Continuing Tales

One Promise Kept: Book 5

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by Manniness

Part 4 of 13

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One Promise Kept: Book 5

Uilleam the Dodo Bird squints at the cell door. He tilts his head to the side, stares, sniffs. No, the situation has not changed since he’d last inspected it. Behind him, in the dank shadows of the prison cell, a buzzing snore resonates.

“How can you sleep at a time like this?” he laments, of half a mind to flap over there and give that blasted dormouse a good kick in her stuffy nose.

As expected, she doesn’t reply. Not coherently. She continues buzzing sleepy breaths through her well-stuffed nose. Uilleam sighs and slumps down on the hard-packed, earthen floor, careful not to touch the walls or door of the cell. Only a truly evil mind could create such a torture. All in all, he should have expected something like this... although expecting the expected is hardly a worthy task for his considerable intelligence. Which is probably how both he and his cellmate had ended up in this wretched place!

Uilleam, quite honestly, rather enjoys anticipating the unexpected. So, naturally, when the dormouse had wandered into the Red Queen’s Squimberry patch for a bit of a snack and a nap, and when Uilleam had gone looking for her to haul her back to Tulgey Wood, well... It seems quite the foregone conclusion that the both of them would be caught and sentenced to death. It had been so foregone that he had neglected to think much of it. Unexpected things are so much more interesting to contemplate, you see.

He lets his mind wander over what he hardly expects to happen now: freedom would be an unexpected blessing, he decides. He would never expect the Red Knave to release him. He would never expect the Red Queen to grant him a pardon for wandering through her Squimberry patch.

In fact, as there isn’t much that could be considered more unexpected, he lets himself imagine the Red Queen’s pardon and the Knave escorting him out of this stinking prison. Perhaps song birds will trill an unlikely tune. The quadrille, perhaps? And a dance will make the Knave’s feet itch and he will stand on his head and pull off his boots and wag his toes in the sunshine...

“It’s a shame you’re sleeping,” he rumbles at the sleeping dormouse behind him. “I’ve had the most unexpected thought.”

Unexpected yet certainly better than their current situation. Unlikely yet certainly preferable to the ax they will both become intimate but brief acquaintances with in the morning.

“I don’t want to die, you know,” he announces. “My fascination with unexpected things does not stretch quite that far.”

A soft snore is the only reply he receives.

He huffs. “You could at least say something. A word of thanks perhaps. I should have let you get caught all on your own!”

The snores stop and, yawning, the dormouse accuses, “They never woulda found me if yah hadn’t led ’em right to me. Dodo.”

“My name,” he informs her for what must be more times than the Red Queen has severed heads in her considerably large collection, “is Uilleam.”

“Can’t spell it,” the dormouse tells him. “So I ain’t sayin’ it.”

“It’s hardly my fault you can’t spell anything that doesn’t start with a snore!”

“Ain’t mine, neither.” And with that, she rolls over on her bed (which is designated by the bits of straw she had managed to gather) and begins snoring. Again.

Uilleam shakes his great head. Truly, the only energy that mouse has ever expended has been spent procuring a place to rest her utterly useless self. “You have slept your life away,” he informs her.

He is not surprised when she doesn’t answer. Her agreement is predictable, expected.

He turns back to the door and imagines it opening. He imagines... expects...

… and blinks as something long, slender, and sharp slides between the door and the frame.

How... unexpected.

Uilleam blinks at the slender protrusion. It gleams in the near-darkness. Wiggles a bit from left to right causing crumbs of bricks and door to shower down onto the ground. Uilleam quickly shuffles backward.

“Mally!” he whispers. “Wake up! Something odd is happening!”

By the sound of her uninterrupted snores, she is not impressed. Uilleam, himself, is reserving his judgment until he sees what this strange object does...

It jerks down with such suddenness that a massive crack appears in the door and the portal crumbles.

Uilleam squawks and retreats quickly toward the back of the cell.

