Obeah

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


Henry finds himself ship wrecked on an island, he thought he was alone until he ran into a peculiar child.

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Ship Grounded

Submitted: May 15, 2019

Reads: 58

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Submitted: May 15, 2019

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CHAPTER 1

Henry woke to whispering in his ear. He opened his eyes, and at first he was in complete darkness, then with the aid 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.  

“Get the Douen!” The shadow barked and three of the other young men ran after the phantom child. A young man, about Henry’s age stood directly in front of him holding a torch. His skin glittered, long dreadlocks hung from his head almost touching the ground,

“Move or die Kadoka,” he barked as he stepped closer, his green eyes ablaze with suspicion. Despite his light cultured skin, he looked like a shadow against the light from the torch and the moon.

“Who are you, did the Legatos send you?” The young man asked, as he looked intently into Henry eyes.

“What? Speak English,” Henry said. The young man poked him in the chest with a long spear that had a crudely sharpened tip. Another shadow came up behind him,

“Easy Kwan, why do you call everyone Kadoka?  Not everyone is an evil spirit, get off of him,” The new shadow said then leaned down and the light hit his face. He too was about Henry’s age but looked older because of his full beard. His long dreadlocks were copper red, his body muscular, and little pellets of sweat glistened on his skin. The one called Kwan persisted,

“He looks like an evil spirit to me, talk Kadoka!” he insisted poking Henry with the spear,

“Get your filthy hands off of me Cargo,” Henry screamed. Kwan punched Henry and he fell on his back. Kwan lifted his spear, but the bearded young man grabbed his arm.

“Looks like he afraid to me,” The bearded one said and leaned down to get a better look at Henry.

“Crazy Kadoka,” Kwan insisted, and slapped Henry. Out of shear desperation, Henry calmed down and started talking,

“My name is Henry. Our ship was hit by a storm and I was washed overboard, that’s how I got here.” He stuttered, Kwan leaned in until his nose touched Henry’s cheek,

“Likely story, hell, you even smell like a Jumble. I say we feed him to the monsters,” Kwan said.

“You can’t talk to me like that, I will have my father whip you, now take me to your master!” Henry screamed, Kwan became enraged and slapped Henry repeatedly. The bearded one grabbed him and pulled him off Henry,

“Let’s take him to Akosua; she will decide what to do.” The bearded one insisted.

“Yeah, let’s do that Adofo, take him to your master, to your puppeteer,” Kwao said, Adofo stopped and turned to him, his beard sparkled a little in the moonlight.

“You better watch what you say to me,” He barked. Kwao stepped up to him, and they stood face to face, motionless,

“I am not afraid of you,” Kwao spat back. Adofo stood, his muscular body twitching with anger, his fingers wrapped tightly around his spear, his dreadlocks hung still, and his brown coconut coloured skin shined in the yellow light from the torches. He took a deep breath,

“Let’s just get him to Akosua,” Adofo said, Kwao chuckled and looked at Henry,

“Just like I thought, move it Kindoki,” He ordered.

“My Name is Henry,”

“Shut up and walk,” Kwao barked. They walked into the jungle. The moonlight created shadows on the jungle floor. When his eyes adjusted to the dim light, he saw a path through the jungle ahead of them. Parrots flew overhead; it was as if they were following them, watching him. Small black and white monkeys swung from one tree branch to the next barking and grunting. Big bugs floated around him tickling his face and arms. It was like every creature was interested in finding out who he was. He heard the ocean breaking on the beach in the distance. A dog barked and appeared from the bushes sniffing at his feet.

They walked onto a beach; the moonlight reflected off of the white sand as they walked the length of it. They travelled for about fifteen minutes, sweat poured down Henry’s face and he wiped it with the back of his hand. Finally, they came upon about ten children sitting around a bonfire. Their black skin glittered as yellow and silver light bounced off their bodies. They all had long dreadlocks, and all stopped and looked suspiciously at the small procession.

