Wallace in Wonderland

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Contently Deranged Travelers


An act of chivalry sent Wallace head to head with an attractive girl with a grumpy disposition. The incident led to an adventure that was out of this world – so to speak.


In a more romantic age, a girl might have attracted a young man’s attention by dropping a handkerchief. Alice Chumley didn’t drop a handkerchief. She dropped her bag. Wallace was close behind her when it happened. He dashed forward and reached down for it at the same time as she did. Their heads came together with jarring force, sending Alice tumbling to the pavement.

‘Wallace Blatt!’ she cried. ‘You idiot.’ Wallace tried to help her up. ‘Get your hands off me!’ she snapped, slapping his hand away. She struggled to her feet.

‘I … I’m sorry, Alice, I didn’t mean … I’m not … are you OK?’

‘Of course I’m not OK. I think I’ve got percussion.’

‘I think you mean concussion … but I don’t see …’

‘You think I’m just making it up?’

‘No … yes … Oh Jeez. Look, I’m sorry. I was just …’

‘For goodness sake stop babbling. I’m dizzy enough already. Were you trying to steal my bag?’

‘What? No! I was just trying to pick it up for you. It looks kind of heavy.’

‘It is heavy.’ She massaged her head. ‘The least you can do now is carry it home for me.’

‘Uh … sure … OK.’ He picked up her bag. He staggered under its weight. ‘Holy cow! What have you got in here? A dumbbell?’

‘What did you just call me?’

‘Nothing. I just wondered why your bag is so heavy.’

‘You called me a dumbbell!’

‘No I didn’t. It was just a figure of …’

‘What? What’s wrong with my figure?’

Wallace tried in vain to come up with a suitable response.

‘Oh, shut up!’ said Alice.

‘I didn’t say anything.’

‘Good!’

They walked off together in awkward silence until Wallace could stand it no longer. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘what happened back there was an accident. It wasn’t my fault, but I’m willing to apologise. Would that make you feel better?’

‘No.’

Soon afterward, they arrived at Alice’s front door. She unlocked the door and stepped inside. Wallace held the bag out to her.

‘Bring it inside,’ said Alice.

‘Good grief. It talks!’

‘Don’t be sarcastic. I was cross with you for being so clumsy, but I’m over it now. Will you bring my bag inside for me … please?’

Wallace hesitated.

‘Come on,’ said Alice. It’s OK. Dad’s at work and Mum won’t be home for ages.’

‘Nobody home? I don’t think I should …’

‘I promise I won’t bite.’

Wallace looked around to assure himself that they were unobserved, and then stepped into the hallway. Alice closed and locked the door behind him.

‘You locked the door!’

‘Of course. We always keep the door locked. You never know who might walk in. Come on, bring my bag through here.’ Wallace followed Alice into her bedroom. He looked around in awe. He had never been inside a girl’s bedroom before. ‘You look nervous,’ she said.

‘I shouldn’t be in here,’ he replied.

‘Perhaps not, but who’s going to know?’

Wallace stared at Alice. Minutes ago, she had seemed angry with him. Now she was getting flirty. ‘Did you drop your bag in front of me on purpose?’ he asked.

‘Of course I did. I’ve seen the way you look at me. I got tired of waiting for you to make a move, so I made it for you. I didn’t expect the headbutt though. That really hurt. Sorry I lost my temper, but I couldn’t resist winding you up a bit.’

‘Yeah, well, I guess I was a bit too enthusiastic. You are right, I did want to talk to you; but I wasn’t planning on ending up in your bedroom quite so soon.’

Alice blushed. ‘Don’t get the wrong idea. That was just to put my bag away. Let’s go into the kitchen. You want coffee?’ She glanced out the window as she headed for the door. ‘Oh crap!’

‘What?’

‘Mum’s car is turning into the drive. She’s home early.’

‘Jeez! I knew I shouldn’t have come inside. How do I get out of here?’

‘You can’t,’ cried Alice. ‘She’ll see you for sure. Hang on. She’s stopped to have a chat with Mrs. Hawthorn next door. That’ll give us time.’

‘To do what?’

