The chimes sounded again. It didn’t matter that her fingertips trembled or that she couldn’t get the chanting out from her head, Alice ran.

She ran far across a wheat field which – according to all her dull books – should entail a flowing dress where she ran towards a suitor, or more likely still as if she was running from one. Her heaving breath wouldn’t attract the dirtiest door mouse by this stage.

Her mother would just have to pass unhappily like Alice was sure she would regardless. Her father’s pocket watch quipped up a stink again. She had often wondered at the lovely intricacies of time and how she had far too much of it, what a luxurious moment that had been.

The chanting pressed on like Alice’s feet in her destroyed shoes, that would certainly play host to a secondary argument.

‘Alice?’ Her father stood gliding a rose through his hand. The thorns cutting against his fingers.

‘Stop that at once. Where is she?’ Alice wasn’t sure he would know, his eyes were maddening orbs of red.

‘She always said they did it wrong, make them red she asked, just one simple,’ he gripped the white rose, the cuts seeped in making them change but sadly sag.

‘In her room then?’

‘Not for – not much longer,’ he said.


‘This afternoon, or in a moment, they spoke and I -‘

‘Right,’ Alice ran in the house like an unleashed storm, she couldn’t recall ever having made such noise in her life without a beating.

‘Alice she isn’t -‘ a maid stood in the doorway and Alice all but pushed her out of the way as she slinked into the room. She wouldn’t wish to ever enter it again.

‘They gave me words to chant,’ Alice said.

‘She may still hear them,’ said the maid.

‘Is she meant to be so cold? The time. I-‘

‘Darling girl, no one ever is you-‘

‘I’m late,’ Alice said.

The clock in the room struck twelve and all she could do was stare into the hollowed cheeks that were white as the sheets but were once just as vibrant as those roses were meant to have been this very morning all with the clock’s insistent clanging.

‘I’m late.’

~ Written by Stephanie Kentepozidis




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