45th Installment of Obeah

“Get up it’s your watch,” Kwao said. Henry slowly sat up and looked around. The others were asleep, Akosua lay by herself and Adobo was nowhere in sight. Henry stood up and stretched.

“Henry, Henry,” he turned and saw the boy sitting on a rock just above the campsite. Henry grabbed his spear and joined the boy.

“Great spot huh?” the boy said smiling, proud that he had discovered the rock. Henry climbed onto the rock and sat next to the boy. The sky was dark, except for the stars that twinkled silver above the trees. There seemed to be millions of them, each twinkled with its own rhythm. He saw the tops of the trees against the stars where the sky ended and the jungle began. A wolf howled in the jungle. Fireflies floated around them, and the boy cupped one in his hands and watched in amazement as small beams of light escaped through his fingers. The lone torch that lit up the camp popped and cracked in a slight wind.

“Do you remember your parents?” He asked, the boy did not respond for a second as if thinking of what to say.

“Sometimes, but it’s like am asleep and dreaming. I remember my father coming back from hunting, or my mother singing as she cooked. Then I remember my father being sick on the plantation, he had cuts all over his back.” The boy stopped talking and looked out into the darkness of the night. Henry did not say anything; he knew what the cuts were from.

“The old slave master beat him real bad,” The boy looked out at the jungle. In the light from the stars, Henry saw the sadness in his eyes. Then as if to change the subject the boy turned to him.

“Did your father hunt?” He asked,

“No, when I was little we lived in a city. Stone houses, carriages, and lots of people walking about. We rarely went into the countryside.” Henry said then drifted into thought. He was startled by movement in the bushes next to the camp site. Both him, and the boy looked in the direction of the noise. There it was again, it sounded like someone had stepped on a dry piece of wood.

“What was that?” Henry asked. The boy stood on the rock and peered into the bushes

“Must be a wolf,” he said, Henry got up and jumped off the rock. He slowly crept in the direction of the cracking wood. He walked into the bushes and stopped, his spear held above his head. His whole body tingled, and his muscles twitched, he was prepared to throw his spear. Just as he was about to throw the spear, Adobo walked out of the bushes,

“Whoa,” Adobo said and smiled.

“It’s me,” he said as he held his arms up, then turned to Henry and slapped him on his shoulder. Henry lowered his spear.

“Adobo, it is you, I almost threw my spear.” He said, Adobo laughed quietly.

“Nature called, sorry I startled you,” he said as he walked past Henry. Henry turned around and looked at him.

“Well back to bed,” Adobo said and walked away. Henry looked at him, then turned and looked at the bushes from where he had come. He walked over to the bushes and stepped in, nature was calling him too. He kicked something and almost fell. He looked down and saw a dead fox. It twitched and a blood circle formed around its head on the jungle’s floor.

“What in the?” he said. He jumped, his heart raced, and his skin felt like it was on fire. Henry shrugged, urinated against a tree trunk and walked back to the rock.

“What was it?” The boy asked. Henry sat down next to him.

“Adobo relieving himself,” Henry replied.

“Looks like he was attacked by a fox and he killed it.”

“I have seen him kill a giant cat with his bare hands. Adofo is a great warrior. I would like to be like him some day.

They sat in silence and looked out over the jungle. A star shot across the sky and disappeared behind the trees. A wake of vultures flew by, their bodies a mass shadow against the twinkling sky. Henry thought about the climb up the mountain and took a deep breath. He did that when he wanted to stop himself from being nervous. He was ready for anything now, evil spirits, La Disables’, Arawak’s, anything the Evil Loas would conjure. He had to do this to save his sister from the Ligaroos.

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