They arrived back at the village just when the moon rose above the trees. Everyone in the village came out to greet them. Chickens clucked, dogs barked, and children sang. They walked into the big dining hut. Food was brought out for Henry, he was hungry, he attacked the food growling and making a mess on the bamboo table. Akosua looked at him and smiled,
“Come see me when you are done, Kwao will show you where,” she said, and she got up and walked out the door into the night followed by Adofo. Kwao sat and looked at Henry,
“You eat like an animal,” he said twisting his mouth in disgust. Henry paid him no mind.
When he was finished eating and got all cleaned up, Kwao led him to a hut that sat just inside the jungle, and just away from the main village. It was surrounded by three smaller huts. Kwao pushed Henry into the doorway and stood outside. Henry looked into the dimly lit room, but saw no one. He walked to the middle of the room. It was a perfect square with a torch in every corner. The yellow glow casted shadows across the bamboo walls. There was a bamboo table to his left. On it sat small bowls with small flames that flickered in the slight breeze that swept through the hut. The table looked like the altar he saw in the Bokors village, some kind of homage to their gods. There were bamboo chairs throughout the room each had crudely made straw dolls sitting in them. There was a strong scent of palm oil throughout the room. Henry stood awkwardly waiting, unsure if he should sit or stand. Just when he decided to go ahead and sit down, Akosua appeared from a dark doorway. She stopped and smiled at him,
“Hi, come sit,” she said and motioned to two chairs next to the window. He walked over and sat down. He heard the wind rustle through the leaves outside, the flap of wings as birds flew around in the jungle. She looked at him still smiling and sat down next to him. The bright light from the torch directly behind her head made it look like there was an orange halo above her head,
“How are you doing?” she asked, Henry hesitated,
“I miss my family,” he said, Akosua rested her hand on his shoulder, her big hazel eyes sympathetic,
“I know, we all miss our family,” she said, Henry fought back the tears,
“Where are your parents and how did you end up on this island anyway. Where are the overseers, and foremen, and plantation owners?’ Henry asked, Akosua lifted a copper brown arm to
“Shhhh,” she said smiling, “I will have to tell you the whole story from the start,” she said, Henry sat and looked at her with anticipation. Akosua sat back, her eyes had a faraway look, and she took a deep breath then started talking,
“We were on our way to a sugar cane plantation on some colony. We spent days on that ship, chained and shackled in its belly. The scent of vomit, and feces, and blood and stale human odors filled the ship. Many got sick and died. My little brother did not make it; he died in my mother’s arms. It was hard to tell the time or the days, and after what seemed like weeks we encountered a massive storm. Many were swept into the ocean screaming. We heard an awful crash and the ship came to a stop and tilted to the side. The captain and some of his crew ordered us off the ship. We sat on that beach for days. The captain was hoping that a ship would go by and we would be rescued. Some of the slaves ran into the jungle and that sent the captain into a violent rage. From that day on he used a heavy hand to control the remaining slaves. But he could not because there was a feud between my mother who was an Obeah woman, and a Hougan, a Vodron priest on the ship with us. But he practiced in black magic calling on Baron Samedi the lord of the dead. He became a Bokor; they are rouge Hougans who try to walk on the fence practicing in both realms of good and evil. It is the Bokors who captured you in the jungle.” She said then stopped and took a deep breath.
“My mother and the Bokor leader John fought over everything until one day John tried to put an evil spell on her. When that did not work, he and his followers formed an alliance with the captain, but what they did not take into consideration was the fact that there were Ligaroos among us. At first some slaves said it was a myth, until a child was found dead, all the blood drained from her body.” Akosua stopped talking got up and walked into the room she had appeared from. Henry sat looking around the room. The dolls seemed to have a life of their own. Outside dogs howled, chickens clucked, and pigs squealed. An owl flew over the hut hooting loudly. Akosua came back out of the room and walked over to the window. Lightening flashed across the dark sky followed by ear splitting thunder,
“Chango is angry tonight,” she said, Henry looked at her,
her lips and touched it with her forefinger,
“Who is Chango?” he asked, Akosua walked over to him,
“He is a Loa, a God that controls storms,” she said Henry shook a little as a cold wind swept through the hut causing the bamboo walls to moan eerily. Akosua was standing in front of Henry, her white dress shimmered a little with every flash of lightening, then as if from nowhere she handed him a cup made of coconut shell,
“Lime juice,” she said, and then sat down,
“The feud between my mother and John grew worse until one day another child disappeared and rumours spread throughout the village that the Bokors had used her for black magic. The next day the child was found, all the blood was drained from her body. It was then that my mother and John joined forces to defend the village from the Ligaroos. The beasts attacked John and dragged him into the jungle and he was never heard from again. The rest of the Bokors retreated into the jungle. The captain then resorted to brute force to bring calm to his colony, but he had very little help. His crew was sick from the tropical diseases, their bodies unaccustomed to the climate and most of them died. He knew that it was only a matter of time before the Ligaroos got him. Then one night as I lay in bed, I heard this chilling scream and the village was ablaze. My mother ushered us kids into the jungle and told us she would be back,” Akosua shook a little as she remembered that night. A tear drop rolled down her cheek landing on her dress making a small dark circle on it. The animals in the jungle became silent and the air was still, just like the calm in the middle of a storm. Akosua took a deep breath, and not knowing what to do Henry spoke,
“Were the Bokors going to sacrificed me?” he asked, Akosua looked at him wiping the tear drop from her cheek,
“There are romours that they would sacrifice people to Congo Savanne, a fierce Loa that would grind his captives up like corn and consume them, but that is only romours. They are holy men first and will not harm anyone.” Akosua stopped talking and walked over to the window. The sky had cleared up, the stars and the moon hung over the jungle sending silver light bouncing off the leaves. Henry started to talk, but hesitated, he did not want to ask too many questions, but he wanted to know,
“Who is Marinette- bu….?” He struggled to pronounce. Akosua smiled.
“You mean Marinette-Bwa-Check?” She asked. Henry looked at the ground a little embarrassed.
“Yes,” he said, Akosua shifted her feet in the dirt
“She is an evil spirit. She is known to eat people.” Akosua responded. Henry felt a little more comfortable.
“What is this word that Kwao keeps calling me?” He asked Akosua smiled again,
“You mean Kindoki?” She asked Henry nodded. “It means evil spirit.” She said as lightening flashed behind her. She continued with what she was saying before Henry asked any more questions.