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A Slave Account

Today the man on the horse goes past us too quickly for me. I have no courage. I gave my bowl to my sister still with a bit of bean stuck to the sides, and she scooped the remainder back into the pot.

I want a bread but there’s not even a crust.

The next day, he stops to yell at us for moving too slow, his own measured pace kept by the horse he seemed too afraid to leave.

I almost look up at him as he’s leaving, but the sun is blinding and too heavy for my head.

He’s gone from our side of the field for a week. My sister and the other ladies spend the night in gossip, whispers reach me that I barely hear. There’s a woman the man on the horse favors. She’ll die, they think, if he lingers too long, so I muster my courage.

The next day, I watch him from afar and he does seem to stay near one group too long. Don’t know the folks well enough, but I can guess the girl he keep eyes on. Too pretty, but the Master already has a good kitchen girl. I think my sister is right that she’ll die soon.

The man on the horse is back to our side again soon. He looks pissed and moves past us quickly. He ruins my plans with his sure steps, but I move myself closer to his path so the next time I can catch him unawares.

I hear that night the girl is dead, and I know tomorrow the man will die.

I’m right, but he’s dead before we’re outside again, gone in the night and so was his horse.

A different man joins us soon and leaves his anger at being in the sun on us.

This one ain’t so easy to track, his path less sure and less measured. He spends his time too close too us for too long, in my opinion.

I don’t wait this time for my kill to be taken.

He’s beating a woman one day when I take him from behind. The others turn away, but the girl barely stops screaming. She doesn’t know her beating is over.

The man is pulled into the fields, a bloody streak left behind but no signs of him from the road.

The horse neighs only a little when mounted, and though my skin is darkened by the sun, the dead man’s hat and clothes hide me well enough until I’m far gone from there.

I don’t stop to rest until the night rises.

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