Posted by: Author | March 4, 2019

Tuesday Tales- March 5, 2019- Boat

This week’s word for the authors of Tuesday Tales is boat. I am pretty much not writing at this time as I am so discouraged about a lot of things, so I am going to share a bit more of my slave story that I am supposed to be editing but can’t seem to focus on. Luckily, the word of the week is in that story a lot.

Be sure to check out the other tales here

new TT Feb 2018

“We’ve both had our share of tears in this life, girl.”

“Yes we have. Too many.” Theodora thought about the countless tears she’d cried when her mother was sold. She didn’t really remember a lot about that time and really didn’t understand the reason her mother was gone. She only recalled how the warmth of someone’s arms around her as she slept was gone. It was only later as she noticed other female slaves who had babies they cuddled that she understood what she was missing.

The cart jolted to a halt.

Now that they were still, they could hear the sounds around them. There seemed to be a lot of activity.

“How will we be able to avoid being seen if there are a lot of people around?” Theodora asked.

“Trust the planners, child. They’ve done this before. You have to learn to let people help you.”

“How can I? I’ve never really had that in my life.”

“I know, but remember Josiah helped you learn to follow the stars and you were doing that when you escaped the first time, then the boys showed you how to swim when you were planning your second try at the plantation. They helped you.”

“And you have, too but I know all of you and being slaves like me, there wasn’t much to fear that any of you would betray me.”

Esther patted her hand. “I know, but there’s a big world out there for you to make your way in and if you don’t learn to let people help you or to trust that they will, you’re going to grow old alone and frightened. I don’t want that for you.”

Before Theodora could respond, the top edge of the tarp came up. A man’s face peered in at them. “I’m the driver. We’re going to get you on the boat now.” He passed Theodora two really thick blankets. “Hang on as I’m going to drive close to the gangway and we’re going to load you on. Wrap those around yourselves and when the two men take you each out, hold yourself as still and stiff as you can. We’re passing you off as carpets that have to be stored in the captain’s cabin so they don’t ruin.”

This sounded crazy. “Does that actually work?” Theodora couldn’t keep the question from flying out of her mouth.

“It always has before. It’s dark out and no one is really paying attention to what’s being loaded. Two women walking on the gangplank wild cause much more notice than two carpets being carried onboard.

Remembering the words Esther recently spoke, Theodora did what she could to try to trust the man. “Can’t hurt to try, right?”

“That’s the spirit.” He smiled and placed the tarp back over them.

 

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Posted by: Author | February 27, 2019

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | February 20, 2019

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | February 13, 2019

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | February 11, 2019

Tuesday Tales- Feb 12, 2019- Fired

This week’s word for the Tuesday Tales gang is fired. I am still sharing my slavery story. I’ve finished it, but I’m in the middle of editing it now. Our protagonist has made her way to a safe house in Concord, New Hampshire.

Check out the other tales here

new TT Feb 2018

On the fourth day, Sally came in and clapped her hands. “I’ve got your manumission papers.” She held them out to Theodora. “Keep them on you all the time.”

Theodora opened them. She could make out a few words. “These say I’m free?”

“They do. They’ll pass most anyone’s muster. We know they aren’t real, but no one else will so if anybody stops you on the street, you show them. If they act as if they’re going to take you south, you yell long and loud that you’re a free woman of color. Someone in this town will come running and after checking these, will protect you.”

“Really?” Theodora held the treasures to her chest protectively. “I’ll never lose them.”

“I’m also moving you to another room today. Closer to the stairs. Where you can visit with all the others.”

“I’m so glad. Being alone most of the day has been hard.”

“Oh, by the way, I had to give you a last name for the papers. I forgot to ask what you wanted so I picked one. How do you like Smith?”

“Anything you chose is fine as long as it wasn’t Johnson.” Theodora laughed as she tried out her new name. “Theodora Smith. I like it.”

“Well, Miss Smith. Let’s get you moved and settled into your new place before you start work today.”

“What is the day of the week? I’ve lost count.”

“It’s Tuesday.”

“I have to find the pub on Main Street. Do you know where it is?”

“You a drinking woman?” The look on Sally’s face made Theodora giggle.

“No. Not at all.” She grinned. “Although Esther talked me into sneaking some of the master’s spirits once.”

“Then why do you need to go to a pub and on Main Street at that?”

“I have a brother who is trying to escape as well. We agreed to meet there on a Tuesday. I’m to go each week until he shows up, or he’s to go until I come.”

“That’s a clever plan. Did you set a time or are you planning to stay out there all day?” Sally’s eyebrows raised.

“Afternoon is all we said. I’ll go and wait for a few hours.”

“Just keep moving. You don’t want to cause suspicion. We may be in a free state, but people are still not always kind and accepting of us. You might get their curiosity all fired up.”

“I’ll be careful. I promise.”

“For today, I’ll send Tobias with you. To show you the way.” She waggled her finger at Theodora. “But mind you, it may be years before that brother of yours shows up.”

“Maybe so, but I’ll be there.” Theodora crossed her fingers over her heart. “But it could be mere weeks, not years. I choose to believe that.”

“You keep that hope in your heart, child and maybe you’ll be right and I’ll be wrong.”

Posted by: Author | February 6, 2019

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | February 4, 2019

Tuesday Tales- February 5, 2019- Tall

The writers of Tuesday Tales are writing to the word prompt tall this week. We’re a group of ladies who each write completely differently from each other, but use a common word each week.

Check out the other tales here.

new TT Feb 2018

Once they both were awake and dressed in just one gown each, Esther and Theodora went out the door to the little porch on the front of the cabin.

