The day was sunny, yet dreary, the forest that had once delighted the senses was full of old trees and withered plants. Budding flowers oft not live to full bloom, the smell of death and hatred wafted quietly through the world, silent as an assassin. The breeze was eerily chilly, swaying the branches and removing the last of the leaves. Birds that once filled the land in song remained quiet, too depressed to sing anymore. Other creatures of the forest only went out of hiding to lap water from the small pond, surrounded by pebbles, some of which sinking the mere three feet to the bottom. A short distance away from the pond was the heart of the forest, identified by the once grand castle, now fallen apart into an array of ruins due to the war. Overgrown vines wrapped around the gray stones and through the cracks, like greedy arms tearing apart whatever remained.
Far away from the forest was the city, overrun with a populace of thousands, more than half of which living in poverty. The architecture was abstract and worn, paint peeling from years of abuse, chips of the wooden doors scraped off from the weather. Upkeep of homes was the least of people's worries, most of them too busy working in the factories to supply an endless amount of energy to the Red Queen's castle, which resided a short distance away from her Happy Hearts Casino. With the small earnings, they bought the Red Queen's drugs, processed from Oyster emotions. With a single drop, their worries were forgotten, instantly feeling the positive energy their life lacked.
Many people bought their drugs at the Tea House, a business run by a woman they called The Hatter. The narrow streets to the business were a dangerous one to travel, for if someone just so happened to trip, they may fall right off the edge and thousands of feet below to their death. A block away from this business was a sea, boats coming from the casino with the product and returning with the money from last month's earnings. A flying vehicle was often seen gliding throughout the land, driven by White Rabbit's people, keeping watch on the queen's subjects. The Resistance's members were unknown, always kept hidden within the depths of the city, their organized meetings held in secret wherever they could find it to be safest for them.
Kalin Serenity, once known as the White Queen, walked through the forest quietly. Her long, flowing white dress trailed across the twigs and grass, a layer of dirt now present on the laced trim as well as small snags and holes from years of wearing. The bodice was embroidered and lined with lace, hanging loosely on her body as opposed to the form fitting it once was. A bag hung by a thick strap around her slender shoulder. Kalin's small frame shivered as the wind swept her white hair around her face, pale fingers pushing strands out of her way of vision. Arriving at the ruins, a tears escaped from her blue-green eyes, trickling down her soft cheeks. Wiping them away, she entered through the side, seeing as what once was the entrance was blocked by massive amounts of stone.
At the center of the building an old, large rug remained, covered in dirt and stains of blood. Lifting it by the corner, she rolled the rug up and pushed it to the side against the crumbled wall. Crouching, she felt around on the ground for a latch. Lifting it, the door on the floor opened, revealing a set of stairs. She removed a match from her bag and lit it, descending the stairs with caution. Pressing her hand against the wall for balance, she felt the removal of cobwebs and grime, the stone beneath which was cold and damp, despite the atmosphere in the secret place being warm and humid.
Upon reaching the bottom, she inspected her hand, blackened with the dirt that had built up over the years. Scrunching her face in disgust, she waved the feeling away, continuing to walk through a long tunnel to a chamber. At the center was a transparent cube on a table, containing what looked to be a rabbit in a deep sleep. A large keyhole presented itself on the front of the cube. Lighting a candle beside the cube, it glimmered just enough light to see throughout the room. She put the match out and then removed a large key from her bag, slowly pressing it into the keyhole, turning it clockwise. Once the lid snapped open, she replaced the key in her bag and lifted the lid, removing the rabbit.
The rabbit looked to be real, covered in soft white fur, long ears flopped against it's back. Kalin placed the rabbit on the table, lifting each of the ears into an upright position, hearing them lock in place. The rabbit's eyes suddenly opened, it's body becoming animated. It was so lifelike and believable. Kalin half-smiled, not knowing if her plan was going to work. The rabbit hopped to the ground and followed her to the wall opposite the stairs, watching as she pressed a stone inwards, causing the whole wall to shift to the side, revealing a room with a large hole in the middle.
Crouching down to the rabbit, she whispered in it's ear.
"Alice! A childish story take,
And with a gentle hand
Lay it where Childhood's dreams are twined
In Memory's mystic band,
Like pilgrim's withered wreath of flowers
Pluck'd in a far-off land."
Alice Lidell walked down the forest trail a short distance from the park, coming across a bench hidden by trees. Sitting, she removed her sketchbook out of her bag and began drawing the scenery around her. Trees curved and twisted into the sky, their roots flung about in the air as it stood upside-down. Flowers were drawn upside-down as well, their stems sticking straight up into the air as the petals squished underneath. Roots escaped from the center of the flower, digging into the ground below and coming out on the other side as right-side-up flowers. Everything in this world was absolutely wrong, only to come out through the ground on the other side as correct.
This is how Alice felt about her life. Everything seemed so completely "upside-down" so to speak. What people thought was normal she interpreted to be a strange phenomenon. Strangeness overcame her, taking her body and soul with it into the worlds she created, where she knew she belonged. She would fit in perfectly with a world completely opposite to her own, where she wouldn't be ridiculed for her strange hair or her eclectic taste in clothes.
Sighing, she set down the paper and pencil beside her on the bench, taking a break before she began coloring it. Eyes wandered, watching as squirrels scampered up trees and birds pecked worms out of the ground. Tilting her head in thought, Alice daydreamed of odd-looking creatures, wondering about their habits and lifestyle. As the idea formed in her head, she turned her attention back to her paper. Her eyes widened in surprise, her body jumped startled, as she saw a large white rabbit sitting on top of her paper. With it's claw, it scratched a hole in the very center, on the ground connecting the two worlds. Jumping off of the bench, it began hopping away slowly.
"Hey, you jerk! Get back here!" Alice yelled, chasing after the rabbit. It began hopping faster and faster, Alice's breathing getting heavier as she pressed on harder to keep up with it.
Darting around trees and bushes, she soon lost sight of the rabbit. She pressed onwards though, her eyes scanning the overgrown forest for the mysterious rabbit, not looking where she was going. Tripping, she fell. With a gasp, she closed her eyes and lifted her hands in front of her face, expecting to land on the ground. When that didn't happen, she opened her eyes, screaming as she continued to fall downwards.