• shortstory

                    1ST ENTRY ( 1800's )


          Momma always told me that there was no reason I couldn't do what I wanted to do. She always said that. Now I know what she was saying. At the time, I never could have imagined that what my momma said could be true. "All you need to do is fight for what you want," she told me, "and you'll never fail. As long as you have faith in yourself, Abigail."

          The last day I saw my Momma, Mr. Collins' son was angry. Mr. Collins was a nice old man, and he would tell me stories sometimes. Momma liked him too, and she was upset sometimes, since he couldn't help us. His son was the mean one. He never really liked us too much, and since we were his property, he didn't treat us very nice either. Mr. Collins' son never hit Mr. Collins, but he yelled lots at night, and Mr. Collins never yelled back. If I was Mr. Collins, I would yell back, since sons aren't supposed to yell at their papas.

          When Mr. Collins' son got angry at us, he would take my momma and I didn't know where they had gone, but when she came back, she didn't say much, and whenever I touched her back, she would tell me to go back to bed. But one day, my momma never came back. Mr. Collins came to my room out in the shack and held me in his arms. He didn't say much either, but he told me that I needed to do something. Something big.

          I didn't have any shoes, but Mr. Collins told me that I was gonna need to do some running through the forest to the north of his house. I didn't know which way north was, but he showed me. He told me to keep going through the forest until it ended, and then follow the trees up to a house with a lantern on it. I didn't know what was happenin', but I knew that what Mr. Collins' wanted for me was probably good.

          Before I left, I asked him if I would see my momma again. He said yes. "Yes, you will see her again. One day..." A tear dropped down his face as he pushed me toward the forest. I heard his son calling from the house, angry, as he usually was. "Papa! Get in the house! We're trying to have a decent family dinner in here! God damnit!" He slammed the door to the house, and even so far away, I could hear his footsteps banging against wood floor.

          The sound startled me a little, and when I was runnin', I think I was runnin' faster than I've ever run before in my life. I wanted to cry about my momma, but Mr. Collins told me I would see her again, and that helped me keep my tears inside my eyes. My feet started hurtin' after I was runnin' for a few minutes, but I didn't see the end of the forest in sight. I picked a branch out of my foot and when I felt it come out of my skin, the tears dropped from my face.

          I kept going though. I think I started to understand what was going on. Mr. Collins was trying to help me get away. Away from the farm. Away from all of the angry people. Away from having to sleep on wood, and workin' in the fields all day long. I didn't know you could escape 'til now, and when I figured it out in my head, I ran faster. I thought I could see the light at the end of the forest. It was the moonlight, and when the trees didn't block it, I ran up the line of trees like he told me to. It seemed like a long time before I came up to the house. I saw the lantern, and that told me I was at the right place. When I looked in the window though, I saw a man, his two children, and his wife. Little white kids sittin' at a table, eatin' dinner.

          I was afraid to go in, but what other choice did I have? It was the beginning of my journey toward what I wanted to do in Life, and I knew what mama said could never be a lie. It was real, and I was going to live it.