Light and Dark

During the middle 1800s in the southern United States of America, black people were forced into slavery due to the belief of white people having superiority over them. Not all white people felt this was right, however. This story is about a young slave named Anna and the friendship she develops with her new master's son, Jacob. The two look out for each other, and learn the value of true loyalty, especially when one of them is put to the ultimate test.


2. The Journey

Two days. That is how long the trip from Master Randolph's estate to Master James' home will take. I feel more at ease with the thought of Christa being safe, yet I dread the arrival of this new place. I do not trust this man to be as forgiving and understanding as our last master. He is clearly not nearly as wealthy or intelligent. There is something untrustworthy of him. He hides many things, I can tell.

As the wheels continuously bump over the road, the other men all grow nervous. I see by the way they gulp and shake. Not out of fear, but of anxiety. What will this experience be like for us? If only Mama and Papa were here to comfort me. If only I could stay to protect my sister. Taking her place was a start. Cook will look out for Christa, I know. Cook always looks after everyone, especially the young ones. I remember when I was little, and I fell and scraped my knee. I began to cry, and the master heard. Before he could even turn around, Cook had snatched me up, and brought me inside. She cleansed my wound and told me to never complain in front of Master Randolph again. I miss her. She always knows what to do and say.

Nighttime comes, and the sounds of snoring fill the crate. By the ways of his driving, I can tell that Master James is falling asleep, as well. Perhaps he should pull over before we hit something damaging. He eventually does and soon after, heavy breathing comes from the front of the carriage. As I lay there, watching the bright and twinkling stars, a thought comes to me. Why is it like this? Why do white people think themselves better than us? Don''t we all come from our mother's stomachs? Aren't we all human? Don't we all crave to be ourselves; to be free? I know that white people aren't all free. They are held down by laws and duties, something we blacks don't have to worry about. I wonder if God intended for us all to be equal. Or is it going the way He planned? I may never know.

Morning arrives with the sounds of roosters singing. Groggily, I open my eyes. All the others are still asleep. Man, they sure can sleep forever. I see the familiar faces of Roger, George, Thomas, and Gregory. I am the only girl. I wonder if there are others waiting at Master James' house. Hours later, when all of us are awake, the carriage and cart begin to move. Yawns repeatedly come from Master James, and I mimic, unable to repress the urge. After what seems like days to me, Master James pulls over once again and tosses a chunk of ham the size of my palm into the crate. I expect the men to scarf the meat down before I can say "please", so I stay in the corner, so as not to be injured in a rustle; but to my surprise, Roger, who grabbed the ham as it fell, divides it evenly amongst us all, me included.

As I gratefully accept the food, I questioningly stare at Robert. Why did he give me an equal part of meat? The men need to eat more than I do. Robert seems to understand my confusion. "You're growing, and you need just as many nutrients as we do," he explains. Wow, I think to myself. I never thought that Robert would be so understanding. As I glance around at the others, none of them question Robert's decision, or even look at me. They simply devour the ham. Maybe I will have people to look out for me at the new master's estate.

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