Their story this week is Amos Fortune Free Man, by Elizabeth Yates. C decided to write his essay as if he was another slave that was taken along with Amos. When I read it, I got goosebumps. I thought I'd post it here, first so I don't lose it, and also because I think he just did a great job on it and I'm proud of him.
The Middle Passage
My roller coaster of a nightmare started when my village was doing their annual sacrifice. In the middle of our longus [Latin for "long" - they get candy for adding a Latin word into their paper] prayer, I had this horrible feeling in my gut that I was being watched. Not by an average set of eyes, but by snipers. Suddenly, I heard a loud crack, and ducked, which caused the bullet to whiz over my head and kill our king! Like cheetahs, the soldiers handcuffed our prince, now our king, and the rest of us and forced us into tiny canoes. Waiting patiently, I stared at our new king, who was calm. His calmness caused the others to remain calm too. Annoyingly, a mysterious soldier chunked us into ditches, like bags of sand, and left us there for several weeks. Nobody moved because we were horrified that the guards would blow our brains out if we did. Every day or so, a soldier would throw little bites of food at us. Eventually, a buff soldier with an evil smile, lifting the tarp and nearly blinding us, signaled us to follow him.
My tribe followed the soldier to a sandy beach. Interestingly I spied a steel cargo ship. Then it hit me. I swallowed hard. We were the cargo! Lining us up, the commander sent us down stairs, single file, to crawl into our cages. My friends were whispering about being slaves, then started crying. While I was lying there, a man died right next to me. Everyone was thinking about their families which must have been especially hard for a new king. The trip was brutal torture. People were starving and obviously, no one took showers so that was lovely. My eyes burned with sweat and salt water. All I could see what total darkness. For months, all I could hear was the crash of waves against the boat and the crying of fellow passengers. Nobody knew what lied ahead.
Early Tuesday morning, after months of being on board, I was woken abruptly by a blinding light. For the first time in what seemed like decades, I was able to get up and move around. Hastily, the soldiers brushed our teeth (if we had any left), fed us some bread, and greased our boney bodies. Some lucky men were allowed to shave their beards. Now handcuffed, we were forced into a line, and hosed off on our way down the gangplank. As we walked down, I finally noticed a crowd of wealthy men gathered around a concrete block. One by one, they threw us on top of the block to be laughed at, then auctioned off. My heart broke watching my people being bought like everyday items. I prayed that my new owner would take care of me. I didn’t think anything could be worse than these last few months.