To their surprise, a couple of ladies stood there. One was taller than any other woman Theodora had ever seen and one was almost as round as she was tall. They both had huge grins on their faces.

“We were getting ready to knock. William said you’d be arriving sometime in the night and we didn’t think we could wait much longer to meet you,” the tall one said.

Esther stepped off the porch. “I’m Esther and this is Theodora.”

The shorter woman said, “I’m Lizzie and she’s Sassy.” She giggled. “My former master named me Elizabeth, but I call myself Lizzie now and Sassy used to be Cassandra. Are you two going to change your names?”

“I’m too old to change now, honey.” Esther took the shorter woman by the arm. “I heard there was a kitchen around here.” She waved Theodora off the porch. “That’s my young friend, Theodora. I’m thinking she’s going to keep her name since the master on our old plantation allowed the mothers to name their babies.”

Stunned at that news since she’d never known it, Theodora’s words almost stuck in her throat. She coughed and said, “Yes, I’ll be keeping mine, too.” She vowed to ask the old woman more about her mother as soon as they were alone.

Posted by: Author | January 28, 2019

Tuesday Tales- January 29, 2019- Snow

This week’s word for Tuesday Tales is snow. We’ve gone a little backward in my tale of an escaped slave in order to fit in the word prompt. This is part of the scene of the daughter of the house’s engagement party.

check out the other tales here.

new TT Feb 2018

“Stay out of this, Adams. I know exactly who this young person is and why he’s here. He’s been trying to seduce my daughter for years and I’ll not stand for him to ruin this evening.” The master tried to push past Mr. Adams.
“I’m afraid you’re too late. The night was already ruined for some of us when the bride to be flung two vases to the floor in some kind of rage herself.” Mr. Adams nodded at the groom to be. “If I were you, young man, I’d break off this entanglement as it seems you’re walking into a situation which I believe you’ll come to regret. I’ve heard from others here who feel the same way.”

“See here. You have no right to speak that way in my home,” the master said, the neck of his skin reddened and the powder from his wig flew around his shoulders as if it was snow. Theodora feared for him again. All this anger was surely not good for the master. If he died of some kind of fit, what would happen to the slaves? Would we be sold? Would the mistress need the money we would bring?
“I’m merely stating what everyone here is thinking. The lad and his father made the deal with you to join your families for political reasons and this behavior by Robertson’s future wife is certain to put a damper on his aspirations for office.” Mr. Adams bowed.

“My wife and I shall take our leave and allow you some privacy to try to salvage what you can out of this night.”

He turned and was followed out by most of the crowd. A few stayed which Theodora figured was for the sole purpose of witnessing what would happen next. It was sure to be the gossip of the whole town by daylight.

Daylight reminded her. Were they still going to try to run? Surely not. The house in chaos as it was surely meant no one would sleep this night or in the morning. There would be no chance to escape.

Posted by: Author | January 16, 2019

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted by: Author | January 14, 2019

Tuesday Tales – Jan 15, 2019- Greasy

This week’s word is Greasy for the Tuesday Tales challenge. We are a group of authors who write to the same word prompt each week.

My story picks up with the main character and another slave she escaped with hiding in a barn and eating the breakfast the lady of the house brought them.

Check out the other tales here.

new TT Feb 2018

As soon as she was gone, Theodora and Esther helped themselves to the biscuits and ham.

Esther held up a piece of the ham. “I’ve seen folks in the house raise a glass to toast something good. Let’s raise a piece of ham to our first meal of freedom.” She nodded at Theodora’s ham. “Pick it up, child and we’ll hit them together like the white folks do with their champagne.”

Shaking her head at the old lady, Theodora did as instructed and giggled a little. “This is silly, Esther. We’re not even free yet and you’re being a little crazy.”

“I’m calling us free.” She winked. “After all, did anyone wake us up this morning and make us sew or sweep or do anything against our will? I say that’s freedom. We get to sleep all day today if we want and we just got served breakfast in bed. Has that ever happened to you before?”

“When you put it like that, I guess you’re right. I just hope it’s not freedom for a day, but freedom forever.”

“All’s we got is one day at a time, child. We take that day and live it free. Of tomorrow comes, we do it again—if we can.”

When Theodora swallowed the piece of biscuit she’d taken a bite of, she said, “How did you get so wise?”

Esther shrugged. “Maybe not wise, but I have lived a long time and seen a lot of suffering of our people. First on the plantation and then in the city. I learned to be content by telling myself it was just for a day that I’d be enslaved. Then the next day, I’d tell myself that again. I believed in my heart that at some time, that one day would be the one I tasted the sweet air of freedom. This is that day, Theodora. This day.” Tears streamed down Esther’s face. “And I’ll take this day of happiness even if I’m hiding in a barn.”

Reaching out to hug her friend, Theodora said, “I’ll take this day, too.”

Finishing their breakfast in happy, contented silence, they each smiled at the other.

Finally, when the last crumb was gone, Esther stood and brushed off her skirts. “Time to find that chicken coop and visit the privy.”

Theodora wiped her greasy fingers and and picked up the tray. “How will we climb down with this?”

To her amusement, Esther took the tray and shook the crumbs off it. She used one of the blankets to wipe the grease from the ham off it then placed it against her chest inside the bodice of her top gown. “Just like this.”

“You really are silly this morning. How will you balance with that on? Those rings of the ladder are steep.”

“This is from the girl who just called me wise? How can you now be doubting me?” Esther laughed.

“You’re right, but let me go first so I can catch you—or the tray—if one of you falls.”

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