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.

Tune in Sunday for another installment of OBEAH

Ohhh what a journey this is shaping up to be. The Akans are on their way to recover the Sword of Salt. Do you really think the Ligaroo King will make this easy for them? Do you think he will sit back and let them get the only thing that can kill him. Pa Pa Jumbie thinks differently, don’t miss an installment or you might miss the action.

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.

43rd Installment of Obeah

He woke up to the pale light of the moon shining down on him. He tried to sit up, but his head felt like it was spinning around on his shoulder. Someone had the palm of their hands on his chest, pushing him back down. He panicked, and began to struggle. He felt dizzy, even with his eyes closed he seemed to be spinning out of control, and then he fell back into unconsciousness.

Henry woke up again and looked around. The wind rushed through the willow trees creating a chorus of whistles that echoed through the valley. In the darkness, he heard Akosua,

“Take it easy,” she said resting the palm of her hand on his forehead.

“Relax a little, we are preparing to leave,” she said, Henry lay back down and looked up at the hazy branches of the willow trees. Thin moonbeams escaped the tree branches, but were not enough to aluminate the area around him. He lay there listening to the footsteps of the others getting their gear together. Each time their feet hit the ground, it seemed to shake a little.

After about ten minutes Henry slowly sat up. Akosua leaned into him. Donkor barked orders,

“Watch the flank!” Henry sat up and saw a white flash ran through the trees.

“Whats going on?” He asked Akosua looked around her.

“We are under attack,” she said, Henry tried to stand up, but she stopped him,

“The others can handle this,” she said, Henry relaxed a little, but felt around on the ground next to him to find his machete, but did not find it. Akosua stood up just as a woman in white charged at her. She swung her club hitting the woman in the face. The woman stood and looked at her for a second, then turned and ran off into the darkness. Akosua turned back to Henry; he stood up and almost fell over. He shook his head and looked around; they were surrounded by the women. Dozens of white dresses flashed in and out of the dark. The phantom women screamed, as they herded Henry and his friends into a circle, their white dresses shimmered as they went in and out of the moonlight. Henry righted himself and stumbled over to where Adofo and Donkor were, and got down on his knees. Adofo handed him a machete.

“You O K? He asked

“I will be” Henry said, Akosua stooped down next to him the club still in her hand. Kwao and the others were in a half circle fighting off the advancing women in white.

“We need to go that way,” Donkor said as he pointed.

“We push our way through there, and please nobody look at them, keep your eyes towards where you are going, do not look directly into their eyes. Do not listen to what they are saying.” Henry nodded, Donkor stood up his machete held above his head.

“Charge! He screamed and they all followed him. Henry stumbled and Adofo grabbed his arm. They charged forward, some of them yelling as they went; their voices’ drowning out the women’s seductive singing. The women stopped circling them, and stood in front of them, arms outstretched, eyes blinking orange in the dark.

“You can come with us, live an enchanted life. Freedom can be yours.” They said, their voices becoming a confusion of words.

“Don’t look at them don’t listen to them,” Donkor screamed as he held his arm up for them to stop. One of the Bokors stumbled and fell, his gear spilled all over the damp ground. He tried to gather himself, but one of the women stepped in front of him. He looked up at her and immediately was entranced.

“Come with us and be a lost soul no more. There is paradise waiting for you.” She reached down and touched his face. He took her hand, and she floated into the jungle dragging him as she went.

The women stood in front of them, they did not move, nor did they look at the women.

“Keep going, slowly and keep looking to the ground,” Donkor said quietly as some of the women followed the one that had captured the Borkor. They walked up to the women who had formed a line in front of them. Donkor pushed past the women, still looking at the ground. The woman closest to Henry reached out and touched his face. A cold chill went through him, as he felt her dress brush against his legs. He felt a gentle burst of air against his ears.

“I can make you happy, lost in a world where you have no worries, where I can bring your family, and you can live happily forever,” She whispered into his ear. Henry almost stopped, but did not; he just kept walking and looking down to the ground. When the woman realized he would not respond she growled a little, and turned to one of the Bokors. The man hesitated as she whispered into his ear. Akosua pushed the man and he stumbled forward. After what seemed like an hour they broke through the line of women and began to run. The angry screams of the defeated phantoms echoed as they gave chase.

They ran until they did not hear the women anymore. They stopped, still in the Valley of the willow trees. The trees were even thicker here, blocking out the light from the moon completely. Henry heard the breathing of the others in the dark. Someone next to him coughed, but he could not tell who it was. They stood there composing themselves.

“Looks like we are O K,” Donkor said, his voice startled Henry, and his heart beat raced up even more. He felt light headed, and dropped to his knees.

