A young girl with carmel colored hair and green eyes sits in her front lawn, the warm summer sun beating down on her pale skin covered in bruises. To think, this sweet young girl was being violently hit by her peers just hours before. Alice was her name, she was a kind and intelligent girl but didn't seem to have many friends, so she often spent time alone creating her own friends, imaginary friends if you will. She had so many of these friends, in fact, she had to name them all numbers just to keep track. Out of them all there was one that stood out in particular, her name was Zero. She was the very first of Alice's imaginary friends, created to protect Alice from all of her bullies. Whenever they would tease or physically beat her, Zero was there to take care of them. They were best friends and spent everyday together, telling her stories, jokes and even make fun of Alice's neighbor who was in charge of watching her when her parents had to go out on business. Life wasn't so lonely for Alice.....until that day.
As Alice sat on the soft grass, looking down onto the street, she felt a strange sensation, an urge. Something in the back of her mind was telling her to go to the other side of the road. When the idea finally consumed her she skipped down to the small neighborhood street. Her bare feet hit the hot concrete, carefully watching each step as she crossed. When she looked up she saw something come towards her, a large white truck. Eyes wide with horror, she stood there in shock bracing for impact. A loud screech of rubber against concrete, the vehicle spun past her tumbling down the large hill opposite of her home. She heard the crunching of metal and a woman's scream as It kept rolling until it hit a large tree at the base. Only a moment later the dismantled vehicle burst into flames, smoke climbing the side of the tree. Alice's pale eyes stared down at the tragedy as the drivers door opened and someone fell out, desperately crawling, grabbing at the forest floor. Alice's father stared up the hill at his loving daughter, covered in his own crimson blood and bright red flames. He screamed but couldn't move, his leg caught between the wheel and the metal, pain flowing through his body before his screams were silenced and he stopped moving. As the red flames consumed the scene, she saw someone in the passenger seat, her loving mother, burning to death in the flames. Alice fell to her knees, warm tears flowing down her cheeks, her nose dripping down her chin.
"MOMMY!! DADDY!!!" She screamed, witnessing everything in horrific detail. Grief and sorrow filled her entire body, replaying the scene over and over in her head. Red flames and crimson blood was the last she saw of her parents on the warm summer day.
After her parents accident her neighbor, Mr. Rogers, took her in out of guilt. She hated him, he was a dirty, fat man who was drunk almost every minute of everyday. But she hated him even more for not watching her that day, because of him....she killed her parents. But there was no one else, no family no friends, she was left alone, misery being her only company.
Many years later, the light brunette sits in her history class, doodling little cartoon people in her sketchbook. As she went on to drawing someone's hair, something violently snapped her out of concentration. A wrinkled hand over a quiz with a large zero on it covered her work.
"Alice, I suggest you actually pay attention in my classroom, you do not need another zero." said Alice's wrinkly old history teacher.
Alice suddenly felt her head pound. Something about what she just said....bothered her, but she didn't know what it was.
"Y-yes, Mrs. Kirst." Alice said, not making eye contact.
As she sat in class, pretending to know what was going on, but her head continued to ach more and more until she felt like she was going to be sick. She asked to be excused, and quickly ran to the restrooms.
Alice splashed cold water onto her burning face, looking up into the mirror. But jumped back, heart pounding, when she saw her reflection. She swore she saw herself......blink.
A few hours later, she sits in her art class, watching her classmates work on their projects. While doing so, her hand slips and she cuts her hand pretty deeply with a razor blade, red liquid spilling out on her work. But she felt nothing. Before she knew it the teacher was staring at her, eyes wide, and rushed her to the nurse.
When she returned, she hid her face and walked back to her seat. But she froze before she sat down, red circles completely covered her work and desk. The whole situation made her shake, and as soon as the bell rung, she ran out into the halls.
Before she left campus, she was greeted by a familiar smile.
"Hello Alice! And welcome to Wonderland!" the short blonde girl with brown eyes said, throwing her arms up, gesturing to the entire street as if to be a surprise.
"Can you not, Ann." Alice said slightly annoyed.
