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As the Winds Blew Past

Author's note:

I wrote this piece keeping in mind the conditions of race relations in this country.

Author's note:

I wrote this piece keeping in mind the conditions of race relations in this country.

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Chapters:   « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 12 Next »

Chapter 3

I remember, a few days later, heading out of my cabin, and witnessing something horrifying. At first, I could only make out in the vast distance, a white man gesturing erratically to a black man. I could not make out what was happening at the moment. This naturally spiked my interest immensely. I did not know who either character was, or what they were discussing. Then as swift as the north winds, I heard a deafening gunshot echo throughout the plantation. I saw flocks of birds fleeing as fast as their wings could take them, and I could only look on with jealousy. It must have been a paddy roller that had spotted a runaway. As soon as the man turned and left, I ran as quickly as I could to see who that unfortunate soul was. When I got close enough, the man lying on the ground was much too familiar to me. I had seen him loading the wagon, the other day. I didn’t bother to ask him who he was. I wished I had. I saw a face lifelessly staring in to the sky, almost as if he was looking for something. I told Louise, and Phillip, about him and the rest of the slaves soon found out and came to see. They arranged the funeral, and began to tell the others to start digging a grave. I did not attend. It was not that I did not care for the man, but that I knew his would not be the last grave. I can still picture the man’s face, even today. What I found peculiar is that when I looked in to the man’s eyes, I did not see fear. I saw hope in the purest form.
The purpose of my story is to recreate my experiences as a slave. My purpose is not to portray to my readers that white men are demons, but to make the reader aware that there are demons among them. The truth of the matter was and still is today, that there are good in all men, just more in some than others. One fateful day, when the master was away for a trip, I and some of the other slaves went to fish in a nearby lake on the land of the plantation. We sometime went to the lake to catch fish for dinner.  We readied our bait and other various materials, and pushed off our canoes. It was just me and George on ours. We stayed for a lengthy time. Our bucket was nearly full by noon.
By then, all the other slaves had returned to their cabins. “It’s gettin’ late, George. We need to be getting back now.” I said to him with a tone of mild urgency. “Just one more, pa.” he pleaded.
I saw no reason for five minutes more. George coiled back, and cast the rod forward. The line went taut in a matter of mere seconds. He aggressively pulled the fishing rod back. His hands were trembling. His face displayed strain. His knuckles turned red from his steady grip. George edged closer and closer to the edge of the boat every second. The line eventually got so strained, you’d think it would snap. The boat creaked and groaned. He leaned over the side, trying to regain control of the, what I could only assume an incredibly large fish. While I was watching in awe, a huge splash snapped me back to what was happening. George had fallen overboard. It took about two seconds to register exactly the sequence of events. As I frantically tried to grab his hand, my mind blanked out. He was far out in the middle. He was thrashing desperately, and his headed bobbed up and down in the water. I did not know how to swim. I felt helpless. The oar fell from my hands. I couldn’t get close. My eyes fluttered close while I was trying my hardest to keep them open. My body seemed to become heavier and heavier as I swayed and my body thudded on the bottom of the boat. I was struggling to keep my eyes open. Everything I saw was blurry and unclear.  I suddenly saw a figure dash head-first in to the lake. I fought to regain consciousness and control of my body. I could see George still refusing to give in. I shook my head, and managed to stand up. What I saw stunned me. I felt the wind meet me with a tender embrace. An old friend had come again, accompanied with the wind; I knew that change was coming, and I knew it was coming soon. I saw, with my own two eyes, the figure grab tightly on George’s collar, and pull him on to shore. The blurry figure I saw was a white man. After I finally got to shore after paddling with my hands, George was taking off his shirt to dry. By then, the man was already gone. He was a fairly new paddy by the name of Hanson, David Hanson.
 

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