Alice's World Turns Upside Down

   

Alice's day began with a monstrous thud as she rolled off the bed and hit her head on the dark wood 1970's era nightstand which looked as if it had seen much better days around the same time John Travolta was making Saturday Night Fever a cult phenomenon  

     For a brief twinkle of a moment, she was unable to discern her location in the vast universe.  She slowly gazed around at her cluttered surroundings and attempted to determine where she might have landed, other than the obvious choice of a nightstand.  The walls were painted an obnoxiously girly-girl shade of pink reminiscent of Pepto Bismol.   The well-worn 1970's era dresser, also of the dark wood that was oh so popular during the disco era, was piled incredibly high with miscellaneous discarded clothing, a couple of purses whose contents had long been removed and a lone red sling-back pump.  She was wrapped like a Taco Bell burrito in a twin-sized comforter which consisted of various striped hues of pink, purple and white. 

     The fact she was in her bedroom wearing her cotton candy pink Hello Kitty pajamas quickly dawned on her as she absent-mindedly rubbed the back of her head where a large, raised bump had begun to form at the spot of her cranium where head and nightstand collided.  She quickly extricated herself from her burrito bedding and shook her head, causing her long, wavy blonde hair to bounce in a move reminiscent of a model in a televised shampoo commercial.  Shaking her head caused her head to throb like a toe that had been smashed under the pounding weight of a large can.  She decided it was a good idea to refrain from shaking her head again, at least for a little while.   

     She peered at the sickeningly sweet pink overload that was her Hello Kitty alarm clock.  9:27 AM.  Holy crapola!  She was supposed to be in class promptly at 9:00 as Professor Morris was a stickler for promptness.  This was not good, not good indeed.  Her alarm clock had neglected to awaken her at the appointed time, again.  She would have replaced that worthless alarm clock ages ago had it not been one of her many treasured Hello Kitty items. 

     She jumped up, tripping over the discarded comforter as it wrapped around her ankle, causing her to warble a little as she stepped and kicked off the comforter in one swift left extension move.  She rushed into the bathroom, slamming the heavy wooden door as she went, causing the entire room to momentarily reverberate.  She quickly dressed in a thread-worn pair of Levi's and a nearly new navy blue University sweatshirt, which had the school's motto, a ram, emblazoned in gold on the front. For some reason she had always believed the ram was a stupid mascot for a university, but nobody had asked her opinion before settling on the ram as a viable mascot.  She grabbed her navy blue well-worn Eastport backpack,  which was held together by a prayer and endless yards of Duct Tape, rushed down the stairs and grabbed her thrift store purchased ten-speed from its resting spot at the foot of the stairwell.

     As she hurriedly pedaled her 10-speed in an effort to make up lost time, she rode past the building that had once been the home of a thriving Dairy Queen but in recent years had sat abandoned. Her front tire serendipitously made contact with a rusty, long-forgotten nail.  The resulting reaction between tire and nail was instantaneous and unfortunate.  She leaned the bicycle against a wooden fence and kneeled beside the bicycle to check the tire.  "Could this day get any worse?" she thought.   Of course, Murphy's Law probably dictates that when that phrase is uttered, things will get worse.  Just how much worse has yet to be determined.

     Bang!  

     Bang!

     The sound of gunshots reverberated rather loudly throughout the surrounding neighborhood, shattering the relative peace of the area.  The loud popping sound caught her by surprise and sent a sliver of fear throughout the core of her being.  Despite the throbbing pain of moving her head caused by the meeting of head and nightstand earlier in the morning, she was powerless to stop the movement as her head instinctively jerked toward the sound.    She was not really expecting to see anything and hoping even more she would see even less.  Her tempestuously thumping heart skipped a couple of beats.  From her kneeling position she was hidden from view of the parking lot of the long-deceased Dairy Queen, but she could not be sure if she was visible to the men in the parking lot.

     In the parking lot sat two distinctly different cars.  The first car, a small, non-descript, American-made car in a color which could be humorously described as rusty dreams if only this were a humorous situation, sat with the driver's side door open.  She could tell the engine was still running as the car was making a rattling, sputtering sound as it idled.

     The other car was definitely out of place in this neighborhood which had seen its Glory Days about the time Reagan took his Oath of office the second time around.  The sleek, high-gloss black Lincoln shone radiantly in the early morning sun.  It's sheer length and sheen was a stark contrast to the rusty, sputtering heap idling beside it.

      As Alice scanned her surroundings, she watched in horror as a pale, emaciated man slumped to the ground beside the small car's open driver-side door as a barrel-chested squarely-built man in a black suit tightly gripped a handgun.  The handgun looked massively large to her, even from her position from afar.

     Mr. Barrel-Chest with a certain level of agility afforded one who had performed the movement numerous times until he had the movement down to a fine art-form, quickly, deftly tucked the gun into a holster under the left arm-pit of the black suit jacket which she thought just screamed expensive Italian wool.   She grasped, covering her mouth with the palm of her hand, hoping she was sufficiently hidden from the members of the unwanted show unfurling in front of her.  She watched as Mr. Barrel-Chest laboriously struggled to slide his wide girth into the driver's side of the glistening Lincoln and speed away.  She curled into the smallest human ball she could possibly manage to form as he sped past her.  She hoped he had not seen her.  She prayed he had not seen her.  Suddenly, being late to class seemed to be the least of her troubles.

The End

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