The Jabberwocky left behind a baby, leaving Wonderland in search of its next champion, and Alyssa seems to be the only girl up to the challenge
It was early in the summer and my school’s theatre program had just done a play set in the Victorian era, so we were having a huge lawn party in period costumes at an old English Manor in the countryside. We were taking horse drawn carriages, doing our hair as was custom, wearing corsets, the whole nine yards. I ended up in a carriage with three close friends: Elizabeth, Mary, and Samantha, and some of our guy friends were riding on top of the carriage: Troy, Daniel, Lucas, and Seamus. Our friends Oliver, Olivia, Abigail, Taylor, Ashlyn, and Christina would also be at the party, but they were arriving later.
As we approached the large, grand, old country home, I couldn’t help but brush off my dress nervously; something about the way the manor loomed over us made me nervous.
“Excited?” Elizabeth asked me.
I turned towards her as she smiled blithely at me. Her shoulder length, raven black hair was as slick and straight as it always was, but she had some of it pulled up. Her dress was a cream color with lilac colored accents. I nodded and she laughed lightly.
“You look more nervous than you do excited.” Mary smirked, tossing her mud colored hair out of her face.
“I just have an odd feeling about this place, almost like I’ve been here in a dream before. It makes me feel like something big is going to happen today.”
“Oh Lissa! You always feel like that right before we make our grand entrance! You always feel like you’re in a fantasy novel.” Samantha cried, her curly auburn hair falling out of its casual bun.
“You’re right, what could possibly happen?”
I stepped out and caught a glimpse of myself in the carriage window. My wavy, light blonde, waist-length hair was pulled up tightly into a bun and my powder blue dress was hanging just right so I smiled and turned away, walking into Troy and almost falling backwards. Troy grabbed my upper arms gently and laughed as he kept me from falling.
“You’re such a klutz, I hope you realize that.” He chuckled as we started walking towards the veranda where the party was taking place.
I stuck my tongue out at him and tried to regain my dignity. I could tell it wasn’t working so I just smiled sheepishly up at Troy, making him laugh again. We sat down and I looked around the patio at the couples dancing a quick waltz. A couple minutes later the quadrille started and I pulled Troy up to dance with me. When the dance finished, I looked out towards the hedge maze and saw something odd; a rabbit wearing a blue and purple colored waist-coat.
“Did you see that?” I asked.
“See what Alyss? It’s just a plain old hedge maze.” Troy laughed, looking at me like I was crazy, which I probably was.
“Never mind, it must have been a trick of the light.”
We sat down, but a minute later I saw the rabbit again, beckoning to me, then pointing to its watch. I excused myself and ran through the hedge maze after it, occasionally seeing it as it stopped and checked its watch. I came out in the forest and I raced through the trees after it, coming to a large rabbit hole. I leaned over to look inside and fell in head first.
As I fell, I screamed, large pieces of furniture whipping past me. I fell a long way and eventually crashed through some sort of ceiling. I stood up and brushed myself off, looking around the odd circular room. There were five doors and a curtain, and in the center of the room stood a table. I pulled back the curtain and saw a little door, much too small for me to fit through so I went over to the table, where there was a little bottle labeled “Drink Me”.
I grabbed the key and then drank a small portion of the bottle. Shrinking was quite a peculiar sensation. I felt as if I was being crammed into a small box and then suddenly let out. I crawled out of my old dress, which was now much too big, and found myself in a floor length summer dress. Still holding the key, I walked over to the little door and unlocked it, stepping through to a beautiful little world. The trees were brightly colored shades of blue, pink, and green, and the sky was a clear and bright as could be.
“I must be in Wonderland!” I gasped, amazed at how beautiful it all was.
“Underland, actually, but close enough.”
I whirled around to see the white rabbit, a dormouse, and two fat little boys who I recognized instantly as tweedle dee and tweedle dum staring at me.
“You mean it’s real? I actually wound up in Underland?” I cried.
“Well at least we think…”
“No we know.”
“Are you sure?”
“Well of course.”
I tuned out the Tweedles’ bickering and turned towards the rabbit and the dormouse.
“We apologize for them, it’s a family trait, and yes, they’re always like this. Now, what is your name?” the white rabbit asked me.
“Right, I’m Alyssa. Most people just call me Lissa though. Some people call me Alyss.”
“I think we’ve found our newest champion! Come, come, we must get you to the White Queen as quickly as possible. Boys, come, we have to take her to the Queen.”
The Tweedles each grabbed one of my arms and started carrying me in the direction the Queen was in. swinging me back and forth wildly as they went. I squeaked as I was accidentally thrown out of their grasp. They apologized and grabbed me again, but luckily the swinging stopped.
We traveled into a thorny forest and we came across the Chesire Cat.