“Who dat?” They chorused,

“Out the way,” Kwao said pushing one of the children. They walked past the silent group and walked into the jungle. Just ahead, Henry saw the dark tops of huts scattered between the trees and bushes. He heard drums; it was a slow haunting rhythm that echoed through the jungle. Then he heard singing, a sad melody that resonated in his heart, he stopped to take a breath

“Keep walking Kindoki,” Kwao said poking Henry in the side,

“You don’t need to do that. I am not going to do anything,” Henry said. Kwao wacked him on the right side of his back with the spear,

“Less talking more walking,” he insisted, pushing Henry along. They walked onto a dirt path and into a cleared circle that was surrounded by bamboo huts. Human shadows all with dreadlocks slowly walked out of the huts, and out of the jungle.  They congregated in the centre of the village and stood looking. Younger children chased after the procession, their voices mingled with the animals and birds. Henry felt like he was in a religious procession on Easter Sunday.

Henry looked ahead and standing on a big cut off tree stump in the middle of the village was a young. Her laced white dress hung loosely on her shoulder, her dreadlocks a stark contrast to the dress. There were two boys each about eighteen years old, one on her right and the other on the left. Both were bare chested, their pants were cut off at the knees, their feet covered with sand and red mud.  Another girl stood next to them, she wore a brown dress, made from a course material. Henry came to a stop in front of the young woman in the white dress. She had big hazel eyes, her face was the shape of a full moon, and her smile looked like it was painted by one of the great master painters. He was taken aback by her beauty and the innocence in her eyes. She waited as Kwao pushed Henry towards her; the others were silent as she looked at Henry intently,

“Who are you and where did you come from?”  She asked, the crowd mumbled, she raised her arm and they were silent. Henry looked around the huts; they were in no particular order, just encaged into the lush trees. Two of them were burnt to the ground smoke still floating out of the rubble,

“Speak Kindoki or did Djab take your tongue?” Henry jumped as Kwao poked him with the spear. He felt his back becoming raw from the constant poking,

“Akosua is speaking to you.” He shouted, Henry looked around at the inquiring faces then spoke,

“My name is Henry we were on our way to a new plantation where my father was to work. A storm hit our ship, I was thrown overboard and here I am,” he said, still looking around.

“Lies lies, he was sent by the Ligaroos. We should skin him and take him to Congo Savanne so he can grind him up and eat him.” The villagers screamed, some hitting the ground with their spears.

“Silence!”  Akosua shouted. There was immediate silence, not even the animals made a sound. Akosua spoke,

“We don’t practice in black magic here, we need to consult with Rada, the good spirit, he will tell us what to do,” There were groans from the assemble as Kwao spoke up,

“What if he is from that island? What if the Ligaroo King did send him?”  He asked, and the villagers cowered at the mention of the Ligaroo King. Adofo stepped forward,

“Kwao you are always so negative about everything. Would you rather we consult the evil spirit Pedro, well would you?” Adofo asked.

“At least I think for myself,” Kwao retorted, a low guttural growl escaped his mouth, Adofo turned to the crowd,

“Akosua is right, we need to show some compassion I say we follow her instructions,”Adofo said, Kwao looked at Adofo with a smirk on his face,

“Lets do what she says, but don’t blame me when you wake up in the morning, and the Ligaroos have sucked the blood from your body,” he jeered, Akosua raised her hand

“Then you keep an eye on him Kwao and be sure that no harm comes to him until we figure out what to do.” Akosua said

“Don’t worry, I will be like a fly in his coconut porridge,” Kwao said taking a step to Henry. The frightened young man stepped away from him and Kwao growled his dreadlocks swayed from side to side, his bloodshot eyes casted an evil stare at Henry.

“We will discuss this further in the morning,” Akosua said and stepped off the tree trunk.  The crowd dispersed, some stopped to take a closer look at Henry,

“Kwao, take him to the dining hall and feed him,” Akosua said. Kwao hesitated,

“Now Kwao,” Akosua insisted. He pushed Henry and they walked to a big hut at the end of the village.

