54th and Final Installment of La Diablesse

CHAPTER 16

I regained consciousness lying on white sand, I tried to get up but the world round me felt like it had broken away from its axis, I closed me eyes until the spinning stopped then got to me feet and surveyed me surroundings. I was standing on a small beach no longer then two hundred yards long, me body was covered with seaweeds that stuck to me like wet rope; damn things made me feel like I was tired up or something. I peeled the weeds off and slowly walked towards the road. I felt a sharp pain on me stomach winching, I looked down and saw burned skin hanging out of a circular wound; I tell you what it stung like crazy as the salty ocean water ran into it, I ignored the pain and kept walking up the slight incline to the leveled part of the beach, steel drum music filled the air from beyond the clump of coconut trees just ahead so I walked through the trees careful not to step on the seashells lying on the ground, the wind swept through the trees causing dried out coconuts to fall from them, crows squawked as they tried to escape the noise.

The music grew louder and it was accompanied by the sound of a crowd laughing and singing. I came onto the street and was suddenly pushed into a crowd of people dancing to the rhythm of calypso music, I maneuvered through the mob and stood on the sidewalk next to the coconut grove, people were going by in waves of colour that sparkled in the early morning sun. I stepped off the sidewalk and pushed me way through the crowd, bodies went by me they faces alight with joy, some of them looked at me but did not seem to care I was there. Jab Jabs dancing by they blackened bodies startled me a little, they red eyes and red tongues bounced up and down as they jumped up and down, some of them beating on milk cans with sticks, other had tire irons and long nails beating to the rhythm, and others held counch shell to they lips blowing into them the sound echoing through the crowds. . I stepped back onto the sidewalk cowering away from them; I mean devilish revelers were not what I needed to see. They went by smearing the on lookers with they black hands, teasing children with they snakes and bullfrogs as they clung to they mother’s skirts trying to escape the devilish masqueraders as they sang,

“Jab Jab, I want a penny!” I shook a little remembering the voices of the La Diablesse screaming in the cave.

The Jab Jabs went by and was replaced by a group of Short Knees. They sprayed powder on the spectators sending them scurrying from the white mist, the bells on the waistband of they costumes jingling as they stomped they feet and despite the crowds attempt to escape, the powder floated into the are creating a mist above they heads then landing on them leaving them looking like the walking dead. I watched they ghostly faces gleam with pleasure as the they disappeared down the street.

I stepped onto the street again and was immediately caught in a rush of bodies. I fell to the pavement looking up at the soles of shoes

“Drank too much me bouy?” laughed a man as he took me hand and pulled me up, I stood up and stared at him confused, he looked me up and down and an astonished expression appeared on his face.

“You naked,” he shouted in disbelief, I stumbled backwards looking round wildly as some of the revelers stopped and looked at me, then began to form a circle round me some of they faces contorted with dis“Dat is de Teacher boy!” screamed a female voice. A hush came over the crowd the music fading in the background, I looked down at me body and instinctively tried to cover meself with me hands. I pushed me way through as the silent astonishment turned into hysterical laughter.

I scanned the sidewalk desperately looking for something to hide me shame when a woman walked by handing me a skirt as she went, me heart skipped a beat when I realized it was the leader of the La Diablesse, I mean, bloody hell, why was she following me? I held the skirt and looked at she as she danced away, I wanted to thank she but she disappeared into the crowd. I looked round trying to figure out where I was but the crowd was too thick making it impossible for me to see any street signs so I walked round aimlessly bumping into people as I went. I started to figure out that it was the yearly carnival and people were too busy dancing to pay any attention to me, then I was stunned when I realized that it was the month of August the time when carnival was celebrated on the island, I was in the captivity of the La Diablesse for over three months. Anger welled up in me as I thought bout the experience I had encountered, I began to cry tears of joy as it set in that I had escaped, the sky opened up and it started to drizzle causing some of the revelers to scamper for cover.

There was a street sign on the corner and I realized that I was on a street just down from the school. I ran through the crowd shoving anyone that got in me way, some of the drunken men threw punches wildly as I pushed them but they were too damn intoxicated to cause any real damage, I wanted to get home so I can see if Jane was still on the island.

