Ma Laja… the beginning

This week, I am guest blogging over at Amelia Curzon’s blog. She is the author of Mungai and the Goa Constrictor, a modern fable that plays out in the rainforest. She’s also quite fabulous for allowing several bloggers to guest blog on her page. Thanks Amelia!

You may also remember that my friend Lois challenged me to write a new La Diabless story, and that is what I have up on Amelia’s blog this week. It is a TOTAL departure from anything I’ve ever written, and I’d love your feedback. Here’s an excerpt:

As soon as she put her foot in the shoe, she feel like Cinderella. Oh! It feel good. But there was still the matter of the other one. She lean up against the wall, and push the hoof in gingerly, afraid for the shoe, and she own hoof. But there. It fit. Just like the other one. Now she stand in front the mirror and watch sheself. Is the first time she could ever lif’ up she skirt them and look at two foot. She whole life, she had to hide. How many years is that now? So many she stop counting. She take a little walk in front of the mirror to see how the shoes fit. She smile. No more: one foot down, drag the cow heel. Now she was walking regular like other women. Who would know what she was? And then these days, people didn’t look so hard at you. They was too busy wrap up in they own business to pay anybody else any mind. Not that it didn’t have plenty maco spreading gossip around, but even the maco them was busy with they own thing. It was the t.v. that did it. As soon as that box come in everybody house, people stop looking out they windows. That make Ma Laja happy. She didn’t need anybody watching she. Staying in the shadows by the edge of the road was how she survived all this time. Now the road them paved, and all them fellas driving on it fast.

As she stand there admiring the new shoes, the warm blood spread almost reach she foot.

“Lord, no!” Ma Laja said aloud. “Not mih new shoes!”

She quick-stepped out of the way of the spreading pool, and toward the door of the shoe store. She took one more look back inside the store, at the boxes of shoes that other customers had tried on during the day, the closed blinds that meant the store was closing up, the manager’s blood soaking up the carpet, his eyes staring blankly at the ceiling fan that rotated slowly, whoop, whoop, whoop over their heads, and her own self in the mirror, so pretty, the manager couldn’t resist letting she try on that one pair of shoes even though he was already locking up.

Read the rest of this story on Amelia’s blog.

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11 thoughts on “Ma Laja… the beginning

  1. Karen says:

    I love the language! Is the dialect specific to a place? I love stories that fully commit to something like that — it always takes a moment to get into it when reading, but then something clicks and it your mind and it all makes sense.

  2. Tracey says:

    It’s specific to Trinidad. I usually don’t do dialect this strong. I tend to temper it so it’s more accessible for non-Trinis, but for this… it made sense to go all out.

  3. Nan says:

    Brilliant! I was terrified! Used to live out in ‘De Bush’ so you know what kind of stories we had…

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