Alice In A New Land

I’m linking up with my new writing community Story Dam.

Here’s the prompt:  Dam Burst- Take a walk through the location of your choosing. Write your piece to include your character’s surroundings, only not through your adult eyes. Show us through the eyes of a child. Things are new, foreign, and curious. Put yourself in their place. Would you know what some things were?

Your story can be fiction or non-fiction.  Word count limit is 600. There’s no minimum word count. Concrit welcome and appreciated.

As Alice walked in the room her toes melted into the fluffy pink carpet and she liked the feel of it. Across the room a heart shaped rug caught her eye.  She ran over and plopped down. Looking around Alice noticed the pink, red, and white striped walls reminding her of candy canes.

Lying down on the rug, eyes turned up she spied the diamonds, lots of them bundled together hanging from the ceiling. The shimmering sparkles brought the room alive with light. It was the most beautiful thing  Alice had ever seen. Her imagination ran away with thoughts of taking the shining diamonds when she left. Mad Hatter from the pawn shop would give her money for them then she could buy enough food for days or even weeks.  But how long would they keep her here? She really needed to get back to Sam and her dog Bill.

To her left she noticed a tall bookshelf with hundreds of books. It reminded her of the library at school.  Oh how Alice loved to read. Sitting up she went over and softly fingered the bindings of the books as she read the titles. Among them the Harry Potter series, Beauty and the Beast, Alice in Wonderland, a personal favorite, and Little Women.

Music came from a small box on the nightstand. The box was pink and white with yellow trim. Upon opening it Alice discovered a small ballerina spinning inside. She
wasn’t sure what made the ballerina spin but thought if the tiny dancer had been real she would certainly be very dizzy.

The bed was inviting with its big fluffy pillows and pink polka-dotted blanket. Alice, tired from the long ride to the house let out a loud yawn. She climbed on the bed and wrapped herself in the blanket. The music from the box and the ballerina spinning lulled Alice into a warm, drowsy sleep.

The dream began almost immediately. She and Sam sat at a large table eating pizza, fried chicken, ice cream, and chocolate cake. Bill lay beside her chair waiting for a snack and Alice dropped a pizza crust for the dog. Their apartment was warm, clothes clean, new and Sam felt good that day. They discussed seeing a movie later.

Alice awoke, eyes wide with fear. “Where’s Sam?!” There was no answer. “Where’s Sam?! Where am I?!”

The bedroom door opened with a slight squeak.

“Alice what’s wrong dear?”

“I want to see Sam!”

“You know Sam’s not here anymore.”

Alice wanted to continue living that dream as she had since the day Sam had gone to the hospital.

“He’s not coming back is he?”

“No. He was just too sick. Sam’s with God now.”

“Do you think Mama knows he’s gone?”

“I don’t know honey. We haven’t heard from her in a long time.”

“Wonder if she’ll ever come back?”

“Maybe. One day.” Her voice lingered as the memories returned.

She watched the ballerina twirl to unfamilair music. Mama used to tell her they would see the Nutcracker at Christmas time. Then she left. But maybe she would show up this year. Sam always bought a present for Mama just in case she came home. Maybe Grandmother would too. Alice just hoped she “found herself” soon so they could be together this Christmas.



  1. Nicely written 🙂

  2. Vivid details, with a poignant twist at the end.

  3. #1: I am thrilled to see you Story Dam!
    #2: Ohhh the luxury of rugs you sink into!!! I really really want a room like Alice’s! In fact I think my toes got all warm and toasty imagining themselves in that rug. You show Alice’s fear very well, especially when her cries go unanswered. THen she opens the door, and someone starts talking. Then, Alice returns to her room, but I don’t remember her actually leaving it. It seems a little harsh that her cries went unanswered at first. It wouldn’t take much to clarify that someone was in fact there, and you could probably even do it without taking away the suspense of WHERE Alice is really is. I love the nice little twist on the end there, even if it did make me a bit sad. You made me care about Alice with few words, and I want to know if she finds happiness. I want to know if her mother is coming back. I want to know more about Sam. I want to know more about this child. It’s so vivid and clear, it makes it easy to put myself in her shoes (or should I say feet in her carpet?)

  4. I love how the Mad Hatter was a pawn man, he always did seem to be a jack of all trades and not just a hat maker gone mad… or at least Johnny Depps version 😉 The books on the shelf? loved those too!
    The end totally took my surprise, poor Alice, but it just goes to show what kind of things children make up in their minds to comfort themselves from reality. I’ve often wondered if our girls have done the same thing when Brandon’s deployed or we move to another duty station…what kind of things fill their imaginations to either comfort themselves, or to escape reality and head to Wonderland.
    Thank you for linking up Julie 🙂

    • Loved linking up Brandi. Overcame the nerves and went for it. Thanks for your comments. I can’t imagine what it must be like for you and your girls. I will begin today praying for your family.

  5. Overall good piece, Julie. I think you are really on to something here. I could imagine this being longer. I agree with Brandi, in that you never know the “places” children put themselves when in stressful situations.

    For the critique, I will offer you a couple of things on description:

    When you mention the rug, you say “…the fluffy pink carpet. Her toes seemed to melt deep. She liked the feeling…” I completely see/understand what you are saying here, and I have experienced carpet like this (loved it), but I think you could combine those sentences to form a single, vivid, descriptive one. It would be more powerful to the reader; and would really pull them into the scene.

    The other is when you describe the diamonds. You say “They lit the room with sparkles and light.” Lit and light in the same sentence is redundant. Look for ways to use synonyms or other descriptors to say this. Like, “they lit the room with hundreds/thousands of sparkles and streaks of color” (like a prism) or maybe “the way they filled the room with sparkles and shimmering light…’

    Make sense?

    Again, good job on this. The introduction of the pawn broker and the end, especially, really reached out and grabbed me. I love a good twist. Very well done!

    • Thanks so much Brandon and I see exactly what you are saying about connecting and making one sentence. Also the description of the light does seems like too much when I read it back. I’m going to work on these things now. Come back later and see what you think. I’m also glad you found something you enjoyed. I may continue this story.

  6. Wonderful, wonderful sensory detail, and that last line about having “found herself” was well done. The dream was set up so nicely, and the story opened up in the nicest way. Wonderful flow.

  7. What a beautiful piece. The ending took me completely by surprise, and my heart broke for poor Alice. This is one of those stories that you read and wish you could crawl inside and offer some sort of comfort to help heal the hurt. Critique wise, the only thing I would suggest is maybe defining the relationship between Alice and Sam. Beautiful, beautiful job.

    • Thanks so much Donna. Your encourgement goes a long way. Sam is Alice’s stepfather who raised her after her mother left to “find” herself. But yes that could be more defined in the story.

  8. Julie,
    What a creative story! I am eager to read more and see if somehow Sam returns. What prompted you to write about the character Sam?

    • I just began writing and out he came. He is Alice’s stepdad. After Alice’s mother left Sam raised her until his death then she went to live with grandmother. Thanks for reading.


  1. […] from Story Dam and fits in with my new fiction story Alice In A New Land, you can read Part 1 here. This was Part […]

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