“Men surrender by lifting their hands, women surrender by lifting their knees.”
– Warlord Voodoo
The Congo. A terrain of deep valleys covered in thickets, vines and jungle brush which services the meanderings of the indigenous wild life. Great forest trees and miles of jungle greenery are home to a myriad of wild life, some benign, some treacherous. On this late African evening the sparkling waters of the Komondo river reflect orange and yellow as the sun heads toward the horizon on its nightly trip to the other side of the world. Long pink and purple stretches of colored clouds stretch horizontally across the distant panorama where the untamed land meets the vast, ever expansive sky. Long, black shadows begin to grow along the crests of the mountains and from the base of the towering trees. On the plain, a lone giraffe beings to darken into a slowly moving silhouette. In the village of Tonka Banda, Maleek, a lone servant, awaits patiently as the heat blurs and obscures his vision of the giant amber sun which seems to melt as it settles into the distant landscape. In the distance, a far off mournful cry of a jungle bird can be heard cawing. Its call seems panicked and alarmed as it signals the end of a day. For Maleek, it would soon be time.
Once the cover of darkness falls and the village torches have been lit, burning brightly with their darting and flitting orange flames, Maleek makes his way into the nearby village of huts made of sturdy amber bamboo and tree fawns. He wears his leopard skin taanak and has a small spear strapped to his side with a leather cooch. In his hands he holds a small wooden box which holds a precious piece of cargo. The villagers mill about in the cooling night air of the village. They work to prepare the days final meal now that the heat has abated with the setting of the sun.
“Maleek!” A tall Masai warrior looking man calls out as Maleek makes his way to the master’s huge, central hut within the village compound. “Come and help us to skin the ‘bushmeat’ for tonight!” He calls out in his native Congolese tongue.
Maleek holds up the small wooden box and replies. “I cannot! The master waits for dis here! It is dee box from Am-er-ee-ca.”
“AHHHHH!” The native replies with raised eyebrows, intimating his understanding and also his surprise. “Den do not keep de master wait-ing!” He continued while waving Maleek on toward the main hut.
The main hut is huge and multi-roomed. Even from the exterior it brings an impressive promise of the power and prestige within. Large, stone statues guard the entrance to the hut, their faces as large as a man’s upper torso and their mouths chiseled in an open scream. Maleek pauses a moment at the main door which stands closed and silent, and is festooned with skulls and small images of items used in the dark arts of voodoo. He takes a breath and then enters into the darkened hut. It is not his first time there, but it makes little difference, as the magics that reverberate from the very walls have a palpable sensation. When any man, friend or foe, enters into the hut of the master, he is instantly aware that the world around him has changed in a darkly, metaphysical way.
The interior is pitch black in its darkness despite the small fire torches that decorate the corners of the hut walls. As Maleek makes his way through the maze of corridors that lead to the master’s chamber, it seems to him that he enters into a deep chasm of darkness only meant for those who are not quite human, not quite god. He bows his head as he passes through the colorless beads that hang from the masters door which lead into the great chamber. Few have been there save Maleek and others whom the master favors. Maleek’s eyes struggle to look into the deep darkness before him as he waits for the master to address him. There is flat silence, even surrounded by the awakening nightlife of the jungle, for no sound from the exterior world may encroach upon this protected sphere.
Before him, there is a small perception of light, first one and then another, which in reality are not light, but the master’s materializing eyes. Slowly, evanescent eyes take shape as solid white triangles lying on their sides. Maleek has been closer to the master than this and knows that in fact the eyes belong to the great mask of the master. The mask is black and oblong shaped with rounded ends at the top and bottom of the face. Surrounding the mask is a “lion’s” mane of wild grasses and special tree barks that fan out from the edge like long, irregular shaped sun beams. Somewhere in the darkness before him, the master sits, and waits.
“My Lord.” Maleek begins. “A package has arrived from dee Yoo-nye-ted States.”
After a long moment the deep, booming voice of the master replies in slowly spoken syllables. “Excellent….. I ‘ave been awai-ting dee arrival of dee mes-sen-ger. Open dee box now, Maleek my servant, and inform me of its much needed contents.”
