Ja’nelle and I were in a workers camp of some sort. It was night and we were in this old cabin that had about 50 filled beds in it. Mostly filled with black men and women but there seemed to be a few white men and one other white woman. It was in the middle of a sugar cane field oddly enough in California.
One night Ja’nelle had gotten into an argument with one of the other black men, suddenly a whole group of these black guys from the room gang up on her. Another woman got up and helped her out, they both fought heroically but it seemed they were more pushed around then anything.
I lay in my bed too frightened to say anything but since they stopped going after Ja’nelle one of them wacked me on my shoulder with a branch plucked from a tree. “Wake up!” He yelled maddeningly at me.
“Please don’t do this,” I pleaded.
“Why shouldn’t I?” The tall lanky black man looked confused.
“I have done nothing to anyone and you need not do anything to me, show me mercy.” I trembled and acted as weak and feminine as humanly possible. The group all looked at each other but it was the man that I was pleading to that decided to leave me alone.
Ja’nelle came over to me and was going to say something about what had just happened but I shushed her.
“In the morning,” I whispered, “We need to escape, word of this is going to get out to the big man. And then they’ll do something worse to us. But tonight we’ll get a good rest and tomorrow morning, we’ll make a run for it.” She nodded and got into her bed across mine and tried to go to sleep. The big man was a small fat white man who led this place and when he hears that somebody starts a fight. He did things to them to be made an example of. I didn’t want anything to happen to Ja’nelle or me. Especially since I knew what a pig the big man was and what he might do to a couple of women. But I still was able to fall asleep soundly.
The next morning my eyes shot open when I heard the door to the cabin open. Peaking up from under the covers I could see the Big Man walk into the cabin. He looked around until some of the guys from the group the other night went up to tell him what happened. Terror was building in my heart but I felt someone pull on my sleeve. Looking around I saw Ja’nelle, she was about to say something but I covered her mouth with my hand and motioned to the other side of the cabin. She nodded and I slid out of bed. There was a wall in the middle of the cabin, not a stable wall there were too many window space cut into it and they decided to put it there instead of getting rid of it. Ja’nelle and I crawled through one of the window spaces on the ground and stood up on the other side. Some people were up and looked up to see us but I put my pointy finger to my lips to quiet them.
Then we snuck out a back window. A couple more women decided to escape with us and soon we were out running in the field. But behind us I could hear, “There they go!” It was a chase for our lives, I could hear the heavy grunting of the men running through the fields trying to find us. The number of men began to subside as some of them began to give up but I could still hear one. And the girls and I kept on running till we hit a wide river that was rushing by too strongly. As we tried to decide what to do a tall white man tanned from his labor immerged from the cane. He didn’t have any malice in his eyes, only that he was sent to grab us. That wasn’t going to happen however because I grabbed Ja’nelle’s hand as we jumped into the raging water. We held each other tight as the water thrust us farther down stream. But soon the waters calmed and we were able to look above the water. We were next to a city, I don’t know which one but it had buildings resting on the waters edge.
Somehow the women and I had been turned into mice, three black mice, a white mouse, and a tanned one. We swam quickly to a water pipe on the outside of a building. The girls got up on the pipe themselves but I had to help the tanned mouse onto the pipe. Then we scurried across the pipes to a crack in the building which led into it’s basement where we were transformed back into humans.
(I don’t know why we were mice in my dream but I’m sure it had some symbolism in the way were running from the Big Man.)
We were all about to run when the white man grabbed a hold on the cuff of my shirt from the back.
“Where do you think your going?” He said.
“Running away, we’re free now and so are you. Run away like us, you don’t want to spend your life back at that workers camp do you?” I said whole-heartedly. After looking around at us a couple more times he nodded and began run with us. The basement led to an open bar that was filled with singing men and women too drunken to notice us sneaking out of the basement. Running outside the man ran in a separate direction from us and we kept running until the two women that came with us ran into some friends. They were so happy that they cried into their friend’s arms. After some conversation I told them.
“We can’t stop now, the men from the camp would still be looking for us.” The two women decided to depart with their friends but they gave us enough money to take a bus to San Francisco.
Once we got there we ran to Alexis’ apartment for shelter. It felt so good to be back in a town where everything was familiar. We knocked heavily on Alexis’ apartment door until she opened it. Her jaw dropped as she got a big hug from Ja’nelle, I stayed behind to check outside and close the door. I got a huge embrace from her as well.
The story on how we got there was being told to Alexis and her boyfriend. Ja’nelle started to get comfortable on the couch like she was going to fall asleep but I sat next to her. “We have to go,” I stated.
“Go! We just got here.” Ja’nelle whined. I knew she was tired but I didn’t trust being in a big city. Anyone could have seen us get here.
“We’re going to Napa.” I explained to the group, “Jessie lives out there and I believe it would be safer.” All of them looked at me with eyes that didn’t want us to go but understood why we had to. I let Ja’nelle at least get a good meal in her before asking Alexis if she could give us fair for BART. And if she could call Jessie and tell her that we’d be waiting for her outside the BART station closest to Napa. Alexis agreed and soon we were on our way to the station. We got on quickly and Ja’nelle began to doze on my shoulder. I had to stay awake to watch for the stops but the view from BART was beautiful and I felt safe knowing that we would be with Jessie and her mother soon.
I hear something outside of my room and woke up after this part and decided it was a good spot to wake up on. It was my dad in the living room working on his computer so I decided to sit down with my computer and write out this vivid dream I had.