‘To think of something of course.’

‘Just tell your mother the truth. You had an accident and I carried your bag home for you.’

‘That won’t work. She’ll be furious with me for bringing you into the house. I’m sorry but I’ll have to tell her that you forced your way in.’

‘You wouldn’t dare!’

‘Yeah, I suppose you’re right, but there is another way … ’ Alice went to her wardrobe and flung open one of its two sliding doors. She rummaged among the garments and withdrew a short sleeved blue and white shift dress.

‘Do you like this one?’

‘It’s OK, but this is hardly the time…’

‘It’s not for me. It’s for you. Hurry and get changed. I’ll turn my back if you’re shy.’

‘What? You want me to get into that dress?’

‘Sure. Then Mum will think you are just one of my girl friends. Get a move on. She’ll be coming in any minute.’

‘Are you nuts? I don’t look a bit like a …’

‘Damn you Wallace Blatt just do as I say!’ Alice glanced out the window. ‘Oh gosh. It’s too late now. Mum’s coming. The wardrobe. Quick, get inside.’ She gave Wallace a shove.

‘I’m home, dear,’ called Mrs. Chumley as she came through the front door and locked it behind her. ‘Where are you?’

‘I’m in the bedroom, Mum.’ She called as she pushed Wallace further into the wardrobe.

Wallace protested. ‘I’ll suffocate …’

‘Shut up!’ said Alice. She slammed the wardrobe door shut. Seconds later, Mrs. Chumley came into the room.

‘Did you just tell me to shut up?’

‘No, Mum,’ said Alice. She moved away from the wardrobe. ‘I was just, uh, talking to myself.’

Wallace felt stifled among the hanging garments. He pushed some apart to give him more breathing space. The metal hooks of the hangars scraped on the rail.

‘What’s that noise? It’s coming from the wardrobe,’ said Mrs. Chumley.

‘Uh … mice? … maybe?’ Damn Wallace, she thought. He’s such a klutz.

Mrs. Chumley strode to the wardrobe and wrenched one of the doors aside. Nothing there. She wrenched the other door aside. Again, nothing there. Just a rack of clothing. Chagrined, she turned to Alice and said, ‘I’m sorry, darling. I thought for a moment that you were hiding someone in here.’

‘What?’ Alice ran to the wardrobe and peered inside. ‘Don’t be silly, Mum,’ she said. ‘Why would I do something like that?’ She barely managed to conceal her astonishment. Wallace had disappeared!

* * *

A few seconds earlier, Wallace had winced at the noise of the hangers scraping on the rail. He knew that Mrs. Chumley had heard it. Any second now, she would fling the doors open and find him cowering among her daughter’s dresses. On the verge of panic, he forced his way to the back of the wardrobe – and fell right through! He landed with a thump and tumbled down a grassy slope before coming to a painful stop against the sharp edge of a rock. He sat stunned for a few moments.

What the hell just happened? He looked around. Nothing but grass, trees and a few outcrops of rock; but none of it seemed real. A rabbit appeared between some bushes and vanished down a path into a dense forest. That was not unusual behaviour for a rabbit, except this rabbit strode along on his hind legs like a man hurrying to catch a bus. Even more unsettling was the yellow waistcoat that he wore, with a shiny gold watch chain suspended from buttonhole to pocket. Wallace clambered to his feet. He turned and stared back up the slope, perplexed.

‘Oh,’ said a voice immediately behind him. ‘You startled me. Are you alright?’

Wallace whipped around and gawped at the girl who stood there.

‘Alice?’

‘How do you know my name?’

‘Of course I know your name. I’ve just fallen out of your wardrobe.’ Wallace stared at the girl. She had Alice’s face right down to the tiny blemish on her left cheek, but she was no longer wearing her torn jeans and tank top. The skirt, blouse and tunic that she now wore looked more like that of a medieval peasant girl.

‘I guess you remind me of someone else,’ he said at last. ‘Her name is Alice too.’

‘Are you a wizard?’ Alice enquired.

‘Do I look like a wizard?’

