Chapter 3 of Alice in the Jungle

The hostel, San Jose, 2012

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”

(Alice In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll)

I was being attacked by question marks while in a feverish state. Their sharp curves flicking me back deeper into the sweaty pillow, the full stops relentlessly pelting me in the face. Who?! Why?! What?! I passed out and immediately found myself in a waking dream, unable to move at first. As I twitched, my skin began to crack and little pieces of me fell onto a tiled floor. My eyes searched for a reflective surface in the tiny kitchen. Much to my horror, reflected back at me from a metal pot, was a mural of Alice in Wonderland. Badly painted and having seen better days, I was plastered across the hostel wall.

Sensing I wasn’t alone, I once again scanned my surroundings. I could just make her out. She was small in stature, with a mop of golden-brown hair and fair skin. She studied me for some time and remarked at how badly painted I was. Hurt, I cracked and flaked onto the floor. She bent down and thumbed my flesh of peeled paint. Shaking her head, she muttered again to herself, “Dear, oh dear, you could do with a touch up or better still someone should paint over you and start again”. Still holding a little piece of me in her hand she opened the door, flicked off the light, and all went dark.

Written and Illustrated by: Lucy Lilley

Copyright. © 2021 Lucy Jane Lilley

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