A Trip to the Well

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Sally lugged the bucket of water up from the well.  Her hands stung from the day of labor, but the taskmaster wouldn’t ease up.  She picked up the pail and carried it while the foreman fiddled with his whip.

Struggling to remain standing, Sally tripped and spilled half the water in the bucket.  She chanced a look at the foreman, hoping emptily that the foreman hadn’t noticed.

Scared of the whip, she dumped the bucket and ran towards the foreman.  She placed the empty bucket over his head, punched him in the gut, and took off for the Railroad.

***

This was written for the March 21st Carrot Ranch Prompt, ‘Bucket of water.’  I thought about how so many people, especially women, are enslaved to carry water – even today.  I chose to take a Southern slavery setting because it’s been most well taught to me, but it’s disturbing that so many people have to struggle and hurt for something I get to have so easily.

Picture by Hansben on Pixabay.

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26 thoughts on “A Trip to the Well

  1. Jules says:

    Too many do not learn from the past.
    I remember the movie (book?) The Man Who Would Be King.
    I think it was in that movie that there was much to do about washing in the river in clean water… but some would sully the water upstream.
    When will people ever learn?

  2. Charli Mills says:

    This line captivates: “…while the foreman fiddled with his whip” It holds her attention and the reader’s, feeling the fear. So that punch to the gut comes swift and changes the focus. I think it’s important for us to explore our collective history, especially in literature where we have the opportunity to open up healing discussions.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      You’re absolutely right. At the very least, literature gives us the chance to work out our own feelings, and sharing it can even lead to gentle correction if the right person reads it.

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