A third book to Lewis' wonderful Alice series. Meant to be light and playful. Also wrote this in the car on the way to my granparent's house, so go easy on me :)
The girl giggled at her cat's laziness and pat it on the head.
"Poor dear," she said, "Always so tired. I wonder if it is because you sleep so much that its become a habit?"
Kitty responded by closing its eyes and falling asleep.
"Yes, I do think so," concluded Alice.
Before she could get back to her book, she looked up at the looking glass and remember the strange dream she had had so long ago about a whole world that existed inside of the object. She shook her head and laughed at herself mentally. As a child, she had thought it was real, and often hoped she could go back into the strange world. But now as an almost-woman, she knew it was all nonsense and childish dreams.
Alice tried to get back to her book, but found it most difficult to read as there was no writing in it.
"Oh my!" Alice exclaimed, "Kitty, where have all the writings gone?"
She looked under her feet, somehow expecting to find the words hiding there. When she realized what she was doing, she stopped and shook her head.
"Kitty, I am finding myself thinking like a little child! Words do not just get up and wonder off. I must be ill."
Alice grabbed another book and climbed under the covers of her bed in hope of curing her illness by getting some rest. Kitty soon followed.
"Now," yawned Alice, "I will just read a little to get tired and then I will take a well deserved nap. Now, lets continue where we left off."
She opened the book to where her green leather bookmark was last placed and started reading. Only in about five minutes, the words seemed to grow bigger and bigger until she felt as if she where diving into the book! Soon enough, the whole world looked like paper.
Alice thought, "Maybe I have fallen asleep and am dreaming. Strange, I haven't had a dream like this since I was a child!"
As if someone had picked up a pen and began to draw, a few lines of ink appeared in front of Alice. The lines began to form a door. Seeing as how there was no where else to go, Alice turned the doorknob, and slowly pulled open the door to reveal this strange new world.
This new world was lush and green, but the sky looked like parchment. All of the trees and herbs looked like they were outlined with thick ink.
"This is getting curiouser and curiouser," thought Alice."
She stepped onto the path that looked like it led out of the garden, and decided to follow it so she wouldn't get lost. She stopped as she saw a very pretty daisy and leaned in to smell it. To her surprise, a little creature was already smelling the flower. It looked like a rocking-horsefly.
To her right, a bread-and-butterfly flew to the rose next to her.
"Oh dear, oh dear, not again!"
Alice began to panic at the familiarities. Its been years since she'd had this dream, but she remembers it clearly. She suspected she was in her old dreamworld of Wonderland. Or was she in Looking Glass Land? No, that would be impossible because to Alice's recollection, she did not pass through any looking glass.
She decided to rush out of the garden as quickly as she could when she ran into a butterfly (closely resembling butterflies from her world) that was about the size as she was.
"Excuse me, madam! I wasn't looking where I was going!"
"Apparently. You were looking contriwise. And I am a 'sir'."
"Oh, please pardon me, ma- I mean sir."
"You are pardoned. Now, how about a riddle?"
"Well, I do like riddles. And I seem to have enough time. Why not?"
"I don't know why not, I myself am in favor of listening to a riddle."
"I thought you were going to tell me a riddle?"
"Oh yes. Well then, why is a raven like a writing desk?"
"Hmm.. Edgar Allen Poe wrote on both? They both hold black quills? If you burned them they would be 'nevermore'?"
"Well those aren't it at all!"
"Then what is the answer?"
"Oh please, I've had enough of unsolvable, nonsense riddles."
"My dear, this riddle is very much solvable!"
"Why are you still here?"
"That is the riddle. Why are you still here?"
"That is no riddle!"
"Then you have an answer?"
"Um, I'm still here because…" Alice thinks for a moment then answers, "Maybe the idea that Intoland is like a childish dream, and deep down I desire to be young again because I've lost my imagination and creativity. Is that correct?"
"Oh!" Alice stomps her foot angrily, "Well I've got a riddle for you."
"Oh! The foolish young adult has a riddle for me! Well then, try me!"
"Okay, I walk on four legs, then two legs, then three legs, what am I?"
"My dear, that would be a tiger!"
"Well, tigers walk on four legs at first, don't they? Then to get food out of trees they stand on two legs, correct? Then if this tiger were particularly adventurous, he might lose a leg in a dangerous mission, that makes three."
"That doesn't make any sense!"
"Few things do, my dear."
"I must be going, this is giving me a headache."