‘Not really, but Harry Potter didn’t look much like a wizard either. If you aren’t a wizard, how did you manage to appear out of nowhere like that?’

‘I didn’t appear out of nowhere. I appeared out of a wardrobe. It’s you who came from nowhere.’

‘No, I didn’t. I was here before you came tumbling down the hill. I rather expected Jill to come tumbling after.’ Alice smiled at the thought. ‘I don’t suppose your name is Jack, is it?’

‘My name is Wallace. And that nursery rhyme is nonsense. Whoever heard of fetching a pail of water from the top of a hill?’

‘Lots of people, but let’s not go there. I want to know how you got here. You said that you came through a wardrobe. That must have been a portal.’

‘A porthole?’

‘No, silly. A portal. A kind of gate between different planes of existence.’

‘So that’s how I got here. I’ve read about that kind of thing, but never thought it could really happen. This whole thing is totally … insane!’

‘That’s how I felt when I got here too. My portal was a rabbit hole. I’ve been here for days trying to find a way back to our world.’

‘You think that we both came through portals from the real world into this one, right?’

‘Whose to say which world is real? This one is weird to us, but it’s real enough to the folk who live here. I got here by following a rabbit in a yellow waistcoat. Can you believe that?’

‘Yes, I can. An enormous rabbit in a hurry to get somewhere. I’ve seen him too.’

‘You’ll get used to that kind of thing if you stay here long enough.’

‘I have no intention of doing that. If you came here from my world, how come you’re dressed like a medieval maid? You look like you just popped out of a Grimm’s fairy tale.’

‘I had to steal these clothes so the locals wouldn’t mistake me for a witch. They burn witches here, just as they used to in our world.’

‘I thought they used to drown witches’

‘Of course not. They used to dunk suspected witches in a river, but if they drowned, that proved they weren’t witches after all.’

‘And if they didn’t drown?’

‘They barbecued them.’

‘Oh … yes, I can see how that might be a problem.’

‘That wardrobe you came through: do you think you could find it again if we were to climb back up that slope?’

‘I guess so, but it isn’t my wardrobe. It’s in a girl’s bedroom. Her name is Alice, too.’

‘What were you doing in a girl’s wardrobe? No – don’t answer that. I don’t think I want to know.’

‘It’s not what you might think. Alice had an accident – a nasty bang on the head. I carried her bag home for her. I was putting the bag in her bedroom when her mother came home unexpectedly. Alice knew that her mother would go nuclear if she saw me, so she hid me in her wardrobe. I squeezed in behind the hanging clothes. Next thing, I was tumbling down this slope.’

‘So … you can’t go back that way without facing Alice’s mother.’

‘She might have left the room by now; but I have an idea. If you go through the portal first. Mrs. Chumley – that’s her name – will be so shocked at finding a doppelgänger in her daughter’s wardrobe we could slip away in the confusion.’

‘A dapple ganger?’ The glare she gave Wallace would have made a lesser man quail. ‘How dare you call me that! … What’s a dapple ganger anyway?’

‘Not dapple ganger – doppelgänger. It means that you are the other Alice’s double. The two of you could be identical twins.’

‘Oh, I see. Maybe I’m a twin separated from my sister at birth. Come on then, let’s see if we can find that wardrobe. I don’t think it will look like a wardrobe from this side, though.’

‘What do you suppose it will look like?’

‘I don’t know, but we should know when we see it.’

They clambered up the slope together. ‘I don’t see anything up here except bushes,’ said Alice as they neared the top.

‘I think I do,’ said Wallace. ‘See how the air is rippling over there, like the mirage you see over a road on a hot day?’ The rippled air was rectangular in shape. Wallace could see through it, but all he saw was a blurred image of the landscape beyond. He put his face into the portal and glimpsed clothing dimly lit by light filtering through from the room beyond. He heard the muffled voice of Alice saying something to her mother. He withdrew before anyone could notice his disembodied face, and then turned to Alice.

‘Yep, it’s the portal alright,’ he said. ‘We have company on the other side. Tell you what, you go on through and barge past them and head for the street. I’ll be close behind. We’ll be gone before they get over their surprise.’ He waved Alice toward the portal with a courtly bow. ‘Ladies first,’ he said.

