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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Outbreak (04/07/11)

TITLE: A Blossom of Hope
By Ruth Neilson
04/13/11


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Daisy held her breath. She only knew what she had overheard from the master and the other folk coming and going from her mistress's home. War was coming, all because of her kind. Or, was it for some other reason? She wanted to hear more, wanted to bring hope to the others that maybe this awful outbreak was for a greater good.

She had to know more. Curiosity was always her greatest flaw according to her mistress. She chewed on her bottom lip for a moment and then made her choice. It would be worth a beating for a little bit of knowledge. But it would be worth more if she wasn't caught.

She leaned closer, daring to press her ear against the wood door. She could hear Master Thomas’ rumbling voice rise and fall sharply. "I do not care if the government thinks that they can maintain who has the right to own a slave or not. It is the states' right to decide."

His heavy footsteps moved closer to the door and instinctively, Daisy pulled herself back and moved further away.

Master Thomas' voice boomed louder. "I promise you, Henry, war is coming and those Yankees are going to learn that our Antebellum South will triumph. With Lincoln deciding to restock Fort Sumter, this is an act of aggression. And we will have no other choice but to defend our country and our property." There was a pause and he continued in a quieter tone, "All of our property."

A small shiver ran down Daisy's back. What would happen if an outbreak of war did occur? If the confederacy won, she and whatever family she would have would be entrenched in slavery forever.

But what if the Union won? she paused at the unbidden thought and then roughly shook her head. As much as she wanted the Union to win, she knew that her master and others would fight hard to keep that from happening. The master opened the door and his green eyes landed on Daisy. She dipped her head respectfully and continued to polish the table in the hallway. But, there was no way to ignore the master's freshly tailored gray uniform.

Nothing else was said for the rest of the day about a possible war. But Daisy could feel the tension in the air. Dutifully, she served her owners their dinner, then helped her young mistress get ready for bed, and then settled onto her pallet in the corner. She laid there listening as the young girl drifted to sleep. Daisy was too wound up, too excited, about what might be.

She knew she should get some sleep. Tomorrow was supposed to be a busy day. It always was a busy day. The hours slowly ticked by and Daisy restlessly moved before finally standing and carefully walking to the window. The master's house overlooked the bay and Fort Sumter. She blinked and found herself staring as a stream of light erupted from the shore line and flowed across the sky towards where the fort would be. A delicate stream of hope, like a flower, began to grow. Daisy could only hope that the outbreak of this war would give her freedom. She continued to stare out the window, watching and listening with fascination as other streams of light following flashes filled the night sky.

Daisy could only hope that it wasn't a futile one.
--
On April 12, 1861 the Civil War began with the firing upon Fort Sumter in South Carolina. President Lincoln had ordered for then Union fort to be resupplied with the essentials for the 85 men there. Because of this act, the newly formed Confederate States of America saw this action as an action of aggression, assuming that part of the supplies consisted of munitions bombarded the fort started at around 4:30 in the morning and continued for 34 hours. Because of the Confederate's action, President Lincoln called up 75,000 volunteers, leading to the secession of Virginia and three other states.


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This article has been read 241 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lillian Rhoades 04/14/11
How far we've come in the last 250 years. Thanks for reminding us of our past. Your title could easily be applied to this current period in history. I would consider limiting the use of
"she" in the story, and using separate sentences for dialogue so that the piece presents better.
Joanne Sher 04/18/11
Great description- you had me right there with Daisy. Can't imagine what it was like in those times. Nicely done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/26/11
Congratulations Congratulations for ranking 30 th overall.