I managed to get out of the centre of the city to where there were less people, some of them were tired revelers sitting on the sidewalks half asleep, dunk or high I suspected. Stragglers walked to and from the melee some singing and shouting if only they knew the hell I just came from, friendly faces walked by laughing talking and enjoying themselves, the smell of Roti being cooked came from a roadside stand and people flocked the vender trying to get something to eat. The rain was coming down hard now and some of the people were running into shops and restaurants along the side of the streets, I did not try to escape the rain, I mean; I was enjoying being outside too much. As I turned in the direction of home I was confronted by several people I knew, they were asking me to buy them drinks, I mean, here I was walking round with a damn skirt on without pockets and they were asking for bloody money, I shook me head at them and they walked away stumbling as they went. I went onto the street that ran alongside the waterfront; small fishing boats were docked close to the wall that separated the ocean from the street, I began to feel more comfortable knowing that no one would think me out of place wearing a skirt, hell it was carnival time. I stopped at a small shop for a drink of water, the man behind the counter handed me a glass of orange juice instead.

“You look like you need it.’ He said as he turned to the next customer, I thanked him and then looked round at the other patrons, on the other side of the shop a young lady sat at a table she back towards me, she was eating from a large bowl looking out to sea. Me heart skipped a beat as I thought I recognized she and with anger welling up in me I got up and walked over to she, she looked up at me and I almost fainted, she was the splitting image of the young girl in the cave, she smiled sending a wave of fear and anger through me, I screamed at she and she jumped up holding the bowl in she hand.

“Wha you want!” she screamed backing away from me.

“Its her,” I shouted the glass of orange juice falling out of me hand. I took a step towards she intent on knocking she down and she lifted the bowl and threw it at me, I ducked and the bowl hit the wall behind the counter just missing the shop owner. Two men came forward and grabbed me, I tell you what, I knocked the men off me and charged at she tables and chairs went in all directions. A woman wearing a colourful African print dress was holding the girl back; food flew out of she mouth as she screamed.

“He crazy, he ah crazy man!” More men tackled me and I struggled to free meself from them but they held on one of them shouting to the shop owner to call the police. I sank into unconsciousness me body going limp.

 

53rd Installment of La Diablesse

I was halfway down the passageway when I saw the leader standing in front another entrance, she beckoned me and I ran into the opening and kept going as I past she I looked into she eyes, they were sad, this was the first time I truly felt any sympathy towards she. She stood there with a half smile on she face.

The wind grew stronger as I went and I knew I was close to the outside world, I tell you what I was so excited I started screaming for so hot tears of joy rolling down me face. The passageway suddenly became shorter and I felt wings tickling me on the head. I ducked as bats flew out of the ceiling smashing into me head me shoulders, me face, them things smelled real bad. Soon I found myself surrounded by the damn creatures their hairy wings punishing me face as they flew round frantically, I covered me face with me arms and kept running, damn satanic birds. Suddenly the night sky appeared in front of me it was the most damn beautiful starry sky I had ever seen. I kept going and I found meself floating in mid air among the bats, for a moment I felt like I was flying and then I began to fall. I looked down and saw the dark ocean rushing up at me. I braced meself for the impact but still landed real hard me body jolted as I hit the cold water. I submerged slowly struggling to keep meself from swallowing the salty sea, I hit the bottom, kicked me legs and began floating to the surface. I broke the top of the water just as a wave was coming into shore; I struggled against the surf trying not to be swept into the rocks. After the wave passed the ocean became calm and I looked back at the hole from where I had fallen, I saw the torches of the La Diablesse in the opening as I lost consciousness.

52nd Installment of La Diablesse

The passage widened a little giving me more room to move as I ran past dark doorways leading to other caves, La Diablesses jumped out barely missing me they bodies crashing into the walls. The passageway was becoming darker and I realized that there was less torches on the walls and grabbed one of them and kept running my heart pounding like a drum in a drum circle. One of the La Diablesse jumped out of the dark entrances slamming into me, I bounced off the wall and landed hard onto the sand the torch flew into the air landing a couple of feet in front of me. She attempted to kick me with she hoofed leg but I managed to evade she by rolling towards the torch. I picked it up and swung hitting she in the side of the head, man, I tell you what, that woman screamed real loud and fell to the ground motionless. I looked at she for a second and then turned and continued running until the passageway came to a dead end. I swung the torch in front of me and realized there were two entrances and I picked one and ran into it. The walls round me were wider and a strong wind swept through the cave almost extinguishing the torch. I did not hear the La Diablesses anymore so I stumbled over to the wall and leaned against it.

