Continuing Tales

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 5 of 48

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Alice had developed several bad habits aboard The Wonder including swearing, spitting, whistling when bored, singing off key, and generally acting like one of the male species. The worst habit she had acquired though was currently driving her sister Margaret to distraction.

Alice was pacing.

And she had been doing so ever since she had called Margaret to this meeting in their mother's front parlor.

Pace 1, 2, 3, 4, turn, 5, 6, 7, 8. Repeat.


Pace 1, 2, 3, 4, turn, 5, 6, 7, 8. Repeat.


Pace 1, 2, 3, 4, turn, 5, 6, 7, 8. Repeat.

"Alice!" Margaret huffed.

Alice paused mid pace and smiled weakly at her sister.

"Sorry Margaret. I'm uncertain has to how to dictate this matter …" she tried to explain.

"You should say what you mean. The rest will come." Alice couldn't help but stare at her sister. Those exact same words had been said to her once in what she once thought was a dream that had turned into her (soon to be current?) reality.

Alice momentarily envisioned her sister with a pair of Thackery's twitching ears. She struggled to stifle the giggle threatening to erupt from her lips. Seeing this, Margaret grinned and patted the sofa seat beside her.

"That's my sister. Come, tell me what's on your mind." Alice seated herself and proceeded to examine her sister's smiling face. It was so much like her own, only rounded with pregnancy and had a pretty flush to accompany the smile. Alice hoped that her chosen words wouldn't dim it.

"Margaret, what would you say if I told you that there were more questions I had to answer? If those questions took me away from Eng—from you and mother again?" Alice asked in one breath.

Margaret seemed to have frozen in place. Then as if uncertain of the world around her, she slowly rested her hand on her swollen abdomen. Alice reached forward to place her hand over her sister's. Margaret's eyes were studying her, the same way their father's had when he'd been alive.

"There's more to it isn't there?" Margaret whispered. Alice sighed and cursed their father's ever observant genes for making their presence known in Margaret at this of all moments.

"Yes. These questions … I don't know precisely how long they will take to answer. I could be gone for a few weeks, a few months, maybe even – "

"Forever?" Margaret stared intently at her. Alice could only swallow and nod. Margaret continued to stare at her. Alice felt strangely uncomfortable, seeing as she was usually stared at. She tried to identify the cause. Possibly it was that her sister's face held no emotion what so ever …

"Why must these questions be answered now?" Still no emotion. Alice frowned.

"Because I have this funny feeling I'm running out of time to answer them. Also, I made a promise, a promise that affects more people than me." Alice continued to frown. The more she talked about her return to Wonderland, the more she felt there was no option left. It wasn't a pleasant feeling for a young woman who had had the opportunity to shape a part of the world to her standards.

Margaret's face melted into a soft smile.

"You're so like him. So honorable, so curious, so willing to take the world head on. I sometimes wish I had half your gumption. I wanted you to be here so you could instill those qualities in the little one."

Alice felt herself choking up. This was not what she had been expecting from her sister. Disbelief, anger, yes. But this?

"Alice?" Margaret's voice was gentle. Blinking back her sudden tears, Alice grasped her sister's hand tightly and bowed her head.

"I don't deserve you." She whispered. Margaret squeezed her hand.

"So you've completely decided?" Her voice was still gentle. Alice fought to keep herself from throwing herself in her sister's arms like she had done when their father had died. Sniffling, she shook her head.

"No, not yet. I feel as if I'm being pulled in every which direction without a compass to guide me. I don't want to hurt you but if I break my promise, I hurt so many others. I wish Father was here! He'd have the answer!" Alice finally let a few tears spill over.

Margaret's hand reached out and tenderly lifted her chin. Her hazel eyes were the same as Charles Kingsleigh's, holding the same warmth and love that had been a buoy for Alice all her life. Could she possibly give that up?

"Then go ask him." Alice stared blankly at her sister. Surely she hadn't heard her sister say she should talk to a dead man. By God, Margaret had gone even further around the bend then she had!

"I beg your pardon?" Alice stuttered.

"Oh don't look at me like that! Go there and ask him. Listen to your heart for the answer and then make a decision." Margaret replied.

Alice couldn't help herself any longer. She surged forward and nearly knocked them both off the couch with the exuberance of her hug. Gasping for breath and laughing she kissed her sister's cheek.

"Thank you Margaret! I haven't received such brilliant advice from anyone but myself in forever!" Alice grinned. Margaret's answering grin was just as merry. Alice jumped up and called for her shawl and the family carriage. Before she swept from the room, Margaret's voice called her back.

"Alice, if you decide to leave, just promise me you'll make some effort to be here for the birth of my child. A visit every now and then would be a comfort to Mother and I." Margaret's eyes were twinkling.

"Another promise Margaret? Yes. Yes, that is one I will definitely try to keep." With those parting words and a smile, Alice ran out of her mother's house.

A few miles outside the city, the Kingsleigh carriage drew to a halt. A small, blonde figure alighted and slowly began to make her way through the grass. She finally made it to her desired location.

Alice slowly knelt on the earth. She reached a hand out and caressed the white marble slab with trembling fingers.

Charles Gilbert Kingsleigh

Beloved Husband and Father

Born: July 18, 1819 Died: November 3, 1864

"Death is not but the next Great Adventure."

"Oh Father." Alice whispered. Her hand fell to rest with the other in her lap. Rereading the words engraved in stone once more, she closed her eyes and bent her head.

Where do I go from here Father? I feel so irresponsible leaving Mother and Margaret behind, yet it would kill me to say goodbye to Wonderland. You would have loved it! Everything seemed to burst with potential. I felt alive there for the first time since you'd passed. But now! Now I feel alive when I laugh with Jonathan, when the children beg me for another story, when I feel my little niece or nephew move within Margaret. In those moments here in England, I feel alive. But is right to live for only a moment? I'm just not certain anymore. Please Father, I need your guidance, one last time.

Alice slowly opened her eyes and then felt them widen.

Drifting slowly on the breeze was a butterfly. A vividly blue butterfly.

The butterfly landed on top of her father's tombstone.

"Absolem?" Alice whispered. The butterfly rose again, only this time to land on her nose. Its antenna tickled her nose. Alice of course had the good grace to sneeze, dislodging the creature. Somehow she could hear Absolem's voice on the breeze.

"Of course you stupid girl …"

Alice watched as he rose and began to float away toward the open country road. The same road that could either lead her home or lead her HOME. Alice watched him a moment longer before standing and brushing off her skirt. She marched back to the waiting carriage.

She had made up her mind at last.

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 5 of 48

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