Flash Fiction Thursday– Crimson Slave

Flash Fiction ThrusdayHere’s yet another Flash Fiction challenge that I got off of terribleminds.com:

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/10/04/flash-fiction-challenge-roll-for-your-title/

I rolled and got: Crimson Slave

Enjoy!

Crimson Slave

Cassius flinched away from the stinging of the whip. It didn’t matter. They men bound his hands in ropes so he wouldn’t be able to avoid a single skin ripping slash. His ebony skin peeled away, resembling warm cheese in a sharp cheese grater, turning his dark skin to the crimson shade of blood mixed with flesh.

Despite the stinging and ripping pain signals sent rushing to his brain, Cassius didn’t as much as grimace. If there was one thing he mastered during his twenty-five years of slavery, it was not letting them get the satisfaction of seeing his agony. Easier said than done, but Cassius managed to accomplish it just the same.

When the public humiliation ended, they untied Cassius and left him to the mercy of the scorching sun on the one hundred and five degree day in south Mississippi. Dasha walked up to the still bleeding man and put a wet washcloth on his back for comfort.

“You okay, Cassius?”

Cassius got to his feet, brushing the washcloth off of his back as he stood. “It’s time,” he said.

The beating was good for one thing. It brought all of the slaves together both figuratively and literally. He wasn’t only speaking to Dasha, but a crowd as well. “I think we’ve all had it up to our eyeballs with this bullshit.” They all gathered around the still-bleeding man.

In 2074, his dark skin didn’t make him a slave any more that his white teeth did. Those born into slavery were slaves for a reason those on the fields didn’t know. In reality, they’d inherited this lifestyle simply because their families were below the $95,000/year poverty line when congress set the ‘slave line’ back in 2022. Global climate change pressures forced the world to phase out the poor from consuming energy—they were made slaves so the elite could keep up with their luxurious lifestyles while the poor broke their backs providing it for them.

“But they have stunners,” a man in the crowd said. They all turned and looked at Alex, the middle aged man with fair skin. “One shot will send us to the ground, convulsing and pissing our pants.”

“How many charges do you think they have? Surely not one for all of us.” Cassius surveyed the crowd and estimated seventy-four men and women surrounded him. “Assuming all their shots are accurate, they’ll get, what, two dozen of us?”

Murmurs of agreement followed his question.

“Then why don’t you go first, Cassius? I’d like to see you lead the way after another beating.”

Cassius smiled. “My pleasure.” He turned his back to walk away. The others gawked at the criss-cross scars decorating his back, coupled with the gruesome crimson gashes he had earned only minutes ago. When you see a man with scars like that, you don’t think, ‘wow, that guy got his ass kicked!’ Instead, for whatever reason, the more logical thing to assume is that the man you’re looking at got put through the wringer and is ready to destroy anything or anyone in his path. On that hot August day, Cassius was that man.

He looked over his shoulder and saw the other slaves start to follow him. They had all read in the history books that, in the nineteenth century, all of the slaves in the United States were of African decent. What Cassius saw over his shoulder, however, was a hodge podge of races—a true rainbow coalition all united under one cause. Tentative steps in his direction led to faster strides. When he turned toward the owner’s house once more, he broke out in an all-out sprint. The others followed, with random farm equipment in hand. Cassius charged with no weapons other than his balled up fists.

Cassius, always considered the most fit, met the front door of the house with his right shoulder. Instead of putting a shoulder shaped dent in the front door as he expected, his shoulder ripped it off of its hinges. He fell forward through the door with splinters of wood flying all around him. The crimson stain his back left on the door was both startling, and impressive. The fact that a man could run as fast as he did while losing so much blood was a medical marvel in and of itself.

Once again, Cassius got to his feet. From what he understood, Master Whitfield lived with his two sons, his wife and a maid (who of course was a slave—an exceedingly attractive slave with three feet of long blonde hair). He surveyed the room. Whitfield’s two sons sat on the couch, wide eyed as the slaves came pouring into the large house. His wife dropped the flour from behind them in the kitchen. The maid, whose name was Raye, smiled at the people pouring into the building. Cassius only saw one stunner—which was far closer to him than it was the two men on the couch.

“Where’s your dad?” he asked. “If you let us at him, you both can run free. And I do mean run—if we ever see you again, we’ll grind you both up and serve you like a burger.”

The two men looked at each other, then ran toward the front door as the slaves parted in order to let them through. “They didn’t answer my question,” Cassius added, this time, with a touch of sarcasm. He glanced up at the lady in the kitchen. “Excuse me ma’am, we have no trouble with you. Where’s your husband? We wanna have a word with him.”

She gestured to Cassius’ right. His eyes followed the motion to a closed door with a light shining through the crack in the bottom.

“Thank you ma’am.”

Every slave that could pile in the front room turned toward the bathroom. The crimson backed slave stepped forward and turned the knob.

 

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