Flash Fiction Friday (again)

Hope you like my new story ♡ The word prompt was “Vanish”

A twig snapped beneath her shoe, the ivory kid-leather boots already scuffed with dirt. The luminescence of the tiny mother-of-pearl buttons dotted up her ankles was mirrored in her dangling opal earrings, in the almost colorless-blond of her hair, the slight sheen of sweat on her furrowed brow. Despite the chill outside, her skin burned.

“I…I thought this time…” She took another step, dropping her skirts from her hands, uncaring that they’d soon be soiled. Broken branches, dead leaves, and dried mud littered the area she knew should be pristine. Her breath blew out in a hazy plume of exasperation. “It should be here.”

Memories swirled over her: the velvety feel of rose petals beneath her naked fingers, the taste of oddly-flavored teacakes: jasmine peppercorn, dark chocolate with birch sap frosting, or blood-orange and thyme, a half-moon smile, the soft, downy fur of a rabbit…

“Come now.” Her fiancé Edward tugged at her arm gently. “Let us go.”

She wanted to whirl around and argue, wanted to run her fingers through her curled coif and unthread it all, wanted to scream that this was not right…none of this was right! But she nodded, followed him to the waiting carriage. The driver snapped his whip. Her betroved didn’t show his impatience in the same manner, but she knew. They were sick of accompanying her here.

“Alice, my dear.” Edward lifted her hand, brushed his lips against the gloved-knuckles. “Can we move past this, now? There is nothing here to see.”

She turned from his searching eyes, the expectation pressing around her. To be simple, and meek, and normal.

Nothing here to see.

But there was. She screamed in her head. But there was.

***

“…hallucinations have to stop.”

“But electrotherapy…”

The voices weren’t quiet enough—Edward, her parents, the doctor. Alice pressed her hands against her ears, and tried to shut them out. As sure as she was of her self, the constant doubt was wearing her down.

The memories had felt like a dream for years. A full decade had passed while she thought her fanciful imaginings were simply that…imaginings. Then, four months ago, she caught a glimpse of a snow-white rabbit outside.

“How strange.” Her mother had sipped her tea, one eyebrow raised as she glanced out the window at the stretch of green grass and the animal in the middle of it. “A white rabbit, this time of year?”

Alice had looked, and it had winked at her. Winked!

That’s when, like lightning shot through the sky, the reality had slammed into her. Wonderland had been real. As that truth became clear, so did the location of how to get there. A half-days ride away, set in the middle of a faerie circle in the woods, was a door to the magical land.

But now it was gone.

And nobody believed her.

They would erase the illusions from her mind, they said. Before the wedding. A fresh start.

Soon the memories would do the same thing Wonderland had… vanish.

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