by A.D. Koboah
Published March 21st 2012
Life for a female slave is one of hardship and unspeakable sorrow, something Luna knows only too well. But not even she could have foreseen the terror that would befall her one sultry Mississippi evening in the summer of 1807.
On her way back from a visit to see the African woman, a witch who has the herbs Luna needs to rid her of her abusive master’s child, she attracts the attention of a deadly being that lusts for blood. Forcibly removed from everything she knows by this tormented otherworldly creature, she is sure she will be dead by sunrise.
Dark Genesis is a love story set against the savage world of slavery in which a young woman who has been dehumanised by its horrors finds the courage to love, and in doing so, reclaims her humanity.
It wasn’t long before I came to a stream winding its way through the trees directly in my path and saw Master Henry on his horse. I froze straight away but wasn’t immediately frightened as it seemed his face lit up with the kind of excitement you would expect to see on the face of a man on a long quest for buried treasure at the moment he finally finds it.
“Massa Henry!” I cried, dropping the parcel he had given me to deliver. I stooped to pick it up and when I straightened, he had already dismounted and was walking quickly toward me.
Master Henry, who was in his fifties, was tall and thin, had brown hair that was peppered with grey, a beak of a nose and thin, pink lips. I felt immediately uneasy about being on my own with him so far from the house, especially since it seemed as if he had gone to the trouble of saddling up his horse and riding out of the plantation with the sole intention of overtaking me.
But I tried to allay my fears by telling myself that he had never actually given me reason to fear him. The only unnerving thing about him was that he had a habit of turning up wherever I was working and would watch me intently for far too long as if he were looking to find fault with my work. He had never actually reprimanded me for anything, but something about his manner, his long wrinkled neck, bony elbows and knees, reminded me of a vulture waiting patiently. Mary, the cook, seemed uneasy about his apparent interest in my work. Perhaps she was worried that if he found fault with anything I did it would be blamed on her. So whenever Master Henry was at home she was always beside me, helping me with my chores even though I was more than capable of doing them on my own, a light sheen of anger marking her every action, the quick furtive glances she cast in Master Henry’s direction always fearful. Sometimes she would find an excuse to call me away if Master Henry made his way into whatever room I was in. I noticed that the other house slaves did the same.
I was too young at that time to know why his greedy eyes had become my shadow or why he showed such an overt interest in everything I did. I was also too young to understand the acid rage I saw in his young wife Mistress Emily’s eyes whenever she saw him watching me, or why she had tried on more than one occasion to send me to work in the fields. And the other slaves obviously thought it was kinder not to explain it to me.
So when I saw him waiting for me that day, I knew I was in a lot of trouble but I didn’t know what I had done.
When he got to me I saw a feverish light in his eyes as they moved over my tiny body. It was as if he couldn’t see or hear anything but me. Then his hand shot out abruptly and he pushed me to the ground. When he began to wrestle with his belt I tried to crawl away, knowing now that something awful was about to happen. But he was already on top of me, ripping my dress off whilst he moaned and reached for my chest to paw at what had not yet begun to form there. The pain had been horrific and my screams seemed to heighten his pleasure as he rode me as if I were the stallion he had obviously ridden furiously in order to catch me here alone in the woods. I lost consciousness at some point, and when I came to it was to the sight of him pulling up his trousers. He had mounted his horse and then turned to look at me with what I now know to be lust and it was clear that he was considering getting off his horse to repeat what he had done. Thankfully he gently urged his horse on through the trees to make his way back to the road.
Once he was gone I rolled onto my side and sobbed. I didn’t fully understand what had happened, but I knew it was something to be ashamed of and that I couldn’t go back to the house and face Mary. There was a faintly metallic smell mingling with that of the cold dry earth and I realised that it was the smell of my own blood, which was seeping through my legs. I tried to cover myself but my dress was torn in two so I wrapped my arms around what was left of the garment and lay there crying.
After a while, when the sun had reached the highest point in the sky, the sound of a twig snapping under the weight of a person’s foot told me I was no longer alone.
I sat up with a start to see one of the slaves, Jupiter, standing about three metres away from me. He was a tall, handsome African of around eighteen years old and had coal black skin and big beautiful brown eyes.
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