“Ouch! Gerroff me, yah big lug!”

“Mally! Oh, Mally! Thank goodness! You’re awake!”

“Of course I’m awake! Yah stepped on me!”

“So sorry, but you’d best not drift off again now or I’ll give you more of the same.”

With a sigh, Mally sits up, rubs her eyes and says, “All right. Fine. I’m awake. What’s the emergency?”

“The door seems to have... crumbled.”

“They tend to do that,” she observes, not looking impressed.

Uilleam had expected the sarcasm, or something similar from her. What he had not expected had been the sound of a voice that had been neither the Knave’s nor the Queen’s nor anything that sounds remotely like something a card soldier would be capable of uttering.

“What the—? Bloody—!”

Uilleam watches as a figure stirs in the gaping doorway.

“This...” Their unexpected rescuer reaches out and crumbles a bit more of the door between its fingers. Uilleam winces as the figure brings those fingers to its face and sniffs. “This is... marzipan?

“Yes,” he confirms. “Dreadful stuff!”

“Dreadful?! It’s one of the main ingredients in battenburg! You could have just eaten your way out of... whatever this place is!”

“Perhaps you could have!” he replies shortly. “Had I done so, I would have found it most disagreeable!”

“Doesn’t sit well?” the gloom-shrouded figure muses after a moment.

Uilleam nods and watches as the creature – their rescuer and marzipan-door destroyer – shivers once and then is still again. “And, to answer your other question,” he adds thoughtfully, “this place is the Red Queen’s prison. So you’d best leave off crumbling it or she’ll have your head.”

The gray figure – for Uilleam sees that the bipedal creature in the doorway is very Gray, indeed – snorts with derision. “I would very much like to see her try to take it,” the rescuer mutters.

“As would I!” Mally pipes up with unexpected enthusiasm.

Uilleam winces as the mouse marches over the assortment of crumbs toward the threshold.

“Springin’ us are ye?”

“I suppose I am,” the gray figure – a woman, Uilleam decides – says in a wry tone.


The figure nods and the action illuminates the face of the woman for a brief moment. But a moment is all the Dodo needs. Uilleam gapes. Here, at the rescue is none other than Alice! He had never expected Alice to come to the rescue! He hadn’t expected her to be quite so old, either!

“Alice!” he cries, shocked and thrilled.

On the threshold, the woman looks up, startled.

Now heedless of the crumbs of vile marzipan littering the floor, Uilleam clamors toward her. “Why, it’s been so long! You were quite the runner in the Caucus Race! Do you still have the thimble I gave you?”


Uilleam raises his brows in expectation.


He huffs softly. “Yes, yes. An eye and an eye; there are two of them on most creatures!”

A long moment of silence follows his declaration. The Dodo crosses his feathered arms and taps his clawed toes on the packed-dirt and increasingly marzipan-packed floor.

“I’m afraid you have the wrong Alice.”

Uilleam blinks, rears back, retorts, “I should think not!”

“Well, I know so. I don’t know anything about a Caucus Race or a thimble.”

“But you are an Alice,” he counters with a suspicious and evaluating glare.

“At the moment, I certainly seem to be. Now, Mister Dodo Bird—”

“Uilleam,” he supplies automatically.

“Uilleam,” she continues and his narrow chest puffs up with pride at the accomplishment – at last, someone in this wretched chamber has used his Proper Name! – and then she asks, “who else is here? Being held prisoner, I mean?”

“Oh, I couldn’t say,” he offers. “Although I think it would be rather unexpected to find very many. Beheadings are done every morning, after tea.”

“Ma— Miss Dormouse, would you please locate the exit for us?”

“An’ just how woul’ yah suggest I do that?” Mally replies in a rather confrontational tone.

“Sniff it out.”

“Oh, yes!” Uilleam contributes. “You’ll be searching for something that smells fishy. We are near the Crimson Sea, after all.”

