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Early in the morning, Eshu was gulping rum as he ran through town, and between drinks he yelled to all who would listen, “There is danger afoot! Take care as you walk. There is danger afoot! Take care as you walk.”


Men, women, and children were afraid, and everyone in town walked slowly and carefully. Many chose to stay home. For Eshu was a wise orisha, and when Eshu gave a warning, there was a reason. So slowly and so carefully did they move that nothing got done that morning, and by late afternoon everyone was angry that they found no danger.


“We’ve been tricked!” they complained. “There is no danger today! And our day is half-gone! That Eshu is nothing but a trickster!” Everyone went about their business, ignoring Eshu and his random warnings.


“But there IS danger,” Eshu thought. “Watch this!” he told himself.


Thoroughly drunk, Eshu ran to the crossroad. From his small animal-skin-bag he pulled out huge gallons of red palm oil; and like a child who spreads finger-paint on paper for the sheer joy of making a mess, he smeared the oil on all four branches of both streets. He ran; he jumped; he slid through the oil wildly, all the while drinking more and more rum.


When Eshu was thoroughly sauced, a young man came to the intersection, and when he saw Eshu spinning frantically in the middle of both streets, he called out to him, “Eshu!” he yelled, “May I cross safely?”


Eshu stopped mid spin and looked curiously at the man. In his mind he thought, “Is he crazy? The roads are slicked with oil, inches deep!” Instead, he stood there and said, “It is safe to pass, my friend.”


The man took but one step; he fell down, and busted his head on the pavement. Covered in oil and blood, he looked at Eshu angrily, and without a word, crawled back the way he came.


“I told you there was danger!” yelled Eshu, skipping and skating wildly in the oil-slicked streets. He stopped as he saw an old woman walking with a cane. “Young man,” she called out to him, “I need to cross here, but the road looks dangerous. Will you help an old woman cross the street? Please?”


Eshu smiled warmly at the lady, and offered his arm. She held on tight, and together they crossed the street safely. “Oh, thank you, young man!” she said, holding his hands warmly before walking away.


Eshu stood there and cried. “They told me there was no danger. They were right. I was wrong.”


By now, so drunk was Eshu that he saw himself standing in front of himself, and he asked his hallucinogenic double, “Eshu, I heard there was danger in the streets, and the crossroad looks unsafe. May I cross the road safely?”


Eshu said, “I was told that there is no danger today. If there is no danger, it must be safe. Of course you can cross safely!”


Trusting in himself, Eshu took a few careful, faltering steps, but the oil was thick and slick and he fell down, hard. His leg snapped in two, twisting at an unnatural angle.


“That trickster . . . he lied to me!” Eshu screamed, in agonizing pain.


But his anger did not last long. On his broken leg, Eshu danced, and he laughed at Eshu’s folly and pain. “The next time I tell you there is danger,” he told himself, “I bet you will listen!”



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Comments

The following comments are for "Eshu at the Crossroads"
by OchaniLele

Eshu
Love the way this story is told, racing towards its conclusion like it has imbibed the frenetic mad-cap energy of Eshu’s character, “…and like a child who spreads finger-paint on paper for the sheer joy of making a mess, he smeared the oil on all four branches of both streets. He ran; he jumped; he slid through the oil wildly, all the while drinking more and more rum…” this passage, particularly, captures that spirit…

y’know, I feel a strange kinship with Eshu… can’t imagine way for the life of me ;)…

( Posted by: AuldMiseryGuts [Member] On: October 30, 2008 )

My story!
AuldMiseryGuts: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the fast-paced nature of the tale. It's hard to write about Eshu -- he is a trickster, but he's also a vital part of nature from the Lucumi/Yoruba point of view. This story shows how he is wanton, and randomly kind or brutal, even to himself.

Chloe: It's that good? That made my day. For you see, I've been writing all day long . . . and absolutely nothing I've written has satisfied me. The past four days I've been writing 8 hours a day, and I'm afraid that I used up all my pretty words and creative brain cells!

Don't worry. I'll find more! I always do.

Some writers call this "writer's block." I call it "brain drain." I'm suffering from a very BAD case of brain-drain today. But it's okay. One can't be creative all the time, and on command. If we could -- we'd be gods ourselves.

Ochani Lele

( Posted by: OchaniLele [Member] On: October 30, 2008 )

Keep on writing & getting published..LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL!
Stuart,

You busy, eh? Surprise surprise, with all you have to do, that 17 volume series your publisher is expecting of you? Whew! Well, hopefully, Chrispian got that Majestic stuff all ready for you to go for I am really looking forward to the first issue. Anyway, my hubby is home and I am enjoying our time. Lot's of things to do together we have both missed out on, heheheheh;-)

But we are sort of intellectual activisit socialist dorks, all into watching education television, documentaries, and talking politics...yeah, well, we have to talk too, sex is fun, but so is learning something new..awesome stuff on Discovery and History, and Science, and A & E channels, full of great stuff and documentaries, new pay-per view of the Dalai Lama documatarites worth every moment and cent of time too....Yeah...so enough about me, now tell me what DO YOU think of ME? Heheheheh!

I have to say that like Chloe this was a good read, and Shannon liked it, what a compliment, he is good, a real comtempary to your talents my friend. He is the real deal, and the next Volunteer in the WRITE-OFF, he needs an opponent, can hardly wait to see who it will dare to be...he is a tough on one to go up against, got be good, like you, like few others around here...many levels of writers here, all good in their own ways and abilities, love them all I do....but I do have my favorites for different reasons here and there...that is being human.

Anyway, back to you work here. AWESOME! See my critiques are simple, they come from my gut. Passion is all I need to feel what is good and what it not, or what I prefer that is a better way to say it, but I am so eclectic I am all over the board here. Missing Lucie a lot, aka Windchime, she commented on your work, I guess she is vacationing a lot. You must read her work too.

OK, with all love and blessings to you and yours, and may the Orishas continue to do their job as you say they do and I believe you totally...and these tales of the Orishas and your personal tales too, aweseome awesome, that is all I can say.

Namaste!
Your eternal sister,
and friend, with ALL
love,
Lena

( Posted by: TheRealKarmaTseringLhamo [Member] On: October 30, 2008 )

Hello Lena
Believe it or not, I was up writing when my email box flashed that I had a message, so I came by to check it!

Instead of working on my manuscript in chronological order, I put away the material I've doing BAD writing on all day, and went somewhere else in the project. Shaking up my brain a bit was all I needed to do. I wrote out two awesome short stories, and even though I've only weeded back through them once, I think they're rather done.

Tomorrow afternoon, I am writing part of (and hopefully, the bulk of) the majestic newsletter. I can't wait to get the templates up and running. November 20th isn't that far away.

Ok -- back to work.

Ochani Lele

( Posted by: OchaniLele [Member] On: October 30, 2008 )

Eshu at the Crossroads
You are quite a tale spinner. Enticing and familial, with an elegantly proud style.

Best Wishes

( Posted by: wguilddragoness [Member] On: November 4, 2008 )





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