The Slave's Secret | Teen Ink

The Slave's Secret

January 26, 2013
By GreekGoddess BRONZE, Andover, Connecticut
GreekGoddess BRONZE, Andover, Connecticut
3 articles 0 photos 182 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The unprepared rebel dies in the fire."

“I don’t… know!” I said through gritted teeth. He twisted my arm farther up my back stinging my eyes with tears. I felt his hot breath on the back of my neck making chills run up my spine.
“Give it to me boy. I know you were there. You know it’s not allowed to keep things from your master.” His voice was silky, mocking me. I couldn't let him find out! It would certain death for me and she would only be half alive by the time they were done.

“Let him go, Larry. Kid’s probably got fleas anyway.” Dan looked at me in disgust. “We can get it from our neighbors, they spy enough they probably saw.” Larry pushed me to the ground and spat on the back of my knee. Cradling my arm and trying not to show that he had caused me such pain I scrambled up and stood straight with my arm close to my body. Not able to verify my lie I wiped my face of all emotion.

“Go on black boy. Leave!” Larry screamed at me. I felt helpless; I wouldn't even be able to protect her. I turned and ran to the stables, I had my own little corner in there where I felt I could think without everyone able to see my thoughts. I held my arm close to by body, and checked it over. Deciding it wasn't broken, I leaned against the damp wooden wall to think.
Brooding over the mater wasn't going to change facts: they were going to find out no matter how strong I was. How sweet last night was, those seconds of complete freedom. Escaping the pain of the present my mind sent me back to the night before.
Around midnight I was carrying water to the cows in the barn. My name is Leo. No last name, that was illegal for slaves. I am 17 and enslaved in Nebraska, not the most unique place there is. Farm after farm that’s all there is to it.
I was about halfway to the barn when a shadow loomed out of the darkness. Scared I backed up a step sloshing half the water on myself.
“Oh I’m sorry.” A girl of 16 stepped out of the shadows staring at my now drenched shorts. She stepped tentatively towards me as if to help. I knew this girl; she was my master’s (Larry’s) daughter, Flo. She was about 5’4, 3 inches shorter than me, long black hair and big green eyes.
Head down I said, “It’s alright miss.” I meant to continue on my way but she blocked my path staring away into the distance. “Do you ever believe that there is more to life than just this?” Something in her tone made me hesitate to say my automatic answer; No miss, goodnight miss. She wanted the truth.
“Yes.” I said simply. Suddenly she started to cry, small barely audible sobs. I didn't know what to do, my first instinct would be to put my arm around her but it was forbidden. I took a deep breath and put my arm around her shoulders.
“It’s alright miss-“
“Stop that!” she said mindlessly. “Don’t call me miss. I hate that.” Taken aback I murmured trying to calm Flo down.
Finally she pulled away gulping down her sobs. “Thank you…”
“Leo. It’s Leo.” I said a little freaked out that I had actually touched her.
“Thank you Leo. It’s been awhile since anyone has been that kind to me.” We both stood there awkwardly. Suddenly I didn’t want her to leave. I longed to… no I couldn’t, it was downright stupid.
I slowly set down the bucket I was still holding. I was well aware that she was still quite close. “I do hope that this isn’t all there is.” She suddenly looked up into my eyes. Slowly my hand snaked down and around her neck. My eyes closed as my lips found hers. Flo’s arms wrapped around me and pulled me closer to her.
I wrenched my mind out of the past and groaned. Someone must have seen us, to the master kissing another slave is something to laugh about, but kissing blacks and whites kissing, that was a crime. From the sound of it, all the person who saw us could see was two people kissing, but they must have saw the contrast of our skin. However it happened, they knew a white and a black were kissing. If he found out that the black was kissing his daughter...
Both of us will be punished. Flo will be severely punished, hurt enough she will regret ever learning my name, but she'll live. I, however, am a different matter. Execution by fists is what I’ll get.
I sighed again resisting the goading voice in my head telling me to give up and die here. Abruptly I sat bolt upright at the sound of heavy footfalls.
“LEO! Leo help!” At the sound of Flo’s voice I rushed out of the barn. Flo was running straight towards me with Larry and Dan following. I seethed seeing Larry was carrying a crowbar, he was going beat out of her who kissed her.
“Flo! Down to the riverbed!” She changed her direction slightly sprinting to the riverbed, I sprinted up to her and we ran together.
“So it was you, ya brat!” Dan's heavy breath could be heard a mile away.
I indulged to my naturally sharp tongue, “Not one for orations are you? Right to the point.”
“Get back here black boy so I can twist your limbs off!” Larry’s face was probably a mask of murder right now. I didn't dare look back.
We were pulling ahead. We had about 50 yards between us now and 10 till the riverbed. We got to the riverbed and I rustled around in the underbrush. Finding a small canoe for one fill with emergency rations, I pulled it out and pushed into the water. It was for slaves who needed a quick escape. I should say slave, singular.
They were only 20 yards behind. I turned to Flo and put my hands on either side of her face and kissed her quickly. Keeping my hands where they were I told Flo, “Take this and go as far as you can.”
“I’m not leaving you-“
“You have to, go!” I physically picked her up and plopped her into the canoe. I pushed it out as far as I could go. The rapids did the rest.
“LEO!” Flo screamed tears streaming down her face, her hair blowing into her face from the wind. I watched her go with no regrets as I felt Larry’s arms wrap around me.

