Southern Horror Stories – New Release!

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HORRORJust in time for Halloween, I decided to release a short story collection of Southern Horror Stories!

Here’s what it’s about:

The mistreatment of slaves has caused the captives to fight back. Tired of the mistreatment, the slaves want revenge and blood. Follow six separate stories of betrayal, violence, bloodshed and revenge. These short stories show what can happen when people have been pushed to their limits. In Barren Plantation find out why we use the word barren for people who cannot have children.  Caleb’s Stitches shows how to turn the tables on a mad scientist. Climb inside the Mind of Hope if you think you can survive the insanity. Read about a spooky way station for escaped slaves in The Underground Hell Road. Pirates of Slavery is a bloody story of revolt, while Slave Island will lure you to a dangerous island that you can never leave.

Disclaimer: Not suitable for young children. Contains violence, sexual content and paranormal activity.

 

My Southern Horror Short Stories Collection is now available as an e-book on Amazon for $0.99. Click Here to get your copy. It is a 6 story collection of fictitious slave stories. You can read excerpts of Barren Plantation and Mind of Hope by clicking on the highlighted titles below:

Story 1: Barren Plantation

Story 2: Caleb’s Stitches

Story 3: Mind of Hope

Story 4: Underground HellRoad

Story 5: Pirates of Slavery

Story 6: Slave Island

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Silver’s Coming Attractions – “The Road to Freedom: Joseph’s Story (The Stella Trilogy Book 3),” by Yecheilyah Ysrayl

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I am proud to announce the release date of the exciting conclusion in the Stella Trilogy – The Road to Freedom: Joseph’s Story, on February 26, 2016. Come and meet my friend Yecheilyah Ysrayl! Author, Yecheilyah Ysrayl If you have not had a chance to catch up with author Yecheilyah Ysrayl, I would like to […]

http://silverthreading.com/2016/02/23/silvers-coming-attractions-the-road-to-freedom-josephs-story-the-stella-trilogy-book-3-by-yecheilyah-ysrayl/

Barren Plantation: A Short Story – #2 in a series of 6

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© DM Tetting - Used with permission

© DM Tetting – Used with permission

“It’s my time”, I called out to Mistress Mary. She was looking scared to death, but then she turned bright red and anger took over.

“This little bastard better be black as night Pansy or I’m gonna kill it.” Miss Mary whispered in my ear.

It wasn’t my fault her husband, Massa Barren kept sneaking in my quarters after dark and taking advantage of me. I was in love with James and we wanted to jump the broom, but Massa Barren denied us. He threatened to kill James if he saw us together so we made sure he never did.

“No Miss Mary, please don’t kill my baby!” I pleaded.

The pains came quicker and grew worse with each minute. I tried my best to hold that baby in because I knew it wasn’t from James. Mama taught me to be a modest lady, and I would not allow James to bed me until I was his wife. When I popped up in the belly, I had to tell him the truth about Massa Barren. I would have taken that secret to my grave, but there was no hiding it, I was with child. That baby was coming and even though it cost me the man I loved, I still wanted it. I had been sold away from my mama and papa when I was twelve and I knew I would never see them again.  I could never leave my child on purpose and I would not let anyone take my baby from me.

“Pansy, I know you’ve been with my husband and this baby better not be his.”

Panic set in and I tried to get up to run. My legs would not hold me and I was trapped here under the care of a woman who hated me and just threatened to kill my almost born child. I loved my baby and I would do everything in my power to save it.

I started praying “Oh Lord, please save my child from this wicked woman. Touch her heart Lord and let her see my baby had no choice in how it came to be. Let her have mercy and give my baby to me.”

My prayer was almost begging and I was crying and screaming from the pain. Finally I pushed her out and to no one’s surprise a white baby with beautiful hazel eyes and straight hair looked at me as she took her first breath. I reached for her but before the midwife could hand her to me, Miss Mary said “Don’t you hand that thing to her. It’s an abomination and it must be killed.”

My baby girl started crying as if she knew what was about to happen. Everyone in the room began to panic as Miss Mary snatched my baby from the midwife’s arms, held her upside down by her feet and slit her poor little throat with a knife.

“Here’s your demon child”, she said as she tossed my baby at Massa Barren’s feet.

