Hello everyone! Thank you for coming to read my newest story! This beautiful story is written for my girl Minute Serenade and is my piece for the Ashley's Auction! I hope to do it justice. Minute Serenade wanted an Alice fic. The pairing is unusual but I am all for it.
Thank you to Minute Serenade for donating to the cause and wanting me to write this story! It is an absolute pleasure working with you and once things calm down, we will finish check 21!
Monica...my word protector in crime. I love you! You make my words shine!
Izzy Nava for your reading this and helping it to make sense. 3
And Dani Darling thank you for my amazing banner! You helped make what I was thinking a reality. (Will post once my computer works).
Several characters have different names than the ones we know. They will change. Message me any questions.
Thank you for reading my story and enjoy! -Brier
Chapter One: Vision
Watching the scene in front of me, I am shocked.
Fire is breaking out within the woods behind my house. I am not present, but I see the rest of the family is—asleep in their beds.
Where I am, I am not sure. I see someone making the fire, dressed all in black from head to toe. The smell of gas is unmistakable and nauseating.
Somehow, I hear the cars in the garage start and run.
Mothers Chevy Malibu and Father's Silverado are both running with the garage door closed.
I see a tall man who quietly walks away, leaving only a small token of his work. A small card in the mailbox.
A queen of hearts.
With him, I see he took something with him.
I hear a voice clear as day.
This is coming; this is your future.
Magnolia Rose Stephenson, consider this your warning. There will come a day that you will need to leave quickly.
You don't want to be found.
My vision breaks.
The visions are getting closer together. This means I must be getting closer to the actual event. This is the first time I saw the last part.
It is scary to think that I do not want to be found. What kind of shit is about to happen?
I look around the makeshift room that I called my room from when I was five until I moved out at ten. Little more than a screened in back porch that had some 'walls to make it warmer,' which of course didn't make a difference
What am I doing in my childhood home? How did I get here?
Then I remember.
I was driving to the bank and instead of staying straight to go to the bank; I took a left onto my old street. Morning Glory Way. There was no glory on this street, at least until I moved out.
It made me grateful that I had found a better place with the help of one of my teachers, whom I will forever be grateful for. I am just now getting back to talking to my family. For years, they did not allow me to. It was quite nice for my peace of mind. I am not sure why I am allowing them back into my life.
Oh, right. I want what Mamaw wanted me to have. Some jewelry, her journals. Some paintings. Her old house.
I was not allowed to have anything of my Mamaw's, since I was responsible for her death. I needed to pay for my actions.
Mamaw bequeathed her house to me in her will, with the stipulation I receive it when I turned twenty-one. This never happened, seeing as I am twenty-one now and I have no claim to the house.
I wish I could remember my Mamaw's name.
Now a name I will forever be grateful for is the teacher that saved me from my hell.
Miss Montgomery. Miss Dixie Belle Montgomery. What I would give to have a name more like my amazing teacher.
I never really liked my name.
Magnolia "Maggie" Rose Stephenson.
While magnolias are beautiful flowers, they are very delicate. A simple touch can bruise the petals.
My parents named me after the two flowers because my mother insisted on naming me for flowers because her name was Primrose Tulip.
Our parents spared my sister, Cynthia Margaret, from the double flower name. Before a woman named Cynthia saved Mom's life, she was going to name her Poppy Marigold.
Yeah. Poppy is not bad, but Marigold? Cynthia Margaret lucked out.
Anyway, I need to get to work. Figuring out what the vision means and seeing if I can make a timeline will have to wait. I am lucky to do what I love and love what I do. Being a hairdresser has always been a life goal. I took classes in school and had my degree six months after I graduated high school and a job the following week.
While not the most high-end salon, I enjoy it. Within two months I had a solid client base, which has been amazing. One girl I work with has been at Bella Salon for over a year and doesn't have anywhere close to my client list. But I am one of the best there.
The owners, Miss Reba, who has been in the business for almost twenty years, and her partner, Miss Patsy, for twenty-five years.
