Those Who Suffered
It was an unusually chilly New England night, as cold as if death
itself was grasping into one's soul, and all you could use to
fight it off was your desire to stay alive. Somewhere on this
night, a rickety old door was opened by the most loyal of guards
... opened for a behemoth of a man ... not only in stature, but
of character as well.
Inside this small annex of a cabin, a small fire was burning.
Providing the small form of comfort we all have taken for granted
through the years. The cabin itself was filled with only the most
basic things that a man would have needed to survive.
Consequently, the fireplace was being, at most, the key of those
The large man, it is imagined, would have pulled his thick winter
gloves off before this fire, like any other of us, to let those
hands feel what his whole body starved for: a place not plagued
by the deathly chill. However, that same chill would never leave
his soul, for he was here to write an important letter. One on
behalf of the men, nay, his brothers, who were held mercilessly
on the notorious prison boats that were relatively close by our
standards, but painfully unattainable by his.
With quill and parchment, this man wrote in a language we would
be able to read, but in which many would struggle to comprehend.
An elegant type of English that somehow has been lost to us
through the ages. Written in a time when words were weapons, just
as good as the cutlass and gun he placed near the door when
With much emotion, those words flowed true, like the mighty
waters of the Mississippi. Ringing with a truth louder than a
cracked bell that would come from Philadelphia. Words as deep as
a canyon in Arizona that laid in wait, still undiscovered. With a
wisdom that crashed down, just like a mighty waterfall in
Niagara. Words that touched one's soul, like the beautiful
islands of Hawaii, destined to be the last of the many. Proud
words, resembling that proud woman, destined to stand in the
waters of New York. Just as important, but less well known than
those words that began it all; WE THE PEOPLE OF THE
United States of America ....
The letter, almost finished, was to be sent to the British
General in New York, demanding better treatment of those who
suffered daily on the horrid prison ships of New York. Signing
this document, the large man would have called the messenger to
ride forth with this tidbit of forgotten history. It would be
imagined this giant of a man, who held the courage of a giant,
would have felt great sympathy for those brothers of his
suffering, not only in prisons on this land, but elsewhere in the
That was until the guard, knocking at the door, said, "It is time
to go General Washington."
by Ryan A. Forbus
... who is a former United States Marine, now working toward a
career in writing; his compositions have previously appeared in