All Johannes could think about was protecting his little eight year-old brother Damien. They already got their mother, Michelle Dolloway. Johannes was tall for his age of ten, and quite skinny. He had rough and short dark hair, showing his small dark ears.
Johannes seized Damien, and they ducked behind a bush.
As Damien later recalled, 'it was horrific hearing the unseen men assault the house and most probably kill my mother.'
Damien was a small boy. His black hair reached to his large prominent ears on his chubby face. They hid behind the bush in their backyard fearfully. The Klan had just assaulted the house. Then they saw them. The men were in pure white; ten of them. Masks were covering their faces and pointed hoods over their heads. It was as they feared; the Ku Klux Klan.
Damien wouldn't dare cry. He wouldn't dare make a noise. Johannes took Damien, and they quietly ran around the house. They bit their lips in fear as someone yelled, "THE FRONT!"
They kept running. They ran right past a small white boy. Johannes knew who he was, but they never talked before. He would often wave at him and his brother when his parents weren't looking. They had no time to exchange words. He and Damien jumped behind a bush again, hoping to God that the white boy wouldn't give them away.
Within seconds, the white boy whose light brown curly hair waved in the sun was surrounded by the men in white. The leading member stepped forward and said, "Did you see two nigger boys running past here. Answer me!"
"Nigger boys?" the white boy repeated, putting on a puzzled look. "Here?"
"Where are your parents?!" the leader demanded.
On cue, the boy's parents came out in curiosity. "Anything we can help you with, sir?"
The boy's tall white father had short blond hair. His mother had curly light brown hair like her son. The leading Klan member eyed the parents through his mask, and said, "There were two black children running through here. We are looking for them."
"Jimmy, did you see them?" his father asked sternly.
"No, dad," Jimmy lied, shaking his head.
"He was here!" the member said angrily. "He couldn't have missed them, unless he's blind! Tell me where they are boy, or you'll get it." He raised a knife threateningly.
The boy eyed the knife, and then his parents. They were not going to be of any help. He looked down in defeat, and Johannes' heart sank.
"North," Jimmy said lowly. Johannes almost breathed in relief. "They both went north."
The leader turned to his nine comrades, "Four of you with me. We'll go after them. The other five, stay here and look over this family."
Four followed the leader north, and the rest followed the parents inside to talk seriously about the boy who was obviously hiding something. Jimmy ducked behind the bushes himself when all backs were turned.
"I'm Jimmy. Jimmy McCallister."
"Johannes Dolloway," Johannes answered back. "This here's my brother Damien. The Klan assaulted our house, so we're on our way east to the black church. Our dad is waiting for us there."
"I'll get you there," Jimmy offered.
"Your parents," Damien said in a small and soft voice. It was the first time Damien said something since they left the house.
Jimmy shrugged, "I can get you as far as the woods. I play there with my friends all the time. Then, you run on and I'll return here."
Johannes gratefully accepted the help of Jimmy McCallister. The three boys went on their way, unaware of one Klan member spying on the children, and hatefully thinking of the white boy and his family as traitors. He backed inside to inform his comrades.
The boys ran across the county line of Birmingham, Alabama. It wasn't long before they reached the woods Jimmy told them about. Jimmy turned to them, "Ok, keep going straight, and stay on the path for a shortcut. You should reach the next county in an hour.
"Thanks, Jimmy," Johannes nodded gratefully.
Before they could part, a yell was heard from not far behind. "THERE!"
Jimmy seized Johannes, and led the two black boys in the woods. Damien didn't speak. He just had the look of fear in his eyes. "They must've seen us go," Jimmy said, annoyed.
"Can we outrun them?" Damien panted fearfully.
"Duck behind a tree," Jimmy said to Damien. "Johannes and I will take the bush."
The three took their hiding places, and in a minute, three Klan members ran in and stopped. One looked around; face still covered by a mask. "They couldn't have gotten far."
"Go ahead," another ordered. "Go only as far as the next county. There are too many blacks there. We'll need more men."
The first one obediently ran ahead. The last two explored the area of the woods, and looked around bushes. Johannes said a prayer quietly, knowing they would eventually find him.
As he feared, one Klan member looked behind the tree Damien was hiding. Johannes closed his eyes, scared to death for his little brother. He waited for the yell of fear for only two seconds. It sounded.
Johannes was seized from behind, and thrown to the floor. He gasped in fear. A man in white was standing over him. Jimmy ran from his hiding place to distract him. He ran at the man. "You, boy, back here or your parents will get it!"
Jimmy stopped. He looked around. The man pinned Jimmy against a tree, and confronted him, "We spotted you running. Your parents are now dead in the house. Give the niggers to us."
"Don't play smart," the man growled warningly. He took his hands off of Jimmy's shoulders, and took a whip out. While the hands were off, Jimmy ducked under the man, and ran out. The one supervising Johannes and Damien lunged forward to catch Jimmy. Johannes and Damien jumped up. They ran to help.
"Catch them," the supervisor yelled.
Jimmy and the two black boys joined on the path, and ran. "Split up, but don't go far."
Johannes ran left. Damien ran left. Jimmy ran straight. As Jimmy hoped, the two men stopped. "Let them go. We have Robinson waiting for them at the end. It won't be long."
