Soul Eater

This was a short story I had to write in eighth grade. You had to write about slavery, and you were supposed to pick a perspective and write through it.


The cold, hard determination was coursing throughout her body. I could feel the strong back tense, but the knees would not buckle and the head was held up high. The young girl behind her protecting arms was curled up in a ball, shaking with fear. The old woman defiantly looked straight at Master’s face.
“You will not touch her”, she said, her deep voice tired but adamant.
I could feel Master flinch, not expecting such a reaction. Then, I came down hard across her face, and blood spurted from a deep gash that covered her old, wrinkly skin. She chuckled slowly, a sort of throaty growl that came from deep inside her chest.
“This pain will not break me, I will never break under the fury of Roho Mlaji.”
I smiled. My reputation here in the south is well known, for the blood of a thousand slaves has been spilt by me, the Soul Eater. I came down again across her mouth.
“Watch your tongue you dog!” Master said. The old woman spit out blood and what was left of the crooked teeth in her mouth, smiling at the ground.
“The Lord God sees all my actions and knows all my desires, he will take care of me.”
“HOW DARE YOU USE THE ALMIGHTY GOD’S NAME!” I cracked down on her repeatedly as Master unleashed a rage that could only be quenched with the blood of a slave. She sank down slowly, still smiling the tilted smile even though blood dripped from her like the sweat off a cotton picker.
“The Lord has given, and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord” Master shrieked in rage, and soon I needed not to show my bloodlust, for the old woman stopped breathing, staring up at the crystal blue sky without seeing.
The little girl whimpered, a small ball of dirt-streaked tears and broken dreams. Master ignored her and turned away disgustedly from the old woman’s lifeless shell which was already beginning to attract flies as the stench in the midday heat wafted through the air.
“Curse that John Brown,” Master scowled, the lines of his ugly face deepening. He smelled of sweat and drink; I suspected he had been drinking before he lost his temper with the old slave woman.
“He has given the slaves hope…too much hope.” He went into the slave house and hung me up to dry. The house smelled of disease and fear, but most of all hatred, which was so strong I could feel it shake the ground. Of course the humans could not feel this, otherwise Master would be a lot more scared of the slaves then of his rapidly gaining weight. He was not used to rebellion except for the occasional runaway, who was promptly shot and strung to a tree to show all others that escape is suicide and not to be tried. Master barked orders to the three slave women nearest him, who scurried into the kitchen looking over their shoulders at the little girl who was hiccuping and looking with big brown eyes at Master. There was no life in those eyes, almost as cold and dead as the old woman. It often happened to the children who were torn from their families, and this little girl would shriek no more for next time there would be no old woman to protect her. I do not care what happens to these slaves, I just observe. In another couple hundred years slavery will be abolished, and then after another couple more a new group will be punished unfairly…It is just how the world works. I will be kept here as long as they whip the insolent and defiant, however immoral or unjust the situation may be. The blood of a thousand more slaves will stain my cracked and worn leather before these stupid humans learn that their petty disagreements about freedom mean nothing. In the end, they all shrivel up and die deaths that will make them care no longer whether there is freedom and democracy. In the end, they are broken and lifeless, as the old woman was broken. The little slave girl who is not yet seven has already been broken, and will just be a shell for the rest of her life. There will be no life, no hope, no love in that heart. All that remains is hatred and a desire for revenge that will not be quenched until the blood of a thousand white men has spilt under the hand of a black man. I have seen this before and after slavery it will happen again…There is always sorrow in a land.