Nothing better than a Sunday morning island sunrise.
“Step aside little girl let grownups take care of this.” He said and pushed Akosua aside retrieved the machete and walked up to the woman.
“Savages!” the woman screamed, her blue eyes sparkled behind the locks of blond hair that hung down in front of her face. The leader walked up to her until his face was directly in front of her,
“We are the savages, we are the savages. Have your walked down to the beach and watched your reflection in the waves. It was your people who brought us here, it is your people who keep us captive, and it is your people who are inflecting pain on my people!” he shouted. The woman whimpered tears rolled down her cheeks.
“Enough!” Akosua shouted, “Vengeance will not be your salvation.” The Leader turned to her and even with the paint covering his face, the expression of anger and hatred was still pronounced. He raised his arm as if he was going to strike Akosua, but his arm stopped in midair. The Borkors watched, as their leader stood helpless. Akosua turned to them,
“I promise you we can defeat the Ligaroos. All we need is faith and Yemaya and the Radas will help us,” she said,
“Why should we follow you, you are just a girl,” One of the Bokors asked. Before Akosua could respond another Bokor stepped forward,
“Because, she is the chosen one that the Loas have promised us,” he said as he walked up and stood next to Akosua. He was a giant of a man that towered over everyone.
“What does that have to do with anything?” the first Bokor asked. Akosua turned to him.
“There is a spear on Nkyene Mountain; it is the only thing that will kill the Ligaroo King. I need to retrieve it and we need your help to get there.” The first Bokor that spoke shook his head,
“Well why do we need you, we can go get it ourselves.” He said, the giant Bokor looked down at his fellow villager,
“Because she is the only one that can use it,” He said,
“I knew your mother; she was a good person, the best Obeah woman I ever knew. I was with her when she hid the spear. I know how to get to Nkyene Mountain. We trusted your mother and thus we can trust her daughter.” He said Akosua smiled. The man stood seven feet tall, his large hands gesturing as he spoke The Bokor leader still stood motionless, the giant Bokor looked over at him,
“Our leader was blinded by his hatred and quest for vengeance. The captain, before he became the Ligaroo king, had whipped the leader’s wife in front the whole village because she had ran away. She never recovered, and died from infections” He said. Red and blus paint striped across his bald head from side to side and down his face. He turned to the congregation of Bokors,
“We have freedom in this jungle, now; we want to live in peace.” He shouted, they all mumbled their agreement. Akosua stepped closer to him and peered into his face.
“Oh yes, I remember you now, your name is Donkor, my mother called you the gentle giant.” Akosua said. Donkor smiled flashing two perfect rows of white teeth. Akosua reached out and touched his shoulder,
“Help us and together we will free our people. Yemaya said that they are all still alive on the Jumbie Island. The Ligaroo king has turned them into Jumbies.” Donkor smiled at her then turned to the congregation.
“I think we should listen to her, she is the chosen one, the one we have heard stories about. Far too long we have tried the dark side, now we must go back to the ways of our Ancestors, be Hougans again.” He said his deep voice booming above the popping fire. The congregation erupted with cheers, the drummers’ began playing. Donkor raised his arm.
“We will join forces with the young Obeah woman’s village and together we will destroy the Ligaroo king. Freedom from tyranny will soon come.” He said. The Bokors danced, their bodies twisting with joy and relief. Akosua motioned for Kwao to cut the women down; he was less than gentle with her. The woman fell to the ground at Akosua’s feet,
“Thank you, thank you.” She sobbed. Akosua reached down, took her arm and helped her up. The woman threw her arms around Akosua sobbing uncontrollably.
“Take her to our hut,” Akosua said, Kwao hesitated, but followed Akosua’s instructions. Donkor turned to Akosua.
“What about him.” He asked and pointed to the leader. Akosua reached over and touched the man and he crumbled to the ground. Donkor motioned for two of the Bokors, and they stepped forward, picked the leader up, and carried him past the dancing crowd.
Welcome to the frozen tundra, where mother nature have not sympathy for the tropical transplants. Sixteen degrees of pure skin numbing wind, slipping and sliding. So cold one can walk on water. My only escape is in my head, letting my imagination run away with me
Ahhh I can feel the warmth. Sometimes letting one’s imagination run a marathon is the best medicine.
He stopped in front of the woman; she pleaded and struggled against the vines. She looked up to the sky tears rolled down her face, then down her cheeks. The Bokor leader danced, spinning round and round, the bottom of his robe created a cloud of dust. The sharp edges of the machete glittered in the pale light of the bonfire; the drummers played even faster chanting as they did. The Bokors exploded into wild dances. The shadow of birds circled over the village, wolves howled in the jungle, crows’ squawked as they circled the night sky. The Bokor leader stopped in front of the woman and raised his machete. Akosua stepped forward,
“Stop!” she shouted, the Bokor leader stopped and turned around. At first the drummers kept playing, but when they realized their leader had stopped dancing they stopped. A tense silence came over the proceedings as Akosua walked up to the leader.
