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Parts Obeah Storyteller

49th Installment of Obeah

The Jab Jabs came in waves, their voices suddenly echoing through the valley, trees shook and swayed, leaves curled as if hiding with fear.

“This way!” Donkor shouted as he pushed around Akosua. Akosua and the others followed fighting off Jab Jabs as they went. The jab Jabs disappeared every time they were struck, but more of them appeared out of thin air. They ran until they were at the edge of the jungle looking down to the middle of the mountain top. It was like looking down on a snow covered field. The Jab Jabs were fast approaching and they turned around to confront the wave of demons. Akosua swung her Machete and two Jab Jabs disappeared, she coughed as the air around her became a mist of ashes. Their red tongues stretched out, their red eyes blazing but somehow seemed lifeless. Akosua jumped down onto the white ground and Henry and the warriors followed her.

The mountaintop echoed with crunches as they landed on the white earth. Kwao hesitated, his back to the Jab Jabs. One of them hurled his body at Kwao and disappeared into him. The boy stumbled forward onto the white ground. He turned and looked at Akosua and stretched his arm out. At first he looked like he was pleading for help, but instead, his expression changed into a menacing stare. Without saying a word he raised his machete and charged at her. Donkor raised his machete just as Kwao brought his down. The sound of metal against metal echoed loudly. Kwao raised his machete again and Donkor stepped back and blocked Kwao’s swing with his machete. Donkor stumbled back leaving Akosua exposed to Kwao’s attack. The boy lunged at Akosua, ash exploded from his mouth. Akosua looked into his eyes it was turning red. His tongue was stretched out; it was slowly changing from pink to red. The change started from the tip of his tongue, and soon his whole mouth was red. Slowly, he began to turn an ashy colour, the change going up his arm to his body. Akosua prepared herself for his charge, but before he got to her Adofo had wrapped his arm around Kwao from behind. Kwao struggled, his eyes completely red, his tongue had turned into blood red and the upper half of his body was ash coloured. He continued to struggled and almost escaped Adofo’s hold, but Donkor had rushed over and grabbed him. Suddenly his whole body jerked and he leaned forward and threw up violently. Grey bile spilled out of his mouth, and the white ground melted as the grey liquid landed on it. Kwao staggered and stumbled backwards as Adofo and Donkor struggled to hold him up. Akosua walked up to him, the bile bubbled on the white ground fizzed, then disappeared. Akosua touched his face and he opened his eyes. She reached into her sack and pulled her Aron. She shook it over Kwao’s head, its sound echoed with the sound of the wind in the trees. Slowly, Kwao began to look like himself again. The red in his eyes dissolved, as puffs of ash floated out of them. His tongue returned to a healthy pink hue as he coughed out ash. The skin on his arm moved as if the ash was rolling around right under it. It trailed down his arm then escaped through the tips of his fingers in small puffs of ash.. He straightened up and looked around.

“What happened?” he asked, Akosua put her Aron back in the sack.

“You were possessed by the Jab Jab,” she said. She turned and looked at the others; they were all facing the Jab Jabs anticipating an attack. The demons stood, as if stopped by an invincible wall, their red eyes wild, and their tongues hanging out of their mouths. Akosua smiled,

“They can’t come over here,” the Jab Jabs stood for a second an indecisive expression on their faces. Suddenly some of them jumped at them, but they exploded in a mist of white. Ash floated to the ground covering the white surface; it fizzed as a thick layer of ashes landed on it. The rest of them turned and walked back into the jungle, exploding into ashes, turning the green leaves to grey. Akosua turned back to the white field. She stooped down and touched the ground. It looked like white stone and she placed a piece of it on her tongue. Her face twisted as she tasted it,

“It’s salt. Was this here when you and my mother came to hide the spear?” She asked, turning to Donkor. The man looked puzzled as he shook his head.

“No, this was all trees and bushes,” he said then looked around.

“There was a passageway to go underground in the middle of the field.” He said and started walking to the middle. A chorus of crunches echoed across the mountain top as they followed him. Donkor stopped, then took a step and suddenly fell feet first into a hole. Adofo tried to grab him, but he too fell into the hole.

“Are you all O K?” Akosua screamed. At first there was no response, and then Donkor spoke.

“This is the place, you will have to slide down the salt tunnel to get here,” he said. Akosua looked around.

