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Parts Obeah Storyteller

35th Installment of Obeah

The sun was going down in the west when they finally sat down to eat. Henry snacked on tropical fruit all afternoon, he could not help himself he was hungry. Akosua sat at the head of the middle table. Her smile radiated across the table, as she laughed and talked with everyone. Henry surveyed the spread. Maroon coloured sweet potatoes, earth tone grey yams, boiled green bananas, vegetables of all kinds sat on the table in calabash bowls. Yellow mangoes, bananas and sour soups, yellow and green paw paws, golden apples, red plumbs and yellow passion fruit spotted green in places. There was chicken, roasted pig, and a roasted goat sat in the middle of the table. Calabash bowls sat in front of every villager. Coconut shell cups with lime juice. Homemade vases lined the middle of each table with bright tropical coloured flowers. This was the most food he had seen in one sitting. It was even larger than the feasts the plantation owner had when he had guests from the Old Country. Akosua stood up,

“Our journey was successful; we have convinced the Bokors to join us in the fight against the Ligaroo King and his followers. We have overcome many obstacles, but this is only the beginning of our fight. The Bokors will come to our village and from here we will leave to retrieve the Spear of Salt. We will build more huts to accommodate our guests. With the grace of Yemaya and Obatala, we will be victorious. But today we will rejoice, eat, drink and be merry.” She said and lifted her coconut shell cup.

“To our health, our success, and for the safe return of our people!” She said and the villagers cheered, some pounded their fists on the tables.

After they had eaten, they sat around the village too stuffed to move. Ampah was on a hammock tied between two mango trees, Adofo and Akosua lay on banana leaves next to Lassette who sat on a tree stump, Kwao and some of the boys were wrestling, their dreadlocks covered with sand. Henry sat in a tree branch looking down on the lazy group. Small children played with dogs and monkeys on the boundary where the village stopped and the jungle began. Lassette sat up,

“Why don’t the Ligaroo King come here himself and destroy the village?” She asked. Kwao and the boys stopped wrestling and looked over. Akosua spoke without sitting up,

“He has no reason to come here. He can send his Ligaroos warriors and Jumbies to kidnap anyone he wants. Plus he knows that we have to come to his island to free our parents, all he has to do is wait to get our strongest all in one place, then it will be easy for him to destroy us.” She said lazily. Lassette mumbled and leaned back looking up at the blue sky. She waited for a second then spoke again,

“How come the Gods and evil spirits don’t attack us themselves?” she asked. This time Akosua sat up.

“They have to possess someone to do their evil deeds. That is why the Arawak’s came, and the beast that Adofo and the boys killed turned into one of us. The evil Loas possessed them and when they are released from that possession they never remember what they did. It’s like the beliefs from your own homeland. Your devil can possess people and cause them to do evil deeds. Your god lives in you, but some of you are possessed by evil.” She said.” Lassette seemed satisfied with Akosua’s answer and settled down. Akosua lay back down, the ocean washed ashore on the beach in the distance; bees buzzed by and went into the jungle. The splash of the dolphins is heard as the wind swept in from the ocean. Henry closed his eyes as the coolness brushed his face. He needed this peaceful time because soon it would be time to go off to battle again.

Night descended on the island and the drummers began to play. The villagersdanced around the bonfire. Henry joined them and danced until his legs began to ache. The fire popped and cracked, and some of the children chased the sparks that floated into the air. Their voices echoed into the jungle, dogs howled and barked, some chasing the children that ran around the fire. Akosua and Adofo had disappeared to their special place on the small beach. Kwao was missing too. Henry knew that he was somewhere spying on the two lovers. It was late when he went back to his hut and flopped down on his bed. The events of the day played out in his head like a living dream. This was the most fun he had had since his mother died. He thought of his sister and said out loud,

“I am coming to rescue you,” his voice interrupting the crickets outside the hut. He fell asleep to images of him and his sister playing in the field behind their home in the Old Country.

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Storyteller

This Sunday, Tune in for another Installment of OBEAH

Waigt one second, wait one second. What is Kwao, making a play for Akosua. Pa Pa Jumbie is intrigued. Could this cause a riff between the tribe, will there be a duel between Kwao and Adofo. Hmmmmmmm., I guess you will have to keep tuning in to see now wouldn’t you. Pa Pa Jumbie is not giving away any spoilers. Or you can get the complete book at:

Ohhhh, the surprises that is in store for you!!!!!! Be aware, cause Pa Pa Jumbie says so!!!!

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Parts Obeah Storyteller

28 installment of OBEAH

“For Christ sake, cut, cut, cut!” Henry screamed. Finally, the plant went limp, and the funnel flopped to the ground, and the hairs wilted immediately. Henry cut Adofo out of the thick leaf. Adofo exhaled as he struggled to get air to his lungs. Henry tried to pull him up, but his arms were covered with slim. He stopped trying and stood over Adofo as he composed himself. Adofo was finally able to stand up and wiped his eyes, and blew slime from his nose.

