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Call me a lunatic, call me insane. Call me a freak show and stare. I know what I saw; it wasn’t just a figment of my imagination. My name is Beth and I am in a mental institution as the result of an adventure I had 3 months ago. I know I was thrown into another world, down the rabbit hole. Now I know what my sister Alice was talking about, her rants and ravings were true. She wasn’t insane; she was just as sane as me which at the moment doesn’t seem to be saying much.
I remember the first few days she came home; you could hear a pin drop from the deep silence that filled the house. Then after screams shattered the walls at night when her nightmares begun. She seemed so different when they brought her home; she seemed to have aged a few years in a matter of weeks. She told me to be careful and screamed for me and our brother Noah as the men came and took her away, my mother in mourning. They said they were taking her somewhere to make her better, by looking around where I am now, I don’t see how that is possible.
Only mine and my sister’s cases of Wonderland are known, but I know of a boy named Thomas my age that went to Wonderland as well. We wrote letters to one another of the tales we experienced, and I told him how a boy about his age saved me. It turns out he was that boy and I had proof that I wasn’t crazy or that of my sister either. I showed the letters to the warden and they contacted the institution Thomas was at and confronted him about it, apparently he denied the whole ordeal and was released back into the real world. He came and visited me here, back then when I was allowed visitors. He gave me a letter and necklace of a rabbit with a pocket watch; he got a tattoo of it. He told me denying it was the only way to break free, and with this symbol to know that we aren’t crazy and there are more out there like us, he has even spoken to some. I asked him how he could forget something so horrid and he said he never would but he could no longer be a slave to it or its madness.
When he left I was stripped of visitors, my sister Alice disappeared again with no trace. I knew where she was; the white rabbit must have come and got her. My brother Noah found a pocket watch outside his window, I told mother to move and they did. I don’t see them much anymore and I miss them a great deal. Noah comes to see me through the glass window, of my room. My room was a special sunroom by the garden; it reminds me of the Hatters. Sometimes the padded walls turn into the checkered floors of Wonderland, like I’m fading between the worlds. I also sometimes hear the ticking and the purr. They give me drugs so that I don’t dream; I am told I would go into hysteric fits from the nightmares and scream, unbirthday, in the nights or ask for a tea party in my sleep with eat me cookies as I wandered around aimlessly. I am told I looked like a child lost in the dark.
Today is the day my brother Noah is suppose to come visit, it’s Saturday. I remember when he was younger, an infant that would always follow me around. Maybe I should take out my scrapbook, the one thing from home I am allowed to have in my room. As I walk along the corridor to my room I hear the screams and the checks being done, open and close, check and swish, it became our lullaby for it even happened at night here. My mother sent me some new clothes but they said I am not allowed to have them until I improve behavior, basically until I admit that the trip to wonderland is a lie, or figment of my imagination to get some attention from my family since they were obsessed with my sister’s disappearance. I come upon my room, windows shining from the sunlight. The room next to mine was a full padded room, I only have three walls of padding which I am very grateful for. At least I have one chance to look out to know the condition of the world. I reach my bed, I hate reaching under my mattress, when you move it you can smell the bodies that occupied it before I swear. I really hate my room; it’s so plain unlike my old room. I painted it myself; I wanted to be an artist when I grow up. My walls literally puked colour, after Alice left I was allowed to have it as I want.
I sigh a lot looking back at all the fun I had with my brother, we did a lot together. He use to listen to my music all the time, and stay up with me if I had to study for a test, I miss him so much. I wish I was allowed visits…maybe if I say I don’t remember the trip…no, no way! I will not give into them! I will not be weak and give in like Thomas; no way will I let that happen. I start panicking and screaming as I rip out the pages, I want out! I need to see my family! I am starved as a human being! How is this possible?! How can they treat people like this? Like animals?! What a cruel world is this that I am not allowed to see my brother!! I think to myself.
The padded door flies open, I see the white suits and try to crawl under the bed, they grab my legs before I can make my escape. They pull me out so hard by my ankles I thought I heard a pop, and then I hear shuffling of paper. They hold me down as I struggle, I see the syringe. I gasp and stop struggling; they ask me if I am ready to settle down. I nod silently and watch them put it away and the fit starts again. I was suddenly angry with the world, I want to be free. They stab the syringe into me as I had once done the Hatter to escape his clutches. I feel my body slow down as time stood still, eventually I become paralyzed.
“I wonder what made it happen this time. It’s just her scrapbook.” A nurse whispers as they clean up her scrapbook.
“Shh, whatever you do. Don’t say the W word.” Another nurse shuffles around the room.
I hear them leave the room taking my scrapbook with them. Its amazing they still haven’t found my diary, or my sisters for that fact. There is a ripped pad in the wall beside the bed. She left her diary there and a letter, she knew I would be there eventually. She had little doodles on random pieces of paper in another. I suppose the closeness I have with my sister in here makes up for the lack of colour. Closeness, how funny is that considering she is not here at all? How weird does it sound that I find comfort in a past presence that is no longer here to begin with and the one that made that presence is missing? She made it out, perhaps so will I.
