"I'm getting ready, like you told me to." Alice yelled back.
"I know it doesn't take an hour to do your hair."
"It does when your mom is always complaining about how you never look good enough and should try harder to look better."
"Now, you and I both know that that is not true!"
"Yeah, right!" She shot back.
"If you're going to act like this then you can just stay here!"Her mom yelled dangerously at her.
"Who says I wanted to go in the first place?!" Alice stormed past her mom and ran to her room, making sure to slam the door as hard as she could behind her. A few moments later she heard her mom coming up the stairs to her room. 'Probably to apologize and beg me to come to her stupid family business dinner. Yeah, like I would go.' The door swung open without a knock and that made Alice all the more angry.
"Could you at least knock?"
"I'm your mother, I don't have to." That surprised Alice. "You are not going to the dinner tonight, I am going without you,"
"Like I wanted to go." she snorted. Her mom ignored her.
"You are also grounded for the next two weeks or until I say otherwise. No going to see friends or talking on the telephone."
"That is so not fair! What did I do?"
"You know perfectly well what you did and you should be thanking me I don't punish you worse."
"NO! You do not talk back to your mother and you don't slam doors. We've been over that before. I have tried my best to be nice and reasonable with you, but there's just no way. Now, I'm leaving. I'll be back around eight or nine. There's frozen dinners in the fridge. I'll see you later tonight." She got up and walked across the room and left. Alice just sat on her bed, glaring daggers at her the whole time. How dare she be so mean to her? Her mom knew she didn't want to go to the stupid family dinner anyway. What was the point of telling her she couldn't go? Oh well. She got up and went downstairs to watch TV.
She was on the couch for God knows how long, channel surfing and eating a frozen pizza. There was absolutely nothing on TV. Maybe she could call her friend, Samantha. She didn't really feel like doing anything else. She leaned over to pick up the phone and noticed something. Her mother had taken the cords to the phone. How stupid! Didn't she trust her own daughter? Of course, Alice knew that her mother would be a fool to trust her alone in the house. Especially if she was grounded. Alice could never abide by any rule, anywhere. She was beginning to be a problem child for her mother. And she had the worst attitude. But, what would you expect from a fourteen-year-old?
Alice flipped the channel a few more times before giving up and turning off the TV. Maybe there would be something better on the radio. She found a song she like and before she knew it, she was asleep.
Alice woke up on an unfamiliar surface. This didn't feel like her couch. She looked down. This wasn't her couch. Her couch was green. This one was burgundy! And this wasn't her house either! Where was she!? She carefully got up, quietly, incase someone else was here. She walked around the room awhile, and then she felt bold enough to take a couple steps down the hallway. She stayed up against the wall. She turned around just in time to see someone staring at her. It was a young woman. She was smiling at her.
"Why, hello Alice. Did you have a nice nap?"
"Who are you?"
"I figure you would ask that. I am Jasmine. Your guide."
"My guide to what?"
"What do you think?"
Alice looked at her like she was crazy. She shrugged and gave her an "I don't know, obviously," kind of look. Jasmine sighed and rolled her eyes. "What's the last thing you remember before waking up here?"
"Falling asleep on my couch, at home," she deliberately put an emphasis on the last words.
"Right, then. So that would mean . . .," she said in a sarcastic way.
"That I'm dreaming?" She gave her another "I obviously don't know," look.
"Well, kind of, except for this," Jasmine reached over and pincher her hard in the arm.
"Ow! What was that for?" Alice rubbed her arm and gave Jasmine a death glare.
"If you were really dreaming, that wouldn't have hurt, and I summoned you. I can do that whenever I want."
"So, I'm not dreaming? Then where am I? And what do you mean, 'you summoned me'?"
"Re`ve. It is the city that was created by you when you were small. Don't you remember? You would sit in your room for hours and make up stories about what the people did here and who you would be friends with."
"I think," She said, more gently this time. "But why am I here?"
"You have forgotten what life is all about. You seem to take pride in seeing others suffer. Don't you remember how you used to be?"
Alice looked offended, "What do you mean, 'how I used to be'?" She snapped at Jasmine, who looked hurt.
"You used to be so nice. You created this place and with the passion you had for wanting it to be real, it happened, you just didn't know it. And then you just forgot."
"But that doesn't answer my question, why am I here?"
Jasmine held up her hand to stop her, "We need you. You created us and now that you've forgotten we're fading away, and we need you to keeps us here. Without you, we're nothing."
"But, what do I do?" Alice asked in desperation. "I can't run a city!"
"So, you're telling me that a six year old can do it, but the same six year old, older and smarter now, can't?" Alice could tell that Jasmine was challenging her. She did that with her mother all the time, though it rarely worked. Her mother was too smart for it. But Alice wasn't.
"What is THAT supposed to mean?!"
Jasmine smiled smugly, "You did it then, why not now?"
Alice stood for a moment, unsure what to say, until Jasmine said, "Just use your imagination. Be creative."
"But, how am I supposed to get home? You know, that pinch really hurt, so I'm obviously not dreaming."
"No, you're not dreaming, but . . ." she seemed at a loss for words now.
"What? Are you telling me I can't go home?" She looked genuinely angry now. "I have to be home tonight! BEFORE my mom gets home from that stupid dinner of hers! I have to be in MY house or I'll be in more trouble than I already am! And I can't afford THAT!"
"Don't worry about time, don't you remember, whenever you were here, time froze at home, that way you could stay as long as you like, but all you have to do to get home is to think about wanting to go home, as this place was imaginary to you, that's how you did it. Same applies if you want to come."
"Now what am I supposed to do in here? How do I run a city?"
"Well, you don't really run it, you created more as a peaceful town that can support itself. You're more like a friend to us."
` "I think I'm a little old for imaginary friends,"
"Oh, really? Well, actually, we're not really imaginary, it's just that only you can see us. We're real enough."
Alice didn't know what to say. This was by far the weirdest thing she had ever encountered.
"Listen, do you remember ANYTHING at all about this Réve?"
"I remember you a little, and a guy, but I don't remember his name."
"You must be thinking of Luke, he was the one you hung out with the most. He was like a boyfriend to you." Alice blushed, but she didn't know why.
"I had a boyfriend? I had an IMAGINARY BOYFRIEND?!"
Jasmine couldn't help but laugh a little at this. "If you'd like to think that, yeah. Listen, go home, think a little, pull out the old notebooks you used to write in about us, and try to remember everything you can, and don't forget, I can summon you whenever you're asleep, so don't think about ditching us again." Jasmine waved to her, and before Alice could protest, she found herself back on her own couch.
A/N: Well, this is the first chapter after the prologue that I hadn't intended to write in the first place. Well, I already have the second chapter written, so I know that I can get that up here fast. I'm working on the third chapter, but I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, so . . . whatever . . . Just R/R please.