Fight 'til the Very End

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Fight 'til the Very End

Post  Mira W. on Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:31 pm

Thoughts of a black man on a ship during the slave trade.

I feel the blood trickle down my throat as I shift the chains around my neck. I attempt to cough, but the pain is too overwhelming. I choke it back down.

They had burned me again. It has happened once before; me refusing to eat. Ain't that better than living in this hell? At first we fought back. My brother- Tears slip down my face as I think of my brother, shot for rebelling. He refused to let the white men control him, to dictate his life. He fought until the very end.

Now I wish I had done the same. A sob wracks through my body, but I stay silent. Around me I hear the little boy singing softly, trying to block out the sound of retching that has become a constant in the background. He often sings the songs his mother used to when he was younger. I should know, we'd lived right beside each other. In the beginning I yelled at him, telling him it won't change anything. He should stop deluding himself. But now I have no heart to do so; if it helps him, so be it. I don't have the power to yell anymore, for I feel the disease taking over my body.

It has been circulating through the ship for a few days now. I feel the salt in my tears burn my bruised lips as I'm reminded of Tom. He passed away yesterday, the man who'd been not four inches to my left for the past few weeks. I lost count of the days spent here, not that I care anymore. I suck in a deep breath that I regret almost immediately as I feel my lungs burn from the acrid, poisonous stench that comes from the restroom bucket. It's been overflowing for quite some time now, though the white men don't care. To them, we're just animals.

Loneliness. Pain. Fear. Sorrow. Grief. Anger. These feeling course through my veins as I think of what my life has become in such a short period of time. (In a blink.) All other emotions seep into the back of my mind as pure, unadulterated rage takes control of my being. I stare at those around me and see brown. The color of mud. Our skin - the reason we are treated like animals. I imagine scraping it all off; washing myself until I'm bleach white as them. Then, I wouldn't be in this position, crammed against dozens of people in the bottom of a ship. Self hatred burns through me until the little boy's soft singing pierces my ears, shaking me out of my reverie.

I hear their phantom screams in my mind as the memory of him being ripped from his mother bubbles to the surface of my thoughts. I attempt to push it away, but it's too real. I remember the way the sun was beating down on my back, the way the other neighboring tribe's men suddenly jumped out at us. I remember the utter disgust I felt when I realized our own kind had turned against us and joined the white demons. His mother had jumped to protect him, offering herself. Her heartbroken cries shook their air as she begged them to take her and leave her only son. Her screams, so full of grief, they clenched at my heart. She had birthed twelve children before, but he had been the only little one to survive. He was a fighter, that one.

I remember the way she clawed at the earth under her palms in anguish as they tied ropes around her son, while she was held back and kicked down. She struggled with all she had until blood was pouring from her lips due to the beating she had received. We all knew she was going to die, so did she. But she didn't let it dampen her determination, and she fought 'til the very end.

I had been ambushed from the back, kicked at the back of my knees, making me fall to the ground. Not two seconds later my arms were tied and I was being torn away from my home. My eyes met those of my brother as I felt panic rise in my chest, choking me. I longed to be comforted by his mature gaze, as it has done throughout my whole life. He was all I had; he had been the one to raise me after our mother passed away. But then, even he couldn't contain his fear as I was pulled farther away, my head slapped to the side, breaking our connection. That was the last time I would see him without blood covering his chest and back. The day they loaded us onto this hellbent ship, he had been whipped until he couldn't move an inch. My brother, who fought until the end, beaten down. I remember feeling my throat constrict as he was shot. I remember hearing a scream filled with despair, though I felt like I was submerged in water. I later realized it had been me screaming when I had gotten five whips for it. They used a torture device that had nine metal balls at the end of each thread that tore at my skin, forty-five times. I can still feel the scars that are now infected, though in a twisted way I'm glad.

What had happened to humanity? What had these white men done to us? I can only pray this suffering will end, and I can see my brother once again. With the thought of him in mind, a new determination surges through me. I will not let these memories torment me. I will make him proud, and fight 'til the very end.
Mira W.
Mira W.
Research Assistant
Research Assistant

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