entering Wonderland again
|Stumbling upon the Caterpillar's mushroom, you've been advised that eating either side changes you in some form. Write about what sort of changes you'd experience after each bite. (<1000 words)
Fia toddled after Reia, the kitten who was her best friend. Behind them, weak cheers went up as the Dodo declared himself the winner of the caucus-race. Fia had lost track of the Rabbit and the Dormouse, the other creatures who'd been trying to figure out what to do with a two year old who'd woken up in Wonderland. Now, the only adult left was the Hatter, but Fia didn't mind. At least he was sensible enough to understand when she said something.
The Hatter was holding her hand, which gave Fia enough stability to walk without falling down every other step. She was quite pleased with that. Now she only sat down hard every fifth step or so, and sometimes she could dangle from his arm instead, which let her move quicker. She wished that he would do the Mama trick and hold both her hands up. She hardly never fell while Mama did that, but Mama wasn't there, and the Hatter, while sensible, obviously was unfamiliar with the proper ways of doing things. Which brought her to a question she'd been considering for some time, now.
“Why is it Mama's fault that I'm here?” Fia asked.
Reia didn't answer. Kittens were like that sometimes. “Hurry up! We don't want to be late to the Cheshire Cat's feast.”
The Hatter looked down at her with his fiercely blue eyes. “Your mama is Alice.”
“Yes,” she said. “I told you that earlier. That isn't an answer.” Then Fia took a deep breath. Mama was Mama. She couldn't help that, and it shouldn't have anything to do with why Fia had dreamed her way into Wonderland. “Is it?”
Reia raced back and tangled between Fia's legs so that she plopped down on the path, letting go of the Hatter's hand. “Alice was here before. When she was very young before you were born.”
Fia frowned and stared down at the ground. It was impossible to think of Mama as a little girl. She was Mama. “But what has that to do with me?”
The Hatter crouched down beside her. “We don't know. But when she came before, she changed us. Maybe you're here to change us again. Or to be changed.”
A new voice came from beside the path. “Change is inevitable.” Fia looked up and found she was sitting in the shade of a mushroom. Above it, danging from a giant blade of grass, a chrysalis was dangling so that its bottom rested on the head of the mushroom.
In the absence of any other potential speaker from that area, Fia stood to address the chrysalis. “Hello. What kind of change?”
The Chrysalis sighed. “When I met Alice, I was a caterpillar. Someday, I will be a butterfly. Alice was so preoccupied with making sense that she forgot who she was.”
Fia looked up at him. She liked butterflies (much better than caterpillars, which were rather horrid when she accidentally stepped on them). She wondered how he would become one. Was it magic? “Will I become a butterfly?”
“Perhaps.” The Chrysalis stared down at her, which Fia considered an impressive feat considering it didn't have any eyes. “One side will make you grow taller. The other will make you grow shorter.”
Fia sighed. “I'm not sure any change in size will fundamentally change who I am. In fact, I rather am certain it won't.”
The Chrysalis laughed with a great crack. “Finally, a sensible child.” With a great sound of tearing, the chrysalis split and a bedraggled figure began to emerge. “Try the bottom for transformations and the top for invisibility.” The Butterfly stretched out its wings and began to wave them dry.
“Of the mushroom,” said the Butterfly. He really was magnificent. He started to fly away, but called back as he did, “And remember to wish.”
Fia stared after him. He really was beautiful. “A combination of mushroom and wishing?” She reached as high as she could, which was just barely on the top of the mushroom. Invisibility might be useful in a pinch. She could only break off a tiny bit, so she put in the left hand pocket of her night dress without trying it. She got a bigger piece from the bottom of the mushroom, which she put in the right hand pocket. Transformation.
Fia tasted the tiniest bite from the bottom and wished. She felt so light—she flapped her wings and rose in the air, a golden butterfly. She settled back down on the ground and wish again. She looked down at her familiar hands and feet. She laughed.
“What shall I be?” Fia looked at her companions.
Reia snorted. “The best thing to be is a cat. Everyone knows that.”
Fia shrugged. It would be easier to walk.
The Hatter leaned down. “Transformations can be fun, but always remember who you fundamentally are. You are a little girl. Never forget that.”
Fia tasted another bite and wished again. She could feel the world growing around her, and fell onto her paws, happily. “This is much more stable,” she said with a meow. She sat and lifted her right front paw to wash it. Her fur was golden blonde like her hair had been.
“You look so much more sensible as a kitten,” said Reia, and they tumbled into a quick game of chase the tail.
But soon they stopped. From up the path, Fia could smell wonderful things. “We need to go to the Cheshire Cat's feast.”
The three walked much more quickly now that Fia wasn't slowing them down with a toddler's walk.
word count: 942
For previous adventures with Fia and Reia:
"Où est ma chatte? (Where is my cat?)"
"Invitation for the Duchess"