I screamed and cried and crawled to my baby. She looked so beautiful as her body lay still on the attic floor. “Clean up this mess. I don’t want that thing’s blood staining my floor. Every little drop of my baby’s blood was emptied onto that attic floor and I would not allow anyone to touch it. In that moment I was entranced.  My baby’s blood served as energy and I bathed in it.

Massa Barren yelled at me, “Pansy now you stop this. Get up from there. Somebody do something.”

I kept rubbing the blood all over me. I needed to feel it on me. Then I heard this loud chanting that seemed to come from the walls of the attic, the floorboards and the furniture. It was surrounding me. The chant was in a language I had never heard, but somehow I knew what they were saying. I started chanting too.

“ Choluma, Tonari, Olanhna! Choluma, Tonari, Olanhna! Choluma, Tonari, Olanhna!”

Over and over again I chanted the foreign words, faster and faster the chants rang out. The room started to spin and I was in the center, covered in blood. It was as if I left my body and was hanging upside down on the ceiling staring at the show down below. The midwife ran from the room screaming “She done gone soft in the head!”

All of the other slaves ran leaving me in the attic to grieve. They were deathly afraid of me and refused to come into the attic even when faced with whipping. I stayed in the attic for six days and nights chanting away. When Massa Barren had enough of the deathly smell, he sent the overseer to the attic with some male slaves to drag me downstairs and bury my baby. I was forced to take a bath and wash my child’s blood away from me, but by that time it had done the trick. I no longer needed the physical blood as it had seeped into my soul.

“Charlie I want her cleaned up and get one of the house girls to clean out that attic. It stinks to high heaven in this house because of her. You bury that baby out in the slave cemetery and mark it. The poor thing didn’t have a name so just place a cross on the grave.” Massa Barren instructed.

I screamed and kicked and fought the men until they threw me into a big barrel of hot soapy water. Then two women I have never seen before tore the dress off of my body and began washing me.

“It’s gonna be alright chile. God got your baby now. Ain’t nothin’ can hurt her no mo’. She the lucky one”, the one lady said and the other broke out into song.

“God got your babay, yes He do. He got her on His lap and she waitin for you. You almost left us but it ain’t your time. Don’t let the devil take your mind.” 

The first lady joined in and they sang that song over me the whole time they scrubbed me clean.  When they were finished washing and dressing me they combed out my hair and took me to the grave to see my baby one last time. I wrapped her in a cloth my mama had tied on me when they took me from her. When the first shovel of dirt hit her little body, I screamed in pain. The pain I felt was from every mother who ever lost her child and the sound bellowed from the depths of Hell!

Days went by and then weeks, but my longing for my baby girl never stopped.  I named her Oni which means born on sacred ground. Since slaves were not allowed to read and write, I went to the cemetery after dark and carved her name into the wooden cross Mr. Charlie placed on her grave. As I was leaving her I saw a light in the cemetery and I was drawn to it. The sacred ground was filled with chanting and I began chanting too

“Choluma, Tonari, Olanhna! Choluma, Tonari, Olanhna! Choluma, Tonari, Olanhna!”

Then before me appeared a sexless figure who informed me it was my duty to protect all the babies born to this plantation. It was up to me to ensure they were never taken from their mamas. No other mother on this plantation would ever feel the wrenching pain of losing a child. The figure handed me some herbs and instructed me on what to do.

The next morning I set out to fulfill my purpose. I got water from the river just where the turtles sunned themselves.  I mixed the water with the herbs and crushed them with a rock to make a paste. The whole time I was working I was chanting

“Choluma, Tonari, Olanhna! Choluma, Tonari, Olanhna! Choluma, Tonari, Olanhna!”

Then I went to the well pretending to draw water for Miss Mary, but instead I deposited my potion. There was a flash of light at the bottom of the well and I kept chanting. Then I heard the dark figure from last night say, “It’s ready.”

I drew water from the well and proceeded to take it into the house for the white folks. Everyone got their water from this one well so I knew everybody on the plantation would drink my potion.

Instead of doing my usual house chores, I decided to take all of the field hands some water; especially the women. They couldn’t get enough of that water.

“This some mighty fine water, Miss Pansy. Where yall get it from? Surely, not that old well.”

“It’s plain old well water.” I answered.

“For sho’?” they replied.

“For sure.”

