Peter flops into a Forest of wild yellowed bark trees, with green leaves. Immediately they begin to bark. Peter stood up wide eyed not knowing whether to walk or run, or better still to look a sturdy place to hide, and then being quite prideful he thought fighting was the best idea. Slowly Peter moves forward, careful to dart behind huge fuzzy tree. He chose this tree not only for its size and comfort, but also for the fact it did not bark. Soon the choice of running or hiding will be made for him as he sees the Cheshire cat and Mad Hatter were running through forest from a rather large Stanley. Peter decided to climb up the large furry tree to get a better look. He reaches the top just in time to see Hatter dodging a large club while the Cheshire Cat kept fading in and out confusing Stanley on more than one occasion. It was such a sad spectacle that Peter was beginning to feel sorry for the poor creature and wished that the Cheshire would at least give him a fighting chance. He had no sympathy for Hatter however; he kept motioning his fist in position of the Stanley for the air punches he placed on the Hatter with no result. Peter gasp when at last the Stanley landed its first blow to the Cheshire Cat. He ceased to fade in and out and instead widened its grin from the blow and was picked up by the neck and unable to vanish at will. Hatter squirmed slowly out of sight not wanting to be next target on the Stanley hit list.
Stanley: You, who are friends with the one who taste like honey and buttered toast make me mad. You not friend, you are Cheshire; you are the one who killed our village. One and all you are.
Peter was watching with great interest as well as confusion at the pair of creatures. They were under the very tree Peter was climbing.
Peters Mind was racing in bewilderment was this a dream or did he land in some strange world? Cheshire…does he mean Cheshire cat? Like the one from Alice's stories? No. the Wonderland was not real this must be dream of some kind.
Peter thought back a little while ago where he saw chess pieces grab his wife up and disappear into an old scratched up mirror that has flecks of silver flaking away.
Peters Mind: There has to be some logical reason for what is going on here. I must find a way to wake up. If I don't this nightmare could last forever, or seem like it last forever. My wife could wake me up. I will move around and that should rustle the covers for her to wake me. Thus the problem will be solved once and for all.
Peter begins to climb down the furry tree, howling like a wolf and running up and down the path way. To where he knows not,. He can hear the barking trees in the distance as if they are responding to his howling. The noise and confusion captures the attention of all of those in the area. Even Hatter peaks out of his hiding spot to see what all the commotion was. Stanley was more than confused as he was used to things running from him, but not things running to him. He was sure there must be some other ogre chasing from the opposite direction. The Cheshire saw that it was Peter and just sighed as if he had no expectations of help at all and wished it would just be all over with a single blow. Still Peter yells with flailing arms like he was a wingless chicken.
Stanley: You there, you are a noisy one. Where is your hunter? Why must you make such a fuss. If you like I will hit you with my club. Stand still and I will make this a swift blow for you.
Cheshire: Yes, Peter do stand still for Stanley here so he may make it a swift and steady blow.
Peter: I am not here. I am in the middle of a nightmare which is why you are here you and that Hatter fellow is blurring the image of my dear Alice. All of these fantasies of hers have finally entered my subconscious. You and Hatter are all part of a vicious nightmare, come out and make yourself known Hatter!
Cheshire: Perhaps it wouldn't be such a nightmare if you were not screaming and yelling for Hatter, I know that I always feel like I am in a nightmare when he is around. Perhaps you should shout Alice or Perciful or something soothing like a song. In any case I am certain that it irritates Stanley here, doesn't it Stanley?
Stanley: Yes, Stanley doesn't like you a lot. Who are you and why do you make such noise.
Peter: If you must know I am trying to wake up from this nightmare. I know that Alice will wake me up anytime now. I just have to rustle the covers is all and she will gently awaken me. Perhaps she will want to sooth me with a tender kiss.
He smiles at the thought.
Hatter: She will not
Hatter jumps out of hiding from the furry tree.
Hatter: She will not, this I know is true.
Peter: Why not?
Hatter: Because you are crazy as a loon, that's why, she will probably put you down, like a rabid dog that is what she will do. Kiss you is absolutely not going to happen.
Peter: You know nothing of a women's love for her husband. Of course she will kiss me. She will see the sweat from my brow and get a cool cloth and comfort me as only a wife in love can do. She will ask me what is wrong and I will tell her of this wretched nightmare and I will mention you in particular. She will see the pain I am in and never even mention your name again. That is what she will DO!
Stanley looks at the Hatter and Peter in utter disgust.
Stanley: Alice is with the Black Queen, Everyone knows who the great Alice is and everyone one knows the Black Queen. No one knows you.
Stanley pushes Peter aside and starts to drag the Cheshire cat away.
