Little Alice spiraled down the rabbit hole, her perfect blonde hair askew from the drop into the dark oblivion of her mind.
Her hair was the color of the sun but that was the only part of her that shone. It stood out in the grey blur that engulfed Manhattan, and the city sounded dead except for the drone of an occasional car, and the persistent patter of rain. Old flickering Christmas lights that were slowly fading seemed to smother her. I am surrounded by death she thought as a raindrop hit a small bulb that sparked and went dark.
Alice never knew it was possible to fall while walking, but it was. As she took silent steps down the cracked city blocks she felt as if she were truly falling into a deeper sadness than she had left the apartment in. She kept her eyes locked on the segments of concrete as they told her a familiar story. Her story. As she continued walking the stone split in two. Just as when Alice was at school she became someone else, and when she was alone she was herself; there were two sides to her life. Then the gigantic break branched out into complex tributaries—when most things were stable everything suddenly shifted and it seemed as if there were endless problems that needed to be handled. But there was only one Alice, and she was alone. Everything caused her to panic, and as flustered as she was she struggled to keep things in order and remain calm. Alice soon reached the last stone of the block. It was crushed into pieces, some fragments were bigger than others, and Alice inadvertently kicked one into the road. Just as the piece went spinning a truck vroomed by and each object met the other with an unexpected impact. The stone hit the wheel of the truck and the piece of concrete shattered making raindrops and stone ricochet in different directions. Alice lifted her head to witness the destruction. She wondered silently if that was any indication of her future as she made her way onto the soggy high school campus.
She stopped in front of the brick school and stared. It stood proudly defying the ideals of creativity, and freedom. She turned sharply on her heels and left.
Alice ventured in an entirely new direction as she passed by stores she'd never seen before, however the new stores still contained the old bored employees heaving exasperated sighs to no one. Alice neared a TV and electronics store, and something compelled her to stop in front of the rows of TV's playing the same thing and watched. Another sitcom about women with perfect lives and families that had small and comical problems (which were generally solved by hugging) blared loudly at her. A girl and her mother stared at Alice unblinkingly and they frowned. She saw the pixels in them and suddenly she heard their metallic words whisper, 'Don't cry Alice, don't cry'.
Her breath caught in her throat as she backed away. She said to herself 'Calm, cool, collected' as she had at her mother's funeral, but those voices resonated throughout her mind and she could not breathe. Instinctively, she clutched her throat, and her eyes fluttered. The man in the TV store, had he not had his head on his desk snoring could have saved her. Because Alice needed to know that he was like her. But she broke out into silent tears and walked, forever a vagabond, because she knew there were people everywhere but through her eyes there was no one.