Following The White Rabbit

I was walking in the bush down home when I caught a flash of white go streaking past. Naturally I followed it, and at a run too, which is probably why I missed the gaping hole in the ground that I fell into.

I hit my head on the way down.

When I woke up things got kind of funky.

> > >

I was lying face down in the dirt, which was almost black. The place was greyish, dark. Like no real light managed to get here. I sat up, my head ached and there was a little wetness when I felt it. Looking at my fingers my blood, in this desolate light, looked black. I thought about the implications of that for a moment before slowly standing and looking around. Everything was dead. The trees, all gum trees (eucalyptus) where dead and black and droopy looking. The birds in the trees were dead and black. Everything looked charred yet not burnt. I began to walk in an easterly direction. I knew I had been here before but not for a very long time. I walked with purpose, seeking something I knew was there but dreaded to find. Of course, I found it.

{When I was a little girl my most favourite toy was a Raggity Anne doll, I also had a Raggity Andy but Anne was my favourite of all. I also had this pink and purple pig beanbag type thing that I loved as a little girl. Only recently (with my mother’s visit when baby was born) I obtained pictures of myself with both of these toys, which were lost many years ago.}

I walked up to this place of desecration, this huge fire pit in this dark land and saw remnants of what had been in the pit. The arm of a raggity Anne doll, the snout of a pink and purple pig, a blue dress sleeve, pages from story books…charred remains of so many things I held dear in my childhood burnt here in a moment of madness when the hate of it all finally over took me.

I physically rocked as the memory of the moment hit me at full speed.

At hating this world, of being born into it, of being so alone, of being so different. Of never quite fitting in, of the people who were meant to love me the most not understanding and pushing me away because of it. The feeling of just wanting to fit in for once, of not being outcast and teased by the nasty little girls because I wasn’t like them. Of wishing when I closed my eyes I didn’t see those things, feel those things, know those things. The knowledge, I hated that the most, of knowing what people really thought, even though they never breathed it. Of knowing my mother loved me but didn’t like me. That I disappointed her because I was so different.

A whole world of childhood fears was buried in ashes here, all my hates and hurts brought here when I was still just a child and didn’t even know what I was doing. Just knowing that I didn’t want to be me anymore. I remember now that once this place was beautiful, it had mimicked the land around my grandmother’s home, a place I loved to be, yet it was too tangled in with all the other hurts and that is why it was now an ugly land charred with the scars of a little girls hate.

A single tear made its way down my cheek.

I turned my back, overwhelmed by what I was feeling here, I could feel the old rage rising again. The complete anger at the rest of the world. I knew I had to move, walk it off.

Storming along in anger I suddenly notice the rabbit, though it isn’t white anymore, it is grey and its ears have been torn off. Because I am watching the rabbit and not where I am going I don’t see the branch until I trip over it.

I hit the deck hard, opening my head again. I see the blood in my eyes, thinking how pretty it looks in this putrid place. I realise the land is opening up around me, but I just can’t care. I let the darkness take me as I once again fall into oblivion.

> > >

The grass is the greenest grass you can imagine, like it is taken from a child’s picture. That is because it is.

I am here. I found it. It looks the same but different. I can’t figure what is different yet.

I sit up and see the little yellow flowers still bloom. Of course they do, nothing ever dies here, the flowers always bloom, the grass is always green. I look up. Yep the sky is always blue with 3 white fluffy clouds and one almost perfectly round sun with a smiley face.

I look across the grass and there is the table, set with the tea set, and there is the Hare and the Hatter, raggity Anne and Andy, my teddy bear, Mary Collins (a doll) Barbie (of course) the pig, Cindy dog (my pet as a child) and the white rabbit, holding the hand of a little girl with long blonde hair and bright blue eyes in a pretty blue dress. It was my favourite when I was little. I could almost be Alice.

Everyone looks so wonderfully happy. There is an air of peace and safety here. I walk around, and finally approach myself.

The little girl [me] smiles up and asks me who I am and if I would like some tea and biscuits. I gladly accept and sit down for tea. Sometime later, after we have talked for a little while I excuse myself and go for a walk.

I walk to the pond with the little white ducks on it and look in.

> > >

It is my Aunt’s wedding and I am a flower girl, cute as a button with my long golden hair and pretty lavender dress, matching my mummy and the other bridesmaids. I am happy.

Blur.

The flower girl now has red hair, dark red, it almost looks the colour of blood. The dress is now satin and a deep rustic red. I am an adult and not the flower girl anymore, and I am late for the wedding. The flower girl is now my daughter and she is so cute in her outfit. She smiles at me and I am floated with love.

Blur.

Her face has changed it isn’t my little girl anymore it is me but I don’t look right. It is my eyes, they aren’t blue they are now red, so dark it is almost black. I open my mouth and black thick fog comes out, just pours out of me and I know it is the evil inside coming out to play. The fog envelopes me and makes me feel warm and safe.

