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Christ has set us free

Baltimore was a God-fearing place where we were allowed to attend church on a Sunday. Submitted to the Real Poetic Secret Writer Challenge

By Raymond G. TaylorPublished 26 days ago Updated 21 days ago 1 min read
Frederick Douglass. Photo by George Kendall Warren, Public domain

"You put that whip down, or y'all be sorry."

"I'll be sorry? Not as sorry as you will, boy!"

With that, young Freeland raised the horsewhip and threw a mighty wave of the whip's end at me. Flinching, I felt the sting of a cut across my shoulder. Before the man could raise his arm again for a second blow, I was upon him and knocked him clean off his feet, as my fist drove into his jaw.

Hastening back up, he dusted himself off, righteous indignation in his eyes. I feared I had gone too far, having seen a man broken on the wheel for less.

"What kind of a slave are you?"

"Not the kind you whip like a horse," I retorted. Whatever consequence my foolhardiness might bring, I figured backing down now wouldn't help much.

“Damn you! I paid good money for a good day's work, not a punch on the jaw."

"Well quit cussin' " I said "and let me get back to it."

Mistress Auld had apologised to me as I'd left for the long walk to the Freeland farm that day. She'd said her husband had hired me out because they needed the money, but we both knew it was because he caught me secretly reading the Bible. "Teach one slave to read and soon they'd all cry: freedom!" Mr Auld had said. With that, the bible lessons ceased.

Though the work in the field was backbreaking, I felt I was close to God's creation. With the coming of St Valentine's day, there was much to be done and my hard labor gave me time to think about what Mr Auld had said. I also kept the ragged bible Mistress Auld had given me. By moonlight, I would try to work out the meaning of the words and copy down phrases I knew like: "Christ has set us free."

Later that February, I stood in front of a whole church full of enslaved people, teaching letters at the end of service. Baltimore, where I lived, was a God-fearing place and allowed us to attend church on Sunday, listening to a freed black minister. Nobody figured he would allow reading lessons after his preaching.

Nobody figured I would run away, either. Yet here I am, with my beautiful wife, Anna, both free in New York.

Anna Murray Douglass. Photo by Rosetta Douglass Sprague, public domain

Written for the RP challenge


About the Creator

Raymond G. Taylor

Author based in Kent, England. A writer of fictional short stories in a wide range of genres, he has been a non-fiction writer since the 1980s. Non-fiction subjects include art, history, technology, business, law, and the human condition.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

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    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

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    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (15)

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  • Lamar Wiggins19 days ago

    Excellent micro, Ray! You packed in quite a bit! Well done!

  • Novel Allen20 days ago

    Freedom is a burning flame, we will endure anything to be free. Douglas would be proud if he read your micro account. He had work to do.

  • Anna 21 days ago

    Wow, I enjoyed it a lot!

  • I love it!

  • Anna 22 days ago

    This was beautiful!🥹

  • This was gripping and appreciatd the ending! 🤍

  • This was extremely powerful! You packed so much in so few words! Brilliant work!

  • Mark Graham26 days ago

    Great piece of writing. I like reading historical fiction.

  • Shirley Belk26 days ago

    Raymond, you know I love your historically based stories. The people seem to come to life through your tales. I love them so!!

  • John Cox26 days ago

    Lovely, gritty story, Ray. I love the double meaning in the title and the text.

  • Real Poetic26 days ago

    This is incredible. You really took me back in time, and the dialogue was spot on! Well done.

  • Beautiful Raymond. I enjoyed this! Thank you for sharing!

  • Natasha Collazo26 days ago

    Ooo I loved this. Great job Ray!

  • This story is entirely fictional, though of course based on the life of Frederick Douglass.

  • Judey Kalchik 26 days ago

    Brief and powerful!

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