Alice decided to run at the portal and burst through to maximise the surprise effect, but the portal had a different idea. It threw her back as if she had bounced off a rubber wall. ‘It won’t let me through!’ she said.

‘Maybe that’s because you ain’t no lady,’ said Wallace. He dodged the lump of clay that Alice threw at him.

‘This is no time for stupid jokes,’ she said, ‘Why can’t I get through?’

Wallace’s brow furrowed. ‘I think … I think it’s because you are already there.’

‘What do you mean? How can I be there while I am still here?’

‘Because you and the other Alice are the same girl. You can’t get through the portal because you can’t exist twice in the same world.’

Alice looked crestfallen. ‘So that’s not my world through there? How many worlds can there be?’

‘I don’t know. Maybe trillions; but our two worlds must be close together. There’s almost sure to be another me in your world.’

‘That doesn’t help at all,’ said Alice. She sat for a while with her head in her hands. ‘Well,’ she said at last, ‘I guess I’ll just have to keep on looking. Maybe that rabbit will lead me to another portal – if I can find him. Did you see where he went?’

‘He headed down that path into the forest over there. It looks pretty spooky. Are you sure you want to go that way?’

‘I don’t have a lot of choice. There’s nothing back where I came from except yokels with a disturbing taste for barbecued witch. I’ll be OK. You’d better get back to your girlfriend and make peace with her mother.’

‘She’s not my girlfriend!’

‘Well, she should be. You needn’t be afraid of Mrs. Chumley. She’s really quite nice.’

‘How could you know that?’

‘I didn’t tell you before but my second name is Chumley. That’s my mother’s dapple-thingy through there.’

‘It’s dopple… Oh, never mind.’

‘You’d better get on through that wardrobe. I’m off to find a rabbit in the forest.’

‘But I can’t leave you …’

‘Just go!’ She turned and scrambled back down the slope. She managed to reach the bottom without tumbling, and then something slammed into her back and knocked her to the ground. She looked around and saw …

‘Wallace Blatt! You idiot.’

‘Sorry about that. I tripped on that bit of rock.’

‘You were supposed to go back through the portal. I told you I’ll be OK without you … and probably safer, too,’ she added, rubbing the part of her anatomy that had hit the ground first.

‘Nah,’ said Wallace. ‘That would be like walking out half way through a good movie. I have to see how this one ends.’

‘That is so stupid.’

‘Look, I can’t leave you stranded here on your own. We’ll find a portal for you and then I’ll find my way back to this one. It’s all good.’

‘Well, if that’s what you want to do, I don’t suppose I can stop you. Is this where I’m supposed to swoon and call you my hero?’

‘That would be a nice change from calling me an idiot. The swooning is optional.’

‘Yeah. Well, if I can’t get rid of you, you’d better come with. Off we go, into the woods. Did you know there’s a musical called Into the Woods’?

‘Does it have a happy ending?’

‘Not really.’

* * *

It came as no surprise to find that the path through the forest was paved with yellow bricks, albeit in a sad state of repair.

‘Hey,’ said Alice. ‘Maybe this is the yellow brick road that leads to the Emerald City.’

‘Like in the Wizard of Oz?’

‘Yeah. A wizard would know where to find portals.’

‘Nah. Not that one. He turned out to be a fake.’

‘So how did Dorothy get back to Kansas then?’

‘Magic shoes. But I think she had to kill a witch first.’

‘I don’t want to kill anyone.’

‘That could be a problem.’

They walked on in silence. It was quite dark in the forest; but the yellow bricks reflected enough light to show them the way through the gloom. Eventually, they came upon a clearing. A straw-stuffed scarecrow with a turnip for a head glared at them from the centre of the clearing. It was a strange place to find a scarecrow, but it gave Alice an idea. ‘That’s what you need!’ she declared.

‘What?’

‘A change of clothes so that you can blend in with the yokels – like me.’

‘Are you suggesting that I change clothes with that scarecrow? His clothes are filthy. I think I’d rather have the dress.’

‘Pardon?’

