> The Mangohead Chronicles: Mangohead and the Zaboca Thief S01E08

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mangohead and the Zaboca Thief S01E08

Now On To Our Story!


As Mangohead burst into the sitting room, he saw Anita pointing at the wall. His eyes followed her frantic gesticulations to perceive the biggest spider he had ever seen making its way up the wall. Mangohead was no stranger to big spiders, but this one was much larger than anything he had previously encountered. It was at least two of his hand spans across, the legs long and spindly, covered in sinister black hair. It was a tarantula, colloquially referred to as the 'hairy-spider' in Trinidad. He had been bitten by one not so long ago, and had no intention of adding to his current injuries.

"Calm down Anita," Mangohead said as he cautiously watched the spider crawl idly along the wall.
"B-b-but it's s-s-so big!" Anita spluttered.
"Wait nah," Julie said as she entered the house, "is a spider she fraid so?"
"Them thing does bite hard, inno," Mangohead opined sagely.
Julie sucked her teeth, a Trinidadian mark of annoyance referred to as steupsing. "Look, leave it to me."
"What you going to do?" Mangohead asked incredulously, "ugly it to death?"
Without acknowledging this slight, Julie took up a broom made from the stripped spines of the leaflets of the coconut palm. Such brooms were commonplace in the island's homes, as they were much better suited to deal with the uneven floors and semi-concreted yards that adorned the houses here. The hardiness of the broom made it a formidable weapon against creepy-crawlies, a fact Julie knew well. With the practiced grace of a seasoned veteran, Julie crept slowly towards the spider on the wall.
It was rumored that the hairy-spiders could leap great distances if startled and Julie thought the only way a hairy-spider could get worse was if it became a flying hairy spider. Because of this train of thought, she kept her sudden movements to a minimum, moving deliberately, so as not to give the spider any idea that it was going to be swatted. She hated spiders, but wasn’t afraid of them. She considered them one more of nature's pests. Like mosquitoes. And Mangohead.
"Careful," Mangohead whispered.
"Shhhh," Julie shot back. "Ah know what ah doing."
She was within striking distance now. The spider had stopped moving on the wall, probably because it felt as though it was safe. This was an illusion Julie was about to dispel from its tiny spider brain. With all her force, she brought the coconut broom down on the spider. The smash of the sweeper hitting the wall could be heard all the way outside.
"Yuh get it?" Mangohead asked excitedly.
"I'm n-not seeing it," Anita stuttered.
"Oh crap," Julie shouted as she started shaking the broom back and forth. "It inside the broom!"
Julie, in her carelessness, hadn't noticed that the coconut broom, which was held together by a tie at the neck of it, was loose. When she swatted the spider, all she did was take the creature up into the broom itself. Frantically, she shook the sweeper and before too long, the hairy-spider became a flying-hairy spider, rocketing out of the broom's bristles and perching conveniently on Mangohead's shirt.
"Aaaaaahhhhh!" Mangohead screamed, trying to stay as still as possible. He knew that movement of any kind was liable to make it bite and he already shed enough blood today already.
"Hush," Julie said comfortingly. "I go get it this time." Slowly she adjusted the tie at the neck of the broom into a much tighter knot and started stalking Mangohead and his passenger.
"Doh hit mih hard ehh," Mangohead hissed.
"Nah" Julie assured him. "I go only hit it hard enough to kill it."
"Ah doh trust you inno," he shot back.
"Doh trust me nah, see if ah doh leave it on yuh and go bout mih business." Julie made a show of attempting to back off.
"Noooooo!" Mangohead pleaded. "Kill it pleeeeeease!"
With a grumble, Julie started walking closer to her brother, trying to get within range of striking.
Mangohead could feel the spiny tips of the spider's feet penetrating his shirt as it crawled leisurely over him. He could feel his body start to itch from the brushing of those hairy legs as the creature traversed his shirt, on its way to his neck. He dreaded to imagine what would happen if it got all the way up to his ear. His mind started giving him tastes of what it would feel like having the spider's legs or hairy body rubbing on his earlobe, causing his entire body to shiver.
"Stay still, yuh clown," Julie hissed from right next to him. She pronounced it ‘clong’.
"But..." was all he got out before Julie's smashing blow hit him right between the shoulder blades. Mangohead fell over with the force of the blow, the spider pitching in a totally different trajectory, landing in the middle of the room, balled up and twitching. It was dead. Mangohead let out a heavy sigh of relief. "You hit me real hard though," he said to Julie.
"You prefer I did leave the spider on you?" Julie teased him. "Next time I go remember and I go do it."
"Where Anita?" Mangohead queried, casting his eyes over the room.
"Ohho," Julie responded. "When the spider land on you, she move like Usain Bolt out the front door."
Mangohead sighed. "I should go find she and tell she the spider dead."
"I find you moving real chummy with she," Julie noted with a smirk. "Yuh like she owa?"
Mangohead blushed. "Nah, nah, is just...she was helping mih with mih hand nah."
"Ohho," Julie said again. "Holding hands time!"
Mangohead steupsed as he walked outside. Luckily for him, Julie couldn't see the blush that spread all over his face.
"Aye Mangohead," Julie called after him as she followed him outside, "be careful ehh. You remember what happen to Jonno, ent?"
Mangohead nodded solemnly. Jonathan, called Jonno by the village kids, was a youngster with some promise. He was gifted with intelligence, and some say he was in line to get a scholarship. All that had changed when Madame Lani's last visitor came and Jonno was caught up with her. She ended up pregnant and Jonno had no choice but to marry her. He moved out of the village and no one had seen or heard of him since, but a few whispered comments stated that he now held a clerk's job in the government service somewhere.
"I not gonna end up like he ehh Jules," Mangohead said, turning to face her. "I smarter than that."
"Mhm," Julie said, "I hear better cock than you crow."
"Look, I have to go find Anita..." Mangohead began.
"And what bout Ma Procop zaboca tree?" Julie interrupted. "What, a girl get you all tootoolbey and you forget what you supposed to be doing? Typical man." Julie steupsed and walked off, heading back up the road.
Mangohead watched her walk away, his thoughts spinning. She had told him he was tootoolbey, a Trinidadian phrase used to describe the way a boy feels about a girl when she is the center of his everything. He didn't think that Anita was that to him as yet, but he realized with a start that he was possibly losing his focus. That chasing after Anita might make him lose out on his chance to get the zaboca thief terrorizing Ma Procop's garden. But, on the other hand, he didn't know when Anita would go back.
Mangohead looked up, his mind full of swirling thoughts. The sun had already reached its zenith and was slowly starting to go down. If he had to find Anita, he would have to start soon, but if he was to set up a watch tonight to make sure the zaboca thief didn’t strike again, he should have started preparing already. Today was a day full of action, suspense and intrigue. He cradled his mangled hand. He wasn’t feeling feverish yet, which was good. Maybe it was all just a rumor anyway; maybe the thorns of the roseau plant didn’t give you a fever. He sighed, contemplating his decisions again. This might be the one chance he had to get to know Anita before she left. He wanted to be a part of her life, but he had a duty to Ma Procop. What was he to do? The mournful cry of an early-evening kiskidee, a small yellow-and-black bird, answered his deliberations with a sorrowful dirge.

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