“Are you O K?” Henry asked. Adofo tried to talk, but instead a glob of slime spouted out of his mouth. He coughed and bent over and threw up. Henry tapped him on his back and slowly, Adofo stopped retching and stood up still gasping for air.

“I will be O K,” he said between gasps then bent down and picked up his spear.

“Thank you I owe you one,” he said reaching his hand out. Henry took it getting slime on his hand. Adofo smiled.

“Sorry,” he said and he touched Henry’s face. Henry wiped the slime off.

“If you were not covered with snort I would give you a trashing,” he said and they laughed. The jungle was quiet, the big flowers swayed in a mild wind, the animals had disappeared into the jungle, and the scent of the rose bushes was even stronger. Adofo turned to Henry,

“Let’s get out of here, and stay away from those plants.” Adofo said.

                                          CHAPTER 13

It was early evening and swarms of bugs flew around in the jungle. Water dripped off the leaves from the afternoon rain that created a scent of wet wood. Baby birds chirped as their mothers brought them food, foxes barked in their dens. Akosua was lying on a straw mat her eyes closed. She felt like someone was looking at her and opened her eyes. Kwao sat against a tree staring at her. She sat up and looked around,

“You are beautiful even when you day dream,” he said. Akosua rubbed her eyes and yawned.

“You are even beautiful when you yawn,” he said. Akosua stopped and looked at him.

“What has gotten into you, have the heat fried your brain?” she asked and smiled. Kwao looked down at the ground. He was shifting a leaf with a piece of stick.

“I have always had special feelings for you,” he stuttered, shifting nervously against the tree. Akosua blinked surprised,

“I am flattered, but you know am in love with Adofo,” she said. A monkey swung in a tree above them, the branch broke and the monkey fell, but grabbed onto another branch before he hit the ground. Kwao looked at her, a flash of anger in his eyes.

“I am better for you than he is,” he said, but did not look at her,

“Its because am the son of a plantation owner isn’t it?” And before Akosua could respond he spoke again,

“I can offer you eternal life,” he said, Akosua looked at him,

“What do you mean by eternal life?” she asked. Kwao got up

“Never mind, I just wanted to let you know how I feel,” he said and walked into the jungle. Akosua got up and went over to where the two warriors and the blond woman sat. A pot of food bubbled over a fire; its small orange glow flickered in the dark. Akosua sat down next to the woman,

“He has a mean disposition,” the blond woman said and looked in the direction where Kwao had went into the jungle. Akosua smiled an apologetic smile,

“He has had a hard life, this is the first time he have been accepted anywhere, he still have to learn how to trust.” She said and looked at the woman. Her blond hair was matted almost like Akosua’s dreadlocks; her speech was different from the captains, she may have come from a different tribe in the Old Country. The woman looked at Akosua her blue eyes twinkled in the light from the fire.

“What was his problem now?” she asked, Akosua lowered her head embarrassed.

“He just has some feeling he needs to resolve,” She said her face felt hot as she smiled.

“What is your name?” Amelia asked just to change the topic. The woman put a piece of mango in her mouth and chewed. After she swallowed she responded.

“My name is Lassette; I lived on the French island where the first successful slave uprising occurred. My father worked for a plantation owner. Akosua looked into her blue eyes. She was not much older than Akosua,

“”How old are you?” Akosua asked, Lassette hesitated, and she knew that giving her age to an Obeah woman may not be the best thing to do, but this girl had saved her life.

“I am twenty,” the woman responded.

“How was it on that island during the uprising?” Akosua asked,

“It was horrifying. The night before the fighting I heard the drums playing and the slaves chanting, I knew what they were doing, I had seen one of their services. The animal sacrifices gave me nightmares for weeks. The day they revolted, we were prepared to escape. They chased us to the ocean and we were able to flee the island,” She stopped talking and looked up at the grey clouds.

“I stayed in the colonies, but my father and mother went back to the Old Country. I believe that slavery is barbaric, but my father believed that it was necessary to build the colonies. He disowned me.” She said. Akosua shifted to become more comfortable.

“I have been going from island to island opposing the slave traders and plantation owners,” Lassette said,

“How ironic,” Akosua said, “You were about to be sacrificed by the very people whose freedom you are fighting for,” Lassette nodded,

“It’s a chance that’s worth taking,” she said and smiled. In the dark Kwao spoke,

“What do we have here, a kindoki do gooder?” he said walking out of the bushes. One of the warriors looked up at him,

“Stop talking Kwao, no one wants to hear your hatred right now,” he shouted, Kwao walked over and grabbed the boy’s dreadlocks.

