The PlayPlace

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We met up at every kid’s Favorite Place in the World, as we did quite frequently

You knew I/we wouldn’t remember you again

That we would “meet you for the first time”…again

You thought this was funny, so you’d play along

You’d ask if I/we would like to be friends

You were a kid about my/our age

The word “friend” rung bells in our mind

There was another “friend”…somewhere

That friend was also in this place at least once…right?

“Oh, so you DO remember me!”

You said, a smile spreading across your face

It was a simple explanation

There was only you

You were our PlayPlace friend

You had to be

There’s no one else around besides our parental units

“Why don’t we play a game?”

You suggested, your smiling never faltering

I/we brightened

Playing games is what friends did

And our friend was always the best at knowing good games to play

I returned your smile and took your hand

I always tried to take my friend’s hand in my own…or at least, I had always thought about doing so

Had I ever held the hand of my friend before while we were here?

Before I could remember or ask, you interwove our fingers with yours and pulled us/me close

“Let’s play tag!”

A flicker of unease settled into my stomach

Tag was…scary

Our friend knew that, though

Surely you…you were going to take that scary game from the building with the basement and turn it into a fun adventure

Our friend was always good at taking bad things and making them into something precious…if only by being their beside us

I thought…your smile was different, friend

“But it won’t be like normal tag!”

The unease doesn’t fade

Why isn’t it fading?

Our friend always made changes

They took the scary people’s rules and changed them into something that was their own

Why does the uneasiness persist?

Why does your smile not reassure me?

Still, I smile and nod

If I don’t trust my friend, who has proven themselves over and over again, then what sort of person am I?

I would be a terrible friend…

So I trust you

I put the rules into your hands

Just as we would put the rules into the hands of our trusted friend

Just as we always have

We were forbidden from creating our own rules, after all

“So, we’ll take turns being ‘it’…I’ll start, okay?”

A nod

I had to continue to trust

You’re explaining the way this game would differ from normal

“So, you’ll start climbing up to the slide, and I’ll count to ten before chasing after you”

“…does it matter which slide?” I asked. This Place had two slides, one taller than the other. The possible routes I had would vary depending upon the answer

“I guess not. But the taller one would be more FUN!”

‘I guess not’

These words, with the expression on your face.

You almost look annoyed that I asked.

You almost…

No

Our friend would tell us if they’re annoyed

And our friend doesn’t think that we’re stupid

In fact, our friend is the only person who has told us that we’re really smart

You obviously are just worried that you’re going to lose your thoughts as your explaining this to me

“Okay, I’ll go to the tall one, then!” I say, pushing as much enthusiasm into my voice as I can with the persistent unease in my gut

You smile at me and squeeze my hand, bringing it towards you with both of your hands

“So, if you make it down the slide before I ‘tag’ you, you win and get to decide what we do next!”

I nodded, thinking briefly about what we might choose in this case

Maybe we would ask to play “Princess in the Tower”

This was the best Place to play that game. I loved to dance and play up in the heights…what I would claim as my tower

Maybe not, though

Sometimes pretending to be my friend’s princess just made the King at home angry with us…and that King kept looking at you and I, watching us play

If he found out that I had made that tall tower my own…he would be mad

We were forbidden from making things ‘ours’, after all

And the King’s word is law

But that’s not important right now

The King is letting me play with my friend

And I can at least remember that he normally doesn’t let us do much of that

So this is precious time

Time that could be ended at any point he wants

I let out a little of my tension, because I believe I have found the source of my persistent unease

I’m just scared of leaving you again

Because you’re my friend

“And if I tag you before you make it down the slide, then I obviously get to decide what we’re doing next! Does that make sense?”

I nod, starting to get genuinely excited about this

No matter the outcome, this will be fun

If we win, it’s the rules that we get to pick what comes next

If our friend wins, we’ll get to do some other fun thing that they decide

Our friend is safe and we’re going to have fun adventures today

“And no matter who wins, the loser can’t argue with what the winner decides to do!”

