Alice in the Wonder World.
Autors: Aurora Amber (me), Godwin (godwinthepuppeteer)
-Hello, Alice. Come in, - he pointed at the chair on the right hand. Alice, with gratitude, settled down on the hard wood of the seat. He carelessly grasped white tea pot and, after filling small accurate cup with hot tea, offered it to the guest. -Well, tell me, how is it there â€“ outside? You have not visited us for long. Lass smiled, trying to apologize with that, and picked up cup by small ring. -Yes, for some time I couldn't guess the way back. He nodded and silently sipped tea from the cup. -There always exists way back, Alice. You were not seeking well enough. Girl lowered her fair-haired head down to the table. It was easier to say what kind of sweets were not on this table, than call all of them out: biscuits, cookies and lots and lots more, what is usually served to tea. But, even all these sweets couldn't make Alice to soften the wormwood bitter sorrow inside her heart. -You are right, Sir, - even after growing up, Alice didn't loose her manners and even towards an old friend she preferred to direct with full respect, - But White Rabbit... -White Rabbit is not obligated to appear every time to show you the way to me, - snubbed he her silent remark, not letting young guest to finish the line. Now Alice was truly depressed. Her eyes wandered across the table, flower garlands and faraway thick wood, through which she ran almost all yesterday night. She tried to look at anything possible, only not to meet with his piercing gaze. "Jesters by Kings in secret rule the kingdoms and madmen turn out to be prophets..." - sough she
with sadness. -But, I did came, - she started timidly. Hatter didn't answer, drinking up his strong black tea. -It doesn't matter how long it took me to get back. I did came back, isn't it? - Alice crossed hands on the blue skirt of her puffy dress. It all was edged with laces and covered with beautiful embroidery. On the occasion of the celebration it was gifted to her in advance to show off before guests. Today was Alice birthday – she was turning seventeen. In such age it was common to seek future spouse for daughters and then lead her to the altar. -You are here, indeed, - agreed he without a single smile, without a single mischievous joke or fooling around. Hatter, in truth, was not reckless and cheerful eccentric man. He was like that long ago in the childhood of the Alice. And even then, only to ease the burden of the child, to calm her, make her laugh or put her up. -You are indeed here. But you are late, - now in front of him was not a lost child, but a young grownup woman. Babysitting her, to indulge her daring wishes, was not anymore necessary. And now he could be himself – serious and thoughtful. -You can't even imagine, what I had to go through to get you back here...again, - added he after a small pause. Alice, who felt herself guilty already, after such words totally lost heart. -But last time... -In the last time, your presence was not that important, than it is now, - he abruptly stood up and, crossing his hands behind back, began to step off the yard, filled with greenery. -Darkness has come to our world, Alice. And it was you, who showed it the way last time. -Be nicer to girl, - purred a smile, appearing suddenly hovering over the other edge of the table. The smile without a cat. Cheshire appeared like a phantom – without asking and warning. He turned visible and stretched lazily. -No one asked your opinion, - strictly answered him Hatter. -Oh, give me a break, we are all not strangers to each other here. Boiling in the same cauldron, if to say so, - snickered he and started to wash his face, impudently lounging on the table, moving white plates and silver traces to the edge of the table. Few cups did even break. -Could you then at least not to break the dishes? - sough Hatter. -Yeah, I know, I know, it's family tableware, - snickered Cheshire and squinted with his huge saucer like green eyes onto confused girl. -Look how she turned out, our Alice. What a beauty. True bride... Hatter turned back to his guests on heels, feeling burning inside. -Sour cream... is you here? - fatty cat poked his nose into wide saucer, then into sugar bowl and after few more tries found a sour cream dish. -Cheshire, do you realize we have a serious talk here? Your presence during it is not necessary, roughly noticed Hatter, without turning. -My oh my, how grand we became, Your Highness, - cat stood up and made funny stand, trying to copy the court bow. -You should also be softer to our monarch, - long rabbit ears touched the rose arch. -So what, if he is a monarch. Ruler of the bedlam, - cat laughed, with pleasure licking his paws covered with sour cream. In addition, he was using own fluffy tail as fan. -It became a bedlam AFTER our dear girl left, - rabbit in tailcoat made a polite bow, - Good afternoon, lady Alice, - he greeted girl with a friendly smile on the furry face. -Good afternoon, - Alice rose a bit and spread hem of the dress with a little bow. -And you, Your Highness, why are you so strict to your betrothed? - asked well-brought-up Rabbit.