“You shut your mouth!” He shouted, the boy grabbed Kwao’s arm and stood up. They glared at each other.

“That’s enough,” Akosua said, neither warrior relinquish,

“Go for a walk Kwao and calm yourself down,” she said. Kwao hesitated.

“First Henry and now her, you can let these people into your lives but me, I refuse to trust them,” He said and looked at Lassette with pure disdain,

“Kindoki!” Kwao said then walked off.

“I don’t blame him I would be angry too,” Lassette said, Akosua leaned over and looked into the pot,

“He is a good person, but his anger may destroy him,” Akosua said.

Night slowly descended on the jungle and with it came all the sounds that were not heard in the daytime. Frogs croaked and mosquitoes buzzed, bugs swam around the flame, and one of the warriors put a lid over the pot. They sat mere shadows next to the fire, each with their own thoughts.

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Parts Obeah Storyteller

25th Installment of Obeah

In Akosua’s village Henry was helping clean up after the vicious storm that raged through the village the night before. Tall trees were broken in half, their roots still embedded in the ground. Some huts were flattened, and one of them was still smoldering form being hit by lightning. Animals wondered into the village form the jungle; they too seemed dazed by the destruction. Henry was surprised that the wind had not knocked down all the huts. Adofo walked up to Henry, he seemed angry; he looked around, a crazed look in his eyes. A girl about six years old ran past him, he grabbed the girls arm.

“Be careful,” he snapped, the girl walked away followed by three panting dogs.

“Quite a mess, huh?” Henry said Adofo looked around.

“This is more than a mess,” he said. Henry bent over and picked up a chair that sat on the ground next to him. It was a colonial style chair; it must have come from the wrecked ship. Adofo looked into the jungle an expression of concern on his face.

“I hope Akosua is safe.” Henry touched him on the shoulder,

“Wouldn’t the good spirits protect her?” He asked. Adofo did not respond it was as if he did not hear what Henry had said.

“I should go look for her.” He said.

“But the village needs you here.” Adofo shifted his feet in the dirt and spoke without looking up.

“Ampah can handle it,” he said and walked away. Henry ran after him.

“Am going with you,” he said, Adofo stopped and turned to him.

“You should stay here and help,” he said and turned to walk away. Henry caught up with him again and grabbed the course material of his shirt.

“Am not going to be much help here, but I can watch your back if nothing else.” Henry said. Adofo turned to him, hesitated for a second,

“OK, but make sure you don’t get in my way.’ He said then turned and walked towards his hut. Henry was afraid, but excited, he thought of the adventure he may have and was happy that Adofo allowed him to tag along.

Akosua, Kwao and the two warriors stood at the edge of the Bokors village and waived at them. The blond woman did not look back, she stood shaking. They walked into the jungle melting into the green lush leaves. Colourful birds flew overhead as if following them, the skies were grey but the sun peeped out from behind them. The wind was still, except for small warm gusts that occasionally shook the leaves. Drops of water hit the already saturated ground and their feet sank into the red volcanic mud. They maneuvered through fallen trees and branches, stepping over dead animals. Kwao led, his skinny but muscular arms tossed aside any debris in their way. He had taken off his shirt. His yellow coloured skin was covered with freckles. Akosua thought about Adofo and the village, she wanted to get there as soon as possible.

They fought through the jungle cutting a new path through the tangled bushes. In places, their feet got stuck in the sticky mud and sometimes they were ankle deep in mud holes and had to pull each other out. Kwao managed to guide them out of the mud and onto dryer ground.

They walked until they got to a field covered with white lilies, they stopped and surveyed where they were. The lilies shimmered for miles in the grey light. Suddenly the grey skies became blue, and the clouds turned white and fluffy. Birds of all kinds flew over the lilies. Yellow and black wasps flew around them as if curious as to why they were there. Butterflies floated over the field and landed on the lilies. Akosua stepped in front of Kwao. They had come this way, but this field was covered with green grass. She scanned the area suspiciously then turned to her companions.

“We can go through the middle of it, or we can go around it,” she said. Kwao sighed.

“I say we go through it but be on alert for any attack.” He said waving the machete about his head. Before Akosua could respond Kwao walked into the field. Akosua was reluctant, but she followed, she wanted to get back to the village.

When they got to the middle of the field they were greeted by a hot breeze that swept across the field shaking the Lilies a little. Akosua stopped and looked around. The blond woman bumped into her, her blue eyes popped out with fear, sweat rolled down her tanned face. The two warriors bumped into the women.

