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go ask alice, when she's 10 feet tall

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"And if you’re going to Woodstock this weekend, good luck! Those roads will be blocked right through from here to Louisiana.”

Trixie sighed, and tapped her nails against the dashboard. She looked past the steering wheel, the long line of cars stretching past over the horizon in a haze of multi-colours. Maybe this was a mistake. The drive had been long, and lonely, her sister Pearl had refused to come to “some free love, flower child bullcrap”. Her friends, well, she wasn’t sure if she had any. They’d changed, while Trixie had went left, they had went right, settling down with a white picket fence and a sensible car. That just wasn’t her bag, not anymore. Only thing was, she didn’t know what was her bag. All around her people were shacking up, or popping out kids, but Trixie just needed something different. Maybe she would find it here.

Looking in her rear mirror she could see the car behind her turning out from the line of traffic and driving onto the grass. And then another. And another. Looking back in front of her, the traffic never moving, she shrugged to herself. Looking behind her, she reversed a little, and turned, driving past a camper van sprayed in bright tie-dye colours, more people hanging off it than Trixie knew was possible. She could see cars parked haphazardly on the grass, a throng of people exiting them, and walking towards a hill, the sun shining down on the grass like a heavenly path. Stopping the car, she grabbed her backpack, throwing it over one shoulder as she locked the door. The grass tickled at her sandaled toes as she walked, the blades almost welcoming her with every step. The sun was warm against her shoulders, and she wiped a bead of sweat from her brow as she stood at the apex of the hill. She shielded her eyes from the sun as she looked over the view.

The place was already full, cars, tents and people covering every square inch, no green to be seen. A structure loomed over the scene, like an enormous climbing frame, people dangled from it, their inner kids revelling. The ticket held tightly in her hand was unneeded, the entrance fence had been kicked down, the metal twisted and broken. As she walked past an unseen line, the atmosphere had changed. She looked behind her shoulder, a blank, empty canvas. Turning back, she looked at the scene in front of her, alive and full of excitement. Dancing her way through the groups of people, she made her way towards the stalls. There were peace signs everywhere, on vans, on signs, on faces. Trixie could feel that she was somewhere different, could feel that history was being made with every second.

“Would you like to join our movement?” A girl asked, stepping in front of her.

“What is it?” Trixie asked, curiosity getting the better of her. The girl ushered her over to the stall that was covered in rainbow flowers and smiley faces, handing her a leaflet. “Flower children?”

“Mmhmm. We believe in free love, and free people,” the girl explained. Trixie looked down at the leaflet again, before looking at the girl again. She reminded Trixie of Faye Dunaway; blonde and thin, her hair in wild curls, a flower hair band around her head. She wore no shoes, though there was a daisy chain around a slim ankle. Her dress was loud, a garish paisley pattern that clashed as she stood in front of the stall. Her eyes were pretty, a row of bottom lashes making them look bigger and doll-like. She was beautiful. “I’m Katya.”

“Trixie,” she said, smiling softly. Katya beamed at her, a smile so big it seemed unfitting for what was just an introduction.

“What a pretty name, here, have a bracelet,” Katya said, grabbing a daisy chain and tying it around Trixie’s wrist with a bow. “Do you work?”

“Not at the moment, I’m still trying to figure out what I want from life,” Trixie admitted. Katya nodded in agreement.

“And that’s what Flower Children is all about. We’re all so tied up in figuring how to live life, we forget how to do it. Everyone’s chasing bread, while Big Brother up there,” she said, pointing to the sky, “watches our every move, is the baker. They control us, make us faceless, unless we’re in the wars, then we’re the faces. We’re the ones that suffer, we’re freaked out while the establishment sits from their thrones and laugh, our blood is used to wash their feet.”

Trixie’s eyes widened in surprise at the conviction behind Katya’s voice. That’s what she wanted. To feel so emotionally connected to something.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t meant to lay a trip on you,” Katya apologised.

Trixie shook her head. “Don’t be, I just…I wish I was that passionate about something. Like, of course I care about things, I just don’t know how to change them.”

“The world changes when you change. Don’t bum yourself out about not finding your passion. You’ll find it when it finds you. I was like you once, stuck in a pit of uncertainty; just a shell, making her way through life, seeing people find their passions, their loves. And I always tried to find mine, tried to force my way in.”

