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Pen Your Pride

Alice -- (ENTRY WINNER!!!)

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This is my entry for Darknessandlight's write the ending of her short story. The stuff in italic is her short story and then the stuff that is not is, well, not. XDDDDDDDD

The song on the side is amazing. It's got a really good... feeling, for this. Odd. Listen to it. It's not the same storyline as this, but it's amazing. It's called "bad wine and lemon cake". XD


All that was left of it was a picture- tucked away in the corner of one of her drawers, hidden underneath a box covered by old linens. For you could only have certain things in your drawers: one toothbrush and paste, a hairbrush, soap, and a small bottle of non-toxic spray. She used to have nail scissors, too. But, she found out, they don't like hands. Or was it scissors?

The picture. It wasn't even in good condition, the corners were chipped, the ink was fading and there was a long scratch that ran from one side to the other, connecting them like a line between two dots, engraved deeply onto the paper, cutting the man in half. Like scissors. Cut. After last time it was bad for anyone to suspect you had scissors. If you had scissors they wouldn't be happy. Never happy, not with scissors.

Man. Man might not have been the right word, but boy wasn't either, the same way she hadn't been a woman back then and hadn't been a girl either. But words never sound right, when they come from your own mouth, your ears never fully accept them as your own. And then you come to think maybe they're not your own, maybe they never were. Your voice, your words, your hands, not yours, never yours. And they don't like hands, so it must be true.

It was during that time in between where nothing was sure and everything was possible. Yes, with scissors, anything is possible. And she had scissors then. Large ones, but different to the scissors some people think are scissors. You wielded it with one hand, for it had only one handle, and you danced with it as you fought with it. It's one sharp edge glinting as you raised it high above your head.

Nobody knew about the picture. Not her five children- was it five?- not her nine grandchildren (or maybe it was ten) and certainly not her husband. This was all that was left and it hurt to think it had to be hidden clandestinely this way. But she couldn't show them, they wouldn't understand. They would take him away.

Oh, there were pictures of him elsewhere, in their house. He was on many walls. He was even in her bedroom. But he wasn't hers in those pictures the way he was on the one tucked in the drawer. It was her in his eyes, he had said, and even after all these years, after everything, she still believed him.

That picture was all that was left, yes, and it was hidden, but it was better like this because she didn't, couldn't share this was anyone else, share this part of him, this small reminder. They wouldn't understand. And they couldn't take him away; that was all she had left. On that picture, he was hers, and strangely enough, she was his.

A tentacle of smoke snaked from the corner of the room to dance and dither in front of her eyes. She lifted her head from the picture to stare more fully at the whirling wisp. She knew where it had come from; the blue caterpillar sat with the same contemplative and somewhat languid look about his features that he always had. A smile curved the papery skin of her lips as she looked over.

'Alice.' His voice was a warm rasp against her ears. Smooth and yet hoarse, and deep, that hummed within her ears long after he had finished speaking.

Her body unconsciously inched forward, almost hypnotised by the tone. The pungent stench of nicotine hung in the air and clung to her throat, burnt its way up her nose as she pulled in breath after breath. Nobody knew about the picture.

He slid the pipe from his lips to puff several rings that soon morphed and combined with the surrounding smoke within the room before speaking. 'Tell me what you think of.'

She was reminded of the fact that she had shared him- her love- with somebody, but, he wasn't really somebody. Well, he was- but he wasn't. Because if she wished he wasn't, then he wasn't. However, then again, he was. For he always was. Hidden within her mind, deep and encased, usually. Not even a forgotten thought swept up by the wind. But he was. Was he?

'Alice.' A rhyme sung on a misty day. Echoing, floating, fading. 'Tell me. Share with me your thoughts.'

'I think of him. Always. I shall forever think of him.' She spoke clear, and true. For when she thought of him what could her heart be, but whole heartedly true?

'Who is he?' The boom of his voice wafted smoke to scatter around the room, like ants dispersing a sand home as the rain pours in. 'For he is not here, nor is he there. Anywhere you look, he shall not be. Was he ever there? Here? Where would he be if he were not here nor there?'

'He is mine!' He was hers, and strangely enough, she was his.

Her shriek cut off the caterpillar's words before he could utter anymore. 'He need not be here, nor there. For in my heart he is where is always was! Who he was is forever who he is and will be.' A grotesque smile grew on her face and a laugh bubbled from her cracked lips. 'I thought you understood. But you don't understand. You're just like everyone else.' Her wide, red rimmed eyes twitched and her head flicked back as she screamed. 'You don't understand!'

But then as her head flipped back, she realised she was alone, and he was gone. The smoke was gone, too. Departing as he departs like the clouds follow the wind.

The creak of the door brought her head around. There stood a woman in a white coat with a hesitant look on her face.

'Alice,' she said calmly. 'It's time for dinner now. Wouldn't you like to go to dinner?'

Alice smiled and stood from the bed, her hands clasped in front of her, for the cuffs would let her do little else. Then, whilst walking to the door, her cup suddenly dropped off of the side of her drawers to clatter to the floor, spilling the juice in a puddle.

Alice's eyes flickered to the ground and she watched as the juice gently seeped into the light wood, staining it red as it widened and expanded. She was immediately reminded of something else. It was during that time in between where nothing was sure and everything was possible. A time ago when she wielded her scissors deep into the heart of her love, so deep he would always be hers and nobody else's, and much the same had happened.

All that was left of it was a picture- tucked away in the corner of one of her drawers, hidden underneath a box covered by old linens.

'Alice?' The nurses voice was soft as she asked the same question as they always asked. 'Are you okay?'

And as usual, Alice gave the same answer.

She smiled. 'I'm fine.'

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