Name: Haley Whitehall
Title/Genre: SHADES OF WHITE / YA historical fiction with crossover potential
In antebellum south, after Zach is sold, he pretends to be white and battles his faith and a manipulative lover, all to protect his family.
Michael grabbed the boy’s arm and pulled him aside. “Yuh tryin to get yo’self sold or worse?” he growled.
Zachariah’s eyes widened. He shook his head vigorously. “Nosuh.”
“Coulda fooled me. De way yuh been talkin,” Michael whispered as his gaze narrowed into a hard stare.
Zachariah swallowed. The hair on the back of his neck prickled. He hated getting in trouble by the man he thought of as his pa. He pulled his arm back in an attempt to free his arm from Michael’s firm grasp but was unable to.
Michael used his free hand to pull up his left pant leg.
Zachariah’s jaw dropped as his eyes caught a glimpse of the disfigured flesh.
“Look real close, boy.”
There was a gouge in Michael’s calf as big as his fist. Zachariah had always wondered why the man walked with a limp. Looking at the scar turned Zachariah's stomach.
“Dog bit me,” Michael explained. “Dat ain’t de only place neider. I was talkin freedom when I’s bout yo age. Den one day I let out. Dam dogs caught ma scent right off. I spent dat nigh in chains in de barn. In de mornin dey took me to de market an had me whipped fo’ all to see. De jailer was awful mean bout it. Massah say he needed to teach me a lesson I ain’t gwine to forget.”
Michael paused. He saw the horror gradually sink into Zachariah’s blue eyes.
Zachariah opened his mouth then quickly shut it.