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Storyteller

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.

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Storyteller

Mommy Charles and the Bam Bam Skinner

The sun was blasting down, so hot when you walk in the sunshine you skin would tingle. Here i was, eight years old on summer break. Mommy Charles had stayed home from work that day and it was just me and she in the house. I don’t quit remember why our nice quiet day deteriorated into a battle of wills,  I mean it could have been because i had stolen the freshly baked bread and hid it in the dresser draw, or, i could have said a word I should not have said, or even I may have stupes (suck my teeth) or looked at her crossed eyed when she tried to discipline me, but here I was, bolting out the back door, Mommy Charles in hot pursuit. I burst out the back door, down the flight of stairs and onto the cobble stoned alleyway. Mommy Charles stood at the doorway looking down at me.

“Wey you tink you go go? She asked, that wait till i get hold of you look on her face. I realized she would not come out after me, she did not have her shoes on. So feeling confident i was safe, i wagged my tongue at her and did a little dance, my skinny legs pumping and twisting like James Brown, I mean it was footwork that even he could not duplicate.

“Ohhh so you mocking me now eh? You just wait.” she said, shook her head and sat down. thus began the staring battle, Mommy Charles on the top of the stairs and me standing in the alley. People walked by, some saying hello others looking at us real strange. Mommy Charles got up and was about to go inside and me and without thinking I committed the most heinous crime an eight year old could. I turned my back to Mommy Charles, bent over, pulled my pants down and skinned my bam bam at she (mooned). I felt the warm tropical sun brush off my bare bam bam sending chill bumps all over my body. I heard Mommy Charles growl, i swear, i say smoke come out she mouth. I pulled my pants up real fast as if afraid to be scotched by she fuming breath.

“Wey yuh tink you go run to eh? Wah you go do, swim to de nex’ island?” That was when all the bravado drained out of me. i thought, lord, where am i going to go to get away from Mommy Charles. She shook her head and walked back into the house. I sat there , on the hot cobble stone alley, my heart pounding as i tried to figure out where i can go. Back then, running away was not an option, I mean where would I go, not to my father’s, hell no. Maybe i can go live on the beach, but damn it the police would catch me and take me home. I can go to the other side of the island, but Mommy Charles had family there. They would not just take me back home, they most likely would have spanked me and then take me home. Either way i was going to take a good licking. I looked around, like an animal caged and about to get spaded. I decided to try and make it to the bedroom that my brother and i shared. i started walking up the stairs but stopped, surely she would be somewhere up there waiting. I went around the house to the front door. I listened pressing my ear against the wood. i heard nothing so i gingerly placed my hand on the door knob and turned it. The bloody door squeaked as I pushed it in.  I poked my head in and looked left and right. A shiver of joy rushed through me. Mommy Charles was nowhere in sight. I moved across the living room floor on my toes trying not to step on any loose floor boards.  i was really excited as i reached the bed room door. I was whispering to myself,

“Oh yes, she tink she smarter dan me, well I go show she.” I was so relieved I was giggling uncontrollably by the time i had the bedroom door opened. I was not going to escape the spanking, but i sure was going to put it off as long as I can. I pushed the door open, leaned in and looked inside, she was not going to trick me by waiting in there. I stood there for a second trying to decide if this was the best hiding place when suddenly i felt a stinging sensation on my bum. I hesitated to look back knowing what i would see. I slowly looked around just in time to see the belt above mommy Charles’s head then closed my eyes and clenched my teeth anticipating the next lash. That damn belt, I had hidden it a few days ago, but here it was, reappearing like voodoo magic, gracefully swinging through the air. I rushed into the bedroom, Mommy Charles stood there for a second as i danced and jumped rubbing my bum with my hands. I tell you what, I learned my lesson, i never back talked or skinned my bam bam at mommy Charles ever again.

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Parts Dirty Immigrant Storyteller

Daddy is an Alien From I am a Dirty Immigrant

One day my son and I were watching one of the Star Trek shows. He was extremely interested in all of the alien characters, so I pulled out my green card. At the time, the words Resident Alien was printed across the front of it. I showed it to him and told him that I too was an alien. I tell you what: I had never seen a kid move that fast, his little feet pumping, eyes as big as two full moons and he stumbled and fell right before he got into the kitchen. He stumbled into his mother’s legs head first and I heard him as he told her that I was an alien because my identification card said so. It took a lot of convincing for him to finally realize that I was teasing him.

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Music I like Storyteller

A little reggae for yuh Saturday Marning, Gwan boi

Sing dat