Continuing Tales

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 36 of 48

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Alice awoke with a start and put a hand to her mouth to stifle her gasp. This was the third time this week she had woken up with the strangest dream!

And this time she was certain it was a dream!

Unlike her childhood recollections of Underland, which had been sharp and clear to the point of reality, these night images were cloudy and dulled.

"Alice?" She turned her head to the sound of her husband sleepy-yet-concerned voice. Tarrant was rubbing the sleep from his eyes and watching her warily. She grimaced slightly, remembering that the first time she had woken from this dream, she had accidentally hit Tarrant's nose while trying to wake herself.

"I'm fine. I think. It was just a dream …" She let her voice fade off while her thoughts went back to the fleeting images in her head. Only Tarrant's calloused fingers smoothing her flyaway curls kept her grounded.

"Do want to talk about it love?" Alice smiled at the yawn in his voice. She captured and kissed his fingers as she settled back down next to him in their bed.

"Maybe when I'm finished with the Queen in the daylight." She felt Tarrant nod and fall back asleep beside her. She couldn't fault him for falling back to sleep so quickly. In the month since they'd been married, Tarrant's creations had been in high demand. The Queen equated it to his happiness making people gravitate toward him.

Chess equated it to his newly married state and Alice had to agree with him.

She had watched women waltz in and out of her husband's workshop, going in looking curious and coming out looking utterly bamboozled. When she had questioned Chess about it he had burst into hacking coughs (a side effect of her questioning him while he had been grooming himself).

"They are trying to deduce how the sanest woman in our world has chosen to align her life with the most INSANE man. They my dear, don't see how you two … erm … fit together."

"We're both mad in our own way. That's how." She huffed. Chess had tickled her nose with his tail in retaliation.

"I know luv, they just can't see it past all the paste makeup on their noses."

Alice smiled at the memory and watched the sun rise through the curtains.

Pushing the discomfort of the dream aside, Alice rolled over to tickle Tarrant awake.


Mirana watched her Champion with increasing concern. Over the past week, the shadows beneath her usually bright eyes were becoming far more prominent than their usually bright sparkle and her natural alabaster skin was dull.

Surely this wasn't a side effect of marriage? She couldn't remember … it had been so long since her own marriage. If it was, she certainly wouldn't be entering the matrimonial field again anytime soon!

She wasn't the only one who had taken note. Lily had begun to attend her mother's daily routine and had developed a chatty, sisterly relationship with Alice. But day after day, Alice had grown quieter and quieter and quieter! This morning Lily had slipped up behind her with a whispered request.

"Mama, please for the love of bread and butter flies, find out what is wrong with her!"

Well now was as good as a time as ever!

"Alice my Champion! May I speak with you a moment?"

Alice nodded and handed her practice sword to the card she had been sparring with. Mirana slipped Alice's arm through her own and smiled reassuringly at the young woman's quizzical look.

When they had made their way back into the Queen's study, Mirana pounced.

Softly of course!

"What ails you my Champion?"

Alice's pretty eyes widened and the White Queen could almost see the wheels in her head turning. It was obvious in that moment that Alice had taken her Champion's training to heart. Her body immediately went on the offensive. Her shoulders tensed and her fists clenched, as if prepared for a fight.

It only lasted a moment, then Alice's shoulders slumped and she rubbed the back of her neck.

"As much as I would like to tell you, your Majesty, I promised Tarrant I would tell him as well."

"Ah! Well since that is the case, we will send for him and adjourn to someplace more comfortable." The White Queen patted Alice's shoulder and guided her back out into the castle corridors and outside to one of the numerous balconies.

When they stepped out, Mirana was pleased to see Tarrant already leaning against the railing. Alice sketched a quick bow and then was immediately in the Hatter's arms. Mirana smiled at the picture they made. The ease they had with each other was evident in their apparent ability to whisper in front of their Queen!

"Ahem!" Mirana almost never tittered but their giggling was not moving the situation along!

"Your pardon Majesty! I was merely reminding Alice that this particular balcony has stood witness to many of her dreams." Tarrant shot her a gap-toothed grin that had always been his most endearing feature. But at that moment, it simply added to her confusion.

"Dreams? Is that all that is the matter Alice? A bad dream?" Mirana let the touch of irritation color her voice, finally sobering the pair up.

Alice moved out of Tarrant's arms to pace away. Mirana and Tarrant both stilled as Alice paced back and forth along the length of the rail. She bit her lip and said nothing, just paced and paced and paced.

Then all at once she froze and turned to look at them.

"It is a dream, at least I think it is." She worried her bottom lip and then leaned next to Tarrant. She crossed her arms and a contemplative look entered her eyes.

"All I see it a white room, but the edges of it are soft almost as though it wasn't quite solid. And there's almost no sound. Almost. Every once in a while I think I hear a murmur or a moan. Then there is this rush of panic and disgust and then …"

Alice stopped talking, her gaze fixed on something in the un-seeable distance. Her mouth was parted and determination lit her from within.

