Roses for Mister Thorne

For the fallen (June 1980)

Jacob Ross

PREE is happy to republish award-winning Grenadian author Jacob Ross’s short story from Akashic BooksSo Many Islands anthology .

Anni pushed a reluctant hand towards her little plastic radio and cut off the outraged voice of Mister Thorne. She would have liked to listen to his whole speech but she had work to do. Her yams were strangling the sweet potatoes, and today she was going to tame them. Out in the garden, though, her head was full of Missa Thorne: his talk of Bloody Thursday ‒ the bomb-blast that was meant to kill him, and the retribution he’d let loose on the Counters who’d placed the device beneath the stage on which he stood.

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“We want justice!”

Agostinho Pinnock

(Inspired by The House That Vanished, by Rosario Ferre)

Fly away home, to Zion! Fly away, home!
On that morning, when my work is over,
I will fly away home!

…The old man at the crossroads, call me from out the gully. Him voice did loud, loud in me head. Him almost sound like a woman and a man singing together—a powerful, welcoming harmony meant for my ears only. Them voice did beat like a drum—like the way church hymns used to stay with me, long, long after the service finish.

The singing reminded of t’under and lightnin’ and rain, together. Yet, it did still quiet—almost like prayin’. Like when Miss Sheila and the other people down at the Revival Church would pray: “Father, we the People of Zion come to you in faith and humbleness. We beseech the Holy Court, singing songs of joyful praise!”

It kinda hard to explain, really! But, me know say me did have to go with him…and, just like that, we were in the cotton tree!

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Barrel Boy/ Cyborg birth

Kwasi Shade

There, on a rock, stood the secret black parish where the sky was conceived. This was where the Shouters secretly met. They rose from the pirogue and descended upon the world. Their haunting praises woke the ghosts of Shouters once gone and in their song they restored worship to the world. These were the days when the rain was a tribe. When they finished, they hung them, the ghosts, in the new sky and the sun was born.

Then was when Tama sang praises as a girl. She had seen the Shouters take up soil in their hands and perform a ceremony that included the burying of ghosts in the sky; of Teacher Bailey, of Sister Sandra, of Father Pascal. Their flight was the sound of a bell risked with their tears.

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Voice: Still Want Sex

Opal Palmer Adisa

me was, after all, in me own house, in me own bed in  the darkness of night and although me was alone me was being quiet with my middle finger of my right hand rubbing the nub of my clitoris while my left fingers tweaked my  nipples and my mind was in an elevator sandwiched between two men one on his knees going down on me and the other with his groin gyrating on my arse when the voices barged into the privacy of my self-pleasure and hollered out loud enough for my next door neighbor to hear

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Caribbean Hurricane Rhyme

Julia Morris Thomson

May, no way

One day in May, during a depression, when the atmospheric pressure over north Eleuthera was lower than its surrounding system, Gail was challenged to enter Gregory Town’s pineapple baking contest by her best friend Keniesha.

“I know you can’t win this one. Ain’ no way you could make something without eating it,” Keniesha said.

“How you think you know me so good.”

“Remember the pineapple eating contest?” Keniesha’s laugh forced a smile out of Gail. When Gail was ten years old, she had eaten the hanging pineapple, with her hands behind her back, so fast that she’d thrown up behind the tent five minutes later. She’d walked around all day with the winning ribbon pinned to her t-shirt, cheeks shiny from the dried juice and a belly full of bile.

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