“Did you see something?” One of them asked. The women’s breathing was heard over the sudden silence. The sound of wings flapping echoed, but there were no birds in sight. A grey cloud floated menacingly towards the sun, crows squawked and buzzards hovered. Kwao realized that they had stopped so he turned around and walked back to them.

“What is the problem?” he asked, Akosua raised her arm and he stopped and looked around. A quiet laughter echoed through the field. A whimper escaped the blond woman’s mouth, she was visible shaking, her eyes red from being in the heat.

“Congo Savanne,” Akosua said. The warriors lifted their spears and formed a protective triangle around Akosua and the blond woman. The dark cloud had almost covered the sun, small beams of sunlight escaped through. They shined down on the field like rods of gold. Muffled footsteps raced across the field, and the lilies began to flatten in a circle around them. Kwao and the warriors looked around, their spears held above their heads. The clouds slowly covered the sun causing the sunbeams to disappear one by one. It was dark and silent until buzzards flew overhead, their bodies’ dark against the grey sky. Wolves howled in the distance, they sounded almost human. Suddenly a powerful gust of wind hit them and they were knocked to the ground. The blond woman screamed as Kwao and the warriors struggled to get to their feet. When they did, they saw the blond woman being dragged away by a man wearing white.

“Just like I thought, Congo Savanne, he must be hungry. We need to save her,” Akosua said, Kwao turned to her defiantly,

“Why should I risk my life for this Kindoki?” He asked, Akosua did not respond, she reached out and took the machete from the belt on his waist and ran after Congo Savanne. The other two warriors ran after her, their spears at the ready. Kwao hesitated but followed.

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Storyteller

Tune in Tomorrow

Another installment of OBEAH. Yes, come back to see what Henry is up to now. Last week, him and his friends were battling a Jumbie sent by the Ligaroo king. What will he have to fight off next. And now that Akosua have enlisted the help of the Bokors, will they be strong enough to get the Spear of Salt to defeat the Ligaroo King. Ahhh, to find out you will have to tune in for another installment of Obeah, tomorrow and every Sunday. Tune in, don’t make Pa Pa Jumbie come to you in your dreams.

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Parts Obeah Storyteller

24th In stallment of Obeah

                                                 CHAPTER 11

It was three in the morning and Akosua was still asleep in the corner. She had not dreamt all night, but now she tossed and turned. Her dark sleep had changed, and now she stood in a field that was engulfed in a thick fog that came up to her waist. She heard animals, and felt them brush against her legs. Birds flew just above the fog, as if in search of something. She heard laughter and tried to figure out where it had come from. The laughter echoed, and the macabre sound seemed to surround her. She saw a black top hat coming towards her; someone or something slowly ascended a flight of stairs. She waited, a face appeared, and it was skeletal like. Despite his dark glasses, his red eyes seemed to be floating in its sockets. He wore a black tuxedo and had cotton plugs in his nostrils like a corpse dressed and prepared for burial. Akosua recognized him; it was Baron Samedi Loa of death. He walked up to her and stopped about an arm’s length away and laughed. He lifted his hand and took a swig from a bottle of rum and puffed on a cigar that dangled from his mouth.

“Me little pickeny.” He said his voice was nasal. “You thik you go win a war with me,” he threw his head back and laughed. Smoke floated out of his mouth. He stopped laughing, took a drink, and then tossed the bottle into the fog. She heard the bottle hit the soft mud then roll a little. A wolf howled then scurried away. Baron Samedi laughed again.

“You don’t have the power to defeat we. Your parents will always be our slaves, Jumbies for life. We will destroy you chosen one or not. “He said, his eyes became a deathly stare, Akosua shivered a little in the damp air.

“You are not all powerful you can be defeated, it has happen in the past,” Akosua said. Baron Samedi threw his head back and laughed.

“That was no defeat, remember, a man who turns and run away, lives to fight another day, and furthermore, do you think I am going to let meself be defeated by a mere child. You should be out playing. Just because you have a boyfriend does not make you big woman,” he said and laughed, smoke bellowed out of his mouth.

“Yemaya and her good spirits will make sure you and your Ligaroos are destroyed,” she said, Baron Samedi took a drag from his cigar and looked at her.

“Yemaya, that’s Obeah witch, that lose woman, a little of me charm and she would be like sugar in me tea,” he said, a twisted smile on his face. Akosua smiled back and that enraged him.

“You should be afraid of me you little witch. Your services and offerings will not save you and soon you too will become me Jumbies just like you mother.” He shouted then laughed, and backed up. His red eyes flashed with a spark of orange. Slowly drowning out the sound of his laughter was a chorus of voices, some moaned woefully while others screamed causing the area around Akosua to vibrate. Behind him, she saw a human form above the mist. Akosua shook her head but kept on smiling;

“Your black magic doesn’t scare me,” Akosua said. Baron Samedi threw his head back and screamed then charged at her. Just before his body slammed into her, she woke up and looked around. A thick fog floated into the hut from the door. She saw a dark figure looking down on her and sat up, Kwao stood looking in at her. When he realized she was awake he turned and walked away.

