I walked to the market square but all of the bloody busses were either full or had left the square, I looked round, man it was total pandemonium I mean looters were beginning to break into the stores, a man and a boy were carrying a stove across the empty market square, men, women and children were crashing into store windows grabbing anything they could find. One lady was carrying a lawn mower I knew she the damn woman did even not have a lawn. I stood watching in disbelief, I mean people were acting like bloody animals or something. Me mother had told me bout the riots of 1951, the labour unions had gone on strike and had burned most of the city down Sky Red she called it. I shook me head and walked out of the square, I did not what to stand in the middle of history repeating itself.
I reluctantly began walking the ten miles to me house, occasionally I would pass jeeps loaded with policemen dressed in riot gear, for us on the island that meant they had their guns, they were heading to the city they faces contorted with determination they British made riffles pointed towards the sky. Some of them yelled out me name they knew me as the son of the fearful Sergeant 94 Dickens.
I got to the beach stopped, took me shoes off and started walking, all the things that had happened to me in the last few days were running through me mind like crazy. I walked on the sand were the ocean broke onto the beach, small crabs scurried out of the way when me feet hit the sand next to them, seagulls flew overhead diving into the sea to get their food. I looked across the sea to the city and saw the mist from the teargas floating into the air. I looked away from that scene and tried to concentrate on the beach, it was real empty except for the one or two tourist lying on the sand. I walked up to the medical school and stopped, I knew that Jane might be in she dorm room so I decided to go see if she would like to go for a walk. I walked up a flight of concrete stairs and down a corridor. This building was once a hotel until the medical school bought the building to accommodate the students. I got to the door of she room and stood there for a second composing meself, I mean, I did not want to make she worry.
I knocked lightly on the door and heard rustling inside then the door opened and she stood looking at me, a nervous smile formed on she face but that was immediately replaced by a look of concern.
‘You’re bleeding” she said looking down at me shirt,” I looked down and saw the blood as she took me hand and guided me into the room.
“I am alright,” I said relaxing. “It must have come from one of the students.” She walked away from me and disappeared into she bathroom and returned with a wet washrag and began rubbing the red spots, I stood there enjoying the fact that she was touching me.
After a few seconds she gave up and invited me to sit down in a chair that sat next to a desk in the corner of the room, I sat down as she went back into the bathroom. I looked round at the room I had never been in here before; it was decorated like one of them country homes I had seen in magazines. On the desk was a picture of what I thought was she family, she father stood to the right of she mother and three children between the ages of ten and fifteen were sitting in chairs in front of the couple. There were other pictures hanging on the wall one was of a church covered with snow and the others were of mountains and valleys. She bed was neatly made covered with floral coloured sheet, lots and lots of stuffed animals and six pillows, I wondered where it was she slept on the bed. . There was another picture on the desk of she and she father, they were holding riffles in they hands and she father was holding this humongous turkey in one hand. I looked closely at the picture of she, man that was a real big gun for such a petit woman. She emerged from the bathroom she hair bouncing as she walked.
“I was listening to the radio and heard what happened.” I looked down at the floor and told she the story of the morning’s events, she did not interrupt me she just sat there with a concerned look in she eyes she soft hands cupped mine. When I was done she came over and hugged me and I relaxed closed me eyes as I felt the throbbing of she heart against me chest. After a few seconds she let go of me and returned to the bed.
I got up and went over to she desk, turned on she radio trying to get some news, but there was just music, I mean, all this trouble going on in the city and all they could do is play bloody music. I was getting real anxious so I told she I had to leave, I mean, I had to go somewhere to cool meself down. She moved as if she was going to come with me but I told she it would be safer for she to stay, I promised she that I would come back later to let her know I was alright. She followed me holding me hand and I could tell she did not want me to go, we went down the stairs and onto the beach all the while she tried to let me take she with me but I was adamant she did not. She looked up at me and smiled a weak smile god knows I did not want to leave, but I had to be alone. I turned to walk away but she pulled me back and kissed me, man, I got real light headed, slowly she turned, she hair whipping round she shoulder and walked back up the stairs, I watched she until she got to the door opened it and went in.
