the story behind the title
On the small island of Jamaica in the West Indies, there lived three brothers: Notchy, Irie and Mr. Bloodclat. They lived in a time when the city streets were filled with unrest among two rivalling political farties, their supporters and the non-partisan defenceless citizens. The brothers watched in horror as many of their friends, warriors and even their own parents succumbed to the war. The use of false education disseminated through the state-owned media, and the suppression of an individual's spirituality, by mandatory lock down of church attendance on Sundays, were only some of the implementations and tactical measures that made slaves of many, in this new foreign tyrannical system.
After the second wave of attack by the ruling state upon the people, many bowed in fear of losing their lives. The ones who tried to flee the cities were tracked down by the use of state-developed technology, data from smartphones, and biometric information gathered through the social programmes that were sold to the masses as a way of keeping the nation safe. When caught they were forced instantly to be processed and vaccinated with a nano microchip to track your every movement and financial transactions. Thousands of young resistors were made to suffer in public by flogging and detention for weeks in reformation camps all over the island. The proper gander machine was in full effect to drive fear into the ones that had thoughts of being free, and this turned friends into enemies.
The third wave of attack on the resistance was imminent. It was a rainy Friday night when the usual DJ Whizzle's dancehall radio show was interrupted by an emergency announcement. The voice of General Sarapis; The leader of the ruling party, Jamaica National Order (JNO) revealed that his well-equipped PO-LICE force is now conducting an all-island search for the children of the insurgence. Since the last wave, the resistance was growing stronger and the General made special mention of the three brothers and their influence on the uprising of the youths. So, the orders were clear and forthright that the brothers should be brought in, alive or dead. All should stay indoors on lockdown for the next twenty-four hours, while the raid is being conducted, and anyone found on the street will be arrested or possibly shot on spot. Now the deafening sound of the sirens pierced the night and the PO-LICE were on the streets searching from door to door. The sounds of screams and gunshots echoed in the damp air.
In the Allerdyce Hills where the boys lived, they had an excellent view of the law approaching with their flashing blue lights which penetrated the darkness with a vengeance. The only chance the boys had to stay alive was to get out of the city in a hurry. This hope rested on a vintage vehicle covered up in the garage; A modified 1973 red and white Volkswagen bus that belonged to their daddy. Notchy, the eldest uncovered it and checked if the antique could still run; a turn of the key and the lights illuminated brightly on the dashboard but no sound from the engine, as the starter spun. “Shit! No gas!” shouted Irie. Irie knew where his dad had a drum of racing fuel stored and quickly filled the thirsty beast. Another turn of the key and it sputtered. Irie anxiously instructed Notchy to pump the gas pedal a few times and try again, this time the engine roared to life and the smell of burning petrol filled the air.
The brothers gathered all they could with the sound of the sirens getting closer. “Put on your seat belts!” Notchy shouted as he stepped on the clutch pedal and engaged first gear. Now focused on his task, Notchy gave the throttle two rapid pumps again and the German beast barked strongly and popped fire from the tailpipe. For Notchy, the driveway was just like the quarter-mile drag strip his dad taught him to drive on. "Let's go!" Irie beckons to Notchy and with an aggressive trampling of the accelerator and accompanied with a sudden release of the clutch pedal the old bus left the spot like a bullet. The driveway seemed to disappear in a cloud of tire smoke, then second gear was quickly selected and with a flick of the steering wheel to the left and then to the right, it was sideways through the gate in front of the arriving Babylon law cruiser. Ever under mastery, the old bus got into line for the straight. It was then swiftly placed into third gear and with a shot of nitrous oxide, the great German engineering responded magnificently. The Babylon cruiser tried to answer but to no avail. By the time fourth gear was selected, every corner the VW cleared the sound of its exhaust and rear lights disappeared a little more into the cloak of the dark rainy night.
It must have been an hour that had passed before the silence was broken. “Are we the last of the resistance now? And why is it, that General Shit-rat-piss wanted us dead or alive?” Irie asked looking worried. “I don't know?” responded Mr. Bloodclat. “What are we going to do now? We have no home and the Babylonian law dogs are after us!” Irie asked now in a state of wonderment. It was only last week they did a 'Babylon Be Still' graffiti on the side of the Governor General’s freshly painted house, for all to see, “Could it be that?” Irie asked. “Yes, it could be", but I think Angelica, must have finally told him she is pregnant for her Sweetie Badman. "Which is me!” Notchy revealed, with a grin now on his face. Irie and Mr. Bloodclat stared at each other, shocked in silence and followed by a sudden outburst of laughter, "You mean the General one daughter! We dead now for sure!" they both proclaimed, "Don't worry, man a bad man. Man put bread inna oven fi bake!” Notchy said confidently as a triumphant rooster sounded three times in the distance.
The Sun was rising now and the hills were calm, it only took a few more corners when they saw what they were looking for. It was the symbol the elders spoke about when they were younger, it was a majestic flag that blew in the distance, it represented an army like no other, it was a brilliant red with a white circle and a black plus design in the centre with the word that means 'Highly Respected' inscribed on it, and the word was Notchilous. The closer they got they could hear a distinct sound that they all recognized but hadn’t heard in a long time. Back when their dad used to blast his home sound system in the neighbourhood, it would make the neighbours complain bitterly about the loudness and how the bass would shatter the glass windows in their houses. I guess it was like an earthquake more than music to them. It was a deep sound of beating drums that created a vibration that resonated for miles.