When I was finished with my rounds, I went back to the house to make sure all the ladies in the house had some too.

“Oh chile, I sho’ was thirsty. Thanks you Miss Pansy. You know Miss Mary don’t let us take no rest.”

“I know, but she don’t mess with me no more so I do what I want. If you need water, then I will bring it to you.” I boasted.

It was true, every since she murdered my baby, Miss Mary had taken ill and blamed me. She would not come within two yards of me and would not allow me to handle her food. I did however, handle her water and she drank it plentiful without knowing.

Several months passed since the well incident and no one was getting popped; a very unusual occurrence around Barren Plantation. There was always a slave girl being bred to the biggest, strongest male slave so they would have plentiful slaves around, but that changed. Since Oni was murdered, no other births had taken place on the plantation. The girls, who thought they were popped, simply got their monthly and they thought they were mistaken; No one was more than three months along.

One night Massa Barren hosted a dinner party and I heard his guests discussing the lack of babies.

“Now Sam, the whole region is buzzing about the lack of babies coming out of your plantation. Did you put a ban on your slaves?”

The room filled with laughter and then Massa Barren replied, “No, nothing like that. We are breeding them as much as possible, but nature is not cooperating.”  

More laughter continued and then the mean lady with the pointed nose said, “I hear tell this place is cursed!”

The room went silent. All the servants knew to keep their eyes frozen to the ground and their ears wide open. We listened as the lady spun a tale of the curse of the murdered baby. She told my story as if I had not been standing there except she was missing some of the reason why. The white folks imagined it was only a punishment to Miss Mary for killing my baby, but it was a punishment for all dead babies.

Miss Mary was enraged, “What kind of woman have you brought to my home, Sam? She has been raised with no manners, no manners at all. Who would dare partake of a host’s food and then shame them with the same breath. I want you out of my house! Right Now!”

The lady with the pointy nose stood up with a slight grin on her face and said, “What’s the matter sugga, too afraid the tale of the murdered little baby will spread? I’ll leave, but you remember this; the truth will set you free.”

In an instant the party was over and Miss Mary was on a tirade. “I want you gone and don’t ever show your face around here again. What trash you have brought into my home Sam. Just trash. Imagine the whole district spreading such lies about such a fine lady as me.” She cried and she ran upstairs from shame.

I could hear Miss Mary wailing all night long about her poor reputation. She said nothing about the poor baby whose life she spilled on the attic floor. The next morning she demanded to see me in her bed chambers, the very place I had been forbidden to go since the murder.

I entered cautiously, “You wanted to see me Miss Mary?”

“Yes Pansy, come in here. I have a question I want to ask you”

I came inside the door as she beckoned me to come closer. “Shut the door Pansy and come over here.”

I had no desire to close the door, but it wouldn’t matter anyway, she killed Oni in broad daylight when the door was open, so why did she want the door closed now? What more could she possibly do to me? If she was planning on doing me the favor of slitting my throat, I wanted her to know I welcomed it. I was no longer timid, I slammed the door and marched right up to her. The time was here for us to have the long awaited showdown.  I could hear the other slaves gathering at the door to listen.

“Who’d you tell about that abomination you bore?” Miss Mary inquired.

“I told God about my baby, Oni if that’s what you mean. My child was no abomination.”

“Don’t back talk me girl. I have no patience for it today.”

I looked her dead in the eye, “I will say whatever I please and you won’t do a thing to me you haven’t already done.“

Miss Mary was shocked at my sharpness and said, “Listen to me you witch, I know you’ve been spreading rumors about me killing a poor innocent baby, but that thing was a creature straight out of Hell.”

I slapped her across her face leaving my hand print behind. “Don’t you ever speak of my child like that again. I love Oni and she was a beautiful child even after you took her life. It’s not my fault your husband can’t keep his hands off of me, but I never wanted him. He forced me and I got popped. I was in love with a man, but he forbade it and then used my body for his pleasure. If anyone is an abomination it is Massa Barren!” Finally, I let the words that had been burning in my throat leak out. There was no going back now.

“I don’t believe you gal. All you little slave girls run around here just waiting for your chance at Master Barren. You are a seductress and a whore!”

