The Black Rabbit It's been four years. Young Alice was now sixteen. Her hair shaded darker, it was no longer honey blonde, but a brown. Dinah curled around and leaped up on the desk. As Alice got up to stretch, the scroll fell from where her cat had accidently knocked it. She paused and looked down at her feet. Where it tapped near her toe, she crouched down to pick it up. She left it there on the desk all these years. The memory of her father returned to thought. She rolled open the scroll once again, looking into it. Still without a clue of what the inscription meant. This time, she was not going to give up. She closed up the scroll and placed it in the pocket of her pinafore, which she wore over her blue dress. Dinah rubbed through her legs as she walked out the door. To find her older sister there waiting. They walked up to the flower field together. It was a lovely summer season. Alice picked the flowers one by one. She came to sit down near the tree with her sister. Another read of a boring book. Alice was getting tired. Her eyes fluttered shut. "Alice?" her sister’s voice called, "Alice!" Her eyes slowly opened, "Hm?" Her sister had closed the book holding her thumb in the page, "Would you please kindly listen?" Alice sighed and sat up properly trying so hard to pay attention. Her sister continued to read as she placed her palm under her cheek listening. Soon she started tying the stems of the flowers she picked together making a tiara. Her sister’s voice began to sound out of focus. Going fainter as Alice dozed off, but the sound of ticking caught her attention. She looked up and saw a black rabbit in a dirt brown waistcoat holding a pocket watch. This was so very unusual. She looked back at her sister who was still reading. She was just about to ask her about the white rabbit. "Don’t be silly Alice, what rabbit has a waistcoat and a watch?" Alice asked herself. She looked back to see the rabbit hopping away and say, "Oh I hope I don’t be too late!" Alice then blinked, "Have I gone mad, or did I really see that happen?" She watched the rabbit hop in a run and started going after him. She went around a tree going up to find the rabbit gone. All there was is a rabbit-hole in the ground. "I wonder if the black rabbit went this way..." she crouched down on her hands and knees and started crawling in. Continuing through the tunnel, she struggled to push herself until she was able to crawl properly. As Alice got further, her hand slipped the dirt where she dropped. Falling far down, there were bookshelves and cabinets on the walls beside her. Her dress flared out able to make her float down easy like a parachute. A rose pink teacup and saucer floated up to her. She held the saucer and began to take a sip of tea. It was unusual, a sweet lemony taste. A round coffee table began to rise wearing a white tablecloth. She put down the teacup and saucer before she went further past it. The scroll from her pocket began to rise. Alice held onto it before it left her. This was a strange place. The fall took hours. And Alice began to get rather tired. "I wonder if I fall right through the middle of the earth." She thought to herself. "My sister Lorina would be worried by now. And Dinah, where would I be without her?" The fall began to drop fast as she came closer. "Whoa!" She screamed her way. Her body flipped around and then she was upside-down with clocks ticking around her. And then she flipped again landing on the ground face-down. Poor Alice groaned and pushed herself up. Good thing she wasn’t injured. The floor was large square black and white tiles and everything was dark. Alice has never seen big ones like these. She still held the scroll in one hand, and thankfully she didn’t lose it. As Alice walked, she tucked the scroll back in her pocket. She came close to find the white rabbit disappear again. Around a corridor of doors, she tried opening one, and then another. They all seemed to be locked. But she did find one that wasn’t. It was at the very end of the hall. Once she opened the door, bright light shined through. And then Alice found herself in another room. It wasn’t so dark now. But the room was grim in a greyish colour. Her dress had changed too. It was no longer blue, but a black. Her pinafore was a dark shade of grey too. She came to another wall of doors. Alice tried one of the doors, but none would open. She looked down to find a curtain and pulled it back to find a small door, Alice seemed too big to fit. She turned to find there was a round glass table that had a tiny red bottle. She picked it up and read the label that was written in fine print, "Drink Me." She popped the lid of the bottle off and before she drank, she had a look first. "Hmm, if there is a warning label marked poison, I should look first." There was no label at all; Alice wondered if she drank this, what would