Chapter 4: Elisa

851 55 12

An awful bell pierced the calm morning, waking up everyone in the cabin. Maribel and Marisol awoke with a groan, complaining about their aching backs. I gently shook Emilia until her little brown eyes fluttered open. Her face scrunched up in discomfort then she rolled onto her side. Well, I guessed there was nothing wrong in a four-year-old getting some more sleep. The girls were already washing their faces and changing into their work clothes. I gave myself a morning stretch hitting the washbasin to freshen up then sat back on the cot.

"There's corn bread over on the table. We have to ration it." Maribel said.

A shadow darkened the entrance earning a squeak from Maribel and Marisol. I turned, backing into the table when I realized Davis was in our presence. Maribel and Marisol had lowered their heads submissively, prompting me to do the same. My face was burning up with sudden fear.

Davis cleared his throat and relieved them of their position. He turned to me asking her how I was doing this morning. The hairs on my skin rose with discomfort at his tone. Since when did Masters care how their slaves were doing? I replied in my politest attitude and dipped my head down again. That was the right thing, right?

"You'll be working in the house, not amongst these people." He sniped.

I didn't budge and instead glanced at my two cabin mates and baby sister.

"Let's go!" he barked, sliding into an angry tone.

I sent a telepathic message to the girls to make sure Emilia was safe before they left, then followed Davis' leading figure. More people were shuffling out of their cabins towards the fields that stretched farther than I could see. Three overseers were seated atop their horses watching and waiting for their chance to use their whips. I spotted the raised whiplashes on the backs of a few men.

They walked timidly past the overseers lowering their heads in submission. The punishments had begun already? I looked away eavesdropping on a sexual comment being thrown my way. An overseer wearing a plaid shirt tucked into jean pants leered at me as I passed by him. Davis seemed oblivious to the situation and continued waddling down towards the house. I could see a few other workers beginning to bustle around the outside of the structure. Older women, in their early thirties were beating rugs creating a dust cloud around their faces.

Three younger girls, possibly four or five years older than me were standing on the front porch watering some of the potted plants. One moved towards the door opening it for Davis. He ignored her gesture, pointing me to the kitchen where an older woman was making breakfast.

"This is Patricia Keating, she'll be showing you what your duties are. I expect you to be familiar with your work schedule by the end of the day. Mind your sister and make sure she's not in the way. Is that understood?" he asked.

No. I stared at him refusing to answer. I wasn't going to clean his house. I wasn't going to be his slave. He picked up an apple rubbing it on his pants before taking a bite. He seemed to be debating something and I was pretty sure it was punishment.

"Didn't your parents ever teach you any manners?" he asked.

"Didn't yours teach you it's wrong to enslave others?" I countered.

"Slavery isn't wrong."

"Lincoln once said, 'if slavery is not wrong, then nothing is wrong,'"

"Lincoln is dead."

"This country is dead."

"Do you want to be next?"

He sat down at the counter chowing down on his apple as if it were the most delicious fruit he'd ever bitten.

SLAVE NATIONWhere stories live. Discover now