15th installment of Obeah

CHAPTER 6

Three weeks later Akosua decided it was time to go have a talk with the Bokors. She was to take Kwao and two of the other boys. Adofo wanted to go, but she insisted that he was the best person to be in charge of the village while she was gone.

That night Henry sat in a bamboo chair outside his hut watching stars shoot across the tropical sky. He heard the crackle of a fire in the hut next to his. A dog barked then ran by chasing a chicken. He saw a shadow walking behind one of the huts, so he got up and went to investigate. The person stood in the shadows for a second then walked in front of a torch that sat at the door of the hut. Kwao’s face materialized in the orange light. Henry stepped back into the shadows, afraid that the young warrior would see him. Kwao walked to the back of the hut and stood just outside the jungle, and looked around, then disappeared into the thick bushes. Henry stood confused; he did not follow him, or go tell Akosua. He turned and walked back to the hut, this was none of his business, and he would not say anything. He sat back in the chair and looked up at the sky. He wondered what his sister was doing right then, was she being tortured by the Ligaroos? The thought of his sister being hurt angered him. He got up and paced back and forth in front of the hut. An owl hooted in the distance, laughter came from a hut across the village. He sat back down in the chair; it creaked as he leaned back. He closed his eyes and listened to the night.

He heard drums in the distance, so he got up and walked in the direction of the sound. Children ran past him and disappeared into the jungle giggling and talking. He followed them until he got to a clearing. He had not been to this part of the jungle before, but sometimes, in the middle of the night, he heard the drums and wondered what the villagers were doing. Akosua was in the middle of the crowd, her body shaking, her eyes opened wide. It was a cool night, but yet sweat rolled down her face, and down her back, darkening the white dress she wore. Henry touched a boy near him.

“What is happening?” He asked, at first the boy did not answer, but reluctantly looked at him,

“She is praying to Papa Legba for protection on her journey,” the boy said then turned his attention back to Akosua. Henry looked around, on a bamboo table off to the side, vegetables and meat was laid out with plates and bowls taken from the ship. Henry wondered why the food was there and touched the boy again,

“Whats the food for?” he asked and smiled but the boy gave him a crossed look and returned to watching the proceedings. Akosua danced around, the drumbeat pulsating as other villagers joined her in the revelry. They danced and sang until the drummers were exhausted and most of the dancers were lying on the ground. Henry left and went back to his hut, he wished he know what they were doing, but he was an outsider, and they were still suspicious of him. He went to bed with the sound of the drums pounding in his head.

“Crazy savages,” he said

It was late afternoon the next day, a cool breeze swept through the island. The coconut trees swayed gently, monkeys swung from tree branch to tree branch. Laugher filled the air as the kids chased dogs in the middle of the village. It was strangely peaceful, so Henry decided to go for a walk. He walked up the path to the top of the hill and stood looking out at the ocean. Seagulls soared over the blue abyss squawking as they went. Henry took a deep breath as the cool breeze brushed against his face. He heard a giggle, so he walked closer to the edge and looked down. Akosua and Adofo were on a raft made of bamboo. He was touching her face with his fingers as she swooned and looked into his eyes. Adofo was pleading

“I should go with you,” he said. Akosua ran her fingers against his muscular stomach.

“You will serve a better purpose here,’ she said tenderly,

“Who will protect you, Kwao?” he asked. Akosua kissed him softly,

“The Loas will protect me,” she replied.

“But…..” Akosua placed he fingers on his lips.

“I can take care of myself. The villagers need you here. Adofo leaned in and kissed her. Colourful fish surrounded the raft glittering in the sunlight. Dolphins jumped around the raft creating a perfect circle of white foaming water around the bamboo frame. There was a basket filled with yellow mangoes, bright yellow golden apples, tropical green Mamie apples and yellow and green guavas. There was a bottle of dark red liquid hanging off the raft into the water. Henry thought it was sorrel, a sweet drink made from the blossom of a small tree in the jungle. Akosua looked happy; her copper toned skin glistened as the spray from the splash of the dolphins dripped off her skin. Adofo, his bare muscular chest sparkled with droplets of water that sat for a second, then rolled down his body. His dreadlocks hung down his back resting in the ocean next to the raft. Henry smiled; he was a little envious of Adofo.

Adofo stood up and jumped into the ocean, his dreadlocks floated on the surface like the train on the dress of the plantation owner’s daughter. He swam to the beach and retrieved two calabash bowls. One of the dolphins nuzzled up to the raft and Akosua stroked its nose. Henry smiled as the dolphin spun around, flipped, its fins splashing Akosua. Adofo walked into the ocean balancing two bowls, one in each hand. The dolphin swam towards him. Adofo placed the bowls on its back and the animal swam to the raft. Akosua scooped the bowls up and sat them down. Adofo climbed aboard and sat in front of Akosua.

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