by Floree Williams


Captain Yohan scans the horizon.

“Ahoy! Ship ahead.” Captain Yohan peers through his spying glass.

“Skipper full speed ahead, lower the cannons! Fire on three; one, two...”

“Yohan! Come here to me please, come now!”

Yohan stares through the rolled up newspaper for a moment longer and watches the large white cruise ship enter the harbor.

“Yes Granny, I’m coming!” Yohan scrambles off the verandah into the kitchen. Granny stands in the kitchen door grating coconut, beads of sweat trickle down her temples. Beside her on the stove, pot covers rattle, spilling water onto the burner. The flames flare up and simmer back down. The oven timer chimes loudly.

“Yohan I need you to go into town and buy some things, for me please, I can’t leave now I have too many things on the fire. Get me…”

Yohan stares behind Granny’s shoulder, Thomas the lion leaps onto the kitchen windowsill from the backyard fence. Thomas creeps onto the counter, crouching lower and lower as he nears a plate of freshly fried fish. He opens his mouth the fish is inches away from his wide toothy mouth.


A wooden pot spoon skims across the top of Thomas’s ears he scampers out the window.

“Thomas! Get down, you greedy cat! I just gave you some food. You heard me Yohan, what did I say to buy?” Granny places her hands on her wide hips.

“Umm flower, oil and powder.” Yohan numbers the items on his finger.

“Good, here’s the money, now make haste.” Granny turns Yohan around and pushes him out the door.

He scuffles down the hill onto the gravel road. Yohan jumps on top of the gutter wall, stretches out his arms. The crowd hushes, the only noise in the auditorium is the odd cough and the whispers of the announcers. Yohan the world-renowned gymnast steadies himself on the balance beam. Nearing the end of the beam Yohan prepares for his complex double back flip dismount, he jumps, trips on his shoelaces and falls onto the gravel road.

“Hey little boy tie your shoelaces.”

Yohan looks up and is covered by the shadow of a tall construction worker dressed in chalky blue jeans and a ripped yellow t-shirt. He nods and walks off. Yohan dusts off his knees, ties his laces and scampers off to town.

“Flower, oil, powder, flower, oil, powder.” Yohan whispers under his breath.

Agent Yohan stands on the sidewalk, spins around and peers through the passing bodies, looking for the flower shop. “I must find these missing items, the world is depending on me.” Looking both ways, he scurries across the street into the flower shop. A soft chime dings as Yohan pulls open the door. A woman in a short pink dress turns around holding a handful of bows.

“Good Morning.” Yohan belts.

“Hello, what do you need?” The woman places her elbows on the counter.

“Umm, can I have a flower?”

“What kind?”

“The kind that grannies like.”

The woman frowns, turns and opens a refrigerator full of flowers.

“Here’s a Lily of the Valley, twelve dollars.” The stern faced woman wraps the flower in light pink paper. Yohan unfolds the money from his pocket, counts and places it on the counter.

“Thank you.” Yohan takes the flower off the counter and exits.

Agent Yohan cradles the life-saving flower in his arms, and jogs towards Big B’s Supermarket. Agent Yohan stands at the top of every aisle and peeps, when no one is looking he runs to the next aisle. “ I must remain hidden,” he mumbles.

Agent Yohan scans the cosmetics aisle. He waits for a hunched over old man dressed in suspenders to pick out a bottle of shaving cream and leave the aisle. Agent Yohan tiptoes into the aisle, scanning the hair products, he looks for a familiar bottle. He recognizes a tall yellow bottle that Granny squeezes into her hair every night, ‘pass my oil’ she always says.

Agent Yohan freezes. A short, stumpy woman pushing a shopping cart stacked to the brim wheels toward him.

“Invisibility on.” Agent Yohan presses the side button of his watch, holds his breath and watches as the woman picks up a tube of toothpaste and wheels off. “Invisibility off.”

Agent Yohan shuffles down the aisle, scanning the prices, then picks up the cheapest bottle of baby powder. After cashing out, Agent Yohan checks his watch. “The world will end in ten minutes, I must hurry!” Agent Yohan bullets out of Big B’s and up the road, pushing pass people in town, kicking up gravel on the road and stumbling up the hill to Granny’s house. He runs inside and slams the door.

“Yes, made it, I saved the world!” Agent Yohan yells.

“Yohan is that you? That was quick.” Granny smiles and comes from the kitchen wiping her wet hands across her green and white apron. “Give me the things please."

Yohan hands Granny the bags and hops to the back of the house.


Yohan halts and turns back. “Yes, Granny?”

“What nonsense is this? I wanted baking powder not baby powder, cooking oil not the olive oil for my hair and f-l-o-u-r for cooking, not this boy!” Granny throws the bag down and cuffs Yohan.

“Boy what am I going to do, I was trying to bake your mother’s birthday cake. Did you forget that today is her birthday? Oh Lord, let me go by Agnes and see if she has these things. This boy, Lord, why is his head always in the clouds!” Granny scuffs

Yohan smacks his forehead. “Mission incomplete.”


About the author...

Floree Williams is a proud native of Antigua. She has written two books, and is the 2008 recipient of a National Youth Award in Literary Arts. Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses is a collection of short stories about her childhood. Her newest book, a short novel, Through the Window chronicles the journey of Anya, a young woman who navigates through a maze of friendships, love, a dysfunctional family and finding love for herself. Both books are available on and at Best of Books. In 2010, Floree had her story featured in the compilation ‘Souls of My Young Sisters’ by Dawn Daniels and Candace Sandy. Floree enjoys the small things in life, happiness, laughter, stopping to notice the small things and the company of friends. In her spare time her dabbles in graphic design, freelance writing and plays with the Spring Gardens Moravian Steel Orchestra. Everyday she tries to live by the words “Never let fear stop you from dancing on the moon.”

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About Anansesem

Anansesem is an online magazine of Caribbean children's and young adult literature by adults and children. We strive to bring you the best in news, reviews and creative content from the world of Caribbean children's publishing.
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