And then her face fell and frustration reigned in her features.

"And then I wake up." She finished with a frown.

They were all quiet for a while. The birds sang overhead, a bright cheerful song in contrast to the melancholy mood that had been cast over their company.

"Have you ever had this dream before Alice?" Mirana asked gently after a few minutes. Tarrant glanced sharply at her and then Alice, whose face was set in a grim expression.

"Not this one exactly."

"Alice?" Tarrant's terrified whisper made Mirana tense up.

It had been a very long time since the Hatter had truly been a Mad Hatter. That made any hint of the madness worrisome. Tarrant's eyes were flashing from orange to yellow and Mirana could have sworn there were sparks of red with in their swirling depths.

And then like that it was gone!

Mirana glanced Tarrant over, curious as to what could have stayed the impending tidal wave of emotion.

Nothing seemed to have changed, until she noticed the angle of Tarrant's body. It had shifted to face more toward Alice. Her Champion was still deep in thought and looking into the distance, but she had snagged her husband's hand within her own and was rubbing soothing circles into the back of it unconsciously.

The simple touch seemed to have calmed The Queen's usually very Mad Hatter very quickly!

Mirana cleared her throat delicately, drawing their wandering minds back to the problem at hand.

"How does this recent dream differ than the earlier one?" She asked. Alice's eyes were wide and solemn.

"The original dream was much more clear." She glanced nervously at her husband and then back to the Queen.

"I could easily tell the shapes and sounds in that one. There were true walls and nurses speaking. Nurses from … from Above."

The White Queen drew in a sharp breath and saw Tarrant freeze out of the corner of her eye. Alice herself was just as tense, obviously unsure of what it all meant. Little by little Tarrant began to unfreeze. A finger twitch here and an eyebrow wager there. Finally, he slumped back against the balcony railing and rubbed his tired eyes with his free hand. When he looked up her, Mirana felt her heart plummet.

Cold, grey sadness was creeping into them, even though she knew her Hatter was trying to fight it off.

"What does it mean your Majesty?" His voice was heavy with dread.

Mirana swallowed and paced away from them. Her thoughts were scrambled as she tried to remember every bit of dream magic she had ever studied. Dream magic, like dreams themselves, was notorious for being uncertain and she was afraid to even contemplate the consequences for delving into Alice's dreams. She made it to the opposite end of the balcony and gripped the rail with both hands. She wasn't sure she was strong enough to look at her friends. They had both sacrificed so much for her and her kingdom, so she did not want to be the bearer of bad news!

"My lady?" She felt Alice placed a gentle hand on her shoulder and turned at the sound of that cajoling voice. She sighed at the look of foreboding on her companions' faces and made up her mind.

"I believe the original dream was stronger and clearer because you weren't fully of this world yet. Your place was still there because you hadn't yet become a citizen of Underland and therefore could not dream and see things as Fate would have allowed you too here Below. Now that your place is here, those dreams that connect you with the world Above are clouded, because your place in it is unclear."

Alice was nodding at her explanation but Mirana could see the wheels in her head turning at top speed this time. If she wasn't careful, she'd have enough steam to power the broken down Underland Locomotive again!

"But why would I be dreaming of There and not Here?" Her expression was endearingly confused and Mirana smiled fainting at the sight. It recalled the expression Alice had worn on her first visit to Underland and was told that her "petals" were those of a wild flower.

"I'm not entirely sure my dear. The answer I think, lies in the dream itself –"

"But she hasn't been having the full dream yer Majesty!" Tarrant's brogue cut across them. Mirana nodded to him and resisted the urge to remind him with whom he speaking and to reign in his tongue. It would help nothing if he should fall back on old habits now.

"I can fix that." She stated calmly. "It you are willing of course, Alice dear." Mirana looked her Champion carefully in the eye, searching for any sign of fear.

There was none.

"I'm willing. I'm assuming you'll whip up some sort of potion?" Curiosity lightened her expression once again and the Queen smiled.

"Yes and you'll be happy to know that this one tastes far better than those you have previously consumed!"

Alice smiled and nodded before turning to her husband. Mirana could see the apprehension in his stance just as clearly as Alice, but she knew that only his wife's words of comfort would do them any good.

With that in mind she turned and left the pair to whisper. She set off to her alchemy laboratory, mentally cataloging the ingredients she would need.

Tears of laughter, teeth of an unrequited love, a pinch of panic, and the seeds of the poppy flower…

All to be mixed, brewed, and strained in exactly the right order and at the correct temperatures. The potion she had in mind was complicated and slightly dangerous. She knew Alice would be willing to take the risk, but Tarrant on the other hand …

Well, that was another worry all together.

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 36 of 48

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