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Root Work Journal - Navigating the Ocean - Volume 1, Issue 2

An Acceptable Sacrifice 

Sannii Crespina-Flores



Sannii Crespina-Flores is a teaching artist, advocate and activist for youth and women. She is the founder of the Un-Inhibited Muse Film Festival, the global youth initiative Do Remember Me and the art collaborative Yram Collective. She is the author of the audio book ‘Conversations with my Conscience’ that debuted in South Africa and London and the forth coming e-book “ Machetes are forged in Soft Rivers”. She has screened work at the 60th Cannes and was awarded the grand prize for the short story challenge at the 15th Sundance Film Festivals. Her work has been on exhibit in Budapest, Colombia, South Africa, London, Italy, the United Nations (NY) as well local galleries. She has received grants to create works for independent television and cultural organizations. She is the board chair of the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation and a member of the Writers Guild of America(East) Indie Caucus. She has also contributed to academic publications and created learning guides for TED Ed, National Geographic and the Hip Hop Education Center.

An Acceptable Sacrifice is a flash fiction story. It explores Awah’s relationship with tradition, culture, and as an individual. She is ready to shed the weight of her inheritance and provide the only sacri6ce that would ensure her freedom.

We arrived with our gods, walked them into the soil and braided totems into our hair. Distance  and time made memory a myth. The wind sang a lullaby that brought to mind lavender and  lemons but the words were a mystery. She could feel the words pressing against her lips begging  her to remember. She could not, not now. The only tide rising now, right now had been ‘hushed’  by the women preparing the way with wax, water, rum and fire. 

The women sang too, some forked tongue melody of moon goddesses and warriors that were  birthed by the ocean. New land words mixed with what was left of homeland words. It was no  longer comforting.  

Her small frame erupted in violent waves. She just wanted to rest, be soft like the doll she made  for her sister from a long ago discarded dress. This last wave pulled her under the memory of  water. She was ready to break the surface of the water. She needed to breathe. Again. She held a  whole ocean between her teeth and it was hungry to be free. She wanted to scream.  

Her screams beat against her teeth in a futile effort to escape so she sounded like she was instead  struggling to keep a secret. A low dull moan was what was given permission to escape. She heard ‘push’. 

And her trembling 12 year old legs gave way to a life.  

The women moved as one toward the new child whispering prayers to a God they were sure had  not forgotten them in this new land. Sure they had planted the seeds when they arrived and they  were faithful. 


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