“Yes, my Lord.” Maleek responded and then began to work the lid of the wooden box. In a moment anadolu yakası escort the box was opened and Maleek reached within to retrieve its contents. Within the small rectangular box was a doll figure of a Caucasian woman. It was about eight inches tall and was dressed in a black and blue costume. The doll also had a long blond coif of hair upon its head. Maleek lifted the doll into the darkness for the master to see.
“My Lord….. it ees dee doll of dee wo-man.” Maleek informed the figure in the darkness.
“So I see…. so I see….” Came the deep, resonant tones of the master’s voice in response. “Dee bushmeat…. dee bushmeat…… is ready.”
“Your orders, my Lord?” Maleek queried.
“Notify dee men at dee Eye-vory Coast. Tell dem dat dee carrr-go is not to be harmed. If any-ting happens to dee carrr-go….. dere blood will boil wit-in dem. I have so spo-ken eet.”
“It shall be done, me Lord.”
“Leave dee doll and go.” Came the order of the dark voice.
Maleek nodded and placed the doll upon the ground before him and then turned without looking up and exited into the labyrinth of hallways and alleyways of the master hut. In the master’s chamber there was silence for a few moments and then the plodding of slow heavy steps. The small doll of a woman stirred and then seemed to float upwards into the darkness. It then stopped about eight feet from the chamber floor. Large, glowing white eyes appeared just above the doll’s position.
There then was an echo of deep laughter. “HA ha HA ha HA!” And then the voice continued. “Always do the weak….. fall before the strong…. I …… the strong…….. I ….. the Voodoo Warlord!”
There was again a chorus of echoing laughter as both glowing eyes and voodoo doll faded into blackness. In but a moment, the chamber was once again a tomb of silence and darkness.
Sonny Giovanni stood on the docks at the Jersey shore at midday as the docks were surrounded by crates and ships from all over the world. There was a hustle and bustle of business all around him as workers milled to and fro, and crates and boxes were lifted and lowered from ship to dock and then back again. He wore a new tweed suit that was ruined in its sartorial design by a gaudy, striped necktie. His hair was slicked back with oil and mirrored sunglasses hid his aging gey eyes. He lit up a fat cigar and smiled at the African gentlemen who stood before him ready to take possession of the large, rectangular crate that laid at the feet of them all.
“I’ll say one thing I’m glad for, fellas.” He said nodding. “You guys don’t waste a minute getting here for the exchange. I hate hanging onto this thing!”
The Africans stood by dressed in military camouflage gear, with black beret’s on their heads, thick army boots on their feet and opaque black glasses hiding their eyes. “Our boss don’t suffer no idiots. He wants his crate…. your ass better get it for him.” One of them said shaking his head.
“Open dee crate, mee-ster.” The other African began. “We don’t take no-thing back to dee boss that aint what he wants.”
“Yeah! Yeah!” Sonny assured them. He then motioned to two of the men who stood behind them on the docks awaiting his call. Vinny and Carmine hurried forward with a large crowbar and began work on the thick wooden lid of the crate. In a moment it was opened and the two large Italian men stepped back to allow the Africans a view of the contents.
The Africans smiled as they looked upon the sleeping form of a young blonde woman. She was dressed in a blue and black costume and her arms and legs were tightly secured with heavy duty ropes around the chest, the elbows, the knees, and the ankles. Her wrists were encircled by ropes on each one and they were tightly bound to her sides. “Yeeesssss….. ” One of the Africans hissed out. “Dis IS dee Black Cah-nary!”
“In the flesh, boys!” Sonny spat out like a used car salesman trying to impress. “Your damn voodoo doll really did the trick!”
“Oh, yes….” One of the men interrupted. “Weee… must ‘ave dee doll. We are to send it ahead of us once we have reached dee Ivory Coast!”
Sonny looked at Vinny and with an open handed jesture asked, “Vinny! Get the man his doll, willya???”
The six foot five, 225 pound Vinny Bonano, turned quickly on one heel and ran for the Bentley.
“Don’t worry, boys….” Giovanni assured them. “We got ya doll.”
Vinny made quick time as he returned back to the men with a small wooden box in his hands. He then gave it to the first African and said, “Here ya go! I tell ya I sure wish we had more of dowes……”
The African took the rectangular box and said, “Don’t be disrespectin’ dee dark mag-ics. You treat dem with moc-ker-y….. or a lack of care…. and your blood will boil in dee veins.”
