49th Installment of Obeah

The Jab Jabs came in waves, their voices suddenly echoing through the valley, trees shook and swayed, leaves curled as if hiding with fear.

“This way!” Donkor shouted as he pushed around Akosua. Akosua and the others followed fighting off Jab Jabs as they went. The jab Jabs disappeared every time they were struck, but more of them appeared out of thin air. They ran until they were at the edge of the jungle looking down to the middle of the mountain top. It was like looking down on a snow covered field. The Jab Jabs were fast approaching and they turned around to confront the wave of demons. Akosua swung her Machete and two Jab Jabs disappeared, she coughed as the air around her became a mist of ashes. Their red tongues stretched out, their red eyes blazing but somehow seemed lifeless. Akosua jumped down onto the white ground and Henry and the warriors followed her.

The mountaintop echoed with crunches as they landed on the white earth. Kwao hesitated, his back to the Jab Jabs. One of them hurled his body at Kwao and disappeared into him. The boy stumbled forward onto the white ground. He turned and looked at Akosua and stretched his arm out. At first he looked like he was pleading for help, but instead, his expression changed into a menacing stare. Without saying a word he raised his machete and charged at her. Donkor raised his machete just as Kwao brought his down. The sound of metal against metal echoed loudly. Kwao raised his machete again and Donkor stepped back and blocked Kwao’s swing with his machete. Donkor stumbled back leaving Akosua exposed to Kwao’s attack. The boy lunged at Akosua, ash exploded from his mouth. Akosua looked into his eyes it was turning red. His tongue was stretched out; it was slowly changing from pink to red. The change started from the tip of his tongue, and soon his whole mouth was red. Slowly, he began to turn an ashy colour, the change going up his arm to his body. Akosua prepared herself for his charge, but before he got to her Adofo had wrapped his arm around Kwao from behind. Kwao struggled, his eyes completely red, his tongue had turned into blood red and the upper half of his body was ash coloured. He continued to struggled and almost escaped Adofo’s hold, but Donkor had rushed over and grabbed him. Suddenly his whole body jerked and he leaned forward and threw up violently. Grey bile spilled out of his mouth, and the white ground melted as the grey liquid landed on it. Kwao staggered and stumbled backwards as Adofo and Donkor struggled to hold him up. Akosua walked up to him, the bile bubbled on the white ground fizzed, then disappeared. Akosua touched his face and he opened his eyes. She reached into her sack and pulled her Aron. She shook it over Kwao’s head, its sound echoed with the sound of the wind in the trees. Slowly, Kwao began to look like himself again. The red in his eyes dissolved, as puffs of ash floated out of them. His tongue returned to a healthy pink hue as he coughed out ash. The skin on his arm moved as if the ash was rolling around right under it. It trailed down his arm then escaped through the tips of his fingers in small puffs of ash.. He straightened up and looked around.

“What happened?” he asked, Akosua put her Aron back in the sack.

“You were possessed by the Jab Jab,” she said. She turned and looked at the others; they were all facing the Jab Jabs anticipating an attack. The demons stood, as if stopped by an invincible wall, their red eyes wild, and their tongues hanging out of their mouths. Akosua smiled,

“They can’t come over here,” the Jab Jabs stood for a second an indecisive expression on their faces. Suddenly some of them jumped at them, but they exploded in a mist of white. Ash floated to the ground covering the white surface; it fizzed as a thick layer of ashes landed on it. The rest of them turned and walked back into the jungle, exploding into ashes, turning the green leaves to grey. Akosua turned back to the white field. She stooped down and touched the ground. It looked like white stone and she placed a piece of it on her tongue. Her face twisted as she tasted it,

“It’s salt. Was this here when you and my mother came to hide the spear?” She asked, turning to Donkor. The man looked puzzled as he shook his head.

“No, this was all trees and bushes,” he said then looked around.

“There was a passageway to go underground in the middle of the field.” He said and started walking to the middle. A chorus of crunches echoed across the mountain top as they followed him. Donkor stopped, then took a step and suddenly fell feet first into a hole. Adofo tried to grab him, but he too fell into the hole.