happen? She gave it a shot. It tasted different from what she expected. It was fruity like grapes, and slightly strong. It was like wine. Alice felt strange. And before she knew it, she shrunk. Alice down at herself seeing she was three inches high, "Oh my!" She turned to the small door and saw she was just the right size. "I hope that is all I go down to; I almost went out like a candle." She tried to open the door and found it locked, "Oh no!" A little black box sat beside her. She looked up at the table and saw a golden key she swore she never saw it there before. She saw the box and opened the lid to find a cake with swirly icing that read, "Eat Me." She took the small cake out and bit the end tasting frost from the icing sugar, then chocolate, to the cream and jam. Again, Alice felt strange. Her whole body lifted high. She was growing tall. Her head just touched the ceiling. "Whoa!" She saw how high she was. Alice saw the golden key on the table and carefully crouched close to slide it in her hand. She went for the bottle and took a tiny tip from it and then began to shrink back down to three inches. The bottle was left up on the table. Alice turned to the small door and tried to unlock it this time. It was a perfect fit. She turned the key and then the door opened. Alice wouldn’t have been more proud of herself to be able to finally get out. She stepped through and made it outside. There was a wonderful exotic garden. It was so very unusual. The garden was in beautiful colour. Giant toadstools with spots, long fresh grass, maybe it was this strange to be three inches with a garden like this. There even was a grim fountain with a statue of a sorrowful angel. She continued through the garden. Noticing her dress was dark and grim and that it changed into a dark Lolita dress with a pinafore. Her scroll was still in the pocket and so she took it out and rolled it open. The inscription rearranged. "Odd." She said, "Was this scroll meant for this unusual place?" the inscription came together as it changed. What looked like on the scroll was a map of the entire land. It made perfect sense now. Alice finally discovered it! The scroll was a map this whole time. But it was so very strange. The inscription was meaningless. Until stepping into this beautifully dark world, it came together like magic. Alice started toward the dark forest up ahead. Entering with caution, with hope nothing scary and dangerous comes out. She followed where the map could take her. But the map seemed to shift and change. As Alice walked on through the forest and made a stop, she seemed to have lost where she was. It was dark and the map didn’t seem make sense, "Oh stupid map!" She began, upset. It was no use anymore. She rolled it back and sighed. Where to now? Poor Alice was lost. She was just getting a little cold. Then... there was the sound of humming up in the tree. It was a slight creepy hum. Alice was just feeling a little uncomfortable. But didn’t fear for what was coming. Her father once said to keep calm and not show fear for anything. The humming tune went high and low. A pearl white smile showed out of the dark in razor sharp teeth. Alice took a step back a bit. Eyes showed next. They were golden with sharp pupils. Then a whole furry black body, to a tail, followed from the head with ears. It was a cat. Alice sighed with relief and then thought for a second, "What cat smiles?" The black cat revealed grey stripes at the end and said, "I do." His tail whipped back and forth. Alice looked back at the cat, noticing the stripes on his fur coat. The cat stretched and walked along the branch, "What do you call yourself child?" He asked. "Alice." She replied. "Alice..." the cat repeated. He sat again with his tail whipping around. "I am the Cheshire cat." She thought to herself, "Cheshire cat?" What a strange name. "You are going the right way," The cat said. Alice looked up at him, how would he know where she was going? The Cheshire cat moved down to the next branch lower at her level, "The right way to where?" She asked. He pointed to the right, "The black rabbit went in that direction." She looked to where he pointed, "He did?" She looked back and where the cat faded, "Wait!" She reached out for him to stop; the cat chuckled darkly and then disappeared completely. Alice was all alone in the cold dark forest; she walked on through to the direction the Cheshire cat pointed and came across paw prints, "Hmm...I wonder this is where the black rabbit went..." she continued. The forest grew darker, chills crawled down her spine, and the thought of creatures watching, she tried to brave up, "You are fine Alice, nothing out here will hurt you." She took a breath and then exhaled through the tall grass that was like a forest to her as she was still at a tiny height.
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