"C'mon, lighten up. Anyways, gonna do that homework?" Ann said, resting her hands behind her head, catching snowflakes with her small pink tongue.
"You'll have to do your own work eventually, you know. I'm not going to be here forever."
"Yes you are, cuz I'm not gonna let you leave." Ann said, throwing her arm around Alice's shoulder as they walked down the cold winter road.
As they continued to walk, joking and gossiping to each other, they finally reached Ann's home. They said there goodbyes, then Alice reliantly walked into the forest. She loved it, it was so peaceful, the yellow sun hitting the untouched white terrain and the thin shadows of the leafless trees. The only thing that bothered her was it meant she was going back to that horrid place some would call a home. She opened the creaking door and slowly, silently entered the cold house. She held her breath walking though the living room.
"There you are, you little bitch!" yelled a gruff man as he grabbed her arm.
Alice squeaked as he yanked her back looking straight into her eyes with disgust. Alice's face turned bright red as the knot filled her throat.
"What's this!? Huh!" he said, pulling her into the kitchen pointing at the counter covered in beer cans and microwaved meal cases.
Shit! I forgot to clean this morning! She thought to herself.
"S-Sorry, I just had to get to scho-" she was silenced by the solid fist of Mr. Rogers across her face.
"I don't need your stupid excuses! Don't let it happen ever again! Or you'll regret it, I swear." he said throwing her to the tile floor, walking back into the living room, slumping his large round body onto the dusty couch.
Alice quickly stood up, throwing away garbage and cleaning the counters in a silenced panic. This wasn't uncommon, whenever she did anything wrong, there was the angry drunk man to beat her, so she did as she was told and hid in her room.
She held back the emotions boiling inside, sadness, confusion and rage. Afterwards she quickly walked up the steps to her small bedroom. It was a dark room, the walls covered with her favorite drawings, a small bed in the center and a dresser in the corner. This was her only escape, the only place she could be free. No one came in, only her, no one else.
The next day she walked through the snow filled woods and emerged onto the road on the other end, speed walking down the sidewalk. She did not cross the road today, she just quickly walked, her favorite black hoodie covering her large black and blue gash on her face. She couldn't tell anyone, who knows what Mr. Rogers would do....
"Alice! Hey, wait up!" said a familiar voice from behind.
"Hey, Ann." Alice responded with a monotone voice, back still facing her.
Ann caught up, grabbing Alice's shoulder as she caught her breath. Alice turned her head, looking out into the forest as Ann walked beside her.
"What's with the hood? Selling some drugs?" Ann giggled to herself.
"No, just.....you know.....cold." she said blandly.
Ann smirked and ripped off the hood, her eyes widened.
"Oh my god! What happened! Are you ok?" Ann said closely inspecting the black eye.
"Yeah, yeah! I'm fine I just......slipped and hit it on the counter top." She said, softly giggling nervously.
Ann looked at her face sternly. She knew Alice was lying, something was up.
"Hmm, if you say so. Just, if you need somebody, just know I'm always there for you." she said throwing her arm over her shoulder in confidence.
Alice nodded as the two girls walked towards the school.
Her day continued, people starred at her eye as she walked by, a few people asking about it and she gave them all the same answer, "it was an accident".
This was uncommon for her, usually people ignored her, not giving her even a glance. But she didn't like all the attention she was getting, so she wore her hood for most of the day. After school she quickly walked out of the building, not waiting for her only friend. She walked across the campus, tripping on the steps of the short stairs, when she saw two figures walk towards her. She looked at the ground, watching the concrete move under her feet. As she walked, a foot blocked her steps, tripping Alice onto the hard concrete floor. Her hand and elbow stopped her fall mostly but sent her notebooks and sketchbook flying in front of her. Red face with embarrassment, she squirmed onto her knees, grabbing her books in a panic. Laughing burst everywhere around her, her face turning into a deep red.
Sure, now people notice me. She thought to herself.
As she grabbed the last notebook she felt something hit the back of her head, brown liquid jumped in every direction, chocolate milk dripping off her bangs and onto her face. She froze, something tugged at the back of her mind. She felt her blood boil with rage until.....she just......snapped.
