Trip to the New World


The old world had been good, but not perfect.

What would this new one hold? She’d never been told exactly what this place would be like, and all the souls held in the bow of this ship were similarly confused – if they even spoke the same language.

Which, much to the sailors’ consternation, most of them didn’t.

She couldn’t understand the sailors’ tongues, but she did understand their sticks, whips, and clubs. She understood angry glares, uncaring tones, and raised hackles. She understood the chains around her wrists and ankles.

And she could guess their destination wouldn’t be fun.


This was written for the August 22 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge, old world.

Image by ArtTower from Pixabay

25 thoughts on “Trip to the New World

  1. Violet Lentz says:

    Well done! I work with a lot of people for whom English is barely a second language, and I often wonder how they feel only catching a smattering of what is going on, mostly as you point out here through tone and body language…

  2. crimsonprose says:

    I have to say, the only time I’ve been in the linguistic minority has been abroad, on holiday. Though as I remember, me and that rather cute Russian soldier managed quite well without words 🙂

  3. Jules says:

    Too often many wish to blame the countries to where the slaves were taken. But it was their own people who sold them out. Those ships hulls could not have been filled if there was more respect for the people that were treated like cattle. Those who filled the ships as well as their greedy pockets need to foot a good portion of the blame.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      The reason I think it’s so hard today is that many people whose ancestors had a hand in the slave trade either aren’t aware or don’t feel like it should currently impact them. I don’t know what would be appropriate for today’s people to do, but “nothing” isn’t it.

      • Jules says:

        I don’t think blaming a single type of people for all the worlds ills is the answer either. Working together to make sure something like that doesn’t continue to happen – that’s what should be happening. But we still see in the news human adult and child trafficking.

      • H.R.R. Gorman says:

        Yeah. Trafficking is terrible, and I’m not really fond of how we kind of soften it by calling it ‘trafficking’ instead of ‘slavery.’ I guess that might help survivors, but it’s still so terrible.

        And I agree that working together should be the goal.

  4. Charli Mills says:

    H.R.R., the way you open up your story, the first two lines, completely humanize the narrator. We can all relate to leaving behind something familiar, not perfect, but well thought of, and facing an uncertain future. When we get readers to relate to a character, we invite them to experience something outside themselves. Thoughtful timing. Because what comes next is unrelatable. Yet there we are, as readers, facing the whips and chains, twisting what we thought we knew of uncertainty. Good writing.

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