“Humph!” Mally says, but begins sniffing along the corridor.

The new – yet clearly very old – Alice turns toward the next cell door and, as she had done with Uilleam and Mally’s cell, applies her sword to the lock mechanism which had been made from something twice as vile as the marzipan: sugar and spice and everything nice.

Uilleam shudders even as he watches the new Alice set to work on cracking open the door. The process is quite interesting to observe from this perspective. He watches as the Gray Lady wedges the blade into the crack between the door and frame – wiggling it a bit at times – and then with a heave, pulls downward and the portal gives with a telling shower of crumbs.

“Whose idea was it to construct a prison out of marzipan?” the new Alice asks as Uilleam peers around her at the empty cell she had just revealed.

“A baker’s perhaps,” Uilleam remarks.

“And are there many bakers?”

“Yes,” he replies as she sets to work on the next door. “But none of them are using marzipan at the moment as the Red Queen has declared it unfit for consumption. They all make squimberry tarts now.”

“Morning, noon, and night?”

“When else?” Uilleam replies, wondering if he has somehow neglected to notice another part of Day besides morning, noon, and night. Perhaps the sunset and sunrise are counted separately?

As another door crumbles to naught under the new Alice’s efforts, Uilleam muses, “Are you hoping to liberate all the cells?”

“Are you suggesting I shouldn’t?”

“What? Oh, no... Just curious.”

Marzipan crumbs shoot through the air and scatter along the floor as door after door is destroyed. Interestingly enough a wide variety of prisoners are revealed: monkeys and pigs, flamingos and hedgehogs, even several people who appear to be scruffi-fied members of the Red Queen’s own court! Uilleam has them all form a disorganized crowd in the hallway.

“Stay together, now! The new Alice is rescuing us!”

“The new Alice?” one former courtier demands. “That one looks rather old if you ask me.”

“We didn’t,” the new Alice replies in a flat tone. With a heave and a grunt, the last prison door crumbles and a white rabbit hops out into the corridor. “And who might you be, sir?” She addresses the quaking prisoner as a shiver visibly runs through her own body.

“Nivens McTwisp,” he wheezes nervously.

“A pleasure. Now, Miss Dormouse—”

“Call me Mally.”

“Mally, have you found the exit?”

“Of course I have! It’s th’ only fishy-smellin’ door in this place, innit?”

“Let us hope so,” the new Alice mutters.

Fascinated, Uilleam can’t keep from watching as Alice approaches a very solid-looking door. One of the few that had not been constructed from marzipan. This time, the Gray Lady does something rather unexpected: rather than raise her sword to the door, she leans down and consults the iron lock.

“She’ll not be able to bend its will,” a man mutters resentfully. “’Tis made of iron!”

But in the very next moment, the door swings open silently. The new Alice leans over the threshold and checks the hall beyond.

“Come along,” she whispers back at them. “And follow me quietly.”

Escaping, Uilleam muses, sounds so much more exciting and adventurous than it actually is. They creep through the halls of the Castle of Crims and he has to squash the urge to shout and throw his feathered hands in the air and dash for the nearest doorway. They move quickly and quietly when everything inside the dodo is ordering him to hurry up and get out now!

The new Alice pauses at each hallway intersection and conducts a thorough inspection before leading them around the corner. From the angle of light that enters through several windows along the way, Uilleam estimates that it is teatime just now... which might explain why the halls are so empty. The Red Queen, it is rumored, is very strict about observing teatime properly. He shares this theory with everyone, careful to keep his voice low.

Only once do they encounter an obstacle. At the castle gate, a pair of card soldiers are debating the purpose of the point at the end of their spears and show no signs of reaching a consensus anytime soon.

“Wait here,” the Gray Lady tells them and, sheathing her sword, strides out across the castle courtyard to where the pair of guards are arguing.

“Ho, there!” she calls. “What’s all this racket?”

