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May 2020 - Writing Challenge

  • 24 Oct 2020 7:48 AM
    Reply # 9323144 on 8946199

    Gloria,

    I enjoyed reading about Harriet Tubman. Great job of building tension.

  • 22 Oct 2020 4:09 PM
    Reply # 9320296 on 8946199
    Gloria A. Gould-Loftin

      Freedom Bridge

    “We’ll wait until night to cross.” said Harriet.  “The Potomac is the narrowest her,” she conveyed to us.  “Can any of you swim? we may need to get off the bridge and into the water if we see Confederate soldiers coming.”

    Most of the people just looked at each other, three out of 15 nodded yes and the rest shook their heads no. “We were never taught to swim, but why would they we are just slaves, non-persons to them” Nathaniel replied. 

    “Those of you who can swim partner up with three or four who can’t.” Harriet replied. People began to shift on the narrow bank of the river.

    Noise came behind them. “Scatter into the woods” yelled Harriet. People ran as if the ghosts of hell were at their backs.

    “I see those niggers,” yelled out a Rebel soldier.  Shots rang out all over the woods.  Not one slave was hit.

    “They are probably all drunk and deserters, called Nathaniel. Just stay quite for a bit longer.”

    The deserters grew tired of their sport and hightailed it back to the Southern Lines. The war was not going well for the south and more and more of this kind of soldier was just looking to kill just one more nigger.

    “Move back to the river bank,” Harriet ordered. “Dusk will soon be upon us. The hardest part of our journey is not behind, but ahead of us.”

    The old bridged creaked and whined as we started to cross over.  The older slaves were afraid, they had never seen water like this. Most were raised on the slave farms. 

    The oldest slave Rubin (Akute) remembered when he had been brought from Africa, a prince.  Crossing the Atlantic, over 2,000 slaves on his ship perished and were thrown overboard to feed the sharks. He decided there and then he would never be afraid. That is why he volunteered with Harriet to lead these young ones to freedom.

    The crossing went smoothly until there were signs of Rebels on Union land across the bridge.  They were stuck by Rebels on each side of the bridge.  Into the water,” yelled Harriet. Even the most afraid were more afraid of her then of the water or the soldiers.

    The soldiers on the freedom side of the bridge were just sitting on their horses.  The Rebels yelled “Hello,” and started across the bridge from the Confederate side. 

    The slaves watched with trepidation as both sides got closer to their hiding place.  When they met in the middle the soldiers on the Freedom side ripped off their Confederate clothing and underneath was proudly displayed was the uniform of the United States military.

    They fought a long and hard battle right on that old rickety bridge.  Men and horses screamed. Blood flew through the air like rain from hell.

    The people under the bridge could only wait for their fate to be decided. The air grew still, men and beasts gasping for breath.

    “You can come out now, this is Captain Mitchell of the Army of the Potomac,” he said. Who is your leader? He asked.

    “My name is Harriet Tubman. My generals are Nathaniel Washington and Prince Akute once slaves and now free.”

    “My men can lead you across the Potomac and to the Capitol, I have business with President Grant and will be happy to lead you further to freedom.” Captain Mitchell replied.

    “We just need a place to rest our tired selves and we will be traveling further North away from the South. I will be taking them to a safe place and the three of us will turn right around and do this all over again.” Harriet said.

    “Mam the war is almost over. You can just wait it out and travel more safely when the war is over.”  Mitchell replied.

    “Not for us, this is not over until the lord takes us or; until we free every slave in the South.  Evil like this can never happen again, at least not while I am alive.”  Harriet stated.

    Harriet Tubman was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.

    She was buried with full Military Honors.

    Quotes

    Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

    I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.

    I would fight for my liberty so long as my strength lasted, and if the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me.


  • 08 Oct 2020 11:30 AM
    Reply # 9291865 on 8946199
    Skemp

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  • 17 Sep 2020 4:19 PM
    Reply # 9244207 on 8946199
    Ryan Angela

    This painting sure is a great work of art. As it’s an abstract art so everyone has the authority to perceives it in its own way. I think it’s the reunion of two fellows who were like birds. As per the filmymeet understanding a piece of art is also an art.