The author's comments:
Like all my stories it kind of made itself as I went. Hope you enjoy!

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This article has 13 comments.

on Mar. 16 2014 at 11:31 am
Kestrel135 PLATINUM, Waterford, Connecticut
43 articles 0 photos 256 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Respect existence or expect resistance"

This was a great piece of work. The way you enticed the reader from the start was truly admirable, and  this story stood out. There were a few grammatical errors, but nothing major that took away from the piece. The story itself was bittersweet; the romance that turned into a murder story (sort of). Ending it righ there with Flo on the boat and Leo trapped in Larry's arms, the reader knowing exactly what is going to happen next but not wanting it to, was perfect. Since you had previously gone over what outcome was most likely, it leaves the reader making assumptions - that he dies, and she lives. Also, the political contrasts of the time era with a slave and a white person falling in love were elaborately exploited, and I have to say, it was a great story. Very well done!

on Sep. 18 2013 at 9:59 pm
GuardianoftheStars GOLD, Shongaloo, Louisiana
17 articles 0 photos 495 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Let's tell young people the best books are yet to be written; the best painting, the best government, the best of everything is yet to be done by them."
-John Erslcine

This was a very good peice.  You are a very talented writer. You captured my interest at the start! :)

on Jul. 24 2013 at 9:00 pm
vegetariangirl, Hamilton, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 92 comments

Favorite Quote:
Being normal is boring - Marilyn Monroe
You only live once -?
A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit -Richard Bach

 This is a really great story, but there were some parts I got a little bored with it. The beginning was great!!

on Jun. 23 2013 at 11:11 pm
nerdherdemployee BRONZE, Windsor, Connecticut
3 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
It does not matter how slow you go, as long as you do not stop.

Amazing, i loved it. The ending was ecspecially good. I loved how you let the readers imagination finish the story. Everyone had a unigue ending. 

kmeep GOLD said...
on Mar. 15 2013 at 7:42 am
kmeep GOLD, Woodbury, New Jersey
17 articles 2 photos 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
If you can't laugh at yourself, laugh at other people.
-Tim Hawkins

That was really good! :)

on Mar. 11 2013 at 7:42 pm
Stella_Val_Illicia GOLD, Salt Lake City, Utah
13 articles 0 photos 247 comments

Favorite Quote:
"In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad idea."
--Douglas Adams

It was a beautifully sad story, and it really does fit with the time period that you wrote it for. There were some grammar errors, but the writing itself was incredible! I love how deep this story goes, as short as it is. 

on Feb. 23 2013 at 5:59 pm
redhairCat PLATINUM, Pebble Beach, California
47 articles 20 photos 411 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I can do anything!"

I liked it a lot! Good job! Period pieces aren't that easy to do, but you pulled it off well. :)  

on Feb. 11 2013 at 10:25 pm
TaylorWintry DIAMOND, Carrollton, Texas
72 articles 0 photos 860 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there's a light shining somewhere nearby." - Unknown

Lots of grammatical errors, but those can be easily fixed. You've got incredible word choice in here, and the story was well-developed. At the end, it seemed a little bit like Romeo and Juliet. Two lovers who are technically forbidden to love each other do so anyway, despite what position they may put themselves in at the end.

on Feb. 6 2013 at 11:16 pm
WhenItRains21 GOLD, Magnolia, Texas
12 articles 0 photos 54 comments
Interesting. I like the way it's set up, how it wraps around. There were some grammar issues in there, but as a whole it's well written, especially the characters. 

KateK BRONZE said...
on Feb. 6 2013 at 7:32 pm
KateK BRONZE, Indianola, Iowa
3 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
“I've got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.”
― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Amazing... romeo and juilet  just no death :)

Bookish SILVER said...
on Feb. 6 2013 at 5:17 pm
Bookish SILVER, Mustang, Oklahoma
6 articles 0 photos 12 comments
I enjoyed the storyline and the ending very much. I also thought it was neat how you started the story immediately in the action, with the reader not knowing what was going on, and then went back and explained things. That was a very effective method and was better than telling it chronologically. There are some grammatical and structural errors in your writing, but those will improve as you gain more experience. One phrase that popped out to me was "freaked out," that maybe wasn't the best choice for this time period. :) You have good flow, but it at times seemed rushed, maybe try to slow it down and give your characters a little more time to develop and work on your descriptions. Instead of saying Flo is 5' 4", with black hair and green eyes, maybe say "Flo is a small girl with hair like a raven and emerald eyes." Thank you for writing and keep up the good work!

on Jan. 30 2013 at 9:27 pm
EnnaGirl SILVER, Sacramento, California
9 articles 2 photos 58 comments

Favorite Quote:
Be the change you want to see in the world
- Ghandi

That was really good! i loved the emotion you put into your characters! keep writing! i thoought it was amazing

on Jan. 30 2013 at 6:24 pm
kate12345me GOLD, Sydney, Other
11 articles 0 photos 69 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth." - Thoreau
"Sometimes you're flush and sometimes you're bust, and when you're up, it's never as good as it seems, and when you're down, you never think you'll be up again, but life goes on."

Bittersweet, painfully beautiful. Loved it and...what can I say...I am impressed! It was so heartfelt and gut-wrenching. I'm so inspired by Leo - that's how real the characters felt. And Flo...I keep wondering if she'll look back years from this and think warmly of him. I really, really enjoyed this! Please continue writing, and great work!