Ahhhh Sunday, I think I will just float around this pond, blind the humans with my milk white feathers. Glide across this silver blue. Create ripples that twinkle in the early morning sun. Gracefully flap my wings causing pellets to sparkle orange in the sunlight. Eat your heart out humans, you only wish you can create beauty like me.
He was asleep just a short time when he was woken up by Ampah. He got up and followed the boy outside. Several of the villagers carried torches and were screaming a name. Henry walked over to Ampah. He stood next to some of the boys giving them instructions.
“Whats going on?” Henry asked and Ampah turned to him.
“Adwoa is missing,” Ampah said.
“Grab a touch, we are going to look for her,” Ampah said. Henry walked over to one of the huts and got one of the torches that sat in front of it. He walked back to Ampah and lit it with the one that Ampah held.
“Adwao!” they shouted. The jungle was dark except for the torches that seemed to float through the air between the bushes. Rodents rustled in the underbrush, owls hooted in the trees, bats screeched and flew off into the night. They searched for hours, combing the underbrush until someone shouted,
“Over here!” footsteps sped up as they rushed to the voice. Henry got to where the voice came from and looked down into a grove of small trees. The little girl lay under a hibiscus tree motionless. Akosua was on her knees next to her.
“She is gone,” she said as she caressed the child’s face. The jungle was silent except for the cracking of the fire from the torches. They stood, their faces illuminated by with shadows. Akosua picked up the girls lifeless body and carried her back to one of the huts next to her own.
The Villagers stood, some cried, while the older ones tried to console them. Henry and Ampah stood there for a while then walked back to Henry’s hut.
“She looked like all the blood was drawn from her body,” Ampah said, his face a mere shadow in the pale yellow light.
“I did not hear the Ligaroos attack,” Henry said.
“There must be one among us,” Ampah said and they sat in the chairs outside Henry’s hut for a second listening to the jungle.
I can’t wait to get my hands on a Ligaroo,” Henry said. Ampah was silent for a moment looking into the dark jungle.
“So do I, I will spill blood for every person who died at their hands,” he said. The sound of frogs croaking filled the silence, crying could be heard in the hut next door.
“I knew something was up, the other night, while I slept, I felt someone next to me, their breath was awful, but when I woke up, there was no one there,” Ampah said.
“The same thing happened to me,” Henry said. Ampah looked over at him and said nonchalantly.
“You should sleep with one eye open, and your machete near my friend,” and got up and walked away. Henry got up and walked into his hut. He stopped at the doorway and held the torch out in front of him. When he was satisfied that no one else was in there he walked in. He took the unlit torch from its holder and placed the lit one in it. He walked over to the chair where the machete lay, picked it up and went to his bed. A dog howled and he lifted his head and looked around. Whenever the wind blew shadows rushed at him, then retreated when the wind dissipated He rested his head back down and closed his eye. The image of the Adwao imprinted in his mind. He felt himself falling asleep and jerked awake, then felt around in the bed next to him for the machete. He hugged the weapon and soon fell asleep.
Adwoa was buried next to the pond the following day. The drummers played, a slow deliberate beat, as they carried her body from the centre of the village to where she was buried. The village was Salome for a couple of days. Some of the villagers looked at each other suspiciously. No one accused anyone, but it was obvious what they were thinking. Henry had not seen Akosua; she had walked into the jungle after the child was buried.
Akosua sat on a bamboo chair looking out at the pond. There was an empty chair next to her with a calabash bowl of food on it. The scent of the roasted chicken filled the air attracting bugs. They settled on the rice in clusters, buzzing as they fed, Akosua had not touched the food. Frogs jumped in and out of the murky pond, ducks and swans glided across the surface. Akosua was in deep thought when a thick fog appeared over the pond. At first, she ignored the change, but then a figure walked towards her. She sat up and looked. It was a woman. She was light skinned and beautiful, and she glided across the pond like a princess gliding down the aisle on her wedding day. The woman stepped onto the ground. The fog dissipated, and Akosua saw the face of Yemaya. The girl smiled as the Loa walked up the bank of the pond and stopped in front of her.
“Hello my child,” Yemaya said. Akosua reached out her hand and Yemaya took it. Akosua thought the palm of her hand was unusually coarse, after all, Yemaya was a gentile. Akosua picked up the calabash bowl of food and Yemaya sat down next to her. Her white dress brushed the top of the blades of grass as she sat gracefully. She looked at Akosua.
