Challenge for October 10, 2008
Start your story with this line: Alice tried to remember who had given her the key.
Alice tried to remember who had given her the key. She really did. And she tried to remember who and what the page of numbers was all about, but it had got too complex for her.
“Tell us. Who gave you the key?” The voice tried to sound authorative – to scare her, and she was scared, but trying hard not to show it. She was going to be tough. They wanted her to be tough. She wanted to tough. If only they had not blind folded her, she might have been able to sit there and look fiercely at them, to try and make a show of not being scared. She was good at looking fierce.
“The numbers. Are they coordinates … a code?”
“I don’t know,” and it came out of Alice as a whimper.
“If you don’t tell us what we want to know, we’ll be sending you to room one-oh-one.”
“What’s room one-oh-one?”
“Yeah … what’s room one-oh-one?”
Alice could hear the two of them whispering, ending with a snigger.
“Yeah we’ll be sending you to room one-oh-one Alice … and you wont like that.”
Alice didn’t know what Room 101 was, or what it meant other than it made her feel like she was going to wet her pants. If she peed herself it would be the end, there would be no going back from that. She bit the bottom of her lip and willed herself not to pee and not to think of Room 101. She’d think of something else – something .... she would, she would ...
“There’s my locker key,” boomed a third voice, a familiar voice and Alice smiled. She was saved. “And my stats homework sheet. I’ve told you two to stay the hell out of my room.”
The light hurt Alice’s eyes as the blindfold was roughly pulled off her. She squinted and saw Peter and Paul kicking at the grass with the toes of their shoes, identical evil pouts on their faces, glaring at her as if it was all her fault, because no matter what they did, it somehow was always blamed back onto her when she joined in. Meg, her big sister looked like a giant and for a moment she wished that Meg would crush both of them for being mean to her – like Veronica in the Archie DVD the twins loved.
They’d said she could be a Princess. Peter and Paul said they’d come and rescue her, they’d be super heroes. But they tied her up and started yelling at her about the key and the piece of paper, calling her a spy. She looked down at her bare feet. And they’d stolen her favourite Princess shoes from her feet.
“Where’s my Princess slippers?” She felt braver now Meg was here, even though she still couldn’t move off the chair. The twins laughed and ran off.
“Alice you have to promise me you won’t let the twins tie you up.” Alice looked down at her wrists that Meg had freed. They were red and sore from where Peter and Paul had tied her hands up with an old pair of panty hose from the rag bag in their Dad’s garage. “I’m going to have to tell Mum about this.”
“Please don’t.” Alice was the youngest and she just wanted her big brothers to let her play with them. She didn’t like being all by herself. “There’s no one else to play with.”
“You’d be better off playing alone, than playing with them.” Maybe so – but she didn't really understand. Meg all those nice friends who in black like her
Meg picked Alice up, letting her carry the locker key and the homework sheet upstairs. Sitting Alice on the bed, Meg pulled out at piece of paper and a large black marker pen. She drew three numbers on the paper, big and black.
“Do you know what numbers these are Alice?”
Alice nodded, a sunny smile brightening her face.
“One … zero … one. What does 1-oh-1 mean?”
“It means keep out or else. How about you stick this up on the door for me?”
A while later, as Meg was reading Alice her favourite book, Alice in Wonderland, Peter and Paul crept back up the hallway, the half hour time-out in their room already a forgotten piece of the past. Peter looked up at the sign on the door.
“I don’t think we should go in.”
“Meg’s rooms fair game. You’re not scared of her – all that goth stuff?"
Paul looked up and saw the sign, his smooth forehead crinkling.
“It’s only a sign.”
“But you told me bad things happen in Room one-oh-one.”
“I was just saying that to scare Alice.”
“But you said …”
Paul looked up at the sign, knowing it really was only Meg’s room behind the door – but?
Peter turned and walked away and Paul followed. Some adventures were just weren’t worth risking – even for them.
Dedicated to Miss Lilly-Lou for all the crap that she puts up with!