“You come with me, the rest of you stand guard up here.” She said, pointing for Henry, the boy and two of the Bokors to follow her.

Akosua twisted and turned as she slid down on the salt. She came to a stop looking up at Adofo and Donkor. They took her arms and pulled her up. Henry and the others slid down after her, stood up and looked around. The ceiling of the cave was about twenty feet high. The roof of it was a layer of salt and the sun shined through it, creating a rainbow of colours on the white walls. The cave was salt, just like the white field they had just walked on. On the far side, large rocks of salt stood like steps that went about fifteen feet up. At the top, above the last steps of salt was the only natural rock visible.

“Right there,” Donkor said. Akosua looked up at the rock, its beige colour pronounced against the rocks of salt that surrounded it. She lay her gear down and was about to walk over to the steps when laughter filled the cave. Some of the salt rocks cracked and pieces fell, bounced off the salt floor, rolled towards Henry and stopped at his feet.

“Welcome girl witch,” the voice boomed. It echoed through the cave and Akosua looked around to see where it had come from. A man stepped out from behind a salt rock that was shaped like a headstone. It was six feet tall, and as Akosua and her friends watched, a black cross appeared on the front of it. Above the cross were the letters R.I.P, underneath was Akosua’s mother’s name written in red. There were smaller salt rocks surrounding it, they too were shaped like tombstones with the names of each child’s parent on it.

The man wore a black suit, and a black top hat, and dark sunglasses with the right lens knocked out of it. His exposed red eye rolled as he spoke. He used the smaller tombstones as steps to climb onto the bigger one and sat on top of it like a king on his throne.

“This is the perfect spot to sit and watch this momentous occasion. Little witch retrieves Spear of Salt so that she can save her people,” Guede said then threw his head back and laughed. Akosua stood calm and smiled, her eyes never moving away from the evil Loa,

“You don’t intimidate me, you are just a Lackey for Baron Samedi,” she responded. Guede’s laughter disappeared immediately. He puffed on his cigar then leaned forward.

“Go ahead little lady, go get your spear,” he said, and smiled a devilish smile. Akosua looked back at her friends. Adofo stepped forward.

“I will go with you,” he said, but Akosua waived him off.

“I have to do this alone,” She said and took a step.

“Ohhh brave little Obeah Woman,” Guede said and laughed. The salt crunched as Akosua stepped on it, it was the loudest sound she had ever heard, it echoed in her head as she took another step. She stepped lightly, but her left foot sank to her ankle in the salt and was slowly sinking more.

“Watch it now; you already stuck your foot in your mouth by challenging me. Be careful you don’t step into a salty grave.” Guede said and roared with laughter. She struggled to free her foot. Adofo started walking towards her, but once again she raised her hand and he stopped. She was finally able to pull her foot out, small chunks of wet salt rolled off her feet as she shook them one at a time. She steadied herself and took a step. Guede’s smile disappeared again; he had an impatient expression on his face. He looked over at Adofo and the others and then back to Akosua.

“You think you can save lives by getting this spear? Don’t you know that life and death is the biggest joke played on man. That’s why I can use the dead to do my evil works, and I can use the living to do my bidding also.” He boasted then laughed as Amelia took another tentative step. Guede continued talking,

“Ask yourself, are the Jab Jabs dead, or are you and your friends the dead ones. Did I order them to attack you, or is this all one big illusion, and you are actually in the afterlife, and I am in control, and you are doing exactly what I want you to do. Is there a spear over there, or is this just one of my games that I so love to play?” Akosua stopped and looked at him.

“As sure as I am standing here that spear exists, Yemaya says so,” she said and Guede rolled his exposed eye.

“Yemaya, Yemaya. She is no real Loa. She is loose and she is a trickster. Why would you believe her?” He asked staring at Akosua. She took another step then looked over at Guede,

“My mother brought it here Donkor can attest to that.” She said and took another step. Guede looked over at Donkor.

“Who him, the Bokor,” Guede clapped his hand and laughed, a red teardrop rolled out of his eyes,

“Hi old friend, been to any sacrifices lately. What, are you all of a sudden a good little Hougan. I seem to remember wanting my help. Remember the services, the food, and the human offerings. Thank you I was hungry for food, or hungry for souls, and you were quite willing to satisfy me.” he winked at Donkor, the man shifted from one leg to the next nervously.

