Every once in awhile, Alice went looking for trouble. She was young (though not as young as she once was) and quite capable of finding it without going too far from home. One afternoon, while her family was away running errands or playing tennis or whatever it was they did when they left the house for significant lengths of time, Alice decided to go for a walk. She put on her sensible shoes, pulled her stockings up high around her plentiful thighs, and left the door swinging behind her.
The trees swayed in the wind, and the air had a strange magnetic quality, as if a storm were about to come. Devoid of birds, the sky was eerily still. Alice felt invigorated and quite quickly became lost, not only in her thoughts, but in reality, as well.
She walked for what seemed hours, as the scenery faded into twilight and then the darkness of night.
The moon loomed above Alice, beckoning her to stop. Why, she wondered, did things always “beckon” her? Was she so easily swayed? So easily won? So easily taken? Certainly, she was easily confused, which the moon seemed to know, as it grew and shrank before her very eyes, dancing through its phases like a time lapse sequence.
Time, obviously, was dripping, quicksilver, through Alice’s outstretched fingers.
When she finally tore her eyes from the inky depths of space above, her breath took a sharp intake. What was that? That there, moving in the bushes nearby?
Stupidly, alone, she went to investigate.
“Hello?” She called into the dark, her hand cupped around her mouth to direct and extend the sound of her quiet question.
“Do you hear me?”
She didn’t have the sense to tremble.
She jumped a bit at the response. Calm and most assuredly male, the voice split open the night like a knife through warm butter.
“Yes, I hear you. Do you hear me? Come a little closer…so I can see your face.”
Her small footsteps landed tentatively on the concrete.
She leaned into the voice, squinting her eyes.
She didn’t have the sense to ask him who he was.
She followed the sound of his words as they became a whisper.
“Come closer…yes…that’s it…”
Like the pied piper, his voice froze her concern and took control of her.
Breathing deeply, she licked her dry lips and put her hands out to feel her way. Her fingers found the mark before her eyes did — a large hand, strong, calloused, and bold, reached out to take hers. Without force, it led, and Alice followed. Briefly, in the moonlight, she saw the whiteness of his skin, the opalescence of his fingernails, and the lines in each large knuckle.
Looking back over her shoulder, as if to say goodbye, she pushed back the leaves of the bush like a curtain, entered, and let them close in behind her. With a soft rustling sound like an ocean wave, she was gone….
(Like so many in this world, we are all lured down the rabbit hole from time to time. We wander in and out of calm and storm. I look back often, but sometimes the curtain has closed behind me and the past can only be seen as dim recollection. I am not good at commitment. I procrastinate. I obsess when things are new and lose interest with the quickness of a child. This it the best I can do for an explanation of my absence. Like Alice, I will follow what entices me…without question, when the mood strikes me. My writing is the rabbit. The elusive rabbit. It runs…and like a greyhound, I chase it and chase it and chase it. I also write for many different reasons…I suppose that means I have many rabbits to chase. Sometimes, I get tired. I stop and rest. And then I buy a new set of running shoes, grit my teeth and begin the chase again…in one direction or another, constantly searching.)