The candle light flickered rhythmically to its own music. Left – right – right – dead center – taller – shorter – then normal again. Its dance was that of mystic awe. Intricately lined on the window seal, it served its purpose. Certainly not the only thing of interest in the room, one couldn’t help but notice the stillness in the air. It was heavy. Almost material like; the fact that it was a blood moon certainly added to the whole mysticism of the room. The last time we had the moon this red, the grand master was summoning up Mephistopheles. He would usually summon the demons of the cross roads who did Mephistopheles dirty work; but on that holy night, he went straight for the kill. His reason: the slave master with the biggest tobacco and sugar cane plantation in the south had wronged a court member – a slave. Our court sought payment – death. The fact that this slave master was protected by the three ugliest and most powerful witches in Kingston certainly demanded a higher power.
We were all clothed in our ceremonial red in honor of Luna, the moon goddess. She was the source of our strength. Our faces were each covered with masks made of straw, covered from the point we set foot on the holy ground. It was forbidden to show your face at any point during the ceremony. Certain traditions had to be obeyed by the grand master at all times during congressional meetings like these. Especially if we expected the Fallen to join us in worship; man and demon, woman and creature – that was a typical blood moon. Of course a huge pentagram, our portal to the other world, had to be drawn first. The blood of a virgin was needed for this art work. This has been the case for centuries. She would usually age between 9 and 14. Pedofilis was always the first demon summoned for the night to honor our sacrifice. Pedofilis was a demented demon. He bore the strength of a thousand legions. A protege to one of the Fallen, Beelzebub – a puppet I would say.
He would sweet talk his sacrifice first. Make her feel comfy. Then move on to morph into a person the victim on the sacrificial rock, propped up in the middle of the room, knew. Slowly he would move towards his victim, smiling, cheerful even, giving his victim that false sense of safety. Then in a swift move, he would move to the tip of the sacrificial stone. At breathes reach; he would look into his victims eyes and proceed to enter her. No one was to turn away, not even the parents of the sacrifice that night. They were to rejoice, be happy even, for once Pedofilis entered his victim, it was seen as an acceptance – the key to the other side had been granted to us.
Ignoring the deafening screams resonating in the large room, the Papua (second in command) would collect the blood oozing from the victim’s vagina while the demon had its way. In order to keep fresh the attained aura from the act to aid the summons, he needed to do this and do it fast. The Papua would then use the blood to draw the pentagram we needed to begin our summons and worship for the night. Candles were lite in a circular style in the middle of the pentagram. They did their usual mystic dance, a dance I knew so well. But today…They danced for a different reason.
Master’s wife was in extreme labor. On this night, it was her screams which resonated and her blood which oozed on the floor of the master’s bedroom. You would think after birthing and losing five kids in succession at different points in her life, her body would get used to this pain she had to endure. Sadly, I had to go through this with her every time it happened. I had suspected there was something wrong with madam’s destiny. It had been altered. No one of higher power was willing to tell me who had done it. Why they had done it. But I liked madam and master a lot. They were kind to me; an extra hand full of wheat or even cotton as pay for my work as madam’s right hand maid. I had to be able to do something. So I waited… thought hard and figured something out. The pattern was too clear to ignore. Someone on the other side kept sending the same child to madam. I became ever so certain when on the third delivery; I saw the same little mark I had made to the baby’s thigh during the first delivery. I had looked into madam’s stars and she hadn’t wronged anyone in her past life. So who would keep doing this to her; constantly sending a painful delivery to her? Well, this was some years back. A lot has changed since the candle did it mystic dance to the red moon.
“I am Liza” I said to the new slave as I stood there admiring Lacudra Litts. He played joyfully in the fields. That is the young master’s name. He, like all his predecessors, bore the mark. “It has been many a moon since I delivered him into the world”, I murmured to the new slave who just stood there surprised at how engulfed I was with the young master.
As the new slave stood in admiration, my mind wandered to the unusual phenomenon surrounding the birth of Lacudra. Like a trance, I was hit with the memory of how quickly I had lined little master’s lips with a potion as soon as he was born. I felt his energy, he was strong. I needed him to stay; for the sake of madam’s sanctity.
I remember master’s excitement, “A boy! Bullocks! Blimey! …” The little master made it through the first night, which was a good sign. Two months later, we could all breathe a little more easily. Eight years strong and I knew that potion really did work some magic.
“You do know there have been deaths up in the mansion right?” I asked the new slave. “Yes Mama Liza, inna the towns place pieple be running mouths talking ‘bout Kilema deaths but triost me, me no like them towns pieple.” The new slave said in her Island accent. That was certainly going to change since master required all slaves in the mansion and fields to learn proper English – not just in speech but also write. Master was so unlike the other slave masters. Death, like an intruder, had sneaked into our mansion. Master’s sister was killed in cold blood in her room. Her body was discovered by master himself after we had returned from town with little master. The door was locked and there was nothing pointing to the fact that master’s sister had killed herself. There was something peculiar about the room when I entered with a few slaves to take out the body, a spirit was there earlier. And its trail was very clear and strong. Death leaves no trail when it visits so I knew it certainly wasn’t her time. This was someone’s doing. Who wanted master’s sister dead?
Master grieved for months. He lost so much weight. The house was never the same again. Madame invited her sister to come over from Africa where she was a governor’s wife. She knew master enjoyed the company of her sister every time she was around. So she came. So beautiful and tanned just like madam was. Only difference was madam’s sister looked rogue. She wore boots and cotton pants like the men did. The only thing feminine about her were her firm breasts peering through her tight fitting shirt. Madame said she has always been like this and should ignore the story she would tell us about how one had to dress tough in Africa in order to command respect as a governor’s wife.
True to madam’s words master seemed a bit cheerful. Slowly, things were changing for the better until that faithful night. It happened again. Madam’s sister was also found dead, this time on the dining table. Her body was once again discovered by master himself. That evening every slave in the mansion was summoned one after the other into the general living area of the house. Master was on fire; a slap here for this person to confess, a kick there for that person to confess. Master never hits us so my fellow slaves knew master was about to explode. They forgave him even before he touched them because they knew he wasn’t himself. It was his demon who had possessed his body.
Speaking of demons, I felt the heavy spirit presence again. And it was particularly strong around the dining area. But there was no spirit there.
“Who could be doing this?” I thought to myself. We certainly had a serial killer on our hands.
END OF PART 1.
Written by Richmond Laryea (@IamSurrey) and myself – Kwame Asante Ofori (@mr_asante)