“You O K son?” He asked.

“As soon as I can breathe again,” Henry replied.

“They got two of my people,” He said.

“I am sorry,” Akosua said, “Those devil women have a way of hypnotizing men,” They stood in silence, listening to each other breath in the dark. Henry caught his breath and spoke,

“Who were they anyway?” Henry heard someone’s feet drag before Dankor spoke,

“Those were the La Diablesse, women who died as virgins and comes back from the dead to kidnap men,” he said between breathes. He patted Henry on the shoulder.

“You are lucky my friend, if they had taken you, you would have never been the same again. I have known men they have kidnapped. One day, they were vibrant men but when they were found, they were just like the living dead.” He said, Adofo spoke,

“It is dark as death here how are we to know which direction to go?” he asked. Out of the darkness, Henry heard Akosua’s voice.

“I think I can fix that,” she said, as a firefly floated among them then suddenly disappeared in front of Akosua. Then Akosua’s face lit up, the firefly moved around in her mouth. The glow, and even Akosua’s eyes were bright yellow. Henry saw Adofo’s face, then Donkor’s, then Kwao’s. Slowly Akosua walked over to Kwao and took his arm, and blew. Hundreds of fireflies floated out of her mouth and covered his body from his head to his toe. When he was completely covered, he stepped away from Akosua. He glowed, lighting up the willow trees around him. Kwao turned to face them; the only part of his body visible was the big smile on his face. He walked away from them and the shadows followed him. Akosua took Henry’s arm and blew on it. He watched as the fireflies went up his arm, onto his face, and over the rest of his body. He felt warm, and the fireflies tickled as they moved. He spun around; it was a strange feeling to be the light that lit up the Valley of the Weeping Willows. Henry looked around, the hanging branches created shadows on the ground that looked like hundreds of fingers.

Akosua turned to Adofo and did the same to him, then she did it to one of the Bokors and soon they had enough light to see twenty feet around the trees. The women were back, but they floated around just outside the light. Henry lifted his machete ready for an attack. Some of the fireflies migrated up the machete lighting it up. One of the La Diablesse came close enough to the light and Henry saw her face. It was skeletal like, pieces of rotted flesh and skin hung off her cheek bone.

“Come on lets go,” Akosua said, “They will not come into the light.” They started walking, Henry and Adofo side by side at the front. Kwao and the Bokor side by side at the back, and one of the boys in the middle. They walked close together careful not to break ranks and wonder into the dark.

“Did the evil spirits send them?” Henry asked. Fireflies floated off his lips as he spoke. Akosua walked up next to him,

“Don’t know, but we need to keep moving,” she said.

They walked until they were out of the Valley of the Weeping Willow trees and into the jungle. Animals popped out of the dark staring at the walking lights. Snakes slithered along the path, their yellow or red eyes investigating the strange travelers. A large owl flew overhead just beyond the light, hooting loudly.

Slowly, daylight began to descend on the jungle, and the fireflies began to fade away. The La Diablesse had left, afraid to face the daylight. Henry still heard their voices in his head. They walked out onto an area where there were more rocks than trees. About half a mile ahead they saw the base of Nkyene Mountain. They stopped and looked up, the peak disappeared into the sky. Henry wiped sweat from his forehead as he looked up at the sun half way hidden behind the peak,

“Here we are, we should set up camp here before the climb. We will need all our strength to get to the top.” Donkor said.

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.

41st Installment of Obeah

                                           CHAPTER 18

It was early evening when they stood looking down on the Valley of the Weeping Willow Trees. Henry heard the sound of running water somewhere in the trees. That sound always made him calm; it reminded him of the fountain in the courtyard of their house in the Old Country. His mother loved that fountain and sat next to it for hours at a time. They stood for a few seconds and pondered on whether to enter the darkness. Without the usual signs, it began to rain. The raindrops were so big they hurt a little when they bounced off of him. Within seconds they were soaked, making their gear heavy on their shoulders. Mist rose above the willow trees and hovered. Grey clouds floated overhead and lightening flashed across the sky. Henry used his hand to brush water from his face. It was hard to breathe, as the rain ran down his forehead and sucked into his nose when he inhaled. He looked at the others as if he wanted to know what they intended to do. Before he could say anything Donkor spoke,

“O K lets go,” He said and started walking down the grassy decline. The group followed him, the Bokors more reluctant then Akosua and her warriors. They stopped just before they entered the forbidding darkness. Akosua looked around, as if summing up the courage to go in. Then with marked determination she started walking.

