EARLY IN JANUARY nineteen t’irty-seven, t’ings change.  It was tense befo’e, but it get worse now, an’ t’ings gettin’ real bad ’pon de plantations.  De overseers gettin’ vex dat de people complainin’ an’ dey makin’ de people work harduh in order to frighten dem into submission.  But dat ain’t workin’. An’ den I hear dat Lemmey, who live by Miss Ida house in a hut near de bottom uh de gap, slap one uh de overseers, an’ it turn out bad ’cause de overseer try to hit Lemmey widuh whip, and Lemmey slice ’im up widuh cutlass. W’ich was stupid ’cause if yuh not suppose to take uh knife to uh gunfight, yuh definitely don’t carry no whip to uh cutlass fight. Well, de overseer get slice up, an’ fuh days, de police ’bout de village runnin’ in de canes an’ peepin’ in people yard, tryin’ to find Lemmey, an’ askin’ all kinda questions ’bout if we know whe’ Lemmey is. Well, ev’rybody know whe’ Lemmey is, but nobody ain’t sayin’ nuttun to dem hard-face policemen, so dey gettin’ vexer an’ vexer, an’ dey start pushin’ ’round who dey could push ’round, but nobody ain’t sayin’ uh thing.

Yuh see, ev’rybody remembuh wha’ happen to Shoe-Foot.  Remembuh he?  De one dat was whissy-whissying wid de police ’bout wha’ my granfadduh was doin’? Well, one night, Shoe-Foot was comin’ home, an’ dese four ghosts come out de canes jus’ past Stanley Higgs house, grabble ’im up an’ drag ’imt’rough de back between Miss Montrose house an’ Judge Monkey house.  An’ all de time, Shoe-Foot hollerin’ out an’ beggin’ somebody to come an’ save ’im, but de four ghosts makin’ dis strange, highpitch sorta moan-squeal, an’ ev’rybody in de village know wha’ dat mean.  Somebody, most probably Ole Woman Gerlick, read up uh devil, an’ he bring some demons wid ’im. So if yuh mother self out deah shoutin’ blue murder at de top uh she lungs, all you doin’ is makin’ sure dat you’ windows and doors seal up tight-tight, see? In other words, Shoe-Foot outta luck.  Well, de ghosts take ’im by dat suckwell dey say go all de way to hell. Dey tie up Shoe-Foot an’ left ’im down in de well. Jus’ tie de rope to uh fulcrum an’ lef’ ’im swingin’ deah all night aftuh peltin’ ’imwid pig shit.  Poor Shoe-Foot.  He not only smell like pig shit fuh days, but he too frighten to take uh drink or to go outside at night. An’ every time he see Ole Woman Gerlick, he take off like de devil self aftuh ’im.  He dint give no more trouble fuh de longes’ time.


Ronald A. Williams, born in Barbados, now resides in the US. He has a PhD in English and enjoys reading and golfing. He is the author of The Butterflies’ Coat (2014), A Voice from the Tomb (2012) and A Death in Panama (2010), among other books. He and his wife have two daughters.