The wind whistled through the cave and I had to shield the torch with the palm of me hand to stop it from going out. I looked round trying to figure out where the hell the wind came from but the light of the torch was almost out. I was so engrossed in trying to find the source of the wind I had not seen Christine enter the cave, bloody beast, why would she not die? I stiffened up anticipating she attack. Just as she came at me the torch went out and I felt she fist crash into me face, I swung wildly in the dark with the torch but hit nothing, then I stopped and peered into the darkness, that’s when I heard Christine laugh a low guttural groan. Me hand was shaking so much I lost me hold on the torch and it fell onto the sand next to me, man I tell you, all I heard was Christine breathing real hard.

Suddenly the cave lit up as another La Diablesse came in with a torch; she walked over and stuck it into a holder to the left of me. Christine stood in front of me with a big grin on she face as slowly more La Diablesse came into the cave and I was surrounded by all these devilish women all eyeing me like I was a main course at a big dinner. There was an eerie silence as they stood round looking at me, suddenly Christine charged at me screaming, I moved to me left and she went head first into the wall. She screamed with anger and slowly looked over she shoulder at me the black of she eyes disappearing as she anger boiled. She stood up straight turned and faced me and slowly began walking in me direction laughing like she was going out of she mind or something. I backed up along the wall until I felt the heat from the torch next to me neck. They had formed a tight half circle round me like a pack of wolves waiting for the right time to attack. Christine came at me again and before I could evade she she crushed me against the wall me face inches away from the flame of the torch, she face was close to mine she nose touching me cheek, I mean, the damn woman was grunting spit flying out she mouth. Then slowly she wrapped she fingers round me neck and started squeezing at the same time pushing me face closer to the flame of the torch. I struggled to push she off but she was too damn strong. The rest of the La Diablesse began screaming they voices echoing through the cave, I reached out with me hand and grabbed the torch from the wall the stupid woman did not pay attention as she tightened she grip round me neck. I turned the fire from the torch towards she and stuck it into she side, man I tell you what, she screamed so loud me ears rang. The rest of the La Diablesse became silent as the thin material of she dress lit up and engulfed she and for a second she did not let go of me the heat from the fire singed me skin, then she let go and fell backwards screaming and rolling round in the sand. Some of the other La Diablesses went to she aid but they too caught on fire. I turned and ran into the nearest exist leaving the La Diablesses trying to save each other.

51st Installment of La Diablesse

After I walked for a while I saw a flicker of yellow light ahead of me thank God.

I slowed down making sure as best I could that there was no one around, the light was coming from a torch stuck in the wall bout twenty yards down the passageway, I proceeded cautiously, like an infantry solider walking through a mind field, every sound seemed like someone was right next to me. I stopped and looked round when I thought I heard a sound behind me, but there was nothing, I chuckled to meself then I started walking again me mouth dry from fear. I as stopped to take a breath and I felt the fingers of someone wrap round my shoulder I spun round swinging me arm as I did, but the person was prepared for that and they grabbed me hand and threw me to the ground. I landed face first into the dirt getting a mouthful logged in the back of me throat. I coughed trying to dislodge the grains as tears ran down me face, me nose feeling like someone had struck a match in it. I sucked in hard trying to send air to me deprived lungs.

After I had composed meself somewhat I looked up at the person wondering why they had not attacked me, then the figure leaned forward and the face of the leader materialized in the dim light. I pushed myself away from she but she grabbed hold of me ankles.

“Listen to me” she pleaded. “I am not going to hurt you.” There was a hint of sincerity in she voice so I stopped kicking.

