Alice in the Massacre - Chapter 87
In the midst of the blazing house, Alice was running around. She was in a frenzy, screaming and spreading the dwindling contents of the kerosene can in her hand. When she watched the fire growing in size again, she opened her mouth wide and laughed, her eyes out of focus and out of sanity.
Then she inhaled the smoke and let out a cough. With a clang, the kerosene can was dropped, and she kept coughing profusely, slobbering. Her vision blurred.
It was agonizing.
Even though it was agonizing…
She was enjoying herself so much right now. Everything felt liberated. Deep down, she recognized that this burning hell was where she belonged.
“Let it burn!” She yelled in a rattling voice, with spit flying everywhere. “Burn it all down!”
I hope it all burns to a crisp.
Even my mother.
And all the “humans” in this apartment.
Everyone is better off dead.
Die and disappear.
They should just disappear from this world.
Let it all disappear.
Scraping the floor with her fingernails, Alice, half-naked, rolled over on the floor and coughed over and over again.
My whole body hurts.
… Will I die?
Am I going to die here, like this?
Will I be burned and perish because I failed to escape?
That’s not the way I want it to be.
I’ve been liberated.
I’ve just “cleaned up” my “father” and “mother”.
Once I cleaned them.
Once I cleaned them, things would be beautiful, wouldn’t they?
Shouldn’t even this world and myself be beautiful?
So something is not right.
It’s weird that I’m in so much pain.
Her left eye widened with a start. Her heart was beating so rapidly that it was threatening to burst out. Alice was lying on a bed in a dimly lit hospital… the intensive care unit.
Her right eye socket, crushed by Humpty Dumpty, was attached with an eye patch. She was dressed in clean hospital clothes instead of the tattered ones she had been wearing.
After confirming with her hand that the eye patch was in place, Alice swept her hair out of her face and lifted herself up. It was nighttime, and she could hear the instruments working and see the intensive care equipment illuminated by the faint lights.
Perspiration trickled down her cheeks and… She wiped it off, realizing that she was breaking out in cold sweat. Alice then pressed her aching head and drew in a breath.
It was a horrible dream. The dream was almost real and painful. Everything was hot and painful. Above all, everything was searing.
That wasn’t “my” memory.
I wondered if it was Alice’s… the memory of “Archi-Alice”. Even so, it was far too tragic.
If I followed the perception I gained from that dream, it would be…
Archi-Alice would have gotten her own father and mother involved, and set fire to the apartment building where she lived.
Did she do that?
Nausea rose up in her and she clamped her mouth shut. Before long, her legs were trembling uncontrollably. She put her hands on the wall and tried to compose her breathing.
Once she was certain she had settled down, she stepped out onto her bare feet and found Iberis a short distance away in a capsule-like intensive care unit. A respirator was plugged into her mouth and nose, and bandages were wrapped painfully around her body.
She seemed to be breathing, and her chest was rising and falling slightly. But she seemed to be unconscious. Approaching her capsule, she peered into it. Besides both legs, she was lacking her right arm.
The doctor must have treated it properly because a white plaster cast was firmly attached to the wound. She focused her attention for a moment and studied Iberis. Although her face was very pale, her body was slightly transparent. The rainbow-colored fluctuation… of the Bandersnatch could be seen spinning slowly like blood.
Iberis was in good shape.
After observing that much, Alice stared at her arms as well.
Compared to Iberis’ body, which was a blur of Bandersnatch light, Alice’s body was evidently radiating a more intense rainbow-colored light. It was an aggressive light that seemed to sting the eyes.
She let out a small breath and closed her eyes. When she opened her eyes again, the glow was gone.
Alice herself was aware that the Bandersnatch inside her was beginning to show its “abnormal” power. That was why she felt no “fear” when she confronted the three Original Nightmares: the Mock Turtle, Stelcis… and the Jabberwock.
What was in her heart was a mysterious tranquility. Also, there was an overwhelming sense of superiority that said, “These guys can’t kill me,” for some unknown reason. She felt that instinctively and acted on it.
Nobody told her to do it. But Alice’s Bandersnatch and Alice herself “grasped” it. That was why she could fight.
Hence, she was victorious.
Turning her back on the unconscious Iberis, Alice began to walk on the synthetic linoleum floor. Although she didn’t know where she was, it was likely the facility where Jack had “leaped” after slashing away the spatial distance. Judging by the condition of herself and Iberis, it would be safe to assume that they were being properly attended to.
Somehow… her head was strangely lucid.
It seemed as if she was no longer herself… she had that sensation.
No, that’s not right.
Alice halted her steps.
–I am no longer afraid of anything…
She was dumbstruck by this realization.
No matter what she fought, she would not die.
No one can hurt her anymore.
This was neither a hypothesis nor an assumption.
It was the “truth”.
Therefore, even in the situation where the Original Nightmare was still targeting her, she was able to remain quite composed. When she brought her hand to her chest, her heart was already beating softly. The shock from the intense nightmare earlier seemed to have worn off.
… She was thirsty.
With that thought in mind, she headed for the exit to leave the intensive care unit. There, she stopped when she noticed Philrain, whose face and body were covered with bandages and ointment, lying on a sofa near the exit, covered with a toweling blanket, breathing in her sleep.
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