The allure of Deep Blue was overwhelming and powerful. Deep Blue was a huge basin of water carved out of by the swift flowing Gullet River and was a perfect natural swimming pool for anyone who had a passion for a cold river swim.
The river cascaded into frothy white substance in the pool, quieted down by the time it reaches the middle and was mirror-like by the time it reaches the other end. The water itself was crystal clear and cool to the touch. In the middle section of the pool, where it was deepest, the water had a bluish property to it, hence its name. Trees hung over the pool and their branches made perfect spots for the adventurous who wanted to dive into the delicious water.
Speculations varied on the exact depth of Deep Blue and although unofficial competitions were held to reach its bottom, not one has actually accomplished such feat.
Deep Blue was a popular among the grownup but mostly on weekends: people did their laundry there, people sometimes spent their entire day there cooking jots and drinking liquor; people caught crabs, crayfish and a tiny fish they called ‘lush’ there and many more activities.
But most of all Deep Blue was very, very popular among school children because it was located in a remote valley, away from everything, and this made it the perfect spot for these kids who wanted to skip school and spend an afternoon of freedom away from the rigors of mathematics, social studies and penmanship. Many of these students left home in their uniforms but sneaked extra clothes in their bags for their Deep Blue escapade and returned home in the evenings innocent enough, again in their uniforms.
But despite the popularity of Deep Blue there were whispers that it was the home or was used occasionally by a Mama Glo. People said that it was somehow it was connected to the sea, although the sea was miles away, by a tunnel and that tunnel was used by the Mama Glo to travel between Deep Blue and the open ocean. As if to support this theory, whenever the sea was rough Deep Blue would heave restlessly as if some strange creature lay in its depth struggling to free itself.
However these things were not spoken of openly. They were just whispered among people as if the mentioning of them aloud would disrupt the delicate balance that existed between humans and the Mama Glo that lived or used Deep Blue.
But all those talks did not deter the throngs of students who rushed to Deep Blue after school or prevent those who skipped school all together to splash in it all afternoon long. The reason for this was because they had their defense against the Mama Glo. First of all you never, ever sit with your back facing Deep Blue. Such a position made it easier for the Mama Glo to sneak up on you and snatch you and take you to the depth with it. But most importantly you never think of the word Mama Glo once in your head. If by accident you did so, you simply repeat the word three times in quick succession and you will be safe.
And so Deep Blue remained popular with school children until Cha Bruney became head teacher.
Cha Bruney was a firm adherent of discipline and staunch believer in the virtues of the whip and in a gross manipulation of the age old proverb he once proclaimed that “the whip is mightier than the sword.” His favorite whips were made of guava branches and he used it liberally.
One of Cha Bruney’s first edicts as head teacher was a total ban on Deep Blue. During assembly one morning he said anyone who was caught going to Deep Blue, was caught at Deep Blue or even harbored the thought of going to Deep Blue would be punished. Not even the little ones in Grade One were exempt, Cha Bruney said because the rule applied to everyone, “from captain down to cook.”
The restriction lasted probably for a week and the trickle of students who sneaked away for a swim slowly turned into a torrent. Cha Bruney’s guava whips were kept busy but a brilliant kid came up with the idea of stuffing cardboard in his pants’ behind as a guard against the sting of the whip and soon the technique was widely duplicated.
Realizing that his whip was having no impact Cha Bruney called a PTA meeting and preached on evils of a non-educated society and according to him Deep Blue was standing in the way of the students under his watch from obtaining a proper education. Then he told the gathered parents that he had that he had some ideas of making Deeping Blue unattractive and non-inviting and the most outrageous idea was diverting the river through a small nearby channel bypassing Deep Blue altogether.
This did not go down well with many parents and soon the meeting degenerated into a Babel of opposing ideas but Cha Bruney’s strong will won everyone over and his proposal was given serious consideration.
That is when many strange things began happening.
First of all that night the sea became violently rough. All night long people listened as huge waves crashed against the seashore in loud thunderous claps and the next day fishermen rushed to the beach in order to save their boats from the angry ocean. They sat and watched in amazement as monstrous swells relentless pummel the beach and the rocks sending huge plumes of white spray into the air. Even seasoned fishermen shook their heads in disbelief at this occurrence and wondered what was going on. They said the last time the sea was that rough was during the passage of Hurricane David and they could blame the hurricane but what they were witnessing had no apparent reason.
Deep Blue itself became unapproachable as it frothed and heaved like a cauldron of angry boiling water and for the first time in a long time the valley in which it was located was devoid of happy laugher and the delightful squeals of children enjoying its delectable waters.
The sea remained rough for three days and concerns began growing among the fishermen about the source of their livelihood. On the third day a fisherman who went by the name ‘Duck’ decided he could not take it any longer and was going out to sea no matter what. People said the sea flowed through Duck’s veins and he was more comfortable on it or in it rather than on dry land. His swimming capabilities were legendary, hence his nickname, and he had survived many bruising encounters with the sea.
Duck ignored the wise counsel of the other fishermen who took his decision so seriously that they refused to help him push his boat to the frothing sea. He painstakingly and singlehandedly push the boat to the sea and waited for a slight break in the huge waves to push to go waterborne. When he thought he saw a break Duck pushed the boat with all his might into the raging waters.
