Dec 07, 2019 8:52 AM
Sadde in Wonderland
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On the glass surface are two objects. One is a tiny, antique golden key. The other is a small bottle labelled "Drink Me". It's filled with a slightly bubbly coloured liquid. 

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Yeah she's not drinking that.

Does the tiny golden key fit any door?

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Yes, actually. It fits the teeny tiny door that's about a foot high.

If she opens the door and looks through, she'll see a sunlit garden full of brightly-coloured flowers. It's hard to tell, but it looks like the garden matches its door in scale.

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Huh.

"Hello!" she calls through the door.

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There's no reply except a peal of tinkling laughter. Is it coming from that clump of bluebells? 

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"Hi?" she tries again. "Is there a raven anywhere?"

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This time, the laughter is sudden, loud and raucous. And it's coming from behind her, in the hall. 

"Why are you looking for a raven in a rose garden?" a croaking voice asks. 

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"She might like roses," Sadde shrugs, turning around.

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That gets another burst of harsh laughter.

There's an empty picture frame on the wall, which wasn't there before and seems to also be a hole through into another room. A large raven is perching in the frame, watching Sadde.  

"Riddles, yes," the raven says, "or rhymes. Roses, not especially." She tilts her head to look at Sadde out of the other eye. "Who are you?" she asks.

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"A visitor mistaken for an intruder. You may call me Sadde."

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"Interesting," the raven says, hopping onto the table to get a closer look. Her claws scrape noisily on the glass.

"I am Everless. Why were you looking for me?"

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"A rabbit, one much more concerned with time than I'm used to, suggested I do that."

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"What kind of rabbits are you used to? Why were you talking to the White Rabbit?" Everless fires off the questions one after the other, not pausing long enough for Sadde to answer. 

"Why did she think you should talk to me? You are very interesting, but I'm sure that never crossed her mind as a reason."

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"Ones that were created by natural selection and thus cannot speak, because she was the first person I saw here, and she said I shouldn't say it out loud."

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"This is the most interesting conversation I have had in years; I shall have to thank her," the raven remarks.

"You don't have to keep secrets from me," she continues. "I like secrets. I shall share them with no-one who does not need to know. And besides," she points out, "there's hardly any point in talking to me about something if you won't talk about it."

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"I might like to get to know you better before deciding whether the rabbit was pulling my leg, however little did she seem the type. Besides, the walls have ears."

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"That...is probably sensible," Everless agrees reluctantly. "But I think I would have noticed if the walls sprouted ears. Close that door, and lock it, and there will be no-one to listen."

She thinks for a moment, ruffling her feathers and twitching them back into place. "Why don't you tell me how you came to be in Wonderland," she suggests, "and then I might be able to guess what you need to know."

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She closes the door "- but given this place's tendency to sprout new doors and whatnot at random I wouldn't trust it. Anyway, like I said, where I'm from rabbits don't talk, so I followed one when I saw her talking, and then fell down a hole and she said the Queen would kill me or something similarly unpleasant."

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The raven scoffs. "Oh, no, she wouldn't kill you. That would be far too nice." One might get the impression that Everless does not have a high opinion of the Queen.

"Go on?"

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"She was very distressed about my untimely demise and told me to look for you. I found a cat who pointed me here. I came here. Here I am."

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"You met Chess? And he helped you?" Everless exclaims.

"Perhaps you caught him on one of his good days," she muses. "Did he introduce himself? Tell you anything else useful?" Her feathers puff up again in agitation.

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"He said he had no name but could be called Cheshire Cat. He pointed the way to you or the Wandering Seer and then disappeared being all mysterious-like."

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"Yes, that sounds like Chess." Everless bobs her head in an approximation of a nod. "I don't suppose he told you how he knew where to find either of us? Wonderland's geography is not terribly consistent, and the Wandering Seer... well, wanders."

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"You're telling me," she snorts. "No, he did not say how he knew that."

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"That's a pity. I would have liked to find out; it might be useful for coordinating Resistance meetings, or for avoiding the Hearts." She sighs. "Well, we have managed for this long." 

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