Twist of Stealing Freedom by Jenna Helton

There are not words yet to match the feelings of shock, sadness, despair and grief students and staff at SHS and BCHS are feeling after losing the lives of Jenna Helton, Martin Martinez, Nevaeh Law, and Brittany Watson. However, William Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth that we must “Give sorrow words;/the grief that does not speak/ whispers the o’er- fraught heart/and bids it break.” Thank you to Mr. Tyler Pray, SMS social studies teacher of Jenna Helton, for sharing her words and voice with us. Jenna wrote this assignment for Mr. Pray in 8th grade. We will never forget them. May they rest in peace.

Twist of Stealing Freedom

Chapter one:
“I think we have something here,” one of the men said, grinning, with one hand he held his dog back, and with the other he grasped Reverend Freeman’s arm. “You’re coming with us, boy.” he jerked his chin at Ann. “You, too. Let’s go.” Ann and Reverend Freeman walked out of the train and had to walk all the way to the police station. The slave catchers went through newspapers to find our old masters. Reverend Freeman showed the slave catchers the free papers he had and they let him go. Ann took off her disguise and came clean. Master Charles didn’t have the advertisement up anymore, so they decided to sell Ann back into slavery. Ann tried to find ways to escape, but got dragged out and was sold all the way to Alabama. She went into the slave house and found Augustus. She was happy to have found her brother. They hugged each other for what felt like forever. Augustus looked different. He was much more taller and more muscular looking. He looked a lot older too. Ann said to Augustus, “I’m gonna go inside the Master’s house. I will talk to you later.” Augustus nodded his head and Ann walked outside and looked over and saw the master’s son coming out with his blond hair flying through the wind. His blue eyes glistening. Ann thought to herself, “Wow! He’s really cute. I want to marry him. But, I can’t because he’s a white person and that would be wrong.” She instantly fell in love with him. She started freaking out because she likes a white person. She thought to herself, “What about Alfred? What is the actual chances of us ever meeting again?” She pushed the thought out of her head as quick as she could. The white boy came up to her and said, “hey, I’m the master’s son, I’m Zack. My dad said that you would help sew me a shirt because I ripped my other shirt.” Ann said “Hi, I’m Ann, I will gladly help you.” Ann was very excited. She went into the master’s house and into Zack’s room. She took a good look at the shirt he wanted sewn. She went downstairs to grab some thread and a needle. She went outside and sat on the porch and started sewing the shirt. Zack sat next to Ann and asked, “How old are you?” Ann replied, “I’m 13, what about you?” Zack said, “I’m 14.” They started having a conversation about each other and learned more about each other every question. Ann started feeling butterflies in her stomach. She finished the shirt and told him, “There you go, try it on and tell me how it fits.” He runs into his room and tries on the shirt and ran back outside and said, “It fits nice, thank you so much!” Ann started walking towards Augustus. Augustus looks over as he wipes his sweat away from working on the field. Ann says, “Hey, I have a problem.” Augustus replies back, “Tell me later when we are in the slave cabin. I have work to do.” Ann walks away and goes inside the masters house and starts fixing dinner for them. She asked the master, “What would you like for dinner, master?” The master replies “I would like some beef stew.” Ann goes and gets pots and starts boiling water to make the beef stew. Once she was done she served it to the master’s family, after they were done with dinner, she cleaned up and the master dismissed her to go to the slave cabin.

Chapter two:
Ann reaches the slave cabin and lays on the floor next to Augustus and he asks, “What’s the problem?” Ann replies, “Well, I like someone.” Augustus says, “That’s good. You should be marrying soon anyways. Who’s the lucky guy?” Ann stutters with worry, “Zack.” Augustus voice fills with anger and says, “Ann! You can’t like the master’s son. He’s white!” Ann starts tearing up a little and Augustus looks down and scoots closer to her and hugs her and tells her, “Hey, hey. I didn’t mean to be hard on you. Just try to get some sleep. I’m sure you know why you can’t like the master’s son.” They both lay back down on the floor. Augustus was knocked out after two minutes of closing his eyes. Ann sat there looking at the ceiling and all she can think about was Zack. She questioned herself why she even liked him. I mean he’s the master’s son. She woke up not realizing she even fell asleep. Her first thought was Zack. Was she gonna see him? She walked out of the slave cabin and looked around hoping she would see Zack. She didn’t. She walked into the master’s house and asked the master, “What do you need me to do today?” He replied, “I need you to clean up the kitchen, and cook breakfast for my son before he goes to school. I also have some mail for you from your mom. Come back to me later for more work.” Ann opens the mail up and the master gave her a weird look and grabbed it and started reading it. Ann realized that she wasn’t supposed to read. The master starts reading aloud, “Hello Ann, I hope everything is going good with your new master. Be on your best behavior. Mary is started to learn how to walk now. John Jr. is getting a rebellious attitude. Me and your father have to pick up after them all the time. Catherine is doing well in school. I’m sorry that I have to be the person to break the bad news, but Alfred has a new girl. I’m so sorry Ann. If your master lets you please write back.” The master looks down and throws the paper away and goes along with his business. Ann walks to Zack’s room and knocks on the door and asks, “What would you like for breakfast?” Zack yells back “Eggs, please!” Ann walks over to the stove and grabs a skillet and two eggs and starts cooking and listening to the sizzle of the eggs. She couldn’t stop crying. Alfred had a new girl and there was nothing she can do about it. She felt so terrible. She looked up and thought to herself, “Why god? Why can’t you stop this. You’re supposed to be good and all, but you don’t even care about the other people you decided to create. Everyone discriminates us. All because of you.” She puts the eggs on the plate and serves it with some milk too. Zack walks in and sits down and ate. He grabs his backpack and walks out the door. Ann sighed and turned around and was about to grab a broom when Zack walks back in and asks, “Will you walk with me to school?” Ann replies, “Sure.” They both walk out the door and they were one street away and they looked at each other for 5 seconds and Zack kissed Ann. He looked at Ann with a shocked face and turned and ran to his school. Ann turned around very confused and sad that she did something wrong. She went inside the house where her master was waiting for her. He had a stern look on his face and asked sternly, “What were you doing? You’re supposed to be cleaning the kitchen!” Ann replies stuttering, “Zack asked me to walk him to school.”

