Queen Iemanjá

“An atheist cannot find God for the same reason a thief cannot find a policeman.” Anon

I’ve had a story written for some years but it will not see print for that road is expensive. But I am lifting a section from it with some editing to tell you about Queen Iemanjá. This piece will help you understand one of the three groups of Spiritist religions in Brazil for one worships her as the Queen of the Sea. On New Year’s Eve the most famous of the Rio de Janeiro beaches will be crowded with her followers sending their offerings to her on the water.

In this piece of fiction senhor Vitorino calls upon this his favorite deity, to help him betray the Brazilian president over to a key political enemy. The scene begins with him kneeling on the damp sand of a beach.

“Ah, Queen Iemanjá,” Vitorino breathed in quiet ecstasy. “I see it, I see it. You, Queen of the Sea; you accept my offering.”

From the partially empty box he took a bottle of rum, a cigar, a bottle of perfume, the rest of a bouquet and laid them on the sand. “My offering to you Queen of the Sea. It’s a small price to pay for your help. You will turn my life in a new direction.” It was clear to Vitorino he had pleased Queen Iemanjá for his little boat had sailed away till it had vanished. Now she would steer his life to riches and fame.

The spirit of evil took form in Vitorino early that day as he worked with the president. That very afternoon he had boarded a flight from Brasília to Rio de Janeiro. He planned that no one would know his final destination was to be another city, the city of São Paulo. He wanted to be in Mayor Severido’s office by early morning.

Vitorino was a small man and as most Brazilians he had black hair perfectly coiffed, the usual small mustache and dressed in a dark business suit and tie. What set him apart were his darting eyes that took in everything and gave the impression that the world was his own delicious oyster.

 He had landed at Rio’s Galeão airport and then found a company to fly him by helicopter the 19 miles directly to Copacabana beach. He did not book into any of the better hotels but took a taxi to the Ave. Figueredo Magalhães where he found the hostel he wished. The bed was lumpy but he did not complain for he was in Rio not to get a rest but to wait for the evening.

From his suitcase he filled a cardboard box and then as the sun began to set, he carefully made his way to the street and then the few blocks to the water’s edge on Copacabana beach. He took from the box a small foot long boat complete with sails, dropped a few flowers from a bouquet on its deck and placed it carefully in the water. With a small shove the boat floated away from the shore. A light breeze took it out to sea towards some fishing boats barely visible on the horizon. As it disappeared he raised his arms in ecstasy, an ecstasy that continued till he stood in the mayor’s office the next morning.

 The sarcasm in mayor Severido’s voice was like a slap across Vitorino’s face.  “Help me? What can you offer?”

Vitorino kept his cool, “Very simple. As a close confidant of the President, I know all sorts of things that would be of interest to you. I know him well—sometimes he does strange things. If I were on your payroll, you’d be the first to know.”

Mayor Severido walked to the huge Macumba Spiritist candle burning in the corner of his office and sprinkled some incense on the flame. The smoke lifted in a form that suggested it might be alive.

“Interesting. A mole in the president’s office. But there could be difficulties. I wonder if it’s wise.”

“Of course it’s wise. It will benefit us both. You see, last evening on the Copacabana beach, Queen Iemanjá accepted my prayers. The little boat I sent to her sailed till I could see it no more. She received my offering. That is proof that her power will make all I do successful. We ought to work together for my success will reach to touch you.” With his speech made, he walked to the Macumba candle and as he raised his arms over it the incense circled his hands as if it were alive. Vitorino and the mayor were satisfied that the spirits had approved their plan.

As for me, often when I think of things spiritual, my thoughts go to the old hymn, “My hope is in the Lord who gave himself for me, who paid the price of all my sin at Calvary…”

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