‘Never mind. I forgot for the moment which Alice I was talking to. You are so much like the one in my world.’

‘That’s because I am her. So tell me about the dress.’

‘It’s nothing. Let’s take a closer look at Mr Turnip Head.’

The scarecrow wore just three garments: a pair of trousers held up with a piece of twine, a tunic and a pointy hat with a floppy brim.

‘No shoes,’ observed Alice, ‘but the rest looks OK. ’

‘Let’s do this,’ said Wallace as he reached up and grasped the scarecrow’s tunic.

‘Oi! Get yr filthy paws orf me ya scurvy knave!’ said the turnip.

‘Jeez! It’s alive,’ Wallace exclaimed as he leaped back in alarm. ‘I’m sorry, mate, but I didn’t think …’

The scarecrow wasn’t the slightest bit interested in what Wallace thought. He twisted his turnip head toward the trees and bellowed, ‘Help! Get this scummy scoundrel orf me.’

They heard someone – or something – come crashing through the undergrowth toward them.

‘I don’t think we should wait to be introduced,’ said Alice.

‘I agree,’ Wallace replied. ‘Nice meeting you, old chap,’ he said to the scarecrow, ‘but we have an urgent need to be elsewhere.’ He grabbed Alice by the hand and ran.

Just then, a robot came bounding into the clearing wielding an axe. Wallace saw him coming. He put on a burst of speed, almost pulling Alice off her feet. He wasn’t about to lose his head if he could help it, but he knew that they could never outrun the robot. The damned thing could chase them indefinitely without tiring or getting the stitch.

Alice came to the same conclusion. She stopped all of a sudden, yanking Wallace off his feet.

‘Hey, what are you doing? That thing will be onto us in a second.’

‘A second is all I need.’ Alice scooped up a loose brick from the path and flung it at the robot. There wasn’t much force behind her throw but, aided by the speed of the robot’s advance, the brick struck it between the eyes with considerable force. The axe flew from its grasp. The machine stumbled, but managed to stay on its feet. Wisps of smoke escaped from its ears. Sparks flashed behind its eyes. A tinny voice came from somewhere within. ‘Emergency! Emergency! Condition red!’ The damaged robot staggered in an erratic circle and disappeared among the trees, leaving a trail of smoke and sparks in its wake.

‘Oh dear,’ said Alice. ‘I said I didn’t want to kill anyone … and now look what I’ve done.’

‘You didn’t kill anyone,’ said Wallace. ‘He’s a machine not a person, and he still works – sort of. I suppose it’s my turn now to swoon and call you my hero.’

‘Heroine.’

‘Never touch the stuff.’

‘Pardon?’

‘Heroin. Junk. Never touch that stuff.’

‘Oh shut up.’

Wallace went back and picked up the robot’s discarded axe. I’m glad we didn’t end up on that fellow’s chopping list.

‘Wallace!’ Alice shouted.

‘OK, bad joke, but there’s no need to …’. That was all Wallace had time to say before he saw what had alarmed his companion.

‘It’s a … it’s a lion,’ said Alice, ‘and he looks upset.’

The lion had come bursting out of the trees not far behind the robot. Wallace knew that escape was out of the question. It seemed that they were about to become lion lunch. There was no time to repeat Alice’s brick trick, so he decided to try diplomacy. Standing firm, he faced the lion and said, ‘Ho there, oh King of the Beasts’.

The lion slid to a startled stop, glared at Wallace, and then let rip with a thunderous roar. His hot breath rippled their clothing. ‘Eww,’ said Alice as she caught an unwanted whiff of the lion’s halitosis. ‘I don’t think he understands English.’

Wallace raised his arms protectively, forgetting for the moment that he had an axe gripped in his right hand. The lion took one look at the axe, cringed, and made a noise remarkably like that of a little girl who had just found a cockroach crawling up her leg. The erstwhile king of the beasts retreated screaming into the forest.

‘Well, what do you know?’ said Wallace. ‘I think we just met the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion’.