The storm had stopped, the early morning sun created grey shadows with the fog that floated into the hut. The wet mud smelled like mildew clothes, over ripped mangoes, and molded bushes all at the once. Akosua got up and walked to the doorway. The storm had knocked down several huts, and there were fallen trees and branches everywhere. Akosua walked through the village assessing the damage. Her feet sank into the mud, leaving her petite footprint in the soft top soil. Some of the Bokors were already repairing the damaged huts. Donkor walked up to Akosua; his giant foot prints engulfed hers in the mud. He was not painted in red and blue anymore. His dark brown skin glistened with sweat, his eyes were hazel, almost brown, and he had frown lines on his forehead. He smiled and reached his hand out like a father would to a daughter.

“The evil spirits were extremely mad at us this time.” He said Akosua looked around; she had seen this scene of helplessness in her own village before. Still, there were smiles because no one perished. A woman held a small baby and rocked it. The baby giggled as it nestled in its mother’s arms. A young man chased after a pig, the animal scurried into the jungle.

“I have an uneasy feeling about our village; we should be on our way.” She said, Donkor started walking and she followed him, trying to keep up with his long stride.

“So soon, we were going to have a feast to celebrate our union,” he said, Akosua stopped. Donkor stopped and looked back at her.

“I have a feeling that something may have happened in our village, I must get back there to make sure all is well,” She said. Behind him she saw the former leader walking among the villagers. He had a blank expression on his face. He bumped into people, but did not seem to know they were there. Donkor turned and looked at him.

“Sad, he used to be a good Hougan,” he said. Akosua walked over to the man. He still wore the red and white robe only it was covered with dirt.

“Evil child, Pedro will rain vengeance on you for putting a curse on me,” he said. She reached out and touched his face;

“You did this to yourself,” she said

“I see the evil in your eyes,” he said, slapped her hand and ran off whispering. Kwao and the warriors walked up, they looked at the former leader then turned to Akosua.

“Get yourselves together we are leaving,” she said. They turned and walked away.

“Hey Kwao, we are taking the woman from last night’s service with us,” she said, Kwao stopped and turned to her,

“We don’t need another Kindoki in our village, I don’t trust them, their people are demons,” he said. Akosua looked at him.

“Go get her, she comes with us,” she said. Kwao hesitated for a second. Akosua turned back to the former leader.

“Are we going to take him too?” Kwao said and before Akosua could respond he turned and walked away.

“That boy is indignant,” Donkor said. “I would keep an eye on him,” Akosua looked over her shoulder at Kwao.

“He is just angry that’s all,” she said and looked over at the former leader who sat under a mango tree mumbling. .

“I wish there is something we can do for him,” she said. Donkor nodded,

“I do too but he sold his soul to Baron Samedi this is the consequence.” He said. Akosua stood there for a second looking at the man. She shook her head then turned and followed Kwao.

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Parts Obeah Storyteller

23rd installment of Obeah

Akosua and Donkor sat in his hut discussing the plan to retrieve the Spear from Nkyene Mountain. Kwao and the woman that the Bokors had tried to sacrifice walked by outside the hut; her bare feet left small prints in the dirt.

“Where did she come from?” Akosua asked. Donkor hesitated for a second, as if ashamed of the things they had done,

“A ship wrecked on the other side of the island she was the lone survivor.” He said Akosua hesitated before talking.

“How long have you been doing human sacrifices?” she asked, Donkor did not look at her,

“She was the second one. We never sacrificed our own people, the leader wanted to, but that was one thing we never allowed.” He said. Akosua looked at him as he shifted nervously in his seat.

“That does not justify it, no one should be sacrificed, vengeance dose not bring freedom, history tells us that,” Akosua said, Donkor looked up at her,

“How did such a young girl like you get so wise?” He asked, Akosua stood up and walked to the doorway. Bokors walked around, some stopped to look at her. She could not tell if they looked at her with fear, admiration, or a combination of both. The drummers were still playing as if trying to play away their confusion. An owl swooped out of the dark sky and hovered above Akosua. Its yellow eyes stared at her intently before flying away causing some of the Bokors to cower with fear. She turned back to Donkor.

“We will take her with us. Am not sure all your followers are ready to join us.” She said, Donkor nodded, shifting his giant feet in the dirt. Akosua looked around; the room was dark except for the one torch by the door. Outside, one of the Bokors walked by helping the leader to his hut, his back was bent and he hobbled like an old fisherman with joint pains. Akosua looked over at Donkor the giant looked away.

