All children, except one, grow up. You will remember there was no road – not even a pathway. Children have the strangest adventures without being troubled by them.
The little girl gave a cry of amazement and looked about her, her eyes growing bigger and bigger at the wonderful sights she saw.
‘I can’t explain myself, I’m afraid, sir. Because I’m not myself, you see.’
If you shut your eyes and are a lucky one, you may see at times a shapeless pool of lovely pale colours suspended in the darkness.
‘If you believe… Clap your hands.’
Of course it was only water, but it was out of a bottle and she always shook the bottle and counted the drops.
She stood upon her left foot and said, slowly, ‘Ep-pe, Pep-pe, Kak-ke!’ Next she stood upon her right foot and said, ‘Hil-lo, hol-lo, Hel-lo!’ After this she stood upon both feet and cried in a loud voice, ‘Zi-zy, Zu-zy, Zik!’
The queen shouted at the top of her voice, ‘Off with her head!’ Nobody moved.
Instantly she was whirling though the air, so swiftly that all she could see or feel was the wind whistling past her ears.
‘You’re only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you’re not real.’
When he saw she was a grownup, he gnashed the little pearls at her.
So she sat on, with closed eyes and half believed herself in wonderland, though she knew she had but to open them again and all would change to dull reality.
Do you think it was?
‘I can’t come,’ she said apologetically. ‘I have forgotten how to fly.’
(Lines from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass; J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan; and L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.)
Jennifer Grant is a recovering journalist. She spent 15 years as a stressed-out writer/editor of other people’s stories (from the Big Easy to the Florida Everglades) but now creates her own curiosities. Her prose poetry and flash fiction have appeared in publications such as Apollo’s Lyre, Bacopa Literary Review, Flashquake, Mixitini Matrix and will be included this fall in Negative Capability. She lives in Gainesville, FL.