The story of Alice and her wonderland has never been stranger. Alice may be a quiet, caring girl in a beautiful dreamworld of her own design...but Alison Little, the real world dreamer, is 16, oblivious, and lives in an insane asylum with no recollection of how she came to live there or why. As Alison Little descends deeper into madness, Alice must take a journey through her own subconcious in order to discover the secrets locked away in her mind and thus save her self, her sanity, and her soul.
In the white room, with the white floor and the white walls, there is a white couch. And on that couch is a girl. And that girl is me.
My name is Alison Rebecca Little. I have aged, of the moment I am speaking to you, 16 years, 4 months, and 12 days old. But I do not know this for sure, as the only ones who know for sure are the doctors who run this place, this white place, with their white coats and white papers. They say they are trying to help me. They say I am here in the white place, because I am crazy. I am indifferent. If I am crazy, I can not tell. I do not know what not crazy is like.
I often find my self disliking the absence of color within the white place, as very little is not white. The food is often brown or green. The hair and skin, yellow, black, brown, creamy pale, and pink. The eyes, often some what the same. The lights are yellow; what little I observe outside of the few windows, blue and grey. There are times I believe I might long for red. It is seldom found in the white place.
No, I lie. There is red. I hold it in my arms now, as I sit on the couch in the white room. It is found in the cover of a book, a book I have found in the shelves of the white room. It speaks strange words from yellowed, aging paper. The cover, red, shows a little girl and a cat and a rabbit; blue, black, white. It tells of adventures, fairy tales of the most curious nature. I am on the couch, back curled in a way that has begun to become uncomfortable, eyes and ears attuned to the parchment pages fallen over by long hair, yellow-blonde, trying to hear the words the book says. To no avail. Oh, well. It is red.
Noise, and I straighten. A person; a man-boy, red hair, brown eyes, dull, dangerous. White clothes. A patient. Like me. I know this one; his name is Marcos. He is dangerous. A doctor, white coat, long, brown hair, also long, hurries after. She takes his arm, pulls him on to the room for eating, not letting him wait to look at books. She dares not, I know it. He, they, she, and I, we are alone here. The other patients do not tend to linger with the books during the time of relaxation. Either they are the clear ones, who speak good words and see good things, who taste of the sunlight and the garden outside, or they are sick ones, who mumble foulness under breath, who see things not there, who huddle in the dark corners of the room for sleeping. I am neither; my words are better kept inside than out, but at least my sight is well.
More noise; it is shoes, thumping mutely on the carpet. The flash on glass blinds me.
Ah. The good doctor approaches.
His name is Doctor Maurice Adam Harcott. His profession is psychological editing, assigned personally to the fixing of me. I do not envy him, fixing that which is only supposedly, possibly broken, to my mind. But I hold no undue resentment. He is not a bad man.
"Alison? Alison, are you listening?"
A study of the good doctor: the muted glow on the bald spot. Wispy hair, grey. Skin and flushed cheeks, rounded and pale. Long coat, white, of course. Glass for looking wrapped in steel, all bright, set on a wide nose. Below it, thick lips, wet and pink, dancing in patterns of speaking. A fascinating waltz. I am enchanted.
"Alison, it's time to go." That pattern, the right one to make me hear what the good doctor has to say. I must focus. Importance is only situationaly relative, and somehow there is the feeling that the good doctor would not appreciate my intense study.
I speak now: "Time?" The good doctor shifts, obviously uncomfortable, trying ever so hard to be kind. He does not know if he is doing it right. That is okay. Neither do I, really.
"Yes, Alison. It's time for your therapy session now. Would you like to come along?"
I frown. An annoyance, this. I do not want to leave the white room, the room for hearing the words of the book, red. Sessions are the times tedious, in a little room, the room for talking to the good doctor. We must sit and sit, and say things we do not mean and discuss things we care not to say. I see no point in them, but the good doctor seems to take them far too seriously. Supposedly they will fix me.
Just the thought makes me wish I were one of the rude man-boy patients, those boys who believe they are men, so that I might spit in disgust. Sessions do not fix me. They are annoying.
And so, I answer: "No." Then I bend over the book, red, and turn my eyes and ears to the words spoken by the parchment page again. I know I am being difficult. It is not kind to the good doctor. But today I am intent on the words, more so than usual, and going to session means leaving the book behind. And so I say: No. I will not.
"Alison, you are going to your therapy session."
His voice is a paltry sort of authority. I find myself irritated by it beyond belief. I straighten abruptly, and close the red book with a snap and a hiss of displaced air. I stand quickly, forcing the good doctor to stumble back, then turn, tuck the red book under my arm, and walk away from the white room, into the long, low hall, lit up with a row of lamps hanging from the roof, with doors all round. All locked. They lead to rooms for sleeping, cells, in which the sick ones are locked away. I remember, when I was young to this world, going all down one side and up the other, trying every door, wondering how I would ever get out again. But for now, I know just where I am going, and make a turn, left, right, right. I can hear the furious tapping of Doctor Harcott following me through the halls. How dare he follow me, when I do not desire his company.
"Alison, please, don't- come back here, young lady, you- not allowed- take books out- your session!"
I ignore him, the looks of the curious sick ones, everything around but the footsteps that lead me to my place. I find it, just as the doctor catches up to me, and grabs my arm. I fling it away and pull open the door with one hand, the other still around the red, red book, then spin to frown at him. He is panting, his face blushing pink, and a high angry color in his cheeks. I wait with angry eyes for his breath to be caught.
"Alison, you know you are- not allowed to take the books out of the reading room. And this is no time to be reading, anyway. You have your session."
I frown and say: "I do not want to go to my session. I will stay and read the book. Here." This doctor, this head fixer, he can not fix me. I am my own thing. I fix me. Not him.
"Alison, you must..."
I want to scream, but instead I say: "No." And I shut the door hard, in the doctor's face, and the sick one's face, and all the faces.
He is stupid anyway.
I sat down and began to read.