The Alice Effect ~ Excerpts


….She popped the safety lid off and placed two pills in her hand. She tossed them in her mouth, swallowed a drink of water and shook two more out of the bottle. There was no hesitation this time; she took these with another drink and followed with two more pills. She continued this until she was sick and her legs felt weak. Then she stood and glared at the woman in the mirror. That bitch always argued with her. Well, not anymore. There would be no more arguments. There was a distant knocking and Ally watched as the woman in the mirror turned towards the bathroom door, and back to her. There was a pleading look in her eyes. As if the woman was asking Ally to save her. Suddenly, the woman in the mirror collapsed.

 

Ally stood and watched as a dark haired woman crumpled to the ground in front of her. With her mind inexplicably clear, she recognized the body as her own. Tom rushed in from the mirror’s right. She watched as he looked at the bottle on the counter and then at the form of his unconscious wife. She didn’t move or call out as the scene played out before her. It was like watching the climax of a movie. Only in this theater she was the star. She watched as Tom knelt down beside the Other…

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… She had taken sleeping pills; she knew that, but how many? Enough, she thought. She should have died. Now, it looked as if she had simply falling asleep and this was only a dream. She opened kitchen cabinets and closet doors; looking for any proof this house wasn’t hers. Nothing had changed but still, something wasn’t right. Suddenly, she was pushed forward again and she was falling. Her eyes opened to florescent lights speeding by. A voice to her right shouted, “I’ve got something!” followed by, “No wait, I’m losing her….”and the world faded again…

*********************************************************************************************

… she ran to the door and threw it open. Instead of the front porch, there was an endless black ocean as far as she could see. The neighbor’s house sat in the distance, a hazy outline in a fog. She looked out over the water and realized this sea was dead. There were no waves, no life, not even the rank smell of algae and fungi that typically grow on a stagnant pool. And this dead sea kept her isolated from the rest of the world. For the first time since coming through the mirror, loneliness wiped the fear away. For the first time since watching her body collapse, she realized she had just condemned herself to a Hell more terrifying than the brimstone and fire she had been raised on. There was silence in the air. “Not even the breath of God can reach me here.”

Oh, don’t be so dramatic.” Surprised  she looked to her right and saw the woman standing in the kitchen, wiping down her counters… “Well, are you going to stand there all day? Come, sit.”

Ally found herself sitting across the table from this strange woman of about 30. The woman stared back at her. “You don’t know who I am, do you?” The woman asked. “Well, I’m not surprised. You weren’t even a spark in your Daddy’s eye when I passed. But, don’t think that means I haven’t been around. Couldn’t miss the birth of my oldest’s first child, could I?”

Ally stared as this story sank in. Could this woman be her Grandmother?

“Well, of course I am!” It was as if she had read Ally’s mind. “You know, I was expecting to see you on this side at a young age, but not this young, and certainly not here. I saw you, you know. Don’t think I don’t recognize what you were doing.”

“I was killing myself.” It was the first time she had spoken the words aloud.

“No, not that,” Grandmother waved a dismissive hand. “I meant with the wine.”

“Oh.” Was all Ally could manage.

“And the tequila, and the vodka you would add to your juice when you thought he wasn’t looking.”

“Oh,” she said again, quieter. She was suddenly ashamed. She had just learned that every shot she had stolen in secret had been see by someone. Her Grandmother continued.

“Do you remember any of those stories you heard? The ones your Daddy told you about growing up?”

Composing herself, Ally answered,”a little. I know…” she stopped short.

“You know I wasn’t always the model woman?” there was a smile on the woman’s lips. “No, that’s true. Why do you think I recognized it in you?”

Ouch, that stung. “Is that why you’re here? In this, what is this, Hell?”

Her Grandmother patted Ally’s hand. “No, I was never here. I did spend some time in the Shadowlands. But, just like on Earth, family came. They found me and they lifted me up out of the shadows. Hell isn’t what you think it is, you know. Think of it this way,there are many levels. At the highest level, there is God. God shines like a sun, warming you and bathing your level in light. The father away you are from that light, the darker and colder it is.”

Ally took this in. It wasn’t like any of the stories she had heard in church. That’s when it struck her, “it’s twilight here. Like just after sunset.”

Sadness was all she saw when she looked into her Grandmother’s eyes… Her eyes, if she were honest with herself. “Sweetheart, you are about as far away from God as you can get. I am not here because I have to  be. I am here because I want to be. I am here to help you.”…

 **This story has been started and deleted many times. Something had been missing. I found that something very recently, thanks to Dr. Stafford Betty. He introduced me, and many others, to the abundant evidence available on the afterlife. While I take some literary license, I do try to take what I’ve learned from him, and what I am still learning from my own research, and include it in this work. It is a slow process and I am certain there will be many changes. Particularly, as I proofread. This is just a taste of where I see the manuscript headed.** 

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About Kat Reed

I am many things: a wife, a mother, an employee, and a student (CSUB). I write as a hobby and dream of owning a small bookstore with a selection of rare collectible books I will never have the heart to sell, shelves of new and used books, big comfy chairs so my patrons can relax with a cup of coffee or hot tea from the small coffee bar... in the window will be a sign that reads: "The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serenity of books" - H.W. Longfellow. Until then, I will continue to write and dream.... View all posts by Kat Reed

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