“This is not the way Erzulie Frieda planned it, we are not supposed to be a violent group, all we want is to perform our ceremonies and go on o the other side. It’s the curse of the gods they knew we would not be able to find men willing to help us if they know of our deformity. They wanted people to think we were sexual deviants both in your world and ours, I don’t want you to leave here believing that.” She stood up and came over and sat next to me part of she white dress resting on me legs. She smelled of jasmine and the scent helped improve the stagnant stench of the passageway.

“We have no choice, just like the slaves, we are like a third world country stuck between two super powers. You are an educated man, you know how the universe work.” she looked at me trying to see if I understood I knew too well what she meant. She shifted to face me and I coward away from she. She did not seem to notice that and kept on talking.

“Christine has a different way of looking at things, that warrior goddess she believes in is a rival of Erzulie Frieda, to her violence is the answer to everything, seems like she gets some satisfaction when torturing people. I tried to change her ways but she just seem to get more and more violent, but we need her here. This is the only place we have something in common the fight against the Gods. The majority of us just do our best to survive in this paradox, confused not knowing where we belong, searching and hoping that we do the right thing for our souls.” She stopped talking and looked down at the ground and waited,

“Hopefully the Goddess will find a way to get rid of the curse and the living and the dead will never have to cross paths again, but until then, this is the only way we can help these women. I am going to help you escape because I know that only a few will believe you and in the changing world no one will take them seriously. I have seen the change in you lately. Go back and help make changes, make these children be proud of who they are Samuel would want someone to do that.” She reached out and brushed some sand from me face and I suddenly felt like a child being given advice by he mother. I moved away from she and she sighed with disappointment but she got up and stood next to me and I reached out and touched she hand. .

“I understand what you are saying, but you know the living will never accept this, one day they will find you and they will come driven by misunderstanding of life and death, people fear most what they don’t understand, they fear even more what they may become. You are too much of a mirror for the living to want to deal with.” I turned away from she and looked down the passageway, she grabbed me arm and looked me in the eyes. In the distance we heard the voices of the other La Diablesse as they searched for me.

“You must leave now!” she said pushing me into an opening in the passageway I had not noticed before. I entered it just as the mob of La Diablesse appeared in the light of the passageway. Christine was at the head of them she screamed at the leader telling she to grab me, the leader grabbed me hand and I stopped for a second and looked at she.

“Jane is still looking for you, she never stopped,” Then she looked back at the approaching mob,

“Push me,” she said and I hesitated looking into she eyes.

“Push me,’ I raised me hands and pushed she as hard as I could. She fell into the path of the approaching La Diablesse so I turned and ran pumping me legs as hard as I could. Behind me I heard bodies hit the ground as they stumble over each other. Me thighs began to tighten and I felt meself beginning to slow down, them stinking witches were right behind me they torches roaring in the wind.

50th Installment of La Diablesse

The light grew bigger as I came closer to it but suddenly darkness engulfed me, I was lying on my back looking up at Christine she was holding a large stone in she right hand, I thought what the hell, how did she get here so bloody fast? I saw the light behind she its big yellow glow lighting up the small circle, an intersection of hallways with dark holes bout ten feet tall and six feet wide that looked like entrances to different parts of the cave.

I looked back at Christine she was holding the stone above she head moving it menacingly. I got to me feet preparing meself for when she threw it, but instead she stood up straight a mischievous smile replaced the angry expression. She dropped the stone bout halfway between us and motioned for me to pick it up, but I did not move. She was shifting from one leg to the next impatiently so I moved towards the stone like I was going to pick it up as she chuckled with anticipation.

“Come on boy, don’t you know how to fight, don’t you want to go back to your little bitch?” I looked at she, anger welling up in me.

“When I am done with you I will go take care of her. It is my duty to put a stop to that nauseating emotion, women don’t need men, noooo, all we need is each other and the Goddesses, so come on let me finish you off, die like a man.”

I stood snarling like a trapped animal then I lowered me shoulder and charged at she. Me shoulder rammed into she stomach and I heard she gasp as the wind was knocked out of she. I kept pumping me feet like a rugby player as she screamed and clawed at me back, the jagged edges of the wall came at us so I unwrapped me arm from round she just as we slammed into the wall she body cushioning the impact.

