It’s after the museum closes for the day, after the last tourist has shuffled out onto Nassau’s sweating streets, that the Whisperers come.
Jalen takes his time locking doors, scooping dropped tickets from the floor. The dust slowly settles, a powdery gauze slipping over the displays.
When he’s done he stops, lets the thump of car stereos, the calls of passersby drift like silt to the bottom of his mind as They float to the surface.
They’re shy at first, hugging the shadows, but then one will step forward, whisper a name – Efe, Temitope, Abena – then another comes and another, name after name, countless names. Jalen feels the manacles cinch his own ankles, the sea water swell his lungs as he sinks below the waves, as the sun slips away and green night falls.
Some days he wonders if he’ll join them, whispering in the darkness.
Written for What pegman saw, a prompt using Google Streetview. See here to join in and to read the other tales. Inspired by the Slavery and Emancipation Museum in Nassau.
I’m still in Mothers Day recovery mode, brain still frizzed and frazzled, so my usual Monday instalment of The Devil of Moravia will be tomorrow instead.
If I have some brain cells back by then.