in our hood, you trying to move in on our turf?” the boy said advancing,
“I is just teking a walk,” Andre said, The boy looked at his friends.
“You one of them island boys?”
Where do you live young blood?”
“On Eastern Parkway,”
“You want to have some fun?”
“Don interfere wid me, I is a good fighter,” Andre said as he stpped back and raised his fists.  The boys laughed,
“Come on little man, you can hang with us,” the boy said and put his hands on Andre’s shoulder.
They walked past the bodega and down a side street.

They arrived at an abandoned apartment building and went inside. As they walked by open doors Andre saw people lying on broken beds or mattresses on the floor. A young man sat scratching himself as if a colony of ants were crawling all over him. Some shook violently, cursing as they did,
“Wah wrong wid dem?” Andre asked
“They want the white ghost,”
“Eh?” Andre asked,
“They want crack,” the boy said. Andre followed them into an empty apartment with other boys and girls walking around aimlessly. They stopped and looked at him. .
“Who dat?” one of the girls asked,
“This here is island boy,”
“He cute,” the girl said,
“Back off crack whore,” The boy said pushing the girl away, she fell to the ground,
“Screw you G-money,” the girl said,
“Want to have some fun island boy?’ He asked as they sat down in a corner and handed Andre a forty ounce from a cooler. Andre hesitated. The shadow eyes appeared next to him,
“Go on me bouy, tek it,” Amdre took the bottle and took a drink,
“Ewww, dats nasty,”
“Keep drinking shorty, it will make you feel nice,” G Money said and tilted the bottle up towards Andre’s mouth. Andre coughs,
“Don want anymore,”
“Come on bro drink up,” G-Money as his friends laughed and chorused his encouragement.
“Yeah man live a little,” one of the girls said
“Like dey say, live a liccle,” the shadow said. Andre closed his eyes and tilted the bottle,
“Chug chug chug,” the boys and girls shouted.
Later that night Andre stumbled around going from one dilapidated apartment to the next. Sad faces and blank stares looked at him,

“Go away!” A half naked woman screamed as she reached to put on her blouse. A man materialized in front of him,
“Get to fuck out of here,” he said and slammed the door in Andre’s face. Each apartment had people in it some sticking needles in their arms, some sniffed on lines of white powder. In one apartment two men got into a fight and the others pushed them off as they stumbled around the room. The strung out girl from before walked up grabbed his arm and pulled him into an apartment.  A mattress lay on the floor; someone had peeled the paint out off the walls, yellow light from a lamp created shadows across the room. She pushed him onto the mattress. Andre fell backwards the room spinning around him. The girl was pulling his pants down, Andre tried to resist but he was too drunk. He felt the cool air against his warm skin, and then he felt her warm mouth down there. A rat scurried across the floor and disappeared into a hole in the corner.He tried to push her head away, but his body felt like it was on fire and his heart slammed against his chest. Then the girl was on top of him moving. His head felt hot, then his body tensed up and every vein throbbed. The girl rolled off of him and he passed out.

From “My Father’s Shadow” work in progress.

“Why you keep talking to youself bouy?” she asked her face contorted with anger.
“No reason,”
“Let us go, you go get the worse licks you ever had,” she said and grabbed his hand.
Andre sat on his bed, his butt was sore but he did not cry he was too angry.
“You O K?” the shadow asked
“Go away and never come back,”
“Hey I is you friend you know,”
“Friends don get friends in trouble,”
“Hey Wait a second, is me who help you wid de bully, is me who help you stand up to the priest, is me who is you only friend, is me who understand you,” the shadow said. Andre heard his mother talking outside his door. He crept to the door and pressed his ears against it, his mother as sobbing and one of her friends tried to console her.
“It go be O K Monica,” a voice said,
“Yes gul, god is good and he go find a way to save you bouy,” another woman said. He recognized the voice to be Miss Dora the Obeah woman,
“I pray every day every blessed day,” his mother said,
“It is time you have the priest bless him,” Another voice said.
“Dat’s dat nosey yanky woman from next door,” the shadow said,
“Shhhhh! Andre responded,
“Gurl, wah you need is a good Obeahman to tek de curse outa he you know, me uncle is a real good Obeahman,” Miss Dora said,
“I am telling you Monica, the church is the best way to deal with this,” the Yanky woman said. Andre moved away from the door.
“ohhh dey  go tek you to de Obeahman for sure dis time,” the shadow said. Andre paced in front of the bed.
“You fraid ah de Obeahman?” The shadow asked. Andre did not respond. He sat on the bed, and then got up again, this time he paced faster.
“I know, run away bouy, run befoe dey tek you to de Obeahman. He go mek you drink bitter tea, and de blood from a goat,” Andre stopped and looked at the shadow.
“He go turn you into a Zumbie and mek you he slave,” the shadow insisted, Andre sat on the bed again.
“He go mek Chango tek you soul, eat the guts of a donkey,”
“Dey don do dat,” Andre said,
“How you know, you ever go to a meeting eh?
“Wah I go do? Andre said as he sat on the bed again.
“I know, you could run away, run before the Obeahman get you,” the shado insisted
“Wey I go go?’
“Who care eh? Jus go bouy before you is de living dead,” Andre went to his dresser and started packing some cloths,
“You don have time for dat bouy, just go,” Andre dropped the pants he was holding, looked around then climbed out the window.