“What will happen to him?” Donkor asked. Akosua watched the man and his companion disappear into the crowd.

“All that black magic has done something to his soul. He will never function as an ordinary man again. That is why it is not a good idea to conjure evil spirits.” She said then was silent for a minute as they listened to the bustle of the crowd outside. A dog barked and someone yelled at it. Akosua turned and walked over to Donkor and sat down.

“Tell me about my mother” she said, Donkor did not say anything for a second as if giving thought to what he was going to say.

“She was beautiful, you look just like her. She was always happy even when it seemed like we were doomed. She would always make us feel like we could conquer anything. I would have never lost my way if she was not kidnaped. When she was taken, we though there was no hope, she no longer here to tell us things would be alright. We believed the evil Pedro Loa was our only way of destroying the Ligaroo King. Even though I knew of the spear, I believed that she would be the only one who can use it. We were told of the chosen one, but I did not know it was you until you challenged the Leader.” He said looking directly into her eyes for the first time, then looked away as if he felt he was not worthy o

“You will take us to the spear and we will use it to destroy the Ligaroo King,” Akosua said and she reached out and touched the man’s shoulder. He looked at her and smiled, his eyes suddenly came alive.

Outside there was a flash of silver light that blinded them for a second. Thunder rumbled, it sounded like an irritated old man grumbling, but only a hundred times more powerful. Bokors ran for shelter mere shadows in the florescent blasts.

“I think Baron Samedi is angry at us,” Akosua said. Donkor nodded and looked outside. Trees fell in the jungle; animals scampered for shelter, some ran into the village frightening the Bokors. Rain pounded on the roof of the hut creating leaks in the straw frame. Donkor bustled around trying to plug the holes with banana leaves. The big leaves were no match for the big drops of rain. Akosua found a dry spot in the corner of the hut and settled down for the night. She fell asleep with an imaged of her mother in her head. She hoped that she could be as strong as her and lead their people to freedom.

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Cool Runnings Storyteller

18th Installment La Diablesse

The path soon started winding downwards at a steep incline and I followed the women stumbling on lose mud. We walked for bout ten or so minutes before they disappeared ahead of me as the bushes became thicker, I mean, I could not even hear they voices anymore. I hurried up trying to catch up to them when suddenly the trees gave way to a clearing and in the distance there was a river with a whole lot of women talking as they washed they clothes, hitting the rocks with the garments while others used small rocks as scrub brushes. I took me shoes off and waded into the crystal clear water its coolness sending a shiver through me. It was real rocky, water swirled round the smooth stones creating whirlpools round smaller rocks, I jumped from rock to rock slipping and sliding like crazy, the women did not see me coming they were too busy talking and tending to they laundry.

“De boy maga, maga for so,’ said one of the women as she tossed she clothes into the water the rocks stopping them from floating away. I jumped onto another rock, slipped and had to put me hands down to stop meself from falling. They all turned round at the same time with surprised expressions on they faces, man I tell you what, I felt like I had intruded and turned to walk away but stopped when one of them called me name.

“Mr. Dickens, you wanting sumting?” I turned round and looked at the woman, it was Alison’s aunt

“No thank you, I was walking and I saw some women coming this way so I followed.” She had a smile on she face making me feel a little more comfortable. The other women were all smiling too some of them were teenagers, but most were in they thirties.

“You wan help?’ One of the women asked and they all giggled, I looked round Alison’s aunt to the woman who spoke, she big brown eyes sparkled she white teeth gleamed, I smiled back.

“Why not?” I said and walked over to them, picked up a pair of jeans that sat between two medium sized stones and began hitting it against the rocks, man, I tell you what, them women was real surprised, I mean, they just stood there watching me, little did they know I used to do this with me Grandmother all the time. The minuit I got to she house she would be waiting for me with baskets of clothes that needed to be washed, we would go to the river and spent the greater part of the day laboring with the laundry. I stopped swinging the jeans and stood smiling back at them, yeah man, I showed them who they dealing with, I mean, I am not just some educated city boy. The woman that had asked me to help shook she head and went back to she own laundry, the rest of the women laughed and went back to their washing. I set the jeans down next to one of the pile of clothes as the women started to sing.

“Down by the river side, down by the riverside, down by the riverside” I remembered that song me grandmother used to sing it every time she was doing a chore. Further down the river there was a group of children playing, it was deeper down there because one of the boys was waist deep in the gently moving water. He was holding a crayfish in his hand and the younger children were looking at it too afraid they would be pinched. Up on the hill on the other side of the river, banana trees swayed in the slight breeze causing the big leaves to whistle like farmers on harvest day. A shirt escaped the rocks and floated towards the children, one of the women, she was bout me own age, skipped from rock to rock until she was able to retrieve the run away garment. She skipped back to the other women and we eyes locked for a second but she looked away with a shy smile on she face. I thought of Jane, man, I wished she was here because I knew I would be able to find a romantic spot round here for sure. The children had left the river and were disappearing into the bushes so I got up and walked past the women.

