Thursday, July 25, 2013

Lion's Paw

             Slavery. When i turned sixteen, that was my new life, slavery. It started when I was collecting my seashells. I had a big and beautiful collection of shells, every shape and size and color. It was my birthday that day, so I thought I would get lucky and find a new beautiful shell. 
            I checked the beach carefully. Then i found it! A Lion Paw, a blood red color with hot pink marks in it. It was beautiful and I reached for it. Chained. My hands were chained.  I gasped looking up at the men. Our people, our own brothers. Backstabbers, betrayers. They smiled, the smile of slavetraders.
"You're coming with us, little girl," one of the two said with a smug look. I tried to scream for ma and pa but all that came out was a small yelp. They laughed and talked to each other about how much money they would get off me. I grabbed my lion's paw and put it in my pocket before being forced to walk with them. I tried with all my might to slow them down, while we walked for a while.
            "Would you get up!?" the slavetraders both exclaimed in unison while I lie on the ground. They had been pulling me for a while. I'm sure they had gotten tired. I shook my head looking around at what was here. There were tools and things I'd never seen before in such huge masses. There were weird looking things that I knew couldn't be from here. Suddenly, I recognized it; The Triangular Trade. Mother's warning came to me. 
           "Stay away from the docks. Stay away from the Triangular Trade," Mothers words echoed in my head and I gasped struggling. This was the place where family bonds were broken. Tears tried to make there way out of my eyes, but Ididn't cry. "No," I whispered over and over again. I was to be kidnapped like all the others.
            I was dragged into the ship and put into a boat. I was brought under the deck where all my people were. Different ages but all Africans. The cries and screaming. It could break anyone's heart, but the white men seemed like it didn't even bother them.
          More of my brothers and sisters piled into the boat. The more people that came in the boat, the hotter and tighter it became. It seemed the more people that came in, the more freedom we lost. I was stuck in my spot. I barely could move. Tears flowed down my face at the shrieks and sobbing of others when the deck doors were closed. Was i dead?
         Time passed. I don't know how long it had been, but it smelled horrible. I couldn't stand being in there any longer.I wanted them to let me out. I would have jumped to the ocean, if I could. I rather would die than be here any longer. It wasn't just the smell that was driving me mad. The other reason was I was homesick. I missed home. I missed the open African plains. My eyes started to close. Oh, how was I going to get home?
        "The Middle Passage! It's over!" yelled someone in the boat. I slowly opened my eyes. I felt dizzy and weak. I was still thinking of Africa. The blinding light that came from the opening of the deck doors made me believe I was blind. When getting off the boat, I had the thought of jumping and drowning myself so I wouldn't have to go through this misery, but that would let them win. I stood up tall, walking off the boat. I would win.

              I wiped sweat off my head leaning on my tool. I still hadn't got used to this, even know it had been two years. Working on this place...with the cash crop tobacco. Even in Africa, I never worked this hard. I was also weak from not eating. My new friend Duma told me I should eat, or I would surely pass out, or die. He didn't know how I felt. I glanced at him. He smiled at me, still working hard. He didn't know how much misery I was in.
             "Get back to work!" a man yelled whipping me with a familiar sting of pain. I couldn't hold myself back anymore. 
             "No...I'm about you work and i whip you all day!" I hissed throwing down my tool. The man glared at me, whipping me again. 
             "You will be punished, keeping up with that," he said.
              "I rather die then take this anymore!" I counted, and hit him right in the face, a perfect punch. Duma ran to me holding me back. His eyes had one emotion, fear. Was it for me for punching that guy?
              "What's going on here!" a voice boomed. My eyes widened, and now my body shook in fear. It was the slaveholder. After a whole talk with the slaveholder, I found them putting a rope on the tree. My body continued shaking, looking at it. I knew what they were going to do; hang me.
              "Run," whispered Duma. "There is a secret get away in the rose garden...hurry before it's too late," His voice seemed to quiver while standing behind me. "Duma, come with me," I whispered. He shook his head. I reached in my pocket and gave him my Lion Paw. "Thank you for everything," I mumbled and took off.
              "Hey she is getting away!" the men yelled about to run after me. "Fool...she won't live out there."
               I ran. I went through the rose garden. After going through it, I was free. The taste of freedom was sweet. I ran behind a tree and house. I found myself still running, but ran into someone and fell on my butt. "Oh no!" I thought looking up at the man. I gasped. 
             "Chinue?" The man asked. I would know that face any where. "Big Bro?" I gasped, tears falling out of my eyes. "Chinue, what on Earth?" he whispered while I hugged him sobbing. I told him everything, every little detail. To my Lion Paw to Duma. Brother told me he was able to buy his freedom. He took me in then, and for years, I lived with him in peace and happiness. 
             "Chinue...I have a man here who what's to see u," my brother said. "Ahhh who is it?" I turned away from the food i was making and gasped. There was a man holding up my Lion Paw. He had that same old smile on. It was Duma. "I believe this is yours."
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Question: How would you handle if you became a slave and was ripped away from your family? Would you fight or let it happen?


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