“And then what did you do?” Trixie asked.

“I stopped looking,” Katya said simply before taking Trixie’s hand in her own. “Mother Earth can feel the waves you make, Trixie. She can hear you chasing, exhausting yourself as you run. She needs you to stop, and enjoy the life that’s passing you by as you run from it. Then, it’ll catch up with you, it’ll embrace you.”

Trixie looked down at their joined hands, the joining of their paths. Was it fate that had brought Katya to her? Was she God herself, sent down to show Trixie her path in life? Katya pulled her hand back, flashing another bright smile at Trixie.

“Would you like to spend some time with me?” Trixie asked, her mouth running away with her.

Katya cocked her head to the side before nodding. “I finish in an hour. Come find me.”

Trixie smiled as she walked away from the stall, every step light and airy. Finding a place to sit, she took out her blanket, placing it on the grass before sitting down, fiddling with the daisy chain bracelet on her wrist. She watched as people passed her by and found herself in awe at how free things felt. All that mattered was love, and finding yourself. There was a tepee behind her, with a sign hanging from the front that said “Find love here”, a small line of people formed outside it. Next to her, a woman lay on the grass, not a stitch of clothing on her. But it wasn’t sexual, it was about throwing off the boundaries that society forced on you. Kicking off her sandals, Trixie lay back, and looked at the sky. The previous clear blue had disappeared, the white clouds now replaced with ominous grey.

Trixie preferred rain anyway. The sun made Trixie feel inadequate, so happy and stark, so exaggerated. Rain was honest, it hid behind nothing but passionate honesty as it soaked you to your skin. Closing her eyes, she smiled as she felt a raindrop on her nose. She lay there for what seemed like hours, feeling the rain slowly cover her body. When she finds Katya again, she’s standing outside the stall, her toes caked in mud. Her hair’s wet, the strands sticking to her neck. They walk back to Trixie’s blanket which is surprisingly still there, her sandals placed beside it.

“I hear Bob Dylan’s going to be here,” Katya commented as they sat down.

“Yeah? That would be friggin’ cool,” Trixie replied, crossing her legs. The sky was a steely grey, and the scene in front of her was no longer vibrant rainbow, but muted watercolour. She looked at Katya, her tanned legs covered in raindrops, and she couldn’t help it as her eyes moved their way up, stopping at the hem of her dress that grazed her thigh.

“So, Trixie. Tell me about you. Got a main squeeze?” Katya asked, wiping the rain away from her forehead. Trixie shook her head. “I call bull on that. No way is a chick like you single.”

“Why do you say that?” Trixie asked, turning towards her. Katya looked at her momentarily before averting her gaze back to the stage.

“Well look at you. You’re sweet,” Katya replied, still not looking directly at her. It dawned on Trixie then. Katya wasn’t sure about her. It wasn’t like Trixie had a bright neon sign that said “HOMOSEXUAL”, but she thought she had been giving the right vibes. But then again, flirting had never been her strong point.

“You kiss up with strangers like this often?” Trixie asked, shuffling a little closer so their legs touched. Katya turned her head, the unsaid message understood loud and clear.

“Only when I think they’re so pretty,” Katya replied, smiling. They looked at each other as they inched in closer. The roar of the crowd startled them, and they pulled back. The lights on the stage grew brighter, and Trixie heard the opening notes of bass, deep and low. It was loud, real loud, and all Trixie could see were legs, legs covered in paint, in mud. “Dance with me?”

Katya stood up, offering a hand and pulling Trixie up. They held hands as they danced, kicking their feet up to the rhythm, the rain growing heavier with each passing minute. Trixie’s dress stuck to her like a second skin, her hair slick against her face. The blanket was splattered with mud as they continued to move, their hips entranced with the beat. Katya pulled Trixie close, her hand on her hip as her lips moved to her ear.

“Drop with me?” she asked, pressing a tab into Trixie’s palm. Trixie looked at it, a small square of pink paper, a green strawberry drawn in the middle of it. Trixie nodded, placing the tab under tongue as Katya did the same. She had done acid before, she didn’t know anyone who hadn’t, other than her parents. It was a good way to escape, to free your mind for a few hours. They sat down again and Trixie could feel the tab dissolve with her saliva as they watched the band on stage.