“I see that you have had a hard time lately. How have you been doing?” she asked Akosua fought back tears.
“Its o k dear go ahead and let it out,” Yemaya said. Akosua rested her head on Yemaya’s head and sobbed.
“This is hard, I don’t know if I am the one to do this.” Akosua said between tears. Yemaya ran her fingers through Akosua’s hair.
“Maybe you are not my dear,” she said. Akosua lifted her head and looked at the Loa. Yemaya looked into her eyes,
“Maybe you are not the chosen one,” she insisted. Akosua wiped the tears.
“But you said….,” Akosua began to say.
“Never mind what I said child, even us Loas can be wrong.” Yemaya said, Akosua stood up and looked down at the woman.
“I am sorry, but maybe you are too weak to lead your village into a battle with the Ligaroo King.” Akosua walked to the edge of the pond, the fog partially engulfed her. Akosua looked back at Yemaya, she sat stoic, no expression on her face. Maybe she was right; maybe she was not strong enough to take on the responsibility of leading her people to freedom. Out of the fog, a swan floated towards her on the water. Akosua turned to Yemaya.
“If not me then who?” She asked, The Loa smiled at her.
“Don’t worry us good spirits will find someone else. We have the power to choose,” Yemaya said. Akosua looked down at the woman; the Loa was looking at the ground. Akosua looked at the Loas fingers, the three wedding bands that she usually wore were missing. Akosua sat down.
“It is good to have you help me work through these hard times.” She said. Yemaya smiled. Akosua looked around, and then looked down at the calabash of food she had laid down on the grass. She reached down and picked it up.
“You look hungry here have a bite to eat.” She said. Yemaya looked at the food and seemed like she was going to throw up. She took the calabash bowl and set it on her lap, picked up a piece of chicken, and raised it to her mouth. She looked at the food like it was laced with poison, then looked up at Akosua without moving her head, the blacks of her eyes pointed straight up. Suddenly she growled and grinded her teeth. She looked up to the sky and screamed.
“You know I can’t eat food that the cooks have touched.” She screamed and threw the calabash bowl to the ground. Slowly her physical features changed as she screamed and growled. The frogs jumped into the pond, the ducks and swans flapped their wings, as they retreated into the fog that suddenly thickened. The woman looked up at Akosua. Half of her body was Marinette-Bwa-Check, the other half Yemaya. Her eyes were ablaze with anger, her face twisted with contempt and hate. She got up and rushed at Akosua, the girl backed up until she stood at the edge of the pond, her heels touching the water.
“You little witch, I will cut you up and cook you into a stew and have you for dinner.” She screamed. Saliva shot out of her mouth and landed in the pond. The water bubbled, and steam rose with every drop of saliva. Dead frogs floated to the surface. Akosua stepped to her and reached her hand out. The Loa had completely transformed into Marrinette-Bwa-Check, she jerked away from Akosua, as if afraid to be touched.
“Fire go burn you,” she screamed, Akosua tried to touch her again,
“You don’t have to be evil. You can be the way you used to be in our homeland.” Akosua said. Marrinette-Bwa-Check threw her head back and screamed a loud scream that turned into a laugh, a laugh that turned into a growl. The Loa disappeared across the pond. Birds flew out of the trees and retreated into the jungle. Akosua stood; her hand was still outstretched, her eyes closed.
“You, a mere girl you think you can change me. I have ripped men’s hearts out and fed them to the animals. What do you think I will do to you child?” she screamed. Akosua opened her eyes and looked at the Evil Loa. Marrinette_Bwa_Check trembled then backed away from Akosua.
“You will be destroyed, you will be destroyed!” she screamed, as she ran to the pond and disappeared into the fog leaving ripples on the water. The jungle was silent, as if every animal was hiding from the wrath of the evil Loa. Slowly, the fog went away. The dragon flies came back and buzzed around the pond, frogs croaked and hopped from Lilly to Lilly. The bodies of the dead frogs had disappeared with the evil Loa, and the pond was back to its serene peace. Akosua turned away from the pond and slowly walked back to the village.
