In a crisis torn, South American country, only little Ann's faith, her determination, and one young woman could help keep her dreams of escape alive.

A true story...
Find a synopsis and other details about Sunday’s Child at my confidence blog (linked). Read excerpts here: List of Books on Amazon

A waterfall of Angry, Dashing Colours: Excerpt 7 - Sunday's Child

We stood on the side of the street with thousands of other people, gawking at huge floats and the colourful, massive crowd of revellers dressed in all sorts of costumes under the sun. Some of the costumes towered into the clear sky, and looked rather heavy, it’s a wonder the people under them could even bear the weight. To be honest, some of them did look like they were struggling under the huge burden in the heat of the sun. But as usual, the party had to go on .

‘The Mighty Sparrow’ was blaring on the loud speakers creating a sense of electricity conducted through the hot and humid heat, which hovered over the procession. There was a certain joy-itch in your bones that infected you whether you were ready to scratch or not as soon as you stepped out into the street. Theresa had to lift Franc up unto her shoulders so that she could see what was going on behind the masses of people who coloured the side of the street.

The crystal steel pan beat was ear shattering, and almost vibrated into the clear, blue sky. The day was burning hot and you could see tall colourful floats for miles. “The Mighty Sparrow’s” song was the one about the intruder at The Palace in London. Everyone in the parade was swinging their bodies to the overpowering soca fever, which burned in your flesh and put you in a trance-like state of bliss as soon as you heard the steel pans in the distance.

“Phillip my dear
Last night I thought it was you in here
Where did you go…”

The first float was this huge butterfly made of sparkling, glittering rivers of colours, which calmly flowed in the breeze as it was pulled along the fiery hot asphalt of the main road. This float was displayed by Bermine (which is now meant to be called Guymine actually, after its nationalisation).

The Bermine floats are always a source of awe and excitement as theirs’ are often made by overseas based Guyanese designers. Behind the butterfly, danced hundreds of Bermine workers, all dressed in equally vivid little streams of florescent shades. It was perfect! Franc was screaming and pointing at this float, twisting her little body from side to side as the itch hit her, the itch I was never allowed to scratch.

“…There was a man in me bedroom
Wearing yuh shoe
Trying on the Royal costume
Dipping in Royal perfume…”

We learned in Primary school that ‘Mashramani’ was an Amerindian word for celebration or something like that. Mammy said before we left the house that she could remember when, “These big celebrations used to be on our Independence day, just like all them other countries’ big Independence celebrations. Nowadays, there’s nothing happening on we Independence day coz Burnham changed all ‘o dat. Why the whole country gat to celebrate his birthday like this, I doan know.”

“…There was a man in me bedroom…
And I thought it was you.
He big just like you
But younger
He fit just like you
But stronger…”
“…A man in me bedroom
He came on the bed dou dou
And I took him for you…”

The ‘Mighty Sparrow’ continued.

The sugar workers’ float came next as another waterfall of dashing, angry colours. There was a red tractor, dressed up to look like a boat. This ‘boat’ pulled a trailer packed with people depicting the many working place ‘scenes’ of the Sugar Industry. There was the cutting of the cane, the transport and shipment, storing and grinding, then finally the conversion into sugar. Again, hundreds of sugar workers, pranced, (some of them already drunk, maybe to depict the ‘scene’ of when sugar is converted into Rum) to the constant spiritual beat of the steel pans.
There were dozens more but by the time we had settled into the parade, Mammy said she was tired so we had to go home with her.

It would be the last time I would hear his voice for more than a decade when Christopher shouted over all the noise and bustle to say that he was going to stay and walk on to Burnham Park, where all the floats were headed for the judging and prize awards. When he came home that night, I had already gone to bed, and when he packed his stuff, I was at school. I wouldn’t see him again for 13 years after he’d left prison and after my whole existence had been ripped apart, turned inside out and stitched back together again. But of course at 13, this was the other part of my story that I couldn’t know about yet.

We trudged on home, and when Franc realised what was happening, she screamed to rival the steel pans.

“The palace guards
Were playing hopscotch in the yard
Abandoned the throne…” as we reluctantly stumbled home.

I listened to this song about the monarch on the blaring loudspeaker, and thought that if ‘God Saved the Queen’ - whatever it was that He saved her from, He would save me too, after all, I was named after her daughter.

When we walked into the yard, Brother Mac, sister Mac’s husband was sitting on his veranda having a very amicable conversation with his false leg. By the time we got upstairs and had opened the door, he had gotten up, chucked his white leg under his black arm and walked inside with his cane. As the years have moved on, I’ve grown up enough to realise that this man is just as normal as anyone else, he just likes to have a good conversation sometimes. There is nothing in anything else that he does or says to indicate otherwise.


Monique said...

I love the title and the story so far is intriguing.

It reminds me of the year Holland celebrated its 15th liberation day and it was held on the same day as we always celebrate the Queen's birthday.

My little two-year-old brother was going to be dressed up as an eskimo with a sledge on wheels that you pushed instead of pulled. My mother was sowing for days on end and later put wheels under that sledge.

The big day came and to my mother's horror she learned that the parade was going to be a military parade. My little brother cried and cried.

"You will go as an eskimo" she told my little brother firmly.

And thus it happened. In between huge tanks, lorries and soldiers parading, was this little eskimo with his sledge on wheels, with my mother walking beside him. Everyone thought it was a great joke, but I have never been more proud of her and admired her more than on that day when I was eight.

dabrah said...

Anne, another intriguing sample. Who is Christopher? Where did he go? How did he end up in prison?
I remember the Mighty Sparrow. All I remember are odd bits of song and that he used to say 'If Sparrow say so, is so!'

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Aww..Monique you paint a very vivid picture of your brother in his cute little sledge. It's good to be able to feel proud of one's parents. I hope that when my kids have grown, that they would look back with pride at the things I've done with and for them.

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Hi Dabrah, in the excerpt 'The day mammy broke my face' Christopher is introduced. He is my young uncle, my grandmother's youngest child who lived on and off with us.

He was very spoilt and was sent off to the army at a very young age. When I was 13 he came back to our town and lived next door to 'slash' with us.

He went off to Suriname at the time when there was a military coup or thereabouts. I can't tell you why he went to prison as that is part of my second book which isn't finished as yet. Of course at this point, all I knew was that he'd left, something massive happened just after this excerpt which brought me to the end of 'Sunday's Child'. I heard nothing of him until years later.

As the book is written in real time, I couldn't know what happened to him until later.

I have bits of 'future' references in 'Sunday's Child' at intervals. I've done this to inject a mysterious feel to the book.

It's funny that you remember that song from 'The Mighty Sparrow' I do as well. Remember that one about 'bash up they hands, bruise up they knees, then they love you enternally'? It's a cynical look at men beating their wives.


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author. Admin said...

Thank you Anne for your comment on my blog. I think that Harrison Ford might be a little old to play as Indiana Jones, but I think it's going to be a great movie to finish off the series!

dabrah said...

Anne, I've joined in with the One World One Heart event and have a Giveaway on my blog. There are more than 240 other bloggers taking part in the event, and you'll find a link on my blog to go and sign up for any one of the other giveaways too. Hope to see your comment there soon.


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