The card soldiers snap to attention. Uilleam blinks at yet another unexpected turn of events. He can think of no reason for why the card soldiers would obey an Alice... except that, from her tone of voice, she expects them to heed her.

“Apologies, ma’am. We was just discussin’—”

“Yes, you were discussing the point on the end of your spear loudly enough to disturb the queen’s teatime! Is that something you want to do?”

“Oh! No, ma’am!”

“I wouldn’t think so. Now, hand me your spear Number Ten and I will answer your question.”

The card soldier on the right complies with the order.

The Gray Lady regards the weapon. “The point of the spear, gentlemen,” she says, “is in the shape of a heart. Did you notice?”

They shake their heads.

“Yes,” she continues. “An inverted heart. Now, why would a heart be on the end of a spear, Number Two?”

“Um... because the Red Queen likes hearts?”

“Precisely. And why is it inverted, Number Ten?”


The Gray Lady gives the card soldier a tap on the helmet with the tip of the spear. “Think, man! Why?

The card soldier flounders.

The Gray Lady sighs and sets the spear tip against the card soldier’s middle. “Look down, lad. What shape do you see?”

He obeys, as does his counterpart. “Oh! It’s a heart! I can see it very clearly from this angle.”

“That’s quite clever,” Card Number Two says. “The enemies of the queen are seein’ her mark just before they get a poke in the belly.”

“Exactly,” Alice says. And then she pokes them.

It all happens so fast that Uilleam – even with his bird eyes – barely catches the flurry of motion. One instant the two card soldiers are looking down, contemplating the spearhead and the next instant, they’re both on their backs, out cold. The Gray Lady collects the second spear and waves for Uilleam to lead the others across the courtyard.

“Let’s go!” he announces. “Teatime’s nearly over!”

That gets everyone moving and they dash for the front gates. Uilleam watches as the new Alice tosses the spears into the moat, sighing at the sight of several bobbing heads.

“After this, I expect the Red Queen will increase security,” the Gray Lady remarks with a forlorn sigh. “It will be harder than ever to escape that place.”

She looks so sad about that that Uilleam feels compelled to pat her on her slumped shoulder. He wishes he could think of something to say, but he finds himself rather confused by the statement. What does increased security matter now that all of them have escaped successfully?

They hurry across the draw bridge and along the road to the castle, through the twisting canyon and into the scraggly, wild forest beyond. At the first crossroads, the Gray Lady stops.

She seems to be preparing herself to make an announcement, but is interrupted.

“Whoever you are, you certainly seemed to know the castle very well,” a woman observes. “And you seemed rather chummy with the soldiers, as well!”

Uilleam takes offense at her suspicious tone on the Gray Lady’s behalf. Before he can do more than ruffle his feathers, a leather-covered hand rises and gestures for silence.

“I’ve been a guest of the Red Queen’s before,” the new Alice replies simply. She then glances around at the wilderness which frames the crossroads, sighs and says, “If I were you, I’d go to Mamoreal. To the White Queen.”

“Whatever for? She’s hardly a queen anymore.”

“Today she isn’t,” the Gray Lady admits. “But who knows what tomorrow will bring. Fairfarren, all.”

Once dismissed, the creatures and former courtiers hardly waste a moment in hurrying off. They scatter like card soldiers in a stiff wind. Uilleam watches them go. When he turns back around, the new Alice is still standing there and the dodo is a little surprised to see that the white rabbit and the dormouse – who is not sleeping! – have lingered behind as well.

“Oh! How can I ever thank you for getting me out of that wretched place?” McTwisp bleats with an expressive shudder.

Uilleam nods in agreement. “That rescue was quite unexpected and thoroughly welcome,” he contributes.

The Gray Lady considers them for a moment before musing, “I don’t suppose you could point me in the direction of the Duchess’ home?”

“No...” McTwisp replies, his ears drooping. “I’m afraid the way has rather a lot of directions and merely pointing won’t help in the slightest.”

