Everything is just perfect here. Flower-painting, growing, shrinking, unbirthdays, music always playing in the distance, or up close, but only if I choose it to be that way. Paradise! But for some reason, I’m not completely happy….
I’ve been getting a really strange nagging feeling lately. Like when you’re having a dream, and you can very faintly hear your alarm clock, telling you to awaken.
But what is there to wake up from? Everything is as real as I am! At least, I’m rather certain that it is. Sometimes, the door says that it’s probably all in my head. But I think I remember a different voice saying something like that… But, oh, I can’t remember it! It’s all just far too frustrating for me.
Sometimes I get a flash of a memory, of me in my favorite dress, sitting up in a tree, reading. Just reading! There was no growing, no shrinking, no excitement, no running about, no one painting the flowers farther off in the distance! And yet, I looked… content. Smiling, even though there was no excitement.
I asked the Cheshire Cat about it, but he was cryptic as always. I won’t even bother to quote him here, as he makes no sense and I can’t quite remember it all. Something about two girls, one mind, two places, one home, two lives, one soul. Either way, he was making no sense, and vanished before I could ask any questions, although it wouldn’t make a difference if I had asked a question. He’d be just as cryptic. But I’ve gotten use to that. It’s just the way he is, I suppose. He’s rather mad as well.
The Mad Hatter didn’t really seem to care about it much… he just served me tea acted just like he always does, to take my mind off it. And the Hare was too busy to answer my questions, as always. I would have asked the Queen about it, but…
Well, I’m not mad.
I wonder if the Cheshire Cat may actually understand what’s happening to me. Clearly no one else does. Although… The door looked a bit nervous, and the Mad Hatter flinched when I asked, and the Hare ran by more quickly than usual… No, probably not. Maybe it is just all in my head. Perhaps I’m just paranoid. The Cheshire Cat may have just been making fun of me, anyway.
Well, I’ll keep writing it out as it happens, I suppose.
Alice closed her diary and watched as the flowers were painted red, tucking her blonde hair behind her ear and smiling. Life really did seem perfect here. She closed her eyes and listened to the music all around her, trying not to think about her peculiar daydreams. The Cheshire Cat, in the tree just behind her, chuckled to himself.
“Two girls, one mind… Two places, one home… Two lives, one soul… Young little Alice, trapped in her own mind…. Trapped here…. Happily captive…. And never to return….” And he vanished.
Alice’s mother took her daughter’s hand, her eyes squeezed shut, trying to keep the tears back.
“She won’t wake up.” She tilted her head back and squeezed Alice’s hand. “She just won’t wake up anymore.”
Little figurines of animals decorated the child’s room. A rabbit with a watch, a man with a teapot and a tall hat, a queen dressed in red, a door with its lock as a mouth and its doorknob as a nose… and one purple, grinning cat.
The cat had always been her favorite. She once had said aloud that he was cryptic and made no sense. That had been where her parents had begun to worry, but it was just the beginning. She had fainted when she was outside, painting all the white roses red. And she hadn’t woken up.
Alice’s mother shook her head. A tear slipped out the corner of her eye. She got up and stroked Alice’s hair, the walked out of the room, flicked off the light, and closed the door.
And Alice smiled gently.
When Alice fell
back to the world,
she did not fall completely.
One small window
in the back of her mind
stayed propped open,
sifting oddness in
The doctors released her
when she disavowed the playing cards,
the chess pieces,
the waistcoats on the rabbits
that darted still just out of sight,
caring not a fig
if she acknowledged them.
She learned to tell what was normal
and not speak of what wasn’t.
We’re all mad here, always
whether we say the words or no.
She painted the Jabberwock,
the croquet matches,
the tea parties.
She was lauded for her imagination,
and never said
where she got her ideas.
When Alice fell again,
she was older than the Queen, the Hatter.
She lived her time.
When Alice fell again,
down the spiralling stair,
when she fell and fell
and fell forever
the last thing to fade
was her smile.