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Wonderland: Lucy's Tale - Chapter Ten

The Final Chapter in Lucy's version of Events.

I awoke suddenly, a weight upon my back, pressing me down, my face pushed so deeply into my pillow that I had to fight for every breath. A vice like grip upon the back of my neck held me still. I tried to scream, but the sound was muffled, so instead I fought, hoping to free myself from my unknown assailant. He was too strong, but the desperation of terror kept me going longer than I would have thought possible, up until the time that I felt the hem of my gown being lifted up past my thighs and to the small of my back, exposing me to him. Memory came flooding in. This wasn’t the first time this had happened. Like Alice’s dreams, I’d been erasing this from my mind each and every time. And like Alice’s dreams, it was always the same.

I felt, or rather sensed, him fumbling at his crotch, knowing too well what was going on. He was unbuttoning his trousers, eagerly pulling out his erection. It had happened so many times before. I thought back to the night when my mother had walked in on him, the one time the sleeping pills he’d insisted she take hadn’t kept her in a daze of dreamless sleep from sunset to sunrise. Her gasp had been all too loud, easily overheard over my muffled pleas and his animalistic grunts. He’d reacted as if he’d been shot, stiffening even as he filled me with his vile spew, pulling from me as he turned to face her. I remember rolling over on my back, seeing the shock on her face, the red-hot rage upon his as he advanced upon her.

She’d shrunk back; babbling about calling the police, reporting him, having him locked away. She’d named him bastard and rapist, none of which he denied. Then he was on her, half pushing and half dragging her from the room and down the hall, passing the photo of the white tiger at the top of the stairs. It had been the first thing my mom had hung when we moved here so many summers ago. For once he’d been silent. Able to breathe once more, I prayed that my father would finally leave me alone, now that my mom had found him out. What happened next obliterated what little faith I had left that God was watching over me.

The shot rang out, filling the house with finality. Afterwards, he came to me and told me that my mother had shot herself. He told me that if I lied, and said otherwise, I would live to regret it. He infected me with terror, telling me that it was my fault. I was a whore, a temptress, bound for hell, and I believed him. I recall staring at the gold crucifix that hung upon a rough gold link chain around his neck, imagining it burning into the flesh of his chest. His clean white shirt was splattered with gore, and his eyes were shadows. I knew, then, that if I ever told anyone about this night, my father would kill me, so I simply nodded my head, and promised him my silence.

He left me then, to my shadows, my fear, my silence. I remember thinking that unless I could forget everything I would go crazy. Crazier, I should say. So I did. Forgot it that is, until just then. After mom had died, he’d left me alone. He’d turned his attentions to my beautiful Alice and I’d done nothing to stop him. Somewhere in the back of my head, I began to scream. Why now? Why was he doing this to me? A surge of strength allowed me to turn my head, just a little, just as he put his swollen member inside of me. Biting my lip so hard that I felt a warm wash of iron in my mouth, I bore it, as she had, in silence and somehow managed to twist my head just enough to see her face on the bed beside me.

She still wore that curious half smile that she sometimes did when she was amused, only this time blood trickled from the corner of her mouth and nose. Her eyes looked into mine, wide-open and unseeing, fresh bruises slowly turning her flesh to purple. I watched her, suddenly numb, praying to god for her to breathe. Perhaps it was just one of those moments where time stood still and once it resumed I would see her chest rise and fall, her lips gasp for breath, her eyes blink away tears of pain…

Before, this had been my sanctuary. Even without remembering his nighttime visits, somehow I knew that there was safety here. I guess that with Alice’s parents gone and the storm raging outside, he’d grown bold enough to risk a nocturnal visit. He raped me while I stared at her, her face just inches away from mine. It was as if I gazed into a dark yet beautiful mirror. After he was done he collapsed on the bed, his drunken snores filling the room, leaving Alice and I alone, our faces so close that had she been breathing I would have felt it upon my cheeks. I knew then, that she was truly lifeless, her bright spark snuffed out like a candle. And it was all my fault.

"I’m so sorry," I whispered to her shade, pressing my warm lips against her cold and lifeless flesh. Alice’s final gift to me was freedom. As she had freed me in life, so had she in death. I no longer feared him. After all, he’d already killed the best part of me. I felt as if I was in a dream, one of her dreams that ended up in the clearing in the woods. Only this time, I chose to remember. Slipping silently out of my bed, careful not to disturb the ghost of my Alice, I snuck from the room and down the stairs, each step careful so as not to make a noise. I knew what I needed to do as I made a beeline for the kitchen.

