“I Will Die Free”

Copyright Randy Mazie

(Photo copyright Randy Mazie)

My life’s journey will end here, in a wooden box piled high with rocks to hold it down when the rains come.
This year of 1830 has brought great change to my life. I have gone from enslaved and beaten Virginia farmhand to citizen of the new colony of Liberia. Many of my shipmates have turned their backs on the soil and taken to trade with the natives. They have failed. I have gratefully accepted my allotment of land and work it with joy.
I know the land. I am free. And I will die a free man of property.

(Written for Friday Fictioneers, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. July 12, 2013.)

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51 Responses to “I Will Die Free”

  1. Dear VB,

    As everyone knows by now, historical fiction is my favorite. Your story is no exception. Well done, well done indeed.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

  2. Gabriella says:

    Another great entry for this week’s challenge! Very clever revisiting of history.

  3. billgncs says:

    good one VB – this makes me sad when I think about things that others worked so hard for that current generations disdain.

  4. Sandra says:

    Excellent! Well done.

  5. H. Ken Abell says:

    Very well written.

  6. Linda Vernon says:

    I don’t know anything about this chapter of history but your story has got me curious now! Well done!

  7. Joe Owens says:

    I can imagine it would be such a proud moment to make the transition. I am sure those who turned their backs regretted it soon enough.

  8. Vb, I can feel his pride and applaud him for it (and you for the story.)

    janet

  9. Dee says:

    Well done VB
    Great story, well written. Loved this
    Dee

  10. Well done. The history angle is a good one.

  11. wmqcolby says:

    Now THIS is something! Has the stuff of history. Super job this week, VB.

  12. You said so much with only 100 words. Well done, darling.

    • vbholmes says:

      Thanks–don’t think the Heavy Petting Zoo would fare too well in the early 19th century town of Monrovia (can’t speak for its success with the natives in the brush).

  13. Every one deserves to live and die free – nice flash fiction

  14. What was it about this goat? It evoked great emotion, and depth this week. Nicely done. I felt the man’s pride.

  15. This is great, a true reminder of all the heroes never mentioned. Sad to think about more recent events in Liberia

  16. zookyworld says:

    A powerful story, wonderful that he found freedom and worked the land with joy.

  17. Shreyank says:

    not sure abt the history behind this story.. but it has resemblance to other historic stories..well done

  18. vbholmes says:

    Starting a new country from scratch is an overwhelming undertaking–there are many conflicting stories about the early days in Liberia.

  19. Well conveys the spirit of those striving to be free, wherever and whenever they may be..

    • vbholmes says:

      Thanks, Perry–the free citizens of early Liberia proved that those who worked hard, survived, and those who were skilled, and/or ambitious, prospered.

  20. Hi V.B.,
    Loved the Liberia connection. Lots of people don’t know its history of accepting returning slaves and that made a great premise. Excellent story. Ron

    • vbholmes says:

      Many thanks, Ron–good to see you back. It is an interesting story. Liberia was founded by free and manumitted blacks, many sponsored by the American Colonization Society.

  21. neenslewy says:

    A great historical flash!

  22. Good piece of historical fiction. And will die happily.

  23. Nice story. I like the historical context.

  24. vbholmes says:

    The picture, with the old tombstone, is ripe for a story about the past….Many thanks.

  25. rgayer55 says:

    Like Rochelle, I enjoy historical fiction too. Very well written and thought provoking piece.

  26. unspywriter says:

    Very well done. Historical fiction is my favorite as well, and you’ve given us one to think deeply about. Mine? Mine is all fluff this week: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/judas-goats/

  27. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear V.B.

    Great reference to the history of Liberia. Well done.

    Aloha,

    Doug

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