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Alice Adaptation Part 2

The cat and the caterpillar

By Leah DeweyPublished 2 years ago 6 min read
Alice Adaptation Part 2
Photo by Tim Hüfner on Unsplash

Alice sat comfortably in the crook of the cement troll’s arm, listening to the traffic zip by on the overpass overhead. Without looking into the bag, she reached down for another Cheeto before popping it in her mouth.

“I don’t think I can use you as definitive proof. Everyone will just assume you were made here out of cement. No one will believe you were punished by an evil queen to remain encapsulated here for all eternity. But maybe if I could find a way to free you, I’d have the proof we need!” Alice stood up excited with a new sense of determination. She stared with enthusiasm at the statue that remained blank and unmoving. “I know if you could still speak you’d tell me how awesome of an idea this is. Now I just have to figure out where to start.”

Alice sat back down and nuzzled up against the statue before continuing to eat her Cheetos. Absent-mindedly, she glanced over to her left and saw the receptionist from her doctor’s office staring at her with a slightly crazed expression. She looked like she was trying to cover up something furry behind her back and she obsessively pushed her glasses back up onto the bridge of her nose. The receptionist motioned for Alice to come and follow her. Alice glanced back up at the troll, who remained emotionless, encapsulated in granite.

Alice walked hesitantly over to the woman, watching the receptionist’s eyes shift back and forth anxiously.

“Ms. White? What are you doing here?” Alice questioned.

“Looking for you, Alice, obviously. We don’t have a lot of time. I know it is all real and I can take you to the Blue Caterpillar,” Ms. White answered. She shuffled her hands behind her back and Alice thought she saw a slight glimpse of fur poking out.

“I don’t understand… you always seem so … normal? You always seem totally disinterested in me,” Alice mumbled, trying to recall all her previous encounters with the receptionist. Ms. White glanced down at the clock on her phone and seemed to bounce with nervous energy.

“I know, I’m sorry about that. I had to in order to help you prove once and for all that it is all real. Now, come along quickly, he’s waiting.” Ms. White grabbed Alice by the wrist and started to pull her through the thick bushes lining the street. Alice hissed and cringed with each twig and branch that got caught in her hair or scrapped up along her arms.

“Don’t you know a better path?” Alice shouted. Ms. White didn’t bother to answer her or even acknowledge her. Instead she gripped tighter around Alice’s wrist and kept running through the bushes into the dark forest ahead.

Once they were in the forest Ms. White slowed down but she didn’t let go of Alice. Alice glanced all around her and saw twinkling lights and slightly glowing mushrooms along the path. For a moment Alice thought she could hear the clinking of tea cups and strained laugher somewhere in the distance.

“Is this one of the melting places?” Alice asked, stunned and in awe of the mysterious land around her.

“It is, it’s how pieces have been slipping through, like the Caterpillar. He’s most anxious to see you. The Red Queen has been causing so many problems both here and there. Oh, Alice, it’s such a mess!”

“That’s terrible! What can we do?” Alice questioned, following through the forest. There was a clearing coming up ahead, leading to a different part of town. The part she used to frequent when searching for something to take her back.

“Well, that’s why we need you, Alice. The Caterpillar and the Cheshire Cat think they have a plan….” Ms. White pushed her way through the clearing and onto the sketchy back alley street decorated with wildly colored graffiti. She marched Alice right up to the large Hookah bar on the corner and sent her in through the purple doors.

Instantly, a wave of tainted smoke hit Alice in the face. She coughed and did her best to wave it away with her hand.

“Alice, my dearest, is that you?” called a familiar voice from the corner. Alice turned to her right to see the Caterpillar sitting in the corner smoking from the largest Hookah pipe she’d ever seen. Beside him was the Cheshire Cat, smoking a cigar and reading the newspaper.

“It is! It’s me! It’s so good to see you both. I need one of you to come with me,” Alice started. Thinking surely this would be enough proof for Doctor Hightopp. The Cheshire Cat lowered his newspaper and gave her a curious look.

“And where do you think we are going to go?” he asked in a purr.

“I need to prove to my doctor that I’m not crazy. I need to find a way back….” Alice let her voice trail off as she remembered what Ms. White had said. “What’s going on with the Red Queen?”

“Oh, her… it’s disastrous,” the Cheshire started in a playful tone. “She’s driving us all mad, literally.”

“What do you mean?”

“She’s sent so many of us through the melting place into this realm. It’s a hard adjustment, you see. Mr. March has found the experience quite… hairy,” Cheshire explained with a soft giggle.

“Ms. White said you had a plan, Caterpillar, what is it?” Alice turned to confirm with Ms. White only to see she was gone. She must have slipped back outside when Alice wasn’t paying attention. Alice thought it was curious but turned back to Caterpillar for the plan.

“I do, you must seek out the Knave. He’ll have the answers to stop the Queen. There’s poison in the tarts, you know,” Caterpillar answered slowly. He took a long, deep breath of the pipe before releasing it out in little circles. Alice coughed again.

“Where do I find the Knave?”

“Oh, he’s here…. I believe he’s at your school…. He was the first to go a little mad,” Cheshire answered, continuing to giggle. Alice narrowed her eyes at him.

“Helpful, as always,” Alice muttered. She turned on her heel to walk out the door.

“Wait,” the Caterpillar called after her. “You’ll need some of this.”

Alice turned around to see he was holding out a small cookie. Alice looked up at him suspiciously.

“I don’t think I’ll need that here. That would only make people think I was more mad.” The Caterpillar smiled at her and kept his hand out. Alice sighed and took the cookie, shoving it into her jacket pocket. “I’ll be back when I find the Knave.”

Alice pushed open the door to the Hookah bar and made her way to the bus stop. She jammed her hands deep into her pockets and threw herself down on the bench.

“My goodness. Don’t just sit there, it’s nearly tea time,” cried a voice from behind her. Alice turned abruptly but saw that no one was there. She shook her head and assumed she must have imaged the voice. She looked down at the small patch of grass and flowers on the edge of the bus stop. For just a moment it looked as if the flower had a face that winked at her. Before Alice could examine more closely the bus pulled up to the stop. Alice shook off the curious experience as she pulled out her pass and climbed aboard.

As Alice staggered to the back, she couldn’t help but feel everyone was glancing at her and whispering about her. She saw odd sideways glances and a low murmur of secret voices throughout the bus. She didn’t recognize anyone on the bus and had no idea what all the whispering could be about. Alice huddled herself into a small ball in the back of the bus and proceeded to look out the window and ignore her fellow passengers. She pulled out the cookie in her hand and wondered if it would even work in his land. Perhaps it was worth a try, if it would keep everyone from looking at her so suspiciously. She popped the cookie in her mouth and chewed slowly. As she did the glances and whispers started to fade, as if she faded from view of all the other passengers.


About the Creator

Leah Dewey

I am a novelist with a Masters in Forensic Psychology. I have experience writing in many formats. Follow me down into the dark corners of imagination. Experience thrills & chills through poetry & short stories.

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