My eyes become heavy; I feel the drugs making their way through my veins. My body falls limp as one of the male nurses tuck me in and cover me with my regulation blanket. He kisses my forehead, it’s Joshua, and he was a sweetheart and was the nicest. He was one of the few here that treated me like a person with emotions and normality’s. His lips felt cool against my forehead, maybe I have a fever, I hope it’s nothing serious. My eyes are so heavy I tell him. He tells me to relax and sleep and that we could watch a movie in the TV room later. I nod feeling weak and dreary and hear him leave with a sigh of affection. He isn’t much older then me, only three years and he is interning for volunteer hours. I miss him when I work with the other nurses and doctors, especially during the first week where I was forced to have shock therapy. He stays with me until I spoke again, he was reading to me and I giggled at a sex scene for it seemed too cheesy to be real. He laughed as well and said he agreed. He comforts me when I need it, when the rest of them are mean to me. Especially when the other members here say I am not sane at all and this is all a joke. He strokes my hair as I cry and says he doesn’t understand why I am here either.
I am in stage two now, my eyes are closed and I am seeing shapes, dreams forming. I become one with the mattress, become weightless. A drug induced coma for the rest of the day. I still feel the sun kissing my skin; it’s the only thing that hasn’t made me pale like the rest. I would wither without the sun; it’s the only thing that makes me certain I am still on planet earth. I hear the door open, and ticking. I hear it come closer but my eyes will not open. I hear steps, wide feet hoping towards me. Someone help me! He is back! The rabbit is back! I feel his whiskers twitch against my cheek.
“Beth its time to wake up, were late!” She hears him whispers.
“No, not again please.” I plead with all my being.
“Come Bethany Anne, wonderland is calling…” I hear him call.
I feel myself rise, I try to resist but I can’t, I was helpless, “Then let us begin our journey… We must go back to wonderland.” I call in my sleep, and then I fall.
I feel his paw take my hand, I wanted to fight but my body was drugged. I hear the door click open and the light slightly hurt my eyes. I hear people talking, rants in the other rooms. I feel my breath catch as arms grab me, my eyes fly open and I see Joshua. He is talking but I don’t understand him. He takes me to the kitchen and dabs my face with a cool face cloth and gives me a tuna sandwich to eat and sits with me while the drugs wear off. He leans me against his shoulder; he strokes my hair and tells me to relax. I try but my body twitches out of fear of feeling those whiskers caress my cheek again. I tell him what happened; he told me he wouldn’t let the rabbit get me. I believed him. Then I went off to sleep.
I woke up sometime later, it was sunset, and the exact time I have no idea. Joshua was in my room, just like he said he would be and he didn’t let the rabbit get me. He took me to the dinning area and sat with me while I ate my dinner slowly; I was still a little groggy from the drugs. He was called away by another male nurse; his mom had arrived to pick him up. He sighs and tells me he wish that he didn’t have to go and come back to see me still in here. I told him that maybe I was meant to be here, he kisses by cheek and bids me farewell.
I watch him leave from the windows in my room. I wave while he gets into the car and blow him a kiss, he catches it and holds it against his cheek and gets into the front seat. As his car pulls away, I see a familiar one pull up and a tall figure appears, it was Noah! Holy has he grown I think to myself. I see him wave at me. I run to the entrance where the windows are and wait for him. He comes up with his smiling face; he looks so much like father now. He is fifteen now I believe, hmm, I am not so sure. He waves and stand at the window and shows me an envelope, he has wrote me a letter. He gives it to the warden; they approve it and bring it to my room. I smile and place my hand against the treated glass; he does the same and smiles. We stand there for an hour or so, just look at one another and make gestures to comfort one another. He is called off by someone and gives me a look of pain, he puts his hand and forehead against the glass, and I swear I see him praying. He forces himself to leave, his hand still reaching out when he leaves the point of view. I sigh and return to my room. I am shocked to find there are two letters. One is from Noah, the other is from Thomas.
I sit on my bed and pick up the letters and look at them, the one from Thomas was addressed to me. I don’t understand why they would let it through without opening it like all the others. I open the letter from my brother first, it was to be expected, just him telling her that he misses her and that he can’t wait until she gets out and they can be a family again. He was only young when Alice first disappeared and doesn’t remember much except for the explicit events of her attacks. He would ask what is wrong with her in his small voice; it was hard to see him in his confusion. I was the one that comforted him and played with him while the doctors and our parents examined our sister; we often played Neverland in the backyard, we never wanted to grow up and be adults. While they evaluated her ‘illness’ little do they know she is probably more perfectly sane then themselves. Maybe I should wait till tomorrow morning to read Thomas’ letter…yes I will. I will for sure be out of the effects of the drugs. I hope that the rabbit won’t come back, I never want to go back their again! It’s horrible, piles of bodies for their blood tea. The smell of flesh filling the air and dancing on your tongue, horrid!
As I lie back on my bed, I feel myself being to fall into a deep sleep. I suddenly feel relaxed with the two letters next to me in my padded wall. A padded wall and comfort aren’t normally in the same sentence. At least while I am here I can feel somewhat protected, less chance of the rabbit getting me. But if he already got past security once, maybe he could again! Oh no! What am I to do… then I fall asleep sinking.