Mr. Horbeck: A Short Story

2306 Words10 Pages
It was just another day on the plantation. A meager breeze rolled through the willow trees, the sun was prominent on a blazing summer day glistening down on John Horbeck as he stood upon his perfectly-painted, white deck in which cloaked his stupendous house. He stood watching, scrutinizing every move of the diligent slaves he possessed. This was his plantation; everything had to be flawless. The bricks had to be made precisely and the pecans had to be picked meticulously. There ceased to be any room for failure on Mr. Horbeck’s plantation. Within the dirt-floor slave shacks, many slaves resided, sometimes families. One of the smallest shacks, decaying and falling apart, only had one bed, a stove, and a kerosine lamp set delicately upon the…show more content…
Horbeck strike Ben’s father across his face. Mr. Horbeck demanded that the bricks be made perfectly, nothing less. If Benjamin was to intervene, he would be penalized as well. He could only watch as his father was trounced. Consequently, within a mere second, Mr. Horbeck pulled out a miniscule but a capable pistol from his side pocket. Benjamin’s heart dropped. Without hesitation, Mr. Horbeck shot Charles. Benjamin watched with tears falling from his eyes, his father lying there lifeless. Full of shock and anguish, Ben started running towards his shack.
“Momma! Momma! Pa is dead!
“Benjamin, what are you saying? Get in the house, your cake is almost ready,” Betty said as she opened the door for Ben.
“No, Momma. Mister killed Papa, right in front of me. Pa messed up on a brick, Mister was mad. Momma, I was there,” Ben said as he sobbed uncontrollably. As Betty stared in shock, Nancy rushed in the door. She stopped right in her tracks as soon as she saw Betty’s aghast face.
“Betty, I’m so-”
“We have to get out of here,” Betty told Nancy. “He killed Charles, Nancy. We can’t stay
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While running through the woods and occasionally toppling over a fallen branch, Ben started to become fearful. Although he was beholden to be free, the process of evading the Mister was maddening and tedious.
After a week and two days of traveling, Betty, Nancy, and Ben came across a secluded wood cabin. Betty demanded that Nancy and Ben stay hidden, just in case turmoil was about to reveal itself. When the door opened, a colored man introduced himself. “I’m guessing you folks are escaping, correct?” Betty peered back at Nancy and signaled her to proceed. “My name is Rick. Here is some more food for your trip, you guys look famished.”
Immediately after taking the appreciated food, Betty asked Rick where they were. As a result of walking tiresomely for days, they were informed that they made it to Virginia. Rick stated, “If you keep going, you’ll meet my friend. She’s willing to guide you folks. Just keep being resolute.” Rick then shut the door, and left them to continue on.
Taking advantage of Rick’s instructions, they continued on north. The food Rick administered kept them appeased for five more days. When it ran out, it was time to begin a quest for
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