“We coul’ take yah there, though,” Mally offers.

The new Alice nods. “I would appreciate that... but won’t it be dangerous for you?”

“No more so than standing around here waiting for the card soldiers to find us!” the white rabbit informs her.

The Gray Lady huffs out a short bark of laughter. “Very well, then. Show me the way, friends.”



Alice finds it supremely ironic that it had taken one look for the dodo – Uilleam – to declare her to be Alice when she had been surrounded by doubters upon her return on Griblig Day. She’d had to remind herself that although that day is in her past, it is actually in these creatures’ future... That realization had made her pause.

Uilleam had accused her of being Alice and she’d hesitated, deliberated, and finally decided that perhaps it would be best if everyone believed her to be another Alice.

An epiphany had slammed into her as she’d stood there stuttering at the very obviously impatient, blue dodo bird: Alice must not interfere with the coming events; whatever she does here, she must be sure that she does not change these creatures’ future; in order to complete this mission, she must do so anonymously!

And so she had made her decision and announced: “I’m afraid you have the wrong Alice.”

A shiver had rolled up her left arm in the wake of that declaration.

The Wrong Alice.

Perhaps I’m the one who instills doubt and suspicion in them! Perhaps she, herself, makes them hesitate to believe in her nineteen-year-old self’s destiny as the Right Alice!

The Fates hadn’t mentioned anything about that, but it had made perfect sense to Alice. Now, as she follows in Uilleam’s wake with Mally dozing on her shoulder, Alice considers the implications and consequences of what she’d done.

She had tried to open the door that the Fates had pointed out to her, but it had been stuck fast. Alice had used her sword then and chopped her way through it... only to have it crumble into bits of stale marzipan at her feet and reveal Uilleam and Mally within a small prison cell. When Alice had looked back over her shoulder, the Hallowed Halls of Time had vanished completely and she had stared down a long corridor lined with other marzipan-made doors.

So, the Fates had directed her to save Uilleam and Mally. Perhaps for this very reason: the dodo is leading her to the Duchess’ estate. Mally, thus far, seems rather useless, which is perplexing. Where is the hatpin-sword-swishing brave warrior that Alice had met that Griblig Day?

Perhaps that is something that will become clearer with time, she muses. What could have been more worrisome is the realization that she might have saved people from the Red Queen’s prison that shouldnt have been rescued. But, no, Alice had recognized several of the White Queen’s future courtiers and then there had been McTwisp, who had quite obviously survived the Red Reign in the future that Alice knows. So, clearly, she had been meant to empty that prison of its occupants.

A shiver dances its way up her arm. They are coming more and more infrequently, but she doesn’t doubt that her time here is limited – soon the grayness will creep up her heart line to the Heart Mark. Alice tries not to let that distract her from her task, which she must do while keeping in mind the events she must not interfere with and the things she must – by necessity – do to ensure that future comes about.

It is all horridly confusing and Alice winces at the dull headache that throbs between her temples.

“My condolences,” Uilleam remarks.

Alice looks up and catches his sideways glance before he faces forward and along the wooded path once more. “Your condolences?” she echoes blankly.

“Yes, you’ve a Widow’s Peak,” he murmurs sympathetically.

Careful not to unseat Mally, Alice raises her right hand to her hairline. “No, I believe you’re mistaken, sir.”

“I’m not!” he responds tartly. “Only that sort of peakiness comes from a widow’s grief, Gray Lady.”

Alice says nothing as she supposes there is no way to argue with him. Nor is there any way she could explain that she had begun this endeavor with the aim of returning her husband to life and being a widow no longer.

“Did it happen when you got that scar?” Mally surprises her by asking rather directly. “Was there a battle? Was it the Knave?”

Uilleam and McTwisp eye Alice in what they no doubt believe to be a very circumspect manner. Alice swallows and lifts a hand to her neck.