“No disrespect, Mister! No disrespect… The evidence is right here in the crate…. “
Sonny took a look around the docks nervously and said, “Yeah. And even though it’s kinda crowded today… avrupa yakası escort feds could be anywhere….”
The African looked into the box and saw the doll with the blonde hair dressed in the same fashion as Black Canary who was inside the crate. “Yes…. dis is dee one….very good. If dis goes well, as dee master plans, he has promised to assist you with other dolls for your own biz-ness ad-vent-ures.”
Sonny chewed on his cigar, gave a nasty smile and said, “I’m looking forward to that….”
The African looked once again into the crate and said, “Dere is one more ting…… ” He turned to some of the men on the ship and called to someone named Pamonda. In his native tongue he gave an order to the man who then retrieved something from inside and shuttered down the ladder of the ship to the ground. He handed it to the first African.
In his hand was a miniature red canister with a nob dial and a small aperture. He broke off the cap of the aperture and then kneeled down next to the crate and the sleeping form of Black Canary. As she lay there unconscious in her blue and black superheroine outfit, her better than average breasts showed tight, bulging cleavage in the top of her bustier. The African inserted the small canister between her heaving cleavage and then turned the small dial on the neck of the tube. Lightly colored green gas began to emit from the tube and the aperture was faced directly at the dark red, bee stung lips of Black Canary’s slightly parted mouth and also her attractively structured and small, “scoop like” nose. She gave with a slight gasp of breath when the gas entered her nostrils but then quickly and quietly sighed as she fell deeper into her captive sleep.
“My master al-ways be-lieves in redundancy back-up measures. He never trusts an-y-ting 100%.” The African told Sonny and his boys. With that he signaled for the lid to be closed post haste as not to allow too much of the sleeping gas to escape before Black Canary was freed on the other side of her destination.
As the crate was lifted up by ropes and a crane that was positioned on board the ship, Sonny watched the crate being lifted high into the midday sun and told the African, “Tell your boss it was a pleasure doing business with him.”
“Same here.” The African replied and handed Sonny and his boys three suitcases filled with USD stacks of large bills. The Africans then boarded their ship and the preparations began for leaving harbor back to the Ivory Coast.
Sonny chuckled and told his boys on the way back to the car, “Best money I ever made, boys! Best money I ever made!”
Eighteen. She was the tender age of eighteen when Dinah Lance first saw the impressive figure of Mr. “Goalie” Washington. She was a cheerleader at Riverside High School and often attended the regular practices that were held in the afternoons just after classes had ended for the day. The football team would be practicing as well, and on the side of the field where bleachers could be moved, the cheerleaders, in their “sky blue” shorts and white cotton tops with a big blue “RH” on the chest in cotton sewn lettering, would run their own drills for the up coming Friday night game.
Rodney Jefferson Jackson was the starting quarterback who had taken the entire state by storm. His exploits on the field while leading the team to another un-defeated season had caught the eye of scouts from all over the country. The Riverside Warriors often scored points in the 40’s and 50’s while other schools struggled to 6 – 3 games. This was of great interest to many college scouts and also quite a few NFL pro scouts who had taken the initiative to start looking for the next big thing early and often. Goalie Washington was from the St. Louis area, which was quite a plane ride from the Riverside home town. But he had been interested in Rodney since the boy was a freshman. Now that Rodney was entering his last year, it was time to start “romancing” the boy early for his pro career.
Dinah and her cheerleader friends were standing in a group of six chatting away, as young girls will, just before practice. They had all been excited for the next homecoming game that evening as the Riverside Warriors took on the boys from across the city at Newton High. They had, of course, noticed Goalie Washington before as he’d come by the field at their Friday night games and also a few times at practices on the school field. Today would be no different, as the chatting group suddenly quieted to a hush as a black Escalade pulled up to the parking lot just outside of the main gate.
Goalie Washington stepped from his vehicle dressed to the nines in a fine dark, pin striped suit. The sun reflected off of his expensive black ray ban sun glasses and his shining black dress shoes. There were a few tasteful gold rings on one hand and an earring graced one earlobe. His short, tight black hair had a fade down the back of his head and a pencil thin beard circled his chin from ear to ear while highlighting his dark brown, handsome eryaman escort face. At six feet two, 200 pounds, he was muscular and slim. His years as a college tight end for a team in St. Louis were now behind him due to knee injuries which had side lined his budding career. Goalie, at 32 years old, found his fortune in the scouting ranks of the NFL professional scouts and now stood tall and proud in his accomplishments.