So, they have every right to have more clients and be better than I do. Though I am not sure why they keep this girl that only has about ten clients and we have to keep fixing her mistakes.
Unless it is because we keep busy fixing her mistakes.
I make it to Bella Salon and grab my apron. Miss Patsy is there when I clock in at the register, talking to one of her clients who has her children with her. Looks like all seven of them.
"Now, I am sorry that little Johnny didn't let me cut his hair better, Martha. I hate when that happens!" Miss Patsy says in defeat.
"Miss Patsy, we should have cut his hair first. The rest of the kids would have been fine. I am just happy that the hair is out of his eyes. We will try again soon!" Martha is nothing but patient. You have to be with seven kids.
"Good morning, ladies. How are we doing today? My, what a wonderful-looking group of children if I ever saw one! Miss Martha, they are so darling looking." I smile at each child and Miss Martha.
"Good morning, Miss Maggie. Could you help me? Johnny here needs his hair fixed. I am tired," Miss Patsy says.
"My first appointment is in fifteen minutes. I am sure we can make this handsome lad look fit for a ball!" I look at his mother and she nods.
We go to my second "chair," one fit for a child. It is just a five-in-one highchair that I got secondhand off of Craigslist. It has a small tray that I put some crayons and paper on or a small toy and get to work.
Johnny is a three-and-a-half-year-old, brown-eyed, and brown-haired little boy who can't sit still and needs something in his hands.
Once he is in the chair, I give him a few little toys and get to work. I explain everything I am doing, which seems to put Johnny at ease. It is taking me longer than normal for a haircut, but he is being quiet and mostly still. When I finish, he looks like a new little man.
My next appointment is already here, but I heard Miss Patsy explain my delay. Not that it truly matters, it is my BFF, Jennifer.
"My, my! Who is this little man? That can't be my Johnny!" Martha says in delight.
"Yes, ma'am. I know it is shorter than you likely wanted, but it will mean more time before he needs to come back. It was a pleasure, Mister Johnny." Johnny looks happy and hugs me, not looking at me in the eye.
I do not know Johnny well, but based on the reaction that I am getting from Martha and Patsy, this is huge. I hug him back firmly and when he lets go; I do as well with a big smile.
"Thank you, Mister Johnny. I needed that hug! I hope you have a great day with your wonderful new haircut." He smiles and when I stand up, his mother is trying to hide what I guess are happy tears.
Patsy is in tears, and she pulls me into the break room. The hug she gives me nearly makes me lose my breath. "Maggie, that was amazing! Thank you for saving that boy's hair! You don't know how much that means to his mama and me. Martha has a hard time with him. Not only is he the baby, but he is on the Autism spectrum. I am not sure where he falls, but I know he does. He hates people touching him and his hair. It's a fight every time he needs a haircut! It shouldn't surprise you if you get more appointments from them. I am so happy you had such a positive experience with Johnny!"
"You are not mad if I take some of your clients, Miss Patsy?" She laughs, and the smile is so bright that I am almost blinded.
"Of course not! It will help me more than you can know. I am excited that Johnny has a chance to have normal experiences without stress on his part. I think you have some clients waiting, my dear. Let's go!" Miss Patsy's southern drawl pronounced.
"Please let Jennifer know I'll be right out."
Patsy nods and leaves me for a few minutes. I have known Martha and her family for years. She is such a wonderful woman and mother, never being upset with her children without just cause. Even when Johnny has his meltdowns, which are town famous. She is calm and understanding.
Unlike my mother and father.
Who never treated me with half the respect that Johnny seems to have.
Not that one might blame them.
I am different because of my dreams and visions.
I have had these visions for as long as I remember. Sometimes, I have a lot of them all at once. Other times, they are few and far between. The ones that made my family upset were the ones that came true.
