Chapter 1:

The Flowerbed


My sister’s long, golden hair, her pale white skin, her long fingers, her impeccable dress... they were all stained with blood as she laid on the kitchen floor, unmoving.

Yes, my beautiful twin sister Alice.

—Ah, is it weird to call someone beautiful when you’re twins?


It took me a long time to snap out of my own thoughts and realize what I’ve just done.

I didn’t mean to kill her, obviously. But I don't exactly remember how I did it. One moment we were arguing, and next thing I know, she's dead.

"...Shit. I've done it now, huh?"

The problem now was getting rid of the body before anyone found us.

It took me awhile to move her away from the kitchen and onto the back door of our summer cabin. As I dragged her from the arms all the way to the ground outside, I glanced past the door and saw the trail of blood her body left behind on the wooden floor like some sort of giant snail, and couldn’t help but sigh.

“Even when you’re dead you cause nothing but problems, huh.”

I talked to her corpse to cut the tension between us, even if said tension was all in my head.

Unfortunately, I had no time to clean the floor. I had to make sure no one would find her first, then come back quickly and get rid of the rest of the evidence before our parents returned.

You wouldn’t think it just by looking at her, but she was heavier than an entire stack of firewood. I should know—as the boy, I was always the one they sent to bring in the logs for the hearth. They never made my sister do anything just because she’s a girl. It’s always been incredibly frustrating.

Oh, well. At least that’s over now.

The cabin was surrounded by trees from every direction and our closest neighbors were at least a mile away and completely out of sight, so no one was around to watch me struggle or listen to my grunts as I kept dragging her over the damp soil, further and further into the woods.

Her hair and her dress had more than just blood on them after awhile—mostly mud and pieces of dry leaves all over, and as I kept walking backwards with nothing but my own labored breath to keep me company, I got surprisingly used to the image of her dead face in front of me.

Her slightly opened mouth, and her widely opened eyes.

“...Gross. I should’ve taped them shut, huh.”

After who knows how long, I arrived onto a section of the woods so thick with trees and dark with foliage and so eerily quiet it would scare even the bravest man (it’s me. I’m the bravest man. And I’m scared shitless).

I decided it was the perfect place to bury her.

I finally let go of her wrists to look for the perfect place for it, and a few steps ahead I found a nice, thick tree which looked slightly different than the others.

I don’t know much about trees or their types, but unlike the rest of them, which were mostly pine trees, this one had different leaves on it and a trunk so thick I probably couldn’t touch my arms together if I were to hug it. Not that I wanted to.

I don’t know why, but I felt like I had to touch it. I slowly placed my palm on it’s trunk and looked up.

As I did, a loud, sudden cold breeze howled from the north, starling me. I pulled my hand back and it was as if the wind had also stopped at the same time.

“...What the? ...Creepy.”

I scoffed, acting tough even though I had no audience. When I looked down at the ground I saw what looked like a molehill near the protruding roots of the tree, and suddenly I felt illuminated.

If there was a colony of rodents living under this tree, then that meant there was enough empty space down there to make it easier for someone with no digging experience like me to dig a sizable hole that’s big enough for a human. It was like a sign from above that this is where I was supposed to bury my sister. I grinned to myself.

First, I grabbed Alice’s wrists again and pulled her close to the tree.

And because I was too much of a dumbass and left in a hurry, I didn’t have a shovel or anything like that with me, so I had no choice but to dig with my hands.

It sucked—not just because kneeling down and digging with your hands stops being fun after you turn what, ten? That was five years ago for me. No. It sucked because I knew people would ask me where I’ve been if they saw me all dirty like that.

Not to mention if they found the bloody kitchen floor…or realized my sister was missing.

I was so caught up in my own thoughts, gradually getting more and more worried about my parents cutting their hiking trip short and returning to the cabin before sundown that my arm suddenly sinking down all the way to the elbow inside the dirt took me by surprise, bringing me back to reality.

I pulled my hand out quickly, leaning over the narrow hole my arm had just dug out. It was too dark to see inside, but I could tell it was deep.

“What the—so it was a molehill, after all!”

Excited over this new discovery, I immediately started digging around the hole with more enthusiasm. The dirt around it was so soft and crumbled easily, very easily…

...Almost too easily.

So perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised when the entire ground around me began to shake.

I thought it was an earthquake, so I stayed still and waited for it to pass...but that never happened.

Instead, the entire ground around me suddenly caved with a roar, and both me and Alice plummeted down the longest pitfall of our lives, with nothing but my helpless cry filling the air.

