The room was new, different from her old one with its cement floors and bare walls. It had the clean, chemical smell of fresh paint and bottled water. The walls were painted the summer color of sunflowers and the floor was not bare. The warm carpet felt soft under her naked feet, surging an unknown energy into her knees and making them weak. A table and chair sat juxtapose to the white iron bed, its paint chipped slightly on one of the posts from the wearing down of age. On the bed were real, thick, cotton blankets folded down just enough to see the inviting white patterned sheets underneath, printed with small red roses and the tiniest of green leaves. A window stared at her from across the room. A real window, how comforting. It was divided into nine panes for each the top and bottom sections of the window. Eighteen in total. The wood between the panes almost hid the security bars on the outside. White curtains hid the fact it was bolted shut on both sides.
Don’t ask Alice. Don’t ask why Alice is here. It is entirely possible she wasn’t even really here. But, if you had to ask, there was no point in her answering, she didn’t know.
She paused as she walked in, standing in her usual way of barely standing. Her large blue eyes were wide and mixed. There was amusement and fear.
Why was she here? She…couldn’t…remember…The doctor, it must be the doctor, the Mad Hatter, the Hare. It must be him. Her memories ran down her brain in the fashion watercolor ran down the canvas when too much water was added. The events mixed and mingled within her consciousness the way the colors pooled on the floor as they dripped, dripped, dripped from the parchment. The doctor, flowers set in a vase, he was going to try and help her sleep. Clouds like dying embers scattered out among the sky.
She was so tired.
The doctor had said the medicine would help her sleep. There would be no dreams, just pure blessed sleep. The big black bird had said the medicine would help her sleep. There would be no dreams, just the disappearance of her glass ceiling and her body would be floating up to be with the stars and she would be gone from this world.
Her body rocked back and forth. She took a step just to stop herself from falling. The bed seemed like the most fashionable place to be at the moment. Another step to stop herself from falling and she was two steps behind where she had been just a moment before.
The paint of the room had never dried, Alice noted. As the nurse walked into the room, she left a trail of swirling, swirling paint. The colors mixed and blurred Alice’s image of reality. The bed, so close. All the paint droplets surrounding her body refused to touch her. They parted like the parting of the red sea, leaving periods of blackness upon the canvas.
Hands were upon her, moving her to the bed. Slumping against the wall was apparently not what they wanted at the moment. It was much easier to get to the bed when you didn’t have to do anything.
Alice watched the nurse fiddle with something on the table. Her body was so blurred as her colors melted into table and floor. Her nurses outfit, the color of the blue June sky, melted into the sunflowers of the wall. The world grew black.
Alice had blinked, but forgot she had the ability to do so. The world was alive again, painted in the eyes of a Cubist. Dangerously sharp corners arose from the smooth edges of circles.
The nurse came to her side. Her face was so blindly in focus, it hurt Alice’s eyes to look at her.
“It’s okay, stop fighting sleep,” she said. Her voice liquefied and bubbled away.
Alice nodded and closed her eyes. The world of sticky, thick paint stayed with her as blackness crept over her body and swallowed her whole. The only thing she could see was nothingness.