“Kimoun ou ye!” the man barked, his voice more like a growl. Henry was frozen with fear.
“Why are you in our jungle?” the man demanded Henry did not respond. The man turned to the others and shouted an order. One of the painted face warriors came forward with a machete, raised it in the air and swung it. Henry screamed, his voice echoed through the jungle.
Akosua, Adofo, Kwao and four warriors hid in the bushes near the Bokor’s village. Henry was tied on a pole in the middle of the village. There was a small crude altar about four feet tall and made of rocks next to him. There was a piece of wood with the number six and the word Friday scratched on it. A piece of red cloth was draped around one of the rocks, red and white beads were scattered on the cloth. Next to that were a double axe and a machete. Apples, yams, corn and peppers were placed on top of the beads and the cloth. The Bokors stood around discussing what they would do with Henry. The Douen walked out of the jungle and up to Henry. He sniffed at Henry’s legs, his breath hot as he snorted.
“I will be waiting for you bones,” the Douen said then bit Henry’s leg.
“Get away from me you little beast!” Henry yelled. One of the Bokors stepped up, grabbed the Douen by his arm, and threw him to the ground.
“Away with you beast child,” he shouted and turned to Henry.
“Baron Samedi will make you tell us who you are and why you are here. He will protect us from any evil you bring into our jungle. We have no fear of you.” One of them said. They began to chan,t and the sound of Bata drums filled the air, and the whole village about two hundred strong began dancing. One of the Bokors, a woman, trashed around in the dirt. Children ran around, their bald heads glowed in the light.
“Baron Samedi, Baron Samedi,” they chanted, Kwao leaned into Akosua and whispered,
“What do we do?” Akosua was quiet, her lips moved,
“Obatala, we beg of you, come to our aid, we give you this humble offerings of your favorite things,” she said as she sat a bowl with an egg and a branch from a bougainvillea tree on the ground in front of her. The bougainvillea bush swayed in the wind, ants quickly congregated around the plate. Akosua sat, her tongue darting in and out, just like a serpent, a strange whistling sound escaped her mouth. Suddenly above them, the trees came alive with a hissing sound and flapping wings. The skies darken as winged serpents swooped into the village and surrounded Henry and the Bokors. The Bokors scattered in all directions, some disappeared into the jungle, while others ran into their huts. The serpents flew through the village chasing the retreating Bokors. Their tongues out, their fangs exposed menacingly, as they flew into the huts and around the village,
“Let’s go,” Akosua said and for a second her companions hesitated,
“Don’t worry they wouldn’t hurt you, they are not going to hurt anyone” she said, stood up and walked into the village, avoiding the running Bokors. Some of them stopped and looked at her but did nothing. Kwao protested under his breath his arms in front of his face to protect his eyes as he. Akosua walked ahead, a determined expression on her face, a fearless look in her eyes. She was calm. Some of the serpents formed a shield around them.