Killing someone is easy, if you want to do it badly enough. I put a lifetime of rage into the blows that rained down upon him, the carving knife keen and sharp. He made very little sound after the initial grunt of pain and surprise and soon we were left in silence, left with only the ugly sound of steel entering flesh over and over. After all, I had to make sure he was dead, that he had paid for his sins with blood. I knew, in my heart, that God would judge him and cast him down to hell. It was justice, not revenge.

When I was done, I felt strangely detached, dragging his body from the bed and out of the room, leaving a sticky film of blood in its wake. I didn’t want him polluting the presence of Alice’s room any longer than was necessary. It took all of my strength to send him sliding down the stairs and into the living room. Once my disagreeable task had been accomplished, I paused in front of a full length mirror in the hall, head tilted to the side in indifference, and simply stared.

Blood covered me from head to foot, staining my gown crimson. Dull brown eyes stared back at me, and my brown tresses were streaked with blood. Dead. He had killed my beautiful lover, my heart and soul, my refuge. Blinking back tears, I watched in confusion as my hair turned to gold and my eyes to blue, and then back again, feeling an unearthly chill pass through me. Curious and curiouser, Alice would have quoted.

Returning to the scene of the crime, I paused in the doorway, staring across the blood stained floor, a crack of lightning brilliantly illuminating Alice’s bedroom… our bedroom, as I had come to think of it. It was depressingly empty of life. Where she should have lain, sleeping peacefully in her bed, there was nothing but a tangled mess of sheets. I wanted to bury my face in them and inhale the subtle summery scent one last time. I knew, that if I looked too closely, I would find blood mingled with his seed staining the sheets. So I remained in the doorway, a smile slowly turning up the corners of my mouth at the sight of her precious copy of Alice in Wonderland, the spine just visible beneath its hiding place under her pillow. Perhaps she was safe within, just waiting for me to crack the pages open and release her once again. I considered it, discarding the idea quickly. She was better off staying hidden. In fact, it would be best to hide the book somewhere safe, where only I could find it.

Where I hid it, I’ll never tell, not even now, as I sit here with at my desk, the plain wooden surface scared with words that I’ve traced so many time with my pencil that they can never be sanded out. I retrace them one last time, thinking of her smiling down at me from heaven as I do. I love you.

Three simple words, and yet so very complicated. Looking upwards, I answer in return.

"I love you too."

And then, I carefully unscrew the top and empty the contents of the bottle out into the palm of my hand. Each tablet looks like a miniature cake, ironically.

"I’ve waited long enough."

Too long, perhaps, but it won’t be long now and a gladness pushes at the edges of my bleak and broken heart. It’s a promise, and as I make it, I think of her, her blonde hair the color of sunshine, her eyes the color of a cloudless sky, the memory of her scent reminding me of a carefree summer’s day. The hint of strawberry milk shake suddenly teases me, bringing tears with it… Enough. It is finally time to let go.

Even all this time later, I can still close my eyes and remember her words perfectly…

We’ll work it all out. The two of us, together  

I recite them quietly to myself one last time and then wash down the whole handful of pills with a glass of blood red wine. Glancing towards my unmade bed, I acknowledge the Librarian. She sits upon a sturdy chair, her frosty gaze meeting mine. Only she had chosen not to follow Alice to the grave and I’d spent the last decade trying to get her to reveal why, much to my frustration. She’d been silent ever since that night, tight lipped and taciturn. I wonder if, tonight of all nights, she might break her silence as I brush past her and lie down, pulling the covers over me, my head resting comfortably upon the pillow. With a tired sigh, I wrap myself in the memory of Alice’s arms around my waist, the warmth of her young body pressing against my back. Closing my eyes upon the world for the last time, I can hear her voice as she reads to me from Carroll’s tome, the beating of my heart slowly fading with each word until there is nothing but silence.

"Soon her eye fell on a little glass box that was lying under the table: she opened it, and found in it a very small cake, on which the words "EAT ME" were beautifully marked in currants. "Well, I’ll eat it," said Alice, "and if it makes me grow larger, I can reach the key; and if it make me grow smaller, I can creep under the door: so either way I’ll get into the garden, and I don’t care which happens!"

-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@-@

Authors Note

So I come to the end of Lucy’s Tale. I hope that anyone following this has enough faith in me to keep going despite the way it ends. Remember, this is only half the story and I will only say that it is definitely not over. Thank you to all those who have commented or read this far. I will try not to disappoint with the second half.

Xoxo
sprite

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