K. P. Malor
K. P. Malor is a pseudonym. This book is a work of fiction.
With the exception of the names of known Jamaican musicians, artistes, sports personalities and the sound system, Stone Love, and its operator,
all the characters in this book are fictitious and, any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
First published in the United Kingdom 2012
Copyright © K. P. Malor 2012
K. P. Malor has asserted her rights
under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
to be identified as the author of this work.
This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by
way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or
otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any
form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published
and without a similar condition including this condition
being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
Cover Illustration Copyright © 2012 by G. Buchanan and L. Walters
Partial or full use of the lyrics of the song below have been quoted
in this novel.
"Rock of Ages"
Rev. Augustus Montague Toplady
thank you from the depths of my heart.
Dedicated to all the special little ones
being born and being lost to us.Chapter 1
"Plenty gal, plenty gal unda mi thumb
Get to play them like I play my drum
Gal from here and every street corner
All come running for a bit of my horn yeah"
With both Mobsta's Unda Mi Thumb and Beenie Man's Nuff Gal playing over and over in his head, Blackman pushed his front door open, kicked off his shoes and threw himself on the bed. Blackman was in one helluva good mood. He had had a wicked rough and tumble last night with Selline and, as his heavy eyelids closed from lack of sleep, he burst out laughing once more, mumbling, "What a gal fit" to himself before sleep took over.
Bum bum bum!
Blackman awoke suddenly. "What the fuck?"
Bum bum bum!
He jumped up.
"RICHARD! RICHARD! RICHARD BLACKMAN, OPEN THE DOOR. I KNOW YOU ARE IN THERE!"
Blackman hissed his teeth. It would have to be the one Jean.
"DICK BLACKMAN, OPEN THE DOOR BEFORE I BURST IT DOWN THIS MORNING. YOU WALK 'ROUND THE PLACE PUSHING YOUR DICK EVERYWHERE. YOU THINK YOU COULD SNEAK IN THIS MORNING AND I DON'T KNOW."
He picked up his Mp3, stuffed the headphones in his ears, and pulled the pillow over his head.
BUM BUM BUM! BUM BUM BUM! "If I have to knock once more, is a stone you getting through that bloody door."
He sprang from the bed. Jean wasn't going anywhere. One of his big mistakes was getting in bed with that mad, mad woman. He tip-toed over to the front door and peered through the keyhole. Jean's eye stared back at him.
With vengeance in her eyes, she slowly walked over to a small pile of gravel and rocks in front of the unfenced Kingston house and picked up a large piece of cement brick. His eyes lit up at her behind. Despite two children, her rump looked good. He felt a lump in his pants. As Jean walked back and took aim at the door, he opened it.
"What happen Jean? I was sleeping and didn't hear you man," he told her, rubbing his eyes. As she walked in, glaring daggers at him, Blackman whispered in her ear, "Baby, the things you do to a man" before grabbing one of her hands and raising it to the front of his pants.
Jean stepped out of her slippers, unbuttoned her summer dress and shrugged it off, letting it fall to the bathroom floor. A bunch of banknotes fell out of the pocket. She glanced at the notes, a drained expression on her face. She looked at the stretch marks on her stomach, tracing one, then the other, then yet another with her fingers. Her stomach wasn't as flat as it once was. Jean thought of Richard, remembering when she first met him. That night. That night . . . .
"Well Stone Love". The deep voice echoed through the speakers. "Is that Bounti or Buju?" was the fleeting thought in Jean's head as she stepped into the dance, the music surrounding her like air, the dancehall rhythm injecting in her veins, the deejay-selector waxing lyrical in her brain as he chanted, "Bwoy, the girls them hot tonight . . . man, oonu can't touch them girls here . . . this one is for the ggirrrllss!", before he hit the crowd with Mr. Lex deejaying over the latest Stone Love rhythm.