“I heard you were doing this, but I did not believe it,” she said. He did not move, surprised that she had interrupted the ceremony.
“Is this what you have come to?” she asked looking from the leader to the crowd. Small fireballs popped around the burning wood.
“You used to be Hougans, good people, but you had to form this Angajan, seek vengeance by forming an alliance with the Pedro Loa. Do you want to sell your souls to Baka,” She said, the Bokors mumbled, some of the men took a menacing step towards her. Kwao came forward spear at the ready. Akosua waived him off and turned back to the Leader.
“You knew my mother, you were friends, and people respected you, why have you gone so far into the dark?” She asked, the leader turned and faced his followers.
“We all know why, your too good spirits can’t fight the Ligaroo. You have to fight evil with evil, and you, and your soft spirits, you cannot defeat the Ligaroo. Look around you; look at this village, burnt huts, sad faces. The Ligaroos came and took our families, our children. What do we have but our Pedro Loa and his dark spirits to get the vengeance that we all seek?” He shouted, Akosua listened then responded.
“How long have you been offering sacrifices to the Pedro Loa, where are your families, have you gotten them back?” she asked, some of the Bokors hung their heads not wanting to look Akosua in the eyes. The leader stuck the machete in the ground next to Akosua’s feet.
“They are dead, all dead and we want vengeance.” He screamed. Akosua looked around; behind the Bokors she saw the silhouette of the burnt huts.
“Look at your village, it is obvious that this barbaric behavior has not brought you peace nor has it brought an end to the attacks of the Ligaroos.” She said. The Bokors were silent, a dog howled somewhere in the village.
“It is time we come together it’s the only way we can defeat the Ligaroos, Yemaya says so,” the Bokors mumbled and turned to each other. The leader laughed and stepped in between Akosua and the villagers.
“Why should we listen to you a mere child? Why should we?” he shouted, a man in the village stepped forward his face hidden by the hood of his robe. Akosua looked at him, his eyes shifted from side to side. Their leader raised his arm and the man spoke.
“Years we have suffered, and the Bakas, the great evil spirits have promised that we will have our vengeance, and as you know from our history we can only overcome by inflicting vengeance on those who do harm to us,” the man said. The leader turned around like a preacher on his pulpit yelling,
“Baron Samedi will give us our vengeance,” The Bokors erupted into yells, screams and chants. Akosua waited until they were silent again.
“Baron Samedi is also helping the Ligaroos, how are you so sure that he will pick you over them?” she asked, the Bokors mumbled among themselves. Akosua continued talking,
“But we can defeat the Ligaross, free our people. Shedding the blood of this innocent woman will not bring freedom to anyone. Just because we were slaves, and the masters consider us animals, does not mean we should act like animals. We should be together as one people, one free nation. But here we are fighting among ourselves like so many of our ancestors. For once let us stop history from repeating itself, or we will end up losing this struggle and with it our freedom. I promise you there is a better way.” She said. The Bokor leader stepped towards Akosua his eyes ablaze with anger,
“How? How will you a naive girl, a novice witch defeat the Ligaroo King he is powerful and is more powerful with the Bakas on his side? Do you think that your good spirits can defeat such a powerful evil? What are you going to do slither across the jungle like Obatala, crawl up the Ligaroo’s feet and lick his face with your forked tongue?” He asked sarcastically, the Bokors erupted into laughter,
Gul wake up nah, we have to go catch the mini bus. we have to get there before dem people buy up all the juicy mango and dem yuh know. Gul hurry up, de bus coming.
See wah I tell yuh, de bus pack, pack, pack for so. Damn, I hate when dey cram people on de bus like dis yuh know.
Bunjay, look at all ah dem people. Come on gul, leh me go to me favorite seller, he does have de best fruit and vegetable.
Hey man, how yuh doing, hey wah yuh rolling yuh eyes far, me is one ah you best customers yuh know. Wahyuh mean you doh have time for me cause yuh busy. Yuh wan me to tek me business someway else man? Yeah, jus like I thought. Boi, wah kinda little, little mango id dat you have today eh? Wah you say, boi yuh better watch yuh mouth yuh know. Lady, lady, yuh stepping on me foot. Wah, who yuh stupesing (sucking teeth) at, duh mek me box yuh in you bloody mouth. All yuh tink yuh bad in dis market today, well all yuh meet yuh match. Clear de way leh me look at them peas, dey look good for so. Wah yuh say, hurry and buy something, boi duh hurry me up nah. I tell yuh, people rude for so today. Young lady, duh touch dat paw paw, I saw it first. Wah you want to fight me, girl I is old enough to be yuh mudda yuh know. I couild put yuh over me lap and give yuh good licks. Yes, yuh better put it dung. Oh lard, I better get out of dis market before policeman have to come get me. I can’t tek all this pushing and yelling and ting. Me basket done full already. Gul leh we go nah. Wah yuh not done yet. Gul yuh doh need no dame ocro, yuh children and dem nah go eat it anyway, leh we go.