35th Installment of Obeah

The sun was going down in the west when they finally sat down to eat. Henry snacked on tropical fruit all afternoon, he could not help himself he was hungry. Akosua sat at the head of the middle table. Her smile radiated across the table, as she laughed and talked with everyone. Henry surveyed the spread. Maroon coloured sweet potatoes, earth tone grey yams, boiled green bananas, vegetables of all kinds sat on the table in calabash bowls. Yellow mangoes, bananas and sour soups, yellow and green paw paws, golden apples, red plumbs and yellow passion fruit spotted green in places. There was chicken, roasted pig, and a roasted goat sat in the middle of the table. Calabash bowls sat in front of every villager. Coconut shell cups with lime juice. Homemade vases lined the middle of each table with bright tropical coloured flowers. This was the most food he had seen in one sitting. It was even larger than the feasts the plantation owner had when he had guests from the Old Country. Akosua stood up,

“Our journey was successful; we have convinced the Bokors to join us in the fight against the Ligaroo King and his followers. We have overcome many obstacles, but this is only the beginning of our fight. The Bokors will come to our village and from here we will leave to retrieve the Spear of Salt. We will build more huts to accommodate our guests. With the grace of Yemaya and Obatala, we will be victorious. But today we will rejoice, eat, drink and be merry.” She said and lifted her coconut shell cup.

“To our health, our success, and for the safe return of our people!” She said and the villagers cheered, some pounded their fists on the tables.

After they had eaten, they sat around the village too stuffed to move. Ampah was on a hammock tied between two mango trees, Adofo and Akosua lay on banana leaves next to Lassette who sat on a tree stump, Kwao and some of the boys were wrestling, their dreadlocks covered with sand. Henry sat in a tree branch looking down on the lazy group. Small children played with dogs and monkeys on the boundary where the village stopped and the jungle began. Lassette sat up,

“Why don’t the Ligaroo King come here himself and destroy the village?” She asked. Kwao and the boys stopped wrestling and looked over. Akosua spoke without sitting up,

“He has no reason to come here. He can send his Ligaroos warriors and Jumbies to kidnap anyone he wants. Plus he knows that we have to come to his island to free our parents, all he has to do is wait to get our strongest all in one place, then it will be easy for him to destroy us.” She said lazily. Lassette mumbled and leaned back looking up at the blue sky. She waited for a second then spoke again,

“How come the Gods and evil spirits don’t attack us themselves?” she asked. This time Akosua sat up.

“They have to possess someone to do their evil deeds. That is why the Arawak’s came, and the beast that Adofo and the boys killed turned into one of us. The evil Loas possessed them and when they are released from that possession they never remember what they did. It’s like the beliefs from your own homeland. Your devil can possess people and cause them to do evil deeds. Your god lives in you, but some of you are possessed by evil.” She said.” Lassette seemed satisfied with Akosua’s answer and settled down. Akosua lay back down, the ocean washed ashore on the beach in the distance; bees buzzed by and went into the jungle. The splash of the dolphins is heard as the wind swept in from the ocean. Henry closed his eyes as the coolness brushed his face. He needed this peaceful time because soon it would be time to go off to battle again.

Night descended on the island and the drummers began to play. The villagersdanced around the bonfire. Henry joined them and danced until his legs began to ache. The fire popped and cracked, and some of the children chased the sparks that floated into the air. Their voices echoed into the jungle, dogs howled and barked, some chasing the children that ran around the fire. Akosua and Adofo had disappeared to their special place on the small beach. Kwao was missing too. Henry knew that he was somewhere spying on the two lovers. It was late when he went back to his hut and flopped down on his bed. The events of the day played out in his head like a living dream. This was the most fun he had had since his mother died. He thought of his sister and said out loud,

“I am coming to rescue you,” his voice interrupting the crickets outside the hut. He fell asleep to images of him and his sister playing in the field behind their home in the Old Country.

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