The Independence Train

The Norfolk and Western Railway Number 1776 on Display at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke, Virginia, U.S.A.

There was a small camp that was hundreds of miles from the nearest town known as Camp Abuse.  Here, young girls and women were brought here by their parents, their ex-husbands, ex-boyfriends, or their ex-friends to be brutally abused.  Their head abuser was a muscular woman named Ella Beathem.  As they arrived at the camp, Ella brutally beat them.  They were stripped of their clothes and were only allowed to wear a shirt and shorts, and they were barefoot.  The grounds were covered in sharp objects that dug into their soles of their feet.  Even when it was brutally cold, they were never given any shoes or coat, nor were they allowed near a fire or heat source to keep them warm.  Many of them froze to death, and their bodies were burned.  Those who survived were beaten and abused.  They had bruises and cuts all over their body, and they were given no medical attention leaving scars on their body.  They were given very little to eat causing some of them to die from starvation.  Their abusers ate heavy meals, and, on occasion, made them watch as they ate.

Every night, Ella whipped them as they were in bed. “If any of you think that you are going to escape me, you better think again.  My dogs can find you in an instant, and I will have the glory to watch my dogs eat you alive, and they will eat you.  Now, go to sleep, and if any one of you makes a sound, I will beat you will my steel rod.”

They were all terrified of her.  She walked out of the room, and she slammed the door hard making an extremely loud noise that echoed through the room.

The women were outside chained to poles.  It was very hot, and the sun was beating down of them sunburning their skin.

“How will we ever escape from here?”  One of them whined.

Ella grabbed a sledgehammer and whacked her mouth hard ten times.  “There is no escape.  You will remain here and be beaten and abused until the very day that you die, and even after you die, I will still beat you and abuse you.”

As the woman was being beaten, a teenaged woman whispered to a few teenagers around her, “There may be a way to escape.”

“How?” a few women asked.

She looked around and then whispered, “There is a railroad line a few miles east of here.  In a few days, the Independence Train will come.  If we can get there, we can board the train and get away from this place.”

“How are we going to get away from here and her?”

She smiled.  “I have a plan.  I am Zana.”

“I am Pamela.”

“I am Jenny.”

“I am Amanda.”

“Nice to meet you.  We will wait until tonight.”  Zana informed them.

It was evening.  Ella beat them and whipped them before leaving the room slamming the door hard causing a loud echo in the room.

“Here’s our chance.”  Zana jumped out of her bed stepping on a sharp blade on the floor causing her to jump around.

“What are we doing?” Jenny asked.

Zana pulled the blade from her foot, and she limped to the door. There was barely enough light to where she was able to see the hinges on the door.  She took the blade and began to unscrew the screws.  After a long while, she unscrewed the first screw.  She slowly was able to unscrew the second.  Then the third.  Then the fourth.  After a long while, she unscrewed all twenty screws.  “Here we go.”

She pulled the door, and it opened.  She peeked outside, and the area was dark.  She saw the guards in the towers with their searchlights.  She pushed the door closed.  “If we are going to escape, this is the time.  We will have to leave slowly.”

“How are we going to get out of the camp?”  Jenny asked.  “The only road is heavily traveled.”

“We can escape behind the trash shack.  Amanda, Pam, and I will go ahead, and we will try to dig under the fence.  When we have a hole big enough, we will come back to get you.  We will escape through the forest.  Hopefully, we can get far enough away before they find that we are gone.”  Zana revealed the plan to everyone.

She peeked outside, and then she, Amanda, and Pam walked outside under the cover of darkness.  They felt their way to the trash shack that a short distance from where they were kept.  They went to the back side where they were out of sight from the searchlights.

“How are we going to dig?”  Amanda whispered.

Zana felt her way around the trash shack.  A great stench was coming through the entrance.  She looked up to see the searchlights focused outside of the camp.  She stepped inside and onto a shovel that caused her ankle to twist.  She lifted the shovel with her foot and grabbed it with her hand.  She limped her way to the others.  She looked around before she started digging.  After a little while, she dug a hole large enough to where they were able to get through.  Pam went back to the others.

“Are we going?”  One of them whispered.

Pam whispered to them.  “Take only what you need.  The searchlights are focused on the area outside.  Once we get under the fence, we will need to be careful.  If we get spotted, we are dinner for her dogs.”

One by one they went to the trash shack.  They pushed themselves through the hole, and they hid themselves outside.  Zana was the last to go through.

“Alright!”  She whispered to everyone.  “We must get away as fast as we can.  When they see that we are gone, they will come for us.”

It was pitch black.  They felt their way feeling the sharp rocks dig into the soles of their feet.

Days later, they arrived at the railroad line.

“What now?”  Jenny asked.

They heard a whistle.

“They train is coming.  All aboard.”  Zana smiled.

They made their way to the train tracks, and they watched as the Independence Train was approaching.  Soldiers were at the doors ready to grab them while other soldiers aimed their guns ready to defend them.  They hear barking.  Zana looked back and saw the dogs charging them with Ella close behind.

“You will not catch that train!”  Ella shouted.

One by one the soldiers grabbed the women and pulled them onto the train while the others shot the dogs.  When Zana was finally on the train, she said to the soldier, “Thank you for saving us.”

“Just doing our job.”  He continued to pull more of the women on the train.  When they were all aboard, the train sped away.

Zana and Jenny sat in their seats as they were exhausted.  The general came to them.  “I am glad that you are safely aboard.  I am General George Washington, the leader of these commandos who safeguard the Independence Train, which is driven by our engineer, Benjamin Franklin.”

“Thank you.”  Zana puffed out.

“Walter Reed, our doctor, will come around to tend to all of your wounds.”  General Washington assured them.

“Not so fast!”  Ella shouted as she climbed onto the train.  “You are my prisoners, and you will never be free.”

“They are not yours.  They are free.”  A soldier spoke back.

“Mister tough guy?  No man can fight me.”  Ella boasted.

The soldier handed Jenny his gun.  “Could you hold this, please?”

Jenny took the gun.  The soldier tightened his fists, and he charged Ella punching her in the face ten times, and he kicked her in her chest five times, and he kicked her in the head four times, and he made one flying kick into her chest, and Ella flew off of the train.

“That was good fighting.”

“Thanks, Tom Jefferson.”  The soldier said.

“Now we know that he is not a man,” Thomas Jefferson said.

“What do you say that?”  Zana was curious.

“Because he whacked that woman off the train.”  Thomas smiled.  “Let me introduce you to Private Charles Norris, a great soldier.”

“Happy to meet you, Private Norris.”  Jenny smiled.

“Happy to see that you are all safe.  Not I must go and finish the checkers game with John Hancock.”  Charles Norris went away.

The train continued on until they arrived at Freedom City.  The women were happy to be independent and free, and they continue that way ever after.

Wishing Everyone a very Happy Independence Day!!!

3 thoughts on “The Independence Train

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