Author's note: This story is rooted in American slave history
The woods were unfamiliar and harsh to her, but she didn't care. She had no name. She hadn't had one for the longest time. She didn't know anything at all anymore, but it didn't matter to her. All that mattered was escaping the clutches of the beasts that tracked her down. The growling sounds only propelled her deeper into the woods. She had no clue where she was going but her hope lived on. Those searching for her location were in hot pursuit after her. The footsteps got closer and closer, and she could run no faster.
The darkness of the night had provided cover for her before, but now she realized that if she didn't do anything soon, she would be caught. Thinking quickly, she dove behind a nearby bush and spread dirt and filth across her face and body. Her breath was still as the night as a bright flame encased within glass emerged from the tree line. She hoped that her skin would conceal her in her darkened environment, but the beasts had trackers. Trackers that could find anyone anywhere through the use of their powerful sniffers. She heard the twigs snap under the heavy foot of her pursuers. They were near.
The growling grew louder and louder as they approached. She covered her mouth in an attempt to remain silent, knowing if she didn't, it would be only a matter of time before the trackers found her. She kicked herself for being so stupid as to think that she could outwit them. Even the smell of nature could not conceal her scent. Trying to escape was futile in the end, but her pride in who she was had been lived on inside of her frail body. Her life was a harsh one even back then, but the living hell she experienced now was worse than she could ever imagine.
Her own family would be disappointed to see her. She had been taught from an early age about the monsters and their evil ways. She was taught that they were often loud and were clumsy when traversing the unfamiliar landscape. Like many of her neighbors, she had been trained in being quick on her feet and aware of the environment. It was when she was foolishly distracted for just a moment that she was captured by the vicious predators. It was such a humiliating event that even thinking about it angered her. She was brought into a holding tank along with hundreds of others. They couldn't move, they couldn't sleep or eat. They could hardly even breathe for months on end until they were finally taken out of their cell and introduced to a brand new, horrifyingly cruel world.
She remembered the creatures fighting over her. They wanted to own her and use her for their sick and greedy purposes. She recollected the elders of their kind shouting at the top of their lungs, spewing strange numbers and demands before one of them took her away from all that she had known. A deep feeling of sorrow overcame her as she remembered the way she had been treated. Finally, she snapped out of her thoughts upon the sound of footsteps coming towards her. The sounds of incoherent shouting caused her to jump, only slightly, but it was enough. One of the trackers ripped through the underbrush and grabbed her. She screamed as they pulled her and threw her to the ground. They sank their sharp fangs into her sides until blood spilled onto the ground, collecting into small pools illuminated by the moon above. Several large creatures above her stood on two legs, but they weren't human. They resembled her, but their actions clearly distinguished them from those she knew at home.
She was suddenly jerked onto her feet and thrown against a nearby tree. The beings in front of her looked at each other as a grin formed on their faces. One of them pulled out a dagger and forced his hand around her neck. Its teeth were a rotten yellow and smelled of a putrid stench she couldn't quite place. Its eyes were wide, and its face sported a scraggly white beard and grimy stains. It put the dagger up to her cheek and sliced downward, sadistically creating a thin line down her face. Tears ran down her face and she forced out a gurgle due to the hand clenched tightly around her esophagus. The beast tightened its grip on her throat and using her last bit of oxygen, she spat on it. The smile vanished from its face and it held the dagger against her eye. It methodically brought the blade closer and closer to her widened pupil, just inches away from penetration. Just before the edge made contact, one of the other beasts shouted something. Frustrated, the creature withdrew the blade from her face.
The thing's hand loosened its grip and she fell to the ground. She couldn't quite hear what the figures were saying to each other. She could discern a few words out of the strange language they spoke, but they had no meaning given the current situation. One of the other beings wrapped its hands tightly around her throat and lifted her up, holding her against a nearby oak tree, keeping her from running as the others spoke. She felt the wood and twigs irritating the various scars and lacerations strewn across her back, but such injuries weren't new to her.
Tears welled within her eyes as she watched the trackers bare their dagger-like teeth at her, slobber flying in all directions, their relentless assault only restricted by the humanoid abusers conversing among themselves. She had seen men and women of her kind, much older in age than her in the same condition as she was. She saw what happened to the ones who tried to run away from the captivity which they had been confined in their entire lives. They were always captured once more, beaten senseless and battered almost beyond recognition. She had her entire life ahead of her, but it was no life worth living.
With all the force she could muster, she slammed her head into the nose of the creature holding her, causing it to tumble backward. The others raised their heads towards her, and the trackers began furiously attempting to reach her. She rushed to the being she had attacked and wrestled it down, pulling a sharp, metal object from its clothing. She backed away slowly from the crowd before her, placing the cold silver against her neck.
The vast amount of noise produced by those in front of her soon drowned out as she slid the blade across her throat, collapsing to the ground with a thud. She had tried her best to escape, but her efforts were fruitless. She closed her eyes as she heard the trackers and monsters go into a confused frenzy. Such sounds were faint to her now, as all that mattered now was the sweet release of death which would liberate her from what would be an eternity of torment. She could only hope her ancestors would forgive her for her failure, but never would she allow herself to live a captive.
Written by Icydice