Where I Came From

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“Never forget where you came from.” Those were the last words my father said to me before I left. “Son...leave if you must. Just don’t forget. Don’t forget who you are. What you are. Promise me you will never forget where you came from.”

“I promise, Father,” I had replied. Walked out of our little cottage, under the butcher’s shop. That place had stank of raw and rotting meat for as long as I could remember. For the first time in my life, I walked with my head held high. I was leaving. Leaving my parents, my city, my social class. I didn’t know where I was headed. Just away.

I made passed the guards at the city gates with no difficulty at all. It was night, and they were too drunk to care about a slave’s son leaving the city. When I was outside of the gates, I broke into a run. All I had was some stale bread and a dagger. I didn’t care. I wanted to get away from that, “heart of civilization,” as soon as possible.

I wanted to see the world. I’d heard stories from the other slaves. They talked about their homelands. There was this one man, he was pale as snow, like me, who told of his homeland. Great mountains, he had said. And cities inside the mountains. The people were rich, he had said. There were gems inside the mountains. He said he was a prince. I’d laughed at him. “If you’re a prince,” I’d said, “how come you’re not being ransomed?” He’d only said that he didn’t want to talk about it.

There was another man. He’d told tales of great forests, with trees hundreds of feet high. He said that his people lived in trees. He told of great rains that turned the forest floor into an ocean. This man had died some years back. Killed on the taskmaster’s orders.

So I kept running. I’d left at night, and I ran until the red dawn sun outlined my shadow, long on the ground in front of me. I was afraid that my former owner would realize I was missing and try to chase me down. I went off the road and walked slowly for a while. I hadn’t realized how tired I was. That’s when I heard the footsteps behind me.

Turning, I saw three men in chainmail, walking towards me. I clutched my dagger and prayed for luck.





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dolphinportkey7 said...
Jun. 9, 2011 at 7:27 pm
It's an interesting premise, but it seems to lack a tone, if that makes any sense: like, I know about all these other people, and that the narrator is a slave, but I don't know what he is like as a person. Are they angry to be a slave? Proud for accomplishing an escape? Why do they want to see the world? What was their home like, that they decided now was the right time to leave it? I'm sure all of these questions will be answered in the rest of the story, though, but perhaps a little more backs... (more »)
 
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