  • 11 Aug 2020 10:42 AM
    Reply # 9158014 on 8946199
    Sherri Hollister (Administrator)

    Timely, scary and uniquely written. 

  • 14 May 2020 7:17 PM
    Reply # 8969819 on 8946199

    Naked Refuge

    George stopped his pickup at the edge of the rickety-looking wooden bridge, hesitating as he did every week, before driving over it to the island. The weathered timbers always gave him the heebie-jeebies, especially in the rain, but he knew that duallys pulling heavy campers successfully crossed the bridge every spring and fall. Besides, the bridge had originally been built for loaded logging trucks before the naturist club had purchased the island. This year, the summer residents had arrived a little early to escape the madness of the pandemic.

    The nudists valued their privacy, so George was the only delivery driver allowed on the property, and he was the only outsider that they trusted with a key to the locked gate on the main road. Every week, he would pick-up their order from the cash-and-carry wholesaler and deliver it to the Community Center, the only permanent building on the island, and accept a check on the bank account of the cooperative store. Then he would load his pickup with their garbage bags to drop off at the dump.

    Nancy, who managed the coop, wore a smock on days when she expected his delivery, and the other residents usually stayed away from the center until after he left. This day she was also wearing a mask and gloves.

    “Wait!” Nancy said as he opened the door to get out of the truck. “First you need to put on these.”

    Keeping her distance, she extended a shoebox containing a paper mask and plastic gloves. George wondered where she had obtained them, but they had a large mailbox on the main road, so she had probably ordered them.

    After he complied, she told him, “Pile all the boxes on the picnic table. We’re going to wipe them down before taking them inside.”

    Some of the items were resold to residents, and the rest was for common use. While everyone fixed their own breakfast and lunch at their campers, they gathered in the building every evening for a communal meal. And there was a bathhouse with toilets and showers built onto the back of the building.

    Two older women stuck their heads out the open door, hiding their bodies behind the wall. He didn’t understand their bashfulness because he wasn’t a prude, and their wrinkled, sagging bodies weren’t exactly provocative. But they weren’t just hiding their bodies; they were hiding from the virus.

    “Did you get everything we ordered?” Nancy asked.

    “I’m afraid not,” George replied. “It’s getting crazy out there. Toilet paper, paper towels and hand sanitizer are almost impossible to find right now. Maybe next week. Meat is getting short too because many of the processing plants have shutdown, but I took the liberty of substituting other cuts. Otherwise, I was able to fill your order.”

    “Good,” Nancy said. “Put your invoice in the box and I’ll go write a check.”

    She stopped just outside the door, and one of the women handed her a Clorox wipe which she used to methodically clean the piece of paper before going inside. She gave George his check by putting it in the shoebox and extending it toward him.

    The next day, George was contacted by the local rescue squad because they had gotten a call to pick up a patient on the island. They needed a key to the gate and weren't sure about the bridge, so they asked George to ride along. Nancy and another woman, both wearing smocks, waited inside the Community Center with the sick person.

    The patient was named Edith, and she wore pajamas as she laid on a folding cot just inside the door. Occasionally she sat up to cough, and then she would lie down again as if the effort had exhausted her.

    George watched from the doorway as the two EMTs checked her vital signs. Then they transferred her to the gurney and slid her inside the back of the vehicle. One EMT rode in the back with her, and the other one drove the vehicle. George thought it odd that nobody wanted to ride to the hospital with her, but he just climbed back into the passenger seat, and they slowly drove down the path toward the bridge.

    The nudists had diligently attempted to keep the virus at bay. Nancy even wiped down every piece of mail before she sorted the envelopes into the pigeon-holes of a cabinet in the Community Center. But last week, Edith had received a birthday card from her youngest girl, and her daughter’s breath had deposited some microscopic droplets on the inside of the card.

    Last modified: 02 Jun 2020 5:49 PM | Michael Worthington
  • 04 May 2020 3:55 PM
    Message # 8946199
    Kimberly Riggs (Administrator)


    Where are you going? Does this old bridge take you to a better place, or taking you back to finish old business? Are you looking back, or moving forward?

    Share your story or poem in one-thousand or less words by uploading it here as a reply. All genres and levels of writing welcome!


    Last modified: 04 May 2020 3:57 PM | Kimberly Riggs (Administrator)
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