* * *

They journeyed on. Gradually, the trees around them thinned. Sunlight filtered through the canopy of leaves above them. A strong beam of sunlight shone through a gap in the foliage and spotlit a quaint cottage below. This was the first sign of human habitation they had seen since they had entered the forest. The cottage looked much like the gingerbread house in the story of Hansel and Gretel. Wallace thought it might even be the same house, but the gingerbread would be awfully stale by now. A clothes line stood to one side of the cottage. A voluminous pair of bloomers and a flannel nightgown the size of a circus tent billowed gently in the breeze.

‘Shall we …’ said Alice.

‘No!’ said Wallace.

They moved on.

Not far beyond the gingerbread house, they encountered a familiar figure lounging against a tree by the side of the path. They knew him at once by the yellow waistcoat that he wore.

‘Are you following me?’ enquired the rabbit. Close up, they could see that, standing erect, he was nearly as tall as a fully grown man.

‘No, not now,’ said Alice, ‘but I followed you days ago when you came to visit my world. That’s how I ended up here. Perhaps you will be kind enough to tell me how I can get back, Mr – er – Rabbit.’

‘I’m not a rabbit you silly child. I’m a hare. Hare today. Gone tomorrow. Ha. I am known among the good people of this world as “He who walks with military precision”’.

‘I get it,’ said Wallace. ‘You’re the March Hare.’

‘That is indeed an admirable way of putting it,’ said the hare.

‘Well?’ said Alice. ‘Can you get me back home?’

‘Most certainly. I could take you back to the same portal from whence you came. It is several leagues from here, but I can carry you on my back. It won’t take long if we hop to it – so to speak.’ The hare turned to face Wallace. ‘And you, sir. Did you come here by way of the same portal as this fair maid?’

‘No,’ Wallace replied. ‘I fell out of a wardrobe. If you will take care of Alice, I can find my own way back.’

‘And what, may I ask, were you doing in a wardrobe?’

‘Hiding – hiding from a woman who would do me harm if she saw me.’

‘Aha! A witch no doubt.’

‘No, just a mother. I don’t think she would be happy to find me in her daughter’s bedroom; but that’s OK. She’ll be long gone by the time I get back.’

‘I fear not, young sir. When you return through that portal, you will arrive back just a few seconds after you left. Time in your world froze when you came here.’

‘Did it?’ Wallace’s jaw dropped. ‘What if I don’t return?’

‘Time in your world will remain frozen until you do … or until you die – which could happen quite soon if you stay in this world. I don’t suppose you have met the Queen of Hearts yet. She has a propensity for …’

‘Yeah, I know,’ said Wallace. ‘I’ve read the book. I guess I’ll just have to face Mrs. Chumley then.’ He turned to Alice and took her hands in his. ‘Looks like this is where we have to say goodbye, Alice. I’m going to miss you – a lot. The March Hare will see you safely back in your world.’

‘Wallace, I … I’m going to miss you too. When you get back … don’t be too hard on the other Alice for getting you into this mess. I think she might have fallen for you – or she will very soon now.’

‘How can you possibly know that?’

‘Because I am her and she is me.’

‘Come along, young miss,’ said the March Hare. ‘Climb onto my back and we’ll get going. You’ll be home before you know it.’

And so it came to pass that Alice and Wallace bade each other farewell, never to see or hear from each other again – at least, not in the same incarnations.

The March Hare left Wallace to find his own way back through the forest. With the yellow brick road to guide him, he did this without difficulty. He skirted the gingerbread house and later passed the clearing where the scarecrow still stood, glaring at him from beneath the floppy brim of his pointy hat. Wallace saw no sign of the robot. Not far past the clearing, he found the cowardly lion dozing by the side of the road.

‘Boo,’ said Wallace.

The lion opened one sleepy eye and saw the sun glinting off the polished head of the axe that Wallace carried. ‘Yikes!’ said the beast, leaping high into the air. His legs accelerated to full gallop before they hit the ground and bore him shrieking into the forest. Wallace felt invincible … and just a little bit ashamed at having scared the poor creature so.

After leaving the forest, Wallace found the slope that led to the wardrobe portal and scrambled up to its rippling entrance. He took a deep breath and stepped through.