“Look how nervous he is, do you think you can trust him?” Guede said,. Akosua looked over at Donkor and gave him a reassuring smile. She took another step, her legs shook a little. Guede sucked his teeth, shook his head, and then sneezed. The ground moved violently and Henry and his friends fell. Akosua braced herself, her hand stretched out at her sides for balance. The salt floor began to crack as the cave rumbled.

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Battle Not

If you think love is a battlefield, it is quite obvious you have never been on a real battlefield.

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Benumbed Laughter

I hear laughter in the cemetery, they are enjoying the comedy of the living

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Bygones

I forgot to say i love you and now the past whispers and the future mocks me.

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Eyes Closed

When I close my eyes, I see butterflies gliding by, their wings on fire leaving a trail of smoke like a jet on a blue midday sky
I see a ballerina doing a pirouette on broken legs with mangled toes
I see doves with their bodies pure white, dripping crimson red from their garbled wings
I see a rose turn into ice and explode causing the garden to become a colourless wasteland
I see a man’s tongue wrapped around his neck as he garrote on his own half truths.
I see shadows follow the words I love you like angels of the damned as they voorste you to your conscious dissolution.

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Tune in Sunday for another installment of OBEAH

Ohhh what a journey this is shaping up to be. The Akans are on their way to recover the Sword of Salt. Do you really think the Ligaroo King will make this easy for them? Do you think he will sit back and let them get the only thing that can kill him. Pa Pa Jumbie thinks differently, don’t miss an installment or you might miss the action.

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Tune in Sunday for OBEAH

Ahhhh, I see that Akosua and her little clan have escaped the clutches of the La Diablesse, hmmmm, I guess the Ligaroo King will have to send more Jumbies to take care of these, these little worriers, ha ha ha ha warriors, please, save Pa Pa Jumbie the  humour. These warriors will get what is coming to them. The Ligaroo King will have more up his sleeve, I promise you. So as you go on your little journey, oh mighty Akans, beware, because I can assure you, more frightening, more diabolical more vicious Jumbies await. Pa Pa Jumbie say so. Tune in Sunday morning, see what will transpire.

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Parts Obeah Storyteller

41st Installment of Obeah

                                           CHAPTER 18

It was early evening when they stood looking down on the Valley of the Weeping Willow Trees. Henry heard the sound of running water somewhere in the trees. That sound always made him calm; it reminded him of the fountain in the courtyard of their house in the Old Country. His mother loved that fountain and sat next to it for hours at a time. They stood for a few seconds and pondered on whether to enter the darkness. Without the usual signs, it began to rain. The raindrops were so big they hurt a little when they bounced off of him. Within seconds they were soaked, making their gear heavy on their shoulders. Mist rose above the willow trees and hovered. Grey clouds floated overhead and lightening flashed across the sky. Henry used his hand to brush water from his face. It was hard to breathe, as the rain ran down his forehead and sucked into his nose when he inhaled. He looked at the others as if he wanted to know what they intended to do. Before he could say anything Donkor spoke,

“O K lets go,” He said and started walking down the grassy decline. The group followed him, the Bokors more reluctant then Akosua and her warriors. They stopped just before they entered the forbidding darkness. Akosua looked around, as if summing up the courage to go in. Then with marked determination she started walking.

The early evening light immediately disappeared when they walked into the cover of the trees. Henry stood for a second waiting for his eyes to adjust to the sudden change of light. Wings flapped, crickets chirped and an owl hooted. When he got used to the lack of light, he realized there was just enough light seeping through the branches for him to see. Raindrops fell off the branches making it seem like the trees were crying. Donkor walked ahead, but stopped, then turned to the others.

“See that rock over there,” he said as he pointed to the right. The group turned to the direction his hand pointed. There was a bolder about four feet tall that sat just outside the sagging branch of one of the trees. It stood taller than Henry, and curved at the top creating a natural roof.

“I ran for that spot because that was the best sport to bed down for the night.” He said, and Kwao started walking towards the rock. Donkor put his arm out stopping him,

“Oh no you don’t sonny, Akosua gets that spot,” he said and motioned for Akosua to walk past him. She brushed past Kwao smiling.

“Your Mother slept right here,” he said looking down at the dry spot under the roof of the rock. “Now it’s your spot.”

