Slave Raid

A scream flew from the mouth of the dark-skinned girl; shattering the silence. Men approached her village, white men. Heavily laden with weapons they came: swords and daggers strapped around their waists, rifles swung over their shoulders, and iron-tipped spears at the ready. This sight lodged fear deep into the girl's heart as successfully as if it were a bullet hidden in the barrel of the gun. Running as fast as was humanly possible for a child of nine, she raised the alarm.

"The slavers are coming!" Chaos followed this announcement: mothers searched for their children, husbands their wives, and young adults a familiar face. Everyone was hoping somebody else would tell them what to do. When the slave dealers arrived at the village, the girl had located her mother. Her eyes overflowed with tears, she knew her fate.

Like sheep the dark-skinned people were rounded up. Their feet and hands tied, their heads bound by the neck to poles. Those who tried to escape were shot. Mothers clung to their babies for they had heard the stories . . . the stories were true: all of the children unable to walk were slaughtered. Women screamed, the children still alive cried.

With the crack of the chicote the caravan moved on, and the sun slowly eased herself under the horizon, leaving a weeping, blood-filled sunset.

chicote: whip