* * *

… ‘I’m sorry, darling, said Mrs Chumley. As she peered into the empty wardrobe. ‘I thought for a moment that you were hiding someone in here.’

‘What?’ Alice ran to the wardrobe and peered inside. ‘Don’t be silly, Mum,’ she said. ‘Why would I do something like that?’ She barely managed to conceal her astonishment. Wallace was gone! And then, all of a sudden he wasn’t gone.

Mrs Chumley screamed at the sudden appearance of Wallace with his axe, and fell into a dead faint.

‘Wallace! What just happened?’ Alice cried. ‘You weren’t in there, and then suddenly you were. And where did you find that axe? You scared the life out of Mum. You’ve probably given her a heart attack.’

‘She’s just fainted. She’ll be OK in a couple of minutes. That’s good, because I’ll be gone by then. She didn’t get much chance to see my face, thank goodness. With luck, she’ll think that she just imagined what she saw in the wardrobe.’ Wallace strode out of the bedroom and made for the front door.

‘Wait!’ Alice called, running after him. ‘How did … ooh!’ She ran slam into Wallace coming back the other way.

‘The door’s locked,’ said Wallace.

‘Oh.’ Alice escorted Wallace to the door, unlocked it and ushered him outside. ‘You’d better go, but you owe me an explanation. Will you tell me about it tomorrow?’

‘Sure, but you won’t believe me if I just tell you. I’ll have to show you.’

‘Show me?’

‘Yeah, but it’ll be OK. Alice won’t be there any more. She went off with the rabbit, who’s really a hare, so there will be only one of you.’

‘Wallace Blatt. I have no idea what you are talking about.’

‘Tomorrow,’ Wallace promised, and strode off at a pace that would have made the March Hare proud. He wanted to be gone before Mrs. Chumley came round.

* * *

Wallace took Alice to Wonderland the very next day, and many times thereafter. It became their secret place where they could spend as much time as they liked, yet be gone for only a few seconds. Mrs Chumley had no recollection of what had made her faint. She didn’t approve of Alice taking her new boyfriend into her bedroom so often; but he was a nice young man, and they were never in there for more than a few seconds. What could they possibly get up to in just a few seconds?

 

The End


Submitted: August 14, 2018

© Copyright 2020 Joe Stuart. All rights reserved.

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Comments

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hullabaloo22

What a fantastic read, Joe. Right from the start, with the mixed up dialogue I knew this was going to be special, and then you took me to my favorite place -- Wonderland, with a nod to the Wizard of Oz, and The Lion The Witch And the Wardrobe. Brilliant work. I give it 20 out of 10!

Wed, August 15th, 2018 8:26pm

Author
Reply

Thank you so much, Hully. I left Wallace hiding in the wardrobe for a long time before my muse suggested a way forward. I wasn't sure that it would work. Your encouraging comment means a lot to me.

Wed, August 15th, 2018 2:08pm

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Chris Green

Amusing take on the children's classics, Joe. It's almost like mixing them up like this was something that was crying out to be done so fair play to you for trying it out. It's a great read.
Regards
Chris

Fri, August 17th, 2018 5:59am

Author
Reply

Thanks for taking time to read and comment, Chris. Stories this long take around 35 minutes to read, which could put a lot of people off. I could have put Alice and Wallace through a lot more adventures before returning them home, but I didn't want it to turn into a novel.

Fri, August 17th, 2018 2:01pm

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B Douglas Slack

Wonderfully crafted madness, Joe. I loved it. Several different riffs on nursery rhymes, tales, and outright nonsense. You don't post often, but when you do, it's a corker.

Bill

Fri, August 17th, 2018 7:41pm

Author
Reply

Thanks for taking time to read and comment, Bill. This was a fun story to write, but I wasn't sure that it would work. I appreciate the comments that you and others have made. I would like to write more often but I think my muse spends most of her time sleeping.

Fri, August 17th, 2018 1:57pm

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Keke Serene

I loved this - a very sweet story, with lots of traditional stories and ideas, as well as witty dialogue woven into it. You did a great job! :D

Fri, August 17th, 2018 10:46pm

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Thank you, Random Girl (I called you 'Stars' before but I am not really sure whether you are the stars or the girl that they fell on). I hoped that you would like this story. I always have fun with dialogue. It makes the characters seem real - at least to me.