Adofo and Henry stood on a hill overlooking a valley. A small river meandered down the middle; the crystal water glittered like diamonds, yellow, blue and red flowers lined the banks of the river. Henry sat down and he felt the cool dew on the grass soak through his pants. Adofo sat down next to him. They had walked most of the day and needed to take a rest.
“How can a place so beautiful have such evil things happen?” Henry asked, Adofo was drinking from a water pouch,
“You put man in anything beautiful and he finds a way to bring evil to it. Birds don’t enslave each other; butterflies don’t put evil spells on dragon flied. The difference between them and us is we have the intelligence justify that it is our nature to be evil, at least that is what my father once told me.” He replied. Henry scanned the valley. A flock of parrots flew into the trees on the other side of the jungle. Henry followed them as they glided over the water and back into the jungle.
“My father said that sometimes evil deeds are necessary for progress. My sister said it was his ways of making his job not seem as bad as it is,” Henry said. Adofo were looking around.
“Hey look,” Adofo said pointing. Henry looked in the direction he had pointed. A group of five people emerged from the jungle and walked along the river bank.
“It’s Akosua and the others,” he said and got up and started walking. They stumbled down the mild decline trying not to fall. Rocks tumbled down the hill taking chunks of mud with them. They reached the river and waded through a part of it that was ankle deep. The cool water felt good in the afternoon heat. Fish swam out of the way with every step they took.
“Akosua!” Adofo shouted. Akosua and her group stopped and looked around.
“Hey!” Adofo shouted again. Akosua saw them and began running. They met and stood in the middle of the river, the water rushed past their waist. It was crystal, until the point where it touched their bodies, then it was greyish, white. Akosua’s dress floated above the water, it looked like it was about to wash away with the rushing swell. Kwao stood his eyes ablaze with jealousy. Adofo and Akosua stood for a moment holding each other, and then looked into each other’s eyes. The parrots flew overhead, their feathers a rainbow of colours in the tropical blue sky. Kwao stepped forward.
“You were told to stay in the village,” he said walking past Adofo bumping him on his shoulder as he went.
“I wanted to make sure the lady I love was safe,” Adofo said, smiling at Akosua. Kwao kept walking trying hard not to look at Adofo.
“Come on, we have to get back to the village since no one is in charge,” he said.
“Ampah can handle it,” he said. The two warriors walked up to Adofo and hugged him,
“It’s good to see you friend,” one of them said as he smiled. Lassette walked past him looked at him then looked at Akosua and smiled. Adofo looked at Akosua.
“Long story,” she said “I will tell you when we get back to the village.” She said then took Adofo’s hand and they followed the others up the hill and back into the jungle.
It was late afternoon, hot and muggy as they walked across a field of wild cotton bushes. Small cotton balls floated around in the air around them and into the jungle. Bugs flew between them as if hypnotized by the sweat that glistened off their bodies. Kwao had not spoken since Adofo and Henry showed up. He pushed ahead trying not to listen to what was being said behind him. Lassette walked behind Akosua and Adofo. She was breathing hard, her mouth open, her eyes red from being in the sun too long. Her beige coloured dress was ripped and came to just above her knees. There were scratches on her legs from the bushes and thorns that ripped at her skin. Adofo and Akosua talked, their voices the loudest thing in an otherwise quiet jungle. Kwao stopped,
“Shhhh” he said, he looked around for a second. Adofo and Akosua walked up next to him. He stood like a cat; his eyes scanned the jungle, his spear at the ready.
“What is it?” Adofo asked. Kwao looked at him as if to silence him. They stood for a minute then Kwao relaxed.
“Stop the chattering and stay alert,” he said and began walking. Adofo caught up with him,
“We saw what looked like boats coming towards the island earlier,” he whispered.
“And you are just telling me that,”Kwao said. Adofo looked a little exasperated
“I just remembered,” he said, Kwao rolled his eyes,
“If you were not so captivated by love you would have remembered,” Kwao retorted.
“I am telling you now so be alert.” Adofo said and he stared at Bartholomew.
“Make sure and let the boys know,” Kwao barked and walked off.
They got to a part of the jungle where the trees stood tall and there were no bushes around their trunks. The red top soil was hard and it crunched when they stepped on it. A peacock trotted by, its tail a glitter of colours. They stopped and watched it go by. Lassette tried to step in front of it, but the bird evaded her and lumbered away. Henry took a drink of water, and then brushed the back of his hand across his forehead.
