Thursday, March 14, 2013

Tainted Warrior- A Fan-Fiction Series

Welcome to the first installment of Tainted Warrior, a fan-fiction series based on Alice in Wonderland. Check in for regular updates! I hope you enjoy Alice's twisted adventures into a darker version of Wonderland.


Tainted Warrior

K.N. Lee            


 “Doctor, I’ve been having those…” Alice paused. Her large blue eyes darted around the room. She feared that the walls would begin closing in at any moment. The ticking of the large wall clock taunted her when all she wanted was silence.

Dr. Stein cleared his throat and wiped the lenses of his glasses on his red tie. He put them back on and stared at the disheveled, manic, teen that sat in his brown, leather, chair.

“Please continue, Alice.”

She swallowed and wrung her white fingers until they turned red and raw. Her knee bounced and her eyelid twitched. Three years of counseling and she had made zero signs of progress.  

“I’ve been having those dreams again,” Alice blurted it out. She covered her face with her thin hands.

Alice tried to calm her breathing. She felt that the moment she spoke those words aloud, then the demons from her dreams would hear her and would come for her. 

She would have sobbed uncontrollably if Dr. Stein hadn’t left his seat to comfort her. He put a warm hand on her knobby shoulder.

“Calm down, Alice.” Dr.Stein’s voice was usually soothing, but not this time. He smoothed her long, messy, black hair and she started to catch her breath.

She looked at him as he knelt on one knee before her. He had friendly chestnut colored eyes behind his wire-rimmed glasses.

Still, something was not right.

Alice felt the temperature of the room change and noticed something was different about Dr.Stein.  She tensed. Her eyes widened when she saw his curly, graying hair, start to sway as though a breeze swept through.

Dr. Stein’s gaze never faltered. He stared into hers with an unsettling intensity. Alice was certain that something was wrong.

There was a flicker of light behind his glasses and she was sure she saw a shadow reflecting on the lenses. She sucked in a breath and swirled around to catch whoever was behind her.

No one was there. Just the old fashioned wall papered wall. She wrapped her arms around herself and held tight, as though to keep the sudden chill of the room at bay.

“What is it Alice?” Dr.Stein’s soft voice grabbed her attention.

She shook her head.  “Nothing,” she whispered. She barely heard her own voice. Alice doubted that Dr. Stein had heard her response. Her eyes seemed to focus on his brown leather shoes. Her thoughts drifted to a place far from that room.

“Tell me about Wonderland, Alice.”

Alice shrieked at the mention of the place that haunted every second of her life. She pursed her lips and backed away from him. She climbed onto the headrest of the chair. She looked around and gasped as the shutters slammed closed. All sunlight was stolen from the small, cluttered, office.

Alice hesitated. She stared at the windows. The darkness made her hold her breath.

“Doctor?”

Dr. Stein didn’t answer.  He never even flinched.

“What’s happening?” Alice shouted as she tried to keep steady on the couch as the room began to shake. Her eyes widened as Dr. Stein stood with perfect balance, all while the books from his shelves fell onto the floor and his papers swirled around the room. He pulled a time piece from his pocket.

“You’re late, Alice,” he said as he tapped the face of the watch. “You’re late.”

“No,” she whispered. Her throat tightened with horror. Her fear rose as fast as her heart rate. She’d never forget the White Rabbit saying those words. How could Dr. Stein know those words?

“You’re late!” Dr.Stein’s voice echoed throughout the room as he lunged at her.  He grabbed her face and she screamed as loud as her voice would allow. 

Alice sucked in a breath as his hair caught fire.
The room became consumed with violent flames. She screamed and beat at his face with her fists. It was useless. Alice fought to remove his hands from her cheeks. 

He clutched at her tighter, as the flames traveled from his body to hers. The flames licked and burned her skin. She could smell dying flesh and the pain made her want to vomit. She was going mad.

Alice was already…mad.

“You’re late!”

Alice woke in the most violent manner. Her lungs were sore and burning from her screams. She was soaked in sweat. Her nightgown clung to her moist skin.

Her face was wet from a mixture of sweat and blood from ripping at her eyelids. Alice had been trying to pry her eyelids open with her ragged nails to free herself from her nightmare. The scars all over her face would never heal if she continued to relive that nightmare, night after night.

Alice sat upon the bottom bunk in the dark room she shared with three other orphans. Everything was calm, but she was fed up with this way of life. Her roommates had grown immune to her night terrors and had gotten used to sleeping with earplugs. 

Everyone called her crazy, loony, or… clinically insane. The authorities claimed that she had killed her family by setting their house on fire. She didn’t remember such a thing. She was glad she didn’t remember such a thing.

It was odd to think that she had actually done that. Alice remembered loving her parents and younger sister, but if the police said it was so, then it must be true. Besides, she was crazy, and this much she knew to be true. Who else spews tales of talking, vanishing, cats, and armies of playing cards who fought for a red queen that ruled in a fantastical world called ‘Wonderland?’