From “My Father’s Shadow”

Andre woke up to voices in the living room. He got up and opened the door. His mother was talking to a man,
“Fada, I don know wah I go do wid him, is like de child possessed or sumting,” she said in between sobs.
“I thought bringing him here woulda change he, but he is still bad, fada, I don know what to do I tek him to church, I give him good licks, I sent him to stay wid he aunt, but notten works. Sumtimes he acting jus like he fada you know”
“Sister Monica, God works in mysterious ways, I am sure your son will be fine,” the man said, Andre creped down the hall and peeped into the living room. A priest sat on the couch, his silver hair combed like a bridge over his bald spot. His mother paced in front of him a mere shadow in the light from the window.
“Bring him to confession on Sunday, there is nothing pray can’t fix.” He said. Andre turned and walked back to his room and flopped onto his bed. He heard the front door close and he got up and went to the window and opened the curtain. The priest walked across Rochester Avenue and got into a small car and drove off. Andre went back to the bed and sat down.
“Ohhh Ohhh, you in real trouble now.” The shadow said, “Is you fraid?”  Andre sat up,
“I not fraid of notten,” He shot back,
“Ohhh, liccle man ha some balls all of a sudden eh? The shadow said snickering.
“Don laugh at me you know, cause I go…”
“You go do what eh?” the shadow said. “Is me who teaching you to be a man and don forget it,” The shadow said. Andre’s mother opened the door.
“Who is you talking to bouy, who in dey wid you?” His mother asked walking into his room, her long straight black hair swayed as she moved.
“Nobody,” he replied,
“Bouy, why you always talking to youself eh?’
“I don know,”
“I is real disappointed in you you know, why you always misbehaving for eh?” she asked. Andre hung his head,
“I don know,”
“Every ting is I don know I don know. Bouy you is getting to be a big man you know, time you start acting like one,” She said reaching out to rub his head. Andre smiled,
“I know mamie, I promise I go try me best,”
“Sunday we go go to church and you going to confession, the fada say he go talk to you,” she said,
“O K mamie,” Andre said,
“Now come help me make super, I getting real hungry,” Andre got up and followed his mother to the kitchen.

Segment of New work in Progress. “My Father’s Shadow”

Andre was getting ready to go to the student union,

“Wah you so happy for?” the shadow asked,

“A gurl man ah gurl,”

“You too excited bout dis one why?”

“She real nice,” Andre said. The shadow moved out of the dark and stood next to him in front of the mirror. Its body fluctuated between black and grey.

“Its bout time, you need to settle down,”

“Wah you say, I thought you said a real man don settle wid one woman eh?”

“What, are you questioning me, listen you are grown now time to start a family, a man needs a home base,”

“Oh so now you saying dat I should stick to one woman?” The shadow moved to in front of him and for the first time slapped him in the chest. A chill ran through Andre’s body. He stepped away from the shadow,

“Wah you trying to make me afraid of you?” he asked, the shadow slapped him again,

“You should be, remember I control everything, what you think, what you feel. Like I said you are a grown man now, things are going to be different from here on out,”

“hey am me own man, you don control me and don you forget dat, you hear,” The shadow swung his arm knocking some books off the dresser.

