Continuing Tales

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 30 of 48

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The morning was still cool as everyone gathered for the challenge. While the White Queen, Nivens, and Chess stood off to the side, Alice leaned casually against the ruins to await Stayne and his party.

Amazingly enough, Tarrant was quite calm beside her. Of course his eyes were more yellow than green, but he was humming and not pacing. Alice was grateful for his presence, knowing that even though it was meant to calm her, he wouldn't object to what she planned to do.

"Where are they? They are quite late!" Nivens' voice carried across the field to her ears. The white rabbit was twitching in agitation and Chess smiled gleefully at the sight. Alice watched as the cat floated upside down and taunted Nivens. Alice smiled and shook her head at the sight while Tarrant chuckled beside her.

As the sun began to peak over the horizon, the opposing party made their way across the checkered field. Iracebeth was paler than usual, no doubt due to the ruins. Alice smiled slightly, know that it evoked memories of the defeat of her last champion.

Her plan was being set in motion perfectly.

Lily walked quietly between her aunt and Stayne, head held high, face perfectly devoid of emotion. Alice made a mental note to congratulate the girl on her composure later.

Stayne was quite a sight to see. As confident as he had appeared two days ago, he seemed to be taking no chances. Every single part of his body was covered in armor. Even his eye patch appeared to be made of metal. Her smile increased at the sight. Apparently the whispers of her improved skills amongst the guards had reached his ears and he was outfitted against those skills.

Alice was gleeful. Yes, everything was going to go quite well!

Nivens hopped over and gathered them all forward. Mirana came to stand with her and Tarrant, while Stayne arranged himself.

"Challengers!" Nivens squeaked. "Ready your weapons! The Challenge will begin with the ringing of this bell!"

Nivens held up a small silver bell for them to see.

"The challenge will end when first blood is drawn. The loser is then required to answer the terms of the challenge. Are the Challengers ready?"

Alice and Stayne both nodded, locking eyes and glaring at each other.

"Very well, take your places please."

Mirana and Nivens moved back to the side of the Chess Field, but Alice stopped Tarrant before he could join them.

"Alice?" He asked curiously.

She let her gaze soften and cupped his cheeks with her hands.

"Kiss me for luck?" She asked quietly. Tarrant eyes darkened to a deep forest green as he nodded and bent his head toward her. The second their lips touched, Alice knew everything was going to be alright. The warmth of Tarrant's hands on her waist, the softness of his lips, and the feeling of safety that flooded her body were proof enough. Finally breaking the kiss, Tarrant pulled back and made sure he had her attention.

"Promise me you'll be alright?" Alice couldn't respond immediately, being too distracted by the swirling colors in his eyes. Yellow anxiousness, green happiness, and most surprisingly a deep purple. Alice could only guess at what it was, but decided to put it off.

"Yes, I promise to be alright." She kissed him quickly once more and then pushed him towards their waiting party. Seeing him safely there, she turned to face Stayne. The man seemed to be snarling in anger, which made Alice smirk. Her assumption about him was proving to be correct. His twisted desire for her had obviously not abated.

Good, one more distraction for him!

Alice took her position and drew out her sword. Stayne's eyes fixated on it and he smiled rather evilly.

"Not relying on the strength of the Vorpal Sword this time then?" He asked cruelly.

Alice smiled blithely at him and expertly twirled the plain sword. Stayne flinched back and Alice laughed softly.

"As if I would let your disgusting blood stain its sacred glow."

Stayne attempted to reply but Nivens' voice cut across to them.

"Challenge begins in three, two, one, now!" The silver bell was wrung and Alice and Stayne began circling each other.


Tarrant knew he shouldn't have been, but he was pleasantly surprised by Alice's ability with a sword. Her parries were sharp and precise, her arm never shook with the onslaught of Stayne's attacks. It did however become a bit repetitive though. Stayne would thrust once, twice, and then try a swipe at her. Each time Alice would parry each contact and then side step away from his blade.

It was like watching one of the old court dances that had long gone out of style. Dull, tedious, boring, humdrum, and repetitive. That was all this supposed challenge was turning out to be.

The White Queen and her party said nothing from their place behind him. Their attention was fixed solely on the fight working out before them. None of them felt the anxious tension that was seeping into Tarrant's bones!