-He probably forgot his promise, - snickered Cheshire, rolling over the lacy tablecloth. He overate sour cream and it was just a morning. -I never forget my words, not speaking of breaking my promises, - Hatter said coldly, turning towards table. Yet he didn't even look at all three. Rabbit sighed and sat near Alice on the edge of the chair. -You seem to be in a bad mood today, - noticed he. Being faithful companion-in-arms and helper of the Hatter, he could notice even a slightest change in his behavior. -That's exactly what I am talking about, - snickered Cheshire, - If only our ruler had a bit more sense of humor... -If only our ruler wouldn't have to swing a sword every night, slaying demons, then, probably, he would have had a better sense of humor, - interrupted him White Rabbit. -Enough, two of you! - Hatter turned towards the table, - Right now talk is not about Me or Black and White kingdoms. It's about Alice. All three of Wonder World inhabitants turned their gazes to girl. She herself was wishing to fall through ground, just not to be in the center of attention. Yet, probably, it would be impossible to fall even more underground. As she presumed, under Wonder World there is nothing... -I... I came to help, - silently whispered girl. She left behind warmness and comfort of a big estate, all silver and gold and all this only to get back here. To her friends, to Him... Alice gently looked at the majestic and beautiful youth. He didn't change a lot since their last meeting. His face was still light, without any sign of wrinkles, eyes were emitting inner strength. He is a wise ruler, Alice didn't doubt in that. Brave and mighty, yet even his powers were not enough to hold back new disaster. Wonder World was collapsing and she, Alice, was the reason behind it. At first this world's inhabitants were going crazy about their forced isolation, now they were going mad due to dark forces, whom Alice showed way to this world. -I am ready to do anything! - bravely assured she. Hatter smiled crookedly. -Even to marry me? - playfully asked young monarch. On his shoulders fell a incredible responsibility after both kingdom fall-down. He became a single stable link, connecting all in this rapidly and constantly changing world of changes, among the insanity as pure as diamond. Alice blushed and lowered her eyes. In that question was a ounce of truth. This was an old promise. And, probably, if not this promise, what tied Alice tightly to the Wonder World, she couldn't find her way back here... - What happened to the Wonder World? - asked Alice from Cheshire, who perched himself on the sturdy branch. Cat was waving own tail with satisfied look. His fur was sparkling in the light of the noon sun, eyes turned into small cracks-crescents. -A lot of unpleasant, - purred he, answering and lowered big paw. -Cheshire, I beg you, at least you can not talk to me in the riddles, - silently asked Alice. Cat smiled widely, chasing away fireflies with tail. -Have you forgotten, Alice? I always talk riddles, - cat made a sly face, -... or just talk rubbish. -But... this was back then, in my childhood, - argued young girl and scratched cat behind the ear, - Back then... all was different... - she soughed sadly. Her blue eyes were now just looking into nothingness, slightly touching the far away horizon. Mind of Alice was full of thoughts. -A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then... - agreed cat with a philosopher tone, rolling up his eyes, - but did your heart also change, Alice? - asked he. -My heart? - girl repeated and took her hand off the Cheshire's head. Striped cat, what was before
sitting in the sturdy beech branch suddenly started to fade away in sunlight, shrinking and changing shape, as a mirage. Only thing left was his pearl-white, famous smile. Any court lady, caring about her beauty and splendor, would envy such. But they were just beautiful dolls in the atlas and cambric wrappers anyway. Cute sweets without taste, smell or even anything inside. -Are you the same brave girl, what invaded a world beyond, following the fluffy rabbit from a fairy tail? Or maybe you are already not so perceptive to wonders? - continued invisible cat. Alice lowered her head and looked at her white hands. Any lady was shirker, but Alice never feared to do something, what anyone else would call rubbish or madness. She was a strange child, strange girl. A girl, who could see a lot more for her age. No one believed her, when she declared, what there exists a magical, forbidden land. No, even not just A LAND. A whole WORLD! World, what was hidden from curious eyes behind hidden trails. World, what was nowhere and yet somewhere at the same time. It wasn't easy to believe in it. And Alice didn't blame adults, who called her story "just a child talk" and her dreamer. She didn't cry or got offended. She simply... forgiven them. -I'm here... and that means something, - Alice recalled the words of the Hatter. How he spoke to her, how strict he was. -Means something... - repeated Cheshire. -Please, I beg you, tell me, what did happen to the Hatter? - begged girl. As there was no fresh monarch, his counselor or any of his followers around, no one could tell him about this conversation. And only Cheshire could answer her honestly. Cat appeared as the light from a lantern – just appeared in a single blink of an eye. His appearance was telling about tension, big green eyes were concentrated. -Since you left, girl, a lot changed, - Cat stood up on bac k paws and crossed front one's on the chest. -Well, I already understood that, - silently whispered Alice, but cat didn't hear her and continued his speech. -Probably, it was my fault – I shouldn't have sent you to the Queen. Not a fit place for a child with such an imagination. Alice didn't answer, her opinion probably was right now out of the place – Cheshire was just recalling old times aloud, thinking through the old events. But still, she found courage to ask: -I am not the same little silly girl as before. Please, tell me all how it is, - asked she silently. Cheshire measured her with strange, slightly sad gaze. He soughed. -Alright, Alice, but I only ask – don't take it to close, dear girl. This is not only your fault, but fault of all us. And mostly rabbit's. Cat sat down on the branch, covered with fresh green vines, crossing front and back paws. -Since you and Hatter parted last time, something... unexplainable... started to happen in our World. Yes, believe it or not, unexplainable even for us, - started cat slowly, - Inhabitants of the both kingdoms began to disappear. Disappeared here, appeared... somewhere else. And ones, who found them claimed, what poor things were blabbering and spoke madness, being frightened to the death, - Cat made a small pause and continued. His face, as much as it was possible to tell from the face of a cat, became gloomy, eyes lost their shine. -Two Queens met for negotiations and even declared to combine both kingdoms to defend their loyal subjects with joined might. Yet, seems, this decision was taken too late – on the next morning, after the night full of celebration... both were found... departed. Alice, who took a deep breath before, now, at last word, coughed, choking. -What do you mean – departed?! - she didn't believe her ears. -Well, not so dead maybe... half-dead... Alice recalled all the rubbish, what Cheshire used to talk, when she was little and now she started to doubt in the words of his. But cat, as if reading girls mind, raised round head and shouted.
