This is the place beyond the mirror, the Puppeteer said.
No shit, Alice grunted.
Which way do you prefer to talk, said a pink polka dot caterpillar still slimy from its egg, oblivious of interrogation marks.
Downside up, Alice said. She was beginning to feel bored.
Oh, but that’s not fair from you, somebody say, or perhaps Somebody, who was also there.
And what about me stepping on you, asked Alice, her eyes two slits.
That’s fair the lessest, Somebody answered, since after all it (or he, you never know) was there.
Seemingly, I’m surrounded by assholes, Alice told herself but without making any effort not to be heard. There was a general murmur.
I’m General Murmur, he introduced himself knocking his spurred heels one against the other, I’ve been told you’ve been rude with these people that have been but nice to you.
Oh, no, God, I fucking love every single soul in this place; they’re so bright one can’t help it. For instance, those flowers over there—
(The flowers, hearing somebody was talking about them hissed full of conceit, scaring a poor blind mole who thought there was a snake near. The snake laughed so hard it choked on its own venom.)
—they’re great if you need directions. And then to the flowers she said, You heard me, motherfuckers.
I love quotation marks indeed, said the caterpillar a little too late and when there was nobody to care. But I can also do well with some dashes. Italics are lovely but odd, even disdainful—
I’ll crush it, I swear, Alice thought, and then aloud, I’d usually hate punctuation marks, they look like weapons or marks left by weapons. But I could use some interrogation marks right now, sharp as sickles and scythes. I’d use them to cut all your fucking heads off, starting with those flowers.
(The flowers trembled and then forgot why they were trembling so they thought it was an earthquake.)
Earthquake, they yelled.
To hell with you all, Alice screamed. I can’t fucking stand it anymore. I’m leaving.
Wrong, you’re a girl, somebody replied.
Or Somebody, Somebody said.