Image: From the Novel Obeah

From the Novel Obeah

Henry was still asleep under the mango tree when suddenly his body became hot, like he was floating above the pits of hell. Out of the darkness he saw someone standing in front of him. Henry blinked and rubbed his eyes. The man’s face looked like it was made of iron; his green jacket had black stripes on it that made him look tall. He leaned down towards Henry, his hand hidden behind his back. Henry squinted to see if he recognized the man, but his dark face blended with the starless sky behind him. Lightening blasted, turning the night into a sheet of white. Thunder exploded and the ground shook like a violent earthquake rumbled across the island. Henry’s heart raced up as the blinding lightening flash again, followed by the ground shaking thunder. Henry tried to stand up, but he stumbled and fell hitting his back against the trunk of the mango tree. The man turned to Henry, his iron face blended in with the dark sky. He took another step towards Henry his right hand still hidden behind him. Henry cowered away, his vision blurred from the moving earth. Suddenly the man lifted his arm above his head; he was holding a machete,

“Gren mwe fret” he screamed in a nasal voice. The machete’s sharp edge glittered in the lightening flash. Henry screamed, as the man brought the machete down. Henry grabbed his arm, his skin felt like iron and he heard the pops and cracks as his fingers began to give out under the weight of the man. Suddenly he was sitting up looking up at the star filled sky.

Henry looked around; he was lying on the ground next to the mango tree. He checked his body to make sure all his parts was still where they should be. He tried to stand up, but his legs buckled under him and he hit the ground with a sickening thud. He lay there, as a mixture of hot and cold rushed through him. He shook violently, his joints felt as if they were being ripped from his body. Suddenly Adofo stood looking down at him.

“Are you O K?” he asked. Henry tried to talk but his tongue felt like it was glued to the bottom of his mouth. Adofo tried to help him up, but he stumbled and Adofo caught him just before he hit the ground.

Adofo took Henry through the village; some of the children followed them. Henry mumbled as Adofo led him into a hut on the other side of the village. Adofo sat him down in a chair next to a table, and then disappeared into another room. Henry looked around the room, but his vision was like looking through a glass bottle. His head throbbed; it was as if the drummers were sitting at the base of his skull ponding their drums. Adofo returned with a bowl made from a coconut shell and handed it to Henry. He looked at it for a second then took a drink, it was bitter and he coughed a little. Adofo sat in a chair on the other side of the table. His dreadlocks moved a little and yellow light escaped through it.

“What happened to you, you look like you saw a ghost when I found you,” he said, Henry swallowed before he spoke,

“Just a bad nightmare,” he said then described the dream to Adofo. The villagers stood at the door peeping in.

“That was the spirit Ogoun the warrior Loa. He loves the noise of battle and helps people gain political power. He revels in uttering vulgar phases that don’t make any sense, but such is the ways of his crude nature. Some say they have seen him cut himself with his machete, but there is never any blood or wounds on his body. Why would he be in your dreams?” Adofo said and looked at Henry.

“Indeed, why would he be in my dream?” Henry echoed Adofo sat back in his chair.

“It must be some kind of warning. The Ligaroo King and his followers are sensing that we plan to rescue our people so they are trying to scare us away.” He said, stood up and walked to the doorway and rubbed the head of a boy peeping in.

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