42nd Installment of Obeah

He woke up with a start and looked around. It was even darker; he thought he was still in his dreamless sleep. He thought he saw a white flash, but dismissed it as his mind playing tricks on him. He closed his eyes and tried to go back to sleep, but he had this sick feeling that someone or something was moving around in the dark. He opened his eyes and lay there staring up into the dark afraid to move. Suddenly, a female voice whispered into his ear sending chills down his spine. He sat up and looked around. In the dark, he saw the shadows of the Bokor and the boy and girl lying next to him. He tried to peer in the direction of Akosua, but could not see anything. He looked around for a second then smiled to himself; his imagination had to be playing tricks on him.

“Coward,” he muttered,

He lay back down and closed his eyes, but he heard feet shuffle and lifted his head and looked around. The moon must have come out from behind a cloud, because some florescent light seeped through the thick leafy branches of the willow trees. He sat up and scanned the area around him. Small spotlights of silver escaped through the grove of trees. He saw a shadow walk away from where the Bokors had settled down. He waited until the shadow disappeared beyond the beams of silver lights, then got up and followed. He looked around to see if anyone else had noticed, but nobody else moved. He picked up his machete and followed the Bokor. For a second, he thought he should tell Akosua and Adofo what was going on, but he thought if he figured out what was going on, he would be accepted and trusted by the whole group. He tried to be quiet and watch where he was going, but the moonlight did not shine where he was, and he stomped his right foot on a rock. It hurt, and he placed his hand over his mouth. The Bokor materialized into a spot where the moonlight shined through. He walked as if in a trance, his head still, and his steps short and deliberate. He stopped and raised his hand as if reaching out to someone. He started walking again and disappeared beyond the moonlight. Henry tightened his grip on his machete and followed.

He followed the Bokor for about ten minutes going in and out of the moonbeams. Henry walked out of the cluster of willow trees and into the opening next to a stream. The moonlight shined silver on the running water, the sparkle almost hypnotized him. The Bokor stopped just in front of him, so Henry retreated under one of the trees and watched. The man stood looking into the bushes on the other side of the creek. Henry kept looking, wondering what he was up to. A mosquito bit into Henry’s arm and he almost slapped it, but stopped himself and just grinded the insect onto his skin. Suddenly from the bushes, a portion of white material appeared. Henry parted the willow branches and peeped out at the man. Slowly, a woman walked out of the bushes and looked over at the Bokor. He did not move, as the woman walked towards him. Her eyes looked like burning coals; she wore a beautiful wide brimmed hat and a white veil over her face. She was dressed exquisitely, her white blouse had puffy sleeves, and she wore a long white petti coat skirt. She walked with a slight limp, but yet her movements were graceful.

She stopped in front of the Bokor and for a second they looked at each other like long lost lovers reunited. Slowly she stretched her right hand out and the Bokor took it. She pulled him towards her and they began to dance. Her white blouse shimmered silver in the moonlight. Henry was reminded of the dances he saw the colonists do at parties on the plantation. They stopped dancing and began to kiss, then they let go and looked into each other eyes. The orange glows that were her eyes flickered red while she kissed him. She turned away from him and started walking towards the jungle. The Bokor stood for a second, as if making up his mind on wither to follow her. His body swayed forward, then backward. She stopped and looked back at him. He took a tentative step towards her. She stretched her arm out and like a Jumbie he moved towards her.

Henry stepped out from under the willow tree. He tried to scream, he heard the words in his head, but no sound came out of his mouth. He tried to walk towards them, but after he took one step he could not move. Cold chills ran through his body, then his skin tingled and he was hot. Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw another woman walking towards him. He tried to run, and at first he thought he was moving, but suddenly she was in front of him. A sudden weakness took over his body and the machete fell from his fingers. A wolf howled in the jungle, and for a second Henry felt normal again. The stream sparkled as it trickled around rocks; a bird flew over his head squawking. He bent down to pick up his machete, but the woman lifted her petti coat skirt and kicked him with a hoofed leg. The moon grew smaller as he fell backwards. The stars twinkled, even on the jungle floor. The woman turned and ran for the jungle as several shadowy figures ran after her. Henry slipped into unconsciousness.

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