We ignore the spike of anxiety your words bring us

We agree, promising to ourselves and to you that we’ll do whatever you decide should you win

It wouldn’t be until later that we realize that you never promised us the same

Not that we got a chance to pick

We climbed the tower of triangles

Counting each one

Collecting our “fish”

How were you right behind us?

I thought you were giving us a headstart…

Then I realize that I heard you counting vaguely

Not in singles, for a total of ten counts

No

You counted in twos

2

4

6

8

10

You gave us under five seconds…because I don’t think you even paused between these counts

The unease spiked again, asking if this was a game you were actually going to give us a chance to win

“Tag!”

You grabbed my ankle, taking my leg out from under me as I had continued to crawl towards what I now realized was an unattainable victory

I fell onto my stomach and looked back at you

You had a smug expression, full of venom and possessiveness

“I win!”

You almost sung this, your true self creeping into your voice now

Suddenly, more of our memories came to me

Now that there was danger, the pieces were fitting together

Our friend was not you

Our friend HAD been to these PlayPlaces with us before…but so had you

You…were also one who knew about the building with the basement

But you were not the friend who would bring us along on their adventures

You were the one who would write rules for us that benefitted yourself

You took me to the place I considered to be my tower

Did you know that this place was MY place?

Or did you just decide that my tower was the place that best suited what you had chosen to happen next

“Wave to them down there”

I waved, as you instructed, and the King waved back

He wasn’t letting us have precious time with our friend

He didn’t have to worry about this one giving us rules that went against his decrees

He was just observing

Watching us cycle through trusting someone he Knew we wouldn’t trust if we remembered

Observing how our amnesia worked

So that he could utilize that for himself

You had your way with us…with me

“Your knight is going to be so disappointed know that you spend so much time with me”

I shouldn’t have reacted

But I did

And you noticed

And you used that

Against me

And eventually, also against my knight

As I readjusted my clothes and came down the slide after you, you were reporting to the King, as well as the others

Giving them copies of the keys which you had just cut and dug out of me

But you kept the originals

You kept them that time, and have never given them back

You only collected more of them

But your jealousy of our friend made you angry

Every rule you would write for us could be rewritten by them

You sought for that key, so that you could have us fully to yourself

You thought we would respond if you tried to make us jealous

But we were only worried for our friend

But you must have gotten some reaction you wanted from what you were doing with them

Whatever that side of things was, I truly don’t know

I only know what I was present for, and what you told me

Which was that you wanted to hurt me and my friend

I kept splitting…forming alters who suited your desires

Until you reached the point where you decided you wanted to see if you TRULY had all of my/our keys

“Kill yourself”

Something within us stopped us

A door you somehow didn’t have a key to

We tried, over and over again, to obey your order…but something would block us at the last moment

“Kill yourself, or else I’ll [ERROR_404_DATASHARE_FORBIDDEN]”

We tried and reached the same, last minute block repeatedly

Some alters STILL have the compulsion to fulfill this incomplete task you gave them, because of what you told us you would do if we did not

You even tried to “help us” accomplish this task

“Rose Red killed themselves by their own hand”

This is what you told our friend, our knight…our Snow White.

You told them this, though it was a lie in two ways.

One, we did not manage to fulfill this task

Two…even if we had, it was not our own idea

We had motivation for it, there’s no lie there. You and the King gave us PLENTY of that…and that’s not going into the other abusers we had at that time

But none of us have remembered a time where we attempted to end it all from that time period of our life that WASN’T instigated by you

We are JUST starting to convince the alters most affected by this command that you are No Longer Around

That your threats have no leverage anymore

That we have a few keys of our own now

I can tell that you could still cause a lot of damage with the keys you possess to this day, which is why you are still Dangerous

But you no longer have the ability to make us into your hand puppets

There are barriers around our deepest parts now that require keys you do not have

That you will never have

I never want to revist the PlayPlace with you again

I never want to mistake you for my friend again

And I hope I never have the chance for either of those to happen ever again

-=-=-=-=-=-

Written by: Various Alters, mostly those of black sludge iridescence

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The_Star_Fissure_System
2 months ago

Very accurate…. I love you all.
-Lothair

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