Henry stopped at the door and Kwao pushed him inside. Crude sculptures lined the walls. Long bamboo tables sat in perfect rows from one side of the hut to the next. Two small children sat at a table on the far end of the hut eating. They looked up as Henry walked in. Flies buzzed around them and dogs sat next to the table waiting for scraps. A girl approached them looking at Henry like he was a threat to her, but still, she showed her pearly teeth in a forced smile and pointed to a chair. Henry sat down and Kwao stood next to him, the boy looked at Kwao,

“What are you looking at Kindoki?”  He barked, Henry looked away, and was startled by the girl who suddenly stood next to him,

“How the hell did you do that?” Henry asked. The girl ignored his question.  She stood with a calabash bowl overflowing with food and a cup made from coconut shell filled with milk, the girl stood looking at him, her black eyes questioning,

“What is your name?” She asked, but before Henry could respond Kwao spoke,

“Do not speak to the Kindoki,” He snarled, and the girl glared at him and looked back at Henry. Henry took a tentative bite, he was hungry, and before long, his plate was empty. The girl removed the plate and walked away. Henry looked out the window and saw the two children looking in at him,

“Come wid us,” the boy said. Another boy looked into the door,

"Kwao, He said, his eyes wide with fear,

“What boy?” Kwao barked,

“There is a serpent in our hut,” the boy said. Kwao walked over to the boy,

“Get Adofo or someone else to get it,” Kwao said,

“We want you to get it,” Kwao sighed, looked back at Henry then followed the boy.

Henry walked out of the hut and followed the kids. Their dark skin glistened in the moonlight; their dreadlocks bounced around as they ran. He looked back; Kwao had followed the boy into a hut. Henry and the two kids walked into the jungle, up a small hill until they came to the top. The kids pointed and giggled. Henry looked down on a beach lit with several torches, Akosua and Adofo stood knee deep in the ocean talking and looking deeply into each other eyes. Seagulls flew around them, and colourful fishes sparkled in the ocean around their feet. They talked for a while, and then Akosua rested her head on Adofo’s shoulder. The kids giggled and looked at Henry, but before he could say anything to them Kwao walked up,

“Trying to escape Kindoki?” He barked walking to the top of the hill. He was about to say something else when he saw Akosua and Adofo, he stood silent; looking at them then turned to Henry and punched him in the face. Henry fell backwards.

“What did you do that for?” the little boy asked,

“Mind your own business before I feed you to the Congo Savanne,” the angry warrior barked. The two kids ran away and Kwao turned his attention to Akosua and Adofo. Henry got to his feet and stood behind Kwao, for a second, he thought of pushing him over the edge, but before he could make his mind up Kwao turned to him,

“Get moving Kindoki, He shouted and poked Henry with his spear, Henry flashed him an evil glance but complied and walked down the hill.

“Move it Kindoki,” he barked pushing Henry. They walked on the sandy path back to the village and went to a bamboo hut on the outside of the village,

“Go in,” Kwao said pointing. Henry hesitated but went in.

Inside a torch sat to the left of the doorway. On the far side, there was a crude cot with a bamboo frame, and straw stuffed in a sack from the ship served as a mattress.  Next to it was a bucket of water. Henry cleaned himself, and then dried with a piece of cloth that lay on the end of the cot. Kwao peeped in,

“You sleep now Kindoki and don’t try anything, I will be right out here all night watching you” he said pointing the spear menacingly at Henry before he turned away.

Henry lay there looking up at the roof. Moonlight seeped through the walls of the hut; silver light streaked across the dirt floor. In the distance, he heard howling and ear splitting growls. He got up, went to the doorway, and peeped out. There was a boy about twelve year’s old sitting against the hut asleep; his spear lay next to him. The growling came from the jungle just beyond the village. The guard woke up and looked at him; Henry turned, went back into the hut, and lay down on the cot. Tomorrow he would try to find a way to escape and get back to civilization.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


© Copyright 2019 Anderson A Charles. All rights reserved.

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