“Are you all O K?” Akosua screamed. At first there was no response, and then Donkor spoke.

“This is the place, you will have to slide down the salt tunnel to get here,” he said. Akosua looked around.

“You come with me, the rest of you stand guard up here.” She said, pointing for Henry, the boy and two of the Bokors to follow her.

Akosua twisted and turned as she slid down on the salt. She came to a stop looking up at Adofo and Donkor. They took her arms and pulled her up. Henry and the others slid down after her, stood up and looked around. The ceiling of the cave was about twenty feet high. The roof of it was a layer of salt and the sun shined through it, creating a rainbow of colours on the white walls. The cave was salt, just like the white field they had just walked on. On the far side, large rocks of salt stood like steps that went about fifteen feet up. At the top, above the last steps of salt was the only natural rock visible.

“Right there,” Donkor said. Akosua looked up at the rock, its beige colour pronounced against the rocks of salt that surrounded it. She lay her gear down and was about to walk over to the steps when laughter filled the cave. Some of the salt rocks cracked and pieces fell, bounced off the salt floor, rolled towards Henry and stopped at his feet.

“Welcome girl witch,” the voice boomed. It echoed through the cave and Akosua looked around to see where it had come from. A man stepped out from behind a salt rock that was shaped like a headstone. It was six feet tall, and as Akosua and her friends watched, a black cross appeared on the front of it. Above the cross were the letters R.I.P, underneath was Akosua’s mother’s name written in red. There were smaller salt rocks surrounding it, they too were shaped like tombstones with the names of each child’s parent on it.

The man wore a black suit, and a black top hat, and dark sunglasses with the right lens knocked out of it. His exposed red eye rolled as he spoke. He used the smaller tombstones as steps to climb onto the bigger one and sat on top of it like a king on his throne.

“This is the perfect spot to sit and watch this momentous occasion. Little witch retrieves Spear of Salt so that she can save her people,” Guede said then threw his head back and laughed. Akosua stood calm and smiled, her eyes never moving away from the evil Loa,

“You don’t intimidate me, you are just a Lackey for Baron Samedi,” she responded. Guede’s laughter disappeared immediately. He puffed on his cigar then leaned forward.

“Go ahead little lady, go get your spear,” he said, and smiled a devilish smile. Akosua looked back at her friends. Adofo stepped forward.

“I will go with you,” he said, but Akosua waived him off.

“I have to do this alone,” She said and took a step.

“Ohhh brave little Obeah Woman,” Guede said and laughed. The salt crunched as Akosua stepped on it, it was the loudest sound she had ever heard, it echoed in her head as she took another step. She stepped lightly, but her left foot sank to her ankle in the salt and was slowly sinking more.

“Watch it now; you already stuck your foot in your mouth by challenging me. Be careful you don’t step into a salty grave.” Guede said and roared with laughter. She struggled to free her foot. Adofo started walking towards her, but once again she raised her hand and he stopped. She was finally able to pull her foot out, small chunks of wet salt rolled off her feet as she shook them one at a time. She steadied herself and took a step. Guede’s smile disappeared again; he had an impatient expression on his face. He looked over at Adofo and the others and then back to Akosua.

“You think you can save lives by getting this spear? Don’t you know that life and death is the biggest joke played on man. That’s why I can use the dead to do my evil works, and I can use the living to do my bidding also.” He boasted then laughed as Amelia took another tentative step. Guede continued talking,

“Ask yourself, are the Jab Jabs dead, or are you and your friends the dead ones. Did I order them to attack you, or is this all one big illusion, and you are actually in the afterlife, and I am in control, and you are doing exactly what I want you to do. Is there a spear over there, or is this just one of my games that I so love to play?” Akosua stopped and looked at him.

“As sure as I am standing here that spear exists, Yemaya says so,” she said and Guede rolled his exposed eye.

“Yemaya, Yemaya. She is no real Loa. She is loose and she is a trickster. Why would you believe her?” He asked staring at Akosua. She took another step then looked over at Guede,

“My mother brought it here Donkor can attest to that.” She said and took another step. Guede looked over at Donkor.

