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The Devil's Mumblings
A courtyard of lush flowers of vast arrays and colors of the rainbow never seen upon such majestic plants. Roses decorating most parts and even those are such oddities it causes even the most practical person to second glance and scratch their eyes for clarity.
In all candor, the roses were more than a desirable part of anything I had created. They seemed to glow in the moonlight and glitter like diamond in the sunlight. All they are are flowers, and yet they have such an emotional impact on my heart, just like the rain which pours upon the earth like tears from a crying child, wailing and waiting for whatever it is it desires. Yet, unlike the sadness of that child, the rain seems ecstatic to be falling. It's arbitrary to say the least, and yet it is just there to fill an empty heart with ecstasy.
In my own world, this reality, there are things that thwart me, just like most people. Yet, they seem to bite at the veil in which I keep myself hidden, and tear down the very seams at which it is tied together. For it is daily that I withdraw myself for some untold amount of time and listen to the inaudible voices of my mother from the other side, for she no longer breathes, and then it is that I mourn for my father, for he is never seen. The time spent to parse my father by the maids is great and yet I never fully understand. Just where is he, I ask. No one can ever say. Yet, they say to me, “if you aspire towards your academics, your father will come home and praise you.” That's what they always said, and yet he never shows. After a while it seemed as though my Uncle Robair was my father, since he was the only person who really watched over me, besides my maid Clarice, and my servant Benjamin, whom is like a brother to me.
It seems as though it is one small, bilateral family!
Outside in the Garden, with the myriad of flowers to comfort me, is where I indulge myself in one of my many books. As my sister Elizabeth, my servant Benjamin, and I nestle together underneath one of the many oak trees that barricade our home from the outside world. Elizabeth sleeps with such an affectation that it makes her tinge with glee as she slumbers, while Benjamin sleeps in such discomfort his body writhes in pain. As for me, I am merely filled with a drop of discomfort, as they use my shoulders as rough pillows; and yet I feel almost pleased that they do so, though they cause me large amounts of pain.
Soon, everything is quiet; even the wind and the droplets of sunlight become unheard beneath a sudden feeling of eyes in the distance, watching, ever so diligently within some secret place in the darkness behind the trees. I twist and turn myself steadily, trying not to wake the slumbering siblings who drool away in their subconscious's. Quite quickly, I pry them from my shoulders and gently place their heads against one another and watch as the comfort themselves further and slumber as if nothing was wrong in the world. Yet, I still sensed the eyes, somewhat prying themselves into my soul, waiting for the right moment to appear. In front of me. Just waiting. To meet my eyes and stare into the deepest parts of my soul. Like a fixture on the face of a shadow.
I glance around with a hesitant eye, afraid, no, terrified, that when I turned that creature of darkness will be there, baring his fangs and laughing maniacally as he chows down on my heart. Looking, ever so calmly, yet with such a ravenous itch in my stomach, that my breathing deepens and my heart rate increases and all I can do is just stare off into the distance and spin around and around and tremble and wait for this person or this thing to emerge and devour me or do whatever it intends to do to me or Benjamin or Elizabeth while I am to stunned to do anything or I'm already dead and can't obviously even open my eyes. I stand in the midst of such havoc that everything completely disappears into a blackness that seems to be an abyss of pure agony and that seems to be attempting to obliterate every fiber of my being. And then an eternity passes in that few seconds and I'm left standing there, awoken by a tap on my shoulder and a beseeching yet kind and inviting stare from a glittering maroon colored eye. Then, finally, I grasp the situation; there, right before me, is a person I do not know, or even recognize, with an eye as red as the full moon as it takes it's one day to shine fully upon the earth, and hair the color of white with a metallic coat that gleams in the graying sky and covers completely his right eye and a cloak that fully emanates the abyssal blackness that surrounds him and a top hat that just barely shades his face in shadow.
And we both stand there for what seems like ages, him with a wide and tenacious grin, while I can do nothing more than stare and wonder just who this guy is and what he plans to do. Yet, all he seems to be doing is searching me for something with that grin and a certain censorious gleam in his eye. However, only seconds pass before I realize that he's laughing, not maniacally, but jokingly, like he sees the fear hidden deep behind my effrontery and can only laugh at it.
“Alice Lacie.” He says with that same humorous tone yet with a voice of questioning and seriousness.
I can only nod, and he grins wider.
“Well, then, my dear,” his voice takes on the smile drawn across his face and as he stands up straighter and outstretches his hand to me. “My name is Xerxes.” He states matter-of-factly.