-Sleeping, they were sleeping! Tight, deep dream. Cold were and didn't wake at anything their servants did. -Sleeping you say... - girl whispered, but Cat nodded, agreeing, - And what did happen to them? -No one knows, - Cheshire shuddered, - Some say it was the evil plan of the other Queens, not wishing to join the alliance, some say it was the deed of one of the four Kings. And some were talking about mysterious evil forces. -And Hatter, you know, from all us is only direct descendant of an old royal family, only he could command Lion and Unicorn, even though he wasn't a titled monarch, just... as people say – for a "tick". Alice raised thin brow. -Oh, look, you already too! - cat suddenly jumped up and poked girl into the face, what was extremely impolite in the place, where Alice came from. -What?! What?! - she started to examine herself, turning round, but didn't notice anything. She didn't grow, shrink or disappear l ike back then. -Your hair, - smirked cat. -What about them?! - Alice put hands on the hair. She didn't feel anything and she had no mirror to tell, if something did change. Telling truth she didn't had time to take anything along, being in same rush, as the Rabbit, when he was hurrying to the audience of Queen. -A... they just turned dark, nothing to be afraid of... - Cat was following girl's hurrying gestures, smirking, - It will go away with time... probably. As for now, you will be Dark Alice. More similarity with Hatter, cat smirked again. Alice froze with widely opened eyes. -Hey, don't worry so much, it's totally normal. You did have breakfast with us... so this is the result, - cat again sat down on the branch and thoughtfully looked into sky, - Don't worry, it's normal for many magical realities. Tasted something local and – shazam! If not complete transformation, a tail can grow, or pair of wings... - Alice quickly started to examine her back with hands, but found nothing but tight lacing of corset, - And if you don't, can become a ghost or disappear, - cat spoke calmly, looking into eyes of young lady, - You have been given a drink on entrance, remember? So you wouldn't thin up like a candle. And now... enough of the rubbish! Listen further, if you still want! - Cat became serious and frowned (even though cats don't have brows), - So from the day two Highnesses fell... ahem, asleep... Hatter was called upon to the throne. Though he didn't argue much. He was one of the first, who understood, what something is not right with the World. When he became king of the joined kingdoms, Black Queen came to his audience and offered her help and advise. -And where are Kings gotten to? - Alice was amazed. Kings in the Wonder World were lot more than two and even more than four. But, Alice didn't know much about them. Seemed they didn't play a big role in the World. When she read Carrol's Alice, she couldn't even imagine to become The Alice, to meet the heroes of the story. Yet now seemed this story is somehow bitter for her. A world, what was behind a thin, yet sturdy shell. Neighbor world, it was so unreal, yet so similar to the world of the Carroll's book and in the same time it didn't. It was... different. Everything was different, so Alice's own story was also different. -Alice, - cat waved with paw. He not only could suddenly disappear and appear again, fly and walk through walls. Cheshire had a lot of others useful abilities and skills. That was what made him Hatter's helper, even though nothing in his attitude was telling they are friends. -It doesn't matter! What matters is, what a Black Queen said to the Hatter, - noticed cat. -And what it was? - Alice asked. -What he better not get involved! What forces, what came to our world are above even his bend, and what his idea of becoming a monarch is pure madness – they wouldn't like it. Cat frowned, becoming alike to the dark cloud. Literally – he now was floating over branch in a s
hape of a dark fluffy foam cloud. -How's what? - asked girl with concern. She was never indifferent to Hatter, even in childhood she liked him. He acted good with her, friendly back in her childhood, acting the role of book's Hatter very well. He calmed lost child. But, unlike The Alice's story, Hatter escorted her to the court, told how to get back home, into real world, even though he asked to stay. And he made a promise. Cat became cat again and soughed, sitting down again. -You see, Alice, in our World, nothing is as simple, as it may seem from a first glance. Yes, we have here a lot of strange and wonderful things, yet some you can find even in yours. Lets call them Might and Power. Conditional they are, yet they are present even in our World. Queens had given throne to the new monarch not by their will, yet by a accident. Taking power in his hands, Hatter took a burden none of us could bear. I probably would just hit the skids on kingdom and World and flew to some warmer, peaceful place. But he decided to rescue all of us. -And I was the one, who showed the way to all these evil forces, - Alice became sad, barely holding herself from crying.