Dropping everything, she got up, spun around and ran towards one of the figures that had tripped her. The tall boy's eyes opened in shock as Alice's fist hit him in the gut, reaching up into his ribcage. He fell back wheezing, coughing up.....blood. As he sat on the concrete hugging his stomach her knee rammed into the side of his head. He coughed up more crimson when.....Alice grabbed his leg and, with her foot, broke it. A loud crack echoed against the brick walls of the school. she went for his arm when she saw the second figure run towards her. She dodged his punch slamming her elbow into his back, sending his body towards the concrete. The shorter boy quickly spun around, Alice sitting atop his stomach, punching his damaged face, over and over and over, until you could see blood pour from his nose and mouth. He struggled to stop her, but was too weak, he had no choice but to just take each and every blow.
"ALICE! STOP!" she heard someone yell, running towards the scene.
She looked up, hand positioned for another punch, but stopped once she saw the horrified look on everyone's faces, including Ann's.
She snapped out of what ever terrible phase she had entered and looked down at her bloody knuckles and mangled face of the boy.
What did I do! This isn't me, I didn't do this! At least I didn't mean to! She thought, tears filling her eyes.
She quickly stood, backing away from the two mangled victims, and ran off school grounds, towards the forest.
She ran into her bathroom, rummaging through the cabinet, searching for medicine to clean the wounds she had caused herself. She poured the alcohol onto the cuts and used to wash off the blood. She watched the small white bubbles foam inside each cut on her hands and her elbow. Once she bandaged her wounds, she rested her hands on the counter and starred at herself in the bathroom mirror.
"What did I just do? Did I-I snap? Had I done this before?" she whispered to herself, questions swimming around in her head.
"Oh, no.....of course not. I just had to protect you....." her mouth answered, using her own voice.
Alice jumped back, eyes widened, face pale. Her reflection just spoke to her.
"What! Who are you!" she asked, shaking.
After a long pause, the raspy voice finally spoke once more.
"I am your best friend. Don't you remember?" said her lips.
Tears ran down her warm cheeks. Her head began to pound as she fell to the ground, grasping her head, screaming. The voice was inside her head, screaming the same phrase over and over again.
Don't you remember me, Alice. I'm your best friend....your only friend....
The next few weeks, the voice did not return. But, Alice did not return to the girl she once was; she became violent, angry at almost everything, had violent fits of laughter out of nowhere and often fought or stole from others. It was strange, she felt as if her mind was replaced with someone else's. And of course, after being expelled, she had no choice, but to stay in her room, not eating, not talking, completely void of interaction.
This continued for many months, until her migraines became worse, her head pounded against her skull until she screamed and cried, begging for it to stop. She couldn't go to a doctor or a therapist, they would surely call her insane and put her into an asylum. She couldn't let that happen.
Then one day after a particular violent drunk outburst from Mr. Rogers that left her with cuts over her arms. As she sobbed and her mind pounded against its chamber, she began to feel weaker and weaker until her vision went black.
When she awoke, she found herself laying on the floor of her bedroom, her muscles ached as if they were torn apart, only to be slowly sewn together. She got up, headache gone, but extremely tired and hungry. She walked downstairs, stumbling towards the kitchen, violently opening the fridge door. Nothing, it was almost completely bare. Sighing, she pulled on her hoodie, and slipping on her black converse and walked out the door.
Walking out of the closest grocery store, she past a television store when a particular news report caught her interests on one of the televisions.
"Breaking news! Man found violently beaten to death with blunt instrument. More at 11." said the brunette news woman.
Alice continued to walk home, the cold autumn wind flowing past her, grocery bags slumped at her sides. When she entered the home, there was no sign of Mr. Rogers. Relieved, she threw the bags onto the counter of the kitchen, grabbing a can of soup to make for dinner. She turned on the television, flipping to the channel of the news station from earlier, the same brunette woman sitting, holding papers in her manicured hands.
