Disclaimer: I do not own. Everything belongs to the great Lewis Carroll. I am simply messing around in his brilliant Wonderland... and, in one instance, direct quoting. No permanent or deliberate destruction intended.
Author's Note: this story is set primarily Disney movie verse because no matter how many times I read the books, I still see the King of Hearts as that timid little man. This takes place after Alice's trip down the rabbit hole and it is quite dark, considering me. Enjoy!
Something was ticking.
It wasn't the time; Rabbit possessed the only clock and no one saw him anymore. Time, as it was, seemed to have stopped existing entirely in Wonderland. For its absence, the King of Hearts was still painfully aware of the passage of something. He could hear it. He could feel it.
It was something calculable, something notable, and something cold.
Things hadn't been the same in the House of Red for quite an era. It was so long ago he failed to remember a time considered 'once' and 'before'. Any glimpse now of what was had become so rare and faint that it was almost nothing more than a dream, hazy and formless. Often, as he tried to grapple with the things he could not recollect, the King was sure they had never been at all.
Her voice rattles through his bones, upsetting the cold molding inside them. He winces into the face of the empty air beside him before turning a brimming smile to his wife. She looks down at him, her face a harsh carved block of flushed fury and impatience. His gaze moves past her to the card stretched out and face down before them in the browning grass of the neglected croquet grounds. Two sharp spades stand guard over it. He wonders fleetingly at the offending card's suite and crime. He waves a hand, permitting the continuation of proceedings.
The Queen of Hearts announces the execution. Her sentencing is without hesitation; the fervor in her voice is unmistakable. With a clean slice, her orders are obeyed: The red head of the six of diamonds snips neatly off the cardboard body.
He watches in disguised disgust and then with a sudden violent horror as words pour into his head like hot tea, scorching with memory.
"Nothing but a pack of cards."
He sits in the dark, a haunted man. Haunted by the words of a girl...
... more than a mile high.
There's the sound of a sudden giggle. He stuffs his fist to his mouth to mute his noise. It is the laugh of a madman after all, not a king. His knuckles taste like rust.
A mile high: the nonsense of it all!
And yet, the words repeat and echo and give him no peace.
"Nothing," she says again. "Nothing."
He stands over her. His wife. His queen. She sleeps, peaceful and unaware.
Silently, he turns the blade in his hands.
Silently. Softly. Desperately.
Then he raises the sharp thing into the air, ready hands, steadying his aim.
And in the final instant, he pauses and the words slip in a whisper from his lips and fall with the blade, sharp and severing.
"Off with her head."
Author's Note: Empty time, a desire to write something semi-dark, and the curiosity in one man and his breaking point created this little monster. Its completely uncanon perhaps yet I cannot help but like it... and that is not saying I condone murder or beheading of tyrannical rulers, just that it seemed an interesting avenue to explore. :D I feel it must be noted that Alice in Wonderland is the most impacting fictional work from my childhood and still my most treasured. I can only hope my first fanfictional attempt did not entirely tarnish that lovely world. Feedback is encouraged and greatly appreciated. :D