Yes, the scar.

Oh, dear Underland!

Alice had completely forgotten about the scar on her neck!

She barely hears Nivens reprimand the dormouse: “Now, Mally, you mustn’t ask those sorts of questions as they remind one of very bad things!”

Alice does not respond; she is a bit busy fighting back the realization that... that...

She had been fated to come here. Suddenly, the odd comments that the Fates had made begin to make a terrible sort of sense:

I can see why we chose you...”

Yes, they had chosen her, hadn’t they? Even though the choice hadn’t yet been made, it must be made because, according to the memories of Underlandians like Mally and Uilleam and Nivens, it had already been made!

“Several people do have memories of you, another you, at a time when you shouldn’t have been in Underland, which leads us to believe that it is you we send to fetch the Oraculum and find it a new home...”

Yes, it all makes sense now. Alice had been destined to come to this time, to interact with these creatures... Which means... if she were destined to do this, then she had also been destined to Court Fate... which she’d had no intention of doing until... until...!

“And you rather took your time in Courting us!”

Alice gasps, stumbles to a halt on the leaf-strewn dirt road and presses a hand to her eyes. She breathes deeply, but it doesn’t keep the dizziness at bay.

The Fates had been expecting her to contact Them, to Court Them. In fact, They had orchestrated it!

“I suppose you rather didnt like my method for bringing you here. But it was of my own invention!”

A method of his own invention...!

“Gray Lady?” Uilleam whispers tentatively.

Gulping breaths, Alice holds up her other hand – thankfully, the heart line is still encased in the gauntlet and hidden under her tunic sleeve – and manages to gasp, “I just need a moment.”

“Here,” he says quietly, his feathery hands nudging against her thigh. “There’s an obliging tree stump here for you to rest upon.”

Alice weakly allows the dodo to herd to toward it.

Nivens barks, “Apologize to the Gray Lady, Mallymkun!”

“What for?”

“For that utterly thoughtless remark! Can’t you see it’s caused our rescuer a great deal of distress?”

“I only asked what you two were thinkin’!” the dormouse argues.

“Perhaps we had been,” Nivens replies, “but neither one of us would have uttered a word about it!”

“Which makes me braver than you,” the dormouse insists. “An’ I ain’t apologizing for it.”

“Nor should you,” Alice interjects, rallying herself from the terrible knowledge that the Fates had killed Tarrant, had waited for his death, had known that Alice would do anything for his sake, had expected that she would finally Court Them and They would have Their chance to send her into the past to right Their Wrong!

She will be angry later. She will be furious... no, bey-urious! Later.

Later, she will dwell on the fact that the moment she had told Tarrant her plan for turning the rebels away from warfare... The heartache she had felt from him when he had realized precisely how she would do that...

The scar, she realizes. Her left hand, still at her own throat, tightens a bit until she can feel her loose, wrinkled skin mold around the hardened leather. Tarrant had recognized this scar. He had known what it would mean. He had known he would die, that she would travel into the past as his widow...

Later, Alice!

She gives herself a sharp shake. Yes, later, she will damn the Fates at Their Plans. Later, she will rage against Them for hurting her husband so deeply, so unforgivably.


“My apologies for the delay,” she says, interrupting a hissed argument between her three guides. “Let us continue.”

“Are you quite sure?” Uilleam inquires solicitously, helping her stand.

Alice’s legs are a bit wobbly and her head is still spinning, but she nods. “Lead on, kind sir.”

With an uncertain glance toward McTwisp who shrugs once, he does.

“By the way,” Mally wonders aloud after a few minutes of silence, “how did yah get that door lock to open up for us? The iron one? Back at the prison?”

Alice smirks, relieved at the change of topic. “I gave it a password.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s a secret word that – when used – shows the lock that the speaker is a friend.” It had been almost too easy to explain the system to the door, set the password, and then use it. Iron locks, while quite strong, are not as bright as brass ones, obviously.