"My riddle gave you a headache? Well that was mighty cruel of it."
"Yes, well, goodbye."
And so Alice continued on her way out of the garden.
Outside of the garden, Alice found a rather large field that looked like a chess board.
"How curious! Its a chess board!"
"We wish," responded a little voice behind a tree.
The owner of the little voice emerged from behind the tree. It was a red checker piece that was half the size of Alice. It had eyes, a nose, a mouth and all!
"Why do you wish it were a chess board, little Red Checker?" asked Alice, politely.
The Red Checker responded in the form of a poem.
"Oh I do like poems."
"I'm glad you liked it."
"I didn't hear it yet!"
"But you said you liked poems."
"So you must like this one."
"Well, tell it to me and I will decide."
"We like to play leap frog
If we are the ones jumping
But we often go running
When a black piece comes thumping
Anyone can become king
But that's the thing
If everyone were king,
Who would win?
Our lives are repetitive,
Losing some and winning some
But mostly getting trapped in corners
So the black piece cannot come
Our field reflects our teams
Red and black squares
For much of our time
We sit back and glare
We wish we could be chess pieces
Daring knights or castles
We would like to have a queen
But for checkers, its a hassle
So we just group together
We are the Red Checkers
We are one."
"Excuse me, Red Checker?"
"That last line didn't rhyme."
"Why does that matter?"
"Well, sir or madam, the rest of the poem rhymes in the ABCB form, should the last line not count and break the pattern?"
"Who said the rest of the poem rhymes?"
"Huh. I had no idea."
"So will you change the last line?"
Frustrated with the Red Checker's un-helpfulness, Alice excused herself and continued on her way. What Alice didn't notice, was that a Black Checker was hiding in the tree. It leaped out and hopped over the Red Checker. Red Checker immediately disappeared.
"Of all the silly things," ranted Alice to herself, "A giant butterfly who knows riddles with no answer, a Red Checker who recites poems with no constancy, what has this world come to?"
But she realized that she wasn't in her world. Apparently, she was in Intoland, wherever that may be.
Frustrated, Alice kicked a stone into the lake that she was passing and she heard a little, "Oomph!"
"Oh I am terribly sorry! I didn't know anyone was in there! Please show yourself so that I may apologize!"
A dolphin jumped out of the lake and onto dry land. It stood on its tail as if it thought it was human!
"Oh my! I didn't think dolphins could stand!"
"They can't. But by Jove, land dolphins, such as myself, can stand perfectly well."
"This is a surprise. But about earlier, I am sorry about the stone."
"It is fine, by Jove, but only if you heed my warning."
"Well I haven't told you yet."
"Please so tell! I do not want to get into trouble here. I come from a different world."
"I will try to make it simple then, by Jove!
Wriggles, writhes, and becomes a snack
Here comes the feared bandersnatch!
The frog wraiths and log snaves
clear from the old graves.
Land dolphins and sea cats
flee from the witherbats
Run, pounce and catch
They circle the wondersatch!
Iggles and piggles and liggles alike
hide from the pandersnike
But the worst of all the hagocky,
Is the legendary Jabberwocky!"
"Is that all?" asked Alice.
"I sure hope so."
"Well it doesn't explain anything! The only thing I can gather is that there are a bunch of dangerous creatures called hagockies, and the worst is the Jabberwocky, but the rest is completely nonsense!"
"By Jove, she's almost got it!"
"There is nothing to get! It is all nonsense!"
"And she's lost it."
Shaking her head, Alice said goodbye to the ridiculous dolphin and began walking to the castle on the horizon.
A short while later, Alice came to the castle, which was painted black. At the front gate over the bridge, two Black Checkers stood guard.
"Excuse me, Black Checkers One and Two?"
"I think she's talking to you," said Two.
One said, "I don't know To!"
"I said you!"
The two Checkers grinned and said together, "Yes?"
Alice stood up straight and hoped she could get her point across quickly and easily. She spoke clearly, "Could I get past into the castle?"
"I don't know, could you?" said One.
"You look capable to me," said Two.
They sound like my school teachers! thought Alice.
"I meant, may I pass through?"
"Oh!" exclaimed the two, "Why didn't you say so before?"
The silly little Checkers opened the gate for Alice to get through. "Thank you," Alice said politely. That wasn't too bad, I guess. Hopefully the people in the castle are a bit more intelligent.