Duck was a good boats man. He skillfully maneuvered the boat through the waves steering the boat parallel to the waves and at the last moment he made the boat face the waves headlong and he sliced through them like a knife through butter. Despite this the boat was tossed around violently like a toy and sometimes it seems as if it would be swamped completely.
Those on shore looked on with amazement and fear as Duck’s boat battled the furious waters and it seems he would eventually make it through to deeper waters where the sea was less angry. But then as if out of nowhere a huge wave appeared and those who looked on said it was probably the biggest they had ever seen. The wave towered over the others with white spray floating from its crest.
The hearts of the people on shore sank and they began shouting frantically over the roar of the sea to alert Duck. The wave grew bigger and bigger and as if in slow motion in crashed unto itself emitting a loud thunderous clap. The entire sea was left in a white frothy mess in its wake and this completely engulfed Duck and his boat.
And it was then people said they saw the Mama Glo or a glimpse of it. All they really saw was a flash of its golden blonde hair and seconds later a wave of its bluish green fish tail right over Duck’s boat. Then both the boat and the Mama Glo disappeared while the people on shore stood horrified at what was unfolding before them.
Then the sea grew rougher and everyone had to retreat to higher ground. Night fell quickly but that night no one could sleep because the sea howled and raged nonstop like a captured monster. Everyone felt helpless in the face of Duck’s demise and they wished he had listened to them and not face the raging sea alone.
The following day, abruptly as it started, the raging of the sea subsided and a search party was immediately organized for Duck but despite extensive search of the shoreline for more than a week the sea refused to give up his body.
The incident traumatized everyone and talks of the Mama Glo were on everybody’s lips for many weeks after that.
A couple of weeks after that Edward was in the valley on a crab and crayfish catching expedition. It was not a good afternoon as the crabs and crayfish were scarce and he was getting frustrated. By late afternoon he was approaching Deep Blue and it was then he heard the sound of soft singing.
Edward was baffled by this because sometimes the sound seemed to be coming from all directions and other times from up the river. The sound itself was soft, enticing, inviting and seemed to dominate the gentle sound of the flowing river.
Filled with curiosity Edward crept toward the sound and he got closer and closer to Deep Blue. As he drew closer it seemed nothing else mattered but that sweet singing sound. It dominated his thoughts, his being and it seemed his very action. Almost mechanically he felt himself being pulled to the source of the singing.
Eventually he peered over the last rock and sitting on a huge stone in Deep Blue was the Mama Glo. It appeared it didn’t sense Edward’s presence because it just sat there combing its long golden blond hair with a comb that appeared to be made out of solid gold. The bluish green fishtail glistened in the faint sunlight and the color of the skin was pale white. It has stopped singing and only the gentle sound of the river punctuated the unusual silence.
Edward did not know how long he stood there staring at the unusual spectacle but then all of a sudden his feet slid which hit a pebble which in turn went spinning towards Deep Blue. The pebble landed in the water with a splash which sounded like a gunshot in the strange silence.
Suddenly the Mama Glo looked up bewildered and locked eyes with Edward. The eyes were fiery emerald green which displayed no emotions. The face looked human enough although Edward somehow knew that it was incapable of smiling or laughing. The lips were thin and pale red as if no blood flowed through them and the nose was equally thin.
And then Edward turned and ran like he had never run before. The only sound he heard behind him was a loud splash as the Mama Glo dove back into the depths of Deep Blue.
Soon everyone was talking about Edward’s sighting of the Mama Glo at Deep Blue and the whole matter was gaining legendary status. Everyone believed the story, everyone but Cha Bruney.
Cha Bruney thought the whole thing was a conspiracy to prevent his re-routing of the river around Deep Blue and so he was determined to continue as planned.
Cha Bruney did not believe in stories of Mama Glo, soucouyant, la diabless, loogawoos and the like. He thought they were stories made up by ignorant people who did not want to enjoy the beauty of knowledge and wisdom and shrugged them off as “legends” and “creole folk tales.”
So one day he went down to Deep Blue to draw the plan for the re-routing of the river. Deep Blue lay quiet and was smooth as a mirror. He pulled out his tape to start measuring the new river route and when he looked up the Mama Glo was sitting on the same huge stone that Edward has seen it sitting on.
For a couple of seconds Cha Bruney’s brain refused to process what his eyes were seeing and he thought someone was playing a stupid trick on him. But the sight before him would not go away and slowly it began penetrating the fog of his disbelief. And then he felt his body growing limp and in defiance of the rules of gravity he felt himself being lifted from the ground by a strange invisible force.
Cha Bruney floated over the ground in the grip of the force and was taken right over Deep Blue. Then the force released him and he felt himself tumbling towards the water. All the while the Mama Glo sat on the stone, unmoving , its emerald green eyes emotionless like that of a snake.
Cha Bruney measuring tape was found by near Deep Blue where he had dropped it but he was never found.
After that Deep Blue never returned to its glorious self because it became filled with stones and dirt. Some people blamed this on deforestation up stream but for a couple of days during the hurricane season when the sea was rough, the stones of dirt would mysteriously disappear and Deep Blue would heave restlessly. But this lasts only for a couple of days and soon the stones and dirt would return.
And on a full moon if one was within hearing range of Deep Blue the singing of the Mama Glo can be heard to this day.
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