Through his eyes, all he saw was red. John splashed across the brook where a steady stream of water flowed from one side of the world to the other. Everything was red around him. The old man gently pulled on the chain the both of them were connected with and pulled John along. John’s anger flashed through his entire being. He looked at the water and hated it. He hated how it flowed freely. Hated the sound of it rushing across the rocks. Hated the very idea of it. He hated the fish that could swim freely in it. He hated the birds that could freely find a meal from it. He hated the cool feeling of it on his feet and ankles. He kicked at the red water and stumped on any visible bubbles.

“Come on boy! Keep moving fo they come back roun here with that whip!”

John stumbled along past the brook and eventually his feet dried from the hot dry ground. The line of slaves had stopped moving and were settling to rest a bit. John wanted to drop, cry, and die where he was. His heart was sick. All he could imagine in his head was the thought of his mother wailing as they took him away from her. Where was she now? She looked like she would cry forever! John felt like he could cry forever, if he ever stopped being so mad. How can you take an eight year old boy away from his own mother? Something was very wrong in the world he lived in. He knew it for some time now. He knew something was wrong from his earliest memory. Something was wrong in his mom’s eyes. He noticed it as early as he could remember staring at her tired grief stricken face.

A strange white man with a tannish wide brim hat passed out food to the lot of them. A small helping of bread. Enough to keep moving until supper. When the red cleared, John noticed a boy much younger than him chained to an older boy who was about twice the height of John. The little one was sniffling continuously. The strange white man dropped 2 pieces of bread in front of the both of them. The tall one quickly grabbed one of the pieces and chewed it down. The little one started to grab for his portion, when the tall one shoved him back and snatched the bread from out in front of him. The little one’s sniffles became full sobs, and he dropped his head and cried.

John had been watching the two boys with interest. They were close to his age and he felt obliged to meet them if he could. But watching the scene unfold in front of him caused John’s eyes to grow red once more. He darted across the road to the two figures, pulling the old man along with him. The tall one stood up and seemed to dare the little one to say or do anything. John jumped on his back and started swinging long hard blows to the tall boy’s head. The boy dropped to his knees and with that dropped the bread on the ground. The old man finally pulled John off the boy’s back.

“Boy, you gonna git us both beat! Get off him!”

The boy turned around to get a view of his assailant. John looked in his eyes with no remorse. The boy looked more shocked than anything else. The little one picked up the dropped bread and ate it, still softly sobbing.