SECRETS OF NIGHT
A blood-chilling scream awoke her with a start. Standing in the middle of the woods near Lake Talquin, she was horrified to realize that she had been sleepwalking and that now before her unfolded a terrifying scene.
Neanderthal posture defined the shape of the man who had ahold of a young woman by her pink-ribboned long dark ponytail. Her shirt and shorts were torn completely open in front. Her bare arms were sliced and bleeding as they churned through the dirt and rocks and leaves while she fought to gain balance and focus. A second man straddled her and pinned her arms, dripping sweat and drooling saliva onto her face and neck and into her eyes. The more she fought the more excited he became. He took his belt and gave her a wind-shearing whip with it across the face, cutting her cheek with the buckle. The first man laughed as he watched, and laughed harder as he urinated on the girl's bleeding face while the other man raped her.
The full moon above illuminated the scene through the trees with bizarre clarity like a stencil-covered spotlight. After what seemed like an hour, the men dragged the wilted woman to a red pick-up truck parked on the dirt road, hoisted her into the bed, bound her wrists to an equipment rack, got into the truck's cab and drove off.
The witness stared as she watched them leave.
A feeling like burgeoning liquid cobwebs swelled under her skin, pumping through her with surging escalation until suddenly the adrenaline flash flood forced her body up into a winged sprint back toward her campsite. But disorientation clouded her focus. She zigzagged through the wilderness and brush, stumbling, falling, her anxiety ever heightening.
The catacombs of the forest closed in around her as she slowed her pace. She felt desperate tears within but they would not shed. Finally hugging a tree for some modicum of comfort, she felt her body slide harshly down
the bark as she trembled and shut down. There, deep in the woods, her mind numb, her throat parched, and her heart racing wildly, she collapsed and rocked into a pulsating catatonic bobbing while swallowing the secret of this terrible night.
Ironic and disturbing how the quest to feign the charade of alleged civilization can lead to rationalization by humans of blatant barbarianism. It just doesn't get any more twisted than that.
In a darker era of Jamaica's truth there came to the island African slaves imported initially by the Spanish and subsequently by the British.
Bands of escaped slaves formed camps and grew in strength and power. Ultimately adapting to survival on their own high in the mountains and mountain caves, these strong people known as Maroons became truly free.
Today the Maroon culture is alive and well.
Damon and Chase ascended into the mountains to the nation within a nation. Accompong. The town is self-governing and there is no crime at all. No taxes, no police, no crime. This is a people and place of peace and respect.
An unusual number of people here live to be over one hundred years old. Can Shangri-La really be just as simple as being kind and peaceable? It makes sense.
As they walked, Chase pointed out a group of children playing a game with a juice box being thrown.
"Ah dat's Dandy Shandy!"
One smiling child looked their way and beckoned for them to join in. And for a few exhilaratingly free moments Chase was a child of Accompong.
Waiting impatiently was Damon's mother, who everyone called Mama Bertena.
Damon's family was gathered. Big Daddy Luther. Tyronne, the eldest sibling, with his girlfriend, Necie.
Andreas, Damon's younger brother.
Georgina, the baby of the family and the only girl.
The dutchie began to make its way around the table followed by a huge platter of fried chicken, another with fried dumplings, and yet another platter with vegetables. Finally came the bigass gravy boat, as Luther called it.
"Look at mi plate with these lovely dumplings that are so sad without any gravy!" He smiled sweetly, "Please, Bebe, I need di bigass gravy boat!"
Mama playfully smacked Daddy on the head, and she poured, dousing Luther's dumplings much to his childlike delight. He reached up, pulled her to him, and gave her a huge kiss.
"Please!' Andreas objected, "I'm trying to eat here!"
Mama walked over to Andreas and smacked him on the head too. She looked at Chase with a grin, saying "I love mi family."
Luther smiled and said to Chase, "I hope someday that you can be a part of our family. You've made mi son the happiest I've seen him."
"I cannot sleep for dreamin'; I cannot dream but I wake and walk about the house as though I'd find you comin' through some door."
"Very good, Sam!" Kristi yelled up to the stage. Then she announced, "Okay people we're going to do an exercise. The Crucible is a work of mob mentality and we're going to do a little shunning."
Darcy went first. She taunted and jeered but got no reaction. A few hovered over her with scowls. Darcy crouched down as she felt the body warmth from their close proximity.
"That's good, that's how each of those women in this play felt."
Peggy was called. Sam focused on the girl. A couple of the boys sneered while raising their hands to the girl but not striking.
"Stop!!" Sam suddenly outburst, "Leave her alone!" She threw herself in between Peggy and the aggressors, flailing her arms.
"Sam!" Kristi shouted with alarm as she ran up to the stage.
She grabbed the hysterical child, calming her as she walked off the stage with her, leaving a dumbfounded crowd in her wake.
Chase arrived quickly at the school after getting the call.
She sat down next to her daughter and held her.
Samantha looked up into her mother's eyes. "I remember everything."