alyceinwonderland (joined almost 14 years ago)


This starts out as a fairy tale, but does not end as such.

Riding on a subway, Jane was squirming with self-consciousness. Shaking dark curls out of her eyes, she wiped her shaking, clammy hands on purple and black striped leggings, brushing her elbow against the heavy object that was swinging gently -- almost innocuously -- in her left hand jacket pocket.

It's so heavy, she thought. Would I be able to drink all of it?

Earlier that day, she had obtained a potion in a sketchy graffiti-infested alleyway from her great-great-grandfather, who was alive and well -- and a...

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She heard it calling out to her. Her clearing in Yellowstone -- it was whispering that it longed for her presence. And on this day, when she felt like the world was collapsing around her -- its edges bent and frayed and its fringes burning up in smoke -- she dragged herself there up winding paths and wild trees.

While most people saw Yellowstone as a national park, she saw it as her backyard, her sanctuary, her refuge. She had a clearing there, all her own, that bears in the hundreds of years they'd been there hadn't even found. But...

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Of course, Heather was twisted. Everybody knew this except Gene, so of course he was the only one who ever professed his love to her. Except Heather wanted to leave him for just this reason; who would act unabashedly and intentionally weird if she did not want to be loved for it? Heather, certainly, wanted to be loved for who she was.

The two of them were watching TV. Good-natured, his loopy grin a chipper wave at the world, Gene turned to Heather and said, "Darling, I will make you a sandwich! Stay put, don't move a finger." She looked...

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Four beautiful years. She had sat at this dining room table, polished every day by ol' reliable Miss Hamm, when they ate their first dinner of lamb cutlet, squash, and fingerling potatoes. He was all razor sharp grins as she giggled at the pieces of potato that he purposefully left dangling at the side of his smile.

Next year, at Thanksgiving, they had had their newborn, squirming at the side of the table with all of his raw and tender newness. He and his mother rambled on about the beautiful, perfect baby boy as if the two of them had...

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A dry, sandy summer like this one. I had met him just a mile down, by the Shell gas station, his cowboy boots kicking up a torrid storm as he leaned against an electric pole and kicked a Pepsi can out of his way -- it rolled like a tumbling weed before coming to a halt at my sandal-wrapped toes.

I picked it up, sand and dust whirling around me, forcing themselves into the slits of my eyes. "Hey cowboy."

He looked at me and said nothing. He lured me in with absolutely nothing but an intense blue stare as...

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Once, in Beijing, a young girl in a red gown huddled in a doorway.

Two weeks ago, she had rebelliously boarded a ship from the island of Taiwan, left her grandparents who had raised her, and traveled back to China to find her parents -- who she wouldn't have recognized at all. She had been sent off as a baby during the Civil War; no sane Republican would have wanted their children brought up where intellectuals like her learned mother and her professor father were being publicly humiliated, abused. It is why she, as a baby, was sent away in...

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