I stepped back Christine slumped to the ground gasping for air, I spun round kicking up dirt as I did. Out of the corner of me eyes I saw Christine moving, I had to make a quick decision so I took the torch from its stand and ran into the nearest opening. I heard the voices of the La Diablesse as they gather in the intersection, man I tell you what they sounded like a crowd of angry villagers chasing a criminal. The passageway suddenly became shorter and I had to crouch a little, just as I though me back would give out the roof of the passageway grew taller and I straighten up the joints in me back popping painfully echoing all the way through the tunnel.

I stopped and listened for the women but I heard nothing, bloody women, I hoped they had given up. The torch began to flicker and I wondered where the wind was coming from. I sat down hoping I could catch me breath, I mean, me chest was burning like hell. The sand had turned into dirt and I brushed some of it off me legs as I looked round at the place where I sat. There was water flowing from cracks in the walls creating lines of green slime where the water ran down from the holes, some sort of bush hung from the ceiling dripping water onto the middle of the passageway. I got up and walked over to the bush and let water drip into me hands and I tasted it, bloody water was salty for so, I lifted the torch above me head and started walking.

I walked for bout an hour or so me legs aching like crazy and I was having trouble breathing in the stagnant air. I dropped to the ground resting me head on the walls of the passageway. The torch was almost out making it impossible for me to see where I was, I sat and watched the last flicker of light disappear plunging me into darkness, I sat there letting me eyes become accustom to the darkness, but that did not help much. I pulled myself to me feet and laboriously began walking desperate to find light.

49th Installment of La Diablesse

She stepped towards me the tray outstretched in front of she. I braced meself as she stopped just in front me and lifted the cover on the tray, sitting on it was a manique, blood ran out of its mouth of the rat like rodent and the damn thing was still twitching not yet dead I almost threw up, I mean the bloody thing stunk like hell. I stepped back in horror and turned me head, she attacked at that moment grabbing the half dead rodent and shoved it into me mouth. I gagged as the fowl smell of the dying animal permeated the air. I kicked at she and me foot slammed against she stomach, she fell backwards laughing, she eyes rolling round in they sockets. I caught the rodent before it hit the ground and attempted to throw it at she but in a last ditch effort to retaliate against its killers the smelly little beast bit into me hand, its teeth clamping down on me flesh like a vice grip, the last breath of life seeped out of its body and it went limp. I swung me hand round frantically and the rodent flew into the air landing at Christine’s feet.

“What, you don’t like my cooking?” She eyes flashed with anger as she ran towards me. We collided and fell backwards and landed with she sitting on top of me, she fists smashed into me face but I raised me arms deflecting most of the blows. She stopped hitting me and went into a rambling speech that was hard to follow.

“Death is a high price to pay for freedom, I was still young, so much living to do. Imagine my surprise when I realized that I still have an eternity to do anything I want and imagine my fury when I realize that the Gods wanted to stop that. I praise Erzulie Danto; she has shown me the light, set me free, power is strength, physical strength, just ask any living man but here you can’t tell us what to do, we have the power both physical and psychological you are at my mercy now and I intend to enjoy every moment of every last breath you take.” She sat up straight she eyes closed she chest moving up and down as she tried to savour every element of the moment, then without looking at me she spoke again.

“When you bleed it will be the blood of a million men!” having said that she stood up and kicked me in the chest with she hoofed leg, pain shot through me and me stomach knotted up as I vomited. I felt meself being dragged out of the cave me head bumping off the sandy surface.

I was dragged into the hole where I head Christine and the leader talking, there was a torch at the entrance and one sitting on a stand in the middle of the room. Three La Diablesse was in the chamber, they voices humming with excitement they waist long hair swaying in the breeze, they faces half hidden by the inadequate light from the torch. One of them came forward, fell on me and covered me mouth with hers sucking hard as if trying to extract the life from me. As I struggled to breathe I felt hands reaching down ripping the cloths off of me. I lay there, she kisses smothering, she long fingernail ripping at me flesh. In the midst of all the pain and confusion I had what seemed to be a vision. What would happen if I never return to the outside world? How would my mother deal with me just disappearing? Who would be better now to teach the students bout they heritage. I thought of Jane I wanted to live long enough to get to know she more and suddenly I wanted to fight back I wanted to do everything I could to escape this hell. The La Diablesse was lying on top of me trying to position sheself to have she way with me, but with all the strength I could muster I curled me feet up until me knees were on she chest, man I tell you what, that woman was strong for so, I mean, she fought me all the way a puzzled look on she face. I pushed she off me, I pushed so hard she went straight up as if she was getting to she feet, she stumbled and slammed into the other La Diablesse knocking them down with she momentum. I gathered meself and ran to the exit of the hole stopped and looked in both directions trying to figure which way to go. I looked to me right and saw a glimmer of light in the distance and I ran towards, finally I was going to escape from this bloody nightmare, that’s it man, run, do not look back.

