This flash fiction piece was originally published on my old blog (March 2011) and it was the first flash fiction piece I have ever written. I liked this piece so much I have decided to share it again. I hope to write a middle grade novel about Isabelle’s bargain.
I should have listened with both ears instead of one. My mama said I had the gift to talk to the dead. My best friend, when I was small, was a ghost named Isabelle. I played with her daily. She made me laugh. Made me forget my hunger pains.
One day I realized I’d grown so tall that my shift barely reached my thighs.
Massa said I’se grown. He had wanted me to work in the house but said I was touched in the head.
Isabelle kept talking to me but I ignored her. Not one word passed between us.
She still followed me everywhere in a tattered, brown dress.
Despite my best efforts I couldn’t convince Massa that I was through with my childish foolishness. I was destined to pick cotton.
The night before I was to be sent to the field Isabelle appeared in my cabin. “Yuh’s gwine to be sold tomorrow,” she said in her thin, airy voice. “Best run now.”
I shook my head. “No. Just gwine to de field. Figure yuh be coming too.”
Isabelle laughed. “I only want to spend one life in de fields. Was hoping to go to de house wid yuh. Neber seen inside de big house. But…” Her soulless eyes stared blankly at the wall. Then she vanished.
As I stand on the auction block, white men bidding on my able body, I realize I should have listened closer to Isabelle.
Thank you for reading. Any comments would be appreciated.