Quick note: This piece is quite a bit old, but I’ve been trying to edit and improve it as of late. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! :)
The sun is falling.
A decaying building stands tall, though its inevitable implosion looms.
What had it once been?
It was made entirely of concrete, as most buildings in the Old City were. Perhaps it had been a parking garage? Large grey columns and empty spaces possibly suggest such a history, but it has been a while since anyone has seen a car.
A girl emerges from the rubble, face covered with dirt. She grunts as she pushes some rocks aside, her blue dress tearing as it catches on a metal hook hanging off the building. She tugs on the dress, staring at the torn fabric with empty blue eyes. She picks up a piece that had fallen off, and pauses, observing it silently. She shrugs, and pulls off a white, bunny-shaped backpack. It is old now, worn and tearing, like most things.
As she continues down the cracked road in front of her, a voice calls out.
“Alice, we must be going.”
Her bag emits a stream of magic, forming the shape of a young man. His rose red hair shines, seeming to hold the light of the dying sun. He buttons a long black coat.
“Aren’t you cold?”
She does not speak, simply shaking her head in response.
He sighs, and his form dissolves into magic.
She saunters on, passing the dead and dying Old City buildings.
What had they been? What will they become?
Suddenly, her head perks up as she spots flickering lights in the distance.
The building is fairly far off, but it still towers over her. It is not, unlike the other buildings, decaying. It stands proud, an aging beauty.
The girl begins to jog. The sun descends rapidly, burning out.
A sign, displaying long forgotten venue titles in bold letters, hangs off the building. Alice tilts her head, reading its name.
The Crown Royale.
“That looks dangerous,” calls the voice from her bag.
She presses on, the lone traveler on a long-abandoned Highway. She begins to hear a faint rhythm.
“Are those drums?”
The girl nods.
Surely, they must be. It has been years since she had last heard those telltale thumps, but the captivating rhythms she’d once known are etched permanently into the back of her mind. As she grew closer to the building, she paused to look back at the sky. The sun approaches the horizon. She picks up the pace, running desperately for the theater. As she turns a corner, the building reveals itself in its entirety. Two large velvet doors, framed with flickering lights, present themselves grandly. She can barely stop to admire them, pushing them aside impatiently.
The first thing Alice notices is the floor. It is, notably, not concrete. Her old, gray shoes rest upon a soft crimson carpet. She sighs, beginning to take in her surroundings. A beige wallpaper covers the walls, peeling in some areas. Despite being what once was a lobby, the room is set up like a lounge: several crimson sofas and chairs stand against the wall, dark wooden tables scattered about. A few of these seats are taken. Curious visitors whisper back and forth, gesturing towards the blonde-haired girl. A woman in a suit rushes past her, handing a drink to a joyous man. Yet the most important element rests in the center of the room. Alice can hear the music now. A smooth bass guitar is held by a confident cat. A wolf pounds at the drums. And, most notably, a dark-haired woman holds a microphone in her hand, her red dress glittering in the dim light. She sings of old times, the crowd listening intently.
“I haven’t seen one of those in years!” The boy in the bag whispers. “This is… a concert, right?”
As the crowd’s attention turns away from Alice, he emerges again, watching in awe as the woman sings. She smiles forlornly, the microphone nearly falling from her grasp. The music slows; her tone changes. She sings of decay and death, destruction and agony. As the song closes, she raised her hands to the sky and whispers:
“Oh Alice… isn’t in Wonderland anymore…”
The crowd cheers. The boy wipes away a tear, glancing at his companion. Alice watches curiously, placing her hand on her chest. She takes a deep breath. The earth rumbles. The sun expires.