Slavery Monologue – Hiive – Voice for the Voiceless Competition Unnamed Slave: It’s been years since I had seen my parents, I barely even remembered what they looked like. Why did they take me? I guess, sometimes it’s not about race, religion or even gender. If they think you are inferior then you are and there’s nothing you can do about it. Sometimes I feel as though I have duct tape over my mouth and my hands chained behind my back, only the chains are cold and wrap around my body and if I struggle to get to the freedom I seek then they get tighter. It all seems so close but yet so far. They have full control over my actions, I follow in silence. If I disobey or argue with their authority, they beat me. When I was a child, that used to happen to me a lot and it got to the point where I had forgotten what it was like to not be in pain. It hypnotised me enough to conform. I gave up my body, not my mind. In a way, I guess they have become disconnected, especially as I grew older. The routine was embedded in my mind though, I just wish the image of my family was the same. I try so hard to remember them but I was taken from my home at such a young age that it’s such a blur. I remember the day they took me, I remember being pried from my father’s protective arms as I kicked and screams. The tight hold of his rough palms still wrapped over my wrists and lingered as if it were minutes ago. The only trouble with that memory is that the family I see are just shadows, they don’t have faces, no matter how hard I think. My oppressors on the other hand… how could I forget them? They are still with me. Everyday. Haunting me. Torturing me. My oppressors were just examples of the fact that the living is what hurts you, not the dead. I suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts. There have been times where I have caught myself thinking that I would be more at peace if I was in the cold, eternal sleep of death. The only trouble with that is that I didn’t even have that as an option to escape as they watch me all day every day. They enjoyed watching me suffer. It was entertaining to them. When I first started slaving over this household, I was eight years old. The same age as my master’s children. I started with domestic jobs such as cleaning the house. I remember after dinner in the mild summer of England, I’d stare out the window at the children playing outside with a longing to join them. They’d be playing in the sun with smiles painted on their faces and I would be stood on a tiny stool scrubbing the thick gloop of wasted rich foods from their fine china dinner plates. My master would hit me if I got caught watching. There was a few times where I woke up on the floor with no idea how I got there. Soon, paranoia got to me and I managed to tell myself his presence was behind me so I wouldn’t be tempted to stare out of the French windows. It’s like I said though, that’s how it started. I am still a domestic worker but now I am forced to satisfy my master’s sexual desires whenever his wife isn’t home. I will never forget the day that started. I was only fifteen. I had climbed up onto the bench so that I was standing on the bench so I could dust the top of the kitchen cupboards just as I was ordered. I jumped when I started to feel his hand slide up my thigh but he hushed me and proceeded to touch my intimate areas. The touch made me shudder and I knew he could hear it in my breath. I tried to get down so I could escape but he used that to his advantage and forced me over the bench so he could use me like some sort of sex doll. I am not an object. I tried to fight him but I was weak from barely being fed. Once he was satisfied he left the room and I collapsed to the floor with tears streaming down my face, silently, every time I blinked. No one had ever spoke to me about sex. I had no understanding of human desires but I knew that was wrong. Surely, women aren’t meant to feel fear and indescribable pain when they are pleasing a man? It was around then when I learned to separate my mind from my body, especially since he repeats these acts against me. I didn’t want to lose myself, my mind is all I have. They can take my body, it’s too weak to defend itself but my mind is more powerful than they will ever know. It’s as if I have become desensitized to these behaviours and I have told myself they are normal. Tragic, really but it’s what I have had to do to keep myself sane. I haven’t been able to get help from anyone. I can’t speak to anyone outside the household, even then I don’t speak to anyone in it unless the words are beaten out of me. He never came into my room though, and I use the word my very loosely. I use the word ‘my’ just to show a little control, not because I want to be associated with any part of that intimidating household. He just raped me in every other room in the house. It was as if he was pretending to have some sort of respect for my privacy inside those four walls but I knew it was just because that room was filthy and untended. I wasn’t allowed to clean it, I could only clean the rest of the house. I was left to live in an unsanitary environment. My life is just like that moment when I stared out at the kitchen window. I was constantly staring at a life that I wasn’t allowed to have. There was constantly a barrier between me and the outside world. It was a daily struggle. If only I could make master’s children see that this life was wrong, I could make sure that this doesn’t become a cycle but it’s too late now. Money and power is seen as more important in this society and since his children are well-off there can be now doubt that they will have a slave in their home too. It may seem strange to the average person as people associate slavery with the slave trade but it still happens now. No one sees it. No one truly believes what they can’t see unless it’s to do with religion or some sort of magic being. No one chooses to believe in dark realities. You never know what happens behind closed doors. In my case though the door isn’t just closed it’s deadlocked. I just wait in anticipation for the sweet release of death. This is the twenty-first century, this shouldn’t be happening. Slavery shouldn’t be a thing; and yet here I am, exhibit A.