Henry's Story [A Working Title]
Ok, so I would have given you some more "Freedom Found" this week but not long ago, we had some technical difficulties and it's on a drive, not yet put back on the computer. Instead, I'm going to be sharing with you Henry's (Lucy's brother's) story.
I set out for this to be a short story, similar to Lucy's, but I've been enjoying it so much. I underestimated this story and it's turning into a novelette- maybe even a novella (I don't know how long it'll end up being!)- but it's definitely going to be too long for a short story!
It doesn't have a title yet and if you have any ideas for a title while reading this and other parts of the story comment and tell me! (although, this is probably too early for you guys to give me one since this part isn't revealing masses of the storyline!)
So let's get right into it!
Henry's Story [A working title]
Henry was running as fast as he could without leaving everyone behind. Anyone looking at him could tell from his determined face that what he was doing was a matter of urgency.
Henry knew that they had been followed from the start but things seemed clear at this hour of the night. They had managed to sneak off of their old plantation, find refuge with the Underground Railroad and work their way towards the fee state of Ohio without being caught thus far so the importance of not getting caught at this point was clear.
Henry looked to his right. Running alongside him was his fourteen-year-old sister. She was a strong and determined girl and loved Henry with all her heart. Henry-likewise- loved her and would sacrifice anything to get her to freedom and safety. Even his life.
Suddenly Henry heard a terrifying sound and stopped in his tracks. Lucy bumped into him and was about to apologise but then she heard the sound too. It struck fear into their hearts and made them even more determined to continue. Bloodhounds!
Immediately, Henry and the rest of the group began to run as fast as their already tired legs could carry them. The border was only a few miles away. A million thoughts ran through Henry’s head. They had to get to Ohio. More importantly, he had to get his sister to Ohio. She meant the world to him and he had to do anything in his power to make her miserable life better.
The dreaded howling of the dogs came closer and closer. Henry looked at his sister. Her face showed both utter fear and strong determination to reach the border.
Henry remembered words that his mother had taught him before she died. “Whatever you do. Look after your sister and keep trusting in God”
Henry looked around to see the bloodhounds through the trees and immediately knew what he had to do.
“Keep going” he yelled to the group as he fell behind and turned to face their foe.
He knew that their only option was for him to stay back and distract the dogs, letting the others run to freedom. He was the strongest in the group and knew that only he would stand a chance of survival against the dogs.
Lucy realised what he was going to do and ran back to stand by him.
“What are you doing?” Henry hollered, “Keep going!”
“Not without you Henry”, she replied firmly, “I'm not having it on my conscience that you're bearing the punishment and I'm getting away without you. I can’t imagine a life without you helping me!”
Henry gave a sad smile. “You go”, he said. “Your whole life is ahead of you. Now go on to Ohio, Lucy. Your is life in Ohio”
“My life is no more in Ohio than yours, Henry”, she stated firmly.
Henry knew from experience that if Lucy had her mind set o something changing her mind would take a long conversation and very strong persuasion. He loved her and didn’t want her to get hurt but he knew it would take too long to get her to continue. The best thing he could do was let her stay.
He looked towards where the dogs were coming from and took a deep breath as they almost reached them.
One of the dogs went straight for Lucy and was about to bite her but he punched it away.
The dogs then went for him and he bravely fought off as many as he could but their biting and scratching were too painful. He let out loud cries as Lucy stood to the side and helplessly watched. There was nothing she could do.
The pain was becoming too much for Henry and each of his blows became weaker and weaker. Everything started to go blank and he felt himself going unconscious. He heard a whistle and the dogs all ran back. He flopped to the ground and Lucy ran up to him but was very soon whisked away and bound. He slipped unconscious as he was roughly dragged away.
Henry woke up to a bucket of water being splashed onto him and the sound of screaming. He quickly sat up when he recognised the cries. It was Lucy! They were beating the life out of her.
Henry tried to stand up but found he was bound at both the ankles and with his hands behind his back. He closed his eyes and prayed “Dear God, please keep my sister safe. Please don’t let them kill her. Lord, please. Let me die in her place”
Henry knew for a fact that if they didn’t kill Lucy she would be sent down South and he would be killed as an example to the other slaves. He would be beaten mercilessly until he died.
Suddenly, the screams stopped and Henry found himself shoved towards where the screams had been coming from. He looked around for Lucy and saw her being shoved onto a wagon. The man that had shoved him then shackled him to a so he couldn’t escape and try to run away from the pain he was about to bear and pushed him to the ground.
He looked back at Lucy and their eyes met.
“NO!” Lucy screamed as she jumped off of the wagon and ran towards him as fast as she could in her weakness and pain. She fell down beside him and embraced him. He cherished those few moments he had to put his arms around her as best he could with the shackles and felt the blood and slashes on her back. Lucy managed to whisper a quick “I love you” before she was roughly dragged away and shoved onto the wagon. Tears were streaming from her eyes and the overwhelming thought suddenly hit him that he would probably never see her again.
Henry looked at her and when their eyes met he mouthed, “I love you too!”
The whip cracked and he was immediately transported into a world of pain.
So, there's the beginning of Henry's story! did you like it? Let me know in the comments!
I really, really, hope you enjoyed it and I look forward to sharing more with you!