The Story Of Burlap Molly:
Once upon a time there was a little girl named Holly who lived in darkness. Her mother was one of the Mole People, people who for various reasons had turned their backs on the world and chosen to live in the abandoned aqueducts and tunnels beneath the city.
While there were numerous people with various mental conditions who could be occasionally entertaining, there were no other children and Holly was deeply lonely.
One day while wandering the tunnels she found a burlap sack. She spent days decorating it the best she could. She name it Burlap Molly and it became her constant companion.
She came to regard the doll as her sister. One day she decided to make it official and she pricked her finger and rubbed it into the burlap doll’s chest, telling it they were performing the blood sister ceremony and now and forever would be blood sisters.
It was after this that the doll began to wake up.
Right after the little girl would fall asleep the doll would wake up and look around at the dark, subterranean tunnel about her. After a few days the doll began to move about, although never wandering far from the sleeping girl.
They began to leave each other notes.
Burlap Molly could only be awake while the little girl Holly was asleep. She would wander farther and farther until one day she found a passage leading to the outside. She wrote the little girl of her discovery and over the enxt few days they hatched a plan.
The little girl wanted two things more than anything else in the whole world: she wanted her long lost Daddy and she wanted to leave the underground. However she was at the same time mortally terrified of the upper world and psychologically paralyzed from leaving the underground.
Thus it was decided that Burlap Molly would venture forth into the world to find the little girl’s father and bring him back to take his daughter into the sunlight.
The little girl would try her best to keep as exact a sleeping schedule as possible since Burlap Molly could only function while she was unconscious and would simply drop to the floor when the little girl woke up. For the most part the girl keeps as tight a schedule as she can, although unexpected awakenings figure into many of Molly’s adventures.
So Burlap Molly wanders the world searching for a man whose name she doesn’t even know to come back with her and take his long forgotten daughter out of the darkness.
As the fairytales stood just inside the White Queen’s castle Jack went through the rules once more, as was his habit.
If the Shadow touches you, you will be lost. The way back is in the White Queen’s throne room. If the White Queen speaks to you, you will be lost. This was their story now and the sacred Happy Ending was in reach. Just one small walk to go.
It was dark and quiet. Corridors led off in all directions like a maze. Jack, Molly and The Baptist wandered as best they could until they came to a set of great doors that clearly led into the throne room.
It was an impossible situation and without any idea of what better to do, the fairytales quietly opened the doors and hoped for a stroke of luck; that the Queen would be asleep and not on the other side.
But no story worth its salt would allow such a thing to happen, and so it was that the doors swung open, revealing the White Queen and several members of her court standing there, all in white. Also in the room were Piston Pete, Dear Departed Deidre, and Ironitsa.
Jack tried to shout at his companions to run but his voice was caught in his throat. Indeed all three of them were transfixed. Two guards came out to usher them in.
The White Queen walked slowly towards them.
“Thank God you’re all all right. You can’t imagine how worried you had us.”
Jack and Molly glanced at each other.
“John? Oh John, what are you doing here? Oh dear. I had truly hoped to never see you again.” The White Queen sighed.
John looked at her defiantly.
“Oh well. At least you’re all in one piece. Please, come in and rest. It must have been quite an ordeal.”
They found themselves walking towards her. Jack suddenly threw his hands to his ears and shouted for them not to listen.
“Oh, Jack. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was all your idea.” The White Queen shook her head. “Holly. Holly, listen to me, please.”
Burlap Molly started to correct her but still couldn’t get words out.
“Holly, you’re the most capable of breaking through. You’re submerged, but you could see clearly if you just relax and get rid of all the stimulation. Come, take my hand. Close your eyes and just breath for one minute, then i’ll leave you alone. I don’t know what story you’re in, but i’ll leave you to it if you’ll just take my hand for one minute.”
Burlap Molly glanced around at each of her companions. Ironitsa, Piston Pete and Deirde were all captured and docile. Jack was glaring with his hands over his ears and The Baptist was softly praying.
“Okay,” she replied. “But we all get to go. Ironitsa, Pete and Deidre too.”
“Yes, of course.” The White Queen reached out her hand.
Molly took it and closed her eyes. They stood there in silence. Finally the White Queen leaned over and quietly said to Molly “Holly, the trauma that befell you and your sister, that left her in a coma, it wasn’t your fault. You need to go visit her. She needs you. Think of your sister.”
And just like that the Shadow Molly had been running from enveloped her. She saw images of two girls, sisters, playing with each other in a dark basement. There was a woman, a mother…. very angry. Always angry. She saw the girls always locked in the cellar, she saw the mother beating them and screaming, so very many times…. until one day Holly stopped her. But it all went wrong. The mother was dead and her sister, her only friend in the world wouldn’t wake up. She started moaning.
