I was still walking when the darkness of night descended on the cave like a storm cloud on a rainy afternoon. One of the La Diablesses came in and lit all of the torches floating from one torch to the next like a nun in church. I started to pursue a conversation but before I could drum up enough courage to approach she was finished with she task and glided out the cave. I kept walking thinking bout me escape the problem was not how I would escape but when would be the best time to make an attempt. I went over to the alter climbed on and sat down I would have to wait and see what they routine was before I made me move. I lay down looking up at the stars and soon I fell asleep thinking bout this frigging dilemma I was in.
I slept the whole night and most of the next day and I was awoken by one of the La Diablesse I sat up almost knocking over the tray of food sitting next to me, she turned and walked out the cave she perfume lingering when she left. I ate slowly looking round the cave a small plane flew by the flashing light on its tail end blinking like a firefly. Thoughts of Alison entered me mind and I wondered if she knew I was kidnapped, was she looking for me? After all she and she grandmother did not do enough to save me from these bloody women. I wondered if there was a search party out combing the forest and the beaches for me? I thought of Jane, the way she looked at me, and the way she was gentle when she touched me, then I became worried because I knew she would be going crazy trying to find me. I closed me eyes and tried to imagine she being close to me, me heart pounded like crazy as sadness overcame me. I laid there reflecting on me short life the little I had accomplished was hardly enough to make a difference in anyone’s life. Tears began to roll out of the corner of me eyes, I mean; I most likely will never get the chance to make any difference. I took a deep breath and stood up talking to meself then began walking round the cave I had to stop feeling sorry for meself and think bout escaping.
Later that night the leader of the La Diablesse came into the cave, she walked up to the Alter and leaned over me, I sat up, for some reason I felt no real danger when she was in the cave, she was more concerned that I was healthy to perform the ceremonies that were so important to she. She went over to a chair that sat in the dark and pulled it up closer to the alter, I sat and looked at she but without looking at me she spoke.
“About three hundred years ago, I was a young woman, some say I was the most beautiful woman they had ever seen, I was the daughter of a plantation owner and a slave woman. It was hard fitting in because the slaves did not see me as one of them and I was not exactly white either. One day the slave master sold me off to one of his friends, I not only was a slave but I became the mistress of the plantation owner, he was an old Englishman who was hard on his slaves, everyday there were whippings and hangings, the slaves lived in constant fear of their lives, I was not exempt from his brutal ways. At night when I lay in my room he would come in and have his way with me, I would close my eyes and pretend I was somewhere else, life became a nightmarish routine. Years went by and I endured some of the most brutal raping you could imagine, the lady of the house knew what was going on between her husband and me and she was not pleased at all, whenever he left the island to return to England to conduct business she would put me in the cane field with the other slaves. She was sure not to let the overseers whip me so as not to let her husband know what she was doing. I would spend long hours cutting cane, carrying cane, she would make sure that I was worked until my muscles felt like they would fall off my body. Weeks before the master was supposed to come back she would take me out of the field so as to make sure I would not look sick when he came back.” She stopped talking and looked up to the sky and I thought I heard her sniffing, I shook me head, I mean why she think I was concerned with what happened to she three hundred years ago. She sat there for a few seconds before continuing she story.
“It was one of these times I met Samuel, he was the most handsome man you ever saw. He had jet-black skin that glistened in the sun when he sweats, dark brown eyes that looked right through you, there was not an ounce of fat on that man, I fell in love right away. I would sneak out of the slave’s quarters to go see him and we would sit in the moonlight and I listened to his dreams about freedom and how he would lead the slaves off the plantation, I never really took him seriously but that did not stop him from planning. We would kiss under the stars, his lips were full and thick and they cover mine as if to protect them, it was the first time in my life I felt loved. After a night of spending time together we would sneak back to the slave quarters whispering our love to each other before we went to our separate quarters. Those were the best days of my life.” She stopped talking and sat there, a seagull flew by the caves opening its dark form floated by in the night sky, stupid birds, kept taunting me I swear if it flew down I would snap its neck. The La Diablesse started talking again.
“Even when the master came back we would sneak off and spend time together, of course love as strong as that could not be kept secret for long, the other slaves soon figured out what was going on and they began to talk. I would walk around the plantation and see him working in the fields and stood there looking at him, sometimes he would look up and wink at me, it took all my will power not to smile and wave at him. One day the mistress and I were walking her baby, I was walking in front of her trying to keep up with the little devil as he ran ahead of us, we passed Samuel and the other slaves cutting cane in the fields. He looked up at me and winked that always sent pleasant chills through me. When we got back to the main house the mistress came up to me and asked me why was I smiling at the field hand, I bowed my head and did not answer.
