Chaptre Five

Once a long long time ago, there was a little girl. There was nothing special about her and there still is nothing special about her. She's not pretty, she's not particularly smarter than any other child you might meet or more talented. Her name was Alice.

Alice had a secret though and that was enough.

And it was this secret that made her separate from all the other girl's in her class. It made her different from her older sister and her nanny and her mother that kissed her goodnight. But the one person it did not make her different from was her father. It connected them in some strange way that she couldn't understand. It connected them the way his fingers in her panties at night connected them. It connected them like the space between his legs connected them and she could not understand how.

She couldn't understand.

So one day she made up her mind to understand.

The girl with the white hair stopped and looked at Lucy.

Her eyes were like the weight that settled upon your own when there was no light to see by.

"I know this story."

I know you do.

"But isn't that not where she ended up? There was something pleasant waiting for her. She was named Queen Alice, and there was a big party with the White Queen and the Red Queen and there was a lion ... "

Yes you're right that all happened.

Lucy shut her eyes for a moment. Alice in Wonderland had never been a favorite book of hers but she had read it one day to see if she might not like it.

"Things aren't making sense and I have the most disquieting feeling that it doesn't really matter."

The sound of ambulance sirens and clanking dishes with dog barks filled the air and she realized the other girl was laughing.

".....something's not right here....something's so terribly wrong..."

Like you're dreaming? When people realize they're dreaming something generally feels off kilter.

"Am I dead?"

No.

But if there's anyone who's dying here it will be me.

"You're dying?"

Yes but listen I haven't finished telling you all the important things yet.

So this little girl after having many wonderful adventures finally found that she still could not understand this thing. In fact if the fantasy land she had created from her dreams had taught her anything it was that she understood even less that she had first imagined.

And so if her fantasies could not teach her what she needed to know she would slip into an even deeper sleep.

"But what about her dreams? If anything I thought you were hinting at the fact that this is Wonderland."

Another sip of tea.

It is.

"But then..."

A dream left unchecked will gain power of it's own.

But a dream once awoken is dead and gone.

It's only a dream after all.

"You're afraid of her waking up. You're afraid of her finding her answer to what her father did to her and you're afraid she'll wake up."

I'm afraid of her dying as well.

"So if you're not going to kill her to continue the dream then what? How did this place even survive without her? Did you keep dreaming up your self?"

My you do catch on fast. I knew there was a smart girl in there when I first saw you.

A dream is like an empty home, someone else is always going to move in. At first when Alice left us we didn't know what to do. But somehow where ever she had gone to she had dreamed of others like her and their dreams had gotten caught in each others. We thought at first she was doing this to catch more knowledge from them. And indeed she still might be doing that, but she's moved from beyond just victims like her. She's pulled in little girls and boys that have things broken in them that we don't have names for.

"How can other people all share the same dream?"

I don't know but its not the same dream exactly, with each new dream that was caught in ours the land scape shifted. What Alice had started began to grow and take on different forms I doubt even she herself would recognize this place if and when she got back to it.

"And so now you're fighting the chaos of it all? It that what you want me for? A waking mind to bring calm to this place?"

The sound of the wind howling against a place when you are safe inside and others are not.

No!

More laughter.

What makes you think we are so disorganized? Children might come here to die but this is not a place without order. They bring with them what's inside of them and more often than not it is shaped by the outside world. There is nothing here, no horror that is not a part of me, that I in turn am not a part of.

"So what then? What do you need me for?"

We need someone else to dream for us. You already surmised yourself that she can not keep on dreaming forever. There have been signs that she is very close to finding her answer and when that happens it will all fall apart.

Lucy sat back in her iron chair as much as she possibly could and let out a great breath of air.

'I must be going insane. I'm sitting and having tea with someone from the book Alice in Wonderland about wither or not I'll take the job as the lead.

Best not to think on it so much. So are you interested in helping me or not?

"Why me"? she laughed out between breaths of air. She really was loosing it.

Because you have a question and no want of an answer.

Lucy stopped breathing.

If you think on it you'll see that I'm right. You have a place where you are meant to be but something is missing in your mind about that place. And when you have the opportunity to sit and think about what it is that is missing you'd rather not. A question with no want of an answer, awound that dose not want to be cured.

"You could live forever....or at least nearly so. I would die eventually."

The girl with the white hair smirked and took a drink of her tea.

"Who are you anyway? There wasn't any character in the book that looked like you except for maybe Alice or the White Queen."

I am Wonderland.

"I beg your pardon?"

I am Wonderland. I am the dream that swallows up others.

"...Swallow.....I thought you said it was Alice that brought in others?"

Yes but one day she stopped so we started to choose our own children.

"How?"

The girl with the white hair stood up and turned around to reveal a hastily buttoned back to her dress and undid a few buttons in the back.

I haven't the words to describe to you what lay underneath her buttons instead of the smooth flash of a back. I suppose to some it might have looked like a million jointed parts of insects reaching out for something to grab hold of. To some it might have been silken scarfs and ropes, to another mechanical parts but always always it was always something to grab and hold onto you. Whatever it was of these or so many more that Lucy saw I can not say but I know that she shrieked and covered her eyes.

I am Wonderland. I become tamed by eating others like me.

After a long moment Lucy finally answered.

"I'll help you but please, keep your dress properly buttoned next time."

She didn't uncover her eyes.