“Who him, the Bokor,” Guede clapped his hand and laughed, a red teardrop rolled out of his eyes,

“Hi old friend, been to any sacrifices lately. What, are you all of a sudden a good little Hougan. I seem to remember wanting my help. Remember the services, the food, and the human offerings. Thank you I was hungry for food, or hungry for souls, and you were quite willing to satisfy me.” he winked at Donkor, the man shifted from one leg to the next nervously.

“Look how nervous he is, do you think you can trust him?” Guede said,. Akosua looked over at Donkor and gave him a reassuring smile. She took another step, her legs shook a little. Guede sucked his teeth, shook his head, and then sneezed. The ground moved violently and Henry and his friends fell. Akosua braced herself, her hand stretched out at her sides for balance. The salt floor began to crack as the cave rumbled.

48th Installment of Obeah

                                        CHAPTER 21

They walked until they looked down on the clouds. There were no birds or animals; in fact they had not seen any other life forms for a while.

“Stop, stop, can’t breath,” Henry said bending over.

“O K we can stop for a second,”

“Breathe slowly,” Donkor said and he helped Henry lean against a rock.. The wind whistled through the trees that grew out of the side of the mountain. After Henry caught his breath, they started walking. The loudest noise was the crunch of their feet along the path, or the occasional sound of a rock rolling off the side of the mountain. Akosua stopped and the group came to a halt.

“Where was it that you and my mother camped the night before you reached the top of the mountain?” She asked Donkor walked up alongside her.

“Just a little ways up,” he said. They walked among the grey clouds sometimes not able to see where they were going. It was colder and the wind bit into their skin. Akosua looked out at the scene, and beyond the clouds, she still saw the ocean in the distance. The blue skies were littered with white clouds that floated among the grey clouds. The ocean seemed so much smaller from where she stood looking over the side of the mountain. In her head, she heard the sound of seagulls, the ocean rolling onto the sand, the laughter of the kids as they played. She wanted to be back in the village relaxing under a mango tree, listening to the drummers playing. She was jolted back to reality when Donkor spoke.

Its just ahead,”

“About time,” Kwao said as he struggled to breathe.

They walked until they came to a place where the mountain flattened out, and the rocks had small trees with leaves that grew out of cracks. It was a mirror image of the places they had stopped to set up camp on the journey up. The only difference was the cold, and the wind that felt like cold raindrops when it hit their skin. Akosua walked to the back of the flattened out area and dropped down next to wall of rocks that looked like organ pipes. Shrubbery grew out of the cracks in the rocks, but they were all brown. She called to the boy and instructed him to light a fire.

They eat supper; no one really talked as they eat and looked out at the sky. They were close to their destination, and all their thoughts were on the task that was before them. Akosua stayed up late looking at the moon. It was so big she felt like she could hang a rope around it and swing over the jungle, across the ocean, and to where the Ligaroo King held her people captive. She heard some rocks tumble off the side of the mountain and looked around. She knew that out there, someone lurked waiting for the right time to strike. She could not think of them now, she was too close to the top and the spear, she would have to keep a close eye out for any attack. She fell into an uneasy sleep waking up periodically. Donkor sat, looking out at the darkness. He turned and waived at her. She fell asleep, his silhouette fading into the darkness.

As usual, they rose early the next morning. It was cold and the rocks dripped with morning dew. The sun looked small as it rose over the ocean in the distance. Akosua slowly got her gear together. The silence from the night before continued as they got prepared to make their final climb to the top. When they were ready, Akosua stood on a rock,

“This is it, be vigilant. We don’t know what the evil Loas have in store for us. Remember, retrieving the spear is the only way we can defeat the Ligaroo King. Look out for each other and be strong.” She said then jumped off the rock, walked over to Adofo and hugged him. She then walked from one person to the next and hugged them. She had a quiet determined confidence that Henry had not seen before.

“Let’s go,” she said. Adofo took the lead and they began to walk.

They walked for hours, up the winding path and onto what seemed to be a plain. There were no trees, no plants, just rocks with holes in them that looked like the openings to caves. Akosua stopped behind Donkor as he stood looking around.

