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Where Strength, Beauty and Perseverance Collide 

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From Whence We Came

 

It is a hot summer day in August and the year is 1642.  After spending just under two months aboard a foreign ship whose crewmates ambushed and captured you on the soil of your homeland, your feet finally tread solid ground once more.  As if the blinding western sun was not enough, you are pushed and shoved while pale skinned foreigners shout and mock you in an unfamiliar dialect.  The stench of feces, urine, death and sickness that had become the permanent aroma of your living quarters over the past weeks was slowly starting to fade in the summer wind, though the memory of it would haunt you for the rest of your life.

Then, a most painful memory resurfaces.  It was the same memory that had haunted every waking thought and dream since being forcibly removed from your beautiful homeland:  your family.  Are they wondering what happened to you?  Or worse; did they share the same unfortunate fate.  Your eyes begin to water as you are continuously shoved forward and the rusty iron shackles rub and cut into your ankles and wrists. 

Grief had become a familiar emotion as of late, but as you continued to stumble on it slowly turned into a more volatile emotion:  rage.  Though unfamiliar with the language these savages spoke, you could hear the insolence in the tone of their words.  How dare they?  You held a prominent position in your tribe.  You are not one to be mocked or disrespected.  How dare they?!  In an instant you turn and strike out at the first foreign face you see.  You call upon the Orishas, asking for vengeance and the strength to fight the cruelty of these barbarians.

Suddenly you are yanked back by the collar around your neck.  Disoriented, you feel a trickle of blood run down your temple as your head strikes the ground after being thrown down.  Then, without a moment’s hesitation, you are wrenched back by your neck once more and pulled towards a tall post.  As your arms are hoisted and secured above your head, a horde of foreigners encircle you, shouting and jeering.  Then, without warning, lightning strikes your back with an intense ferocity.  Once, twice, thrice you feel the searing pain, but refuse to cry out.  You are of noble blood!  However, as the fourth strike sends searing pain across your back, a tear falls from your eye and the scream of agony bubbles up and ascends from your vocal cords.  Then it all stops.  The one thing they wanted was the one thing you fought to keep from giving them.  And in this moment….you are broken.

By author:  K.D. Colden

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