“Its bloody hot here,” he said, Kwao looked back at him,
“What Kindoki can’t take a little heat?” he said then snickered.
“Shhhh!” Adofo said, Kwao gave him an evil look and was about to say something when an arrow whizzed by his head and stuck in the tree next to him. They froze for a second, then there was a shrilling war cry and an army of men rushed out of the jungle screaming. Henry pulled out his machete and braced himself. Adofo bumped into him,
“Take Akosua and the lady and go hide,” he said.
I never saw crack-heads on the island. Mainly drunks, some people love their fire water, but if you ask me, they are just as stupid and equally as dangerous. I was on the beach chilling, watching some kids play football – soccer to some of you. I saw a drunk in ragged old shorts and no shirt. That man was the skinniest person I ever seen. He looked like the rum was drying him up. He was using a cutlass to open a green coconut, but he was swinging it recklessly, becoming a danger to those closest to him. One of his friends tried to take the cutlass away from him and he became belligerent. More of his friends tried to reason with him, but he began swinging the weapon wildly.
“Call Babylon!” someone shouted, and the melee escalated. The drunk was not swinging at anybody who came close to him. He was screaming something about the devil and evil angels.
The police arrived but even they could not control the raging drunk. They shuffled around as if doing some kind of voodoo dance, then the drunk broke free and ran for the ocean. He splashed into the emerald-colored water, still holding the cutlass. He swam or waded until he could not stand, and then he started sinking. The police had no choice but to go after him. They reached him, grabbed the cutlasss and dragged him back to shore. When they got to the shore and laid him on the sand, laughter erupted when the people on the beach realized that he had lost his pants in the struggle. His little Dexter was exposed for all to see. That made the drunk furious. He started to fight again. He broke free and began running down the beach with the policemen in hot pursuit, followed by the crowd, laughing and shouting. They finally caught up with him when one of the policemen dropped him with a perfect football slide. But now that they had him down, they hesitated, not wanting to touch his naked body. They finally had to when he tried to get back up. You have never heard such cursing and screaming in your life as they carried him off the beach and to the police station.
Yes man, wake up and look out me window. The ocean is rolling in on the sand , white foam disappear as it rolls back out to sea. A mild warm wind shook the cocoanut tree cause dried cocoanuts to fall hitting the ground with a dull thud. I stepped onto the gold green grass, it is soft and already warm from the early morning sun. Walked down to the water and stood there for a second watching the school of colourful fish swim by.
Let the sun set over the city. Let the lights bounce off the window panes and reflect off the still water in the habour. Let the people gather, their hums echoing through the narrow streets and cobble stoned alleys. Let the sound of soft steel drum music serenade man, animal and fish. Its dusk, and the assemble of merriment is a mystery to those who refuse to succumb to enjoying life one moment at a time.
Ahhh Saturday, a good day to walk to the beach, stand and watch the vast emerald paradise. Dive into the ocean, float on your back. Fell the sea tickle your skin, a contrast to the tropical sun beating down on you. Watch the glitter of small fishes in the corner of your eyes as they swim by you. Fell the gently spray cool against you face as your move a little. Smell the salt in the air. Listen to the calypso playing in your head. Daydream that you are floating in outer space. Ahhh yes, another Saturday to relax and let the tropical world hug you, warm, yet cool, exciting, yet calming.
Here i am, standing in front a body of water that is not the ocean. It fall and there is a crispness in the air. Algae green water moved a little like the ocean. The tide pulls branches out, then washes them back to shore. Strange gray coloured fish swims up to the muddy bank and looks at you, as if to say, “What human?” My toes sank into the mud, reminding me of a rainy day on the nutmeg plantation. Ripples cascaded across the water as a canoe glided by. The skies went from a light blue to winter gray, causing the lake’s surface to flash gray around the floating tree limps. I close my eyes and a cold breeze brush against my face, stinging a little. The island boy in me wanted to jump in, I wanted to go for a swim, but I have learned from experience, swimming in a lake when winter is pending is not the smartest thing to do. So i stood there, listening to the waves, smelling the mountain air. Ahhh yes, another cool, calm day in Eastern Kentucky.