Monday, November 23, 2009

The Under The Mango Tree (Next Part)

©2009 K.Omodele

Pruitt’s eyes riddled holes through him.
When Owens didn’t elaborate, the Detective sergeant wrenched his face and chopped a crooked fore finger at the younger detective.
“Well Man, out with it. Wha’? you want me box it out you mouth?” Wrenching his face up couple notches, he tiraded. “LISTEN HERE OWENS. I don’t want no more ghetto heroes. The LAST thing this country need is a next criminal masquerading like some damn Robin Hood. Which Fidel? I want out this boy light, Owens, before he shine no brighter. YUH UNDERSTAND ME?”
He pounded the table again; Owens’s gun jumped again.
He boomed. “Miss Lorna, bring the rest a the bottle!”

Behind the counter, Lorna’s eyes locked on the glass she was rinsing. Her hands trembled, so she balled them up to steady them. Took a deep breath, grabbed the rapidly-emptying bottle and rolled back her shoulders on her way to their table. She released the rum and a smile, and if they woulda paid attention, her eyes would’ve betrayed her. But as it was, they didn’t take stock; so, with her ears 'pon cock, she scampered back to her refuge.
Pruitt drained his glass, refilled it, and then furrowed his brow. “Well...”
Owens’s face didn’t move a twitch when he replied, “At the Foundation dance- Sound The Abeng Hi-Power playing tonight.”
Pruitt studied him. “Yeah? Make you so sure? Last time we miss him, ‘member?”
Owens picked up the bottle, smirking as he poured another drink.
“Trust mi nuh. A little bird tell me. And I hear the boy love Sound The Abeng sound system. You know how it is with them youth deh. This bird know for a fact that the boy goin deh tonight. Same bird tell we 'bout the girl, the baby mother. And that did pan out, right?”
“You must make me meet this birdie.”
“Maybe after tonight.”
Behind the counter, Lorna washed the same glass for ‘bout the third time.

Meanwhile, in a shanty enclave ‘cross town, Natty Fidel and Dally share a meditation…





(Chapter from the book Untitled)
©2009 K.Omodele
All rights reserved. Do not copy or reprint any part or section without the written permission from the author.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Under The Mango Tree


©2009 K.Omodele
In Nineteen Eighty, poor people couldn’t stop talking bout young Natty Fidel and the newspapers couldn’t stop writing about him. The capital city was a barrel of gun powder with a slow-burning fuse, and the people of the city squeezed their eyes tight and corked their ears.
The Under The Mango Tree was little more than four gray, cinderblock walls, with a fifty-five gallon drum grill planted outside the back door. Inside was a vinyl covered bar counter with a sink behind it. In one corner, a beatup jukebox offered 45’s, selections from an era that had slipped away-the time of Desmond Dekker, Sam Cook, and The Mighty Sparrow. Overhead, a bare forty-watt bulb with a pull chain hung precariously, a threatening hangman’s noose.
A ruby glow snaked from behind the counter where the owner was bent over stocking the freezer chest with beer and stout and Malta. She pretended to ignore the two plain-clothes regulars huddled at a table by the juke box. She was a single mother of two and still attractive in her early forties. Her hands and feet were calloused and her heart tattered by pieces of shattered dreams.

Mid-day approached and she methodically prepared for the after-work, happy hours. Friday evenings were typically her busiest. The bar was a skip and jump from the city’s East-side police station and so it was like an officers' clubhouse. And so, in the surrounding ghettos it was known as the “Babylon Bar”.
Rising from the freezer, the owner wiped her hands on her apron and scooped up two plastic containers on the way out the back door. A minute later, spices dripping on embers sizzled and popped. Roast fish aroma wound through the door tantalizing the two men drinking at their table.
“Ms. Lorna,” shouted the older one-the detective sergeant. “I telling you, your hand coulda resurrect Christ. I need two piece a fish.”
“Coming deh, Mr. Pruitt.” This one was a killer, f’real. He was manatee large and deliberate in his movement. When he explained things, his voice was bogged in impatience.
Ms. Lorna scurried back outside and in few seconds flashed back behind the counter with two fire-hot fish in brown paper.
“And bring a next round,” the younger detective added, waving a long arm. He was a light post with a razor-bumped face.
Miss Lorna answered. “No problem!” and threw a pan of ice in the sink behind the counter. She ice-picked it and fixed two more rum and coconut water. Tossed a splinter of ice in her mouth, savored the coolness, and dabbed her forehead and neck with her handkerchief. Then she pressed her lips into a smile and went over to serve them their fish and drinks.

“So, where in the hell this little careless girl could gone?” the detective sergeant was inquiring. “Must be with the boy.”
Lorna placed the fish, then the drinks on the table and cleared the empty glasses.
The younger man snatched his glass and swirled the drink around. “She mussy left Town and gone out to the country.” He removed his nine-millimeter from his side and thrust it beside his food and drink.
Lorna wrapped a glance around gun and shuddered. Flashed a plastic smile then spun on her heels. As she retreated to the counter, she could feel the young detective’s eyes burning her backside.
“Is a week now nobody see this girl? You think she with the boy?” she heard Detective sergeant Pruitt ask. Before the young detective could answer, Pruitt slammed his hand on the table, jumping the man's gun . “Damn these hooligans! Running ‘round town like some leggo beast. I’m telling you Owens, is the politicians making them feel like they important. Me and you know where the guns coming from.”
Young detective Owens nodded in agreement. He stroked his gun metal and could barely conceal a twinkle in his eye.
Pruitt continued. “You can believe this? The gangs, they have better artillery than we. And still, the police force supposed to clean up this mess?"
Smirking, Owens leaned toward his supervisor and lowered his voice.
“Mr. Pruitt, I know where the boy going tonight,” he said, and then leaned back smugly.
Pruitt’s eyes riddled holes through him.
Behind the counter, Ms. Lorna strained her ears and threw her eyes down on a spot on the floor...

">(To be continued)






Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Death of a Soul, man




Copyright 2007 K. Omodele

At what point does a soul wither and drop?
Like rotten fruit from an ill-fated tree
The result of youthful intrepid plots
whose sole regal intent screamed, "LOOK! I BE."

What event led to the poor soul's demise?
Severed from his roots- a long stemmed Black Rose
Did volcanoes erupt in blood-fire eyes?
Time is a-grinding while youth decompose




Dancehall Bubbler

Copyright 2009 K.Omodele

Wind...slow...Wind...low
rub hard...don't stop
roll slow...tem-po
Grind slow...love dat

Ka-Boom...one drop
I-shense...draw slow
BOOM-boom!...BOOM-bap!
Re-lease...blow slow

Wind down...in time
slow wind...wind slow
wind up...roll slow
slow low...tem-po







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