As her head hit the pillow and her eyes shut, there was a rumble outside but it did not disturb her as she drifted to sleep.
The harleys quieted, and the guests stumbed inside, the meth layed out, divided, snorted, almost to the beat of the Rolling Stones from a tinny single-speakered record player.
Awoken by the commotion of a late night party, the little girl looked over the landing, a birds-eye view of drugs, mirrors, beer bottles, and crowds of bikers cavorting. She liked the music playing; the Doors, and she hummed "when the music's over, turn out the lights". She was awake, bored, and decided to tiptoe down to the busy living room to look for some toys.
At the turn of the stairs, she could see her parents, back turned, and then a sudden rush of the crowd towards the door, screams of "shit!" And "no!" Echoed up the staircase.
Her parents ran out, oblivious of her, and she began to step off the last steps as she saw a woman approach. Red and blue lights reflected off the wall, red, blue, red, blue, mesmorizing her. She felt like she could get lost in the sparkling lights, but the woman smiled, bringing the girl out of her daze. The woman had long brown hair and a 1970s style rusty-yellowy sweater, and she sat down on the step, beckonjng the girl to her lap. The woman felt warm, safe, motherly, and the usually shy girl sought the woman's comfort. The woman grabbed a toy, an Etch-a-sketch, and the two began drawing geometric patterns. The chaos seemed to drown away, the flashing colored lights were no longer of interest, just the sense of love and security, the joy that an adult had taken time to sit down and play, almost child-like, filled the girl with a memorable warmth and peace.
Many years later, the girl asked her parents about that night. They swore she stayed asleep in bed and that unfortunately someone overdosed at the party and an ambulance showed up, but that her memory of the party and the lights must hsve been something she overheard, a manufactured memory. And the woman? Her parents both swore there wasn't even a single brunette woman there, let alone one im a sweater. Another manufactured memory.
That is, until the now-grown girl flipped through a dusty shoebox at her grandma's; photos stashed away of grandma's ex husband, that pig. Mixed into photos of the hated ex was a photo of a woman, it was black and white and dated to 1930. Aside from the curled up-do and tailored dress, and obvious lack of coloring, the now-grown girl gasped and with a shaky hand, flipped over the photo. "Alice" it said.
Her great grandmother who passed away decades ago.
Alice had comforted her that scary night.
It was definitely Alice, with a different hairstyle and outfit, but the likeliness was unmistakable.
Alice, Alice the angel, sent to comfort and protect her great grand-daughter, a relstive she had never met since she had passed away years before, but a girl she knew she needed to protect.
A girl who, relatives say, reminds them a lot of Alice.