“It was nice helping you ladies,” I said as I walked away.

“Wha,” Said the woman that had asked me to help. “All Ah saw was you standing dere daydreaming while de rest of we work.” The women all laughed they voices echoing down the river valley. I smiled and waved being careful not to fall into the river, they were still whispering when I reached the banks, damn women, I bet them gossips were talking bout me.

I walked back to the house and into the backyard, there was a bench under a skinup tree so I sat in it and looked down into the valley, birds flew by, they wings flapping loudly as they went, a donkey brayed in the distance as it hauled bunches of bananas. I sat there thinking bout what had happened to me in the last three weeks, who would have thought that I would turn to an Obeah woman to help solve a problem, me Mr. Big shot teacherman, maybe I was searching for something, maybe I was not satisfied with who I was, who knows man, but I tell you what, I had to stick this out and if anything it will be a learned experience.

I heard laughter at the front of the house so I got up and went to see what was happening, two of the boys from the river were out there with three other children playing with marbles. They saw me standing there and immediately started whispering among themselves, then they stopped, looked over at me as if they wanted to say something. One of the bigger boys was pushing a little girl towards me, she was wearing a pair of shorts with patches on it she long hair tied back in a bun and she blue blouse hung loosely above she navel. She looked no more than seven year’s old, poor little thing walked over to me visibly afraid, she stopped in front of me she big brown eyes shifting from side to side.

“Mister, Sylvester want to know if you go play wid us?” she asked pointing to the tallest boy, I smiled at she and she turned and ran back to she little group, so I walked over to them and one of the boys handed me some of his marbles.

“You boys better watch out, I used to be the greatest marble player, schoolyard reigning champ.” The tallest boy smirked,

“Well lets go den, ole mon” he said rolling he marble towards the ring on the ground in front of us.

I spent the rest of the day playing with them children stopping only to eat, I mean, I felt rejuvenated, like a child again. They became more comfortable and with their comfort came wild arguments bout who was winning, or losing or any small reason to scream at each other. I did not see Alison or any of the adults for the rest of the day and that was fine with me because I did not want to worry bout what was in store for me that night.

The afternoon wore on and the children finally grew tired so we sat in the yard eating plumbs and mangoes until they parents began calling them they voices echoing through the valley causing dogs to bark, each child scampered to their feet and ran off. Soon I was alone watching the sun disappear behind the mountain, a Bob Marley song was playing loudly on a Hifi down the street, ever so often laughter and the sound of dominoes hitting a table disturbed the peace. I started thinking bout the woman in white, would she appear to me here, or would the chance of fighting with the Obeah spiritualists keep she away? I mean, despite me skepticism I felt safe here, that disturbed me a bit because in the back of me mind I still thought what I was doing was uneducated and counter-productive.

I was deep in thought when Alison walked up to me, the late afternoon sun had given way to the early evening and the moon hung over the peak of the hillside, Alison looked down at me,

You better get ready,” she said and turned and walked away, that girl puzzled me, all this time she spent trying to get me up here and now that I was here she rarely said a word to me. I went into the house and changed me clothes, it was a new suit, creamy white and starched stiff for so. The drummers had already begun playing the rhythmic beat came and went as the wind whipped through the valley.

I sat there for what seemed like forever thinking at first it was bout me mother and then bout Jane, man, I sure miss seeing she smile, feeling she fingers touch me face, I tell you what just thinking bout she made me relax. The chickens in the backyard clucked and flapped their wings as a dog went through the yard, the mutt was panting and growling, it sounded like he was just as afraid of the chickens as they were of him. The door to the bedroom opened and Alison walked in she was wearing a white dress as milky white as me own outfit.

“Come Mista Dickens,” she said and walked out of the room. We trekked up the hill and I was afraid as hell but at least this time I was more sure footed.

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Storyteller

Tomorrow the 18th Installment La Diablesse

Tomorrow the 18th Installment La Diablesse

Ahhh yes, it is going down, the second ceremony, will the old obeah woman lift the curse of the La Diablesse, will Ian finally believe. Will they do crazy rituals on him. Come back tomorrow and find out.

Categories
Cool Runnings Storyteller

17th Installment La Diablesse

Silver light from the moon bounced off the white sheets making it look like a marsh with a light fog over it. I lay on the bed, me mind racing, I felt like I should have left right there and then, I mean, all that Obeah was getting me real frustrated. I lay in the bed listening to the distant sounds of the drums ever so often hearing voices as I drifted into sleep.