"Man killed at 6:15 pm today, found in alleyway of Richards street. He was a Caucasian male around his mid 40s, several of the limbs and even the head of the corpse are missing, so his identity is unrecognizable....." the woman continued with insignificant details.
After finishing her soup, she walked up the stairs. She stopped when she smelled something putrid. She continued to walk up the steps until she froze. A sledge hammer lay in the hallway, covered in blood. In a panic, she ran into her bedroom and slammed the door. She breathed heavily, her heart pounding against her ears, until she let out a bloodcurdling scream. Her room was completely covered in circles written in blood, from the walls to the ceiling. And atop her bed, lay the caved in skull attached to the head of Mr. Rogers. She ran out of the room, but tripping over the handle of the blunt instrument, she fell down the flight of stairs. When she reached the bottom, her head slammed against a solid cabinet, knocking her out cold.
She woke up in a dark room, when she stood she noticed it was a room filled with hundreds of mirrors. Her reflections was projected in every part of her view, everywhere she looked she saw her sickly face and exhausted eyes. Her heart began to pound, where was she?
"Aren't you happy? He's gone, he won't hurt you anymore." said the same voice from months before.
Alice spun around looking for where the voice was located, but she only saw her own pathetic reflection.
"WHO ARE YOU! I WANT ANSWERS!" She screamed at the top of her lungs.
Cracked laughter filled the dark room.
"Don't you remember me, Alice? I am your best friend, your first friend. I am Zero." a long silence filled the room.
"You imagined me so I could protect you. But if I am imagined, I cannot help. so I had to find a way so I could always protect you. I am simply part of your consciousness, so if fact, I am you." the voice whispered.
"No! NO YOU AREN'T! You couldn't be....unless....are you a demon?" Alice asked shakily.
"No, no of course not. I am a friend, here to do what I was told to, all those years ago. But you ignored me after your parents death. I was very lonely, Alice. But I am getting stronger, you can't control me anymore, Alice." said the sinister voice.
My parents? Wait, I remember! Alice thought to herself.
"YOU! You told me to go into the road! You made me kill my parents!" tears flowed down her burning cheeks.
"Why, yes. I had to, they wouldn't let us play. So I couldn't protect you, because they did. So they needed to go so I could do my job. That is what you ordered me to do after all, to protect you."
Alice's cries stopped, she stood there in silence. Her entire body filled with an uncontrollable rage. Without warning she ran her fist into the mirrors, each and every one.
"You took everything away from me! Everyone is gone. I have no one! I am nothing!" She screamed as she continued to punch each of the reflective surfaces until her knuckles bled.
As she ran to the next mirror, she tripped over something. When she looked back she saw the crimson glazed sledge hammer. Picking it up she violently smashed it into everything, glass flew around the room, hitting Alice in several places. Cutting her deeply, but she couldn't feel anything anymore. She was completely void of anything at this point.
She stopped her fit of rage, violently catching he breath, standing on the glass filled floor, splattered with her own blood dripping from her hands. She glances around the room until she saw her reflection in the corner of the room, it was smiling. She ran towards it with her blunt instrument smashing herself through the mirror.
Her eyes opened slowly, blinding white light entering her eyes. The cold tile floor pressing against her aching back. She slowly sat up, seeing that she was in her bathroom, she grabbed the counter to help her up. When she finally got to her feet she looked at herself in the large mirror.
After many minutes of complete silence, she finally burst out into a fit of violent laughter. A giant smile stretched across her face.
Both her skin and hair had been completely bleached white, and large black circles surrounded her eyes, reaching from her eyebrows to cheeks.
"HAHAHA! Now this is more like it! I finally feel like myself!" she said.
"Please....leave me alone...." said the lips that were previously Alice's.
"I have.....for much too long." Zero responded.
Alice did not respond, she was gone.
"HA! I kind of look like a skeleton, but not quite." she said admiring her white complexion
She left the bathroom, walking down to the living room, grabbing some scissors, needle and tread. When she entered the bathroom again, she set down her supplies and smiled into the mirror.
"A skeleton needs her teeth." She said as she ran the sharp scissors into her cheeks, blood gushing down to chin.
