As soon as the bell rang, Axe ran outside with his satchel to start another day of work. Today would be his second week at the plantation. One of the overseers stood by the gate holding a whip. He looked Axe in the eye. Axe quickly looked away knowing the consequences of looking a white person in the eye.
The man laughed and stepped aside for Axe to enter the field. Axe nodded and walked into the plot. Without further ado he started to pick the cotton. The place was quiet. No one was with him. The slaves were still eating in their huts.
Axe knew he was being watched. He was always being watched. He swallowed hard. He felt uncomfortable but he needed to do whatever it took to become a house slave. He needed to get into the master’s house and please both him and his mistress, and maybe just maybe obtain his freedom.
When he finished filling his satchel, he ran to one of the big baskets and poured the contents of his satchel into it. It was the job of some of the slaves to remove the seeds from the cotton. Axe repeated the procedure again. He’d go back, pick more cotton and when his satchel was full, he’d go and empty the contents one of the baskets. The overseer kept watching him with unending interest.
“You...Negro!” He called out. Axe stopped working and turned to him. “Come.” Axe stiffened and moved towards him.
“Why are you here so early?” He asked.
Axe shrugged “To get more work done.”
The man nodded “Go back to your work.”
Axe returned to his work. A while later, the deep sound of the horn broke the silence and soon slaves began leaving their hut. Axe looked at them for a moment before turning away. The gate swung open and they entered silently. No one said anything. The air was stiff and uncomfortable.
Axe kept working. He didn’t look back.
“Oh pray! Oh pray!”
He turned around and saw an old woman kneeling on the ground as if in prayer as one of the overseers flogged her. When the whip came in contact with her back she screamed. It shattered the silence as one breaks glass. Axe jumped and returned back to his work. As the woman screamed; as the lashes fell upon her, he jumped. He balled his fists in anger. How could a man do that to a woman old enough to be his grandmother? He stopped picking cotton and gritted his teeth. He wanted to yell at the man to stop; but he couldn’t say anything. The overseer was white. He was a Negro.
As the sun slowly rose up into the sky, it left vibrant colours of pink, purple and orange in its wake. Axe sighed as the sun’s warmth kissed his face. Warmth was a nice relief after the cold chilled his hands to the core.
It was almost time to stop for dinner and Axe couldn’t wait to drop his basket. Soon the bell rang, much to his relief. He was getting ready to leave when an overseer called him.
“Negro boy come here.”
Axe dropped his satchel and went to him. “Yes sir.”
“Go into the house and bring me my food.” He pointed to the large house at the other end of the plantation.
Axe nodded and ran to the house. He had been there before while taking the master’s son home from his little adventure. He had followed the little explorer just to keep an eye on him and make sure he didn’t get hurt. Thank the stars he had followed the boy.
The master’s house was large from where Axe stood and towered over the tree tops. The area around the house was filled with plants and flowers.
The door was opened by two slaves and Axe entered the house. House slaves bustled busily. None of them stopped to look at him. Axe stayed where he was, motionless and lost. Compared to what the house looked like on the outside, it looked small but inside, it was magnificent... bigger than anything he had ever seen. He felt disgusted. His master lived in a large house and accumulated lots of wealth while his slaves rotted in small huts deprived of clean water and a decent amount of food.
Axe turned his head and took one of the slaves who walked past him by the arm.
“What do you want?” He gave Axe a cold hard stare.
“I’m looking for the kitchen.” Axe replied undaunted by the man. They were both slaves... they were both Negroes so why on earth should he think he had more status than him?
The man pointed to the door at the end of the hallway “That’s the kitchen.”
|Courtney Orange||as Axe|
|Whoppi Goldberg||as Yulana|
|Sophie Okonedo||as Miriam|
|Josh Duhamel||as George|
|Charlize Theron||as Harriet|
|Corinne Bailey Rae||as Anna|
|Denzel Washington||as Cook|
|Corbin Bleu||as Adam|
|George Clooney||as Maze's master|
|Angelina Jolie||as Maze's mistress|
|Emma Stone||as Laurie|
|Paul Walker||as Tom|
|Viola Davis||as Hawk woman|