January 7, 1811, Orleans County, Louisiana, United States of America: the man ran as fast as the swampy terrain, the foggy night and his laboring breath would allow. Simon, bonded slave, descendant of Haitian Kings and a smart intelligent young survivor, was on the run from his Plantation manager’s son. When he met the strange black-skinned warrior from Australia on that fateful night, everything that he thought he knew about his own life: life in general - and about the world he lived in suddenly shifted. In that one incredible night, the Fethafoot dispersed the power of fear that he’d lived under all of his life - and along with his timely appearance, came the fresh scent of hope and the beginning of a dream that would change his world.
The young man ran as fast as the terrain, the sultry night and his laboring breath would allow. His long flowing strides covered the soft ground underfoot almost as fast as a horse could do over this cold boggy swampland – a good thing for him, as his pursuers would certainly be on horseback by now, he imagined. His dark flitting form ate up the mossy ground with his lithe stride, only slowing when a foot sank into a softer portion of the pungent earth. He couldn’t even take the time to look back. He knew that he had to move as far and as fast as the darkness of the cold Orleans county night and his strength allowed. He couldn’t think beyond that yet, though he grasped he would have to, if he wanted to survive through this night of terror. He could hear the dogs coming on steadily in the wake of his barefoot scent. They were as yet distant sounds to his straining ears, though the faint lament of howls that he heard echoing occasionally through the thick cottonwoods frightened him badly and drove him on: running for his dear life.
“Ah’ve heard,” the pale-skinned vision announced at him, “y’all can read and write, boy. Is that true?” she repeated, raising her eyebrows and staring boldly at Simon – and unashamed in the least that from where he was standing, her underthings would be exposed to his eyes. Simon froze in fear, one hand unconsciously prompted to move up to cover his eyes but prevented because it held onto one side of the box of waste – even while the other tried to push out as if to ward off trouble. The slave stumbled, having forgotten the weight he carried. He fell backward, dropping the box and splattering human waste over his thighs, arms and legs, and continued to avoid looking at the woman’s underwear above him by staring down hard at the ground. No way am I going to look there – or anywhere near her, he thought in panic. His eyes were large with fear, and would not look towards her – even if I were to be shot for it! he thought frantically. However, the brash young woman wouldn’t give up.