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Soucouyant [CHAPTER 1, Part 3]

by otolith 

Posted: 01 March 2010
Word Count: 885
Summary: Here's the final part of my chapter 1. Thanks for those who took the time to read it.

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Then what?’ Chan blurted out after a pregnant silence.

Lennox had stopped talking and was staring at the blank television screen in front of him, reliving the moment in his mind. He seemed to have grown even older since relating his ordeal. Slightly startled, he answered.#

‘Then I felt somebody shakin me awake. I get up stupid an start to scream down de place an ting like ah madman. But it was only dem fellas I was huntin wid who had heard the shot I had fired and came running. Dey took meh back to de village an called Pa Carlo, de obeah man livin down the road from me. He come, take one look at me, an say a soucouyant bite me, but didn’t finish the job, so might come back looking for meh. After dat, no one even wanted to come near me, not even him. Is only my sister Jenny who look after me, helpin me to bathe and look after de bite mark. I was real weak, boy. Was hardly eatin. Eventually dey told meh sister that they wanted me to leave the village, dat how I was bad luck and would call de soucouyant down on de village, or worse, turn to one myself. I didn’t have nowhere to go, so I stayed. No-one would even talk to me, treatin me like I was a leper from de Bible or someting. Even de doctor in Sangre Grande refused to come an see meh. One excuse after de next about how he was too busy to drive up. All bullshit! He was fraid jus like de res ah dem!’
‘You say that the soucouyant didn’t finish the job. Did the other guys see it? Had they disturbed it?’
‘One ah de fellas say they saw de shape of something near me, and fire a shot which send it runnin. But daz all. Dey search roun de area as well, but didn’t find nuttin. We didn’t stay long, though. Dem was real frighten and wanted to get outta there as soon as possible. I feel it was the blood from where I did cut meh hand what did attract it to me in de firs place… like it did sniff meh out or sometin. Look, I fed up talkin, Mr. Aleong. Please. I feelin real sick.’

He looked it as well. A cold sweat had broken out on his brow, and his breathing seemed to be causing him discomfort. Chan was beginning to worry that he would die in his house, but wasn’t keen to call an ambulance just yet. Too many questions would be asked. After a few minutes’ thought, he decided to call Jez.

‘I’ll call a friend of mine, ok? A doctor. Just answer a few more questions. What are you doing in London, and why did you come looking for me of all people?’
‘Meh sister saw yuh article in de papers one day, de one where you was talking bout de research you was doin on Trinidadian folklore. Then she saw you on de TV on Morning Edition. She thought that you might know how to help meh, so she send me up here. Trust me. Nobody was willing to help meh. I went to three obeah men in Trinidad, an all say de same ting, dat I beyond help, an de best ting I could do is end meh own life. One even offer to help meh do it! You could believe dat? Anyway, six hundered pounds it cost us, but we scrape it together, and I fly up. It took me a little while to find you, but eventually I did...’

Chan was amazed. The article in the Trinidad Guardian was a small thing: just a write-up in the People section on who he was and what he was doing. His mother had organized the whole thing, saying that a little publicity would help him with his research. Chan knew better, that she was just excited about the prospect of having her boy-chile in the papers. When he told her that TV 6 had called and wanted to do a small interview, she had almost died and ascended into heaven. To her credit, though, it had roused a bit of curiosity. Chan was invited by the history department at The University of the West Indies to give a small talk to some local undergrads on folklore. He also received a lot of mail from people around the island who sent in their own childhood versions of jumbies and ghost stories. All this within the two weeks that he was there on holiday. It eventually occurred to him that it was probably from this publicity that the name ‘jumbie-hunter’ was coined.

Typical Trinidadian frippery.

Never had he imagined, though, that his minor stint in the spotlight would serve as the sole hope for the victim of an actual vicious soucouyant attack. What the hell did this man really think Chan could offer him?

Chan looked at my watch, and was surprised to see that it was four o’clock in the morning.

How time flies when you’re having fun.

Lennox had passed out on the couch and was snoring softly. He seemed to be dreaming, and kept twitching fitfully. Chan fetched his mobile phone and called Jez.

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Comments by other Members

Joella at 10:12 on 04 March 2010  Report this post
Hi Otolith,

I see you are motoring on with your story. Is it actually finished?

This part rounds off the chapter very well. I've found my interest has been maintained all the way through, so far. Intrigued! This is an interesting take on a vampire theme, which generally take root in Europe - Transylvania, most famously. Hollywood, aside, of course!

Just a few minor points, which you are at liberty to ignore:

1.'Typical Trinidadian frippery'.
Not sue of it's meaning or place in the story. If it's just a throw away comment, I'd delete it.

2.'How time flies when you’re having fun'.
Personally, I don't think this goes. I'd delete it because the sentiment seems wrong.

3.I notice that you often put a coma before the word 'and.' Generally, you don't do this.
i)'Chan looked at my watch, and was surprised to see that it was four o’clock in the morning'.

Could change to:
'Chan looked at my watch, surprised to see that it was four o’clock in the morning'.

ii) 'He seemed to be dreaming, and kept twitching fitfully'.
could change to :
He seemed to be dreaming and kept twitching fitfully.
maybe -
He seemed to be dreaming as he twitched fitfully.
even -
He seemed to be dreaming, twitching fitfully.

You have condensed your sentences, which has greatly improved your writing and made it more enjoyable to read.

Hope some of this helps. Keep inspired! Regards, Joella.

otolith at 00:24 on 10 March 2010  Report this post
Thanks for the comments Joella. I've actually taken all of your very good advice.

I haven't written all of it, but am 9 chapters in! I obviously have a lot of correcting to do before forging onwards though!

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