Adam L. Bealby on Alice in Wonderland
She went on growing, and growing, and very soon had to kneel down on the floor: in another minute there was not even room for this, and she tried the effect of lying down with one elbow against the door, and the other arm curled round her head. Still she went on growing, and, as a last resource, she put one arm out of the window, and one foot up the chimney, and said to herself `Now I can do no more, whatever happens. What will become of me?’
I’ve always had a bit of Alice in my life.
When I was a kid I enjoyed the feeling of being trapped. Yeah, I know. Weirdo, right?
At night I would wrap myself up in my duvet and pile a load of pillows, cushions and covers on top of that, seal off any stray air vents, and pretend I’d been caught in a freak landslide, or fallen down a hole into a deep crevice. I would lie in my fabricated womb of cotton and eiderdown, growing increasingly hot and dizzy as the oxygen thinned out, as the sweat dappled my skin, and I would lull myself into a meditative state, away from the troubles of the real world.
Because it was either that or panic. The idea of actually being trapped filled me with dread. It still does.
Descent? That film was terrifying before the monsters turned up.
Which leads me to why I like the Alice in Wonderland books so much. They’re a characteristic attempt to enter the dream world, much more successful than my artificial womb. They also have a claustrophobic atmosphere that no amount of weighted quilts could hope to emulate.
My Alice-inspired story “Alice’s Scars” is out now from HorrorAddicts.net Press. It’s about a guy who meets a gal and they fall in love. Only the gal is all messed up and leads him down the rabbit hole into her abusive past – one in which she retreated into a Wonderland fantasy.
At any moment the dream could turn into a full-on nightmare, and there’s something primordial and intoxicating about gazing into the abyss isn’t there?
Or maybe I was just a weirdo-kid. I also enjoyed pushing my thumbs into my closed eyes and watching the black and white kaleidoscope whirl of jagged shapes…
Adam L. Bealby writes fantasy, horror and weird fiction for both adults and children. His short stories and comic work have been published in numerous anthologies, including Spooked (Bridge House Publishing), Pagan (Zimbell House Publishing), Darkness Abound (Migla Press), Once Upon a Scream (HorrorAddicts.net), Sirens (World Weaver Press), World Unknown Review Vol. 2, rEvolution (MiFiWriters) and Murky Depths magazine. He lives in Worcestershire, UK with his wife and three children, and a harried imagination. Catch up with his latest ravings at @adamskilad.