They carried him over their heads, then strapped him down to the ceremonial rock they had spent the last six months carving out of the rocks and boulders.

The sun broke through the dark storm sky, a fiery red glow lit the scene, reflecting their anger.

Obafemi raised his chisel over the simpering man. He was no longer struggling to be set free, but lay exhausted and fearful.

‘Now all will know what you are and how you made your wealth. You will see how it is to be branded for life.’

The man’s scream as the chisel made the first mark on his torso wrenched the air asunder. Obafemi grimly carried on while the others watched.


It was two days later that the British Naval squadron under Captain Neville Hunt arrived in the port, responding to reports of a slave revolt in the town. In the harbour they noted a sloop at anchor but with no crew on deck. On boarding they found the familiar cages below deck.

They saw no victims, only abandoned houses and empty streets in the dusty rural outpost. The settlers had fled, and there was no sign of any slaves, revolting or otherwise.

Only when they reached the grand building, built from fine stone on top of the hill that overlooked the land below, did they find the man, unconscious and tied to a sculpted rock.

Across his torso, carved roughly in blood, were the words ‘Slave Trader.’

Copyright Sue Vincent

This is a response to the Thursday Photo Prompt – Carved curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.

32 responses to “CARVED IN BLOOD”

  1. Wow. That was dark, but an interesting read. I felt “right in the middle” of a book. Something lead up to that scene, and the group in search of… it all had action happening. Something you could definitely take further.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not a good profession for sure, though I am sure riches come. “The man’s scream as the chisel made the first mark on his torso wrenched the air asunder” felt awkward to me because the two main parts of the sentence were separated at the end and the beginning. The man’s scream and wrenched the air asunder needed some more connection, maybe just by using commas? Or ‘As the chisel made the first mark, the man’s screams……’

    Liked by 1 person

    • I see your point, although it works either way I think. I prefer the link between the scream and the reason for it together, I think it adds to the brutality of the act. Thanks for commenting.


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