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Voodoo Made 45

A short story by Pedro V. Perez

By that cold Friday afternoon of January 22nd, 2010 ten days of sorrow and pain had passed for my Haitian brothers and sisters who share the island of Hispaniola. A devasting earthquake of 7.0 on the Richter scale had killed 300,000 and left a million people homeless.

After work, my Haitian friend and brother, Joseph and I head to the well-known creole restaurant Le Soleil on Tenth Avenue in Manhattan expecting to find information on relief organizations in the epicenter of New York City’s Haitian community. Its delicious French-Creole cuisine draw many New Yorkers, especially taxi and limousine drivers, hardworking Haitian expats, along with others who feel themselves lucky to find an empty table in this mom-and-pop bistro. Its manager is an obese Ma Rainey looking lady who quickly hands us a hand-written menu listing the specials of the day. Which consist of fish or fried turkey with okra, rice and beans with sweet fried plantains. On the bulletin boards at the entrance are pictures, names and addresses of churches in Brooklyn collecting donations, food, clothes and money from every Christian denomination. I quickly take pictures of it with my iPhone.

The aroma of delicious food mesmerizes my senses and instantly, makes my mouth water. After opening a bottle of Fruit Champagne Cola, Joseph and I toast the courage of this nations people who have survived oppression, slavery, French colonialism, the repressive and murderous regimes of Pappa Doc and Baby Doc Duvalier, economic isolation, and financial racism from foreign governments. In the course of our delectable meal, a Canadian public access channel broadcast interviews of Montreal’s expat community from the television hanging above the counter. Footage of the devastation throughout Port au Prince brings bitter tears that dropped on my plate as I continued to eat.

After this hearty meal, we order a coconut merengue and coffee, and finally the check. Near me are two tables joined together where a mix of young and old, men and women, black and white patrons are convened in a beatnik roundtable. At the head of this table is a well-dressed tall Haitian man talking in a loud boisterous tone, his voice lording over the small space. I turn to Joseph, “Translate for me, please!”

“Ok,” he says.

The man wailed, “Aristide, or Teitei (pronounced tee tee) as he was called by his beloved people, was a champion of democracy! He was a patriot that believed in dignity, peace, prosperity and liberty!”

Initially we pay no attention to this loud person who is so emotionally overcome that he spits on the people sitting round his table when he speaks.

“Teetee got his vengeance!”

He says switching from Creole to English. Now that, grabs my attention immediately and I find myself yelling, “How was that possible!?”

He turns to me and says, “Voodoo! Aristide solicited the most powerful Voodoo Priest in all of West Africa!” Capturing everybody’s attention as he speaks to the entire greasy spoon. “A Palo Mayombe from the highlands?” Another person sitting asks.

“No!” he exclaims.

“Baba Yaga Doom! Teitei went to a (his Baba Yaga’s) secluded jungle palace. There afar, was his Blanc Marble-studded palace where he was met by the white English butler(s) and Swedish maids of Baba Yaga Doom. Aristide was guided to an inner sanctum and told, ‘He’s waiting for you and knows why you’re here.’

On a gold and amber throne upon a high mahogany chair sat Baba Yaga Doom holding a teak scepter tipped in gold and diamonds which he handed to Mossier Jean Bertrand Aristide!”

“A humble priest?” interrupted a patron.


Baba Yaga said, ‘Teitei take my private jet to the Dominican Republic. Once there, you will cross into Haiti from the Elias Piña border checkpoint. Continue until you reach the town of Carrefour and at 4:53 pm, strike the ground violently with this scepter!’”

I assumed instantly that this was on January 12th, 2010. The room was dead silent. The owner, Mr. Roland rampaged out from the backroom, and gave the man the look of an angry lion, his eyes popping red and screaming, “Terminer! Leave, now!”

Briefly interrupted, with a gloating smile he announced to his peers round his table, “Vengeance was his. Practically all his enemies paid the price for that coup d’état!”

Patrons were unsure how to react, some laughed, some left. Mr. Roland quickly ushered him out the door into the cold evening. Through the front windows patrons witnessed the physical language of their heated exchange. “Oh LORD,” said a young lady at his table. “Could that be true?” A neighboring Haitian man answered, “Of course, it’s true.”

“BS!” swore another diner.

I found myself dashing out the door and caught up with this man who I barely spotted in 57th street crowds. The raised collar of his long duster hid the back of his big head and hat, but I was able to identify him by his height. I yelled, “Hey mister!” He quickly turned looking at me through his glassy yellowish eyes and said, “What do you want Blan nonm?”

“Where can I find Mr. Doom?”

