Dancing Through Life, my SGE life story
I stand frozen, the dining hall eerily silent except for my own shallow breathing. I wrap my arms around myself, but it does nothing to stop my shivering, and stare at the envelope lying on the marble floor. The envelope addressed to my friend. The envelope stamped with the return address of the Looking Glass Insane Asylum.
Angelica lets out a soft hiss, fur bristling. Then the kitten scurries out of the hall.
I think of Lio, pale-faced and trembling as she opened the envelope at breakfast, and how tense she was as she read the letter. That letter was never from her grandmother, like she’d said. But why would a psychiatric institution send her a letter in the first place?
Suppose Lio escaped from the insane asylum? My pulse begins to race, and I begin to feel lightheaded. Suppose they’ve come back for her, and they’re going to take her away?
No, I shouldn’t jump to conclusions. I need to see for myself.
I hurry up the Purity staircase, my steps growing more and more urgent, before skidding to a halt outside #54. I try to catch my breath, then knock on the door, and call softly, “Hello?”
I knock again, and this time, call louder. “Is anyone there?”
Again, no answer. The dorm room remains dark and silent, and, heart sinking, I turn and walk away. Haych and Jafar look up in surprise when I enter the common room.
“I need to find Lio. Have you seen her?” I ask, but when they shake their heads, I walk out again.
“Wait,” says Haych, hurrying down the hallway to catch up with me. “I’m sure she’ll be back soon, if you need to talk to her, but she could be somewhere practicing shifting.”
“Her talent’s dimension-shifting, like teleportation. In Wonderland, Lio would disappear all the time for fun,” Haych explains.
I shake my head. “I think it has to do with the letter that she received this morning,” I say, and worry blooms in her dark umber-brown eyes that I know must be reflected in mine. “Hannah, the return address on the envelope was a place called the Looking Glass Insane Asylum!”
Haych’s head snaps up immediately, her normally spirited, lighthearted manner now serious and says slowly, “They shut Lio’s grandmother up in that insane asylum three years ago.”
So it wasn’t Lio, but her grandmother after all.
“Alice Liddell,” I say softly.
Haych nods, quiet for a while, and then her face darkens as if haunted by a memory. “Lio, Liv, and I were ten years old then, but I remember it clearly.” She squeezes her eyes shut. “I saw the Queen of Hearts accuse Alice of being insane, and order her card soldiers to send her away to the Looking Glass Asylum.”
“Lio must have shifted to Wonderland and gone to visit her.”
Suddenly, I realize that this whole time, I’ve been so focused on solving the jewelor mystery that I haven’t paid attention to my friends and what they’re going through.
Around me, Evers are chatting happily over plates of lamb fricasse, cheese souffle, and gooseberry tarts, while I sit with my chin propped in my hands, staring out the window at the moon high in the night sky. My gaze wanders across the darkened school grounds to where the moonlight shimmers on the still surface of Good’s lake, like a pool of liquid silver.
Then, a small ripple swirls the water, and I glimpse a tail splashing down. I blink, wondering if I imagined it, but a moment later, a figure rises out of the water to perch on the rocky shore – a mermaid with an iridescent green tail. It’s the Never who chose a sea gannet for the animal sidekick challenge. After a few minutes, she gracefully dives back into the lake, and vanishes into its inky depths.
I’m still staring at the spot where she vanished, when I realize that the shadows have shifted.
A figure steps from the shadows of the trees beyond the lake, who wasn’t there a second ago. A girl kneels in the grass, bright golden-blonde hair spilling down their back.
Haych slips out of the School for Good, me a few paces behind. “It’s freezing out here,” she says gently, dropping to her knees next to Lio. “We should get back to the castle.”
Lio doesn’t move. “She isn’t mad,” she says in a hollow voice, her eyes vacant. “My grandma can’t be mad.”
Tears fill her eyes and stream down her cheeks silently. “I promised I’d get her out of that horrible place.”
I don’t say anything, but help her to her feet, and the three of us walk back to school, though slower and more rigid than usual. Her eyes remain empty as we climb the pink glass stairs, even as she opens the door to her room and says goodnight.
In the hallway, I hear her say one last time, “She isn’t mad.”
Haych reaches to open the door to our room next door, but pauses, her hand above the door ****. “Friday,” she says suddenly, with a gasp.
My brow furrows in confusion. “What do you mean?”
Then it hits me, my stomach twisting, and we stare at each other.
“On Friday, the Exillium tents will move to Foxfire,” Haych begins, looking as sick as I feel. “And we’ll see Liv …”
“… who is the daughter of the Queen of Hearts,” I finish.
@snakelover → (Cynthia) ❄️
@sallysallysally → (Sally) 🎶
@ssssssssssssssssssssssssssss → (Twilight) 🌺
@aestheticbibliophile → (Haych) 🍵
@bryannahstevens → (Bry) 🌷
@jafaristhebest → (Jafar) 🌸
@mindlle → (Emma) 🌹
@cocostar → (Star/Coco) 💧
@anadilforever7 → (Wanda) ⚡
@rainbowlion → (Lio) 💛
@princessofthecoven → (Liv) ♦️
@bia2008 → (Bia) 🌙
@alanasge ☘️ →( Alana/Ally)
@rayrayhannah → (Rayne) 🧡
@zee110 💖 → (Zee)
@teija → 🌟
@lilkelp → 🌼
@annafan → 🍂
@delilahkitty → 😽
@2iycrb2qawutob → 💘
Ah phenomenal chapter as always, Dae!!! Fantastic!!!!! ;DD
What??? I need more start writing!!! Please 🥺 that was so darn good 👏👏👏
AAAAAH OMG OMG THIS IS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC WE NEED MORE AAAH
MY HEART…. IT’S DYINGGGGGGG
THIS IS SOOO GOOD😭😭😭😭
THE SUSPENSEEEEEEEEEEE AAAAAA 😍😍😍😍😍 I LOVE IT SMMMMM poor Lio though 😢😭
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