“There,” he said as he pointed to one of the openings in the rock formation. They walked over to the opening and walked in. It was dark, and the decline was steep, and they struggled to keep their footing as they went down. Fifteen minutes later, the passageway flattened out, and they stepped onto mud. The sun was bright, and it was hard to see after they had walked down the dark tunnel. Akosua stopped and looked around. They were in what looked like a wide valley surrounded by a rock wall as far as the eyes could see. The grass was brown, the trees had no leaves, and the flowers had died the blossoms moldy. They stepped on the dead grass and began walking towards the dead forest. They had not gone twenty feet when there was a thud and a loud scream. Akosua turned around and realized that the girl was missing. She listened, the girl’s voice sounded like she was entrapped in a small cave. Akosua walked towards her voice and almost fell into the whole that the girl had tumbled into. She looked down into a freshly dug grave. Akosua leaned in; the girl was scrambling to get out, her fingers clawing at the mud. Akosua lay down on her stomach reached out, grabbed the girls arm and pulled her out. The girl was covered with black hairy spiders. The child slapped at them, her eyes wide open with fear. Akosua helped her and soon all the spiders were off of her. Akosua stood and looked around. At first glance she did not see the graves, but with closer scrutiny she saw the long rectangular indentations on the surface of the ground. All around them were freshly dug graves. Suddenly, there was ear splitting laughter. Bark fell off the dead trees; the rotted blossoms fell to the ground.

“It’s Guede; he loves death and uses the dead for his evil purposes.” Akosua said, and the group drew their weapons and looked around.

“Keep an eye out, there is no telling what he will send to try and stop us from getting the spear.” She said. They walked on, being careful of the open graves. They walked out of the dead forest and into lush green jungle right before they got to the middle of the valley. Still there were no animals, just beautiful wild flowers and lush green bushes. The grass was soft underfoot, and the air was filled with the scent of blooming flowers. Akosua stopped and listened, there was total silence. Suddenly a figure appeared in front of them and stood before them. Without saying a word he charged at them followed by several more figures that appeared out of thin air. They were all the colour of ash, their eyes and tongue were red, and there were two small horns protruding from their foreheads. Their mouths were open screaming, but no sound came out at first.

Akosua did not react immediately, but as they drew closer she sprang into action.

“Jab Jabs!” she shouted, as she moved out of the way of one of the devils. The Jab Jabs all had clubs that they swung as they charged. Henry swung his machete at one of the Jab Jabs; the demon looked at him in disbelief, and then looked at his own body. There was a long cut that went from his chest to his waist. Ashes spilled out of him cascading down his legs and onto the ground creating a small mound of ashes at his feet. He looked back up at Henry, then vanished leaving a cloud of ash floating in the air. Out of the corner of her eyes, Akosua saw a Jab Jab coming towards her, his club held over his head. She waited until he was close, sidestepped, and pushed him into a tree. The Jab Jab melted into the tree trunk and an ear splitting crack filled the rock valley as the tree exploded. It hit the ground and the valley shook.

46th Installment of Obeah

                                          CHAPTER 20

They were packed up and ready to go early the next morning. The sun was a dull yellow as it hung over the jungle; the sky was grey just above the trees, blue closer to the sun. Baby birds chirped as they were feed, pup wolves barked, the wind whistled through the rocks. Akosua looked like a warrior that Henry saw in paintings that his father brought back from trips to the Dark Continent. Her spear lay on a rock next to her. In her belt, next to her machete, was one of the biggest knifes Henry ever saw.. Adofo looked at Henry and smiled, it was a strange smile, just a show of teeth. Henry smiled back, but there was an uneasy moment between them. Kwao stood on the rock that Henry and the boy had sat on. He stood like a king on his throne surveying his kingdom. Donkor stood away from the group, looking out at the jungle, Henry wondered what he was thinking. Everyone was silent except for the girl who hummed a tune nervously.

After they were done packing they began to walk up the side of the mountain with Donkor in the lead, Kwoa once again took the rear, and by the look on his face it was evident he was not pleased about it. They walked for about two hours. At first the path they took was grassy, but the higher they got the path turned into rocks and pebbles. They slipped and slide, sending rocks and stones rolling down the side of the hill. Henry looked down, they were high over the jungle and he felt a little dizzy looking down on the tree tops and he stumbled.