It wasn't just any dance. It was a Stone Love anniversary dance and Jean was never one to miss a Stone Love anniversary. And Jean did look hot. Her long braids, streaked in red, green and gold, fell over her full breasts that glittered in the light with the gold stardust she had brushed over them. Her breasts were barely held in place by tiny, maple-leaf shaped fabric over each, with an almost invisible string in the middle to keep it together and similar strings running from the side and tied at the back. Her skirt, narrow and long, fell to her ankle, a thigh-length slit on each side. Her toes, freshly manicured, glistened with more stardust, the nails sharp and painted with gold and white, with a stud on each big toe. The corns on her little toes had, just that day, been softened and were barely visible. The combined toes were beautifully splayed in strapped, very high heels, the straps wrapped around her ankles, continuing to mid-leg. The diamonique necklace and earrings, bought from the shopping channel on her recent trip to New York, made her feel sensual.
Jean felt a tug on her arm. Her friend, Keisha, was eyeing a corner of the yard where the dance was being held. Jean shook her head and pulled Keisha over to the bar with her. Keisha had spotted Lloyd, her baby's father, and he was not alone. A female in a skin-tight, see-through lace, full pantsuit was thrusting her derriere at Lloyd's mid-waist, gyrating to, "who the hell was that? . . . love punanny bad . . . rahtid, Shabba Ranks of course!" Jean knocked her head, not sure how she could forget Shabba. Uhm. Lloyd was thrusting back. Trouble was afoot.
The trouble would not be between Keisha and Lloyd alone. A typical dance was bound to have lots of lovers and ex-lovers, babymothers and babyfathers, past, current and, as of this night, future. A dance could have the best and worst of them, depending on where the sound system was playing. Jean hoped none would spoil Daddy Pow's big night. It was not his kind of thing and this was a big night every year on the dancehall calendar.
"Something hot for the sexy lady?" a voice whispered in her ear.
In one quick glance, Jean had sized him up and decided yes. There were times she would say yes, get as many free drinks as she could, then fob off the man for the rest of the night. But this yes was a deliberate yes, a yes from the way in which they both ate each other up with their eyes. She knew it and he knew it.
"Richard Blackman," he said, in smooth husky words, as if honey lined.
"Jean. Jean Colkes," she replied, not removing her eyes from his.
"Well right now I'm dreaming of a Jeannie," came the honied reply, "but you're sexier though Jean . . . Cox, much bomboclaut sexier."
Jean watched the godlike structure turn to the bartender and order a drink for her and a beer for himself, adding, "make that quick Mr. Bartender, you don't see how this foxy lady body so hot, that I need something quick to cool me down before I man start boil."
Jean smiled. Jamaican men were never short of pick-up lines. They could make your skin crawl or send a thrill through you. She was feeling thrilled. She ordered a vodka and tonic for Keisha so she could chill. May as well enjoy the night and deal with the problems tomorrow.
And enjoy the night she and Richard Blackman did, bubbling on the dance floor to the likes of Kiprich, Mr. Lex, Beenie Man, Mad Andrew, Benzly Hype, Buju, Sean Paul, Shaggy, and all the other dancehall artistes, many of whom were present to big up Daddy Pow, for whose cathartic sound system they bared their souls and trumpeted the anthems they became famous or infamous for.
As the music played, as the speakers pumped, as the deejays and selectors fanned the flames, spun, yelled, cried, mixed hit after hit, song after song, so the crowd waved, their feet jumped, their bodies swayed, pumped, rocked and gyrated, a mass of cohabitants doing what they did best, dance. And as Mr. Pow himself heralded the end of a long night with the melodious sounds of lovers rock, oldies by the chiefs of reggae, Richard Blackman led Jean away to complete the hot, frenzied coupling and to give Jean the full hundred.
Jean ran one finger from the still prominent stretch marks, upward to her breasts, slowly circling one nipple then the other, before lifting a full breast to meet her tongue, the other hand covering the fleshy area between her legs, feeling its swollen middle.
"Jean, you inside?"
From inside the shower, Jean heard the faint knocking.