The question startled him. “Listen, don’t perturb me with pesky questions or interfere into matters outside your culture and beliefs, ok?”

Behind me was an older man who had been sitting at his table. He handed me a very worn postcard with a picture of a headless male body sitting in a corner of a seedy room covered in white powder and holding a crudely wrapped, lit blunt. Pictures of Catholic saints hung on the walls around him. The postcard was written in a language that I couldn’t identify. I clutched it in my greasy hands in the cold wind.

Later, Joseph and I walked through Central Park and mused over this queer story. It had to be pure entertainment. Upon on arriving at my apartment, I placed the postcard that still smelled of my dinner between the flaps of a book I planned to read and where it remained for six years.

Mar a Lago, February 2016:

I’m lying beside the pool with my new acquaintance, Carlos, the billionaire industrialist and several of his sugar babies who wait for The Man to come greet the guests. I won this vacation from Publishers Clearing House before He announced his intentions to run for The White House in 2015. I headed south with a few titles randomly grabbed from my bookshelf and as I sipped my mint julip and opened a volume, I said to myself, “Holy smokes.”

“You look like you just saw a zombie, pendejo.” Carlos said.

“I did amigo.” I showed him the postcard.

“Where is that spooky place? Looks like someone went to the jungle in the 1920’s”

I grabbed his attention with the story from a few years back.

“Really! This is our moment and we will seize it and Make America Great Again!”

Now that made me drink heavily that morning: A Tom Collins, a shot of Tequila, followed by a Long Island ice tea.

“Let’s speak to The Man immediately and without delay!” he said with a wicked glee.

As we passed layers of security in our swim trunks strolling into the main office where He sat with the press and some VIP” s, Carlos barked from the long corridor, “Clear the room, this is of utmost importance! Now!”

Carlos strode in first, telling me to wait outside. A few minutes later he emerged and said, “Come in. Donald wants to meet you.”

“Wow,” I thought, “I’m going to meet The Man from the television shows, the big hotels, the books, the playboy billionaire.

“Is this story true? “

“I can attest to everything that happened at the restaurant, sir.”

“No! I mean the scepter thing, or is this a rumor?”

Collecting my thoughts, I responded.

“I have never seen a person speak with such conviction and persuasion as I saw this customer at the Haitian restaurant. This guy scared the living crap out of me for weeks and months until I saw this postcard that I’d placed in my book years ago.”

“Let me see the postcard and the book, please.”

I handed Donald my book.

“Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. What a befitting title for my victory in November.”

Carlos quickly interrupted, “We should go find this Baba Yaga Doom guy, and obtain his services immediately.”

Donald fixed him with a stare, “You, Carlos, Jared and Eric take my jet and find this Yaya guy.”

“Yes, sir!”

The meeting continued with Donald muttering to no one in particular, “All these lions and tigers want to destroy my campaign with bimbos, liars and fake news. Can you believe the length she and her minions are going through to destroy me?”

“No,” I replied with a pious look on my face as if he was looking for a response. I got up from the chair leaving it damp from my trunks.

JFK Airport October 2016:

On board the luxurious Boeing 757 with T.R.U.M.P in big letters along its side we flew to West Africa. There I showed the postcard to a local contact, a former CIA agent affiliated with the campaign who was “our man in Africa.” I soon found out he had $450 million in cash and several machine guns in his luggage. We drove through the thick shadowed jungle for 12 hours and finally arrived.

“Welcome!” said one of Baba Yaga’s butlers in a Cockney accent and a crumple look on his face. “He has been expecting this day for decades!”

The three of us stood before the altar of the High and Mighty. “Now, I know you weren’t bullshitting me,” whispered Carlos as Eric fidgeted and Jared bit a cuticle on his right thumb.

“All rise and bow low to Baba Yaga and lay those bags of cash on the marble steps directly in front of the throne” commanded the Englishman.

“I never ever do this for elite white people!” Yaga shouted angrily.

“But it is the most powerful office in the World!” “And, I recognize William from Arkansas helped the African people a lot, But I don’t trust the plutocratic woman. Here take it and on election day smash it to pieces on the ground!”

“Yes Sir!” we said graciously. “Now get out of my face white men!”

And we left the palace with this scepter in a hard military case that was used for storing stinger missiles.

Tuesday November 8th, 2016:

Watching the Jacob Javits Center being loaded from 11th Avenue with food, wine, champagne and caviar with people waiting inside on tv, I dosed off till 4:00 a.m. I awoke and had soiled my pants so badly it ran into my socks and shoes. Suddenly I was rushed to the hospital, in an ambulance. Again, today on January 6th, 2021 the scepter is my thoughts.

The End.


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