I tossed and turned as flashes of the night’s events paraded in me dreams, the images so vivid it felt like me bed was lifted up and placed in the middle of that damn clearing on the mountain. I heard the giggling of the children over the rumbling of the drums echoing in me head, Alison was talking to me, she body trembled as the beat of the drums and me heartbeat vibrated, I heard hissing as liquid from the wood dropped into the fire, suddenly the people were dancing round the bed they bodies twirling like a fat man in front of a funny mirror. I tried to get off the bed, but I could not breath, I mean, it felt like all them people was

sitting on me chest, they rushed at me their eyes afire, their faces, well, they had no bloody faces. Out of the sea of human forms Legba John’s face materialized in front of me he eyes peering directly into mine.

“You mus’ believe boy, you mus’ believe.” I was shaking me head, but he grabbed hold of me face forcing me to look at him he fingers feeling like fire against me face. He repeated the same words the expression on he face looked more evil than concerned. The shadows behind him try to push they way into me view, but I pushed Legba John, I mean, I pushed him real hard and the old man fell backwards evaporating into the mist of bodies, the shadows faded and they were replaced by the white ceiling above me. I sat up in the bed and looked round and for a second I could not figure out where the hell I was until I smelt the scent of the incense. I lay back down taking a deep breath these bloody nightmares could turn an educated man into a fool.

I woke up the next morning when a rooster crowed echoing through the valley, the chickens in the yard fought for scraps, pigs squealed in the distance as they competed for food. I got up and changed into me own clothes, I was going to walk out that door and go home. I thought bout the woman in white what if she came back? I stopped and looked out the window; a boy was tossing corn into the yard smiling as the chickens fought each other for the grain. I turned round and headed for the door and went into the voodoo room, it was already lit with candles and the many incense sticks, smoke floated across the room like a thick fog in an alley on London’s west side. I was halfway across the room before I realized Alison was walking next to me.

“Here is you breakfast, she said handing me a tray, I looked at the bakes and saltfish souse me stomach rumbled for so, I hesitated, not wanting to stay but I was so damn hungry I decided to eat before I leave. I took the tray and walked back into the bedroom, the chickens were still fighting in the yard the noise really making me vexed. I sat down on the bed resting the tray on me lap, Alison stood in the doorway looking at me as I began to eat,

“I guess I should leave now huh?” I said without looking up but when I got no response from she I looked up. She was shaking her head.

“Still doubting dis whole ting huh?” she asked.

“You could leave anytime you want,” she said looking at me. “Dere is still one more ceremony we could do to help you.”

I stood up setting the tray down and began circling the bed trying to make up me mind. Alison must have sensed the growing doubts in me because she stepped forward and spoke.

“If you leave now Ah cant guarantee anyting, but if you stay for tonight’s ceremony den Ah can tell you that nothing, Ah mean nothing go harm you.” Anger and frustration welled up in me and I turned to her.

“You must tell me what good last night was for?” I shouted. She took a step backwards and I realized that the tone of me voice had startled she. I took a deep breath trying to calm meself.

“Tell me something damn it,” I said sitting down on the bed. She walked over to me and stood in front of me.

“Last night we were trying to call up the Loa. Implore him to protect you from de evil women.” She stopped talking and looked down at she hands, I moved a little making sure that she was looking at me.

“Tonight we go raise up de spirit, let it surround you and dat way you go leave here protected from any impure thoughts or actions dat may try to posses you, but you mus’ believe.” She last words were emphatic more so than Legba John. I looked up at she, there was a battle waging in me head, see, the teacher in me said I should get up and walk away but the island boy in me was shouting, stay everything will be cool runnings. I looked up at Alison why should I trust them, I mean, anyone of them could be the woman in white, hell, it could be just a big deception to get me to believe, then I remember how I felt when the woman in white appeared for the first time, I had looked out me window many of time and people came and went in the darkness but none of them made me confused, there must be some explanation for this blasted woman in white.

“I will stay. I mean, what do I have to lose.” No sooner had I said the words Alison turned and left the room. I got up followed she into the smoky room and out the front door, the sun hit me and it felt like I had walked into an oven as I stood looking at its orange rays bouncing off the leaves. There was a small plum tree in the yard and I walked over to it picked one of the yellow fruit and popped it into me mouth, yes man, there is nothing like a sweet China plumb.

I started down the stoned walkway to the wooden gate, red, yellow and blue plants shimmered a little in the sunlight, man, it was a beautiful day. I went through the gate and on to the dirt road just as a group of women walked by carrying buckets of clothes on they heads, they did not seem to notice me because they kept walking and talking. I followed them up a winding path lined with mango trees and heavy shrubbery as they gracefully maneuvered the buckets when they came up on low tree branches.