“Believe what you want, but your husband is a liar a thief and a molester. I curse you, him and this whole ungodly place. Till the end of time, there shall never be another baby born to anyone who dare come to this plantation; slave and white, visitor or resident. Anyone who crosses the gate of Barren Plantation either by force or willingly will suffer the “Barren Curse! No woman will birth another baby and no man will produce one. Your evil bloodline will end with you! From this day forward all people unable to have children shall be known as Barren.”

With those words I walked out of the room as Miss Mary clutched her chest in agony. She fell to the floor and died. That was some forty years ago and this plantation is just about give out. Massa Barren went broke and tried to sell the slave, but no one would but us. Once he died, those of us left stayed on to run the plantation for ourselves. Nobody dared to come onto the property so we found our freedom in a way. We had animals and vegetables and the water we needed to survive and were grateful the curse did not cover the animals. They drank the river water so they were never infected. I still visit Oni’s grave everyday and wait for the day I will see her again. Until then I remain Barren.

This is part 2 of a new Southern Horror Series I am writing. Please check out my Pinterest site for a visual scrapbook.

Mind of Hope: A Short Story

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No Return

As I sit here reflecting on my life I see things so clearly, now. Where was that clarity when I needed it? I am currently locked away in this dank and dirty hole in the wall with dozens of other former slaves who are touched in the head. The so called doctors keep me locked away from the rest of the residents, which is a blessing because I am not really insane. I just needed a break from reality for a little while. I think I will be ready to go out and find my way in the world soon. At least that’s what Dr. Richards says. He told me it would help for me to think back to when I started having the feelings of rage and hate; I think I found it. For a former slave, the feelings of rage and hate came when I took my first breath. Almost everything in my life to this point has made me want to go inside of myself for a while and just hide. Let’s see…

I was born into a world of poverty and despair, but there was just enough hope to keep me going. Hope was a gift given to me by my papa before he was murdered. In fact that is my name.  There is no doubt about it; Papa had enough hope for the entire world, in his little finger. I wonder what it would have been like living in his head. I wish I could have jumped in there and run around for a while. We were close, him and I, but sometimes he drifted off into another time and place. My mama called it “checking out”, and I was not allowed to bother him when he was like that. Sometimes he would talk out loud when he was “out”. At first it scared me, but once I sat still and listened to what he was saying, it all made sense somehow.

The older ladies on the plantation said, “Yo papa is touched, little Hope. You stay way from him when he like that. It’s such a shame such a fine looking man is battling demons in his head. ” For some reason the ladies were afraid of him; as if he would hurt me if I got too close. What they didn’t know was my papa was the gentlest man on the Jones Plantation, and nobody was going to keep me from him, except maybe Old Massa Jones. He owned us, so he got to do whatever he wanted.

“Come here child” he demanded of me. “Yes Master Jones?” I said with the urgency of a snail. I hated being called over for one of his senseless talks. He never seemed to want anything except to stop me from working, and then complain that I wasn’t working. “Girl, don’t you ever call me Master. My name is Massa Jones. You hear. Don’t go using that fancy talk your mammy and pappy done teached you. I don’t want no educated slaves round here.” I conformed to his will, “Yes Suh, Massa Jones.”  It was always like that with him, he just couldn’t stand the fact my parents were educated Negroes and taught me how to read and speak English better than he could. That’s the chance he took by stealing a free man and enslaving him. My papa could read and write with the best of the scholars. One day while he was walking home from a lecture, he was kidnapped and forced into slavery.  I can’t imagine what it would be like for a man who was born free to have his most treasured possession taken away from him and being forced to submit to the will of a man with half his intellect. I came to the conclusion, this was the reason Papa started “checking out”.

All of the ladies on the plantation, even the white ones, had eyes for Papa when he wasn’t “checked out”, but he only had eyes for Mama.  Miss Cynthia was the worst one. I heard her talking about Papa one day with her friend Miss Jenny, “He’s just so muscular and tall. I wonder how it would feel to be held in those big ole black arms of his.” Miss Jenny almost fainted, “Cynthia I can’t believe you would say such a thing. Why he’s nothing but a beast. He’s dark as midnight and those big hands would crush you to death. You better hope your brother don’t hear tell of you liking him.” “And how, pray tell, will he find out; unless you plan on divulgating my private secrets. If I had a friend to do that it would be just shameful. I might have to tell all of her ungodly secrets to anyone who would listen.” Miss Cynthia threatened. “Besides,” she continued, “he is just about the best looking Negro man I have ever seen. Just look at that wavy hair and that broad chest.”