“Oooh...” Mally replies sounding thoroughly entertained. “So what was the password?”

“It’s five words, actually. Which makes it that much harder to guess: Downal wyth Bluddy Behg Hid.”

Nivens stumbles and has to scramble to keep from diving nose-first into the rotting leaves and gravel on the dusty road. “I beg you pardon!” he squeaks.

Uilleam gawks at her.

Mally cackles. “Oh! So yah are an Outlander! Although I ain’t never heard that turn o’ phrase before.”

“Haven’t you?”


Alice blinks at her stunned compatriots. “Haven’t any of you?”

The dodo and the rabbit shake their heads.

“It’s the rallying cry of the Resistance!”

“The Resistance?” Uilleam parrots, clearly confused.

“Yes! The Resistance which seeks to return the crown to the White Queen once and for all!” Alice gapes at the lot of them. Is it possible that this is something else that she must address? Is it possible that there is no organized resistance against the Red Queen at this time? She considers informing them that Tarrant Hightopp is the leader... but forces herself to be quiet. If the Resistance hasn’t begun yet, then it will do no good at all to claim that it has a leader!

“A Resistance!” Mally sighs happily. “I like the sound o’ that!”

“Better than your own snores?” Uilleam asks wryly.

Mally considers her answer for a moment before declaring, “Aye. I like it e’en better than my own snores.”

“Callou, callay. Oh, joyous day,” the dodo intones.

“Have you ever held a sword, Mally?” Alice asks the dormouse.

Mally giggles. “How could I with ’em bein’ so great big an’ all and me being so... not!”

Alice smiles. “Then we shall have to find you one that is a proper size.”

The dormouse huffs. “I ain’t never gonna be a fighter. So just leave off, all right?” And with that, she curls back up on Alice’s shoulder and seems to fall asleep out of sheer spite.

Alice sighs.

“Oh, I wouldn’t mind her,” Nivens comments. “It’s just that her size is a touchy subject.”

Uilleam concurs. “It’s hard being so small. Good for survival, I expect, for hiding. But not good for much of anything grand.”

“That’s ridiculous,” Alice snaps. “How’s Mally supposed to believe in herself if no one shows her how?”

And in the wake of the guilty silence that follows, Alice sees yet another task before her: Mally’s muchness. Somehow, she will have to help Mally become the brave fighter Alice knows she is capable of being. In fact, it is necessary that Mally develop unshakable courage, for she will have to have the fortitude to poke out the Bandersnatch’s eye!

Things are so different now, she muses. The Underland that Alice is acquainted with is full of creatures that are stronger, braver, muchier.

“What’s the date today?” she asks suddenly.

“Merride,” Nivens replies.

Alice does a bit of mental calculation and... “How long has the Red Queen worn the crown?”

“Just since Horvendush Day last, although she’s been intolerable for much longer than that!” Uilleam supplies with a woeful shake of his great head.

“Horvendush Day... That was just a few days ago!” Alice muses, horrified and sickened. If today is Merride, then that means that this – everything she has witnessed – is only the beginning of the horrors that await Underland!

Her mind racing, Alice slows to a halt on the road.

“Gray Lady?” Nivens gently – but nervously – prompts her.

“I’ve changed my mind, sirs,” she answers, thinking of today’s date, thinking of the one person who needs help the most; the one person she cannot abandon without seeing first; the one person who needs to help Underland – who is destined to champion Mirana of Mamoreal and both inspire and encourage Alice to pick up the Vorpal Sword; the one person whom she can trust to retrieve the Oraculum should she fail her task; the one person who is hurting worse than anyone else in Underland today.

“I need to go to Iplam.” The sound of her own voice calls her back to the present. Alice blinks and looks from Uilleam to Nivens and then back again. “Take me to see the Hatter.”

One Promise Kept: Book 5

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by Manniness

Part 4 of 13

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