Jason Stephenson, Contributor
Paula rushed down the street in a rage. He had gone too far this time - too far! And now he was going to suffer the consequences. The only thing Paula knew was that as soon as she entered that house, somebody was going to die - and it certainly wasn't her. She gripped the wooden board in her hand, sweeping around the street corner, walking past the neighbourhood boys playing marbles and basketball in the road.
Paula approached a small house tucked in a dead end - number 56 on Parker's Lane Avenue. Pauls slipped through the gate quietly, walking up to the grille, where she gave it a small knock.
"Hello!" she shouted. "Sonny! Yu deh home?!"
A strapping man peeked from inside through the decorative beads hanging over the front door. Paula carefully hid the board beside the grille, just in time for Sonny not to see. She smiled as she fixed up the setters under the scarf wrapped around her head.
"Come let me in man. Yu nuh see how sun hot?" she said.
"Paula, a you dat?" Sonny laughed, grabbing the grille keys off a nearby hook. "Is what you doing here? Simone nuh reach home yet enuh!"
"Mi know, man!" Paula said "Is something I come look for. Sandra seh she can't find her little dolly with the red dress - you know what mi a talk bout?"
"Dolly?!" he whispered as he opened the grille. "Sandra never leave nuh dolly Saturday, but maybe if you ask ... ."
Sonny dropped to the ground in a split second, blood spilling from his mouth. Paula stood over him with the wooden board.
"Paula, ah wah yu ah ... ?!"
Paula smashed the board across his face before he could even finish talking.
"Yu is a disgusting man! You same one!" she yelled. "Yu tink mi neva wudda fin' out?!!"
Paula bashed the board into Sonny's right knee, causing him to scream in pain.
"Who tell yu fi touch mi daughter, ehh?" said Paula, beating him mercilessly in the stomach. "I gway fix yu busines today yu si!"
By now, a few of the neighbours had already come outside upon hearing the loud commotion. Some were pointing fingers and laughing, others covered their faces in disbelief bawling out 'Jesus!'
"Mi neva touch Sandra!" shouted Sonny, spinning in circles on the ground as Paula bruised and abused his face with the piece of lumber.
"Yu tink mi ah eediat?!" Paula shouted. "Is si mi si de bruise dem pon har leg!"
Paula slapped the board in the back of Sonny's head. Sonny coughed up more blood on the grass, holding his thigh as he tried to get up. Paula bashed him again in his back, sending him flying straight back to the ground. Having seen enough, some of the neighbourhood boys charged through the front gate, grabbing Paula by the arms, pulling her off Mr Sonny.
Paula kicked and fought with her God-given strength - it was a pity the plank fell out of her hand. She kicked and screamed and bawled.
"Let me go!" she cried, trying to fight back her tears. "Let me go! Mi one daughter, mi one baby girl, yu piece of vomit, yu!"
Miss Brown, the shopkeeper from down the road, helped Sonny up, trying to peacefully end the feud between the two. She pulled up a seat from the veranda and sat him down.
"Johnny!" she shouted to one of the boys wrestling Paula to the ground. "Go inside get some ice and put pon Mr Sonny farhead!"
Sonny's face was almost unrecognisable - swollen lips, bruises all over his head and neck, three of his teeth were missing and there was a good chance he wouldn't be seeing through his right eye anytime soon.
Miss Brown walked over to Paula and gently rubbed her face. She was crying like a mad woman, six high-school boys fighting to keep her down.
what a fright
"Darling, is what happen?" asked Miss Brown. "Why you doing this, sweetheart?"
"Him touch mi pickney!" Paula screamed over and over again. "Him touch mi pickney - woi!"
The entire neighbourhood paused in shock to look at Mr Sonny, who had just noticed the awkward stares.
"Mi seh mi neva touch her pickney!" he shouted back at them.
"Why you say that, darling? Come, tell me ... ," said Miss Brown, now pushing the boys off Paula.
"Is come mi come home, Miss Brown, and see Sandra a bawl! So mi seh, 'A wha happen to yu, Sandra?', She come tell mi bout seh she fall offa swing up a school an mi jus neva believe her cuz dat neva look like regular bruise - mi neva stop push and push till she tell mi seh Saturday when she come ah mi mada house, she get it - mi seh I just jump up same time yu si, an fly dung yah wid one piece ah board!"
"Mi seh mi neva touch Sandra!" shouted Sonny, now holding a bag of ice on his forehead.
"If ah nuh you, den a who do it den?!" shouted Paula.
Standing by the gate was Paula's mother, Simone, covered in a cold sweat as if she had seen a ghost. Her eyes were filled with fright. Before anybody else could say another word, she dropped her purse to the ground, pushed past the crowd and dashed up the street, running from her own shame - never to be seen again.