They turned, and walked away. The three boys met again. "Good one," Johannes said to Jimmy.
"A bit further," Jimmy said, quietly disbelieving what the Klan member said about his parents.
"Your parents," Damien said again.
"He was lying," Jimmy said confidently. "We're white, and they didn't do anything."
The three stayed together. At night, they had no choice but to sit in a grassy clearing. Jimmy took a dozen loose sticks from a tree, and rubbed two together to start a fire on the other ten.
Johannes and Damien huddled around it. Jimmy looked into the fire quietly. What did happen to his parents? Were they ok? He didn't like their racism, but they still nursed him and looked after him. He cared not how they would react when he arrived back home.
Johannes put a hand on his shoulder, "Thanks. Thanks for sticking up for us."
Jimmy shrugged. He didn't mind black people, but he could not believe one was touching his shoulder. Johannes noticed the look on his face, and unhanded him. He looked into the fire too. "So, why did you help us anyway?"
"I don't like them," Jimmy said quietly. "You two are black, and you're my friends." Johannes stared into the fire, speechless. "Go to sleep," Jimmy said to Johannes. "I'll watch over us."
Johannes nodded, "Wake me up when you're tired. I'll watch over next."
"Doesn't matter," Jimmy protested quietly, but Johannes interrupted.
"You can't possibly stay up all night. Wake me up."
Jimmy looked at Johannes, the dim fire illuminating his light face. Johannes looked firm, and he didn't want to fight. He nodded slowly, giving in. As Johannes slept, he shook his head, thinking to himself, giving in to a black. What am I doing?
After, he felt disgusted with himself for thinking that way. He meant to distance himself from his parents. Not be like them.
The night passed quietly. None appeared and Jimmy kept his word. The two boys took it in turns to watch the clearing. Jimmy woke Johannes up at nine, and they continued on their way.
The path ahead was not much longer. After an hour, the end was in sight. Johannes sighed, "We're there." The three ran forward, forgetting the danger possibly awaiting them.
Johannes screamed in pain as he was whipped to the floor. The man named Robinson must've stayed all night. Jimmy went down to another whip. Robinson raised it threateningly.
Johannes took a step forward, "Take me. Just leave Jimmy and my brother alone."
"No!" Jimmy protested loudly. "Johannes, no."
Robinson walked up to Johannes, and seized him harshly. "You two, get out of here and never return. Otherwise, we will kill you."
He whipped Johannes, and Jimmy painfully got up. He took Damien and helped him. Robinson held Johannes. Johannes looked apologetically at Jimmy. He saved them, now Johannes had to nobly pay him back.
The next whip awoke Jimmy's persistence. He ran forward at the Klan member, and aimed a kick. Jimmy turned, and ran. Johannes, having broken free, turned to run, but the recovered man whipped him. Johannes fell to another crack.
Jimmy took Damien, and whispered, "Run to the village and get help."
Damien did not hesitate. He ran ahead, and Jimmy ran at Robinson, ready to fight. The man, already having hit Johannes, raised his whip. Jimmy stopped and the strap missed. He seized the strap, and held on to it.
First, there was a struggle. Robinson held tightly onto the strap, muttering, "Let- go- nigger-boy." Then Robinson moved forward, and slapped Jimmy's hand off the strap. He raised it again. Jimmy braced himself. Johannes' eyes were closed, as if dead.
As the strap hit Jimmy again, another yell sounded. Damien had run into a black man in the county, and begged for help. The man wasted no time. Damien folded his arms as the black man walked towards Robinson. "Leave him, NOW!"
Robinson backed away fearfully. The black man raised his walking stick threateningly, and the Klan member ran away. The man bent down, and picked the motionless body of Johannes up. Damien ran up to his older brother.
Johannes and Jimmy were both very weak in the church they were taken to. Jimmy had survived with a few scars on his side and back. The question was Johannes. Jimmy had talked personally with Mr. Dolloway. They received word that Jimmy's parents had indeed been killed.
Jimmy had later remembered Mr. Dolloway saying to him, 'You did the right thing, and it was God's will. It was God's will that you ended up here with us. Now, you are in my care.' All Johannes could think of was protecting Damien, and repaying Jimmy. He did it.
Johannes, Damien, and Jimmy all grew up to fight for equality and rights. From that terror wave the Klan sent in Birmingham, it seemed like a hopeless dream of equality.
Hope was all they had. Hope got them through the night. Damien, Jimmy, and Mr. Dolloway were up all night worrying about Johannes, but he was spared. Why couldn't they hope for equality?
Hope triumphed, and the Klan was infiltrated within a year. After the fall of the Klan, the boys had lived in peace with Jimmy.
While the Klan was no longer a threat, there were still many whites holding racism. In 1963, they were present at Martin Luther King's speech, I Have a Dream. From that time, the three once young boys joined his movement and they helped fight for equality.
Jimmy McCallister married a black woman from South Carolina. Together, they had three kids, two of them black.
Johannes married a black from South Carolina too, and they had one black daughter.
Johannes' brother Damien married a white from Massachusetts. They had five kids.