Alice was done.

She realized that she would never achieve sanity after all she had been through. She would end this tonight.

Not even Dr. Stein could help her now.

Alice leapt from her bed. The musty, old, floorboards creaked beneath her landing. The other girls never even stirred, they were peaceful in their slumber.

How she envied them.

She crossed the room and out the door. She raced down the thin hallways as though something, or someone, chased her. She heard the faint whispers coming from the walls, but she ignored them.

The blood rushed to Alice’s ears and her skin tightened with fear. The shadows danced and reached for her as she passed. She forced them from her mind.

Nothing could stop her now. She only hoped that the hallway would stay in place. They tended to get longer and longer to prevent her from reaching her destination. She would not fall for their tricks tonight.

Alice all but crashed into the bathroom. She was relieved that she had made it. She was nearly out of breath, but as determined as ever.

Wonderland would die with her. She turned the single bulb of light on and almost shrieked at her reflection. Her eyes were red. Her pale face was stained with blood. Her blue eyes were clouded with tears and blood as she stared at herself. She had once been a pretty girl, a good girl. How could all of this happen to her?

Alice became angry. She ground her teeth. Her blood boiled with untamed rage.

She punched the glass of the mirror.

The sound was loud and satisfying. The glass cracked along the center. A few shards fell into the rusty sink.

Alice grabbed a piece.Her chest heaved from her labored breaths. The pain of her life was too intense. She had no friends. She had no family. Alice didn’t remember what a hug felt like. She didn’t remember what love felt like.

She barely felt the sting of the glass as it cut her fingertips. She slit the soft, thin, flesh at the base of her wrist. To her surprise, the pain began to alleviate, as sure as the blood dripped into the sink.

A maniacal grin was brought to her face. A heavy weight was lifted. Her breaths finally slowed. She felt at peace.

Finally.

“Good girl Alice. I knew you were special,” someone whispered.

Alice’s head shot up and she gasped. She nearly crashed into the door as she backed away. She slipped on her spilled blood and grabbed the sink to catch her balance.

Alice stared back at the Cheshire cat who gazed at her from the cracked mirror. It made his orange face seem disfigured with his grin splattered across the broken glass.

“What do you want?” Alice snarled. Her brows were furrowed in malice. She lifted the bloody glass shard towards him. Seeing his face ignited something feral, and dangerous, within her.

The Cheshire cat eyed the weapon. His grin widened.

Alisssss,” he hissed.  “You make me proud.”

She wobbled back. Her energy drained with the blood that puddled onto the dirty linoleum floor. She shook her head and tried to remain focused. The room spun.

“What do you want, Cat?”Her voice echoed down the broken glass corridor that appeared in the mirror. It was a dark hallway that seemed to go on forever.

He chuckled and gave her an irritating smirk. “You, Alice. I’ve always wanted, you.”

She raised a skeptical eyebrow.

We want you back.”

She scoffed. “Why would I want to go back? That place was the end of me.”

“Where else would you go now girl?”

Alice stared at him and her lips pursed. She looked at her bleeding wrist. She couldn’t turn back now. She couldn’t collect her spilled blood and shove it back into her veins.

The deed was done. What could be worse than a rundown orphanage where they drugged her every morning?  It was a place where everyone looked at her like a worthless murderer. She looked past the Cheshire cat. 
Alice knew where that corridor of broken glass led.

“Come Alice,” he coaxed, reaching a paw through the looking glass.

Alice had nothing left to lose. She grabbed his paw with her bloody hand. He didn’t waste any time. He pulled her into the other side of the mirror.

Alice’s body was sucked from the bathroom. Every bone and muscle shrunk inward with the pull. Her body felt as though it was crushed by a heavy weight.

            “Much has changed in Wonderland,” The Cheshire cat whispered, but it was too late for her to turn back.

            “What do you mean, Cat?” Alice followed him. She looked down as her last drop of blood spilled onto the corridor of glass. She marveled as her blood turned the roadways bright red. It stretched like a bridge over the dark river.

Something wasn’t right.Wonderland had changed. Alice stared into the abysmal pool at her reflection. She wore a red dress with a black smock. White and black, stripped, stockings stretched upwards to her inner thighs. Her tattered sandals were replaced by sparkling red shoes.

            “Let’s just say,” the cat began. “You’re going to need that shard of glass on more than yourself this time.”

            Alice looked at the shard of glass. It had become a dagger of some sort. The blade had become crystallized, with a silver handle. She looked ahead. Her black hair swayed in the early dawn breeze of Wonderland. However, the sky was painted red, as was the ground, and the trees were absent of leaves. They were simply charred sticks and twisted twigs blackened and lifeless.

Alice gulped.

“This isn’t Wonderland, Cat. Where have you taken me?”

“Oh, but it is Alissss. It is what you’ve made it child.” His grin extended as he lifted his body higher into the air. Smoke began to surround his emaciated purple and gold body.

“This is your Wonderland.”