I incorporate Black History into my books, and as promised, throughout this month I will be posting excerpts from my books that reference Black history. The excerpt that follows is from FANTASY:
“There before her was a set of bent, rusty shackles, and the crude document displayed next to it said in indelible words across the top—BILL OF SALE.
Sameerah closed her eyes and just stood trembling. Some soul, some poor human soul, had once worn those shackles. Had been sold like a piece of meat. And who knew—perhaps the blood of that hapless soul even now flowed through her own veins.
Sameerah forced herself to open her eyes, to gaze upon the sight. Whoever, whenever, this unknown ancestor had lived and died, Sameerah felt obligated to share a least this infinitely small portion of his/her pain.
And then she saw it. Throughout the years, throughout the centuries, a small drop of blood was still visible on the fetters, bonded now to the crumbling metal for all eternity.
Sameerah could take no more. She turned and ran blindly from the room, out into the fresh, flower scented air. She darted down a narrow pathway, and found a bench hidden behind a bush. Sitting down, she crossed her arms and hugged herself, rapidly rocking to and fro. Despite the dazzling sun and the heat of the day, she felt chilled, chilled to the bone.
“Sam?” Tony sat down next to Sameerah. “Sam, what’s the matter, baby?”
And Sameerah reached out to him, to his warmth, to his life force. She found herself in his arms, trembling. “Did you see them?” she hoarsely whispered.
“Yes,” Tony replied. He seemed to know nothing further was required, as he just sat beside her, cradling Sameerah in his arms.
“Oh, Tony,” Sameerah breathed at last. “You read about it. You hear about it. But to actually see those things. To know in your gut that they were…are real, that those things happened to someone that but for the mercy of time could have been you.”
“I know, Sameerah.” Tony didn’t speak for a long moment. “But I think it can work in the reverse, too, you know?” he finally whispered. “That maybe somehow, someway, they can see us. That they know the agonies they suffered are no more. And that seeing us makes their hearts glad.”
Sameerah peered up at Tony through her tears, a ghost of a smile on her lips, “Do you think so? Do you really think that could be?”
Tony smiled back at her. “Yes, I do.” He gently kissed Sameerah’s forehead, and looked off into the distance. “At least, I pray it is.”