The Mayfair was over, the lights turned off, the bran tub emptied, the decorations taken down and locked in cupboards safely. The bouncy castle stood still, awaiting the workmen who would remove it tomorrow. The gates to the schoolyard were shut, and the sentry assumed duty. No one saw the boy in black . . .
My son saw women peel their skin from their bones and burn their bodies out like cane fire before bed . . .
Naga raced across the floor. She knew if she crawled, the pebbles would dig into her skin and make her sore. She made for the nearest pole and climbed to the highest rafter, where she curled up and watched the man on the crocus-sack mattress, grunting and writhing . . .
Gus sipped lemongrass tea from a foam cup. It was still dark. His secondhand truck idled outside the market as four men clambered into its tray. This was where he picked up workers for the day—mostly men who came to the island at night in quiet boats. The men clutched grease-stained paper bags and chattered loudly between bites of johnnycakes and various patties. Four men got into the truck’s tray. Gus was expecting five . . .
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The rain stops now and I shake my head to fling the last drop off my big straw hat. It have a freezing trickle of water running down my arm, a silver ball escaping down to the tip of my finger. Forest rain does be like that: cold in the humidity, shining like hell when the light touch it . . .
The Woodsman takes a nip of rum and stares out from under the brim of his battered ball cap. “Fucking Green Hell,” he mutters under his breath . . .
Eddie had always been a quiet man. Living on the outskirts of the village meant he was always met with a curious but hesitant eye. The village children were always warned to stay away from him . . .
You might be interested in:
- Kingston Noir (Jamaica)
- Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab
- On the Way Back
- Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean
- Coming Up Hot: Eight New Poets from the Caribbean
- San Juan Noir (Puerto Rico)
- Mr. Loverman
- The Night of the Rambler
- The Tower of the Antilles
- The Angels’ Share
- Trinidad Noir: The Classics
- Even in Paradise
- Hadriana in All My Dreams
- Prospero’s Daughter
- As Flies to Whatless Boys
- Not for Everyday Use
- Montague Kobbé Digit
- New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean