2. Chapter 2- Briar Ridge
Alice awoke, slowly opening her eyes to find herself strapped to a bed with white sheets and blankets. She looked around the room; walls dressed in white and to her right side was a barred window. She was glad to still at least have her rabbit with her though, the only comfort left that she knew. Alice could hear slight mumbling and footsteps every once in a while outside her door and would try to make out what it was they were saying. She was so frightened and didn’t know what was to become of her and wondered why she was being treated like this. Thought and thought she did until she finally fell back asleep.
Dawn crept over the bottom of her window sill and shone its warmth on her sleeping face. She opened her eyes and for a brief moment had forgotten all that had happened the night before. Her eyes filled with tears as she recalled it all, recalled the screams of her beloved parents and hearing that horrible crashing sound which finished them off. With her hand she squeezed onto her rabbit for comfort and a feeling of safety. Then a knock on the door sounded and a tall thin man entered the room, “Alice…Alice…my dear are you awake?” She turned her head towards the man but didn’t answer, only watched him pull up a chair next to her bedside and sit with his long spider like legs crossed and his lengthy fingers entwined together. “I’m sure you are wondering where you are and what is going on.” She just stared at him with her tear filled eyes as he spoke. “Well for starters I am Dr. Winston, and you are in the Briar Ridge Mental Hospital. You see, when the Fire Dept. came to your house it was too late and somehow you were outside while the rest of your family was still inside. I trust you already know they are expired, I’m sorry Ms. Liddell.” Alice looked in horror at Dr. Winston, took a deep breath and composed herself, “Doctor, are you accusing me of setting the house on fire with my family in it!? How DARE you make such false accusations about me! Let me out of this bed and this place I’M NOT CRAZY!” “Ms. Liddell I’m afraid that is not an alternative for you at this very moment. I want to have a talk with you and see for myself, and in due time I will make an assumption about your mental state of mind.” She felt a feeling of absolute rage, pure hatred; it coursed through her very veins like blood. Alice turned her head slowly towards the window and stared off into the distance, and then she slowly looked at the doctor with her tears completely dried up as if she hadn’t been crying at all. “What is it you want to know?” “Ah I see we are making progress already my dear, you see, during the night you kept mumbling about a place called Wonderland as you slept, I would like to elaborate on that some.” She sighed and said whilst exhaling a deep breath, “Huuhh that place……that place was so amazing, but I am grown up now and I don’t want to talk about it. I want to remember it as it used to be…I can’t go back now.” The doctor looked puzzled,” What do you mean you can’t go back? Why don’t you want to remember?” She was silent for a moment and said slowly, almost in a robotic way,” My mind……it’s………..shattered.” Dr. Winston just looked at Alice with a confused look. “That’s ok Ms. Liddell, we will continue on that subject another time, but for now, would you like to go outside today and get some fresh air?” Still looking out the window she answered in a melancholy tone, “Yes Dr. Winston, I’d like that very much so.” Dr. Winston unbuckled her bed straps and Alice slid off the bed. She grabbed the rabbit and held it close as she followed the doctor to the doorway. “This way my dear, don’t be afraid.” They walked down the hall which seemed never ending until they came to a door with the words “COURTYARD” on a sign above it. The doctor opened the door and Alice saw other patients walking around, stone benches with detailed designs on them, flowers, trees and a little fountain. She got a slight feeling of peacefulness as she watched the wind blow through a weeping willow. “Will you be ok if I leave you to yourself for an hour unless you would like for me to come get you sooner?” “No Dr. Winston an hour would be perfect. I don’t want to go back inside that wretched place.” He looked at her sadly but also wondered if she would need supervision as well. “Ok Ms. Liddell, I’ll be back for you after a while. You behave yourself now; we have cameras watching out here.” As he shut the door she closed her eyes and breathed in the air deeply as if she would never get to smell the freshness of the freedom she was experiencing ever again. As she looked around she spotted a beautiful big willow tree and knew that was the one she wanted to sit by. Still holding onto her rabbit she made her way over to the tree and sat down and placed the rabbit next to her. The wind was blowing wonderfully in the warm sunlight and she enjoyed the smell of the lilies that were around her along with other beautiful flowers to which she didn’t know the names of.