Segment of New work in Progress. “My Father’s Shadow”

Andre was getting ready to go to the student union,

“Wah you so happy for?” the shadow asked,

“A gurl man ah gurl,”

“You too excited bout dis one why?”

“She real nice,” Andre said. The shadow moved out of the dark and stood next to him in front of the mirror. Its body fluctuated between black and grey.

“Its bout time, you need to settle down,”

“Wah you say, I thought you said a real man don settle wid one woman eh?”

“What, are you questioning me, listen you are grown now time to start a family, a man needs a home base,”

“Oh so now you saying dat I should stick to one woman?” The shadow moved to in front of him and for the first time slapped him in the chest. A chill ran through Andre’s body. He stepped away from the shadow,

“Wah you trying to make me afraid of you?” he asked, the shadow slapped him again,

“You should be, remember I control everything, what you think, what you feel. Like I said you are a grown man now, things are going to be different from here on out,”

“hey am me own man, you don control me and don you forget dat, you hear,” The shadow swung his arm knocking some books off the dresser.

“You don talk to me like dat bouy. I been like you fada for the last ten years and don tink because you got big dat I don have no say in wah you do,”

“To hell with you,”

“Or is it to hell wid you huh, jus because you full ah education and you talking like a white man now don mean you is a bigman.” Andre walked to the door,

“You cant escape me not night or day,” Andre closed the door behind him and walked down the hall, the shadow was right beside him, running along the wall.

Andre arrived at the student union and looked around. He spotted her in the far corner; she was wearing a sun dress, no makeup and sandals. He walked up to her and for a moment she did not acknowledge him.  He stood there feeling stupid,

“Is dis her, man I tink you wasting you damn time here. She stuck up for so,”

“Am going to handle dis,” Andre responded. The shadow started to move behind her and Andre stepped closer to her. She turned around and smiled.

“I see you made it huh?”

“Why wouldn’t I?”

“Why would you?”

“Well if you here den am here,” Andre said.

“Oh dear lord, is dat de best you could do eh? You sound like a bloody stupidy,” the shadow said. Andre looked at him crossed eyes,

“Stay out of dis,”

“What did you say?” the girl asked,

“I sadi what is you name?’

“Claudette,” she said walking away. The shadow followed her and lifted its hand like he was going to smack her but. Andre ran up top her passing through the shadow,

Where to now?” he asked. She turned around and smilled at him.

“Your call,” she said.

“I know de perfect spot, you want to go,”

“Where is it?”

“Leh me surprise you,” he said as he walked ahead of her. She follows him.

From that day on they spent as much time as they could together. Andre was happy; he had stopped chasing girls and had slowed down on his drinking. Claudette was a nice girl and he tried his best to show her the utmost respect.

Wah wrong wid you bouy” the shadow asked. Andre ignored him, “Don ignore me damn it,”

“What do you what?” Andre asked

“OHhhh listen to de island bouy wid he high affluent talk, What do you what?” The shadow said,

“You jus jealous dat’s all,” Andre said going into the bathroom of the small dorm room. He turned on the light but as soon as he sat down on the toilet seat the shadow walked through the closed door.

“Who you tink you is eh? Did you tink you go become a bigshot and leave old shadow behind. Never, I go be here and dere is notten you could do about it,”

“Oh really, we go see bout that,” Andre barked back. Suddenly the shadow was right in front of him, its red eyes floating before him. The shadow inhaled and blew. A small puff of black escaped its mouth. Andre tried to move away, but the small cloud went into his nose and mouth stifling him,

“Nobody gets away from me, nobody leaves me behind. Wey you go I go, who you marry I marry, when you shit I take I is shitting too.” The shadow said. Small puff of black came out of his white mouth. Andre sucked in hard but inhaled nothing.

“Ah could kill you right now if Ah is ready to,” the shadow said then inhaled and the puff of black trailed out of Andre’s mouth and he inhaled.

“Now I is in charge and know dis, you could fight all you want but I go win in de end.” The shadow disappeared, small puffs of black floated in front of Andre. The light came back on and he got up and stumbled back to his bed. He lay there for a second to catch his breath then got up, went to his dresser and got a small bottle of rum and drank the whole thing.

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