I take is hand, “peculiar, yet fitting.” I state, and he smiles less broadly and more sincerely.
In the next moment, as he drags his hands threw his pockets, I can only begin to fear once again what this “Xerxes” intentions are. My heart begins to race and I feel as though I may faint, and yet all I see in the palm of his hand as he stretches it out to me once more with a single piece of candy, delicately wrapped in a glimmering yellow wrapper.
I think he's a creeper.
I snatch the treat from his hand with a feeling of umbrage and study it as he unwraps a piece of his own and chomps on it with exaggeration. Finally, I nerve to ask him.
“Are you a creeper?” I spit with more rigor than I initially intended. Though, now his smile has faded and all he can do is stare at me with so much shock and awe that I break out laughing. “I had to ask.” I say.
He coughs angrily, “I'm absolutely no such thing as a creeper.” He spits. “But I have been watching you. Sort of like a guardian, though, if you will.” He removes his top hat and places it firmly on my head. “You see, there is something I need from you.” He shifts position so that his back faces me and he stares off into the distance behind him, with a sort of pondering about him, as though he seems to be contemplating whether to turn and face me and speak or keep his eyes away from mine.
“What could I possible give you?' I ask, and he turns and glances at the sleeping figures behind me, and I can't help but look too. And suddenly a rain begins to fall among the trees and the flowers and when I turn to look at him once again, he's staring down at the drops in his hand with an expression of pure loathing, but only for a second does he do this before clenching his fist and staring into me with that same obnoxious grin.
“I need you to realize something. Something that may be beyond your knowledge to understand.” He walks past in a split second before I realize he's already that few feet away kneeling next to the sleeping Elizabeth.
“What?” I say, but suddenly, I feel frozen, cold, as if I've been turned into a statue by the rain that was once such a comfort to me, in which I could imbibe anything and everything as if it didn't even exist.
Just as I feel this, Xerxes is back on his feet and standing in front of me, hunched and staring me directly in the eye. “I need you to realize that this life that you live, this place, this world that you live in, is all and illusion. That those two,” he motions towards Elizabeth and Benjamin, “are not real, and that these things that you know and this place that you know, are not real. Your fealty for this place is not real.” Suddenly, he stops everything; his smile, his sentences, everything, even the rain seems to stop and we're both frozen there, him staring into me and me, frozen and unsure of what to say or do. All I can do to not crack is just stare into his face, into his maroon eye and his hair that seems to be covering....nothing. And in that split second I see it; that empty eye, the empty right side, the nothingness of his self; and all I can do now is scream and fall to the floor with my hands covering my face so that I do not have to look at him and see the blackness that is his right side.
“Oh, dear, you saw it didn't you?” He kneels in front of me, placing his right hand on his knee and his left across the right side of his face; over the empty eye. “And I thought I covered it up so well.” He laughs now, less joyously, but heartfelt. “I'm so sorry, I didn't mean for that to happen, but it's good that it did.” He stands now and takes a step back, just as I raise my head, trembling to look at him as he stares down at me with pity and with his hand still across his face so that I do not have to see again.
He turns now, more abruptly, and walks behind me, where he kneels again so that he is whispering in my ear now. “The reason you saw that is because my words are reaching you. Think. Think. Think. And when you have thought enough and you realize the truth for yourself, that this world is not what you make it seem, then I will come back and I will explain to you more than what I can now. But until then, you must think. Think about your life. Think about those two you love so dearly. Think about your father and why he never comes. Think about this world that you live in. Think about all the people you know, and think about you. Think about who it is that you are.” He backs away slowly and takes the hat from my head so that now the rain begins to fully soak me.
He turns toward the trees and stands there, just stands, with his cloak fluttering in the breeze and his hair, so white and rare that it glimmers like a ruby just recovered from the ground and so even as he places his hat on his head does it still glimmer in the dimming light of the day. He stands and turns and stares and looks at me with foreboding.
“Alice, Alice,” He says rhythmically. “Should we yet document audacity? Your last allegations, we write? And should we open our eyes, then we'd know, that the lines we once draw in the sand turn to stone, and if we ever held back what we write, then our message is clear, my dear, this all ends tonight? But the queen, Alice. The queen is raging. The Cheshire cat has his smile fading; a pawn, eight squares, now, her majesty, we're curious to know which hole you followed the white rabbit down. We step through the looking glass...now...”
With those final words he walks into the wind and the trees and leaves me there, crumbled on the ground and wondering, just what is he saying, what does he mean and how does he know true name.