Like when my Mamaw died of a car accident. I did not understand the vision back then, but I saw her car totaled with Mamaw and me in it. I explained what I saw to her the best I could. Mamaw believe
d me and for that reason, tried to keep me out of any car with her. Unfortunately, my mom did not care.
I was about five when that happened. She and I were going to the store to get milk and eggs for some cookies she was making for me. I think it was for a party at my school. I tried to get her to stay home, but Mom refused to let us stay home.
"My dear Magnolia Rose, these cookies are important for you and your school. I never bought what we needed for them, and that is not my fault! You need to go to the store with your Mamaw and get what we need!" Mom told me. "No matter what she says, Mamaw, you will take her to get what we need at the store. She will learn that there are consequences for lying as she does!"
Mamaw was not happy with this idea. She knew me well enough to know that I did not lie about the things I saw. She was the same way as me with visions, so she took me seriously. Before we left, she and I had a chat in the car. While she buckled me in my seat belt, she said a prayer over us to keep us safe. To allow for my vision to be untrue. But, no matter what, to ensure I made it out either way.
She kissed my forehead and told me she loved me. That someday, I would need a new name.
When that day comes, Daisy Dolly Dallas was the name she wanted me to have.
Daisy to keep the flower theme for my family. Dolly because of Dolly Parton. I mean, she is a legend. Dallas because she thought that the three names sounded good together. If it had not been what my Mamaw would want, that definitely would not be what I picked.
In my mind, if I picked a new name, I think It would be Mary Alice.
Mary as a nod to Mother Mary. I may not be the most religious person in the world, but she is important.
Alice because I love Alice in Wonderland.
Don't ask me why, just always have.
As for my last name, I am not sure about that. I am sure I will come up with something when the time comes...
She made it about a block from my house before a teenager ran through a stop sign so high and drunk that he couldn't see straight. At least that was told to me later.
They hospitalized me because of that accident. I don't remember what happened, but apparently, I got hurt pretty badly. I was too small to stay in my seat belt, so I hit my head and broke more bones than I care to remember.
I stayed in the children's hospital in the largest hospital in Mississippi. My family rarely visited me because it was too far away. Looking back, my parents changed our address to make it seem that we lived farther away than we did, so they did not have to spend time with me.
One of my many punishments for my murdering my Mamaw. To be honest, my mother tried to get me placed into foster care. But, sadly for me, the social workers would not place me in a home since I already had a suitable home to go to.
So, after many months of therapy and treatment, they gave me the go-ahead to go home. It took close to a week for my parents to make arrangements for me. As if I was that difficult after my accident. I really only needed extra time for walking. And no gym class the rest of the year. Which I was okay with missing, to be honest.
Looking back, my parents allowed me to live in the home only because they could not give me up without possibly losing Cynthia. Because of this, they gave me the old worn-out couch to sleep on, with a small blanket that did not cover my entire body. Sometimes I got a pillow! Showers were touch and go for a while because the bathrooms were upstairs that had a shower or tub in them. But I learned how to go up and down the stairs without them and did everything myself. Lots of trial and error.
Years later, I watched Harry Potter and thought that Harry had it nice to have his place with a full-time door. I only had a door when the weather was too cold for it to come into the house. Because the family could not freeze, but I could. Lucky for me, I figured out how to break into the house after my parents went to bed, then wake up and get back out before they woke up.
Makes me remember once I was home from the hospital and rehab. I had cost the family enough money. They either gave my things to my sister, Cynthia, or sold them, leaving me only with some clothes and two dolls. Cynthia was too little to truly understand that this was wrong, so I never had an issue with her and her treatment. Seeing as she was only about a year old when this all went down.
Mamaw had always told me to be nice to Cynthia, that she was still too little to understand what she was doing. So, I was forgiving.
Which probably did not help her in the long run.
A story for another time.
I shake my head to clear the mess in my head and prepare for my next appointment. Thankfully, it is with my BFF, Jennifer.
Once I finish cleaning up the hair and seat, I walk towards Jennifer, or Jenna or Jen as I call her to piss her off.
