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Are You Happy?
“WAKE UP! WAKE UP!” I jump out of bed. My wife is screaming at me from the first floor. I’m standing in my room butt naked. The nights are very warm in Alabama. At first I think it's just my wife complaining about who knows what. She’s always complaining; I know she doesn't even love me and she’s just with me for my money.
I throw on underwear and as i'm leaving my room she screams “Ben’'s running!”
Im half awake but as soon as she said that I’m ready to go. Ben is our best and strongest slave. Most of the other slaves look up to him so I can't have him getting away. I grab my shotgun and run to the front door. I run outside and jump on my horse. The property is surrounded by a fence with barbwire. I kick my horse and ride as fast as I can to the edge of the property. I don't have pants on and the friction of my leg and the horse hair starts to burn, however I must ignore it and keep riding. When I reach the fence I see Ben’s shirt stuck on the barbwire. I kick the horse and ride fast to a nearby tool shed. I jump off the horse and run inside to grab a pair of lock cutters. I jump on the horse and ride back to the fence. I cut a big enough hole so that my horse and I can get threw. The river is only hundred feet away. When I reach the river I see Ben. It's rained hard this week so the river is flowing fast. Bens stuck in the middle on a rock. His covered in blood and has scratches across the face. I kick my horse hard so we can cross the river. We get to Ben and I grab him hard and throw him on the back of the horse.
When we get back to the property, it’s about 5 a.m. and the sun is rising. I already know what i'm going to do with Ben; throw him in the hot box. The hot box is a steel box just big enough for two people. Because of the summer heat in Alabama the hot box is not the place you want to be. Before I throw him in I wake all the slaves. I know they look up to Ben so I make sure they see what happens when someone tries to escape. Once I get all the slaves up I throw him in the hot box. I go back to my room and my wife asks how happy I must be that he didn't get away. I tell her to get out of my room. I think to myself my whole life I was told “you gotta do what you gotta do to be rich.” My whole life has been about making money.
A week has passed and today is 90 degrees.Today's the big day; the day I let out Ben. I plan on doing it in the middle of the day so all the slaves will see what Ben’s actions have led to. I walk outside and everyone's working hard. As I start to walk over to the hot box the slaves look and hope I’m showing him mercy. When I open the door the slaves erupt cheering. Ben does not look good; he's covered in sweat with dry lips from dehydration. When a slave is in the hot box they still get food and water but he didn't take any of it. I pull him out and he spits a large luggie right into my face and everyone starts cheering and laughing. I force him to the ground and immediately begin to whip him. I can feel the mood change as all the slaves start to scream at the sight. Ben has never been punished before: he's never done anything wrong. As I begin the whipping, the other slaves continue screaming and their anger grows. In the corner of my eye I see Joey, one of my stronger slaves, sprinting full speed directly at me. He's got a shovel in his hand. I'm very confused about what he's doing. Next thing I know he's cocking it back, jumping up and lands a two handed swing right on my head. BOOM! I fall back and my brain falls out of my head.
I open my eyes and it's morning. I’m laying on some sort of bed. It smells bad and feels like I’m lying on a pile of rocks. It doesn't have sheets, just a small towel across my feet. I look around and the room is filled with blacks. I look at my hands and I’m black. “Is this a dream?” I ask myself.
There's a large kid next to me who just woke up. He says,
“Good morning Josh.” Now im freaked out. Did he just call me Josh?
I respond, “Who are you?”
“Josh it's me Max. Are you joking around or something?” he asks me.
“Where are we?” I ask Max.
“Josh you were only in the hot box for a day, stop overreacting” Max says to me. “But if you really don't know we’re slaves on a farm in Texas.” Max says to me.
Did I die and get reincarnated? Is this karma for owning slaves? I look around and everyone's awake. The building we’re in is very old. It must have rained last night because the roof is leaking out of every inch. A large white man strolls in. He’s wearing a cowboy hat with a suit and a gold watch.
He screams “Everyone up, eat breakfast and get to work!”
We eat cold thick oatmeal. I ask Max who that man was. Max tells me that he's very worried about me and that's our owner.
“You don't remember he threw you into the hot box yesterday?”
Wow I’m really a slave.All I can think is this is karma for what I have done. Max tells me I better get it together because today where digging holes for the fruit trees. I think it can not be too bad as I made my slaves do that all the time.
It's around noon and we worked all day without water.
I question Max “When are we going get some water?” He seems annoyed I asked him.
“I don't know, keep working” he tells me.
The large white man is on a horse walking around the farm making sure we work hard. I scream,
“Hey asshole when can we get some water?”
All the other slaves stop working and look at me like I just killed someone. Max is in shock that I just said that. I ask him what's the big deal I’m thirsty. The man on the horse rides to me jumps off the horse and screams in my face,
“The f*** you say to me slave?”
“You heard me I say, why can't we get some water?”
He grabs me hard, I hear Max say something about going to the box and good luck. “The box?” I think to myself. Then it clicks in my head: the same box I threw Ben in. Next thing I know I’m in a dark room the size of my body and its at least 110 degrees.I hate this man so much! I want to kill him! Who does he think he is?
It feels like I’ve been in here for a year: my body is soaking wet in my sweat. This is karma. I shouldn't be treated like this. I hear the door open and its Max. It's dark outside but the moon is full and beaming into the box. Max says
“We're getting you out of here and we're getting revenge.” He pulls me out and hands me a bat. I ask what the bat is for. He tells me it's time to fight for our freedom.
“I'm not sure I want to do this.” I voice to Max. He says,
“Man up!” So we break into his house. The house is huge, however we eventually find his room. Max orders me to kick the door down and kill him. I’m shaking and have no clue what to do. But without even thinking I kick the door down charge to his bed and start swinging at his skull. I hear his skull crack and his blood shoots on my face. I pass out.
I wake up and I’m in some sort of army camp. I think to myself,
“Here we go again…” I must have died as a slave and now I’ve reincarnated into a new body. I ask some kid next to me what war is this. He laughed,
“The Civil War.” There's a mirror and I peer into it. Wow I’m an Indian! I'm a Native American. I say it a few times to myself before it sinks in. I wonder if I’m part of the Union or the Confederacy, but I hope for Confederacy. After looking around I see that everyone soldier is wearing blue. Great I have to fight against the South while I live in the south. A man comes into our tent and tells us it's time to march to battle.
It feels like we been marching forever. We finally get to the battle ground. Its a very large, open field. I see Confederate flags across the field and about 200 soldiers in red. On our side it's about 200 in blue coats. Everyone starts to charge at each other. Do I really want to kill my own people? There fighting to save slaves and I own slaves. I have no control over my body and without thinking I began to charge. I shoot like crazy but I keep missing. The next step I take I hear a bullet go threw my head and I fall over.
I'm back in my original body. I’m standing with a whip in my hand looking at Ben. This must be right after I pulled him out of the hot box. I have an opportunity to change my next action. I ask myself,
“Am I even happy?” I'm rich however I am not happy with my life. I'm forcing my slaves to work to make me rich and I’m not even happy. I dropped the whip on the ground and head into the house. I can tell all the slaves are looking at me and are confused. I go up to my room and open up my safe. I take all the money in the safe and walk outside. I round up all the slaves. I give each slave some money. I tell them that they are now free men and they can go do whatever they want with the money they have. They looked so confused and then started cheering. I gave them all the horses I have. They jumped on them and road away. I went back into the house.
My wife grabbed all her stuff and told me,
“I’m leaving your broke now.” I didn't do anything to stop her.