Continuing Tales

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 2 of 48

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Alice stood there staring at her blurred reflection in the glass. Yet it wasn't really her reflection that she was seeing. In her mind's eye, she saw it. Wonderland, festering with color and light. Wonderland, where creatures both familiar and strange would stop to have tea. Wonderland, where being mad was a good thing. Wonderland, where nothing was impossible.

"May I assist you miss?" A wheezy voice asked from her left. Alice whipped her head to look at the haberdasher next to her. The movement had given her whip lash. Gingerly rubbing her neck she made herself look at the man properly. She felt slightly disappointed. Hatters were supposed to be less, normal. Yet here the man stood, plain as the wall behind him. Sighing Alice finally answered.

"No sir, thank you."

Alice walked away from the shop window at a brisk pace. Actually she was practically running. Alice knew it was silly but she had to get away from all of it. The reminders of Wonderland in sharp contrast with the ordinariness of the haberdasher were giving her a headache.

They also reminded her that she had a decision to make and it wouldn't be a pleasant one.

Alice slowed her trot down to a halting walk. She had been avoiding the decision ever since England's coast line had come into sight a week ago.

Could she really go back to Wonderland?

She had fulfilled her obligations to the company and her father's memory. She had answered all of her questions, yet in doing so other opportunities had been opened to her. Lord Ascot had been so impressed with her work that he had offered her a partnership once her apprenticeship was at an end. She had made friends in the company that did not judge her as the rest of society did. Most importantly though, she had been gone from her family for three years. Did she not owe them some of her time?

Yet the fact remained that she had promised the Hatter that she'd be "back before he knew it." Knowing the Hatter, it was now long past "before he knew it."

Alice drew to a halt outside Cormack's Bookstore. She paused before going inside to look up at the sky. The Hatter and his madness were a concern. Had her being gone so long forced him to work with more mercury, creating hats to escape the thought of when she would return?


Alice shook her head at herself. She was romanticizing the current situation far too much. The Hatter was a grown man with a life to live and rebuild back in Wonderland. Thoughts of the girl who he had helped to regain her muchness were probably the farthest thing from his mind.

That thought though depressed Alice to no end. She had looked for and found bits of Wonderland and the Hatter in everything she had seen in China. It hurt to think that he may have not thought of her at all.

And yet …

If that was the case, perhaps she wouldn't have to make the decision at all. If the Hatter didn't really care, then neither should she.

Alice stepped into the quiet shop and began to wander amongst the shelves. As she let her hand trail over the leather bound volumes, her mind continued to solidify the argument that the Hatter would not truly care if she came back or not. After all, her purpose in Wonderland had been served. She had slayed the Jabberwocky and made sure the White Queen wore the crown again. The Hatter didn't want anything more from her. Coming to an end of a row, Alice stopped and smacked herself on the forehead. The action caught many curious stares of the other patrons but Alice didn't care.

Fool! She chided herself. Of course the Hatter wanted her back! He had asked, no pleaded, with her to stay last time hadn't he? She was being foolish to make up his mind for him when all the evidence was telling her she was wrong. Alice sighed in frustration.

She was back to deciding what the right thing to do was. Stay in London, the world she had always known where her growing family would be. Or go back to Wonderland that was just as familiar and held the family she'd never known she had.

Hoping to find the answers, Alice turned to the shelf she had stopped at wishing its contents held the answer. Staring back at her were the spines of books of catechism for children. Alice slowly picked one up and began flipping through it. The pages contained the prayers and signs of God she had been taught as a child, though had not really held her attention in her adult life. She stopped to examine a page of signs of God that the Church of England recognized.

Signs …

Alice closed the book, hugged it to her chest, closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and prayed.

Lord, I know we haven't spoken a lot in the past few years but things have changed. I know it's asking you a lot, but I need as sign! A hint! Anything! Tell me what I should do. I'm so confused now. Please God, send me a sign if I should return to Wonderland or if I should stay here. Amen.


Alice wrenched her eyes open to see her sister staring at her in concern.

"Yes Margaret?" She fought to keep her voice from shaking.

"Are you alright dearest?" Margaret looked to the book she was clutching. "Did you find a new flight of fancy to read?" Margaret was obviously trying to soothe her and Alice was grateful. She gave a chuckle and placed the catechism book back on the shelf.

"No sister mine. Still have my own flights of fancy to sort through from the past three years before I can embark on someone else's."

The response caused Margaret to laugh aloud. She caught Alice's arm with her own and steered her back out onto the street.

"Mother wanted see if Signora Roseo had any new fan designs in, so I told her I'd fetch you and we'd meet her and the carriage there before returning home." Margaret explained. Alice nodded in acknowledgement and let her mind wander as her sister began regaling her with stories Lady So and So's fan from the last society meeting.

Suddenly a streak of grey brushed under their skirts causing them both to shriek and almost fall over. As Alice tried to calm her sister, her eyes sought out the offending flash of grey.

Her heart stopped.

There in the shadows of the opposite alley way was a large grey tabby cat, and in the shadows, its eyes seemed to glow teal.

"Chessur?" Alice whispered.

The cat flicked its tail, once, twice, thrice, and then it disappeared around again into the shadows.

"Alice? What are you staring at?" Margaret's voice seemed as breathless as Alice felt.

"Shadows and memories apparently …" Alice said without thinking. Margaret's extremely unlady-like snort alerted her to the fact that once again, her comments seemed out of place. At least here in London …

"Come now dearest, Mother is probably pacing by now." With those words, Margaret marched off. Well, at least as well as pregnant woman could march while waddling. The thought brought the image of a mother duck in band conductor's uniform leading a gaggle of ducklings playing instruments. Laughing to herself at the image, Alice set off after her sister.

Her laughter died however upon seeing another alley way and her thoughts turned back to the suspicious cat.

Fluffy, grey, teal eyed. At complete and totally Cheshire like Chessur cat. If it had smiled, there would have been no doubt. But it was impossible that the good Lord above had delivered a sign to her already! The little voice came back inside her head though.

Only if you believe it is …

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 2 of 48

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