The Taste of Freedom

Submitted for Contest #45 in response to: Write a story about activism.... view prompt

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The moon was getting weary as it hung tiredly, it's light tangling around the branches of the peach trees. The peaches themselves were hung with shadows wrapped around their warm orange. Bright white fingers swept the valley in rays of sunlight as the music danced around the giant sized mansion. The Perry House's windows were swept with a mixture of sun and moon. Plump pink lanterns strung along with the bush which served as a fence to protect the yard. Overflowing tables of butter bread and spiced tomatoes, brisket and fat potatoes, cheesy garlic bread and raspberry cream filled the freshly-manicured grass. Carved shrubs of dancers and lions sat majestically around the yard, the bottoms of the shrubs circled in mossy stone.

 

Rilla Perry, a girl with hair the colour of golden apples lounged on a blood red couch, her hair falling over the back. Her red lips puckered on a strawberry as she giggled with her friends. Her dress was emerald green and low-necked, her pale neck was topped with a sapphire necklace.

 

Thomas Perry also sat near the white-spread table, his hands salty with gravy. His hair vampire black and his eyes were hungry, he sipped on the red liquid in his wine glass. He laughed at his grandfather's cruel jokes, shaking his head with every breath.

 

People crowded around the chocolate-covered pudding admiring it like it was God. It was circular with hexagonal creases and juicy blueberries were tucked inside of it.

 

Servants who were promised the night's sleep swept around the yard. Getting lime-water for elders and caramel ice cream for the children. Diamond, a servant whisked around in her brown dress, her curly caramel hair flowing down her back, her eyes tired, lined with red.

 

A vivid ball of light finally crested the sleeping hills with thick rays of pale orange and the owls swept back to their shelters under the tall canopies of leaves. The guests slowly left one by one, leaving their jelly-filled punch and bitten potatoes on their plates. 

 

Diamond hurried to the massive kitchen, carrying dishes and platters of all sizes. There she scrubbed along the other servants, suds rolling down her arms. When all the dishes were sparkling clean she ran up to her little nook with pieces of blue bubbled speckling her hair. She buried her head in her flat pillow and tried to close her eyes, sheltering them with her hands to fight the beaming morning light.

 

As soon as her eyes fell into the land of dreams she heard a loud ring sounding from the bell beside her. She pounced awake, burrowing her ear in the bell.

 

"I want chocolate milk. Now."

 

She tied her hair with a brown ribbon and stared into the mirror. Her skin was so thin it was almost see-through. The only thing that seemed rich about her was her hickory brown, curly hair, which swept down her neck and onto her shoulders. She looked away and ran down the stairs.

 

“Too hot,” Rilla complained, her face pouty.

 

“In a few minutes, it’ll be-”

 

“I want it now.” Rilla interrupted.

 

She rushed back down to the kitchen to get a lukewarm glass of chocolate milk, then she brought it up to Rilla. Rilla took it silently and slammed the door in Diamond’s face.

 

“Your welcome,” Diamond muttered softly.

 

Then she went back to her nook, excited to close her weary eyes.

 

It was only an hour until Diamond was woken up to make breakfast. The purple-tinted sun rose magnanimously onto the chirping hills and was thrown into Diamond’s room, through the clouded window. She awoke, her tired body staggering down to the kitchen to cook benedicts and hollandaise sauce. After she had served the huge family she snuck a few pieces of turkey into her satchel and grabbed a plump apple and stuffed it in her mouth.

 

In the middle of the night, Diamond awoke from her slumber, ready to secretly escape. She heard the soft snores trickling past as she snuck down. Even though nobody was watching her she felt gazes on her back. Then her door reached the handle, she creaked it open and leaped out. She was so close to being free. She could smell it. 

 

She walked with the rest of the slaves. The moonlight soaking her in silver. The trees drew sneering shadows over her as she walked to the railroad. The nightjars flew, and the owls hooted cacophonous sounds. The ghostly stars whispered in the thick night air, shining their light onto the tired slaves. Finally, she reached a dark alley which led to the railroad. The ceiling was curved and the train tracks were rusty beneath her feet. The walls were bricks, with broken lines spiralling through them. Sometimes she hid as the trains flew past, her dress would get cut in the fast motion. 

 

It took days to reach Canada, she nibbled on a bite of her turkey every noon and then continued to walk. She bandaged the wounds of men, women, and children. 

 

Finally, a little peek of white snow awaited her. Diamond shivered uncontrollably as she ran out of the railroad and onto the white snow. She watched an intricately designed snowflake melt on her hand, it had a thousand patterns, and it slowly turned to a droplet of water against her dark skin. The snow-filled wind swirled around her, pleasantly freezing her senses. The white sky above sang to her. 

 

Freedom. Maybe she would die, and become an ice popsicle. But she would die a free woman. And freedom was the best thing she had ever tasted. It was different than peace. 

 

It’s like I’m dancing like an angel above the clouds. Swimming in the dazzling starlight and stroking the sun with my bare fingers without getting burnt. It’s like fire running through my veins. Like a never-ending dose of electricity pulsating and glowing through my skin. It’s this feeling of reassurance, safety and peace. I feel like an eagle who’s just learned to fly, I‘m flapping my large wings and soaring through the cloudless sky. 

 

Diamond thought, her face glowing and rippling with golden joy.


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