A story with some characters you may be rather familiar with…
Teatime In A Curious Place
“I really don’t feel like being logical at the moment dear. Could you return when I’m in a better mood?” the man says, smashing a few tea cups with his cane.
The little girl takes a moment to break the cookie she was eating in half, releasing a swarm of white butterflies into the air. They promptly explode into sparks.
“I’m afraid I must insist,” she says, “for you see I’m having a bit of a nightmare at the moment.”
She gestures behind her at the dark ball, about the size of a small house. It orbits them as they sit inside their own bright yellow shell.
The man is busy drinking, so the tea-table responds for him.
“Indeed she is,” the table creaks, “but why do you need my help? Certainly by now you’re just as qualified for situations such as this.”
“I suppose, but I rather don’t like going in there. She’s awful enough to me when were awake.” A faint red mark slowly creeps onto her face, and takes the form of a hand.
The table’s mouth turns into a frown, before disappearing from its surface.
“Honestly Alice, being boring does not equal abuse,” the man corrects, “even I know that, and I’m mad.”
With a sigh, Alice takes a sip of her tea, and lets the handprint fade away. She taps her fingers on her cup a few times before retracting her hand as the cane comes down on it.
“Must you do that every time Hatter?”
“You know how I feel about tea parties, especially after the last one.”
“I thought you enjoyed your last un-birthday party?”
Sweeping away the shards of porcelain, the Hatter produces from underneath his brim a completely new set, which he begins to lay out.
“Wrong book, dear.”
“Oh, right. I always forget,” she says, looking up at the now overhanging orb of nightmares. “Anyhow, why won’t you do it Hatter? I’d be ever so grateful.”
“I’d ask you the same question.”
Alice puts her chin in her hands, and gives him the best sulking face she could manage. “I don’t want to, she was so very boring today. She tried to teach me my times tables again.”
“Then why help her at all?” the Hatter asks, covering the table in a thick, continuous stream of raspberry tea.
“Well, no one deserves that,” Alice says, gesturing up at the orb.
“I just don’t understand the difference.”
“It’s the difference between you and me, what’s not to understand?!”
“Now, now, Alice. What is it the caterpillar said to you all those years ago? ‘Mind your temper’ I believe it was?”
“Only in some versions,” she replies, crushing black beetles underneath her fingers. She continues to look down, as she flicks the broken shells off the table.
“Even still, it’s sound advice. You know what they say: a bird in the hand is worth twice a kettle of fish.”
“Do they really?” Alice asks, lifting her head and placing her hands on the puddle of tea to prop herself up. She doesn’t seem to notice as it stains the front of her white blouse.
“Yes, obviously. Anyway. You and I are the same, aren’t we? So it does not matter in the slightest.”
While he was speaking, the mushroom cap he is sitting on decides to shrink, and the Hatter finds himself peeking over the edge as he finishes his statement. When he stands up, he finds Alice with her shoes off, splashing in puddles on the table. A golden crown sits on her head.
“I’ve decided you’re right, Hatter. I will deal with this myself. You are after all, just a dream I’m having.” She turns a cartwheel on the table and once she’s right-side up again, she has a golden staff in her hand.
Pointing the staff upwards, she watches as the glass ball they are both in shatters, and scatters shards to float about them.
“Are you finally taking responsibility for all of this?” the Hatter shouts, the sound of the nightmare above filling the air with chains rattling and shrieks.
“Yes, yes, I think I will.”
“And what are you going to do when you find her? The madness, I mean,” he says, grasping his hat so the wind does not take it from him.
From the now free-flowing stream of tea she pulls a small knife out. Emblazoned on the metal are the words “snicker snack.”
“What my mother always said to do with people we don’t like…take off their heads.”
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