“Woo there, don’t look down,” Donkor said. The blue sky went for miles, grey clouds hung over the tree tops in the distance, large flocks of birds flew around diving into the jungle, the sound of their wings bounced off the rocks.

“Damn I wish I had wings,” he said and looked at Akosua and smiled, “

“Sometimes the body needs to go through tribulation to cleanse itself,” she said and kept walking.

The group walked for another hour and came upon a part of the mountain where the path turned onto a flat area. Henry walked onto it and looked around. Rocks went high up, a natural cathedral, bushes stuck out of cracks. Henry dropped his gear on the ground. He looked out over the jungle and saw the ocean in the distance.

“We can rest here,” Akosua said. The rest of the group dropped their gear and sat down. Henry continued to look out at the view. Wild goats scampered on the rocks on the side of the mountain. He looked over at Akosua, then got up and went over and sat next to her, she looked at him.

“How are you doing?” She asked, Henry sat for a second, still a little out of breath,

“Am doing fine,” he said between breaths. He lifted his pouch and took a drink. He looked at Akosua. She looked at him and smiled.

“We will stay the night here,” she said looked at Henry then Donkor. Henry leaned back so she could see the Bokor. Donkor turned to the Bokors and told them to set up the campsite. They got up and with the help of the boys and girls began to unpack the gear.

Late that night Henry woke up and saw Akosua walking down the mountain. He got up and followed her. She stopped, and looked back at him, put her index finger to her lips, and pointed down the path. Henry caught up with her and under the light from the stars; they walked a short distance down the path. Akosua stopped abruptly, and Henry almost bumped into her. She listened for a second, and when she seemed satisfied she turned to him.

“Someone has been following us,” she said, Henry looked into the dark but saw no one. Akosua took one last look then turned and walked past him.

“Whoever it is have been following us since we left the Valley of the Weeping Willows.” She said, Henry followed her, looking back, making sure no one was coming after them.

“Do you think its evil spirits or the La Diablesse? Henry asked. Akosua was walking fast, so Henry had to run to catch up with her.

“No it’s definitely a human,” she said, as Henry walked alongside her.

“Who do you think it is?’ He asked, she stopped and looked out into the dark sky. It was quiet, the jungle too far down to hear the animals.

“Don’t know, but we must be vigilant, keep our eyes open so we are not taken by surprise.” She said and started walking.

“Get some rest; we still have a lot of climbing to do.” She said and went back to her mat. Adofo up when Henry walked by. He watched them exchange a brief embrace before he returned to his mat. The boy was on a mat next to Henry’s and raised his head up,

“Whats going on?” he asked, rubbing his eyes with his fingers,

“Nothing go back to sleep,” Henry said as he lay down looking up at the sky. There were not as many stars as the night they had spent at the base of the mountain. Henry lay there listening for any movement, but all he heard was the sound of the fire cracking. Any noise he heard, other than the fire, he sat up and looked around making sure no one was creeping into the camp. He finally dosed off listening to crickets and other bugs serenading the night.

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.

,

44th Installment of Obeah

                                     CHAPTER 19

They sat at the base of the mountain where they had set up camp. It was late afternoon, and the jungle was beginning to get silent as the animals settled in for the night. They had gone hunting and had caught a couple of wild pigs. Akosua and the girls had forged through the jungle and had found some vegetables and roots to cook. For the first time on the trip, the group seemed relaxed. The rains had stopped, and the sun shined down on the green grass. The bushes were still a little wet and they sparkled in the sunlight.

“I wish that hog would hurry up and cook, I can eat that whole thing myself,” he complained.

“Patience my friend, don’t rush the cook,” the boy said poking the hog with a stick.

Akosua, Adofo and Donkor sat on a rock discussing the climb.

.”We should start climbing early in the morning so we can reach the irst campsite before dark. Donkor said.

“How long will it take us to get to the top?” Akosua asked,

“If we have no problems a few days,” he replied.