Just then Miss Cynthia spotted me spying on them and snatched me up. She threatened to whip me until I bled if I told anyone. I acted dumb, as usual. It was my way of not having to do what the white folks wanted me to. I would pretend not to understand what they wanted until they would give in and leave me be. “Now get out of here. Your services will no longer be required in the house. Since you want to act like one of them, you can just pick cotton like the rest of your people.” Just like that I was removed from being a house servant, and sent to the fields to toil and sweat in the sun. I did not mind because I could finally be with my parents all day. I no longer had to put up with the beatings from Miss Cynthia just because the wind blew or the strange looks from Master Jones. For some reason he had taken a liking to me, and was always trying to get me alone. Miss Cynthia had noticed, and has hated me every since. She had been waiting for any excuse to remove me from the house and now she had one.

“Why did she put you out of the house, Hope?” mama asked. “Mama I don’t know,” I lied. “Well she had to have a reason, and you’d better tell me right now!” Mama had a certain way of talking that meant business. If I did tell her she might get mad and fight Miss Cynthia, but if I didn’t tell her I would get the switch. Just thinking about that switch made the flood gates open. “She was lusting after Papa and I heard her. When she caught me spying she got mad, and made me leave the house for good.”

“What you say child? She got eyes for my man? Well I’m gonna show that heffa who she’s messing with. She’s not getting my man lynched because she wants to know him.” Mama went on and on about Miss Cynthia liking Papa, and then my life changed forever in less than five minutes. Mama marched right up to Miss Cynthia on the grand front porch; the very one all field slaves were forbidden to approach. Before she had time to react, Mama spit dead in Miss Cynthia’s face and said, “You best stay away from my man, white woman.”  “Helen you must be out of your mind to approach a fine white lady with some nonsense about her liking some big, black buck.” She was guilty and would have let Mama off with a warning, but Mama would not drop it. “Hear me good woman; nobody slides up to Henry Jones, but me! Try me if you got the notion.”  Miss Cynthia face looked like it was melting off under the sweltering Carolina sun. Her hands started shaking, and she did not know what to do. Nobody dared to talk to the owner of a plantation like that, especially not a southern belle like Miss Cynthia. Miss Jenny was so mad there was smoke coming from her ears, Cynthia are you just going to sit there and let that slave girl talk to you like that on your own porch. I wouldn’t stand for that kind of sass from any of my slaves. They would get the whip for sure.”

Just then Old Massa Jones came outside to see what the ruckus was. “Helen what is going on round here? I can hear Miss Jenny screechin’ all the way in my office.” Mama looked him dead in the eyes and told him “Keep your sister away from my husband! My child heard her talking lustful about him, and I don’t want my man lynched. You better keep her in her place or I’ll do it for you.” I always knew Mama didn’t play when it came to Papa. She had beat Julie so bad she couldn’t walk, for rubbing up on Papa one day. Even so, I never thought she would talk to white folks like that. She must have lost her mind and Massa Jones was going to help her get it back. “What you say to me Helen? You forget I am the massa ‘round here and you the slave. Can’t stand for no back talk from no slave, even if it is you Helen.”  Mama did not back down. “Do what you got to go, but keep that woman away from my man!”

The next thing I knew Mama was sailing off of the porch, and landed on the ground face first. She tried to get to her feet, but Massa Jones was quick to knock her back down. With his boot in her back, he began to whip Mama with his walking stick. Then I heard Papa running and screaming, “Get off of my wife, you devil!” The next few minutes were in slow motion. I could hear someone screaming, but I didn’t realize it was me until Massa Jones yelled at me to shut up. Massa Jones was beating Mama senseless, and she was broken and bleeding from every inch of her skin, her ears and eyes. I had never seen anything like it in my life. I could see her skin being peeled back with every lick of Massa Jones’ stick. Eventually Mama stopped screaming and went limp. “She ain’t dead yet, throw some water on her,” Massa Jones called to one of the new male slave. The sting of the water hitting her open flesh was enough to jolt Mama awake. She could barely whimper, but her face showed the pain was too much to bear. The merciless beating continued until almost all of the life drained out of Mama. With her dying breath she told me “Remember who you are Hope and never let them kill you. Be strong and honor your ancestors.” With that she was gone and I wanted to go with her.

