Alice breathed writing. She wrote she felt as though she was possessed; sometimes by seemingly demonic forces, other times by angelic ones. It often felt as though someone, or something, was guiding her hand across the page of her notebook. Alice re-read her story, pausing at the conclusion, wondering why all her stories were so similar. She did not know why harm always seemed to befall the children in her narratives. Perhaps it was that she saw herself as a little girl, innocent and naive, with all the terrors and realities of the world forced upon her. Life, Alice had learned, was never constant, nor stable. It was up and then down, left and then right, rude and then courteous, easy and then unbearably difficult. It wasn’t that her childhood had been unpleasant. She had been a reserved child who preferred the company of herself to others, playing dress-ups and chasing imaginary lions – Alice believed she had been a content child.
She was the pinnacle of her father’s perfection; her incandescent hair as bright as the rising sun, celestial eyes and skin paler than the moon – which had seen her through six harvests. She enjoyed picking wildflowers for herself and the family. Her mother would comb her hair as beautiful as the golden hair Loki had woven for Sif. That is where they sat presently, in front of a large, fine mirror. Her father entered the room in raptures at his beautiful family. They were to attend a feast that night commemorating the end of the Fourth War. The entire village was to be there, including the drudgery. He did not wish to consort with their kind. He twirled his little girl; all dressed white, like a swan, and kissed his wife. Before long they would make an unforgettable entrance at the village square. The daughter so desperately wanted to pick flowers to delicately weave into her hair, but it was getting too late, and the feast would commence shortly. The woods nearby were a dangerous place at night. The trees conspired, the wolves hunted, and strange men danced the dance of destruction and debauchery. Her lack of flowers made her sad.