Attacked by the jumbie Arawaks (from the novel Obeah)

The man pushed all his weight down and the knife slowly came down to Henry’s face. The attacker’s face was covered with mud and had small cracks from where it had dried from him sweating and being in the heat. Henry moved his back grated against small rocks in the ground beneath him. The man’s whole body was covered with mud and some spots were wet from him sweating. Henry looked into the man’s eyes. It reminded him of the day his uncle died.  The man, his body covered with mud, with eyes like his dead uncle, stared at him. That memory sent a wave of fear through him and he strained as the knife got closer to his face. His heart pounded so hard he thought it would explode. Sweat poured down his face and his head rested on a rock as he scrummed and twisted to get away. His attacker growled like an animal. 

The knife’s tip touched Henry’s face and he felt his skin begin to break as blood ran down the side of his face. He closed his eyes and tried to muster the strength to push back. Just when he felt the knife going deeper into his flesh his attacker was suddenly pulled off of him. He opened his eyes and saw Adofo standing over him, his hand stretched down. He grabbed it and Adofo pulled him up. Henry looked around for a second. The sounds of battle filled the jungle, screams, grunts, yells, and the sound of metal against metal echoed around the trees. He wiped the blood from his face and looked at his finger. The crimson red felt sticky between his fingers. He searched the ground for his machete and found it.

Henry reached down, picked it up and charged at the nearest attacker. He knocked the man to the ground and swung his machete. The man rolled out of the way and the machete hit a rock sending sparks into the dirt. The attacker got to his feet and rushed at Henry. He side stepped and swung the machete, hitting the man in the back of the head with the dull end of the machete. The man stumbled and fell, but before Henry could make sure the man stayed down another attacker jumped on his back. Henry spun around sending the man flying through the air. He landed on a tree trunk with a thud then fell to the ground and lay still. Henry turned to find another attacker, but stopped when he saw Akosua, machete in hand, battling one of the attackers.

 

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The attack (From the novel Obeah)

Henry was still asleep under the mango tree when suddenly his body became hot, like he was floating above the pits of hell. Out of the darkness he saw someone standing in front of him.  Henry blinked and rubbed his eyes. The man’s face looked like it was made of iron; his green jacket had black stripes on it that made him look tall. He leaned down towards Henry, his hand hidden behind his back. Henry squinted to see if he recognized the man, but his dark face blended with the starless sky behind him. Lightening blasted, turning the night into a sheet of white. Thunder exploded and the ground shook like a violent earthquake rumbled across the island. Henry’s heart raced up as the blinding lightening flash again, followed by the ground shaking thunder. Henry tried to stand up, but he stumbled and fell hitting his back against the trunk of the mango tree. The man turned to Henry, his iron face blended in with the dark sky. He took another step towards Henry his right hand still hidden behind him. Henry cowered away, his vision blurred from the moving earth. Suddenly the man lifted his arm above his head; he was holding a machete,

“Gren mwe fret” he screamed in a nasal voice. The machete’s sharp edge glittered in the lightening flash. Henry screamed, as the man brought the machete down. Henry grabbed his arm, his skin felt like iron and he heard the pops and cracks as his fingers began to give out under the weight of the man. Suddenly he was sitting up looking up at the star filled sky.

Marrinette_Bwa_Check spirit of the dark From the novel Obeah

 

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Akosua sat on a bamboo chair looking out at the pond. There was an empty chair next to her with a calabash bowl of food on it. The scent of the roasted chicken filled the air attracting bugs. They settled on the rice in clusters, buzzing as they fed, Akosua had not touched the food. Frogs jumped in and out of the murky pond, ducks and swans glided across the surface. Akosua was in deep thought when a thick fog appeared over the pond. At first, she ignored the change, but then a figure walked towards her. She sat up and looked. It was a woman. She was light skinned and beautiful, and she glided across the pond like a princess gliding down the aisle on her wedding day.  The woman stepped onto the ground. The fog dissipated, and Akosua saw the face of Yemaya. The girl smiled as the Loa walked up the bank of the pond and stopped in front of her

“Hello my child,” Yemaya said. Akosua reached out her hand and Yemaya took it. Akosua thought the palm of her hand was unusually coarse, after all, Yemaya was a gentile. Akosua picked up the calabash bowl of food and Yemaya sat down next to her. Her white dress brushed the top of the blades of grass as she sat gracefully. She looked at Akosua.

“I see that you have had a hard time lately. How have you been doing?” she asked Akosua fought back tears.

“Its o k dear go ahead and let it out,” Yemaya said. Akosua rested her head on Yemaya’s head and sobbed.

“This is hard, I don’t know if I am the one to do this.” Akosua said between tears. Yemaya ran her fingers through Akosua’s hair.