“Now who is this? Certainly not one of the usual girls we see around here.”
“I’m Alyssa. But you can call me Lissa or Alyss.” I smiled blithely and the cat smiled back.
“Alice you say?”
“Close, but not quite, Alyss. Taller vowel sound for the “a”; like Alyssa without the “a” at the end.”
“I see. Well I take you are on your way to the White Queen. You may want to stop by the Hatters first though. The champion will want to know her partner has arrived at last.”
“Right. Lead the way Chesh.”
We followed “Chesh” to a clearing with a large table set up in it.
“Ah! Chesh! You’re finally back! Come and join us! You too Millie!” A man yelled at us, clearly having not seen me dangling between the Tweedles’ arms.
“Yes! Do come and join us!” a woman cried, clearing some places.
“Any other time and I would accept, but we have someone to introduce you to. Hatters, meet Alyssa.”
I was picked up and dropped on the table before the Mad Hatter and a woman who I looked almost exactly like.
“Wait, you’re Alice? Oh my goodness! I’m in Underland and I’m meeting Alice!” I exclaimed, recognizing the face that was peering at me curiously.
“You’re much smaller than I expected you to be.” Alice laughed, handing me a cake to make me my normal size.
I jumped off the table and took a bite, the dress stretching with me as I grew to my normal size.
“That’s better. So you’re Alyssa?”
“Yes, but people usually call me Lissa or Alyss.”
“Well I shall call you Lissa. Now let us go to the White Queen. Come on Hatter darling.”
Alice grabbed the Mad Hatter’s hand and they led the way towards the White Queen. I walked closely behind them, talking to the Chesire Cat.
“You look just like Alice, it is very curious.” He told me, pulling on a lock of my hair.
“Well isn’t Underland itself very curious? You, after all, are a cat who can disappear and smile.”
“True, how old are you anyway?”
“I am sixteen. I’ll be seventeen soon though.” I told him.
“You are younger than we thought you would be. Alice was nearly twenty when she came here.”
“Well I am very mature for my age. What does it matter anyway?” I asked.
“Oh nothing, it’s just an observation.”
I nodded and we walked in silence for awhile. I was just about to ask why they thought I was here when we heard growling and horses’ hooves behind us. We all whipped around to see a large, four-legged monster coming over the hill behind us, accompanied by people on horseback. The monster was red with purple stripes and had at least three sets of razor sharp teeth. Plus it was huge; it towered over me by a couple of feet.
“We have to fight, we can’t out run it!” Hatter cried, grabbing a sword from who knows where.
“Here, take this, it is unlikely you will need to fight, but in the event you do, you had best be prepared.”
Alice handed me another sword and took one for herself. We stood facing the oncoming enemies and I shrunk behind the others, unwilling to fight.
“Hand over the Overland girl!” someone barked, drawing their sword.
“Why would we? You are a supporter of the Lady Black, instead of the White Queen. You used to support the bloody big head, we will die before we hand her over!” Alice shouted defiantly, thrusting her sword out in front of her.
“Then we shall kill you and take her.”
Chaos broke loose as everyone dove forward to battle, somehow I did end up fighting and I held my sword as stably as I could as my opponent came towards me with a black sword. He swung at me but somehow I managed to block it. It continued swing, block; swing, block until I was swinging and he was dodging. I somehow managed to hit his sword out of his hand and catch it, wielding both swords as he started backing up. After he realized I was not going to give up, he turned and fled, leaving me standing there with two swords as Alice, the Hatter, Chesh, and the others gaped at me.
“Don’t look so surprised, I know how to fight. I took a few lessons for a play I was in.” I told them.
“She is most definitely our champion, The Queen will be oh so happy to know you’ve arrived at last!” The Mad Hatter cheered, twirling Alice around.
We started walking again and I decided it was best to just let them take me where they would instead of questioning everything. We walked for a long time, wandering through many forests, fields and ruins, sticking mostly to paths that were off the beaten track, as it were. Finally a large, towering, white building appeared in the distance and our little group started to speed up.
We reached the palace and walked through a tall, white archway. I felt out of place in my vibrantly colored dress that contrasted so completely against the pure white surroundings. We walked through the courtyard, up a set of steps, and then into the palace itself and I gazed in wonder at the beauty of it all. Finally we entered a large hall that was lined with people dressed in white gowns and suits. At the far end of the hall was a raised platform of white marble on which three chairs were placed. The center chair was occupied by a regal woman with pure white hair and skin, and on top of her head sat a large silver crown with white and clear jewels set in it. The White Queen.
We approached her and kneeled before her, bowing our heads. When we looked up she motioned for us to stand and Alice stepped forward happily.
“Hello my Queen! We believe we have found your next champion.”
The White Queen smiled back and stood up, sweeping towards me.
"Welcome to Wonderland."