Welcome to the very last chapter of Alice's Choice. THANK YOU SO MUCH TO ANY OF YOU HAS READ, ALERTED, OR FAVED THIS STORY. I cannot tell you how happy you've made me. It was my first published story and you all made me feel so at home, like this site was where I belonged. And now that I'm sure it is, I'll be writing more stories. :) So with all that stated, you may now read on. (*Placabilis is Latin for: peaceful.)
Disclaimer: Even after all this, I still don't own anything of Alice In Wonderland. Lewis Carroll, Disney, and Tim Burton do.
Inspirational Song: Your Favorite Song by Your Favorite Band
. . . . .
Hamish Ascot climbed and crawled his way out of an abnormally large rabbit hole with a confused look on his face. He stood up, looked around him, and attempted to brush the filth off his pants. "What in the. . . ?" He must've slipped and hit his head when he had followed Alice. He was simply curious as to what a young woman would do out in the woods, all alone.
Hamish shook his head disdainfully and headed back to the party, wondering if perhaps Alice had already headed back and he'd missed her.
Alice. . . Hamish's brow furrowed as he walked through the woods, slightly limping. Was he actually going to propose to Alice? Was that what he wanted to do? Five minutes ago he could've sworn it was, but for some reason, he wasn't all too sure on that idea now. He knew she didn't care for him much and he wasn't all too sure on how he felt about her, either. Perhaps it'd be better if he collected his thoughts first.
Hamish entered the clearing of the party and was spotted quickly. Everyone turned to him and gasped at his rugged appearance, eyes widening and dances stopping. Hamish shifted his feet uneasily. How was he to explain the situation if he didn't know the case himself?
His father parted through the crowd and strode up to him, concern flashing across his face. "Hamish, what happened? Are you hurt?"
Hamish shook his head. "I'm fine, father. Just a few cuts and bruises. Must've hit my head. Has Alice come back yet?"
"Alice?" His brow furrowed before he turned around, looking for the blonde-haired maiden.
Lady Kingsleigh appeared from the crowd with a worried look on her face. "Alice is gone!" she said. She faced Hamish. "Was she with you?" Her eyes hardened at the idea of such an improper thing and Hamish put his hands up with a surrendering gesture.
"Not with me, madam! I saw her run out into the woods and. . . And. . . " Hamish slowly put his arms down, lost in thought. He was sure he had run out to follow her, possibly to propose to her privately just in case he was declined once again. What had happened after he ran? He thought long and hard before finally coming to a presumable conclusion.
Hamish had forgotten.
"And what, Hamish?" Lowell had come up to the front of the murmuring crowd to stand with a stricken-looking Margaret, beside two anxious Chataways.
Hamish shrugged. "Can't seem to remember."
His familiars huffed and puffed at him and searched and sought for Alice, but they came to no avail. Hamish's memory wasn't going to turn up any time soon and it wasn't likely that Alice would be found, either.
Hamish could only say that wherever Alice was, she was able to be her true, wondrous, wonderful, and whimsical self at last.
. . . . .
"Pass the scones, please!" Mallymkun giggled as the March Hare threw a paw-full of scones at her.
Alice was enjoying her sweet-tasting tea with the Hatter, the March Hare, Chessur, and Mallymkun. It was a fine day. The sun was shining, the grass was soaked with dew, the flowers were singing, and even the White Rabbit had to sit for a bit to appreciate all of the day's beauty.
Alice sipped her steaming tea and sighed. She turned to Hatter again. "What did you call this one?"
Hatter grinned his gap-toothed smile at her. "Scrumptious Squimberry."
Alice nodded. It might just be her favorite.
She set the cup down and looked at her friends. Mallymkun was trying to shove a full scone into her mouth at once; she wasn't getting too far with that task. Thackery was doing a bit of a jig on top of his chair, unaware of the Cheshire Cat watching him with something close to amusement.
Alice twisted in her chair to glance at Hatter to find that he was already gazing at her. His eyes were a soft green as he reached under the table and placed his hand in hers. "How are you doing, love?" he asked softly.
Alice blushed. "I'm fine, thank you."
Hatter sighed shakily, tracing a pattern on the back of her hand with his thumb. They could've stared at each other forever, but a not-so-discreet cough claimed their attention. They turned to see that their friends were all studying them. Mallymkun's arms were crossed. "You know we're not blind, right?" she asked.
"We see ya!" Thackery hooted, pointing a finger at the pair.
Alice's blush deepened furiously, but she grinned as Hatter raised their conjoined hands over the table and kissed hers, making sure the spectacle was visible to their friends. "That? Is that what yea all wanted to sae?"
Thackery fell back on his chair, laughing manically. Chessur raised a single, furry eyebrow. "So, we're doing all that in public now?"
Mallymkun simply sighed and walked back to her small gathering of scones. Hatter put their hands down and grinned at Alice, who raised her brows in question. He shrugged, still grinning.
All of a sudden, Alice felt a light weight on her shoulder and something brush against her cheek. She turned her head to see a beautifully blue butterfly resting upon her shoulder, carrying a miniature-sized hookah in one hand.
"Absolem!" She shouted gleefully.
He leapt into the air gracefully and fluttered in front of Alice and Hatter. He addressed Hatter first. "Ah, Tarrant, you're looking much better than the last time I saw you."
He nodded vigorously before a curious look crossed his face. "When exactly was the last time you saw me?"
Absolem shook his head sadly. "Back when your mind still resided in purposelessness."
Hatter frowned. "Well, I'm glad my mind is back. That doesn't sound like a very nice place at all."
Alice claimed the former-caterpillar's attention. (She had to keep reminding herself that he was no longer a caterpillar, for she was so used to seeing him simply sitting around smoking his hookah.) "Absolem," she said, puzzled. "Where exactly have you been all this time? We've just finished off the Red Queen and I've only seen you once since I've come back!"
Absolem blew some smoke at her face, causing her to gag bit, before shrugging his little shoulders. "Oh, you know, Alice. Same old same old," he said. "Here and there, hardly everywhere, but at the same time, anywhere that inhabits somewhere."
Alice's brow furrowed with confusion. She shook her head dismissively. No use trying to get around Wonderland logic.
"Alice, I've been meaning to ask you something. Are-" He cut off mid-sentence to glance at Hatter. "What day is it?"
Hatter's eyes widened surprisingly (for what reason Alice did not know) as he searched through the many inside-pockets of his coat. "There you are!" He pulled out his pocket watch and stared at it belligerently before relaxing and putting the watch back in his pocket. "Placabilis Day." *
Absolem nodded. "So you've been here four days past the slaying of the Red Queen."
Alice nodded, not liking the description of the Red Queen's death. Although in truth, she had been more ferocious than the Jabberwocky. 'Slain' was simply a vile word.
"Now that you've spent some time in our land not running around like a manic with a mission, I want you to answer this question honestly." Alice gulped in anticipation as Absolem flew closer to her face, so all she could see was his little, blue body.
"Are you happy?"
Alice blinked. "Well, yes," she said without thinking. "Absolutely yes. In fact, I have never been more content with my life."
Absolem nodded once and began to fly away. Alice could've misheard him, but she could sworn he had said to her: "Then here it shall maintain."