entering Wonderland again
|You’ve been ordered to be executed by the Queen of Hearts. Make your case to the King on why you shouldn’t have your head chopped off for whatever crime you’ve committed. (<500 words)
Alice fell for a long time. It wasn't like the last time, when she had the leisure to contemplate everything as she fell. This time, she kept wondering where Fia was. If she wasn't in Wonderland, where could she be, and would it be better for her to be in Wonderland, where at least Alice had a vague recollection of the perils, or to be lost elsewhere . . . Alice found she couldn't decide. What she wanted was for Fia to be home in bed, and for this to be a dream again.
Those thoughts consumed her long enough that she didn't notice the floor coming up to meet her. She landed on her feet. “At least last time I had shoes on,” she murmured. This time, she was in her nightdress. She looked around. It was a courtroom, and she was standing in the docket, much as she had been at the end of her Wonderland dream. “Oh bother,” she said. “Not again.”
She looked around. The courtroom was empty except for a sleeping king on the judge's bench with the book of rules set in front of him that he was using as a pillow. In the distance she could hear the clattering of feet and the queen shouting “OFF WITH HIS HEAD!”
A hand came down on her shoulder. She stiffened. A guard?
“Where are we? Where's Fia?” John whispered from behind her. She relaxed. She put her finger on her lips. It wouldn't do to wake the king from his nap.
John repeated his questions a bit louder. She turned and put her finger over his lips, but it was too late. The King awoke with a snort.
The King sat up, muttering, “Yes, Dear,” as he looked around the courtroom. When he spied them, he stood. “You,” he said. “You are to be remanded into custody immediately. Disappearing for years is no way to defeat the sentence of beheading.”
“What are you talking about,” John asked, and then he turned to Alice. “What is he talking about?”
“Hush, dear,” she said. “But Sire, I really must refuse. I came back because my daughter is missing, and I don't have the time to be beheaded at the moment."
“But the Queen sentenced you . . .”
“She isn't here,” Alice said. “If you pardon us, she'll never know I came back. I just want to find Fia.” Alice wiped her eyes with her hand. “Besides, my husband is here, and he is a lawyer. We could hold up the court for simply years on technicalities. Don't you want us to just get out of your courtroom?”
The King frowned. “I guess. Just this once. But I'd better not see you here again.”
John said, “But . . .” but Alice interrupted before he could continue whatever thought he had.
“Thank you, Your Majesty,” and with that, Alice tugged John out of court.
word count: 493