• Theresa Simone

A Story of a Slave (fiction)

Zuberi stood on the auction block, his eyes closed. He didn’t want to see any of the mean-looking men, who might become his owner, until they won the bid for him. He decided to risk sitting down-the auctioneer had pulled him up once already when he had tried to sit down. Zuberi figured that he would just have to keep sitting down if the auctioneer kept pulling him back up. But the auctioneer just watched him to make sure he didn’t try to escape, and kept calling out bidding amounts.

      After awhile of sitting and not paying much attention to the auction, Zuberi heard something unusual: a man was shouting his bids between the shouts of the other men. Zuberi sensed that the man was determined to get him and was trying as hard as he could. Finally Zuberi decided he couldn’t stand not seeing what was going on. He opened his eyes. He saw the big crowd again and felt another overwhelming feeling that he was inferior to all these men and they didn’t even seem to care for him but that he was a possible slave hand. Suddenly he felt a grip on his shoulder and he looked up. A burly guy was tugging for him to stand up. He stood up and let himself be led away off the auction block and away from the crowd. He was stopped at a wagon. The guy holding him tugged at him to get into the wagon and when he had gotten Zuberi into the wagon, he jumped into it, still holding Zuberi, and bound him to the wagon seat by the shackles on his wrists. The shackles had a metal ring which could be opened to allow for the shackled hands or feet to be hooked up to something. After Zuberi's escort was satisfied that Zuberi was fastened securely, he got out of the wagon and went to the wagon seat at the front of the wagon to say something to the driver, Zuberi’s owner. Zuberi couldn’t understand any of the English that the two men were saying. All he had understood in his life was the native tongue of his African dialect.

     After the wagon had been going for awhile, the driver stopped in on the side of the road by a forest. The driver turned around to face Zuberi. He started talking to Zuberi but could tell that ZUBERI wasn’t understanding him, so he guided the horses back on to the paved road and continued on.

     Not long after, they stopped in front of a small cabin near a big three story house with columns supporting the secondstory balcony. The driver got down from his seat and reached over the side of the wagon to unlock the shackle holding Zuberi to the wagon seat. When Zuberi was released from the wagon seat, the driver held his loose shackle ring and guided him to the back of the wagon and down and out of it. The driver disconnected his feet shackles so he could walk easily and motioned for another black slave to lead Zuberi into a cabin. Zuberi heard laughing and commotion. As he was being led to the cabin, he looked behind him and saw three children running toward the driver who was watching ZUBERI being taken to his cabin. Zuberi watched the children as they ran to the driver and hugged him around the legs and realized that they must be the driver’s children. The driver led the children away from the cabin and toward the big house. Zuberi felt like the driver had hurt him. He had thought the driver was really kind but the driver had allowed Zuberi to be taken into a empty, bare cabin, where there was no other slaves to talk to. His black escort left him in the cabin with his hands still shackled together. The escort didn’t even close the door.

     A long time passed and still no one came to his cabin. Zuberi managed to get up and close the cabin door so he could have a little privacy. He sat down on the floor and didn’t move. He was so lonely and exhausted from all the movings he’d had. Also, he was so-

frustrated and angry at how he had been brought here, he couldn’t cry yet. He just sat on the floor having so many different emotions that he couldn’t express a certain one. Finally he was able to start crying and he cried for a long time, still hoping someone would come. He just lay there, crying out all his hurt, anger, frustration and humiliation. Before he had been captured in Africa, he had been one of the strongest boys in his village, winning races and taking challenges that the village boys had put to each other. Now he was a slave, brought over from Africa to this foreign land, drained of most of his strength and barely surviving the long ocean passage in a boat with hundreds of other slaves and brought to another strange place where he didn’t know how he would be treated or if he would survive whatever they wanted him for.

story to be continued...

see disclaimer below picture

black man

     Disclaimer: the story above is my own; it's part of a story I started writing in High School after learning about slavery and being disturbed by it. I've seen several slave movies, including "Amazing Grace" about William Wilberforce

     Not all details are completely accurate. I didn't finish researching for this story, thus the story is not completed.

     I'm glad I got the idea of sharing a short story. I've started several stories that I haven't made the time or effort to finish, and thus I haven't been able to share them.

     Writing is satisfying to a degree but still challenging and time-consuming.

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