Whispers In the Wind

I'm running through a thicket of bushes and trees. Branches slash at my cheeks leaving bloody scars but I keep running. The wind whistles loudly and whips against me like a hurricane. I feel a scream ready to erupt from my throat but I continue on into the darkening woods. My feet have gone numb from cold, pain, and exhaustion, but I mustn't stop. The sun is dancing beneath the horizon and I know I will have no chance if I do not make it out of the woods by nightfall. I shiver in my thin torn jacket and snow boots. It does barely anything to prevent the cold from seeping in. I can hear my jagged breaths and the crunch of the one thing I have come to despise-snow. Huge flakes of snow cascade down from the pale sky and twirl happily down to the Earth. They land on my dark skin as if to humiliate me further and stop me from making it out alive.

I use to love snow when I was little. I thought of them as soft as petals and a delay from work. It was a reason for my owner to tell my parents to come in early. We would huddle together (my parents and I) in the small slave's compartment and tell jokes and stories. I miss my parents. I ache without them, but I shall see them soon. They are the reason why I am running. We are going to take the Underground Railroad tonight and escape out of Virginia and to some other free state. Our owner wasn't crueler than others but he was going to separate us and Mama could not stand for that. You see he lost some stupid bet when he was out gambling and what he had bet was me. I don't like being a piece of any one's property. We would have left long before now, but Papa didn't want us to be found escaping and brutally tortured or killed.

That's why I am running now and without my parents. Today was the day I was going to be shipped away to that awful man. I heard he even whips the children slaves like me. When they were loading up the carriage for my owner to ride in I ran away. I heard Papa cheer and a whip fly but even through there screams I kept running. Their screams are still burned in the back of my brain but I couldn't have stopped running if I tried. I hadn't even left Virginia but I already felt so much freedom. My parents were supposed to leave a little after me because they are quicker and can catch up. They haven't caught up to me yet but I think that's just because I'm so fast. Eventually I'll see them and then we'll leave the forest together when we see the nice white woman who will help us find a place to stay for the night.

The forest has almost thinned out completely now. The dirt road is up ahead. I wonder where my parents are. I'm sure they're just around the corner. Maybe they got lost. I think I'll just wait here in the warm bushes. They told me to keep moving but the snow looks so soft. It would be so much easier to just sit down for a bit. Yes, I think that's what I'll do. The wind is howling too hard anyways. It's almost as if it's screaming at me or whispering. Oh how nice that sounds, whispers in the wind. I can almost make out the words, "Lucy," the wind whispers, "take a nice old break. Lay down your head and rest. You'll be fine. The snow is so soft and you are so cold. Take a break now Lucy."

I think I like this wind. He is so kind to me. Mama and Papa will be here soon. I'll just cuddle up in the snow for a minute. Yes, just one minute...one minute...that's all...





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