This post has the following content warnings:
Apr 24, 2019 4:13 PM
Audrey in Wonderland
Permalink

There was a girl who lived in a house that was too big for her.

The house was filled with bookshelves and sealed boxes, but the girl never read any books or opened any boxes. She kept herself to a little room off at the edge of one wing, and never, ever, went exploring.  

When she was hungry, she would pry open cans from the basement of the mansion, using a screwdriver to dig at their seams until they gave up and surrendered their contents. She never knew exactly what she was going to eat, because most of the cans had lost their labels; but it seemed that the former owners had a great love for pasta, so she ate pasta most nights. She heated the cans over a little camp stove that had been left behind, and when the winter pressed against the house, it kept her warm as well.  

In the summer, light would stream in through the windows of the mansion in long, slanting rays that showed every fleck of dust in the air. They filled the house with a still, deadening heat that made movement almost impossible.

The girl hated the light, just as she hated the house. It was a quiet, accepting sort of hatred, the kind of anger that one only has for things one has long since given up on changing. But the girl never stepped into the light, at least not deliberately. She could deny it that much.

One day, the girl found that there were no more cans left in the basement of the house. Desperate for something to eat, she was finally driven to explore the mansion, to disturb the dust and stillness of the darkened halls - and worse, the ones filled with the hungry light.  

Searching through crates and boxes heavy with dust, she found not food, but a mirror. She had never seen a mirror before, but she recognized herself when she saw it. She always knew she looked like that. Not a beautiful girl. Not an ugly girl. Just a girl. 

She reached out, and touched the mirror.

Total: 500
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

The mirror is large, big enough that she could step through an empty frame of the same size, and appears to be made of perfectly ordinary glass and metal. The ornate frame is elaborately carved into strange, swirling designs that seem to shift at the corner of her vision. 

When she touches the glass, it seems strangely soft beneath her fingers, as if her hand might sink right through it. A silvery mist begins to spread across the surface from the point of contact, obscuring the reflection. 

Permalink

Oh! Well then, that's obvious, isn't it?

She steps into the mirror. 

Permalink

Silver mist fills her vision, and there is a sense of disorientation, as though she is briefly weightless and in no particular location.

It passes, and she finds herself stepping out of the mirror into the attic.

Or, no, not the same attic, but its mirror image. The part she can see looks identical, since it would have been visible in the mirror. 

Permalink

Well. Hm. 

... she should try to find her room. Is the way down still where it was before?

Permalink

Correcting for the way everything has been flipped, the underlying shape and structure of the attic seems to be the same. The part that wasn't visible through the mirror, though, is clearly much more recently used, and is full of neatly-stacked boxes and papers.

There is a clear path to the trapdoor, which is in the same place as it was before, but it's closed and there's no ladder on this side. It looks like it can be opened from either side, though.

Permalink

Oh! There are people here. Or at least a person. She should say hello. 

She opens the trapdoor, careful not to let it bang against anything.

Permalink

The difference between this house and hers is greater here. The hallway below the trapdoor is clearly well-maintained, if cluttered and lived-in. More boxes are stacked along one side, and one has a stack of hats on top of it. 

There is still no ladder; she'll have to jump down, and it's not clear how she'll get back up if that turns out to be necessary.

Permalink

Hmmm. 

Is there a box here filled with soft things? 

Permalink

Yup! Most of them are full of boring things, like hats or old books, but the third box she tries is full of blankets, nice and soft and neatly folded. 

Permalink

Alright then, let's toss that box down first so she has something comfy to land on. 

Permalink

The box plummets through the trapdoor and lands with an audible thud on the floor below. 

There are footsteps in the distance, coming up from the bottom of the house.

Permalink

Oh. She'll just sit here and wait for the person to arrive, then. Maybe they'll have a ladder.

Permalink

Shortly, a man appears in view, wearing a top hat and a bright blue waistcoat. He looks down at the box, then slowly looks up.

He does a double-take when he sees Audrey.

"...hello," he says, absently taking off his hat so he can stare up at her without it falling off.

Permalink

Audrey smiles.

"Hello! Are the blankets okay? I'm afraid I might have insulted them." 

Permalink

"I...think the blankets will be fine. More importantly, who are you and how did you get into my attic?" 

Permalink

"I'm an Audrey! I came through a mirror. Is this where isn't is?"

Permalink

He drops his hat.

"You came through a mirror? From where?"

Permalink

She points. "Back that way."

Permalink

"Yes, I see that..." 

He thinks for a moment, composing a better question. "Where were you before you came through the mirror?"

Permalink

"... Earth, I suppose?"

Permalink

"Well then." He holds up a hand, inviting her to jump down.

"Welcome, Miss Audrey, to Wonderland, which is not on Earth, or at least not the Earth you just came from. I am known as the Mad Hatter, and this is my house."

Permalink

She hops down, landing with a pluff in the box of blankets. Accepting the Hatter's hand for balance, she stumbles to her feet, and sways. 

"Nice to meet you!" 

She looks him up and down, her eyes not quite focussing. 

"Um. Do you have any food?"

Permalink

"Nice to meet you too! Right this way, I'll find you something to eat." He leads her back down the hall in the direction he came from.

"Oh, I should probably warn you about Wonderland food. A lot of it has strange effects unless you take even numbers of bites; I don't think that happens on Earth?"

Permalink

Audrey blinks. "Um, not that I know of. I don't suppose you could just pick something with a nice effect? Maybe making my hair pink? I like my hair being pink."

Permalink

"Well, I can certainly get you strawberries," the Hatter says, amused, "but you should probably eat other things as well. Bread is one of the few foods that doesn't do anything, if you'd rather not risk forgetting the numbers thing," he offers.

Total: 500
Posts Per Page: