elmina castle

Flash Fiction: Chains

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Femi rarely got any time off work but on this occasion when he did, he decided to take a tour to Badagry. The tour followed the slave trade routes from the ‘point of no return’ to museums showcasing the worst in humanity.

At one point, the guide attempted to place a chain around his neck to support his narrative but the metal slipped off his hands and hit the floor, clanking loudly. At that very moment, Femi realized that he had an important call to make and two words were just enough to set him free.
‘I Quit’

One Comment

  1. Eyitemi Egwuenu

    I really liked this, Amara.
    Nuances of dread, horror, and even humour.

    I couldn’t help thinking of an actual slave called, Femi from way back in the 17th century, who must have said in that same location, “I Quit”, or some variation of it in Yoruba.
    His captors, of course, wouldn’t understand him.
    Not that that they cared for it to make a difference.
    Our 17th century Femi’s protestations would have been meaningless sounds to his captors.

    I can also imagine his captors saying to him, “Shut up!” or some other variations of the same in English.

    And of course, the English language would have made no sense to Femi either.

    Instead, a different language would have rattled about in his mind: thumping verbs and adjectives from his frightened heart would have rioted in his brain, – harsh pronouns and adverbs of anxious breathing would have formed permanent knots in his chest.

    Our 17th century Femi would have been awash in a lexicon of terror.

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