Free Life | Teen Ink

Free Life

November 7, 2008
By Anonymous

The dream consisted more of sound than anything else. It was a sound I had heard too many times on the plantation, the sound I hated most above all others. I heard it over and over again, knowing what was happening without seeing it. I was trapped in a suffocating darkness with nothing but that horrible cracking sound to keep me company.

I woke suddenly, almost falling over. For a terrifying moment I thought I was still in the darkness, that I really couldn’t escape. Then my eyes adjusted and I could start to make out the shapes of the small room. I still heard the cracking sound, but now another noise joined it. This noise sounded like footsteps. Had I screamed and woken the Inn keeper? I quickly realized it was only my heart beating with left over terror from the dream. I had no idea as to what the cracking sound might be.

I crept towards the window, careful not to make any sound. I walked quietly out of habit. A tree branch continually hit the window, producing a noise that sounded exactly like a whip…hitting a person. The rough winds blew through the trees, making the leaves sound like whispering voices mocking my foolish reaction. I sighed, sitting down on the lumpy bed. I needed to think about how I would get by tomorrow. If yesterday was anything to go by, it wouldn’t be easy. My owner had provided me with a small amount of money when he released me. I hadn’t expected this from someone who was usually so cruel.

I had spent almost all of the money on this Inn. It had been difficult enough to find an Inn that was willing to let me stay the night. I had finally found this place, which I think accepted me out of desperation more than anything else. They probably would accept anyone who would pay (which I barely could.) I was grateful either way. This had been the first time I’d slept on a bed. I didn’t think I could go back to sleep, though. Instead of wasting time trying to sleep again, I wrote a note thanking the Inn keeper and his family for letting me stay, then I quietly sneaked out the door. I hope they could read my hand writing.

I decided the first thing I needed to do was eat. There definitely wasn’t enough money to buy a whole meal, but anything was better than nothing, which was what I usually got. I had no clue as to where to go to buy food. After a bit of hesitation I followed the first path I saw. I did not know where it led, but I hoped it would lead somewhere eventually. The weather was terrible. The wind was strong and cold. It was the kind of cold that bites and stings and leaves you feeling numb and exhausted. It was the very beginning of winter and the ground was covered in what looked like fine white dust. The ground was frozen making it hard and cold. My feet stung from the cold.

By time it was morning I had reached a busy street. I was completely stunned. It was very different from the plantation. I stopped many people, asking them where I could buy food. Most of them glared at me or ignored me altogether. I had no help from any of the people I asked. I did eventually find a place with food I might be able to afford. I entered the store. Many people glared at me, as if I shouldn’t be there. This “free” life was not going to be easy.

The author's comments:
This was an assignment in English Class. We had to write a journal from a freed slave's point of veiw. I hope you enjoy it.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Nov. 19 2008 at 8:52 pm
This was an amazing story. It showed her frustration and how scared of being a slave she was. Keep up the excellent writing!