Continuing Tales

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 21 of 48

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The next three days flowed peacefully for the residents of Marmoreal. Mirana and Alice spent their mornings planning the ceremony for Alice to take her vows. After a light lunch with members of the White Court, Alice and Chess would retreat to either the library or the water garden. She had enlisted Chess's help in learning the history of Underland. She would read for an hour and then he would quiz her on what she read that day plus that which she had read from previous days.

It was rather taxing working with Chess. His cryptic answers and questions set her on edge, but she realized he was preparing her for her work as an advisor to the White Queen. Though she sincerely hoped that none of the residents of Underland would be quite so … impertinent.

Following that Alice either walked with the Queen or rode Bandy until tea time. She had decided to avoid Tulgey Wood for the time present until she had the right as a Champion to investigate. The place gave her an uneasy feeling to begin with. It was probably foolish on her part though not to mention it, but Mirana seemed so stressed with the round of ceremonies added to her daily routine and the lasting effects of the harsh winter.

Perhaps when things settled down she would say something.

She typically took tea with Tarrant and some of their friends. She still wasn't sure enough of herself to be alone with him completely for extended periods of time, but things had been better since she didn't see Celeste at all during her days.

Of course that didn't mean Tarrant didn't see her, but Alice chose to ignore that little fact.

Mirana had also sent her to see the seamstress in the town of Marmoreal for her gown that was to be worn after she took her vows. It was to be a simple thing, much like the gowns of old. Alice had been very firm that the gown should have pockets she could stow her knife in. She had lost the argument with Brenda the seamstress. Alice had wanted a dress that could handle a sword, but the woman had a fit that may or may not have led to her shouting herself hoarse. Alice actually enjoyed the older woman's company so she had backed off.

The evenings were her favorite time.

She would dine with the Queen and her court, struggling to stay focused through the nine courses. Her mother would have called it an exercise in patience. Alice called listening to the petty fights and back handed statements torture.

Once that was finally over she would bid the Queen goodnight and slip off to Tarrant's workshop. She couldn't count the hours she simply sat there, just talking with him as he made hats. Every now and then he would pause the conversation to ask her opinion on a piece. Every time this happened, he seemed to think her answer was the be all to end all. If she didn't like a piece he would toss it aside and begin again. If she liked it, he would make it the center piece of the table. Perhaps this was a bit out of hand, but Alice was slightly gratified that her opinions mattered to him so much.

When they were both falling asleep in their chairs, he would escort her to her room and after a quick hug, they would both go to bed in anticipation of the following day.

On the fourth day since she had become a citizen of Underland, Alice had gotten to the water garden early. She took the opportunity to lean against the weeping willow and to just enjoy the sounds of nature around her. It was long before she heard a voice by her ear.

Inactivity doesn't suit you silly girl.

Alice turned her head just enough to see the speck of brilliant blue on her shoulder.

"Hello to you too Absolem." She made her voice as polite as possible.

Indeed. A Champion should be rolling in the dirt, not sitting amongst the trees.

"Not a Champion quite yet Absolem."

But you will be.

"But of course. Would I suit any other position here in Wonderland?"

Not hardly.

Alice smiled and let his pessimistic attitude slide off her shoulders.

Are you ever going to out grown that childish name for this place?

"Not hardly." Alice laughed at the way Absolem pushed off her shoulder to fly in her face in exasperation.

Not too far away, the Queen and Chessur observed the scene. Chess was visibly stunned by the interaction and Mirana was only lesser so.

"She speaks to him?" His voice was awed. A very rare thing for the wiliest creature Underland had ever known. Mirana smiled at the thought before answering him.

"Apparently. Absolem dropped in on her during her adventures above and they somehow have learned to communicate most effectively." She responded.

Chess continued to stare at the pair in silence. Eventually Absolem flew off and they moved to speak to Alice. Mirana joined in on the lesson today and was pleased by how well her choice of Champion handled Chess's snide comments.

"Nicely done Alice. I think Brenda is expecting you in town so why don't you head off?" Mirana said with a satisfied smile. Alice nodded and bounded off toward the gate, leaving her companions to wonder at the unusualness of their chosen savior.


An hour later, Alice was back in the castle and on her way to Hatter's for tea when she ran into Celeste. For a heartbeat both women were momentarily stunned.

Eventually Celeste stepped back and smiled. Her eyes were hard.

"Why Miss Alice! Where could you be off to in such a rush?" She asked sweetly. Alice fought back a grimace at her tone.

"Tarrant's. It's nearly brillig." Celeste simply nodded and her hand rose to fiddle with a deep green emerald pendant at her throat. She did not move out of the way, which made Alice have to continue the stilted conversation.

"That's a pretty bauble." She offered halfheartedly. Celeste's smile only widened.

"Oh it's more than that Miss Alice. It's the representation of a promise." Alice felt a stone settle in her stomach. The vindictive look in Celeste's eyes didn't bode well.

"What promise?" The question was blunt.

"Why Tarrant's promise to love me for the rest of our lives! It's a tradition in the Outlands for a man to give the woman of his heart a family heirloom. To symbolize his intentions of course. This belonged to Tarrant's mother. It seems fitting that he should give it to his chosen woman does it not?"

Alice's whole body went cold and she had to reach a hand out to the wall to steady herself.

"Yes, quite fitting. If you'd excuse me."

Alice stepped around Celeste and hurried down the hall. She didn't really want to face the others right now, especially Tarrant. But more than anything she didn't want to keep staring at Celeste's wicked, exultant smile.

All she could think was that it had finally happened.

For the first time in over three years, Alice Kingsleigh hadn't been able to capture her heart's desire.

In fact, now, she wasn't sure she wanted to have a heart.

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 21 of 48

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