Cat on a Leash Review
The Eighth Commandment
by Drew-Kiercey Whittaker
In The Caribbean obeah can be used for good, and it can be used for bad, but people my age never see the difference. Gramma practiced obeah, but she claimed it was for good. On the day I took her dog, she came knocking on our verandah grill early in her stockings and slippers for the weekly “protection fee.” I went to the open front door, rushing up like I was going to tell her she was a crook, a thief, but then I hear my mother in the living room put on her mourner’s voice, a high pitched breathy struggle, “Hi Mama, you sure about this?”
Gramma asks me about my well being, asks me if I hear things; she sizes me up with her sunken eyes, her face, dark and full, contorts as her lips turn up at the corners, pushing her eyes into half crescents. Her red turban whipping around her face like a flailing madman makes her look crazy. She holds a tiny blue New Testament bible that they give out at church to the children in her right hand, she comes in and turns the golden writing to the front so it shines in our house lights.
The mother shuffles out to meet her, already saying she’s been throwing the potions given to her at the shadows that walk around with her at night, she tells Gramma that they jump in the bed so that she can’t sleep in it and Gramma tells her to sell the bed. What a con artist. I begin to make tea for the both of them, but freeze when Gramma says to the mother, “Someone stole my puppy.”
Mama looks up, torn between defending me and questioning me but Gramma already knows I am guilty.
Telling her that the spirits have made me break the eighth commandment now, opening her blue book to dismiss the doubt of her profession, holding the mother’s hand tightly, shaking and spitting words into her bosom, Gramma allows the mother’s hand to extend to me but I don't go. I run from the counter and the cups slip to the floor shattering. I turn down the hall and dive underneath the sleeping bags to hold the puppy, her ears sticking up at the noise of the chants and scriptures, and I cry finally understanding that this generation gap can never be moulded together into one.
Drew-Kiercey Whittaker is a undergraduate student who enjoys converting unbelievable events in her life to written form. She was born and raised in Mandeville, Jamaica but now lives in the big city. Her work has appeared in The AdHock Fiction Magazine and the Creative Writing Ink Magazine. During the year she vents about her country's current socio economic woes in her online blog.