Well, I do not really know what to call this. Let’s say it is an experiment. It started with a word list from Mrs. X (whom I love writing for) at the Imaginary Garden. It contains poetry, prose poetry (I think) and outright prose. So, lets just call it “writing”, I will leave it up to you to tell me if it works as … well, as whatever it is.



I could feel each nerve fraying as I read
the passages from her diary,
each page revealing the deceit of innocence.

Alice was a twin — the surviving one. Her sister, Abbey, died four years ago at the age of nine. She fell from their treehouse, oddly alone in the sister’s favorite spot. Their parents passed a year later to the day, victims of apparent mourning and an previously unknown nasty addiction.

The writing starts the year Abbey died,
she is not mentioned at all.
The writing is the concise script of a perfectionists.

Alice went to live with her doting grandparents. They were well past child rearing age, but had a nice home in a decent neighborhood. Alice was the golden alpha-girl; last remnant of their only child. Their every joy was found in watching her blossom. Four years passed in a blink.

The first two years of entries were typical pre-teen
illusions and silvery imagination.
No reference to parents, sister of grief.

She was superficially social at school; friendly when required but not particularly close with anyone. Her teachers attributed it to her circumstance. It was understandable that a girl experiencing such loss would find it hard to make friends. At home she was a loner, elderly guardians lacking as companions.

Year three notes become more random, razor-sharp
bitterness and loneliness mingled
with endless optimism, anger and hope.

Alice missed three days of school before anyone was sent to their home. Alice was nowhere to be found; her room was pristine, a diary left on her bed. Her grandparent were found in their bed, peaceful in their repose. The coroner reported them suffocated in the sleep.

The last essays become an unspooling of reality,
a messy scrawl of dangerous thoughts
and the intentions of a killer, each one signed “Abbey.”



Filed under Flash Fiction, Poetry, Poetry - Prompts, Short Story

9 responses to “Alice

  1. I have no idea what to call it, but I really liked your experiment. Chilling.

  2. “LAST ESSAYS” maybe I really don’t know just know this is a fabulous piece!!!

  3. Helen Dehner

    We don’t have to label this anything but GREAT!

  4. awesome little thriller that you have written.

  5. Really good writing. I enjoy your work.

  6. jasmine calyx

    Dude, Abbey rules. In Stanza 2, I thought I was so smart figuring out immediately that Alice had pushed Abbey and killed their parents. I was anticipating the fact that she would soon kill her grandparents as well. But you smacked me in the face with the signatures. Fantastic way to spring that on me. The old twin switcheroo is a popular trick with siblings, but they don’t usually take it this far. 😉 You. Are. Awesome.

    • Windham Services

      Thanks. Another possibility (set up by the gradual change in handwriting): what if Abbey really is the one who died…her ghost takes over Alice, or Alice has multiple personality issue, or… Needed some more time to develop it. Wrote this between meetings today siting in a busy Chik-fil-a.

      Mark Windham

  7. This was a chiller, for sure. Twins, and who knows which really survived? The murderous little girl… I’m telling you, this will give me “Twilight Zone” dreams all night.

    Mark, you don’t REALLY support Chik-Fil-A? I must admit I’m a bit disheartened by that, because the company is into putting down LGBT folks (including my daughter, aunt, and sisters-in-law as well as many friends), and I’m always on the side of the disenfranchised… But you’re still a damned good writer, so I’ll still keep coming back! Amy

  8. definitely chilling! excellent!

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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