From Obeah

They stood in a large room. There were twelve feet tall pillars that held up the stoned ceiling. The room was square and there were no windows, just the flicker of the lights from the torches that lined the walls. Shadows danced on the walls and on the floor, as a mysterious breeze swept through the room. On the far side, a wooden door opened, it creaked disturbing the eerie silence. Slowly Ampah’s mother walked out followed by the little people. They were so excited they were barely able to contain themselves. They jumped up and down clapping their hands and shouting. They walked to the centre of the room and stopped forming a circle around Ampah’s mother.

“Come get her boy, is that not the reason you are here?” The little woman said poking Ampahs mother on her side with her club,

“Go ahead mother, sing for you little boy,” she said then giggled. Ampah’s mother began to sing. He recognized the melody from his childhood. His mother sang that to him when he was younger and too afraid of the dark. Ampah started to move towards them but Akosua held him back. She looked around and saw shadows move against the wall next to a hallway to the left of the little people. About ten shadows formed on the walls and then a line of Ju Jus came into the room. With every step they took small bells jingled echoing in the empty space. They wore colourful outfits that had small mirrors stuck all over. Their faces were covered with powder, making them look chalk white. Dark vacant holes were where their eyes should be. They had white gloves on, and held small pouches that they shook over their heads as they moved. Their clothes were baggy, giving the impression that there was air between their skin and the thin material of their garments. The pants they wore came down to just above their knees and were lined with frills. As they stomped, they chanted, their voices deep and guttural.

“Baron Samedi ou prel pini,” They stopped in front of the little people and evil smiles appeared on their faces. Their black eyes turned white then black again, their tongues were black and darted in and out of their mouths.

“Short Knees!” Akosua shouted,

The Short Knees stopped stomping and stood silent for a second holding the pouches above their heads. Then in a blur they brought the pouches down spraying powder into the air. The room became a thick white mist that blinded Akosua and her warriors. They coughed and sneezed, as powder floated into the air, then fell to the floor,, turning the brick floor from dark red to white. The Short Knees was stomping again, the jingle of the bells and white powder made it feel like Christmas and All Saints were the same celebration. When the powder settled, and Akosua and her warriors were able to see again, Ampah’s mother, the little people and the Short Knees had disappeared. Akosua sneezed then looked up. Standing before them were eight Soucouyants, the wives of the Ligaroos, they were just as fierce as their husbands. The devil women stood, their skinless bodies glistened in the light from the torches, salvia dripped from their mouths, and their red eyes stared intently at Akosua and her warriors. Akosua took the club that was soaked in the salt from Nykene Mountain from her belt and prepared for an attack. Suddenly the Soucouyants attacked. The first beast charged at Akosua and morphed into a bear. At first it came at Akosua on all four legs, but when it was close to her it stood up. The beast towered over her, its mouth open, its head trashing from side to side sending saliva floating everywhere. It swung its large paw just as Akosua swung her club.

The Soucouyant behind her changed into a cougar, its teeth almost as big as a ram’s horn. It jumped at Ampah; its large body blocked the light from the torch behind it, and for a second Ampah was not prepared for the attack and was knocked to the ground. The cougar stood over him saliva dripped from its mouth onto Ampah’s face. The boy fumbled on his belt to retrieve his pouch with the salt pellets, then grinded a handful into the cougar’s eyes. The beast roared, then jumped off of him and disappeared into the dark. The last two Soucouyants turned into giant wolves. Their canine scent filled the air as they rushed at the warriors. The warriors retaliated, swinging their clubs, warding off their attackers

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