Disclaimer: I don't own American Mcgee's Alice, and have no affiliation with it other than being a major fan. Please don't sue, no profit was made.

A vale of tears.

Is that all that remained of her sanity? Fragments of sorrows half expressed, buried in the recesses of her mind as she battled to save Wonderland? The Queen - that's what they all screamed. That's who everyone blamed for their trouble. She was their demon dressed in red, ordering death to be swept across the land like a plague. In all her years alive, Alice never knew hearts to be so unloving, a symbol of blazing hatred, but that's exactly what they became: emblems of bloodlust and tyranny, their meaning as engraved as hers was broken.

Guilt is overwhelming and drowns you from the inside out, this was a fact Alice knew quite well. For there she was, plopped on a rock in her river of tears, watching the liquid flow around her like the life she abandoned. What was better? Being trapped in the asylum's walls, or a prisoner in your own mind? Our dear Alice was both, either place absent of pleasance or joy.

She scooped her hand in the stream, feeling the tears rush past her in a hurry. So cold. So deep. Part of her wished to leap into the water, sinking to the bottom like a small rock, becoming even more immersed in herself. But no, this was never to be, for she'd never get out of there if she was dead. None of them would.

Grass dangled over her head as if street lights, sparse and spaced far from each other. The girl was so small, to the point ants appeared were the size of horses instead of insects. Horses that would fire bullets at her, and stab her flesh with bayonets as she screamed in agony. Writhed in pain. Died from the inside out.

Then something hit her hand, delicate and unobtrusive in it's presence. There, tapping her fingers as it drifted by, was a pale rose dipped in crimson fluid. How she remembered: when she first came to wonderland the card guards were painting this shade, for they meant to plant this color instead of white. Her hands were covered in red paint and the queen nearly decapitated her.

But now, the red wasn't from a can and brush. It was blood, staining the rose's purity with it's gruesome violence. Absorbing her. Filling her. Alice had been such a young child when the fire happened, an eight year old of innocence and laughter. This was all wiped away with the blaze, leaving her with the guilt of her parents' death. The blood was on her hands. The blood was on her dress. The blood was everywhere and no where at the same time, only existing in Wonderland or the cuts on her wrists.

The blood was on the rose, screaming the childhood she had lost, like the virginity the damask stole from the petals.

"I'm sorry." Alice whispered, apologizing to the flower for the torment. How pretty it was, even when covered in scarlet remains. It sang silently of innocent beauty, despite it's lace of reddish trim; regardless of all that happened.

Most importantly, it gave Alice hope. It reminded her with it's tune that peace could be obtained, after all. The Queen of Hearts could be defeated by her, Alice. Ordered could be restored.

And this time, the only blood that would remain would be the tyrants, spilled across her throne like a message, bleeding away the ruin she brought on this world. Alice wasn't wrong when she thought death would cure all: it just wasn't hers that was needed. It was the Queens.

She pulled a butcher's knife from under her dress and smiled.