The twigs from the trees scratch across our faces as we run for our lives. The coppery taste of blood mixed with my saliva lingers in my mouth as I try to escape; it feels like my heart is beating out my chest. The jungle is blurred around me, running at such a speed that my eyesight cannot steady. My limbs ache deeply, it feels like they could fall off at any moment. I see him stumble over, but none of us willing to stop and help. The sound of the cries from the people we had left behind. I can now feel my heart beating in my throat, a great lump just stuck there as if I had swallowed something whole. A quick rest but we could still hear gunshots behind us; we knew we were still too close to stop. His words haunt me, “I don’t care how many screams you hear...” those words and the sound of his snarl imprinted on my brain forever. That’s if I and the few who surround me survive. The five of us were lucky to escape, if we hadn’t drank the poisoned punch, we would have been shot dead. Before we escaped, we heard on the announcer that the congressmen had been murdered while he was leaving Guyana. News reporters had flocked to our town as they had suspected something dubious was happening in Jonestown, which had only made the leader of the cult wary. They were right. Our leader was falling apart and the murder of the congressman had driven him to new extremes; he knew there would not be an escape for 900 of us. He twisted our minds with his taunting words; we all believed that he was our God and that this doomed town was the ‘Promised Land’. Many of my brothers were trapped by him, but some of us realised the truth.
We were imprisoned in the compound; people were used to be allowed to leave but not anymore, Jim did not like it, for him it was a piece of his power leaving. People were packed into metal-roofed cabins and sleeping on bunks without mattresses. There were armed guards, and Jones warned that deserters would encounter venomous snakes and hostile natives. Joining ‘The People’s Temple’ was voluntary; members followed Jones to Guyana as they we were promised a community of equality and peace. As the years passed by, the people of Jonestown weren’t themselves no more, they seemed brainwashed. I saw the mass murder starting to happen from my cabin and I knew I had to quickly escape. I met a man while trying to escape, Tim Carter, he was walking to the assembly where the murdering was happening and I had to explain to him, frantically. We both ran and told as many people we could find, only three out of twenty followed us, Jones