Growing up a military brat had exposed myself and my siblings to many different cultures and people. When we finally came to American Samoa, the place we would call our home, things were weird on a very calm sense. (Noises in the halls of the homes we used to live in, knocking on the doors, cold drafts kind of happenings.) American Samoa would open our eyes to a very real supernatural world where things are not as "transparent" as one would seem.
My brother and I were born 3 years apart. So when we moved to American Samoa, I was 7 and he was 4 going 5. He and I were used to the Hawaii and United States way of life. No chores, tv, running and yelling at all hours of the day. We met our cousins who were also our neighbors and would go running a muck all over the village. It was heaven. Until the first Sunday we spent in our new home.
Samoans are very very strong spiritual people. I think that is why the supernatural is not something we really find scary or something new. You are brought up being taught the bible and told stories of your bloodline, your village and all of the historical sites and bloodlines. So for a kid who is Samoan, church is like home and we all congregate there. My brother, my 3 cousins and I were all there from Sunday school (which started an hour before the actual service) until church got out and attended Sunday feast (standard for the day families congregate with each other to mingle and talk about the week and plans). As we were getting ready eat, my little brother turns to me and says, "That man is just standing there" and points his finger in the direction of where he sees this man. I turn and see no one and look at him and nudge him and playfully tell him to get his food. So we continue and head outside to where the rest of the young ones were. (This is the same house I mentioned in my previous story. The front of my uncle's house also has a big porch of patio that the extended family uses for gatherings and family functions. Outside of the patio there are a line of huge trees that cover the drive way and tables built under the shade as well.) So all 5 of us are sitting and eating when my cousin Sam says, "Did you guys see that man who was just looking at us as we were in line to get our food?" Me and my other two cousins were like no. My brother said, "Yeah, but what was he wearing?". Sam says, "He was wearing an old looking sarong (lava lava Luhvuh-luhvuh) and had no shirt. He had a big afro that made him look like a microphone." My brother looked at him and replied, "Yeah that was him, Tyron. That is the guy I saw too." So we all were in amazement and were like little kids in a kid movie plotting and investigating our theories until we came up with a plan.
That's when Sam's brother John said, "If you both saw him, where did he go?" We all looked to our sides slowly as if trying not to be to noticeable. We were trying to look for this strange man. We all got up in unison and took our plates and forks to the trash. We all then started to walk around the house and to each other's homes looking for this man. It felt like an hour had passed when the elder's called us in for memory verses when Johnny says, "Look, he's over there" and pointed directly behind my grandmother's house. This is the point where most kids scheme so they can do everything. So we huddled and agreed. Sam, John and my brother Darius would go first and me (Tyron) and Sefa would investigate and we would all report back to each other when we would get back. So we all parted and Sefa and I made our way to the back of my grandmother's house. The back of the house looked a little gloomy as it was almost all field filled with tall grass and coconuts and few other trees like breadfruit and banana. It not until you get closer to the house where the grass is cut and you can see my grandma and grandpa's garden with taro and other herbs and the outside pipe and the actual back kitchen and laundry room.
Sefa starts running now and he is pushing past grass and bananas like a lion hunting prey. I am trying to run after him as fast as he is but can't because of the grass. It felt as if the grass was trying to hold me down (it felt that way). Sefa was getting further and further away and terror was now creeping down my spine and I was definitely scared because I could not see above the grass and could not see which direction the house was. I started to cry because I was so alone and could feel something watching me. I started to scream and yell and call for help. That is when I could hear someone tell in Samoan, "Why you have to make so much noise? Do you want me to make you shut up?" I turned and tried to look for who was saying this. Not only was the voice very clear and of a young man's but you could feel the anger in what he was saying. It made me shiver and scream even louder. I could hear Sefa call my name and the other voice threatening me. "I'm going to get you. You ingrate. Don't know how to listen to your elders? You are going to get the whooping of your life when I find you" the male voice was saying when Sefa broke through the grass. I jumped so high I swear I could have cleared about five feet if I had to at the time and he grabbed my hand and just said to me "run." So I got up and started to huff and push as we both made our way back.
As we finally cleared the field and stopped on the parkway. Sam, John and Darius are just walking back and see us and start to run looking worried. "What happened?" one of the asked. Sefa answered, "You guys didn't hear Tyron screaming?" They looked at us then each other and said "No. Why?" Sefa looked at me and we explained what had just happened. Now Sam and Johnny were more irritated and looking for trouble because of how protective we all are of each other. Darius asked "Did you find Microphone man?" Sefa and I said no. We were all so caught up telling each other the details of what just happened we didn't hear our fathers approach. "Sefa and Tyron, where were you?" We then told them about what had happened. They told us to go to the front and tell our grandparents. As we told our story, my grandfather took out his machete and was starting to sharpen it. Sefa and I are now terrified. My grandfather saw us starting to tear and said, "This is not for you, sons. I have to do something." We all looked at each other and were thinking what does he have to do on a Sunday?. He got up and left and took our fathers and uncles with him. It wasn't until they were gone when our grandmother told us the story.
"About 20 years ago, a young man from the village had fallen in love with the preacher's daughter. They had been meeting in secret for about a year and was not found out until one day her brother happened to find them and warned the young man that if he were to see him again trying to see his sister he would kill him. About a week had passed and the two could not be kept apart. They met up and had made plans to run away. So, as he waited for her behind the house in the field, her father had gotten word of what was happening. After he had beaten his daughter, he set out in a rage to find the young man. He found him waiting for her. They had exchanged words and after the young man refused to go, the preacher killed him by splitting his afro with a machete."
After the incident, people have claimed to have seen the young man around the field and walking the path he took to sneak out to see his love.
My grandfather came back about two or three hours after he had left. He had asked Sefa and I if we had stepped in the taro patch near the stream? We replied we don't know because the grass was so long and tall we could barely see anything. He then asked if anyone of us was yelling? I replied, "I was, Grandpa, because Sefa was running so fast I couldn't keep up and got lost in the grass." He then pulled out a bone. "Son, did you see this?" I told him no. He explained, "You had been lost in an area where the old lepers were buried. You had probably disturbed them and today being Sunday they really took offense. Don't worry though, son. We dug them up and are going to perform the cleansing ritual and rebury their remains somewhere else. If you are bothered tonight, you tell me right away. They have no right to bother the living any more do you understand me, son?" I replied, "Yes, Papa."
As night fell and we, the kids, got together again under the trees to talk. We forgot to ask the grown folks one question. So Darius turned and asked our aunt. "Aunty, what did you guys call the young man that the bad thing happened to? She turned and said the microphone man because his hair was so tall and round it made him look like a walking microphone."