Fri, August 17th, 2018 4:00pm

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Markie Bee

This is really good, a mash up of all my favourite stories. Just one tiny teeny comment. For me, it's a bit too long to read in one sitting. I would have split this into several chapters.

Fri, September 7th, 2018 6:51am

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You are right, Markie. My 'short' stories tend to be long. I could have written a lot more in this one but stopped when I checked the word count. I have written some of my stories in sections. Perhaps I should do that more often. Thanks for that advice. ~ Joe

Fri, September 7th, 2018 2:55pm

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Derina Penn

This was really an awesome story indeed! I loved it from the start to the end. Tho' it took me several days to finish and many "I don't care" moments happening during that. I really enjoyed. The dialogues were really fantastic. They made story so alive and read, I got all your puns and jokes too. Really nice. (Are you a writer before this life too?)
Also I had a lot of emotions from reading it, beside from the laughter, From this story, I became deeply aware of, shocked actually on how much childhood I had missed or wasted in lots of nonsense. I never read any book about any of those classic stories, tho' I had many chances to do so, but I did not. I thought they were boring, or they were beyond me or something like that. I only heard of them. I never know how much fun and beauty a story can be. If I really sit down and enjoy each moment of it. It was a shame for sure. I only picked up reading, beside text books, way into my adulthood. Maybe about 5 years ago, I should say. (I am in my early 30s now.) So do you know how much I appreciate good stories like that. As if my childhood just get fulfilled or repaired. I just never know how much I had missed...It was kind of emotional. If I have kids, I will not let it happen to them at all.
Thank you very much for your getting your muse to wake up and work. I am sure there are many people like me will find what your works do for them.
Please keep all your postings up. I will surly get to read them all even till I am too old to read. And I think you should find a way to get them published too.

Mon, June 3rd, 2019 1:18am

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Thank you Derina. I don't know what I might have been before this life, but I didn't start writing stories in this life until five years ago. I didn't read books regularly as a child. I read lots of comics instead. Adults told me that was bad, and that I ought to read proper books. They were wrong. It doesn't matter what a child reads, as long as they read something.
Most of what I learned about Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz came from the movies. I didn't read the Wizard of Oz book until a couple of years ago. It includes adventures that would have made the movie too long.
The stories that I have posted on Booksie will stay there indefinitely - long after I am gone. A favourite writer of mine died a year or two ago, and his stories are still there for anyone to read. My daughter is also saving copies.
Thank you for thinking they ought to be published, but that would be of no extra benefit to me. I don't aspire to write professionally. It's just something that I like to do while I await my flowerbed. Perhaps in another life...?

Mon, June 3rd, 2019 1:45am

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Sharief Hendricks

Ah, Joe I have only read a few of your stories but I am certain this comment will be relevant ten years from now if I say, "This is a classic Joe story"...weird and wonderful, and this time in Wonderland!

Love and romance seem to make time stand still just like the portal, holding the hand of someone you fancy can make time stand still indeed !!

I had so many flash backs of my childhood and my older sister reading these fantastic fantasy stories out loud to me and my brother...

You sure do take your time with y our short stories Joe and it shines through...I have learnt to make sure I have enough time before I embark on one of your reads...as I very well know that it will be longer than most but so well worth it...

I learn from and savour each paragraph !!!

Thanx for the memories you had me relive today Joe !

Mon, July 27th, 2020 1:32pm

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I am glad you are still reading my stories, Sharief. That alone is a compliment that I treasure because it proves that you are enjoying them or you wouldn't bother reading them. Also, even at this stage, your comments continue to encourage me. It's comments like yours that guide me as to what kind of stories readers like.
I try not to exceed 6,000 words (about a 30 minute read) because I know that long stories don't get read as much as the quickies, but I enjoy losing myself in the adventure of a story, which would not be possible with a five-minute quickie..

Mon, July 27th, 2020 1:45pm

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