The early evening light immediately disappeared when they walked into the cover of the trees. Henry stood for a second waiting for his eyes to adjust to the sudden change of light. Wings flapped, crickets chirped and an owl hooted. When he got used to the lack of light, he realized there was just enough light seeping through the branches for him to see. Raindrops fell off the branches making it seem like the trees were crying. Donkor walked ahead, but stopped, then turned to the others.

“See that rock over there,” he said as he pointed to the right. The group turned to the direction his hand pointed. There was a bolder about four feet tall that sat just outside the sagging branch of one of the trees. It stood taller than Henry, and curved at the top creating a natural roof.

“I ran for that spot because that was the best sport to bed down for the night.” He said, and Kwao started walking towards the rock. Donkor put his arm out stopping him,

“Oh no you don’t sonny, Akosua gets that spot,” he said and motioned for Akosua to walk past him. She brushed past Kwao smiling.

“Your Mother slept right here,” he said looking down at the dry spot under the roof of the rock. “Now it’s your spot.”

“Thank you,” she said, Kwao looked at her and shook his head, and there was a small smile of admiration on his face. She walked over to the rock and sat her wet knapsack on the ground. She sat down, removed her machete from its belt, and rested it against the rock. She looked at the others, they stood looking at her.

“Well make yourselves comfortable, the trees will make good cover from the rain” she said as she unfolded her mat and spread it out on the ground. The others went around in search of the best spots to settle into. Kwao mumbled his disapproval, and found a spot not too far from where the Bokors had settled down. Adofo and Donkor sat next to the rock and were having a conversation with Akosua. Henry found a spot under a tree where the branches did not hang all the way to the ground. He figured this would give him some protection if the rain persisted. A boy and a girl sat next to him. They were younger, and seemed to have taken a liking to him.

“Mind if we shared this spot?” The girl said, she was about thirteen years old, and the weapons and gear she carried seemed much bigger than she was. Her dreadlocks stopped just below her ears, and moved from side to side when she spoke. The boy smiled and reached out his hand, Henry remembered him from the day he first practiced throwing his spear, he was one of the kids who laughed the hardest. Henry shook his hand; the boy was so skinny Henry felt the bones in his fingers.

“This is exciting,” the boy said, his eyes bright with excitement. Henry smiled and nodded. The Bokor he had saved form the Assassin Vines came over and dropped his gear in front of them.

“Nice spot, room for more?” He asked a big smile on his face.

“Sure the more the merrier,” Henry said, the Bokor plopped down in front of them. The other Bokors looked over at them as if disapproving of their companion’s friendliness.

“The more the safer you mean,” he said and giggled, the rain had washed away most of the mud from his face. The group of kids laughed, and Kwao looked over at them then stood up and shouted,

“Hey some of us want peace and quiet!” Henry and his companions laughed, and that sent Kwao into a rage.

“You think I am a clown Kindoki?’ He screamed, and started walking towards them.

“The only Kindoki here is you,” Henry responded, Kwao stopped, as if Henry’s words were like a wall he had bumped into,

“You will get the worst trashing of your life!” He screamed and started walking again. Donkor stood up,

“Hey no arguing here be quiet,” he said Kwao stopped and turned to Donkor

“Watch who you talking to Bokor!” he shouted, but turned and walked back to his tree. Henry and his companion looked at Kwao until they were sure he had calmed down. The angry warrior sat glaring at them while he sharpened his machete.

“What’s eating him?’ The Bokor asked. Henry lay back using his right elbow to prop himself up,

“He is always mad when Adofo and Akosua are together. Actually he is always mad about something.” Henry said, the boy and the girl giggled and looked at Kwao, he growled at them, then spat on the edge of his machete and kept on sharpening it.

Donkor called over to one of the Bokors they spoke and the man went off in search of firewood. He came back in a few seconds empty handed, the torrential downpour had soaked the jungle, and there were no dry branches to be found. They tried to light the torches, but even they were too wet to light. They eat fruit and began to settle in for the night.

The rain had stopped, but water still dripped onto the ground. Wind whistled through the willow trees, causing a chill to run through Henry. He lay and listened to the drops of water hit the ground around him. A lone firefly flew into the tree above him. In the jungle, beyond the willow trees, monkeys barked, maybe it was a mating call, or it could be they were wet and cold. Wild dogs howled a haunting chorus that made Henry’s heart race. Frogs croaked in the stream not too far from where Henry and his companions lay. It was dark, so dark Henry could not see his hand when he held it up in front of him. He laid, his eyes opened wide as he tried to hear if there were any movements. He began to fall asleep, but woke himself up, afraid that something or someone would sneak up on him. But he was tired, and could not stop his body from shutting down, and he fell asleep to Akosua and Adofo’s whispering.