"Don't worry, I'll be back before you know it."
Alice thought that the longer she stared at the book, the less real it would become. It had a very badly drawn picture of a little girl with blond locks on the cover, and it said Alice's Adventures In Wonderland in large, curly letters. It was her story, the first part of it anyway, that she had written and passed on to a man who would publish it for her. Lewis Carroll had done just that, and she supposed she was thankful for that.
Alice had been writing her book for a very long time. It had helped her clutch onto Underland and her good friends. But now, it was finished and published, and Margaret was getting terribly impatient with her.
"Alice," she could hear her sister saying. "Don't you think it's high time you got on with your life. Your silly book is published, you're perfectly content. Why is it that you sulk in your bedroom all the time, doing nothing but staring out the window?"
Well, Alice had tried to tell her sister. Tried to tell her that it wasn't really a silly book, it was real, and she simply had to find her way back. Well, that had been one very narrow escape from the madhouse.
Leaning her head against the window pane, Alice continued to stare at the book. She had read it over and over, hoping that it would help her get back to Underland. However, it hadn't, and here she stood, with a sigh escaping her lips and nothing but the old blue dress she wore to remember those wonderful days.
For such wonderful days they had been! Even if she had thought it all to be a dream when she was last there, it had been nice. Especially the time she'd spent at the white queens palace, oh what fun indeed! Everything was white and beautiful, and even though she'd had Frabjous Day weighing heavily upon her shoulders, she'd enjoyed her stay. She especially missed talking to the Mad Hatter. He had been such a close friend. She even thought she might have stayed, in those last moments while looking at his sad face, and green eyes… those intriguing green eyes…
"Knock knock," said a voice at Alice's door, pulling her from her thoughts. "Alice, it's time- oh good Lord."
Alice turned to see Margaret entering the room, looking disappointed.
"Alice Kingsleigh, I don't know how many times I've told you, you are not to were this dress," she pulled on the skirt of Alice's old blue dress. "It brings back bad memories for you."
"No it doesn't," replied Alice, carefully avoiding her sister's eyes.
"Oh yes it does, Alice, and don't you lie to me. Every time you were it, you wake up in the middle of the night, screaming about a jabberwocky!"
"But Margaret, you don't understand-"
"Oh, I understand perfectly, Alice. Ever since you wrote that book," she pointed dramatically to the book on Alice's dresser, "you've gone-"
She stopped and closed her eyes tiredly as Alice's filled with rage. "Gone what, Margaret? Go on say it! Batty? Round the bend? Mad?"
"No! Don't Alice me! I'm not a child anymore, and I'm not mad!" Alice snatched up the book. "It was real Margaret. Maybe you will not believe me, or maybe you'll lock me up, but it was real, and I'm going to get back someday!"
Breathing heavily, Alice slammed the book back on her dresser. Then, she turned away, breathed in deeply, and turned back around.
"Was there something you needed to tell me?" Alice asked, the calm descending upon her again.
"I just wanted to let you know that it's time to go to Lord Ascot's dinner party," replied Margaret in a shaking voice. She was turned away from Alice and was wiping tears from her eyes. She turned around to face her once more. "Please change, you really need something more respectable than that anyway."
Alice nodded, and Margaret turned to leave.
"Margaret," called Alice. Margaret stopped at the door. Alice ran quickly to her and threw her arms around her sisters neck. "I'm sorry. I'll try to keep this from you. I really probably am mad." She laughed.
Margaret smiled in a very sad way. "Probably. But you remember what dad told us."
"All the best people are," Alice replied, smiling.
Margaret nodded, then left. Alice, with a deep sigh, went to her mirror to fix her hair, which had become quite mangled in her fit. Just as she was about to turn away, she thought she saw something in the mirror.
Maybe it had been a trick of the light, or maybe it had just been because she had been thinking of it earlier, or maybe she really was mad, but she was certain that there had been a pair of eyes in the mirror that weren't hers. A pair of green, intriguing, mad eyes.