The Year One
It was the time of change. The world was rediscovering itself in the aftermath of the great quake. This quake caused our planet to shift, creating a coming together of the lands. We were afraid. We did not know what to expect. The land no longer spoke to us.
Across the vast plains sits the city of Artrack. Central to the surrounding villages, Artrack sits atop a small plateau. Wood and rope ladders are used to climb to the top, a five-minute journey–two minutes for the strongest warriors. Yori was not a warrior, but scaled the ladders with the same swiftness of the best climber, Ignar. There was a silent understanding between them. Yori and Ignar passed glances over many seasons. They never spoke of their skills, nor did they challenge each other. The shame and burden of losing kept their tongues at bay. The silence saying all it needed to say to keep their reputations untainted. Theirs was an understanding among spiritual warriors. This wisdom kept the peace among their people.
The night laid a blanket of darkness over our land. Every manner of beast roamed amidst the moonlight, hunting for a predawn meal. As we walked the 50 paces toward Artrack, the dead leaves rustled beneath our feet. We pushed aside giant green leaves with large purple veins spidering out to the tips. Dew fell from their edges, cascading onto tiny brush that lay low to the ground, like creeping vines stringing a path to their destiny.
Our destiny was like that of the vines, uncertain of the end, but sure of the journey. Our journey was the only thing we could be sure of; all else was a dream of a life not within our grasp. Our future was uncertain. Ahead of us, near… Continue reading
A little something I wrote back in 2004 about my experiences at my old spot in the Bronx. Yes, it’s unfinished and unedited. Not sure if I want to take it further. Still thinking.
Harper Avenue gave birth to my self-awareness. It was home for more than 29 years and the place where I awoke from childhood double-dutch, hopscotch, Bubblicious, Monopoly and frisbee into womanhood. I can’t remember anywhere else, save for a few scattered memories of Jamaica, my birth land, and Bell Avenue, a street six blocks north of Harper. Harper Avenue saw its share of the world, with family, visitors and travelers who brought cultures from around the globe. It has been to Jamaica, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Germany, Japan and various countries in Africa. It has seen the likes of the wealthy, the poor, the straight and the gay. We had everything from television stars to drug dealers and thieves, nurses and bus drivers, executives and babysitters. This eclectic group comprised the heart and life of a neighborhood overflowing with stories and history. Most of this history lies behind the closed doors of 36 something or 38 something, Harper Avenue. The private history, hidden from the eyes of those who did not realize there was a world outside their own, a world of fried fish, dumplings, rotti, yams, bananas and the occasional rum cake. This culture, wrought with idiosyncrasies, saw worlds and people who could never understand why the news of breadfruit on the fruit stand was a rare delight that deserved an afternoon barbecue, or a Sunday dinner with a garnish of friends and neighbors.
One could never imagine that this avenue, filled with experiences spanning the globe and decades, could maintain its roots, despite the hustle and bustle of city cabs, pasta and rigatoni,… Continue reading
This is the opening to a story I’m working on. There will be more to come very soon.
Mumbi could smell the sea. There wasn’t an echo of water for miles around. But she could smell it. Even as the mud from her rich brown land squished between her toes, she knew that somewhere, off in the distance, the water awaited her. It called to her like the drum beats during ritual, like the familiar beating of her heart that pounded in time with the seconds in a moment and space she imagined she would never leave. Every beat was a breath. And every breath smelled of sea water. Yes, she could smell the sea–she was keen that way. It was the sea her ancestors had played in and drew life from. It surrounded that place where everything new began. It was Alkebulan; her home. Some called it Af-Rui-Ka. But it was mother. It was birth in all its purity. It was the land of the people, the people who resembled the soil.
Mumbi was the seventh among her sisters. She was born under a full moon. She came into the world with the same calm and quiet of that cloudless night. All that rustled the wilderness was the wind. And even the wind seemed to stop when Mumbi opened her eyes and looked up at the sky. But she did not cry for the future that lay beyond the darkness. Instead, she looked around, almost examining the stars, as though she were picking up her life from a place she had left many centuries ago–as though she were ready to tell us her story–the story of where she came from and where she was going. Once upon a time, those were the words in her soul, and from the… Continue reading
They Came Like Us
The night was cool. Stars speckled the sky in various formations, giving shape to things known—a dipper, a dog, a flower or leaf—and things unknown—strange, unearthly shapes. The unknown stood out. The unknown is what circled the sky, seeming to seek a place to land. No one saw this strange circular thing that stood on the air like a magician’s floating ball, no string to be seen, nothing to indicate that it was a trick of the eye. No one saw it, but Kira.
Kira sat on the bank of the river, fishing by moonlight as the strange object hovered far above her–out of reach but within sight. She shook the fishing line, hoping something would bite. One eye was on the moonlit waters while the other observed the object floating about as though trying to make a decision. She lay down the fishing rod on the grass and followed the now descending object. It went down behind the trees, slowly disappearing as it came closer to land.
There was a thud. Quietly she moved through the brush, crouching low and tiptoeing so as not to be seen or heard. Through the trees bright lights beamed, drowning out the darkness save for the thick spot of bushes and leaves that concealed her thin frame. A fog floated around the area from where the light shown. A soft hiss rose above the low hum of what sounded like high tech engines, like a well-made Cadillac that barely gave clue to the fact that it was running. The hiss was followed by another strange hum. Through the fog it seemed as though something was opening, moving from top to bottom, down toward the ground. Other unfamiliar noises climbed the night air, walking toward Kira as though… Continue reading