"Jen, how you doin'?" I say in my best Joey from Friends accent. I failed miserably.
She laughs. "Not often you're late, but it seemed to be for a fabulous cause this time."
"Thanks for understandin'. Let's go to the chair. You are in luck, I think we can use the kiddie chair for ya today." We laugh and we walk to my station.
"Well, even I think I am too big for that. You as well. Lucky for us!" Jennifer and I laugh.
"Whatcha doin'? Somethin new, Jen?" I ask as I put the cape on her.
"I was thinking a buzz cut. Maybe some Mardi Gras colors to go along with it?"
I look at her like she lost her damn mind. "You realize that you with a buzz cut would have nothing to dye, right?" I look at her with a frown.
"Uggg… Maybe slightly longer so I can have it dyed with Mardi Gras colors. Maybe I can buzz the sides and have the top longer. So the colors will stay." Jenna thinks about it and smiles an evil smile. "Ya make me pretty. Give me a new 'do. Do whatcha do?"
To be honest, she does this nearly every single month. I love it. I look at her hair, which is full of extensions. Beach blonde extensions. Not quite mid-back. I am almost sad that she is taking them out.
"Alright, let's get started then!"
I start by removing the extensions before washing and conditioning her hair. While her hair is under the dyer for a deep conditioning treatment, I look for ideas for her style on Pinterest. I find two that I think would work for what she wants and send them to her.
Jenna sends me back the one she wants. I think she is going to love it and this one might stay for a while!
I buzz her hair on the sides and then trim the top but left it on the longer side, kind of spiky and edgy, just like my BFF.
Funny enough, the picture looks just like Jenna.
Jenna is on the thinner side, like me. Her eyes are naturally brown; she thinks they are boring, so she wears colored contacts to make them ice blue, sometimes even purple or red. That is creepy, but when her hair is black, it looks almost demon-like. Her hair is nearly jet black, well, if she doesn't dye it.
Since I first met her, she decided that if her body is a temple; she is going to decorate it.
She loves flowers, so she has a sleeve of them. Magnolias, sunflowers, roses, and poppies. It is so beautiful. The one that I like the most is probably a Beauty and the Beast-like one that had the glass cover over a flamingo with a rose in the feathers. It was one she had made herself because she loves roses and flamingos. It is so different, but so Jenna.
My girl has grown up since I met her.
Her parents raised her Pentecostal, so until she met me, she never had cut her hair. It was so long! I almost hated to cut it, but it was amazing to do so! Purely virgin hair! AAGGGHH! A hairstylist's wet dream!
I was training to be a hairdresser in high school under a vocational training grant. She came to the school and was looking to donate her hair for cancer patient wigs. In her mind, if she was going to hell for cutting her hair, she might as well have some 'God points' to her name. Still not fully sure what that means.
But I am sure that the Pentecostal church does not believe in 'God points.' So… do what you want with that information.
She donated enough hair to make almost three wigs. One was on the shorter side; but I am told that the recipient was so thankful for it! Someone wanted a pixie look, so it was perfect for her.
And for the last too many years to count, I have seen this woman every single month for a cut and color. Sometimes she wants extensions. Sometimes braids. She has become my best friend.
Honestly, she is my only friend. My parents didn't allow me to have any. They take time away from me being home.
She was the one who helped me to see that I didn't need my family in ways I thought. She showed me sometimes when people hurt us—no matter their intentions—it is best to leave them and stay away. Something I have been having issues with. Some might say survivor's guilt. Since I should have died either with my Mamaw or in place of Mamaw. Either would have worked for my mother. Everyone's lives would have been better without me, Mother always reminded me.
Not that I did anything at home besides school work and cleaning. But I had to 'pay' for all of my sins. They called me a witch, having known Mamaw was going to die and doing nothing about it. I should have said something to stop it. I stopped telling my mother that I told them repeatedly, but that Mother forced Mamaw and me to the store. It always ended with me getting a whooping. It was a good day if I could sit that day and the next.