“Holly. Holly, open your eyes.”
Holly opened her eyes. The White Queen was no longer wearing a gown but simply a white doctor’s coat. In fact everyone was except her companions. There was no castle, just the ward.
She blinked repeatedly.
“Oh Holly, you have no idea how worried you had us.”
“But this…. isn’t….”
“This is indeed real. Holly, you understand, you’ve each chosen a specific character from a fairytale because their story represents some fundamental issue or trauma you’re trying to escape from or work out.”
“No… this is… you’re changing the story to your story. In your story this becomes a… it’s the worst of the stories. It’s grey and depressing. It’s devoid of magic and meaning.”
“Holly, you can’t just retreat from reality. You’ll never be whole. You’ll never be at peace. You’ll never be able to help your sister who needs you.”
Jack was listening now despite himself. “You hate us because we are fairytales and our stories are beautiful and meaningful and yours are ugly, confused and mundane.”
The White Queen turned to him. “Oh for heaven’s sake Jack, you were living on rooftops, seducing and endangering teenage girls all because you believe yourself a fairytale character. You a danger not only to yourself but those poor girls you coerce to jump over roofs.”
Jack shook his head. “No. I’ve seen your world. I’ve been out there. You call me a danger? It’s a madhouse out there. It’s insanity. There is no peace and wholeness. We, we live in Arcadia. We know a peaceful place. We are happy there and our stories are true. Our issues may be the same here as they are there, but here in this reality they become…. uglier. Everything is uglier.
He pointed at the Baptist. “The Baptist is a mouthpiece of God and you would make him… mundane. Profane. You tell him that when he sees the world as holy, as meaningful, as full of symbolic significance it is a delusion.”
The White Queen turned to The Baptist. “John. John, we worked so hard…”
“I feel the hand of God guiding me and all about me. I feel the Sacred connecting everything. I feel meaning with meaning it’s miraculous. I tried it your way and it was a horrible, horrible world. Utterly empty and infinitely sad,” The Baptist said.
“My experience is real. Even if you cannot experience it yourself. Even if you cannot make sense of it. My experience is real. Even a dream… the dream effects the dreamer. The experience of it is real. I feel a bliss higher than this base body and this material world.”
“John i just don’t want to see you damage yourself again.”
Jack resumed. “I reject your story.”
The White Queen turned back to him. “Jack, please, for heaven’s sake can we stop with the…”
“Your world is a story. Your place in it is a story. Your history is a story. Your family history, your city’s history, your country’s history,… the meaning of events, the sense you make of everything… all stories. Even if you choose meaninglessness, it is simply the story you have chosen.”
The White Queen spoke sternly. “Jack. As i have said time after time, i am not going to stand here and argue with you. Here is something that is a truth, not a story. A testable fact. A patient in the grip of a carefully constructed self delusion will defend that delusion with every ounce of wit, intelligence and passion they possess. There can be no communication by arguing this way because they will not consider any point of view which contradicts their world. Actually, if you want to know the awful truth, most people considered sane will not consider any point of view which contradicts their world view either, so you may even put a point in your corner”
She turned to Holly.
“Holly, your sister is very real and she needs you. You are not happy in this delusion. This Shadow that is always chasing you, that is always frightening you, it is your awareness of reality. It is the truth you are running from and the trauma you will not face.”
Jack reached out to Molly. “Come on, Molly let’s go. If you believe her story you live in her world. You’ve seen her world. It’s insane and terrible. This reality of hers is nothing but piles of stories. She believes them and so she lives here. This place is not for us.”
The Baptist began chanting.
Doctor Elizabeth also reached out to Holly. “Your sister is no story. She is flesh and blood and she needs you. You choose a world of retreat and denial selfishly and at her expense. She needs you here. Present and functional. You don’t need to turn your back on her and you don’t need to run from the dark.”
The Baptist’s chanting reached a dramatic level. Jack reached out to Ironitsa who took his hand. The Baptist reached out to Pete and Deidre and they all joined together
“Molly, the portal’s opening.”
Holly began crying. “Jack…. I’m so sorry.”
“Take care of them.” Holly took the Doctor’s hand.
The Baptist began pulling them towards the opening in the worlds.
“Molly,” shouted Jack. “we’ll come back for you. Just like The Baptist, we’ll be back for you!”
Ironitsa tugged him and pulled him towards the portal. Together the fairytales leapt through, past the opening, into Arcadia and into the Happy Ending.