The blades pinched the muscle and nerves in her flesh on each side of her face. The crimson liquid continued to pour. After the large cuts were finished and reached her face from ear to ear, she grabbed the needle and thread and began to sew her face in a vertical pattern as to look like lines across, only her mouth being free from its grasp.
Red liquid began to pour down from the open wounds. She frowned at the sight of it, as she tilted her head.
"Ugh, red. I hate that color. Remember, Alice, the blood pouring from your fathers scalp, and the red flames that consumed your mother. These colors were the last I remember before you locked me away. Best not to be reminded." she said as she bent down to the tile floor and dipped her index finger into the bleach.
She stood and bent her head back, lifting the finger above her eye, dropping the liquid into each eye. They began to sting and then burn as if they were on fire, and she couldn't see anything for a few moments. When her vision finally returned, the once crimson liquid turned into deep black blood. As she looked around, everything she saw was either a deep black, blinding white, or a faded grey. She didn't have to see the horrible color again.
Finished with her work, she walked out into the hall when she heard the phone. Walking into Alice's bedroom, and answered it.
"Hello?" She said in a sly tone.
"Alice! Oh my god, are you alright! I haven't seen you in months. I've been trying to get a hold of you for forever!" Ann spoke in a panic.
"I'm fine. Great actually." Zero giggled.
"Good! Could you come over? I got something for you!" she said excitedly.
"Hehe, yeah. I'll be right over." Zero responded, quickly hanging up afterwards.
Her smile widened, stretching the skin held by the thread. She quickly walked out the room, picking up the hammer, and running out of the house and into the autumn woods.
She emerged on the other side, walking up the empty street. The soiled tool dragging behind her, grinding against the concrete. She giggled to herself as she approached the house. The light in the kitchen remained on, even though the car was gone. Ann's shadow ran across the small lit window.
Zero, growing impatient, walked up the steps and slowly knocked on the oak door.
"I'll be right there, Alice! Man, your gonna love your gift." Ann yelled from another room.
When she opened the door, her grin quickly faded. What once was here friend, instead stood a white monster. Silence filled the home for several moments before Ann ran towards the living room. Zero grabbed her forearm before she could get away and threw her against the hardwood floor.
"Alice! What are you doing?!" Ann screamed.
Zero quickly walked towards her, placing her foot on her arm......splitting it in half. Her screams filled the entire house, rattling against the walls.
"HA! Alice is long gone....and she won't be coming back. As for why? Well.....you can't have Zero with one left." she laughed as she lifted the large hammer above her head.
With all of Zero's strength, the hammer entered Ann's skull, spraying black liquid over the walls and floor. Without hesitation, she yanked out her weapon and shook off the prices of brain matter hanging off. Ann's still corpse lay, the soft innards completely exposed.
With a smirk, she left and returned with a large cleaver.
"Hm, lets see what we can do with this." She said, as she turned Ann's lifeless body around so her stomach touched the floor.
She picked up the knife and ran a line across both Ann's legs, arms and back. She slowly tore open the cuts, muscles and tendons splitting and snapping as more black liquid pour out. She repeated this to the rest and then dug her hands into her back, gripping the rib cage. She pulled and pulled and finally yanked out both the spine and the rib cage. Laughing, she placed it next to Ann's body, and next she placed the arms and then the legs. They were all in the right order, Ann's skeleton laying beside her flesh, the only thing missing was the the skull.
"Hmm...your skull is too damaged, and would be too much of a bother to take off all the skin. So....I know!"
Zero dipped her hand in the pool of black blood and drew a zero in place of the head on the skeleton.
"Perfect! Now your just like me! A lonely skeleton....oh, what's this?" Something besides the body caught her attention.
A box with a white ribbon on top, the tag reading "To Alice"
She ripped off the lid and she saw a simple black and white scarf inside.
"Why, thank you, Ann. You know I hate color." she said as she swung the cloth around her neck.
Red and blue lights began to fill the dark room through the front window.
"Well, this was fun, Ann. And now with you gone, we finally have zero." said the white faced killer as she raced out the door and into the dark woods.
Comments • 1