Meanwhile, two other men were holding Papa back with ropes, while Massa Jim, the overseer, got his shot gun.  Massa Jim pointed his gun at Papa and said, “Get back in that field and get to work. You need to make up for Helen’s share so you better get humpin.” Those horrible men would not even allow us to clean Mama up, and bury her. They let her lay in the hot sun attracting bugs and smelling to high heaven. Massa Jones forced Papa and me to continue picking cotton with Mama baking less than 100 yards away. As sad as I was, I could see Papa was almost uncontrollable. He kept talking to Mama and telling her he was there, and he would honor her. I saw a crazed look in his eyes, not like when he “checked out” this was different.

Henry Jones was the son of a warrior, and he must avenge the death of his wife. Papa started pacing back and forth and mumbling something in the old African language he taught me as a little girl. I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but I knew it was never good for him to start chanting in the Orangolo language.  Papa retrieved a machete he was hiding in the field, and cut Massa Jim’s head clean off his shoulders. The hot blood splattered all over the pure white cotton staining the ground and Papa’s hands. “HELEN!” papa yelled so loudly everyone stopped what they were doing to see what was going on. He bent down and picked up the severed head holding it in the air he shouted, “They Kill my wife I take their life.” With those words Papa charged through the field and struck down every white man he saw. He was headed to the porch on the big house when I heard the loud crack press through the air. Massa Jones was standing on the porch with his rifle and tore a hole through my Papa’s chest. Just like that I was an orphan.

I stood quietly in the cotton field drenched in blood. I had not noticed before, but it was all over me, in my hair, on my face, and my clothes. All of a sudden a blood curling scream came from the depths of my being and I could not be silenced. “Chile, it’s alright chile. Please stop screamin’ or Massa Jones gonna come over here an git ya. Please chile don’t make it worse fo yoself.” Old Miss Janie pleaded with me, but there would be no peace today; not after they just killed my family. I stopped my screaming and started laughing. Old Miss Janie started backing away from me. She told the other slaves, “I seen this before. She done gone mad.” All of the other slaves in the field followed Miss Janie and backed away from me while mumbling to their selves. I was mad, but not the insane kind. My anger had crossed over into my being and everything I would do from this point on would be my revenge on the Jones Plantation.

I closed my eyes and remembered the last words my mama said to me “Remember who you are Hope and never let them kill you. Be strong and honor your ancestors.” When I opened my eyes I could see my ancestors standing before me along with my parents. They told me I was the last in our bloodline and I must survive. I would have their protection as I navigated through life. Right now, I was being instructed to exact revenge for my parents’ murders. I must use my brain and outsmart them because they would be looking for me to become violent. I listened to the instructions, and remembered them exactly. I allowed the wisdom of the ancestors to guide me. “You must act like you are sick from grief. The lady of the house will take pity on you, and invite you back in to work there. Once you have re-established yourself as a servant, you must be on your best behavior. At the dawning of the full moon, you go into the woods where your papa took you to pray. Under the big tree with the markings you will find an herb growing. Gather the herb, but mind you do not let it touch your skin. Use a cloth to gather it. Chop the herb up and put it in the white people’s food. It will paralyze them and once you are sure they can’t move you must chop each one of their heads off and hang them on the front porch, covering yourself with their blood. Do not swallow their blood! Nobody will harm you because we will be there to protect you. You will be taken to a hospital and once you are released, you will have your freedom!”

I followed the instructions of the ancestors to the letter. The cook came down with severe stomach pains, so Miss Cynthia informed me I would be cooking alone. The ancestors came to me and guided my hands. The herbs were placed into the potatoes once they were cooked and mashed. Everyone loved my mashed potatoes so I knew they all would eat extra helpings. Once they were unable to move, I went to work using the same machete Papa has used to avenge Mama’s death. I started at the head of the table with Massa Jones, no hesitation just a quick slash of the sharp knife and his head rolled onto the floor. The rest of the room was horrified. I could see it in their eyes. They may not have been able to move their body parts, but they were fully aware of what was happening. I took pleasure in torturing them one by one. Each slice of a throat was righting a wrong done to my ancestors. I saved Miss Cynthia for last since, after all she was the one who started this downward spiral. She watched one by one as everyone she loved was violently snatched out of existence. “This is for my mama”, I said as I slid the sharp blade across her pale throat. “If you would not have been lusting after my papa, none of this would have happened.”

