Darkness. It felt like an eternity floating in a depthless chasm. My whole body, though it felt numb and constricted, can move limitedly. I decided to remain in my current position, in which I am lying on my back, my limbs dangling freely. I felt empty, apathetic, and although my vision was clear amidst the void I am in, it slowly turned foggy until I was plunged in reminiscing a vividly triumphant but broken memory.
"I'll see you charged. In prison, some half-wit bruiser will make you his sweetheart.. and then you'll hang." I remarked mordantly, acid dripping from my tongue as I wanted nothing more than justice from the appalling horrors this grotesque abomination have committed.
"Indeed? A hysterical woman, former lunatic, roaring outrageous accusations against a respectable social architect and scientist? My God, Alice, who will believe you? I scarcely believe it myself." Yes. I too didn't believe it at first, since I was at mercy to this man. Dr. Bumby was one of my father's undergraduate. He freed me from Rutledge, offered me home and employment in the orphanage, but all of his actions have an ulterior motive. Hate is a mere understatement of what I feel for him. He killed my family, and the twisted monster made me think I was the one who killed them.
"You.. Monstrous creature! Such evil will be punished."
"By who? By what? Psychotic silly bitch. Your madness will be punished. Now leave. I'm expecting your replacement." I felt something inside me snapped. That was the last straw. Anger dwelled upon me and my grudge for him reached its peak. I turned around and was about to leave, but determination filled me and felt myself revert to wonderland Alice as I faced him again. I have been used and abused, but he will never destroy me.. Nor will I let him destroy any more lives. If no one can deliver justice from this man, then I will.
I allowed a smirk grace my lips as I saw the man's shocked face. May the weak London Alice he knew morph into Wonderland Alice and be imbued in his sight and soul, if he ever has one. Forevermore haunting him in his death, for I am his death.
Cheshire's voice rang in my head as I left the station, knowing all too well what I had done, my confusion apparent as I saw London and Wonderland merged. "Ah, Alice. We can't go home again. No surprise really. Only a very few find the way, and most of them don't recognize it when they do. Delusions, too, die hard with memory. Only the savage regard the endurance of pain as the measure of worth. Forgetting pain is convenient, remembering it: agonizing. But recovering the truth is worth the suffering and our Wonderland, though damaged, is safe in memory... for now."
I awoke. Sluggish and groggy, I stayed on my bed and rubbed my eyes, focusing my blurry vision on the ceiling. It has been awhile since I dreamt of my past. Try as I might, I could never feel guilt pushing Bumby off the train, although I do regret to have let him die that easily. He deserved so much more. After that incident, I was still plagued by nightmares of the past, but it wasn't that horrifying anymore. I learned how to accept my dreams as just dreams, and then they no longer felt hostile, or more like I could never treat them hostile again. Wonderland has been infused with my reality, for better or for worse. I was able to act normally, and everyone had thought me cured for good. Although they were pitiful when they heard of Bumby's death, the memory of his death effaced from the society and was soon forgotten. Luckily, even though I reek of poverty, there was a little amount of money enough for me to live in a shack near our burnt manor, and I was able to find jobs and earn money, however I got them with much difficulty. In this xenophobic society, being a former mental was not easy for them to overlook.
At some times, when I am in complete control of my mind, Wonderland is separated and I can see the normal London, and I've been frequently getting better at controlling myself. However, the most peculiar thing has happened to me. I am able to go to the Otherlands. I have met so many interesting figures, so many who is different yet similar to me. I have met Jules Verne, discussing the nature of humanity and their fears; Richard Wagner, whose mind I have discovered through his opera. I had my fill of theater after though; I even had been stuck on the mind of Vincent Van Gogh, whose wonderland was a swirling, vibrant mess. His madness however paved an odd path of friendship between us.
Having unified the material and psychological worlds, I now embrace my.. power, which allows me to move freely between both realms. No longer limited by mortal constraints, I can enter into and manipulate the psychological worlds of others. I do not know exactly how or why, but I figured that I wasn't the only one who suffered. I have ventured into their minds and helped those in need -- confronting manifestations of their psychological trauma, guiding them to resolution and tranquility. There is, however, a consequence. As I have travelled into the Otherlands, I was also trapped in the psychological world. Time flows differently within the Otherlands and reality. I have not aged, but seven decades has already passed and I still look like my 16 year old self. What felt like hours or days of disappearance in the Otherlands, was equivalent to months and years of absence here in reality. Realization only hit me when I thought I was just a few hours gone and was heading back to work, but when I returned, I actually have been gone for days.
From then on, I was more careful with treading into the Otherlands. I've worked til my bones visibly protruded my petite body, just so I could store food on my cupboard and be able to go more often into the Otherlands. It is the only way of retribution for being too blinded of my own problems. Paying for my sins through helping others is my vow, and I'm paying for it in a way that I only know.
Suddenly, I heard a rapping noise on my window. I sat up and stretched a bit then looked out the window. My eyes widened in surprise as I saw an ochre owl tapping its beak against the dirty, stained glass of my window. I quickly opened it and coughed as dust invaded my nostrils and throat. Right, I just got home yesterday and I wasn't particular in cleaning my own home. As soon as the window opened, the owl swooped in and a letter came flying down into my hands. The owl hooted and flew out, leaving me in utter confusion.
"What just happened.." I muttered, eyeing the letter in my hand with confusion and curiosity. It looked like an ordinary parchment with a red wax seal, and being the inquisitive creature that I am, I decided to open it. However, I heard a grumble and felt my stomach churning and eating my own guts. I sighed. Looks like the letter has to wait. Eating is the first priority.
I headed to the kitchen and first washed myself, then began filling the fireplace with wood. I lit matches and patiently waited for the wood to spark and smoke, then fanned it til fire was finally caught. I began washing my century old pan and took out what is left on my cupboard. Some canned meat and beans, and some potatoes. I'm running out of supply, and I better start finding work again to fill it up.
It's really surreal. It felt like only two years have passed me but the reality is, I was frequently gone for almost more than half a century. Things have changed, London has progressed and it is year 1942. I knew so when I was on the city yesterday. It was a bizarre situation that I have yet to get used to, after all, I have witnessed the city's progression too suddenly.
I stabbed the knife into the can and began opening it, pouring the beans on the already searing pan. When the beans were cooked, I placed it on my chipped plate and cooked the canned meat next. This is my life, and although very pitiful, I am very grateful for my independence. Unlike when I was in asylum, I had very little freedom and I was trapped by my own self. I have been trapped by my own madness. Even in the orphanage, I was trapped by my own memories, by Dr. Bumby, and mostly still by myself. Now.. I'm still trapped, but I no longer have too damaging inhibitions. Even if it takes my entire life, I will dedicate it to help others. To help them with their Wonderland. To help them not to become like me.
The meat was cooked and I settled on the rickety table. I prayed, thanking a higher deity for my wellbeing. Even if I am skeptical about God, but I see no harm in thanking for even the little things. It gives me a sense of thankfulness and peace. I began to ate, but was interrupted by someone knocking on my door.
"Excuse me! But is Ms. Liddell in here?" An older voice voice boomed throughout my little, decrepit shack. My eyes widened, shocked to have a visitor, much less someone still knowing I'm here. I panicked, not knowing what to do. They must have expected an elderly version of herself, but she isn't. Then an idea struck me. Even though ridiculous, I decided to go with it.
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