Henry looked away from them and out at the jungle. Large birds flew over the tree tops, he did not know what kind of birds they were, but they were big and soared gracefully. Monkeys barked as they moved around in the trees. Bugs floated around the fire entranced by the flame. He thought about his sister, he wondered if she had survived the enslavement by the Ligaroos. His sister was a typical dainty teenager, her pale skin that turned bright red in the sun, her giggles when she was happy. She groomed herself constantly, even while she sat at the dinner table. How was she coping with the harsh conditions of the islands? Henry had seen grown men die from the heat. He wondered if climbing the mountain was all in vain, she may already be dead. He looked over at Akosua, she sat next to Adofo. She was strong and showed no fear. He hoped that his sister was being as strong as Akosua. The boy and the girl were tending to the food. Henry watched as the boy turned the pig so that all of it would be cooked. Smoke floated into the air, and Henry saw animals congregate just outside the jungle

“Look I am not the only one hungry,” he said and smiled.

“But they are always hungry. Don’t you wonder, is it the hog or you they are hungry for?” The boy said and laughed. The animals shifted, uneasy with the sudden noise.

Kwao sat off to himself. He was sharpening his machete, something he always seemed to be doing. Every once in a while, he would glance over at Adofo and Akosua, shook his head, then vigorously sharpened his machete. He pushed his dreadlocks from his face revealing his eyes that recently seemed to be permanently red. He looked over at Henry cross eyed and gritted his teeth menacingly. Henry looked away, not wanting a confrontation. He was so deep  in thought he was startled when the boy pounded on a metal can.

“Come get it!” he shouted and returned to the food.

After eating, Henry settled in for the night. Kwao and one of the Bokors were to take first watch; Henry and the boy were to take the second. He fell asleep the moment he lay down on the mat. Immediately, the dreams started. He was back in the Valley of the Weeping willow trees. He stood where there were no trees, the glow from the moon shined down on him. Silver light bounced of the creek in the distance. The La Diablesses were circling him, their white dresses misty in the light.

.”You are a fool; you should have come with us. A far worse fate awaits you on Jumbie Island.” They chanted. One of them came close and leaned in. Loose skin dangled of her face and brushed against his nose.

“You are no warrior, just the son of a slave driver. These people will turn on you and this time they will sacrifice you.“ She said, stood up strait, a dagger in her hand. In one sweeping motion, she brought it down. He felt his skin rip and blood meandered down the sides of his stomach. Henry tried to get up but she pushed him down. The others chanted, danced faster and faster, until they were a blur of white, then suddenly one of them was in front of him again. Those eyes like burning coals looked at him and suddenly he felt warm inside. She spoke, but all he heard was a humming noise. The La Disables’ threw her head back and laughed then floated away from Henry. Then she was right in front of him again, her corpse like face close to his, and she caressed his face with her rotted fingers. She grabbed the back of his head and kissed him. Henry pushed her away and she screamed.

“You can’t reject me!” lifted her dress and kicked him with her hoofed leg. Then she leaned down and licked the blood from his face. Henry tried to resist, but she was kissing him again. He pushed her away and she spat at him and piece of her tongue landed on his chest. He turned away from her, but looked back when she took her hands away. She was gone and replaced by the former Bokor leader. Henry looked around, he was tied to a pole and a fire blazed around his feet. The man’s face was painted red and blue, the hood on his robe covered his eyes.

“Am right behind you,” the man said. He sounded like they were both submerged in the ocean. The Bokor floated away and there was darkness for a second. He reappeared in the distance and floated towards Henry, a spear held over his head. He threw the spear and as if in slow motion it came at Henry. The tip of the spear sparkled in front of his face, and he shook violently,

Tune in Sunday for OBEAH

Ahhhh, I see that Akosua and her little clan have escaped the clutches of the La Diablesse, hmmmm, I guess the Ligaroo King will have to send more Jumbies to take care of these, these little worriers, ha ha ha ha warriors, please, save Pa Pa Jumbie the  humour. These warriors will get what is coming to them. The Ligaroo King will have more up his sleeve, I promise you. So as you go on your little journey, oh mighty Akans, beware, because I can assure you, more frightening, more diabolical more vicious Jumbies await. Pa Pa Jumbie say so. Tune in Sunday morning, see what will transpire.