“Oh my, God!” Whispered LaWanda to the rest of the huddled group of cheerleaders. “There’s that guy again!”
They all giggled and blushed as they tried hard not to be obvious to the approaching young professional that they were indeed watching him from furtive glances and peripheral looks. Dinah watched the young, confident professional out of the corner of her eye and had a slight, sly smile as she privately enjoyed the approach of the finely dressed gentleman. She didn’t want to be obvious like the rest of her friends. She held back on purpose due to the fact that she knew the slightest little look, the slightest verbal response, might result in complications she would rather not engender.
Goalie walked the length of the outside fence and then turned into the entrance gate. Soon he was passing right near the spot of the huddled cheerleaders on his way to the football field where he could see the team entering the playing field with their coach. As he passed the quiet, self censoring group of girls, he shot a thumb and forefinger “gunlike” gesture and said with a bright, white smile, which made several of them swoon. “Hello, ladies! Keep up the good work.”
With that he headed on toward the field. Dinah watched him come and go the whole way, she could’nt deny that she had blushed when he had passed by them. And when he had smiled she had parted her own lips in a quiet return smile. But she had said nothing as a few of her friends had with complimentary hellos and waves. She did’nt realize that he had seen how she was the only one who had’nt verbally said anything, or even waved. She had only brushed her shining brunette hair aside as the breeze gently blew a few strands across her creamy white cheek. And, of course, she had given him a pleasant, small smile.
With a grunt Black Canary struggled to force herself awake. She cleared her throat and suddenly noticed the acrid lingering smell of some type of gas hanging in the air. The crate was stuffy, and more than uncomfortably hot. Her face was covered in sweat which ran down her neck onto her back and she could feel the gamy moistness of her clothing. Especially the soaked stockings within her boots which she hated having to deal with at any time. Opening her eyes, she noticed her vision was blurred and her current location was pitch dark. Her shoulders were pinned in and her head was only inches from a plank of wood which kept her from looking downward toward the rest of her body. Her entire body seemed roped and tied as she tried to move her wrists and ankles which refused to budge.
Something metal was poking her just under her chin and seemed stuck in between her breasts. Its hard metal cover seemed firmly ensconced in her mammillar crevasse. “OOohhh… Dinah…” She moaned to her self with a choke and a dry cough. “What have you gotten yourself into this time, girl?”
The crate she was contained within suddenly rocked back and forth and there was a cracking noise as the cover of the wooden crate seemed to be operated upon by some unseen outside force. It was obvious to her that whatever long journey she had recently been on, it had come to a final end just as she had begun to awaken.
Time to find out… She thought to herself as the lid was removed and bright sunlight flooded her face and blinded her unadjusted eyes. There was a noise of movement by many persons whom she could not see above her prostrate form. There was a foreign tongue being spoken between agents and she struggled to get a look at her captors as they moved above her in silhouette shards and half shapes. She felt mostly aware of the sudden vulnerability of her entire form. Roped and tied from head to toe, whomever the dark figures above her were, they could view her whole body and if they had a notion, could take full advantage of their superior position….. even if they had wanted to drive a knife though her unprotected chest.
As the hot, yet cooling breeze of the African landscape rushed into the sweltering crate and cooled the sheen of sweat which covered her body, a dark hand reached in and pulled the metal tube from her breasts. He spoke in his Congolese accent and gave orders to several others whom Dinah Lance could barely make out through one thinly closed eyelid. They grabbed her shoulders with powerful hands and lifted her from the crate. She grunted and moaned as her body suddenly found freedom to move and stretch after her cramped confinement. The two men held her aloft as her booted feet dangled just above the sandy grassland beneath them.
A large African dressed in ceremonial grasses and reeds with many beads and strips of animal fur around his torso and arms appeared before her as her chin still rested on her chest. He grabbed hold of Dinah’s chin and raised her eyes to meet his own. With tightly squeezed eyes and chapped, dry lips, she faced him silently.