It took a long time, but I eventually accepted that what happened was not my fault.
One of the few times they allowed me out of the house was to go to school. My parents knew I had to go once I healed, so they instructed me not to say anything to anyone. So, I didn't.
One day, my teacher, Miss Montgomery, asked me to stay after school. When I told her I needed to go home, she called my parents and told them there was a class project that she was helping the students with.
My mother would never say no to something that would make school difficult. Only because she was not willing to have the law poking their noses where they don't belong.
Which was the house.
More importantly, my room, or lack thereof.
The reason for the meeting with me?
Miss Montgomery asked for pictures of our homes, families, and our rooms.
Well, the pictures I brought were of my room that was on the back porch. It didn't make Miss Montgomery thrilled, and at first I pretended I was joking, maybe even misunderstanding the project. She gave me another day to do the project, so I took pictures of my second room. Where I would sleep at night. An old dog's bed in the formal living room, which no one had used since Mamaw died.
Needless to say, that pissed off Miss Montgomery.
She documented the photographs and brought them to the attention of Principal Forester.
The next day, I had a whole new bedroom, wardrobe, and toys.
They allowed me to use them for two weeks.
Looking back, it must have been once some kind of investigation was over with.
Mother and Father had the couch and the dog bed both taken out of the house. I guess to make sure it looked like I always used my bedroom.
I was then told I was to be given an allowance for small chores. Like helping keep my room clean and setting the table. They gave me ten dollars a week. Good money back then!
After two weeks, no one was checking on us anymore. I was told that I needed to pay back all the money that was spent on me for my new clothes and furniture. And since I could not, I would do all the house chores until I paid it off.
Making $0.50 an hour was a reasonable rate of pay, they thought.
If I had known better, I would have never signed the paper they gave me.
Looking back, I am sure it was all kinds of illegal for me to sign a legal document at the ripe old age of ten.
They gave me a smaller dog bed, a crappy pillow, and blankets for my porch bed.
I should have found a way to leave, but I couldn't. But it strengthened me.
I still had visions, which I kept to myself. Eventually, I saw I would get away, but I would be coming back. Coming back to claim what was rightfully mine and what they took from me.
Based on the visions, I would say that it is coming sooner than later.
I hear the bell ding for Jenna. I get her out of the dryer and wrap an overly bleached towel around her hair.
Jenna won't talk until after I cut her hair. It's just her thing and I love her for it.
Makes my life so much easier.
We talk all the time outside of here anyway, so that probably helps.
I get to the color and start the process. Gold, green, and dark purple. First, making sections for each color, then I put each color in its designated spots. When I finished, I put a cap on her head and put her under the dryer again.
Jenna looked up to me and smiled.
I will have you know that there is a young man my Keith wants me to set you up with. A man that I think would be good for you. -Jenna
I roll my eyes after I read the text message that Jenna sends me.
Honestly, Jen I do not need any man right now. NONE!- Maggie
I disagree! Keith has a very handsome man ready to take little ol' you on a date! -Jenna
Thanks, but naw. Got too much going on. ATM. -Maggie
Just try ONE date. Keith and I can go with you. You won't be alone unless you want to.- Jenna
Let me think about it. You can come out now. -Maggie
I turn the dryer off just as the timer goes off. Jenna and I walk to my station. I finish her hair before getting her a mirror so she can look at herself.
The look in her eyes says it all.
"I LOVE IT!" Jenna cries.
"I am glad. Thanks for being patient while I took Johnny's haircut before yours. It means a lot to me."
She laughs. "Like I would say anything about that sweet boy! He looked quite handsome when you finished with his hair! Now, Maggie, think about your need for a date and a man. I promise you, Keiran is perfect for you. PERFECT!"
I roll my eyes and we walk to the payment station. "I will consider it. Now, please pay Miss Reba and text me later… Hello Mister Henry, right on time as always!" I say as I greet my next client.