Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Fields page 3


< go to page 1

< go to page 2

With the sun fully out, the field was revealed, full of green canes slightly bent by the breeze, the nearby palm trees with thick leaves, and a small plantation hut at the other end with it’s dry brown roof. The mules don’t like the work either, she thought when she went back with the cane bundles to be tied. They are also tired. She went back and asked Shebeh if she could work tying bundles with Konu for a while. Shebeh dismissed her with a ‘shhhh, carry on’. So she went to Kwame, and asked the same thing.

‘We’re not supposed to talk,’ Kwame whispered back, hunching his shoulders.

‘Why not?’ she replied in her girl’s voice. Kwame looked at her with worried eyes, and before he could answer the whip came down. It hit Kima in her back, her left shoulder and her left hand. The overseer shouted behind her, ‘Get back to work!’, and Kima’s hand also shouted, it seared, in an explosion of pain. She felt her hand burn, but also in her mind there was a burning red feeling. She stared at the overseer, who brought his whip back again. At that moment Shebeh pulled her strongly and brought her back to the work.

Kima’s hand bled for a while, but the wound was not deep. It swelled under the heat of the sun, and it opened again sometimes when she held the cane stems. But she carried on working, her mind silenced for a time. She patted the mules next time she went to them, and she looked past the crops and into a large world, green under the bright blue sky. Shinning in the heat, far away, but next to her at the same time. She wished she was that darker band of air far in the distance over the earth, just out of reach, looking but not being, elsewhere under the sun and the wind. ‘The overseers like to scare us’, she thought.’ They shout, and they whip, but I am not afraid of them.’

page 4 >


No comments: