“Please, Miss Avery!” Dinah knelt before her mistress in the dark and gloomy barn, her apron clenched in trembling hands. Lightning flashed like searchlights outside the creaking walls while thunder stormed above in violent, wild clamors.

“She’s the only family I got left.”

Kentucky rain came fierce and heavy, drumming on the roof like an enemy assault.

“It’s against the law, Dinah.” Avery’s voice wavered. Her lantern flickered as phantom drafts disturbed the evening air. If her husband found out…

“Is it against your conscience, Miss?” Dinah’s strong African features contorted with desperation.

Avery stood still. The sound of baying hounds pierced through the raging tempest.

Avery reached up and touched the golden cross which hung around her neck. The wind paused and her lamp burned steady. She nodded assent.

Dinah leapt to her feet, peering behind her into tall, dark hay stacks.

“Precious!” she cried. “Sister, show yourself!”

A small black woman appeared from the shadows, dripping wet and muddy. Blood glistened from a gash high upon her cheekbone. Rusted shackles circled bony wrists.

“Come quick!” ordered Avery, her senses renewed. “We don’t have much time.”

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Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

Hello Heather, you described and brought home the horrors of slavery in this short and compact story, not an easy thing to do. This story deserves more likes and comments. Please keep on writing, you have a wonderful gift.

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson (@susan-dawson)
1 year ago

A second read-through really helped me appreciate the amazing story and its relevance to the theme. It leaves the reader to work out the rest of the story.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

Your story is very touching and thought provoking. Very well written and, even with so few words, had me biting my lip, hoping desperately that Miss Avery would make the right choice.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock (@linda-rock)
1 year ago

Your descriptions are so vivid Heather that I was right there in that barn. I could almost hear the sound of those baying hounds. I’m so glad Avery made the right decision despite fear of repercussions. A story that will stay with me.

Katy Bizi
Katy Bizi (@katy-bizi)
1 year ago

This short story brought tears to my eyes! Slavery is a difficult issue but you managed to write a really good story about it that moved the reader.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

A very nice story. I was horrified but well entertained by its content.

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Most Voted Comments

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8

Bait

It takes a real talent to tell a story in so few words. What was…


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6

Endure and Sing

Inspirational piece. Am glad you picked the rat to be the protagonist in your story,…


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6

Endure and Sing

Such a sweet tale - and with a good moral to the story. I thought…


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5

Endure and Sing

Wow! This is a good story! Really good to read to little kids, the moral…


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4

Endure and Sing

Hi Katy, it really does add an extra dimension to hear your story read aloud…


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4

Endure and Sing

In my neighboring country Denmark, we have the classical storyteller Hans-Christian Andersen. Your sweet story…


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4

Endure and Sing

A really nice one with a wonderful story line. I can see why this was…


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4

Endure and Sing

A beautiful story! I was reminded of seeing Paul Potts and Susan Boyle on Britain's…


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4

Endure and Sing

Your story inspired me to keep going no matter how discouraging it gets. At times…


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4

Endure and Sing

Thank you so much for the feedback! I pray that the young readers will be…


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4

Endure and Sing

Thank you for taking the time to comment and convey your thoughts on the story.…


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4

Endure and Sing

Hi Katy, don't we all feel like the rat in your story at times! We…


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4

Vows

I must admit it was the picture of the church, with its grave yard, under…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

A very powerful story, Daniel. Your writing makes it easy to feel the reality of…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

Oh my gosh, Daniel. Your story really defines the word superb. You make me experience…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

A horrendous situation, more so because so many people find themselves going through it. A…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

What an extremely powerful story Daniel, really well written and with an ending that had…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

Daniel, this story is one of the best flash fiction stories I've ever read. You…


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3

In Memoriam

It's terrible to lose someone you love and accept that he is not a part…


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3

The Problem with Women

I think Carrie has said it all. We rest our collective case.  ? 


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