Chapter three:
The master said, “Next time tell me where you’re going. Clean the kitchen.” Ann grabs the broom and starts sweeping the floor. A couple hours later, Zack walked in and sat in the living room and started his homework. Ann spaced out and was staring at Zack. Zack pretended like he didn’t know she was, but he knew. Zack didn’t know what to think. He kissed a slave he thought to himself. He didn’t believe in love at first sight, but now he does. He couldn’t believe that he could be liking a slave girl. Ann realized that she was spacing out and went back to her work. Once she was done she went to the slave cabin where she found Augustus sitting there. Augustus said, “Hey, Ann I was delivering some mail for the master and I saw Zack kiss you. What did I tell you about this? I thought you were smarter Ann.” All the slaves in the slave cabin sat there staring at Ann. Ann’s cheeks got super red and she ran out of the slave cabin and felt tears stream down her face. Zack saw her crying and he ran up to her and asked, “What’s wrong, Ann?” Ann couldn’t get any words out because she didn’t know what to do. She knew this was wrong, and Augustus wouldn’t like this. The master came out and saw Zack hugging Ann and then kissed her again.
Chapter four:
The master started screaming, and cursing. Ann froze in fear. He picked Ann up and tied her to a tree. He ran inside to grab something to beat Ann with. Zack started crying not knowing what to do. Ann mumbled, “I’m sorry. This is wrong. You’re white.” Zack untied her from the tree and started running down the road with Ann. Ann started screaming, “What are you doing?” Zack replied with, “Just be quiet for now. I will let you know what we’re doing once we get somewhere private. Away from my dad.” They ran and ran into the deep woods and sat down by a creek. Zack sighed and said, “I don’t agree with slavery. I can’t control that I’m white. I’ve told my dad over and over to stop, but he won’t listen. Let’s see how he feels when he will never see me again. My mom left my dad because of what he did with a slave. He raped a girl on our plantation. My mom was furious. She screamed at him for days for cheating. She screamed also for how terrible he treated all the slaves. That’s why my mom moved all the way to Canada. I want you to come with me to Canada. You can meet my mom too.” Ann was shocked at what came out of his mouth. She said, “I would love to come with you. I can live with my aunt and uncle. I don’t think you’re mom would want me living there.” Zack replied, “Let’s just see where you can live once we get there.” They both walked till they got to the Tennessee border line. Once it was night they broke into a closed store and grabbed money, blankets, food, and water. They went out and stole a carriage too. Zack said, “I know how to drive.” Ann got into the passenger seat and replied, “I do too.” Zack questionly said, “You’re a girl though.” Ann sighed and explained her story of her first attempt of trying to reach Canada. Zack looked down and then back at the road and just shook his head in disappointment, “You know it sucks what they do to slaves. They’re humans too.” Ann nodded her head and looked outside at all the trees and fell asleep.

Chapter 5:
They finally reached to the Canadian border without being caught. Zack knew exactly where his mom lives, because every year she sent him money for his birthday and tried to get him to live with her. Here he was at her doorstep. He had a single tear stream down his face and he knocked on her door. Ann hid behind him in fear of what his mom would do if she saw her. His mom opened the door and opened her arms out wide and embraced him tight. She looked up and saw that Ann was standing there. She looked at Zack and then back at Ann. Zack replied, “Oh, yeah. That is Ann. I ran away with her. Dad was gonna beat her.” Zack’s mom looked side to side and said, “Come on in.” They walked into the huge house and looked around. A tall man walks in and asks, “What’s going on?” Zack’s mom looks down and then says, “Braden, meet Zack. This is my son. This is Ann, Zack’s girlfriend.” Braden shakes hands with Ann and Zack. They all sit down on the couch. Zack’s mom runs to the kitchen and brings back drinks. Zack asks, “Who are you?” Braden replies, “I’m your mom’s husband.” Braden takes a drink and asks, “so what happened on your way over here?” Ann looks down and laughs, “It’s a long story.”