Continuing Tales

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 28 of 48

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Alice was pacing again, only this time in the Queen's bedroom. After Mirana's fainting spell, she had ordered the Queen brought here to rest and her … guests … detained in separate chambers. The flurry of activity had kept her emotions at bay for a while, but now in the quiet of the Queen's private sanctuary, her outward calm had melted away to reveal intense agitation.

Tarrant on the other hand, was perfectly composed. He sat in one of the squashy arm chairs beside Mirana's bed and seemed to be deeply interested in the brocade fabric that made up his hat. Alice had a fleeting feeling of amusement of their reversed roles but squashed it upon hearing a faint groan from the bed.

Alice rushed to the Queen's side and sat down abruptly. Mirana blinked in confusion at her Champion, trying to place herself. The look of unease and slight impatience on her face brought everything back to her, and she had to bite back the longing to sob.

Lily, oh my poor, sweet Lily …

"Majesty?" Alice reached out and grasped Mirana's hand in attempt to bring her back to the present. Snuffling, Mirana turned a baleful gaze upon her.

"Well?" She asked quietly. "What has been done with my – our guests?" She rested listlessly against the pillows, still unwilling to truly contemplate everything that had brought them to this point. Alice's face composed itself into a mask of confidence.

"Our guests have each been assigned a separate sleeping compartment, in different wings I might add. I thought that might quell whatever last minute mischief making they might attempt. Her Highness, Princess Lily, is only a few doors down from here. All of them are guarded. Heavily. I sent out a number of scouts into Tulgey Wood and the surrounding area to make sure Iracebeth had no followers lurking to ambush Marmoreal. They should arrive with news soon."

Alice paused to let the Queen take everything in. After a minute the Queen nodded and sat up straighter. Adopting a false sense of security, she motioned both Alice and Tarrant closer. The latter got up and came to stand beside Alice. He sat a hand on her shoulder and she unconsciously reached up to rest her hand on his.

Mirana smiled faintly at the sight. At least these two seemed to have reconciled. They would need to be on good terms for whatever came next …

"When the scouts return, have them meet me in my study. Once we know their information, we can decide how to approach this situation."

Alice and Tarrant nodded in agreement.

"Tarrant, go see Thackery and have several trays made up. We will dine here together while Iracebeth and her company eat separately." Tarrant murmured his agreement and rose to leave.

"Hold a moment Tarrant." Alice called out. He looked at her quizzically.

"Do not engage Stayne or Iracebeth. They'll be fishing for information to use to their advantage." Alice's voice held an underlying command, though she tried to disguise it. Tarrant's gaze sharpened but he grinned at her.

"Now Alice, how could they possibly go fishing? There are neither lines nor poles strong enough to reel in the secrets of this place. Also, my dear, I'm afraid it has escaped you notice that we aren't under water."

Alice rolled her eyes at his jesting tone but smiled at him. After he left, she turned back to the Queen. Mirana's eyes were trained on the soon to be setting sun outside her window. Her face was blank, concealing the storm of emotions Alice that was certain were just beneath the surface.

"Mirana?" Alice questioned gently. The White Queen's dark gaze settled on her. Those eyes were ancient in their sadness and weariness. Alice felt her sympathy rise within her, but Mirana wanted none of it.

"I don't have much desire to see any servants right now Alice. Would you mind terribly if I asked you help me dress? I want to receive the scouts properly." Alice simply nodded and hauled the Queen to her feet.

They set to work in silence, each consumed by her own separate fears and hopes.

Although Alice being Alice, was already planning her next move …


The scout had reported that there seemed to be no support for the deposed Red Queen in or around Tulgey Wood.

Although the information caused a sigh of relief to sweep their company, it left them at a disadvantage. They had been prepared for a full scale war. Now they were left with a one on one fight and negotiations. Mirana knew she should be at the forefront of the discussions but her emotions were too involved in the matter. So she had assigned Tarrant, Alice, and Chessur to act in her place.

Those three now stood in the throne room waiting for the challenging party to arrive. At last the great doors swung open.

Stayne led the way, quickly followed by Iracebeth and then Lily. They all stood face to face, Alice and Lily in the middle of their respective lines.

Stayne opened his mouth to begin but Alice cut him off before he could speak.

"Not a word from you Knave. Or you Oh Deposed One. I will speak only with Princess Lily. If either of you say a word, I'll chain you back together and throw you into the Crimson Sea, rules or no rules. Caprice?"

The two traitors were slacked jawed at Alice's blatant authority. They obviously hadn't counted on her muchness increasing in her time away.

They took a step back though and let Princess Lily have the floor. Alice stared the young woman down for a full minute. Her gaze was so intense that Lily began to fidget. Then without warning, Alice unsheathed the Vorpal sword from its place at her waist.

