I stared dumbfounded at the dead white men before me while the phantom ringing in my ears which seem to keep me in a trance. I knew I should move; get away from this place before whoever killed these men, came to kill me too. But my limbs wouldn’t move. I stayed glued to the ground, perhaps in shock, but more so from fear. I didn’t know in which direction the shots came from and I didn’t want to run into a killer in the darkness of those woods.
So I remained where I lay, frozen in place, pondering whether or not to just run for it and take my chances, when you emerged from the thick underbrush. You didn’t say one word, just stepped over me with a smoking rifle in your hands and a monstrous look in your dark eyes. You kept that hard stare, and the face of that rifle, on the motionless men on the ground.
You took your time walking up to Toothless, once there you punched him with the rifle. He had no face, but you made sure he was dead with another shot. Then you bent to started digging in his overalls, but kept looking around for movement like a predator. Whatever you found, I watched you put it in your pocket as you stood. You never looked back at me, as you slowly walked over to the Big Brother a few yards away; rifle aimed, to do the same thing. When you were finished with him you headed back into the woods, still with the rifle at the ready, where the silent brother laid somewhere dead too, I hoped.
You were gone for a long time, I thought, rummaging in the pockets of a dead man. I should have run for it, gotten a good piece away before you knew I was gone. Yet, I still hadn’t moved from that spot. Why hadn’t I moved, I thought watching you materialize from the darkness? Your face dark as the thick woods, the rifle pointing down, you stared passed me. Why didn’t I get up and run when you came to stand before me? “Let’s go,” you said, still not looking at me. You walked back into the woods, seemingly drain, so why did I finally get up to follow you?
The track through the forest was harder than I thought. You walked so fast that I couldn’t keep up, and when I fell behind, which was often, I had to run in order to catch up with you. However, you never looked back to see if I was still following. “Wait,” I yelled, but you never stopped walking. “I’m tired, wait!”
I stopped to catch my breath and you finally turned to frown at me. “Them there were white men I just killed girl,” you said, sternly. “You know what that means?” I understood that a nigger had killed three white men over a nigger girl. I understood that my virtue meant nothing; our lives meant nothing, compared to those white men who would have raped and killed me just for the simple pleasure of it. I shook my head understanding that we had to flee. “Then get a moving on, ‘fore, some of their kin, come a looking.” Those were the most words, I actually heard you say to me, since I left Papa’s home.
Copyright © 2013 Glynis Rankin