“You don talk to me like dat bouy. I been like you fada for the last ten years and don tink because you got big dat I don have no say in wah you do,”

“To hell with you,”

“Or is it to hell wid you huh, jus because you full ah education and you talking like a white man now don mean you is a bigman.” Andre walked to the door,

“You cant escape me not night or day,” Andre closed the door behind him and walked down the hall, the shadow was right beside him, running along the wall.

Andre arrived at the student union and looked around. He spotted her in the far corner; she was wearing a sun dress, no makeup and sandals. He walked up to her and for a moment she did not acknowledge him.  He stood there feeling stupid,

“Is dis her, man I tink you wasting you damn time here. She stuck up for so,”

“Am going to handle dis,” Andre responded. The shadow started to move behind her and Andre stepped closer to her. She turned around and smiled.

“I see you made it huh?”

“Why wouldn’t I?”

“Why would you?”

“Well if you here den am here,” Andre said.

“Oh dear lord, is dat de best you could do eh? You sound like a bloody stupidy,” the shadow said. Andre looked at him crossed eyes,

“Stay out of dis,”

“What did you say?” the girl asked,

“I sadi what is you name?’

“Claudette,” she said walking away. The shadow followed her and lifted its hand like he was going to smack her but. Andre ran up top her passing through the shadow,

Where to now?” he asked. She turned around and smilled at him.

“Your call,” she said.

“I know de perfect spot, you want to go,”

“Where is it?”

“Leh me surprise you,” he said as he walked ahead of her. She follows him.

From that day on they spent as much time as they could together. Andre was happy; he had stopped chasing girls and had slowed down on his drinking. Claudette was a nice girl and he tried his best to show her the utmost respect.

Wah wrong wid you bouy” the shadow asked. Andre ignored him, “Don ignore me damn it,”

“What do you what?” Andre asked

“OHhhh listen to de island bouy wid he high affluent talk, What do you what?” The shadow said,

“You jus jealous dat’s all,” Andre said going into the bathroom of the small dorm room. He turned on the light but as soon as he sat down on the toilet seat the shadow walked through the closed door.

“Who you tink you is eh? Did you tink you go become a bigshot and leave old shadow behind. Never, I go be here and dere is notten you could do about it,”

“Oh really, we go see bout that,” Andre barked back. Suddenly the shadow was right in front of him, its red eyes floating before him. The shadow inhaled and blew. A small puff of black escaped its mouth. Andre tried to move away, but the small cloud went into his nose and mouth stifling him,

“Nobody gets away from me, nobody leaves me behind. Wey you go I go, who you marry I marry, when you shit I take I is shitting too.” The shadow said. Small puff of black came out of his white mouth. Andre sucked in hard but inhaled nothing.

“Ah could kill you right now if Ah is ready to,” the shadow said then inhaled and the puff of black trailed out of Andre’s mouth and he inhaled.

“Now I is in charge and know dis, you could fight all you want but I go win in de end.” The shadow disappeared, small puffs of black floated in front of Andre. The light came back on and he got up and stumbled back to his bed. He lay there for a second to catch his breath then got up, went to his dresser and got a small bottle of rum and drank the whole thing.


Never Alone, Always Changing

Mother nature lit up the sky with gray, silver, blue and white, just to create shadows across the sand, across the still ocean, on the colourful wooden houses. Shadow that follows you as if running from the dark. Shape shifting as you walk on the narrow roadway. Some as if protecting you, other as if attacking. But you don’t mind because you are walking in a world alive and ever changing.

Cool Runnings Storyteller

40th Installment of La Diablesse

I woke up in complete darkness, I tried to move but there was no room for me to do it, I attempted to sit up, but I bumped my head on a wooden surface. I laid down trying to figure out where I was, it was quiet I could not even hear the ocean, that is when I realized that I was buried deep under the earth. I began to scream, but the sound just bounced off the top of the coffin and came back to me, so I lay there accepting my fate. Time went by and I heard a noise above me, started screaming again and the noise grew closer and closer until I heard something hard hit the top of the coffin. The lid opened and standing above me were three women in white, they reached in and pulled me out and I found myself floating in the air out to sea and into the ocean. I remember hitting the water thinking that I would drown, but I was surprised that I was able to breathe under the sea. They took me to Larilokan where I met Erzulie Frieda and the other goddesses and that is how I ended up here. I was dead but because my soul was so tortured the goddesses gave me power to roam the earth helping other women like me who are shunned by the living. I thought maybe doing what I do would help them find some peace of mind in the after life. They come from all over, all periods of time trying to find a place they belong, virgins wanting to move on to the other side and I am here to help them.”