That night the master was furious, he demanded that I tell him if I was fornicating with the animal slave. When I did not answer he walked over and slapped me so hard I fell across the room hitting my head on a chair and passed out. For weeks after that I was not allowed to leave the house. The master would watch every move I made, his wife walked around with this triumph look on her face. Every night he would come into my room every time he was more vicious. He did not only rape me but he would slap me until I blacked out all the while screaming that he would teach me to be faithful to him. Sometimes he would bring the bible in with him and tried to preach to me the importance of faithfulness and loyalty. He would always say that we the slaves did not understand the meaning of loyalty like the plantation owners. He quoted passages about characters in the bible that had more than one wife and those wives were loyal, he said that whores like me should be stoned.
Weeks went by and I was finally let out of the house. One day I walked by the field and saw Samuel working, he looked at me with concern in his eyes, I turned away afraid that I would be caught looking at him. The next couple of days were hard, I was free to go about the plantation but it was still too dangerous for me to see Samuel. One day an old slave woman brought a message to me saying that Samuel had planned to escape and that he would like to see me one last time so I snuck out of the house doing my best not to be seen by any of the other slaves. We met in our usual place overlooking the ocean at the end of the island, yes, it’s the same place you like to go sit, that’s the only part of the island that has not changed much. I remember that last night we were together, Samuel was trying to convince me to run away with him. I was almost tempted but I knew that is was virtually impossible since the island was so small. He wanted to take a boat and travel to another island where he had heard that the slaves had rebelled and was now living in the mountains and fighting off the plantation owners. He had dreams of fighting for the freedom of all slaves on the islands, I listened my heart racing, he almost had me convinced about going with him when we heard dogs barking in the distance. He got up took my hand and we ran to the bushes behind us. The dogs grew closer and I knew we were caught. He took my hand and tried to run off but I pulled it away and told him to run. I wanted him to escape because he would do a lot more good for the slaves. I had endured so much at the hands of the mater I felt like there was nothing else they could do to me that would make my life any worse. He stood looking at me the saddest expression on his face. I urged him to go and he turned and disappeared into the night.” She got up and walked around the Alter, I sat waiting for she to continue.
I ran in the opposite direction trying to lead them away from him and I was caught when I was almost to the house. The master was furious his eyes red like the devil had possessed him, I received the worst beating I ever had, but he took great measures not to kill me, he wanted to make sure I would suffer.
Weeks passed and I heard nothing of Samuel and soon I started to believe that he had escaped until one day there was a ruckus in the fields. I ran out to the crowd of slaves and saw they had chained two slaves and were beating them mercilessly. My heart almost stopped when I realized that one of them was Samuel, he looked up at me there was an expression on his face that still haunts me to this day. It was like death itself. I tried to go to him but the overseer and his men held me back. The master was furious that I had shown some feelings for him so he ordered the men to beat him even more, I was screaming and Samuel was trying his best to come to me, the slaves were shouting and screaming, the farmhands had a hard time keeping them at bay. They tired him to a pole and made me watch as they whipped him until he was not moving anymore, I cried so hard my voice faded into a whisper. The overseer let go of me and I fell to the ground unable to move, the farmhands untied him and he dropped to the ground not moving. I got up and ran to him his eyes were open looking up to the sky, the only man I had ever loved lay dead in my arms. I looked over at the master and serge of rage took over me and I got up and charged at him. One of the farm hand raised his stick and struck me in the head. Blood sprayed out of my head leaving dark spots on the gray dirt. I feel unconscious.”
She sat back down in the chair tears rolling down she cheek and me heart tugged a little, I wanted to slap meself, I mean, why in the hell was I feeling sympathy for this woman, she is me capture. I shifted a little on the Alter because me damn legs were becoming numb from sitting in the same position for so long. She composed sheself and started talking again.
I knew if I did not try to escape I would be dead for sure, so I spent nights planning how I would get out of the big house and make my getaway. One dark night when the stars and the moon were covered with clouds I snuck out of the house and ran to the place where Samuel and I used to meet. I stood there crying, my heart broken, I had to make myself leave. I ran along the beach for what seemed like hours until I came upon this place, stayed here for days watching the ships go by on the ocean planning how I would store away on one of them. During the night I would sneak back to the plantation and steal food then at night I would lay and watch the sky from the very spot you are sitting. Sometimes I would run in to other slaves from other plantations that were allowed to fish and bring home food to the others. They told me about the search parties that were combing the island looking for me some of them even risked their lives bringing me food and clothes.
One dark night when I left the cave and went to the plantation to steal food the master and his friends were laying in wait, I could almost hear they heart beat when I come close to them. They chased me through the forest and along the beach their torches flickering in the night, their angry screams filling the air with a devilish chorus. I was finally caught and brought back to the plantation, the master and his friends took turns raping me while other slaves watched, then when they had had enough of me the master straddled me and wrapped his fingers around my neck and squeezed until I felt the last breath escaped my mouth.