“Maybe you are not my dear,” she said. Akosua lifted her head and looked at the Loa. Yemaya looked into her eyes,

“Maybe you are not the chosen one,” she insisted. Akosua wiped the tears.

“But you said….,” Akosua began to say.

“Never mind what I said child, even us Loas can be wrong.” Yemaya said, Akosua stood up and looked down at the woman.

“I am sorry, but maybe you are too weak to lead your village into a battle with the Ligaroo King.” Akosua walked to the edge of the pond, the fog partially engulfed her. Akosua looked back at Yemaya, she sat stoic, no expression on her face. Maybe she was right; maybe she was not strong enough to take on the responsibility of leading her people to freedom. Out of the fog, a swan floated towards her on the water. Akosua turned to Yemaya.

“If not me then who?” She asked, The Loa smiled at her.

“Don’t worry us good spirits will find someone else. We have the power to choose,” Yemaya said. Akosua looked down at the woman; the Loa was looking at the ground. Akosua looked at the Loas fingers, the three wedding bands that she usually wore were missing. Akosua sat down.

“It is good to have you help me work through these hard times.” She said. Yemaya smiled. Akosua looked around, and then looked down at the calabash of food she had laid down on the grass. She reached down and picked it up.

“You look hungry here have a bite to eat.” She said. Yemaya looked at the food and seemed like she was going to throw up. She took the calabash bowl and set it on her lap, picked up a piece of chicken, and raised it to her mouth. She looked at the food like it was laced with poison, then looked up at Akosua without moving her head, the blacks of her eyes pointed straight up. Suddenly she growled and grinded her teeth. She looked up to the sky and screamed.

“You know I can’t eat food that the cooks have touched.” She screamed and threw the calabash bowl to the ground.  Slowly her physical features changed as she screamed and growled. The frogs jumped into the pond, the ducks and swans flapped their wings, as they retreated into the fog that suddenly thickened. The woman looked up at Akosua. Half of her body was Marinette-Bwa-Check, the other half Yemaya. Her eyes were ablaze with anger, her face twisted with contempt and hate. She got up and rushed at Akosua, the girl backed up until she stood at the edge of the pond, her heels touching the water.

“You little witch, I will cut you up and cook you into a stew and have you for dinner.” She screamed. Saliva shot out of her mouth and landed in the pond. The water bubbled, and steam rose with every drop of saliva. Dead frogs floated to the surface. Akosua stepped to her and reached her hand out. The Loa had completely transformed into Marrinette-Bwa-Check, she jerked away from Akosua, as if afraid to be touched.

“Fire go burn you,” she screamed, Akosua tried to touch her again,

“You don’t have to be evil. You can be the way you used to be in our homeland.” Akosua said. Marrinette-Bwa-Check threw her head back and screamed a loud scream that turned into a laugh, a laugh that turned into a growl. The Loa disappeared across the pond. Birds flew out of the trees and retreated into the jungle. Akosua stood; her hand was still outstretched, her eyes closed.

“You, a mere girl you think you can change me. I have ripped men’s hearts out and fed them to the animals. What do you think I will do to you child?” she screamed. Akosua opened her eyes and looked at the Evil Loa. Marrinette_Bwa_Check trembled then backed away from Akosua.

“You will be destroyed, you will be destroyed!” she screamed, as she ran to the pond and disappeared into the fog leaving ripples on the water.

The Douen (From the novel Obeah)

Henry woke to whispering in his ear. He opened his eyes, and at first he was in complete darkness, then with the aide of silver light in the distance, he saw a shadow of what seemed to be a small child.

“Come wid me,” the child said and began to move towards the silver light.  Henry stood up and looked around, then followed the silhouette of the boy, but stopped when he saw a shadow dart across the light in front of the child. Henry stood for a second listening to his own heartbeat.

“Come on hurry up I go take you to safety,” the child said, his voice a raspy whisper. The silver light grew brighter, the sand under Henry’s feet got warmer, until he stood at the opening of a cave, and looked out into the night, and the moon hovered over what seemed to be a jungle. The child stood in a clearing looking back at Henry.  

“This way,” he said pointing into the jungle. Henry did not move. The only garment the child wore was pants cut off at knees. His eyes were milk white and he stood facing Henry, but his feet were backwards. Henry took a step back.

“What are you?” Henry asked, but suddenly the child was right in front of him

“Come wid me now,” .he insisted. Henry took another step back. The child jumped, floated in the air, landed on Henry’s chest and grabbed him by the throat,

“Get off me you little devil,” Henry yelled. The boy jumped off of Henry and looked around,

“Damned Akans,” he hissed as he sniffed around, then turned and disappeared into the night. Henry started to run towards the jungle, but he was knocked backwards. Henry crumbled to the ground, and the shadow of a man materialized from the dark, followed by six other shadows.