Blur.

I am on my uncle’s horse again. It is when he is breaking the horse and I am helping him. I think I am about 5. He puts me on the horse cause I want to get on, and I know the horse loves me. I get on and it is all well and good. I can feel the horse and he is content. Than my little sister wants to get on too so he lifts her up. Instantly the horse goes tense and I feel his mood change. I am at the back so I don’t even have a chance to grab mane when he rears up. I know he doesn’t want to hurt me, he just wants her off his back. That day marked the beginning of hell, and the master of hell was in the form of my little sister, even the animals knew it. I never really knew happiness again after that moment.

Blur.

> > >

I am still standing at the pond. Tears that are unfelt roll. I hate emotion and my body often betrays me, even if I am dead inside still the tears will flow.

So that was the beginning.  I hate remembering. I didn’t come here for that. Or did I? I don’t know at this moment. I just wanted to recapture those moments of bliss and safety that I found here as a child, just for a moment. But I should have known there would be traps.

I walk on and reached the perfectly curved hills with the seven trees and 9 red flowers. This marked the end of the picture. I was suddenly overwhelmed with knowing what was on the other side of those hills. I trekked up the hill and looked down. It was a valley, green on my side and bare and baron and brown on the other. Sitting at the top of the hill was the damn rabbit. This time I had a good look to make sure no holes stood between me and the rabbit.

When I felt confident there was none, I started walking towards the rabbit. which this time stood still. When I had almost crested the hill the rabbit asked me if I was sure I wanted to go here. I told him yes, I wanted to go there, I was a big girl now.

The rabbit put his paw on my hand and I saw a deep sadness in his eyes and knew immediately the sadness was for me. This repelled and intrigued me. I hate anyone feeling sorry, pity or sadness for me, yet I was insanely curious as to why this rabbit from my inner world would feel sadness to such depths for me.

Naturally the anger of the rabbit feeling sad for me won out and I stormed past him to the top of the hill and stopped dead.

You could rip my heart out and it wouldn’t hurt as bad as what I saw over that hill.

> > >

The ground was dirt and hard, with dust flying around in a wind that varied from a breeze to almost a gale. It was hotter than hell one moment and freezing cold the next. At one point snow fell, though when it hit the ground it turned to dust. I realised there where words written in the dirt in various places.

The words where nasty mean things written about me. Then I noticed in the wind objects flying around. Weird objects at that. A birthday cake. A Barbie doll. A Wham T-shirt. A diary. Many other things too. All with a familiar theme: my little sister.

A piece of paper hit me in the face and floated to the ground, I picked it up and saw it was a drawing, a rather mean one of me with nasty words written around it, all in my sister’s hand. My heart broke because I knew the drawing to be a real thing, something my sister did when we were girls.

I looked up again, and this shattered my soul. I realised there was something in the middle of that scape, something that seemed to be the pinnacle of everything flying around, since every item was continuously running into this thing. Then I realised it wasn’t a thing, but rather it was a little girl, naked with her knotted long blonde locks blowing around her battered head. Her little body was bruised and cut, blood trickled from various places all over her being. Her face though, her face was tilted in defiance and though you could see the tears welled up in her eyes, not one fell.

[I really cannot adequately explain that scape…it is just beyond me]

And there she sat, refusing to give in as the pure malice and hatred of a twisted jealous sibling tried to beat her to death.

And I fell on my knees and I wept, I weep now reliving this, I wept for the little girl who had to live though such hatred while her mother, who was meant to protect her, stood behind the sibling and backed ever malicious move the bitch ever made. I wept because the girl in the scape couldn’t weep. I wept because if I didn’t cry than maybe I would finally do something extremely stupid – that kind of hurt builds an awesome amount of energy, energy that can be used in bad ways.

But I would never do it, because if I did than finally she would win. Instead the girl in the scape wore the brunt of it, never ever letting her win.

The hardest thing to do was to walk away, but I knew I had to, I dare not alter this piece of my past, to do so would cause the collapse of my world now, of that I had no doubt. The rabbit still waited on the other side of the crest and I suddenly understood the sadness and didn’t, for once in my life, resent him for it. I climbed back through the valley, the rabbit beside me and stood on the other hill, looking down over the haven I drew and then managed to create. I watched the little girl in blue, so happy among her toys, free of the scars that already haunted her, oblivious of the ones much worse to come.

I decided in that moment that this place wasn’t mine to alter, it belonged to the past and any thoughts I had of working magic here needed to be dismissed. I knew without a doubt I never wanted to come back here again. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a pretty silver key, with and intricate piece of knot work on the end. It had a blue silk ribbon tied to it. I handed it to the rabbit and told him no matter what I do he must never give me back the key. he looked sad but nodded. we both knew I had no place here.

I walked in the opposite direction from the hill, to the little cottage and opened the door and walked out of my childhood scape.

Sometimes we want things and we get them, and then some.

MJ

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