“Let Jah arise and let his enemies be scattered; let those that hate him flee before him; as smoke is driven away, so drive dem away; as wax melteth by the fire so let the wicked perish at the presence of Rastafari…Extol H.I.M who reigneth inna Zion by His name OH JAH Rastafari…”
Sukunya quakes like Port Royal just before it crumbled and tumbled into the Caribbean Sea.
He won’t so much as even poop on me, she thinks.
Seducing Ratta had played out much smoother than this. Ratta had yearned for her, longed for her gift. He had done discarded his conscience long, long time-way back when he was a younger youth hustling fi Blacka. Ratta woulda jukked down (stuck up/robbed) Israel and all Twelve Tribes to earn couple stripes. If Blacka ever said, “Mr. Big Mouth fi hold some FAT shot in his FAT rass!;” then, that was no problem.
Ratta was a fiend for notoriety.
So one night, almost a full year ago, Sukunya had offered herself to Ratta at Blacka’s Boxing Day Bashment. Blacka, with Ratta and the whole crew, marched in shining. As they flowed through the crowd like a fighter and his entourage at a prizefight, the crew sang out, “Blacka Knights.” People murmured and nodded and Sukunya pumped through Blacka’s veins…his heart…his brain. She consumed him and he wielded her triumphantly as he waved his eagle-head cane in the air like a scepter in time to The Bruck Out riddim.
As Ratta watched, he brindled with envy. Blacka was king.
Sukunya chuckled and approached Ratta. Few men had ever resisted and she doubted he would be anything special.
“Blacka cyaan (can’t) hold mi, yuh know,” she said matter-of-factly. “He cyaan control me.”
The music wound low and the crowd movement slowed like a trek to perdition. The club scene had fallen catatonic- which was a perfect canvass for Sukunya.
Ratta’s eyes brooded wickedness. He clenched his fists, raising them in front his face. “I want yuh so bad I’da rip out mi own mother heart out her chest. I want this-”he circled his hands around the room and shrugged “- I want all this fi me- RATTA.” He laughed, deep, from within a rotten soul.
“I know. Yuh feel me now, mi Boy? Blacka come like nuttn to you. Imagine, the world is yours.” She winked, and then added. “Drink up. Just accept mi. FEEL me. Taste me. ”
Sukunya giggled uncontrollably as the music and the crowd catapulted back to life.
A few early mornings later, before sunrise, Ratta and his side-kick Tully waylaid Blacka outside his home in Flatlands. Around 5:30 a big, bad, midnight Escalade barreled up the street like a powerful tidal wave. As his driver squeezed back and forth into a tight parking spot, the Boss lit a bighead spliff and took a deep pull.
Ratta and Tully crept silently, low in the valley of shadows between the building and parked cars. As they came up to the Escalade, Ratta raised up two forty-fives and -BLAM.BLAM.BLAM…bust them rapidly through the passenger window while Tullo unloaded six booming shots from a pump shotty around on the driver side. The Escalade’s engine vroomed hard and the SUV lunged forward, plunging into a Lincoln Town car.
The car alarm wailed.
Tullo ran around the SUV, and unloaded one more in the Boss’s head.
In all, twenty-seven shots blared.
The two assassins looked for any movement from the slumped over men.
Satisfied, they sprinted up the block.
Back in the apartment, the clock reads 11:45. Sukunya top lip quivers.
Irie is sealing up his chanting. “…Oh Great and Thunderable I- JAH RASTAFAR I.”
Sukunya shakes. When Irie thumbs a lighter and a single flame spurts up dancing in the dark, she cringes.
He lifts the fire to the kutchie and draws long and deep on the pipe. The flame climbs in, flooding over the herb, igniting it to sizzling orange embers. He holds his breath, letting his meditation ascend to higher heights.
Growing more restless, Sukunya pops up and sashays over to Irie. Leers over his shoulder, anxiously checking the clock.
“Yeah man, smoke up. I perform best on the unconscious. My ride go take you higher than that Indica, Irie Dread. Trust mi, you see.”
Finally he exhales, a smoke plume flaring from his nostrils.
Sukunya chokes on the congregation of smoke inundating her like judgment ‘pon the land.
Irie doesn’t even stir. He holds firm.
Sukunya moans. “Taste me once, just once; you never get enough.”
She kisses his neck. OWW. Scalded, she cowers back.
What in di hell-?
You need me Irie. Relax. Take me and men will tremble when they hear your name. Women will bow-She reaches for him again. But now awaken, he leans away.
No, Harlot. All is vanity
Relax; she repeats and brushes scorching fingertips down his chest. Claw-like fingernails soaked with the blood of martyrs leaves trails on his shirt.
Look at me! Her eyes are drunken, blood-red like her nails. Surely you want what I offer. Behold my fullness. Render your heart, nuh, I’ll bring you ecstasy. Discard your so-called righteousness and I will give you the world.
Slow and jerkily she leans in and presses her lips to his.
Irie twitches and breaks away. The radiator steams loud and vexed.
Sukunya is dripping wet.
Irie sticks out his chest. I AM-Jah blessed. He smiles and bounces to a song in his heart. Di hungry shall be fed/ Jah know di blind shall be led…
But Irie, you don’t know me. Yuh never wonder? I’ve lain with kings. Great men have drunk my wine. Here, thrusting her golden cup at him.
No! He refuses, shaking his head. I DO know you.
She spins around, grabbing a glance of the clock.
No. You don’t. You may have seen me around, with Ratta, Blacka…other dons. They’re like grains of sand beneath the Great Pyramids. You I want intimately. Like Napoleon. Like Julius Caesar.
Her eyes dart back to the clock. It clicks to 11:57. Her heart begins to trot. She continues:
Like Nimrod and Nebuchadnezzar, I’ll lift you high like pharaohs. Make you great. People will call your name through the ages. Just kiss me; taste me; SEIZE ME. HURRY Irie!
But Irie remains rooted, firm, like a tree. Smirking, I know your mystery.
Wha? She snatches the time off the clock.
She gasps. Begins pacing back and forth like a penned up beast.
LISTEN, she snarls. She is drenched all over. Gulps down the last of her Brunell and flings away the cup. Paces some more. You want a Bentley? Fine silks? Linens? Islands in the sea? Souls of men?
Irie chuckles. Flashes his mane, remembering, "...leaves shall not wither."
She flails her hands in the air. Her pacing quickens to a frantic gallop around the room. She stops. Points a finger. Is about to say something, but presses her lips together. Shakes the finger at him.
What? Tell me wha yuh want!
Her lips are parched. She gallops around again, circling him. Fast. Faster.
Tell me. Hurry. Quick nuh Irie.
Irie remains still, grinning with the challawa (chalice pipe) in hand.
She brakes suddenly. She opens her arms. IRRIIEEeee!! Come to me nuh? Tell me wha yuh waaaant?
Irie delights. "FIRE! For Purification. Gimmie FIYAH!"
Sukunya falls to her knees and rips away her soaking garments. She kneels desolate and naked.
Irie stands over her and can hear the weeping and moaning and mourning of those who had slept with her. She looked up at him imploringly.
The voices outside sing:
Sukunya bursts into flames.
“THREE, TWO, ONE.”
Great volleys of gunfire erupt outside around the whole Flatbush, on and on, a thundering salute to the new millennium.
Now Sukunya is a blazing inferno. She crumbles to ashes as Irie watches standing over her, bemused, burning his chalice pipe as gunshots pound outside like falling brimstone.
And now it is done.
Rastafari stands alone.