The excitement in the hearts of the boys was overwhelming and the old Volkswagen took off as a thirsty dog takes to Catherine's Peak water. Every panel of the chariot was bawling for murder as it took to the treacherous road. They arrived at their destination in a cloud of dust with the tires screeching to a stop on the warm asphalt. They were bewildered with what they saw, not the look of an army base but a simple dwelling that had a garden in front, filled with medicinal plants of many sorts and colours, plants that could cure almost any ailment, large palm trees that seemed to touch the sky, the place was tranquil and alive with positive energy. The place had a feeling like time stood still from some ancient past, the music, the smell of burning incense and even the attire of the elder guard at the gate. The number forty-three written on the gate represented the number seven when added together in numerology which meant the spiritual number of completion, just as the stories were told to them.
They disembarked from the battle-weary German chariot, “Yes I, We deh yah!” Mr Bloodclat said with relief. The elder guard known as the Star Gatekeeper greeted and informed the boys that they were expecting them for some days now and time was of the essence. Before they could enter, they had to remove their shoes and wash their hands, head and feet in the fountain of cleansing. This was protocol to remove all the negative vibrations that had followed them from the city. Now cleansed they were led through a narrow path into the Yard of Justice. In the centre of the yard stood a massive six-pointed star-shaped table with a golden throne at one of its points. The table was embezzled with gold coins and precious stones that sparkled in the mid-morning sun. The table was filled with an array of coloured lit candles, Caribbean fruits of all kinds, many large crystal containers filled with water and a rack with a scroll of many names displayed in the centre.
The dirt ground they stood on was as hard as concrete from the constant trampling and sweeping of it. In one corner of the yard, there was a crackling log wood fire that blazed furiously in the near noonday sun which represents the purification of good over evil. The boys were instructed to sit around the table, on small wooden benches facing the empty throne. It must have been around quarter twelve heading to midday when an ancient horn was blown. Nineteen elders wearing white robes entered into the yard marching in a single file. These were the high council and were followed by seventy-three music playing and singing armour bearers dressed in full red from head to toe with breastplates that bore the Notchilous logo in gold. They all encircled the star table with the boys sitting in the midst. Everything looked outstanding and the boys were in total amazement.
It was not long after a figure dressed in full black wearing a red and white mask with the word Notchilous across it emerged from the small dwelling, that was almost hidden by thick foliage. This tall mystical figure glided across the yard as if he was on wheels. He sat on the throne in front of the boys with the sun now shining in high noon. He was the greatest warrior in his time. Legend has it that he annihilated many powerful invaders with only his words. When Babylonians heard his name many pissed their pants in fear. He was the man who slapped the Queen’s face and she fell off the stage in Halfway Tree Square in front of all the government officials when she referred to the people as little black things and with a smirk ordered him to bow. He is called the commander of the blazing fire, the true champion, the defender of the cause, the one who never retreats and the only one to cause a mass disturbance in the system, his name, Notchilous Maccabeeus.
The mighty Lion was now in their presence and with a calm voice, he greeted them by their names “Andrew Notchy the original warrior of old,” Notchy was shocked and asked, “What does warrior of old mean?” he answered, “You are like Nanny of the Maroons a guerrilla tactician, a Paul Bogle, a serious man, that’s the spirit you have. You see the injustice around you and you react and let your words be felt, you correct the lies and let the truth be told.” Sir Richard, the black knight, Mr Bloodclat, a name given to you because of your rebellious ways. You are the one that speaks his mind and you love the ladies for sure. Last but not least is Mr Bryan aka Irie the youngest, the strategist, a deep thinker, the herbalist, the problem solver, the builder of things and the overseer of all projects.
I have a project for you young warriors, call it a mission. "A mission, what type of mission? " Irie asked.
The illustrious King answered, “You will return to all the cities and create an army of your chosen brothers and sisters, where you will teach them the secret ways of the Notchilous Order through creative designs with hidden messages and codes on t-shirts. The youths need to know of the past, the words that were spoken, the rude boy styles. The adults need to be reminded of their roots, culture and the lifestyle of the real and a nearly forgotten Jamaica. The boys were warned that not everyone will be and can be a Notchilous, many are informers, many have no clue and many are followers of fuckery. The true Notchilous stands alone, this brand is for the bold, it is the movement for the wise and prudent, those who wear it are a part of a distinguished elite. The colours and the words represent the wearer bringing forth his or her beliefs. At times the wearer’s name will be changed to the title of Notchilous when the message resonates with others. Notchilous symbolizes the strength of culture and pride, it is the key to unlocking the dormant warrior inside of us like our past heroes and ancestors. When this is accomplished then we all can unite and strike a mighty blow and Babylon will be decimated.
The young warriors were now motivated to take on the task ahead but there was one thing they had to know, “Who are you and how did you know we were coming?” said Notchy to the masked elder. The elder rose slowly and removed the mask, it was their grandpa, the boys were startled beyond words. “Grandpa!” they shouted with wide eyes as they recognized him from a picture they saw one day in the garage. When they asked their Dad about him, he said that you were dead. “Dead until the time of resurrection,” Grandpa asserted. “It is time for Sarapis to feel some of what his Grandfather felt from me.” You are all legendary Grand Masters; the sun has set for me but it is rising in three folds with you my grandsons and everybody will speak about you boys forever. On the scroll, their names were already written to lead a new army of Notchilonians with their trusty red and white Volkswagen. Armed with the fiery words of their grandpa the King, the mighty princes now embarked on the quest to conquer Babylon one t-shirt at a time.