When we hit the ground, instead of one corpse, there were two.

...or so I thought, anyway.

* * *

When I opened my eyes, everything around me was spinning, and my head felt like it had been hit by lightning—but the pain stopped almost as soon as it came.

I quickly sat up and blinked a few times.

I patted my body all over.

I wasn’t dead.

I clearly remember falling for what felt like forever down a dark tunnel or... cave? Or something like that, but it was definitely dark, and now I was in a place so bright my eyes could barely take it.

I took a good look around me and realized I was in a field of soft-colored flowers and bushes around two feet tall—all different types and different shapes and, like I said, I’m not any good at identifying plants, but I’m also not stupid. I know a single plant can’t grow more than one kind of flower, and these were all different from the next one on the same branch. It was super weird.

Another thing that was super weird was how I could feel the sun shining down on me, up there in the sky, with clouds and everything.

...Didn’t I just fall into a hole?

I lifted my head to look up on instinct, and when I did, my blood immediately ran cold.

Up there, right above me like a speck of mud over white cloth, I could see a stain on the sky. But it wasn’t a stain. I knew exactly what it was.

It had muddied corners and an uneven shape, and if I strained my eyes enough, I could see it clear as day: it was the hole I had dropped in from!

“Holy shit… you gotta be kidding me…!”

I couldn’t take my eyes off the sky—or was it a ceiling? No, it was way too realistic to be fake… but, was it!? Maybe I was inside a simulation of sorts!? A parallel world!? An RPG!? Wait a sec, don’t you have to get hit by a truck for that? And I’m pretty sure you have to die—Oh.

“...Did I die…?”

My heart suddenly started beating faster. I knew in my mind having a pulse was a sign that I was alive, but the fear pumping adrenaline through my body and making my heart race in turn were winning the death argument. There’s no way I fell from that high up and survived. Absolutely no way.

I quickly fumbled and scrambled backwards without peeling my eyes away from the hole, trying to make sense of this, and then I bumped into something soft behind me.

I gasped quietly, then turned my head around slowly to look at the object. I couldn’t help but feel a small sort of relief when I did.


There she was, right next to me, curled up in a comfortable pose as if she were sleeping. She must have fallen down the hole along with me.

Her eyes and mouth were closed this time, and if it wasn’t for the blood and dirt all over her, I might have even thought she wasn’t dead at all.

I turned around to face her, and now that I could see her face under the sunlight, I felt something similar to guilt coursing through my body. I wasn’t scared anymore—instead, an intense sadness took over me in a second.

Perhaps it was because we were the only two people in this place and I couldn’t face the fact that I was alone, but at that moment, I wanted her alive.

I wanted her to be alive more than anything in the world.

“...Shiiit. What did I do?

I rubbed my temples with one hand, trying to keep myself as calm as possible.

“You were always such a bitch… you were so annoying and never listened to me… but can’t you listen just this once and come back!?

...Of course, Alice didn’t answer. That’s just like her.

“...Fine. Don’t say anything. I don’t care, anyway.”

I took a deep breath and staggered onto my feet. I took one more look at her corpse before looking around in every direction towards the horizon, but no matter where I faced, the flower field seemed endless. I sighed.

I guess finding out where I am and how to get out of here will come later. In the meantime, wasn’t this an even better place to bury her? For all I know, that’s the sole reason we both ended up here. To give her a proper resting place.

I knelt back down next to her, and talked to her again as if she could listen.

“You’ll like it here, I think. It’s weird and colorful, just like you.”

She didn’t answer.

I slowly pushed on her shoulder to make her face up. If I was going to bury her, she had to be facing up, right? At least I thought so.

When I did that, something shiny sparkled from her chest, and it felt like when a mirror reflects light right into your eyes.

I moved my head back and away from it until I found an angle where I wouldn’t be assaulted by it, and saw that it came from a ruby-red pendant hanging from her neck.

I’ve never seen it before. It looked expensive.

I carefully took it off her neck so I could examine it better. Inside the bright red gemstone was a carving of a seven-pointed star with the letter “A” in the middle, and on the gold frame around it were small icons of card suits adorning it. It looked like a toy you would get from a vending machine, except the stone felt heavy and real.

“A… for Alice?”

I said to myself as I turned it around to look at the back.

Unfortunately, that was also as much of the pendant as I would get to examine at that moment.


A soft voice behind me suddenly said my sister’s name, and I was paralyzed.

It questioned me again nonetheless.

“Did you just say ‘Alice’?”

ACID ALICE (Cover with alternate font)