39th Installment of Obeah

                                        CHAPTER 17

It was early morning when they began to gather for their journey. A light drizzle bounced off the leaves, landed on the ground, creating a moist layer of top soil on the jungle’s floor. Henry was up early preparing. He made sure he had his machete sharpened his spear tip ready, and a knife which he stuck in his belt. He knew they were packing food, but he made sure to pack a loaf of bread and a small amount of salted fish. Twenty of them were to take the trip. There were young warriors, including him, and ten Bokors. They were all armed and prepared for any circumstance. The younger boys and girls carried the food they would need; they were also to serve as cooks on the long journey. Henry looked around at the youngest boys and girls and wondered which one would not return from the journey. Ampah was to be left in charge of the village. He looked disappointed, but he knew that staying in the village was an important responsibility. The crowd that gathered cheered and patted the back of the members of the group as they walked into the jungle. Lassette stood off from the crowd and waived at Henry as he walked by.

They walked through the jungle and made their way through a path beyond the pond. Younger children followed them shouting goodbye, dogs ran alongside them barking. The sound of the children chanting, and the pigs squealing, and the chickens clucking, disappeared as they got deeper into the jungle. Henry walked up front with Akosua, Adofo and Donkor. Kwao was at the rear of the group, and Henry was glad that he did not have to deal with him.

They walked most of the day before stopping to rest and eat. The jungle was quiet except for the birds that flew from tree to tree chirping. Donkor, Akosua and Adofo plotted the best way to get to Nkyene Mountain. The towering mountain was in the middle of the island. To get to the spear they had to climb straight up the side.

“There have got to be another way to get to the top of that mountain,” Akosua said, swatting the bugs around her face.

“If there is, I don’t know of it,” Donkor said, “Your mother wanted to make the climb as hard as possible so that no one else try to retrieve the spear,”

“Since coming to this new world, nothing in our lives has been easy. The Loas have not forsaken us, a people who overcome tribulation is stronger for it.’ Akosua said and smiled. “We will overcome,”

Henry had never climbed a mountain before. He was looking forward to it, but was worried about what tricks the Evil Loas and the Ligaroo King had in store for them. He looked over at Kwao. The young warrior sat sharpening his machete, his teeth grinded as he concentrated. He noticed that Henry was looking at him. He stopped what he was doing and looked back at Henry,

“What you looking at Kindoki,” he said and glared at Henry. Henry kept looking at him, and he stood up and motioned for Henry to come fight him. Henry smiled and that enraged Kwao.

“Your day will come!” he shouted. The others in the group looked on but said nothing. They had become accustomed to Kwao’s outbursts. Henry looked around at the others. The Bokors sat off to themselves talking in hushed tones. Some of them had used mud to cover their faces. They reminded Henry of the Arawaks, how fearsome they looked covered with the mud. The Bokors too were armed, some of them with clubs and crude shields made from bamboo. They all looked at Henry suspiciously except for Donkor; at least he was nice to Henry. A gentle breeze blew through the jungle and Henry closed his eyes. The leaves rustled, birds chirped and in the distance he heard the sound of a waterfall.

Donkor said something and Henry opened his eyes and saw him talking to two Bokors. They got up, picked up their gear, and walked into the jungle. Donkor went back to Akosua and Adofo and sat down.

By late afternoon they were on the eastern side of the island. Henry had to use his hand to block the sun from his eyes as they walked across a pasture. Most of the grass was green, but in some spots it was brown. Every time someone moved the grass, black, yellow, brown, blue, red with black spots, even solid green butterflies fluttered in the tropical sunlight. They walked across the pasture and back into the jungle. The tall trees blocked out the sun making it cooler. Adofo and Akosua walked in front of Donkor talking when suddenly Akosua stopped.

“Someone or something is here,” she said and looked around. Kwao walked up from behind the group.

“What is the problem?” he asked. Akosua raised her arm and listened.

“Must be the wind,” she said and the small caravan began to move again. Kwao went back to the back bumping into Henry as he went.