To her surprise, the entire castle was occupied by the Black Checkers. But something was odd about some of the checkers. Some of them looked like they came in double like a sandwich with nothing in them. Alice, in her experience of playing checkers, figured that they were the kings. And there were so many! It seemed like there were dozens of kings! Alice couldn't even imagine what the government was like here.
"Oi!" said one of the kings.
"Um, hello," said Alice, nervously.
"Who let you in?"
"Black Checkers One and Two."
"Wait a second, I remember you! You were conversing with the Red Checker while I was hiding in the tree!"
"You were in that tree?"
"Yes! And as soon as you left, I jumped the checker!"
"Because you distracted the checker, I was able to jump him then get into the Red Checker territory and earned my right as king!"
"You did! And to celebrate me becoming the 103rd king here at Black Checker Castle, we will have a large feast in your honor!"
"Oh this is wonderful!"
"Indeed, my human friend, we shall begin at once! To the dining hall!"
The King called One-Oh-Three took Alice's hand and led her proudly to the hall. As they entered, the feast table was already crowded with kings.
"Attention!" said One-Oh-Three, "We have a special guest here tonight! She helped me gain the title of King One-Oh-Three!"
Cheers flooded the hall and nearly knocked Alice back.
"But I have a plan to defeat the Red Checkers once and for all!"
All the checkers leaned in closely, crowding Alice's personal space.
"I herby declare, Alice, Queen of the Black Checkers! She will be Queen One!"
Cheers flooded the hall once again and this time Alice fell backwards and hit the floor. She sat herself up and said excitedly, "You are making me your queen?"
"How wonderful! No one shall ever treat me like a child, and I will be the wisest in the land!"
Cheers again and "Hear hear's!" A regular Black Checker (Thirty-Three) ran up and pulled out a scroll and pen. "Name?" it asked.
"Place of Origin"
"The Other World"
There were "ooh's" and "ah's".
"Date of birth?"
"The twentieth of June."
There were gasps from every corner.
Alice asked worriedly, "What is wrong?"
King Ninety-Nine, "Why, its your Unbirthday!"
"It is!" replied the kings.
One voice shouted, "We must get Queen One a gift!"
All the little checkers began scrambling everywhere looking for something to give dear Queen Alice. Finally, King Thirty-Seven came up with a wrapped box and presented the present to Alice, blushing.
"Oh, thank you!" said Alice and patted the king on his head.
Alice unwrapped the box and a giant butterfly popped out.
"Oh its you again!"
"Would you like to hear a riddle?"
"No! I do not want to hear a riddle, thank you very much!" Alice stomped her foot, angry that she was not able to escape the endless nonsensical riddles.
The doors to the hall opened again and in came guards One and Two carrying the Red Checker from earlier. When the Red Checker saw Alice it said:
"A wonderful sight to see
someone who will rescue me
from the evil clutches
of checkers with no muchness
I will be free here soon
and away from this goon
I will run
and become king."
Again, the inconsistency of the pattern of the poem frustrated Alice and she covered her ears. She uncovered them when she felt it was done and heard another familiar voice.
"By Jove, I don't think she likes that poem."
The land dolphin had walked in at some point and sat down at one of the chairs.
Alice had had enough, "I declare that someone get me back to the Other World!"
The Black Checkers yelled, "No! You must be our queen! You must!"
"No, I mustn't! I am going home!"
With that, Alice turned on her heels and walked out of the hall and out of the castle. She heard the Black Checkers chasing after her so she picked up her pace. Pretty soon she was back in the garden.
"Oh, how do I get back home?"
As if answering her question, a book appeared at her feet. She picked it up and opened it. "It looks like a book about me!"
She was reading about what she was doing before she arrived in Intoland. It was narrating how she curled up in bed and started reading a book. Then the words started to become larger and larger until everything was black.
Alice awoke with a start. She looked around her room wildly and smiled as she spotted Kitty at her feet.
"Oh Kitty! It was just a dream! But it felt so real! I had no idea my head could make up such nonsense."
Kitty purred in response.
Alice picked Kitty up and walked into the family room to find her mother and sister.
"Hello Alice, dear," said her mother, "You look unusually happy."
"I've just had this wonderful dream…."
"You used to have dreams that you'd talk about for days, " her sister said, "You had quite the imagination as a child, but I'm happy to hear that you may still have that creativity."
"You should write a book."
"Maybe I should," said Alice, "It will be about a crazy, nonsensical world called Wonderland."