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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

The young woman that went astray (Part 1)

By Ardain Isma

CSMS Magazine Staff Writer

She has been walking all morning down this rocky trail, and she doesn’t seem tired. If she is, no signs of her tiredness could be detected, especially when the rising sun casts its yellow glow on her lively face. She is walking in gigantic steps, passing several villages, crossing dozens of brooks and ravines and climbing scores of low hills and two steep mountains.  Still, she appears resolute like a modern-day heroine totally committed to a self-appointed mission. Even her backpack filled with “who knows what?” does not seem to have the tiniest effect on what seems to be a tired-proofed individual, who will not stop until final destination is reached.

Despite the towering mountains that loom in the distance—bluish or purplish depending on the intensity of the rising sunray—not a tinge of lassitude, prostration or debility is shown on her reddish-brown face. People going on the opposite direction can only get a repressed smile or a subtle grin when they wave at her. She is not looking back. She is pushing forward. She wears a polo shirt and a pair of blue jeans, which accentuate her bulging buttocks. And at every step she makes in the silently tropical morning, her white tennis shoes crack over the grayish pebbles.  A mixture of morning dew and sweat soaks her golden, straight hair. Trails of sweats stream down her cheeks, despite the fact she wears a sweatband.

Her name is Celine Barlatier, a girl from uptown Saint Louis who has just returned home after spending five years in Scotland, living in a dormitory along with peers from across the globe. Celine is now 25. Tall and slender, she has wide, amaranthine eyes with long darkish lashes which help enhance her coquettishness. When she slows her march, she strolls in feline gestures; but at the first sign of an encounter, her eyes widen with a feverish intensity reminiscent to that of a frontline warrior on a make-or-break, final battle.

She has a reddish-brown cinnamon complexion, an almost perfectly oval face elevated by her pointy nose of which at first glance one would notice an unforeseen wittedness. Her mouth puckers when she speaks with meticulous utterances.  But the wrinkles on her lips quickly fade when she throws a timid smile. She does not look or sound flamboyant, although she is well aware of her sex-appealing posture, which she clumsily tries to conceal, cloak or disguise with her obviously kittenish and prudish fashions. She is the Creole chabine that every bachelor would crave. But in the shadow of her voluptuousness and the quest for the infinite prince charmant lie an everlasting love for her motherland of Haiti.

Celine studied anthropology at the University of Glasgow, Scotland; in there, along the narrow streets of the eastern suburbs of Glasgow, she had her first taste of what life truly is—a complex endeavor, far different from the cocoonish environment she was accustomed to back in Saint Louis. Her studies of humans and their culture—gross social injustices, class antagonisms, raw exploitations etc…—quickened her thirst  to learn as fast as he could about the history of her devastated land of Haiti. Hungry for social justice, she went on an intellectual pilgrimage, wolfing down every book that would enlighten her awareness about the sharp differences between the haves and the have-nots of Haiti. She read Jacques Roumain’s Masters of the Dew, Jacques Stephen Alexis’ Compère Général Soleil, Marie Vieux-Chauvet’s Dance on the Volcano and many other prominent novels that describe, using gut wrenching characters, the heartbreaking landscape of the Haitian reality.

Upon returning home, her first task was to know about a young servant named Louisinette, who used to bathe her in the morning, prepare her breakfast, spoon-feed her, wash her dirty clothes, stroke her hair when she was in a bad mood, rub her neck, massage her legs and back and pummel her buttocks before bedtime—even though she was six years older than Louisinette. When Celine went away to school, Louisinette was raped and conceived an unwanted child. She was only 16. As it is the custom, the girl was sent home to her peasant parents, who lived in the hollow of Font Philippe, deep behind the steepest mountains around the Saint Louis rural sections.

Louisinette was a slim girl with a coffee-colored complexion and strange, feline eyes like that of a panther. She was not pretty, and she walked with unconcerned gestures, but she was downright pure (a virgin) and definitely healthy with a peculiar clairvoyance, an intuitive sensitiveness accentuated by her sharp, survival skills. She was at once childish and mature, quick to conceal her infinite sadness, even in the midst of the most repressive moments of her existential realities. Like most girls of her age and of her deplorable circumstances, she was the soft target for sexual predators. Little did she know that someone had his eyes on her, until that terrible Saturday afternoon when she was cornered and raped by an assassin along the banks of Saint Louis River at the gray of dawn as she was returning home after spending hours down the riverbed, washing clothes for the Barlatiers.

She came home under an intense pain as blood was gushing out of what was just a few hours earlier a virtuous, pristine, stainless and an immaculately vaginal opening.  She managed to cloak her tragedy. For a while, she thought she was safe. Unbeknown to her was that the rapist, who invaded her privacy, also injected an unwanted child into her innocent body. She tried to hide it, and she really did, until she could no longer hide it.  (End of Part 1)

Note: Dr. Ardain Isma is essayist and novelist. He is the author of Alicia Maldonado: A Mother Lost. Go the Poetry and Literature section to read some his works. This story is part of creative writing. CSMS Magazine welcomes creative writers.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. This is a fascinating story. Although I understand it’s fictional, I love the creative writing style. It is very descriptive. I can’t wait to read part 2. Good job!

  2. Hey, I agree on all counts. I live in Jacksonville and I teach creative writing. I’m thrilled. I think the author is trying to give us a taste of Caribbean literature.

  3. The short story ” The young went a astray” part one starting out as a somewhat interesting sory from the begining to the middle when it talked about Celine and her background from haiti and her educational background from The Unversity of Glasow in Scotland studying anthropology. Then, when it got to the part when it talked about Celine’s old family maid Lousinette’s horrifying and gruesome account about her being raped by an assain by the saint louis river that’s when i was like whoaaaa!!! now this story is really getting more interesting is was like reading an dramatic episode of from the hit tv show Lost or something. I really can’t wait to find out more about Lousinette’s background and truely find out Celine’s true reason about finding whereabouts of Louisnette after so many years.

  4. I love to read this is a very nice story. I love to read specially this type of magazine very well written and good articulation. this staff keep me alive good work well done for this piece.

  5. I ENJOY THE METOPHORS IN THIS STORY DR.ISMA. I LOVE HOW YOU USED HAITI AS A SYMBOL FOR HER LONG LOST LOVE. I FIND THIS SHORT INSIGHTFUL PIECE INTO THE PSYCHE OF THIS YOUNG WOMAN. PREGNACY BY RAPE IS A STRONG SUBJECT THAT MOST YOUNG WOMAN DON’T LIKE TO SPEAK ON. THATS A SHAME BECAUSE IF IT WAS TALKED ABOUT MORE CONSISTANTLY THERE WOULD BE BETTER WAYS FOR YOUNG WOMAN TO TALK ABOUT THIS KIND OF ORDEAL. I WILL BE EXPECTING PART 2 TO BE EVEN MORE SUSPENSEFUL. PLEASE DO NOT DISSAPOINT ME DR. ISMA I’M A HUGE FAN. 🙂

  6. IT WAS ONE BEST ARTICLES I EVERED READ SOMEBODY CAN MAKE A MOVIE OUT OF THIS.I CANT WAIT FOR PART2 WHEN IS THE DEADLINE.

  7. I’m glad so many of you like the story. Watch out for Part 3. But also, we need to sign up for the newsletter.

  8. I have come accross many distinctive articles/Posts saying very good and poor things about this Musician…but if we put all the private life style choices behind…you can not deny the quality and skill of the Music..its just excellent

  9. Thank you for this very good post! It’s high quality. I have been visiting your site for a a while already and it’s the first time I comment. Keep up the great work and keep delivering the best value!

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