As instructed I hung the severed heads above the front porch, covered myself in blood, and waited for someone to discover what I had done. Papa had already killed the overseers and they lay dead in the cotton field. No slave wanted to bury them, and there was no one left to make them. When the other slaves saw what I had done they cheered and celebrated. I convinced them to help me give my parents a proper burial, and then most took off for the North to snatch their freedom. To buy their silence I wrote them all freedom papers using Massa Jones’ stationary and wax seal.  The few that remained were too scared to leave and decided they would run the plantation until a new white master came along. I sat on the porch and waited for three long days. When they finally came to see why Massa Jones had not been seen in the area, they were scared out of their minds. The news spread fast about the insane slave girl who slaughtered all of the white people, and hung their heads from the porch. Dr. Winston came and would not allow them to hang me. “She is obviously touched in the head. Let me take her to the state mental institution for Negroes and get her the help she needs.” Dr. Winston was a well respected member of the community so they did what he said.

So now I sit here waiting for the doctors and nurses to say I am ready to leave here. The ancestors still appear to me every day, and I listen to them. They have not let me down yet. “Soon you will be released from this hell and before those white folks can lynch you, we will guide you to the North and Freedom. Nobody will know what happened here and you can start your life over. You’ll get married, have two beautiful children, and teach them about your family history all the way back to the Orangolo people.” I wonder what my husband will be like.   What kind of life will we build together? For now, I Hope and wait.

© Lisa W Tetting

I hope you enjoyed reading Mind of Hope as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please check out my accompanying Pinterest page for a photo scrapbook of the story.

Candyland – NaBloPoMo #6

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candyland

The world continues on its crazy downward spiral and social media is not helping. While I love the ability to mass communicate with friends and strangers at the same time from the comfort of my home, some people are abusing its genius. One such person is comedian Artie Lange. This man took to Twitter with his sexual fantasy of turning ESPN Host, Cari Champion into a slave and attempting to whip her. He also very vilely addressed his need to masturbate while watching this very professional woman on a morning sports talk show. Lange has now been banned from ESPN as a result of his conduct that he now claims was a joke.

I have no doubt he intended this as a joke, but here is where he fails: If you are a member of a race of people who once oppressed the race of the other person you cannot tell jokes about slavery and it be taken as just a joke. The shit just ain’t funny! Lange issued a weak apology in a statement, but also said “I know black women who could join me and handle it.” If that’s the case those women are a part of the problem. Your black female “friends” should have checked you for spewing such venom and let you know it is not cool.

Let’s take race out of the equation for a second and say he never even mentioned slavery; The fact that he feels it is ok to joke about masturbating and fantasizing about Ms. Champion, or any woman for that matter, on Twitter and calling it a joke is just plain stupid. The reality is he did both of these disgusting things and tried to hide behind his job as a comedian when he got called out.

I am a pretty liberal person and tend to have an eclectic sense of humor, but his so called jokes touched a nerve. It’s bad enough that women have to fight tooth and nail to get the respect they have earned; Ms. Champion is a respected co-anchor of a sports talk show who holds her own with two of the most prominent men in sports broadcasting. Sure she is beautiful, but I am sure that is not what she wants to be known for. In a male dominated world she has made a name for herself by working hard and being very knowledgeable about all things sports related. It’s clear that she is great at her job and looks good while doing it. Why is that a problem for men? If she were less attractive would they take her more seriously? Why should she have to put up with this horny, childish man’s Django Candyland fantasy? Women should be able to go to work without having to worry about men’s inability to control their sexual urges. At least before social media, men were smart enough to keep those thoughts to themselves.

Here’s a tip for Artie Lange, USE YOUR FILTER! Everyone has one and it’s usually a big help before posting to Twitter. Fantasies are just that, keep them to yourself. Better yet, try controlling your urges and grow up. You are not a 20 something college boy with raging hormones, you are a grown man who is supposed to know better. I would hope he learned his lesson, but after reading his Twitter page I now see there was no responsibility taken. Even though I am a huge optimist, I have realized you can’t destroy Candyland!