Francis Yankey, a 16-year-old fifth form student at the Antigua Grammar School, says, “Writing my poems and a story for the Wadadli Pen were not easy, but worth it. I was inspired by a past Grammarian, who used to enter this competition & due to my love for reading and wanting to hone my writing skills. I am grateful for the Wadadli Pen for doing a wonderful initiative.”
Judges’ verdict: “Lovely and imaginative.”
In the 2017 Wadadli Pen Annual Writing Challenge, Yankey’s story tied for 3rd in the 13 to 17 age category.
“Isabette, Isabette, Isabette,” wanders the mind of Sonny Joe. Twenty years now, he still remembers her sweet musical sounds. Isabette, that black girl on fire.
When he was a young man, he would always walk down on the street in his village to Faroe’s Beach in the night. In the village, there were no lamp posts neither street lights; however, he continued to walk in the darkness. As he entered the beach, he took off his clothes and hat. When his feet touched the cold waters from the sea, he breathed in the cool, misty breeze.
He jumped into the sea and swam in far distances for his relaxation. Suddenly, he heard someone singing, he was not alone. As he looks up, his mouth opened wide and the first word was Isabette, but that was not her true name. He saw her orange-red locks, her glowing red eyes and her lips glitter as gold. He also saw her elegant dress which was the same color of her locks. Isabette was the name of his mother who died when he was young. She was no ordinary black girl that he has ever seen before. His body was benumbed in the ocean, listening to the tunes and seeing fire blaste out from her mouth as she sang her heart out. She sang,”oh la la, tra la la. Love is so sweet, love is so merry, and love is so cherry.” Furthermore, he beheld geometric shapes in fire blasted from her mouth mid-air.
His eyes talked with her dazzling, red eyes. The only possible language between them was the language of love. The sad thing is that he didn’t bring his guitar to harmonize with her amazing voice. This happened in a few seconds where she disappears. The next night, he returned to the beach hoping to see her again. Then fire magically comes out of the sand and there she was. He couldn’t resist her charms and her unbelievable voice. While she sang so lustfully, he played his guitar with its sweet rhythm. They finished performing after midnight, and she vanished once again.
This strange incident continued to happen for the year. In all his mysterious nights with her, she didn’t seem to come from this planet. When he asked her questions pertaining to who she was, she just sang higher acting if she was deaf. Who was this black beautiful stranger?
When he returned as always to the Faroe’s Beach, he waited patiently for her arrival to meet him. As he waited, he remembered her melodic lyrics and the fire that would always come out of her mouth. Notwithstanding, she will never come back again to meet her lover, but he didn’t know. So he waited for a long time and she still has not arrived yet, therefore he sadly left.
Night after night, he came but without any luck. The only thing was fond memories of this stranger. He wanted to tell the village, but they would consider him a lunatic. So he kept it to himself as his treasured secret. Years passed by rapidly, yet he clearly remembered Isabette. His secret was the love between them and she would always be his black girl on fire.
Please respect the writer’s copyright. And while we welcome feedback, please be constructive.
With thanks to our patrons, see this writer’s total prize haul below (and remember, support the businesses/individuals who support the arts):
EC$75 (contributed by the International Women’s Club of Antigua and Barbuda)
Books – The Sisters and Manco’s Stories by Jan Carew + Cirque du Freak: Lord of the Shadows by Darren Shan (contributed by the Best of Books)
Certificate (sponsored by the Best of Books)