“Thank you,” she said, Kwao looked at her and shook his head, and there was a small smile of admiration on his face. She walked over to the rock and sat her wet knapsack on the ground. She sat down, removed her machete from its belt, and rested it against the rock. She looked at the others, they stood looking at her.

“Well make yourselves comfortable, the trees will make good cover from the rain” she said as she unfolded her mat and spread it out on the ground. The others went around in search of the best spots to settle into. Kwao mumbled his disapproval, and found a spot not too far from where the Bokors had settled down. Adofo and Donkor sat next to the rock and were having a conversation with Akosua. Henry found a spot under a tree where the branches did not hang all the way to the ground. He figured this would give him some protection if the rain persisted. A boy and a girl sat next to him. They were younger, and seemed to have taken a liking to him.

“Mind if we shared this spot?” The girl said, she was about thirteen years old, and the weapons and gear she carried seemed much bigger than she was. Her dreadlocks stopped just below her ears, and moved from side to side when she spoke. The boy smiled and reached out his hand, Henry remembered him from the day he first practiced throwing his spear, he was one of the kids who laughed the hardest. Henry shook his hand; the boy was so skinny Henry felt the bones in his fingers.

“This is exciting,” the boy said, his eyes bright with excitement. Henry smiled and nodded. The Bokor he had saved form the Assassin Vines came over and dropped his gear in front of them.

“Nice spot, room for more?” He asked a big smile on his face.

“Sure the more the merrier,” Henry said, the Bokor plopped down in front of them. The other Bokors looked over at them as if disapproving of their companion’s friendliness.

“The more the safer you mean,” he said and giggled, the rain had washed away most of the mud from his face. The group of kids laughed, and Kwao looked over at them then stood up and shouted,

“Hey some of us want peace and quiet!” Henry and his companions laughed, and that sent Kwao into a rage.

“You think I am a clown Kindoki?’ He screamed, and started walking towards them.

“The only Kindoki here is you,” Henry responded, Kwao stopped, as if Henry’s words were like a wall he had bumped into,

“You will get the worst trashing of your life!” He screamed and started walking again. Donkor stood up,

“Hey no arguing here be quiet,” he said Kwao stopped and turned to Donkor

“Watch who you talking to Bokor!” he shouted, but turned and walked back to his tree. Henry and his companion looked at Kwao until they were sure he had calmed down. The angry warrior sat glaring at them while he sharpened his machete.

“What’s eating him?’ The Bokor asked. Henry lay back using his right elbow to prop himself up,

“He is always mad when Adofo and Akosua are together. Actually he is always mad about something.” Henry said, the boy and the girl giggled and looked at Kwao, he growled at them, then spat on the edge of his machete and kept on sharpening it.

Donkor called over to one of the Bokors they spoke and the man went off in search of firewood. He came back in a few seconds empty handed, the torrential downpour had soaked the jungle, and there were no dry branches to be found. They tried to light the torches, but even they were too wet to light. They eat fruit and began to settle in for the night.

The rain had stopped, but water still dripped onto the ground. Wind whistled through the willow trees, causing a chill to run through Henry. He lay and listened to the drops of water hit the ground around him. A lone firefly flew into the tree above him. In the jungle, beyond the willow trees, monkeys barked, maybe it was a mating call, or it could be they were wet and cold. Wild dogs howled a haunting chorus that made Henry’s heart race. Frogs croaked in the stream not too far from where Henry and his companions lay. It was dark, so dark Henry could not see his hand when he held it up in front of him. He laid, his eyes opened wide as he tried to hear if there were any movements. He began to fall asleep, but woke himself up, afraid that something or someone would sneak up on him. But he was tired, and could not stop his body from shutting down, and he fell asleep to Akosua and Adofo’s whispering.

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Parts Obeah Storyteller

40th Installment of Obeah

They walked until the trees and the bushes was so thick it blocked out the fading sunlight. Suddenly they heard screaming in the distance but could not tell where it came from. They stopped and listened, the screaming came from ahead of them and they ran towards the sound. Branches snapped, and bugs flew into the air as they ran. Sweat poured down Henry’s face, and his shirt stuck to his back. They came to a place where vines ran up the trunks of trees until they disappeared into the leaves. Henry surveyed the trees and saw that the vines covered all the trees causing their trunks to look like they were wrapped with green rope.

