Alice awoke to find herself in the middle of a bloody massacre. Pale, lifeless bodies surrounded her, enclosing her in this block of death. The stench was suffocating and Alice struggled to remove remains of young bodies from across her face. She covered her nose with her shirt-sleeve as she rolled and crawled through the site. At the very first sign of open air, Alice gasped and inhaled deeply and slowly as she tried to re-regulate her heart beat. As soon as her legs were free, she dusted the dried blood off the ends of her skirt and began walking.
She stumbled upon a set of men seated at a large table, cackling over tea and a game of chess. As she neared them, she became extremely anxious and uncomfortable. But she continued walking towards them. She stopped at the opposite end of the table when she observed the peculiar features of the man seated at the head. He had a dark, sharp mustache which extended only to the ends of his nose, and his hair was parted and swooped over to the left. Both men, now sensing her presence glanced slowly up at the nervous girl.
“No room. No room,” she muttered quickly and turned sharply around to go off in any other direction.
“There’s plenty of room,” the man at the head said calmly, in a deep tone that unnerved Alice.
Alice sat at the end of the table with her hands in her lap gripping each other. Every now and then she’d rub her hands against her apron and squeeze it to watch the sweat fall. Alice felt she must have come in at the end of the game for not long after she sat down, the figure at the head announced, “Checkmate.”
The men rose in unison – as if there were chains that bound the actions together, and focused their eyes across the table on Alice, who was still sitting.
“Can you play croquet?” the first man asked sinisterly.
They turned their backs to Alice and began to move away from the large table. Alice wiped the remaining sweat in her skirt, got up and followed.
When she finally caught up with the men, she noticed that they weren’t at all playing croquet. Instead they hoarded and pelted small and large grenades and gas bombs at a group of people that were confined within a walled compound. Alice flinched and shut her eyes from the imagery. She swayed with the deafening falls and explosions, and shielded her ears from helpless screams.
When the booms ceased, Alice removed her hands and opened her eyes to find herself on the side of a protest. Dark complexions composed the progression, and they all moved together, step by step. The pitter patter of little footsteps was non-existent, though the gathering was filled with kinky-haired miniatures.
“Who are you?” the voices echoed.
“I am Alice,” she responded. The voices ignored her mumblings and fixed their eyes on her paleness. Alice attempted to question the crowd but they all turned their backs and marched on.
“I am Alice,” she kept repeating, begging for their acknowledgment.
Alice heard a rumbling from within the center of the crowd, and she listened to the hum of the baritones and deep basses. A force of water landed on the crowd and Alice listened as batons descended. She scampered, like the others for shelter and found restrooms which had signs which read “White” and “Colored.” Alice turned the doorknob of the first door and watched as it fell slowly against the wall. She stood carefully in the doorway of the dark bathroom, waiting to see what or who would appear.
As she kept moving, she noticed the floor changing beneath her. She was now traipsing across the hardwood floors of an urban apartment.
“Alice! Is that you?”
“What took you so long?”
“I --,” Alice tried to get a word in but the distant voice continued.
“I’ve been waiting for you for hours! We’re late. They’ve already started.”
A perfectly crafted silhouette sashayed over to her from within the other room. She had heavenly hips which rested atop long, shapely legs.
“And where’d you find those clothes? Change into these pants!”
Before Alice could get herself together, and explain this lustful desire she had for this female being, the woman handed Alice her Metro card, held her right hand with her left, held her waist, pulled her close and planted a sensual kiss on her dry lips.
Before Alice realized, they were on the corner of 42nd Street. They both grabbed placards and joined in the chants. People gathered all around the crowd of women, scoffing and laughing in their faces. Men turned their backs and some whistled, mockingly to the girls. Alice’s eyes met with a male onlooker, who mouthed “dyke” to her.
She walked fearfully up to the man and grimaced then said, “Would we sound better if we were men?”
Her female lover grabbed hold of her hand and pulled her back in the crowd.
At the end of the march, the two women made their way back to their Harlem home. Tired from the long day, Alice sauntered over to the couch. Not long after, she drifted away, far from reality, to her dreams. In her dream, Alice felt herself falling. Panicking, she woke up and saw that she was back in the bathroom of her house, encaged by the four white walls of concrete.