|The Gingerbread House
Author: Alice the Strange PM
She ran further, into the dark wood and along the twisting path, blood dripping from her fingertips. She danced with witches and kissed monsters. She made friends with the dark creatures that lurked in between the trees. And when her parents tried to make her leave and come back home, she grabbed hold of her new friends and ran away further, because she was afraid to be alone.Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Tragedy - Words: 1,126 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 5 - Updated: 06-19-11 - Published: 06-01-11 - Status: Complete - id: 2919776
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Once upon a time there was a little girl.
(A girl with light, light eyes lit by a dark, dark moon and blonde hair tangled up in bottle caps, laughter all tinkling-bells-in-the-wind bright and feathers-drifting-in-the-air lost as she waits for the broken spirit house to empty)
She lived in a pretty gingerbread house with a mummy and daddy that loved her very much. Every night her parents read her stories and she curled up and went to sleep, dreaming of talking mice and cats with wings. There was a big fence around the house so the Bad People couldn't get in. Everything was happy.
(Nine o'clock, tick-tock-tick-tock says the tightly locked clock, for the afternoon of their waging war is waning while the sun is sticky-to-the-touch hot and the food is steam-faded-away cold on the knock-on-me-please table)
Then one day, when she was seven years old, she went to big school. Up till then, the little girl hadn't known very many other children. She was excited about all the new friends she would make. But when she walked into the classroom, she found she felt a little nervous, and she couldn't smile and talk and laugh as easily as she'd thought she would.
(Raised eyebrows and twisted lips, eyes redredred with somethinglikehate covering up sotruetrue blue)
After a time, the other boys and girls decided the little girl was rather rude, and they stopped trying to make friends. So she was all alone. But that was all right, because every day she would walk home from school and her parents would smile at her and say hello, and she would climb thousands of steps into the sky and fall asleep among the clouds.
(Years agobeforeso-far-gone-she-shouldn't-remember-but-does she sees minds without labels and they've already fallen so far apart how can it get any worse)
As time went on and the little girl got older, the other boys and girls stopped ignoring her quite so much. Instead, they discovered it was much more fun to laugh at her. So they found things about her appearance, or her habits, that were different, and made fun of them. This upset the little girl, so she pretended not to notice.
(Plastic smiles that can't compare, smooth voices going up-down-up, their lies blackgreycloudy on her beautiful day)
The gingerbread house in the forest stopped being a safe haven. Instead, the little girl wandered farther and farther away from it, into the dark wood and along the twisting path, blood dripping from her fingertips. She danced with witches and kissed monsters. She made friends with the dark creatures that lurked in between the trees. And when her parents tried to make her leave and come back home, she grabbed hold of her new friends and ran away further, because she was afraid to be alone.
(Soft cracks and slight snaps, thinthinthin legs sliding in much-too-big uniforms, too big smiles and too small eyes with too many I-promise-you's and they're all ever so glad that she's never been good at telling others what's real)
But the little girl's friends weren't very nice to her sometimes. They told her bad things and lies about herself, pretending it was all for the good. Her parents thought they were a bad influence on her, but they couldn't think of a way to stop it. Each night, the girl curled up under the covers and built herself letter-shields and tried to stop the bramble-words and cold, thorny dreams from getting too close.
(Sea-salt ice cream drying on swollen cheeks and a little gingerbread box locked up tight with spicy red chains, because it's only the fairytales she wants to believe)
One day, the little girl had had a particularly bad day at the big school. That time, she didn't come home at all. Instead, she went off on her own and wandered around the forest, thinking, until it was nearly dark. As she sat alone in the middle of a clearing, her friends came up and sat beside her, laughing. "Why don't you run home?" they cackled. "Your mummy and daddy will worry."
(Bright lights-possibilities-magic floating up out of bad dreams, silver slippers and diamond rings and fairytales gone bad and none of them on her side)
But the girl didn't listen. She sat and she sat, until the stars were pricking out overhead and the trees were laughing at her. As the clock struck twelve, she walked home alone to an empty house, and overhead, the moon smiled goodbye and slipped away without a word.
(Bursting oh-so-bad against much too younglittleunchallenged eyes, a rainbow-when-the-rain's-still-falling black and white and redredred the for the very first time but she's looking in her eyes for the very last)
When she got home, she stood on a chair and fetched a poisoned apple down from the cupboard. It had been left to her mother by a wicked witch many years ago. The little girl knew that if she ate the apple, all the pain and hurt would go away.
(She eats anyway, all much too old for her age and far too young for her mind because she doesn't want to have to look but she never learnt to close her eyes)
One side of the apple was green, and the other was a cold, brooding crimson. She bit into the red side, exposing the white flesh. It tasted of blood, sweet and wine-dark, and as she chewed, her friends sat beside her and stroked her hair, telling her that it wouldn't be long now, that everything would be all right in the end.
(Ugly words throwing sharpdullrusty rocks at her clear-glass balcony because she still believes in waiting)
The little girl shut her eyes and lay down in a glass-coffin dream, where rose bushes climbed the walls to weave her a thorny fortress. And, holding her breath tight, she prayed for the day to come when her prince would arrive, and wake her with a magical kiss.
(Too much for so little a girl, in her head and in her thoughts and in everywhere she sees them and she can't stop pleasepleaseplease make them all just stop and go away and let her be normal, but she can't even get her dreams to obey her so what does she think she's trying to do)
He never did.