I was in a camp of some kind. I was a teenager again surrounded by peers, some of us younger. It seemed like we were being held against our will, with fences and rigid, mouthy officers patrolling them. I remember a higher-ranking guard kept grinning and looking me in the eye, like he knew something I didn’t. No one mentioned parents or family.
But changes were coming. We were being filed off into groups and each group was being sent to a new facility. Again a grin came from the same higher ranking officer.
I ended up with a bunch of kids who only took one or two things with them. A small book bag, a blanket, a stuffed animal, and the clothes on our backs – though some of us were barefoot. I was with a friend, a female, I thought I knew her at the time I was dreaming, but I can’t recall her features or identity now. I was acutely aware that I was attracted to her. But I don’t think she shared the sentiment – either because she was too scared to think about anything but where we were going, or because she didn’t like me that way.
We boarded on some kind of low-flying hover ship, like out of science fiction, very industrial, like for war. When the entry closed, we could not see outside the ship. We landed outside of the city, on the roof of what might have been an abandoned parking garage and warehouse. They dumped us out, and no authority figures followed before the ship took off again. Some kids started running into the building to see what was next. We didn’t know where we were going until about a third of the way down the building we saw some officers. They were more lax, talking casually with some of the older teens. We walked past them. The inside of the building was familiar, like in another dream. Some of the descent was made by broad ramps, like for cars, some through shoddy double-roomed elevators (some people were separated from each other here, though no injuries are expected to have occurred), some down several flights of steep, narrow stairs that ran adjacent, though inaccessible to one another. After we passed the guards, we were directed by yellow and orange spray painted arrows and curves that ran obsessively over themselves all over the floor.
And finally, we began to sprint down the one last, broad ramp and into a green yard. and me and my female friend, we hugged and gripped each other tightly, exalted to feel free. We rolled in the grass a bit. The moment passed. I got up from the ground, she was still lying there happy. I looked around her and saw patches of sand and rocks. I looked out to where the tall chain-link fence stopped, probably 50 yards. And saw that there was an old playground structure left intact, with more spray paint on it. At the height of the structure- only 5 feet from the ground, faded green words read something like “King of the Yard”. And I realized that this was not freedom. I looked down worried, at my friend still in her haze of newness. I wondered how long before we turned on each other.