45 minutes later and the grass began to move. Trixie watched as grew by the second, the vibrant green tickling at her ankles. She looked up at the sky, the rain glittering like diamonds as it fell from the sky, which was now a deep purple, bright yellow stars scattered along it. She watched as a drop of rain fell onto her arm, and picked it up gently between her fingers, rolling it between her thumb and forefinger. The droplet popped and ran down her wrist. Katya lay her head down on Trixie’s lap, her mouth agape. Trixie ran her hand through Katya’s hair, her fingers never stilling as they moved through a never-ending length of hair.

Katya’s lips were plush and red, like cherries, and Trixie leaned down to kiss them softly. Their lips glided over each other, Katya’s lips felt like silk against her own, and she could feel Katya’s heartbeat as she moved to touch her jaw. Katya sat up, her eyes a sparkling pink, her bottom lashes fluttering against her cheeks. They moved in again, their tongues dancing gracefully. They pulled apart with a soft pop, a noise that rang through Trixie’s ears and reverberated around them. She could see the song being performed surrounding them, a swirling haze of white and pink light that stroked at her skin.

They lay down against the grass, their legs entangling with each other like vines. Her legs didn’t feel like her own as she looked down at them, and she wiggled her foot against Katya’s who cackled wildly. Pulling the blanket around them, Katya moved languidly towards her neck and dragged her teeth against her neck. Trixie looked up at the sky that was now covered in bright roses as silk glided against the skin of her neck and nestled itself at her shoulder.

People in front of them danced to the music, music that Trixie could hear every note of. She could hear fingers strum against the guitars, the water that moved with every beat of the drum. She could see it being written, the words gilded on Katya’s back. Her fingers moved up Katya’s legs, skin vibrating beneath the pads of her fingers. The pattern on her dress swirled as she pulled it up, her hand moving to beneath Katya’s panties. Her hand moved over hair, hair that felt like water pooling itself through her fingers. She parted Katya’s lips, a warm, wet heat welcomed her. Katya lolled her head back, a visible gasp left her mouth and circulated the air around them before disappearing.

Swirling her finger around, she found Katya’s clit, the sensitive nub felt soft yet rigid beneath her finger, and she pressed down onto it. Supporting herself on one arm she fell forward, bucking herself into Trixie’s hand. Her head moved to Trixie’s shoulder, the smell of ocean invaded Trixie’s nostrils and suddenly they were in the ocean, a glittering blue surrounding them. She could smell the sea air as they floated on top, the buck of Katya’s hips making small waves around them. Katya came with a low moan, the noise echoed in Trixie’s mind and settled itself comfortably on her chest, a warmth spreading through her.

Katya’s fingers marched up her thighs, small boots replaced nails, like soldiers. Colours seeped into her skin as Katya’s hand moved across her stomach. She looked at Katya, who smiled, her flower hairband replaced with a halo, a radiant golden glow surrounding her. She could feel Katya’s fingers part her lips, though her hand stayed still on her stomach. Fingers circled her clit, and her moan died silent on her lips. Her eyes closed as her hips began to move, and she could feel the earth vibrate beneath her. The movement began to quicken, and drum beats surrounded her, quickening their pace. Her toes dug into sand, pleasure wrapped itself around her, gripping at her tightly in coils as it lifted her up. She looked down at the earth as her orgasm hit her, watching as it shattered into pieces, her fingers gripping at nothingness, flashes of light blinding her. And then darkness.

Trixie woke up cold and wet. She lifted her head up slightly, a head heavy on her arm. Katya snored softly beside her, her legs placed between Trixie’s, the only source of warmth. Lifting her head up a little more, she can see the festival wasn’t as busy now. The landscape was no longer covered in blankets and cars, instead, people were scattered far and between. Katya nestled herself closer to Trixie, a sigh on contentment leaving her lips. She wasn’t sure when they fell asleep, time was always a construct on acid. Worry began to worm itself in her mind as she looked around at the people leaving. This was meant to be her liberation, her moment where everything would be crystal clear. What was she to do now? Her future was still uncertain, and unease settled heavy in her stomach.

Katya hummed as she shuffled against Trixie. The worry left her just as quickly as it had entered, and she looked down at Katya and smiled, lying back down beside her.

She would stop running.