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Almost to Freedom
Denver, Age 12, Brampton, ON

It was a hot dry day. The sun was beating on our backs. Master is inside having a glass of lemonade. Oh! The things I would do to get one of those, the 3 ice-cubes floating in the cool frosted glass. “Ayeesha!” I went out of my day dream in a hurry and went back to picking up the cotton from the field. After I picked my share of the cotton, I went to the barn or in my case, home to relax.  It had no door just a big hole in the wall. The poor thing looked like it was going to collapse any second. When I asked the slave watcher "why we didn’t get the big red one?" He laughed and said that we do not deserve to get it because the animals live there and they deserve better because they bring the master money.  He also says that I am worth nothing when I day dream or stop working.

When I went in I saw my mother, she is old and looks sad all the time, but you can see she has a heart of gold. She told me to wash my hands in the well and come back for supper. When I came back I sat down on the long wooden table for my bowl of porridge. It is what we always had and it was the only thing the master gave us. After supper I played with my doll. I made her with Mom’s sewing needle, scrap pieces of leather and I stuffed it with dirt, leaves and when they weren’t looking bits of cotton. She was the best doll in the world and I loved her so much. Her name was Britta. When I was done I went to sleep on the bumpy ground.  I took the sheet with the fewest holes and pulled it over my body.

In the middle of the night I was awoken by footsteps. I sat up straight really startled and I nudged my mom who was on the floor beside me. Then she woke up. I was scared, wondering what was there. My mom muttered, "Who is there?” very quickly. The shadowy figure came into picture. The moonlight was showing through a crack in the barn. It shone from the person’s neck downwards. I couldn’t see her face it was too dark. The person was wearing a blue and white dotted skirt. I knew it was a woman. She had a white and black top and her arms were white. My mom, completely speaking out of fear, said, “What do you want? If you are looking for money I don’t have any.”

The shadow said in a crackling voice, “You will be able to escape tomorrow morning as someone will come and buy you and he will then drive you to his house where you will have food to eat. He will drop you off to a river where there will be a boat.” Her feet turned around and ran away. My face puzzled as ever looked at my mom and she nodded back to me as if in agreement to what the lady said.

The next morning a tall man came to the cotton field, just like the lady predicted! He was standing beside the master. The master yelled “Get over here you scum bags.” We all dropped what we were doing and lined up in front of him. Then he said to the tall man “Pick anyone you want”. He chose my Mom and me.  He took us home fed us a beautiful dinner with turkey and fruits.  For the first time my mouth tasted real food. The next day he took us to a wooden boat. There were two black people in the boat. I sat in the boat with Britta and Mom. Squeezing Britta hard, we set sail. It was a long and tiring journey. We only had fruits and vegetables to eat and some beans. Soon I stated to doze and then went to sleep.  I dreamt of living in a small cabin on the fields. BAM! I woke up startled as ever, wondering what happened and looked around. One of the black men asked me to get down. I ducked my head under a seat not looking up for a second. I heard gunshots everywhere, and then suddenly the man that told me to duck down had fallen to the floor of the boat. Not moving just lying still. I cried and looked up the steamboat coming closer and closer my chances of freedom are getting thinner and thinner. A person on board grabbed my arm and pulled me and threw me on their boat. Britta was left on the rowboat. Soon my eyes closed and darkness filled around me …. Dark …. Dark…. Dark….

I then woke up in the same old barn with my own dirty clothes. I went on the wooden table, crossed my arms on the table buried my head in it and said to myself, “Almost to freedom.”

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