" Alice! You didn't take your medicine!"
Alice Liddell, blonde hair spraying in all directions, glanced up at her mother and whined, "I'm not taking that grape garbage!"
"You know your cold's going to come back if you don't take it!"
Blue eyes rolling in annoyance, Alice turned back to her book of Edgar Allan Poe's Short Stories, "It's gone, mom. It's gone."
Crossing her arms, Alice's mom scowled, "Okay, honey, but when it comes back, don't come running to me! And go say hi to grandma inside." She turned and entered the carved wooden doors.
Sighing, Alice closed her book and stumbled into her grandma's house. Immediately, the smell of dust invaded her nostrils and she coughed.
White hair lisping round her forehead, Grandma limped to her and hugged her warmly, cracked voice welcoming her granddaughter, "Alice! It's so nice to see you!"
Alice returned the hug with half a heart, "Nice to see you, too, grams."
"How are you doing?"
Leaning forward, Grandma whispered cautiously, "Do you like your mother's new boyfriend? I don't like him."
"I don't like him either. But mom does."
As if on cue, Bobby, the hated boyfriend, strolled in, hand in hand with Alice's mom, "What you girls talking about?"
Grandma turned to the kitchen, "I'm making dinner, okay? Alice, why don't you go up and get the photo albums from the attic? We can have cookies and look at them after."
Grandma exited the room.
Turning to her mom, Alice asked, "Can you go up with me?"
Bobby smirked, "I'll go."
Alice sighed in surrender, "Okay…"
Grandma's attic was a haven of antiques and collectibles.
Sifting through the boxes, Alice growled.
Where were those photo albums?
Bobby fidgeted impatiently behind her, "Can't you hurry it up, kid? Football's on downstairs!"
"I need to find these albums, okay?"
"Yeah, who cares?"
Alice whirled on her mom's boyfriend, angry, "I care!"
Scowling, Bobby raised a hand and gave her a lewd finger, "Shut up, girl!"
There was a crash as the attic door slammed shut, and both of them jumped.
"What the heck was-"
A shadow in the corner moved and a tall character stepped out.
The 5' 9" thing wore a tuxedo of black and white. A black bow grinned out from under his chin.
Alice's eyes roved to the man's face.
A handsome –mask? - of a rabbit, of all things, covered the man's face. The realistic white ears stuck out in front of a spotless black top-hat. But the oddity of it all was only worsened by a grim frown. The mask frowned...
It was real.
Bobby snarled, "Who are you?"
Glancing around frantically, the rabbit tapped his cane rapidly against the wooden floor, "No time, no time! We must get out of here, Alice!"
Alice stared at the man, "Who are you?"
"The White Rabbit! Yes, I know I've changed, but-" He froze, ears quivering at a faint noise under the floor. He sprang forward, "We must hurry! Through the clock!" Grabbing Alice, he started pulling her towards the old grandfather clock on the opposite wall.
Alice yanked her hand from the stranger's, "What are you talking about?"
"They're coming! And we're late! If we don't get out by six o'clock than-"
A floor board snapped up and a hairy, mangy steel-colored hand sprouted out and clawed at the floor.
Alice screamed and let the Rabbit pull her to the clock. He flipped open the glass cover to the pendulum and muttered, "In! In!"
Bobby hurried after them as they stepped through the clock.
They had entered a room inside the clock.
Countless gears against red-brown walls and, as far as Alice could see, she saw metal pipes and wires and clock faces.
Stumbling as they hit the ground, Alice fell to her knees and White Rabbit glanced around in agitation, "We've only a few more minutes! We're late! We have to hurry!"
He pulled her up and tugged her forward.
Bobby crashed down behind her, "What the heck is going on here?"
White Rabbit turned and stared at him in disbelief, " Alice has to return to Wonderland!"
Blinking, Alice hissed, "Return? I've never been to Wonderland!"
"What? Never been to Wond-" He peered closely at her and twitched, "You look exactly like her! Was Alice Liddell your grandmother?"
"Great grandmother, but what about her?"
"You're still an Alice Liddell heir. And we need to get going!" He ran forward to a long row of clocks and started setting the hands at different times.
"We left the monster back at the house! Will grandma and mom be okay?"
"That was just the Rat. But we need to worry about the Time Keeper!"
Sweating as he set the last clock, White Rabbit began fiddling with a control board, "He doesn't work for the Jabberwocky, and he's the one who keeps the time continuum running and all the clocks going. And-"
There was a yowl from down a corridor to their left, "Back again? I'll show you this time, rabbit!" Quick stomps down the corridor.
White Rabbit snapped and punched the board, "I'll take the chance! Come! Hurry!"
He disappeared into a clock, tugging Alice in after him. And Bobby was pulled in by Alice's grasping hand.