She got up and walked round the Alter she white dress pronounced in the darkness, the torches flickered and cracked as a mild wind swept through the cave. I watched she as she walked, she dress smoothed out the sand behind she feet tears rolling down she cheeks. She stopped in the far corner and turned back and glided up to the Alter.

“I don’t expect you to sympathize with us Mr. Dickens, but some things you have no control of and you must now accept your fate, look at it as if you are sacrificing yourself for others, you always wanted to help others, now this is your chance.” She looked down at me waiting to see if I would answer, bloody hell woman, I did not volunteer for this.

“I will not give my life for what you see as a noble cause. You have no right to decide when I should live or die. Doing this makes you no different from the slave masters that tortured you,” I retorted, she looked at me a little disappointed, Jesus; did she expect me to say I understood or something?

“Suit yourself Mr. Dickens. The warriors will love having you to themselves. You will be their best present yet.” Having said that she picked up the tray turned and walked out, I sat there not knowing if I should feel anger or pity towards she, I mean she story was the most horrid I had ever heard but because I was raised with the colonialists ideals does not make it logical for these women to kidnap me for they bloody ceremonies. I lay down on the alter but sat up when I heard a shuffling in the direction of the entrance, I squinted trying to see if anyone was there. A shadow shifted behind the light of the torches I kept looking expecting someone to come out of the darkness but no one did. I looked at the entrance for a few more minutes and finally decided that no one was there. I lay down on the rock facing the entrance I tell you what if any of them came in to attack me I would be ready for them but I soon fell asleep, the whole time I had images bout how I would escape.


Father’s Shadow

From that day on they spent as much time as they could together. Andre was happy; he had stopped chasing girls, and had slowed down on his drinking. Claudette was a nice girl, and he tried his best to show her the utmost respect.          

            Wah wrong wid yuh boi” the shadow asked. Andre ignored him, “Don ignore me damn it,”

            “What do you want?” Andre asked

            “OHhhh listen to de island boi wid he high affluent Yankee accent, What do you want?” The shadow said,

            “You jus jealous dat’s all,” Andre said trying to sound more like his old self, like an islander then got up and went into the bathroom of the small dorm room. He turned on the light but as soon as he sat down on the toilet seat The Shadow walked through the closed door.

            “Who yuh tink yuh is eh? Did yuh tink you go become a bigshot and leave old shadow behind. Never, I go be here and dere is notten yuh could do about it,”

            “Oh really, we go see bout that,” Andre barked back. Suddenly the shadow was right in front of him, its red eyes floating right in front of his nose. The shadow inhaled and blew. A small puff of black escaped its mouth. Andre tried to move away, but the small cloud went into his nose and mouth stifling him,

            “Nobody gets away from me, nobody leaves me behind. Wey yuh go I go, who yuh marry I marry, when yuh shit I is shitting too.” The Shadow said. Small puff of black came out of his white mouth with every word. Andre sucked in hard but inhaled nothing.

            “Ah could kill yuh right now if Ah is ready to,” The Shadow said then inhaled and the puff of black trailed out of Andre’s mouth he saw it go into The Shadows mouth and down to its stomach.

            “Now I is in charge and know dis, yuh could fight all yuh want, but I go win in de end.” The Shadow disappeared, small puffs of black floated in front of Andre for a second. The light came back on and he got up and stumbled back to his bed. He lay there for a second to catch his breath, then got up, went to his dresser, and got a small bottle of rum and drank the whole thing.  


From Father’s Shadow

Andre walked into the basement party. Justine sat at a table with some of her friends. He walked up behind her and touched her on the shoulder. She turned around, stood up, and hugged him, he squeezed her for a second, she smelled like lilac. She motioned to an empty chair next to her and he sat down. No sooner had he sat down the DJ began to play Digital Underground,

            “Do the Humpty Hump!!”  She said, “That’s my song!” she screamed and grabbed Andre’s hand and pulled him to where a small group of people were dancing. .Justine was pushing her butt back on him when another girl walked up to them.