I walked the rest of the way home feeling like I was walking in another man’s body sweat rolled down me face dripping onto me shirt, damn, I hated sweating. Just up the street some children played in a yard happy that school had let out for the day, I wondered if they understood what had happened, will this affect the way they thought when they got older or will it be just another page in history they would learn in school. I got to the front of me house and found little Ken sitting on the bench in me yard, the poor little fella was crying real hard. I sat down next to him resting me hand on his shoulder.
“What’s wrong?” He fought to hold back the tears making it hard for him to speak.
“Dey arrest me broddrer,” he said and busted into tears again, I did not know what to say, I just sat there with me hands on he shoulder. Before I could think of what to say he mother called him and he got up and walked away without looking at me. The shock I felt earlier was fast being replaced by anger, I mean, it was wrong for the students to defy authority but it was insane what the hooligans did. I walked into the house and tried to settle down but I could not so I grabbed me transistor radio and walked out.
Ten minutes later I was at the edge of the island looking out to sea. I sat down and listened to the ocean crash against the rocks and the wind whistling through the tall grass. Dark clouds came in from the south and the rain swept across the ocean coming towards the land, I threw me head back waiting for the rain to reach me, the downpour hit the ocean below right before I felt the first drops bounce of me skin. I opened me eyes and looked out to sea the ocean was dark blue with occasional patches of black, white froth formed where the waves broke into each other sew mews struggled against the wind as they try to escape the sudden storm, rain created a kind of mist right above the surface of the water and I almost did not see the small fishing boat going by.
I sat there silently as the rain disappeared on the land behind me and white clouds hovered over the ocean and the sun came out bringing with it a welcomed heat. I thought bout the La Diablesse she seemed trivial compared to what I had seen today. I decided to come back to reality and stop letting some strange woman dictate the way I see the world, there was no such thing as a La Diablesse too many real tragedies were going on in the world round me, I must forget this blasted idea of the phantom woman. A flock of seagulls flew by occasionally diving into the ocean coming up with fish in their beaks, further out flying fish jumped in and out of the blue water they bodies shimmering sliver in the sunlight.
I don’t know how long I sat there but by the time I was ready to leave it was dark, I turned me radio on and listened to the announcer, he was talking about what had happened in the city. Most of what he said was bloody rhetoric against the opposition leader, there was no mention of whither there were any dead, just bout injuries suffered by the students and some of the hooligans. Some stupid government minister spoke of reeducating the youth so they don’t fall victim to an ungodly system, I tell you what, I was getting real fed up with them damn politicians.
I had gotten to a part in the dirt road that was lined by tall trees and thick bushes, crickets and frogs interrupted the silence that usually came with the tropical night. Suddenly, me whole damn body tingled and I stopped and looked round to see if there was anyone behind me, I saw no one and kept on walking shaking me head at how jumpy I was. I stopped and looked round and out of the corner of me eye I saw a white misty figure in the bushes just off the road, I froze, I mean, I could not move at all. The stinking figure froze with me and there it was that bloody feeling of helplessness, that same deafening silence, I could not decide what to do so I just stood there watching the figure. Then slowly it floated towards me no leaves moved, it seemed to walk right through them. I wanted to run so bad but me bloody feet felt like they had grown roots in the frigging dirt. Just as the figure came onto the road a car drove up and the figure disappeared, I mean, its like the damn car went right through it, I jumped out of the way the driver yelling at me as he went by. I stood there watching its rear lights fade away from me like eyes of a menacing animal. I turned back to the place where the white figure had stood nothing moved not even the leaves, I mean where the hell was all that damn wind, then like someone lit a fire under me feet I sprung into action and ran the rest of the way home. I got into the house and turned on all the lights and closed all the windows, sat on me bed breathing hard ever so often listening to hear if anyone or anything was trying to break into the house. upbeat, it was then I heard a voice whisper behind me it echoed through the suddenly windy night.