In a fit of frustration, Tarrant pulled out his own clay-more from its sheath and pressed it into the earth. Before he sit down and lean back against it, Chessur appeared on top of his hat. Happy to have someone to vent his annoyance at, he tried to bat the pesky feline away from the rich brocade of his most prized possession.

"She's a smart one, that's for certain." Chess grinned at him amibicaly. Tarrant merely glowered at him, not following his train of thought.

"Her sense of timing is impeccable." Chess's smile widened to an unhealthy degree, so Tarrant turned to see if he could decipher what the bloody beast was rambling on about. It took a minute but the detail, so much like shimmery embroidery on a fabric of the same color, began to stand out.

Every parry and every feint that Alice made was making Stayne work all the harder. Little by little, his Alice was wearing the monster out without risk to herself!

"That's my Alice …" He whispered gleefully.

As if able to hear him from across the field, Alice suddenly smirked. In a quick flash of silver, Alice had flipped Stayne's sword from his grasp, knocked the man to the ground, and sliced his right cheek open. The steady line of bright red blood was beautiful to Tarrant.

It was finally proof that the Red Couple would never be able to harm his Alice or Underland again.

Alice had drawn first blood. It was over.

Or maybe not.

Alice had placed her sword over Stayne's heart and seemed to be leaning casually against it, once more blithely down at him.

"Do you yield?" She asked politely.

Stayne tried to twist away from her, but she seemed to lean a bit more on the hilt of her sword, staying his frantic attempts to escape.

"Alright, damn you, I yield!" He finally shouted. Tarrant grinned triumphantly at Alice. She looked up briefly to wink at him before focusing her gaze on Iracebeth.

"This is not right! Only the royal challenger can yield! Lily quick, we must –"Iracebeth stopped her rant to look in horror at the group slowly making their way toward her. Tarrant felt his own draw drop.

Mirana and Princess Lily had their arms around each other, smiling serenely. As they came to halt, Lily took a step away from her mother and drew herself up imperiously.

"This challenge is forfeit, as it was made when the truth was not evident." She turned frosty eyes on the woman steadily growing red before her.

"I know the truth now. You are no mother to me. You are nothing." She declared. She went to stand beside Mirana again and smiled at her joyfully.

Almost immediately, guards surrounded Iracebeth. She didn't struggle, in too much shock apparently.

Tarrant sought out Alice, hoping to confirm the suspicions already lurking inside his mind. She was grinning again and from the shake of her shoulders, silently laughing.

Tarrant smiled and sighed in exasperation. His Alice would never cease to amaze him.

"Guards, take him away." Alice nodded down to Stayne's prostrate form. As they hauled the man to his feet, Alice turned away. But not before Tarrant began to see his nightmare come to life.

Quicker than lightening, Stayne had wrestled a sword away from one of the unsuspecting guards and was about to cleave Alice's head from her shoulders. Before her name could even escape his lips, Tarrant watched Alice in wonder.

Seemingly sensing the chaos behind her, Alice took the dagger hidden at her waist and plunged it into Stayne's neck.

Tarrant would never forget the cold expression on her face as she drove the hilt of the blade home. She didn't let go as she followed the arch of his body downward and sank to her knees as the life finally went out of him.

Tarrant felt the madness fog his brain. He barely registered Iracebeth's cries of anguish and completely ignored Mirana's orders that everyone clear the area.

All Tarrant Hightopp could think was that Stayne had tried to kill Alice yet Alice had killed him. He slowly approached her, his clouded mind telling him to sweep her up and run where no one could ever attempt to harm her again.

"Bad, blade, blood, body, bugger –"

"Tarrant!" Alice's voice and the touch of her free hand on his cheek cleared his mind slightly.

"I'm fine." He gasped. Alice nodded and looked back down at the body of her enemy.

"I'm glad one of us is …" She whispered. Tarrant only then noticed how much her hands were trembling as she wiped the blood from her dagger and put it back in its sheath. Her vision seemed faraway.

"Alice? What can do? I want … I want to help you but I don't know how …" He knew he had to be strong for her, but he couldn't keep the anxious tremor from his voice.

Alice turned back to him and stumbled into his arms. She was shaking like a leaf in autumn!

"Just take me home Tarrant. Just get me away from here." She mumbled into his chest. Tarrant put a strong arm around her shoulders and led her away, hopefully for the last time, from this place of death.

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 30 of 48

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