With exaggerated slowness, she walked towards the Princess, holding the sword delicately in both hands. She stopped a foot away and motioned the girl closer.

Lily glanced nervously at the sword before meeting Alice's eyes. To her total amazement, Alice's gaze was softer and warmer than she had anticipated. It was almost … friendly.

"Do you feel the magic coming from it?" Alice whispered. Lily could only nod. Very slowly, as to not strike the girl, Alice rotated the sword so she held it by the hilt against her own cheek.

"It's because it's in the hands of its true wielder. I am Champion of the White Kingdom and Underland. This means I serve the true Queen of Underland and all the powers of this world are hers and mine to wield. Are you absolutely certain you wish to challenge that?"

Lily continued to gaze at the Vorpal Sword. In the dying light of day it seemed luminous and its light made Alice look like a fierce, divine being. For the first time since she had left the Outlands, Lily felt uncertain. Who was she to challenge a magic such as this?

She couldn't help herself and looked back to the pair behind her. Their gazes were strangely blank as they looked upon her. But eventually, they softened. It gave her a misplaced sense of strength, so she stepped back to stand between them.

"I am certain. I stand by my challenge for the Throne of Underland." Her voice rang out. Alice sighed and sheathed the Vorpal Sword. As she turned to her companions, she let them see the grimace on her face that would have made Iracebeth cackle with joy. She repositioned herself and put the cool mask back in place. Once settled, she nodded to Chessur to handle the rest of the proceedings.

The cat cleared his throat and grinned to his little audience.

"Well then, seeing as this challenge is going to take place, I now ask the respective champions to step forward." He drawled.

Alice stepped forward and unsurprisingly Stayne did as well. Alice could feel the hate rolling off of Tarrant behind her and prayed silently that he would hold his tongue until after this was over.

"Very well," Chess continued, "Challenging party chooses weapons." Chess looked expectantly to Stayne. The man smiled lazily.

"Swords." Alice reached a hand to stroke the hilt of the Vorpal Sword at her side and glared at Stayne.

"Alight, Host chooses date and place of the challenge now." Chess smiled wickedly at Alice.

"The Chess Field in two days' time, at dawn." She winked cheekily at Iracebeth just to goad her. It the desired effect, because her bulbous head turned red. Alice smiled a smile extremely similar to Chessur's at the sight.

"Noted. Now all that's left to do is decide the price of this challenge. Challenger, what do you ask for if your champion should win?" Lily stepped forward slightly and in a far calmer voice than Alice could ever have imagined, spoke chillingly.

"That the Throne and Rule of Underland become mine, to do with as I please and for the current false queen and her supporters lives to be forfeit."

Alice could see both Tarrant and Chess flinch as the grisly demand, but paid them no mind. She had to make Mirana's request count. Chess cleared his throat again after that bit of unpleasantness and turned to Alice.

"Host, what do you ask for in place of your sovereign if you should win?" Alice eyed the trio before her carefully before answering. Stayne was far too confident and Iracebeth only had the greedy, mad gleam in her eye that Alice knew so well. But Lily looked fearful, as if she was only just coming to realize what she had gotten herself into.

Alice knew in that moment, after looking at the young woman's face, that the request Mirana had made would be worth it.

"My Queen asks that Iracebeth and Stayne are to reveal all their secrets and afterward are to be chained separately in the ruins of Salazen Grum, guarded heavily at all times, until the absolute end of Underland."

Chess nodded at the request and finished the exchange.

"So will it be. In two days' time, at dawn, the champions will meet on the chess field and will wield swords to defend the honor of their lieges. Go and prepare."

At this the guards came in to lead the challenging trio away. Tarrant and Chess moved towards the door that connected to the Queen's apartments, talking quietly. Alice slowly turned away after seeing Iracebeth and Stayne both under separate guard with 8 cards and chess pieces respectively. Lily however had yet to remove herself from the room.

She stood there with a look of confusion on her perfect face. Alice tilted her head at her in curiosity, waiting for the Princess to speak.

"Wha – what is to happen to me if the White Queen succeeds?" She asked haltingly. Alice kept her cool mask in place as she came to stand before her.

"Her Majesty will decide your fate after the challenge concludes. So I would suggest that you conduct yourself in an appropriate fashion until that time. Unlike your companions to be more to the point."

"My parents raised me perfectly well thank you very much and I shall act as I see fit!" Lily pouted. Alice merely shook her head at her and motioned for the guards to take the girl back to her room. As the Princess sashayed out, Alice looked to the setting sun.

It was going to be a hard two days and she was going to have to get to work quickly if her plan was to succeed.

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 28 of 48

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