A/N: Hey guys! I'm back with a new story that I hope you'll really love! Feel free to chime in on the reviews if you see anything I could improve on, and most importantly, enjoy!
Alice lay in the meadow among the new spring flowers, her cat Dinah curled up by her face.
"I wonder," she murmured. "I wonder where that rabbit has gone." She turned onto her side, her blond braid falling over her shoulder. Dinah's eyes narrowed and she purred louder, touching her nose to her gentle mistress'. "I haven't seen it in years. Him, I mean. Certainly it was a boy rabbit. It had—he had—a waistcoat and very boyish spectacles. And that pocket watch…" she straightened, brushing daisy petals from her lavender dress. Sighing she said, "I shall probably never see it—him—again." Dinah rose and stretched, then clambered up into Alice's lap. "Mother would say it's for the best. 'You are 16 years old, too old for these childish games.' Maybe she's right. But on days like this," she picked up a little purple caterpillar and set it back on the leaf it had been munching on, "it is very easy to believe that it wasn't just a dream."
A flash illuminated the forest behind them. Dinah burrowed under Alice's arm and cowered.
"Curious!" Alice exclaimed, leaping up. "How strange! We shall have to see what it means." Dinah mewed in terror.
Alice laughed. "Oh, don't be afraid, silly cat," she said.
Dinah clambered up onto her shoulder, and Alice set off towards the flash.
As the forest deepened, Alice's memory swam with vaguely familiar images. For some reason, that broad, dark-veined leaf, turned over as if expecting rain, made something leap in her stomach. The merry song of a thrush sounded overhead, and a thrill raced down her back and through her limbs.
"Dinah," she whispered, "I feel as if this has all happened before. And yet, it hasn't. It's all new this time around, and yet so very, very old— Ah!"
As she spoke, her foot met open air rather than spring grass, and down she fell. It was a gentle fall, though, a slow fall, and not too unpleasant.
"This, too, feels familiar, Dinah. Dinah?" She glanced all about the dark hole, replete with ticking clocks, chairs, and other very cozy-looking furnishings, but Dinah was nowhere to be seen. "That framed painting looks rather like the one Sister has in her study. It may be uglier, though." She studied it as she fell past it, wrinkling her nose in distaste. A large, metallic tub with a window of some sort was portrayed in a rather realistic fashion, though instead of water surrounding it, open air and stars filled the backdrop.
Alice frowned and looked away from it, at the other furnishings, some contemporary, others from an era she'd never imagined could exist. The clocks, though pleasant enough in outward construction, revealed their turning gears, and a tiny bird in a cage gave a metallic whistle. As Alice came closer, she gasped. The bird was completely made of metal, though it moved and chirped on its own.
Something solid and cold touched her legs and bottom. She realized she'd stopped falling and put out her hands to feel the floor she'd landed on. It was checkered, pink and black, and directly in front of her stood a miniature door.
She glanced back up, towards the hole she'd fallen down. It was simply black—no sunlight could reach her where she was, though the room seemed to glow with its own eerie green light.
"Well," she said, rubbing her arms to comfort herself, "nowhere to go but onward, I suppose." She crawled toward the small door, as the space she found herself in gave her no room to stand. She reached out towards the golden knob and grasped it.
"Came by a different way this time, did you?"
She withdrew her hand and stared at the door. A small little face peered out at her from the knob's shiny surface.
"Well, what are you staring for?" The keyhole moved like a mouth, and Alice realized with a start she'd grabbed the poor thing's nose. "You're obviously too big to fit through like that."
She glanced down at herself and nodded gravely.
"You are correct, sir, and may I apologize for so rudely touching your nose?"
"Oh, this old thing?" The door wriggled its knob back and forth. "It's used to it."
"Well, but what am I to do about my size?"
"You HAVE grown since last you were here." The door tutted. "Gotten prettier too. You might have to drink a few more drops of that bottle this time around."
"Thank you," Alice said, smiling at the compliment, "but whatever do you mean?" She blinked in confusion. "I've been here before?"
"Yes, yes." The door seemed impatient. "Now just go over to that table and drink down a few gulps of that bottle."
Alice glanced behind her—there was the table, just like the door had said. She hadn't seen it there before. In fact, she was quite sure it hadn't been there.
Nevertheless, she crawled to the table and picked up the small blue bottle. She glanced back at the door.
"What will happen to me?"
"You'll get small," the door announced. "That's what you need, isn't it?"
She nodded, though she still eyed the bottle with some reluctance. What if it was poison? What if she drank it and woke up a frog? She looked back toward the hole and its utter blackness. She couldn't get back that way, even if she tried. She was no good at climbing, especially not without ropes to help her. No, she would simply have to risk it and trust the little door.
"Here I go." She uncorked the bottle and sniffed its contents. It smelled sweet, like the wine her sister sometimes served at dinner. Before she could think again, she put the bottle to her lips and drank once, twice, then three times.
"That oughtta do it," said the door, and indeed Alice felt something changing. Blue dust swirled in her vision, and the bottle she had been holding grew heavy and fell onto the table. She stumbled back, coughing, and when the dust cleared from her vision, the bottle was towering over her.
"Oh," she said.
"Eh, perhaps that was a little too much." The door laughed. "Never fear. Those cookies should do the trick. One little crumb ought to put you where you need to be."
Alice looked through the bottle. Even through its distorted lens she could see the edge of a little chest. She got to her feet and tottered across the table.
"One crumb, mind you."
She broke off a very small piece of the already small cookies, all of which had cursive writing on them. "Eat me." She put the crumb in her mouth. This time, pink dust clouded her sight. She fell back on her bottom, but the table did not give way beneath her as she'd feared. She'd grown just a bit, enough to fit on the table, but small enough now to fit through the little door comfortably.
As she made to get up, her elbow knocked the bottle off the table. It shattered on the checkered floor.
"Well, at least you're the right size now." The door smiled. "Otherwise, you'd be in trouble."
"Certainly," Alice agreed. She eyed the edge of the table, realizing she'd have to climb down. A chair seemed to materialize in front of her, and her eyes widened.
"Go on and climb down," said the door. "It's getting late."
"Is it?" Alice found the chair and clambered down to the floor. She then crossed to the door. "I'll have to grab your nose again."
"I'm locked," the door announced. "You wouldn't happen to have the key, would you?"
"A key?" Alice frowned. "I hardly knew I needed one."
"You might not." The door's words were soft, almost mysterious, and the green light inundating the room pulsed and grew. It seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere at once, filling every crevice, traveling the lines between the squares in the floor, and surrounding the doorframe. "It seems a different key opens me tonight. Lucky you!"
The green light began to spill through the keyhole, and the little door opened.
Alice stared at what it revealed, a triangular doorway curtained with the same green light, and shivered in delight.
"Well," she whispered, "It seems I'll have an adventure after all."