"Give me a minute, I'm coming," she shouted. "I'm coming!" Her body heaved, arched, shuddered. Nice but lacking. She grabbed some tissue, dabbed between her legs, quickly washed her hands, drew on her panties, slipped on her dress and walked to the front door, with a quick glance at the two children still sleeping on the bed in the same room.
"What happen Cynthia? Sorry I took so long, I was in the bathroom."
"Morning Jean, is the money I come for. You know the partner draw due tomorrow so I have to make sure that I get all the collection today. You alright?"
"Yeah man, just tired. The children start school couple weeks from now and I just get the rest of the money together for their uniforms."
Jean pulled out a bunch of notes from her dress pocket, counted out some which she handed to Cynthia.
"My draw is next week, right?" she asked.
"Yeah man, don't worry. You'll have everything ready for them for next week. You take care."
Jean nodded. Cynthia was a blessing. It wasn't the first partner Jean had joined, but with this one, she got her draw on time every time. In the previous partner she had been in, the banker said she had been robbed and couldn't pay. In the one before that, that banker had disappeared; and the one before that had been arrested for fraud after multiple complaints by members. Jean had been hesitant with Cynthia, but two years had passed without problems.
She walked over to the bed and shook the children awake. Now that she had some money, things needed doing.
It was well after mid-day when Blackman got up from the bed, not because he had finished sleeping but because his bladder was bursting. Deciding that since he was awake he may as well go down to the studio, Blackman quickly showered, then, to help cleanse his blood, had some cerassie tea which he drank down with two thick slices of white bread heavily plastered with butter, before leaving.
The Diablo studio was abuzz with activity. Its gates, emblazoned with Diablo across it, were a focal point in the community. A couple of artistes were hanging out in the yard with the sound system guys.
"A you dat, my bwoy!" yelled a voice as Blackman parked his pick-up beside a fully loaded Prius. "Wicked slam last night man?"
Blackman laughed and walked over to the group of men. The voice was from a dancehall deejay called Mobsta. Mobsta had become a powerhouse deejay with seven hits in two years. His album was due out later this year. With him were Micky, one of the sound system guys, and Crank Call and Alibi, two new artistes who had teamed up and just gotten their break.
"Just cool man," Blackman smiled. "Is conch soup that? Where's Miss Mirrie?"
"Bwoy she gone, but guess what . . . we buy the pot from her and tell her that tomorrow she must come with fish-tea and make sure it have okra and susumber," replied Mobsta, raising the cup to his mouth.
Blackman shouted at a figure headed to the office, "Oye Ken, carry a cup of that soup for me man, and I want it well hot."
He drew a spliff from his pocket, lighting it from the bit left from Alibi.
"So Blackman, what a way you disappear last night with the filly," drawled Alibi, turning to the other two and adding, "make sure Miss Mirrie come with some stagga back and tan pan it long because a big show this weekend and the gal them prime."
Crank Call hissed his teeth. "What kind of bloodclaut tan pan it long you want? You can't tan pan it long on your own? Next thing you a find obeah man; tan pan it long, you worthless rast."
Alibi was not deterred. "You a talk fucking nonsense," he replied slowly, "when you have to service all six woman after a show, remember them think you well hype, and the six of them in the room with you one time. You think you can get tired and make any of them see, a trouble that man. Next thing word out the road that you're a maama man."
Mobsta chipped in. "True that sometimes man. Don't care how much rehearsal you have for the show, and then you perform and you're wiped out and want to sleep to rastclaut . . . and you barely manage to drop on the bed; all you sometimes feel is a mouth down there. Now, me don't mind that still, but them want you to work and you can't tell them to wait until tomorrow. If it's your woman she won't pressure you, but which man carry his woman to any of those shows? That a yard business man, yard and road don't mix." He drained his cup then added, "But no tan pan it long for me man, Irish moss and linseed all the way. And you know the roots man down Maxfield Road? When that man give you some molasses beat up with peanuts, eggs, stout and whatnot, watch bomboclaut out!"
A short, stocky fellow hurried over to the men, clapping his hands in an excited state before punching the air a couple times with his fist and bursting into song, "another, another, another, big hit for Diablo o o o . . . . " It was Andrew, another of the studio musicians, who instantly told them they had just created a wicked new rhythm in the studio which was going to storm the charts that year, immediately causing the other four men to out their spliffs, put away their soup cups and head inside.
Blackman wasn't playing out that night but wanted to get a hand on some selections for the next day, so he spent the remainder of the day with Rooster and Flexipus, going through some dub plates and piling the special selections they would be using at the dance the following night. Flexipus was the newest member to the team of sound system selectors and would be losing his sound system cherry the next day with Rooster and Blackman. The dance would be easy on him. It was going to be a regular scene, not a clash. Now that was heavy stuff and no clash with Diablo would have men like Rooster, Micky, Little Diego and Blackman absent at such an event. That sort of action called for the heavies. Blackman was one of the heavies.
It was after seven when Blackman left the studio. He was low on gas so pulled into a service station, told the attendant to fill up the tank, and pulled out his wallet. He sucked his teeth. "Fucking cunt." That rastclaut Jean had emptied his wallet of the full Six Thousand Dollars he had in it. Blackman begged the attendant to give him a minute, drove off the gas stand and parked in a corner, then strode up to the convenience ATM.
"Richard Blackman, is that really you?" A voice startled him as he came out of the ATM cubicle.
The voice was coming from a beaten up hatchback Swift, which had pulled up outside the machine. Blackman peered through the darkness and made out a familiar face.
"Backside! What happen Sharine? Long long time I don't see you," he said, moving his eyes from her face to her bosom and down to her legs, which he noticed were bare.
She caught his eyes deliberately and held them for a few seconds. Her eyes were cold as she slowly moved them to where his designer shirt revealed a crop of hair on his chest, then from his chest to his waist, crotch and denim-clad legs.
"Yes, lacking as always," she exclaimed, frowning. She stepped out of the car and slammed the door shut, revealing shorts that were neither too tight nor too short. "And yes, I can see your disappointment that I'm not in a batty-rider. As if! You'll never change Richard, that's your problem. You must be about thirty now. For all I know you probably have as many baby mothers as your age, and you still look at women as if they're only good for consumption. To see what your mother went through and now you're putting other women through it. Well at least she knew when to stop, unlike some of the women you have."
"Sharine, Sharine," his voice softened, a touch of honey making its way to his throat. "Woman nice you know girl. And a lovely woman like you must be in need of a man. All a night like this, you must go home to a hot dinner and have him rub your legs for you."
Sharine laughed out loud. "One day he or she will come," she replied, stressing the she. "And I'm perfectly content alone."
Blackman's face clouded over. "Sharine, what you saying, you a sodomite? Don't say things like that. You mek man vex to hear them things deh you know."
Sharine laughed again. "Yes, it makes men like you vex because you think you are the best things on earth and it upsets you when you feel as if your manhood is being undermined. That's one of the reasons why we chastise, chase and even murder people because they are different and we don't understand them. Ignorance is harming us. From I was a child, I remember this guy they used to talk about in the country . . . uhm, Brandon, a born hermaphrodite . . . poor child . . . what they did to him. Surely you remember Brandon? And we would kill people like him because we would identify him as a man who liked other men, when he would probably have been a woman trapped in a male body. It's the same way we were ostracized and enslaved centuries ago, because we were different. Look at South Africa up to a few years ago. We know very little and behave as if we know so much. Boy, if it's one thing I've learned on campus is that I know so very little."
"Uhm, Sharine," interrupted Blackman, squinting his eyes, "mind you swallow your tongue."
She glared at him. "Whatever . . . but I'm complete as I am, and yes, I would much rather have a good woman in my bed than a man like you. All you do is walk around and degrade women everyday. You must have about twenty children starting school next week; how many of them you provide school fee for? With a man like you, the woman must have to steal it out of your wallet before they can get anything out of you."
Blackman screwed up his face as he remembered his empty wallet.