Light. I could feel it. I could see it creeping past the weak spots in my eyelids. It was strange, not a thing I was used to. I was disturbed to realize that I was afraid. Afraid of the light, because, for so much of my life, I had been in darkness. I knew darkness. It was safe. It was sane, the sanity in the house of insanity. That was where I had been, where I was. I knew it, I knew why I was there…why…And then it all slipped away.

I woke up sore. It wasn't exactly the kind of soreness that you felt from falling off something or being beaten, but more like the soreness you'd feel after getting surgery. Something was off, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I opened my eyes. I was lying on a stone bench in a park, some sort of monument. There were other benches like the one I was stretched across in a circle, surrounding the statue in the middle. It was of a fierce looking man riding a horse. The horse was standing on its back legs. The sky above me was gray and cloudy, as if it were about to rain. I decided that I would stand up and get a better view of my surroundings, and suddenly, I was standing, without making any conscious effort to. It was strange. I wondered if I had been injected with some sort of drug.

Suddenly, my throat burned. I reached for it and froze. It was hard, like stone. My neck was completely solid, as if I were a statue. In that instant, I felt a gnawing fear. I wasn't who I was before…before whatever had happened. There had to have been some sort of change, because I was…different. I was someone other than the other me. I didn't even know her name. I didn't know my name now. I stared at my hand. It was white, and flawless. Like an ice sculpture. Alice. My hand was talking to me…and I listened to it.