48th Installment of La Diablesse

“Hello little man,” Christine said reaching down and touching me face. She laughed throwing she head back, the other La Diablesse joined in she devilish glee.

“At last it is my turn,” she wrapped she fingers round me neck and forced me to get to me feet, I grabbed she hands as she slowly lifted me off the ground.

“I could kill you now, but no, you and me we should have our own ceremony,” and she threw me to the ground and ordered the other La Diablesse to follow she and they walked out of the cave laughing. I got to me feet and walked over to the Alter and lay there trying to catch me breath, I had not set a plan for an escape and now the only hope I had was to take any opportunity when I saw it.The rest of the day was uneventful. As the night approached I got off the alter and positioned meself at the far end of the cave away from the entrance. No one came to light the torches the only light came from the stars that twinkled in the sky and whenever a shadow moved in the pale silver light I tensed up anticipating an attack. Me whole body was shaking and beads of sweat rolled down me face getting into me eyes. After bout an hour of standing in the dark I became tired and sat down and like a damn fool I fell asleep.

I woke up when I heard breathing next to me and I peered into the darkness trying to see who or what was there. The breathing was slow and there was a slight moan with it, the cave suddenly grew colder causing chill bumps to pop out all over me body, I shivered a little as the breathing faded away into the darkness and I slumped into the sand exhausted, I tried not to fall asleep but I could not keep meself from drifting off. I did not dream they had stopped soon after the ceremonies begun now me nights were filled with darkness occasionally interrupted by shadows that danced round in white flashes.

I woke up shaking the cave was real frigging cold, raindrops fell from the opening hitting me skin like small pellets of ice. I stood up and looked round the sky was still dark and the rain seemed to appear out of the night pounding down on the sand. Water lodged itself in me ear deafening me for a second, I stuck me finger in me ear and realized that a piece of ice was stuck in there, suddenly another splash of water hit me face and what felt like small rocks bounced off me skin causing a painful chill to run through me making me body go numb. I lifted me hands in front of me ready to defend meself, there was a menacing chuckle and then Christine’s voice laughing. Someone lit a torch and

when I saw Christine and another La Diablesse standing in front of me, she was holding a bucket in she hand a big grin on she face as she pointed to the Alter, there was a tray sitting on it.

“Eat, you will need you energy!” she shouted. I did not move me fists clinched in a tight ball. She looked at me smiling,

“What, don’t you trust me don’t you want to eat something?” The other La Diablesse standing behind she snickered she eyes flashing with twisted joy. She went to the Alter moving with such grace she seemed almost human, picked up the silver tray and glided towards me tray extended, it was covered with a lid that looked like a half moon kind of frigging gentile for theses beasts

“Come on my friend, this meal is you last supper, just like the one I got right before those French colonists took me to the gallows and hung me for running for my freedom. I feel your fear, I understand that tightening in the chest, and your heart racing so fast it feels like it would explode in your face, that dryness in your mouth even though you are sweating a river. The best part is right before death, your heart races up as if trying to pump life into your dying body. I remember that night in my dreams every damn day, the faces of those rich devils as they laughed and sang because the uncivilized bitch was about die the sound of the crowd when they paraded me through the streets, the rocks that came out of the dark hitting me in the head the screaming women who were the wives of plantation owners who forced me to be their mistress. But I had the last laugh, because I died and found my freedom. So be a man, free yourself from your mental slavery, eat this last meal so you will have the strength to go onto the other side.”

I took a step back.