“That is the biggest vines I have ever seen,” Adofo said. The vines moved, but Henry dismissed it as his imagination. There was a scream again. They ran to one of the trees and saw one of the Bokors was entangled in the seven inch thick vines that moved like a pit of snakes as it constricted around him. The Bokor eyes looked like it was about to pop out of his head, his mouth was opened as he gasped for breath. Kwao pulled out his machete and began chopping at the vine. Adofo and Donkor joined him and swung their machetes, grunting as they did. Henry turned around and saw the other Bokor ensnared in the vine on another tree. The man was not moving, his tongue hung out of his mouth,

“Over there!” he shouted and ran over, pulling out his machete.

He arrived at the tree, stumbled and almost fell, but righted himself and looked at the man. His eyes were red from busted veins and his lips had turned blue. Henry began to chop at the vines, his machete stuck in the thick flesh of it and it took all his strength to pull it out. Smaller vines on the stem of the tree wrapped themselves around his ankle and tightened. He did not realize what was happening until he felt them constrict. He ignored them, and kept chopping. A rope of vine reached out and wrapped around his leg, he swung his machete and the vine fell to the ground. A couple of the warriors ran over and began helping him, yellow slime spouted from the middle of the deadly vegetation, as they chopped at it.

The Bokor fell to the ground and was motionless for a second, but then he inhaled sucking in as much air as he could. Henry cut the small vines from around his ankle and went to help the others with the Bokor. They carried both men away from the vines, and sat them down in between two trees that were about fifteen feet apart. Henry dropped to the ground gasping. Akosua knelt down next to the Bokors, closed her eyes and rested the palm of her hands on their chests. Her mouth moved, but no words came out, she reached into a sack on her waist, pulled out some leaves, and rubbed them over the bokor. Slowly they both became more alert.

“What were those?” Adofo asked and Donkor stood up and looked around at the tree.

“Those were Assassin Vines,” he said, Henry got up and stood next to him.

“I know how it feels to be entangled in those,” he said,

“No you got stuck in ordinary vines. These are Simi mobile; they move to pull you into them. They tighten around you until you are dead, and then deposit your remains near their roots. I have never known them to attack people before.” Donkor said. Suddenly, laughter echoed through the jungle.

“Death walks with you,” A voice boomed. Akosua stood up and looked around. The voice faded away as if the person was walking away from them.

The two Bokors were on their feet still shaken, but seemed ready to continue on the journey. Henry looked down at his ankle, there was blood seeping out from

“We need to get to the valley of the Weeping Willow Trees by nightfall,” he said. One of the Bokors spoke up.

“The Valley of the Weeping Willow trees, we heard that place is cursed. Anyone that goes there is snatched away by demons.” he said with fear in his eyes. The other Bokors mumbled among themselves. Years of worshipping the evil Loas had made them extremely superstitious. Donkor raised an arm and they were silent.

“Now that is just a legend,” he said and turned to Akosua.

“If that place is cursed how do you explain your mother and I staying the night there and not being harmed by demons? How do you explain that I stand before you alive and able to take you to the mountain?” It’s just a tale we invented to keep people from trying to go up to the mountain.” He said calmly.

“Are you sure there is no other way to get the mountain top, your cowardly men seem pretty frighten.” Kwao said and looked at the Bokors with disdain. The Bokors glared at him, one of them took a step towards him, but Donkor held his arm up,

“It is the easiest way; believe me, we did not want to go that way, but everywhere else we went it was impossible to get to the top.” He said then began to gather his gear.

“Come on and stay clear of the Assassin Vines,” he said and started walking. Akosua and her warriors followed. The Bokors hesitated, but soon they too followed, making sure they did not get close to the vines.

cuts, he used the sleeves of his shirt to dab at it.

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Kentucky Shadows (Photo by Bonnie Moore Delong)

From the window into the Kentucky forest, where the mid morning sun shines through the trees like white gold, and shadows vibrate against the shimmer, leaves sing in the gentle breeze, fawns make a path in the dew soaked ground, baby ducks quack in the nearby pond, tree trunks standing like the limbs of a giant cricket, trampling the underbrush. But somewhere in that underbrush, they is a spot you can lay, right under the leaves, where the sunrays can tickle your skin, making you warm, but only in spots where golden white touches your skin.