Short Stories by Rosaliene Bacchus





When I was old enough to read, I fell in love with books and the great stories
filling their pages. After gobbling up the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy Mystery
Series, I moved on the exploits of Detective Sherlock Holmes and Agatha
Christie’s detective novels. Later, when I discovered the strange, new worlds of
science fiction novels, I devoured all the sci-fi books that caught my interest in
our local public libraries. As I grew older, the suspense thriller grabbed my
attention.

As a writer, I enjoy the process of developing a short story, adding the elements
of mystery and suspense that appeal to me as a reader. Each new short story
has helped me to improve my craft.

After completing my creative writing course, motivation to keep writing came
from an unexpected contact with Samuel Singh, a young Guyanese-American
poet in New York. Samuel’s collection of poems,
My Voice, brought a new
direction in my journey as a writer. (I’ll talk more about this on my page,
Novel to be Published.) Samuel introduced my work to Gary Girdhari, the editor
and publisher of the
Guyana Journal.

Inspiration for my fictional short stories came from events and people I have met
along my journey through life.

The Jumbie Tree – my first short story published in the Guyana Journal
December 2007 – is a story about missed opportunities, loss, and despair. It was
based on the strange and tragic death of my advanced-level art teacher. (Yes, I
began my journey as an artist and art teacher.) The way she died has always
haunted me. Writing the story was my way of releasing those stifled emotions of
impotence in the face of her struggle to overcome adversity.

  • In Guyana and the Caribbean, a jumbie is an evil spirit. The jumbie tree refers to the silk
    cotton tree, a massive tree in all aspects – height, crown, and buttress. In Guyana, as in
    other Caribbean countries, it is believed that jumbies reside in the silk cotton trees, hence my
    name, jumbie tree.

When I wrote The Ole Higue, published in July 2008, I wanted to share a little of
Guyana’s folklore with the American-born children of the magazine’s Guyanese-
American readers. I remembered an incidence in 1977 when I lived in the flat
below a young couple with four boys. The youngest, seven years old, woke one
morning with blood stains on his clothing. His parents kept watch at night for two
weeks but could not discover the cause of the bleeding. Rumors spread in the
neighborhood that an
Ole Higue was sucking him. After seeking the help of a
Hindu pandit, the bleeding stopped.

  • An Ole Higue is an evil spirit that takes the form of an ugly, repulsive old woman that sucks
    the blood of her victims.

Masacurraman: The Legendary River Monster, published in November 2008,
was also written for young readers. It's about facing our fears. I drew on my
experience of taking my Brazilian-raised sons to Guyana for a holiday with
relatives. When researching the Amerindian (native Indian) Reservation in Guyana
where the story is set, I made an uncanny discovery: A hunter in the same
region had encountered and shot what he claimed was the River Monster.

  • Massacurraman is an Amerindian folklore figure. He is said to be a giant, hairy male monster
    that lives in the rivers where he destroys boats and devours his victims.

My Christmas story, Ester’s Letter to Santa, published in December 2008, was a
challenging project. I love Christmas stories. There is something magical about
every Christmas story filmed for TV and the cinema. Could I create such magic? I
found inspiration in the foreclosures assaulting homeowners everywhere across
the USA, following our financial crisis. I selected New York as the location for my
story since the majority of Guyanese immigrants have settled in that city.  

Rescued: An Easter Story, published in April 2009, is the only one of my
published short stories set in Fortaleza, Northeast Brazil, where I lived with my
two sons for sixteen years. The plot is based on events surrounding the day my
ex-husband disappeared after calling me at my workplace to tell me that he had
been robbed of thousands of US dollars at the
cambista (foreign-exchange
dealer) where he worked.

After watching CNN’s presentation,
Escape from Jonestown, televised in
November 2008, the thirtieth anniversary of the Jonestown massacre, I felt like
an accomplice in a crime not of my making. It was the first time I had seen the
recorded live images of the massacre that has smeared my native land with
blood. In January 2009, to rid myself of the ghosts of Jonestown that lurked in
the crevices of my mind, I decided to tell our side of the story. Researching and
writing the story imprisoned me in the sick mind and world of the Reverend Jim
Jones for eight harrowing months. My long short story,
Sly Mongoose: Caught
in the Jim Jones Web of Deceit, was published in November 2009 to coincide
with the anniversary of the tragedy.

  • Sly Mongoose was a popular Jamaican mento folk song popular in Guyana during my
    childhood days. In the original version, the lyrics likened the eccentric religious leader,
    Bedward, to a cunning mongoose (a dodgy character).
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THIS PAGE WAS LAST UPDATED ON: 2 MAY 2017
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LISTEN TO
FOLK SONGS OF
GUYANA
VOLUME 1 OF 4
GUYANESE CHOIR
GUYANA FLAG
THE GOLDEN ARROWHEAD
Map of Guyana - Land of Many Waters
Guyana Flag - The Golden Arrowhead
Guyana Coat of Arms - One People, One Nation, One Destiny
GUYANA COAT OF ARMS
ONE PEOPLE, ONE NATION,
ONE DESTINY
REPUBLIC OF GUYANA
LAND OF MANY WATERS
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TAKE A TOUR
OF GUYANA
PART 1 OF 9
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