            “Who is she?” the girl asked, snapping her fingers at Andre,

            “Who is you?” Andre retorted,

            “Don’t play dumb with me Andre,” she screamed,

            “Who is she?” Justine asked,

            “Don pay no mine to she,” Andre tried to keep dancing, but the girl persisted,

            “Boy you had better not act a fool in here, now tell me who is she?” Andre pushed the girl away. She stumbled back bumping into some of the other partiers. She walked up to Andre and pushed him. He back handed her then stood looking at his hands, surprised at what he did,

            “Now dats what a man should do, put dem omen in dey place,” the shadow shouted above the music. Justine turned and ran up the stairs. Andre followed her. She went into the bathroom and locked the door,

            “Justine, Open de door!”

            “Go away,”

            “Come on talk to me,”

            “You are nothing but a man whore,” Justine screamed,

            “What you say?”

            “Go away!”

            “Hey yuh go let dat oman talk to yuh like dat?” The Shadow asked,

            “Shut up, let me handle dis,” Andre said, then stopped himself when he realized that everyone looked at him like he was crazy.

            “Come on Justine,”

            “Screw you!”

            “Boi, she disrespecting you for so, everybody looking at yuh”             “I said shut you bloody mout!” Andre yelled at the shadow. More people filed into the narrow hallway. Andre kicked the door,

            “Come babe, open de door,”

            “Go screw yourself!” Justine screamed,

            “Dam boi, she have a filthy mout real bad,” the shadow said, “I tink she need a box in she mout yuh know,” the shadow persisted. Some of the onlookers were laughing.

            “Boi, she making you a papishow, look how dey laughing at yuh,” the shadow said. Suddely the door flung open and Justine reached out and slapped Andre. His whole body felt hot as laughter filled the hallway. Before she could close the door he jammed it with his foot, and forced his way into the bathroom.

            “Gul don act stupid, I told you Ah don know who she is.” Justine punched him in the stomach. Andre reached out and grabbed her by the throat and pushed her against the wall. A bowl with tooth brushes fell to the linoleum floor.

            “Look here bitch, don embarrass me like dis you hair. I is the man in this relationship and I go do what I want damn it.” Justine began to gag, but Andre squeezed harder.

            “From now on don ever talk to me like dat and don put you dam hands on me either, you hear me,” he said, getting close to her face. She struggled until he let go then bent over gasping for breath. The flimsy door shook as someone banged on it.

            “Justine, you O k?” one of her friends yelled.

            “Mind your own business bitch!” Andre screamed back,

            “Dats how yuh do it,” the shadow said. “Put dem bloody bitches in dey dam place.”

            “Now lets go have some fun and don make an ass ah youself,” Andre said, took her hand and dragged her out of the bathroom. She escaped his grip and ran out opf the house, he chased after her but she was gone when he got outside. Andre stood on the sidewalk. His hands were shaking, sweat ran down his face, his eyes felt like hot lava had settled in them. He turned and looked back at the house. Several people stood at the Iron Gate looking at him, they were just burs with sound. He looked down at his hands,

            “I hit a woman!” he mumbled to himself. A car drove by, it must have lost its muffler because the sound of the engine was deafening. Andre’s heart raced up, fear, confusion, disgust, feelings he had felt before but not all in one rush,

            “I may just be my father’s son,” he muttered

            “And wah wrong wid dat?” The Shadow said, “Embrace it, its your legacy, its yuh fada’s legacy. Dat bitch should have known she place, yuh did noting wrong boi,” The shadow reflected off the road, its dark form surrounded by the florescent glow from the street light.

            “I hit a woman,” Andre repeated, turned and walked back towards his house.

POEMS Storyteller

Never Gone

Never Gone

Sometimes in the early Morning
I can hear you moving around in my kitchen
On a quiet Sunday afternoon
I can hear you singing your hymns
And when I think I may be doing something wrong
I hear you say “Anderson”
And in a moment of weakness
When I think I want to be a lady’s man
You let me know I should respect women
When I am walking in fear and my soul is lost
Somehow you let me know you are near
my protector, my teacher, my friend
So tonight I will look to the heavens
See your shadow in that bright light
As you look down on this tumultuous earth
To make sure your love ones are safe
You protected us in life, as you still do in afterlife
Mother of all mothers
Queen of all queens


Choices, Choices

So I have been working on two projects at the same time, Father’s Shadow and Disorganized Crime and it has been slow going. So I had to make a choice, I decided to work on one and finish that one. I believe I will work solely on…. Disorganized Crime, I am getting into that one way more than Father’s Shadow because am having fun writing about bumbling criminals.  I will post small parts in the coming weeks. Hope you enjoy.