Cheshire: Stanley, if I could borrow a moment of your time. Do you remember that whole village destruction fiasco? Well, I think it's only fair to tell you that it was not my fault. I know that you did not know that when you unjustly attacked me so I am letting you know now that I hold no ill will toward you. If you remember I never sent Duchess anywhere near your village. She got lost and well everyone knows the Duchess can't follow directions. So you can understand the confusion. We sent her to the other village, not your village so, you see it was all just a big misunderstand and before you know it mayhem occurred, mayhem that I did not start.
Stanley is listening very carefully. You can tell because his pace slows with each word Cheshire speaks.
Stanley: The other village? You were going to burn down the other village, not mine?
Cheshire: Exactly. You see the Duchess went to the wrong village and your village wasn't supposed to be attacked. The Queen would never attack your village. In fact on behalf of the queen may I humbly ask for your forgiveness and I promise that it will never happen again. So how about letting me down so I can respectfully apologize for this unfortunate situation?
Stanley holds the cat firmly and stares in to the empty space that one can only imagine is his mind reasoning the last few moment of Cheshire's diatribe.
Stanley: Not my village?
Cheshire: Exactly right Stanley, not your village: the village across from yours.
Stanley: The Village across my village is my mother's village. You were going to kill my mother. Your blood will taste good. I will not be fooled anymore from that silver tongue of yours. Your blood will taste very good today.
Peter had finally made the decision that he was not going to wake up Alice and perhaps the Ogre was speaking the truth .Alice was taken by chess pieces. He jumps down from the tree knocking over Stanley and allowing Cheshire to escape. Peter himself tried to get up and arm himself with large stick. Stanley releases the Cat, but not his club.
Stanley: Puny man does not know what he got into.
Stanley swung club nearly hitting Peter in the face, but he was light on his feet and dodged the club. Stanley repeated his action again, this time Peter moved so fast that he looked like he was flying.
Peter: Come on you old Cod Fish is, that the best you got.
Stanley: That is not fair you can't move.
Cheshire watches in great interested. Cheshire debated about leaving the boy to die and catch up with Hatter, but for some reason he could not seem to make himself go. Stanley finally hit his mark and Peter was knocked down, just one more good blow from Stanley and Peter would be down for the count. Cheshire decided to help the Peter and leapt on to Stanley's back drawing his claws around Stanley's neck, cutting his throat with his sharp claws.
Peter was slowly getting up: Thank you; I don't know how long I would have lasted against an ogre, especially one as large as Stanley.
Cheshire: Yes, as big as Stanley…hmmm, I agree I don't think you would have lasted very long at all, but to tell you the truth I should be thanking you. You're Alice's Peter, right?
Peter: Yes, but how do you know my name?
Cheshire: Alice speaks of you often when she visits. In fact she swore to me before she married that she was devoted to her marriage and that you her new mission and that she was never to come back here. So that brings me to my next question, why are you here and especially without Alice?
Peter's mind: So this is Wonderland. Funny I thought it would be more wondrous, still I can't imagine why she felt that she couldn't tell me about this place. I personally think that if she could tell anyone it would be me, her faithful husband.
Peter: Alice got pulled through a mirror after chess pieces attacked us.
Cheshire yawned: Sound like something Queen of Hearts would do.
Peter: But the Ogre said the Black Queen had her?
Cheshire: Stanley was possible the dumbest creature in Wonderland and that is hard to say knowing Hatter. The Black Queen has been dead for Eighteen years it is Queen of Hearts that old Stanley must have seen with her.
Peter: You're Alice's friend, right? Even someone as stupid as Stanley can see the difference in black and red, don't you think?
Cheshire change into human form to answer Peter next question just for effected.
Cheshire: Yes and no. The truth is that ogre's like the faithful dog in your world is color blind. He couldn't tell red from white or black from green.
Peter: I am confused, are you or are you not Alice's friend?
Cheshire: Friend is loose term to describe our relationship; I would say mild flirtation bridging between lovers, enemies, and yes dear friends; it really all mixes together to say it's complicated.
Peter's Mind: That is why she couldn't go back to wonderland she had affection for this creature and she didn't wish to betray me for him, My beloved was being torn between two loves and she of course chose me.
Peter: Oh… will you help me save her?
Cheshire: I am not fan of suicide mission but because you saved my life I will tell where you can find the Queen of Hearts but first what do you know of Wonderland?
Peter: Nothing. Except it is a vast part of Alice's imagination that seems to fully encompass the reality that we now share. In other worlds not much.
Cheshire: Okay then, let's see here I have heard old Queeny has been hiding in Dead Man's Swamp. Now to get to the swamp go north until reach a small village. The Village will be out of woods. Once you got there then just go west until hit the swamp. It is a three day journey.
Cheshire points for direction for Peter's benefit but it leaves him more than just a little confused.
Peter: Thank you… Did you love Alice?
Cheshire's smile widens: It's hard not to be in love with Alice. You are lucky man.
Peter: Then why won't you help me save her?
Cheshire: I am by sending you to do the job. (Cheshire pauses for dramatic effect) I know you will save Alice. You wouldn't want me there to cramp your style. I mean look at you in those smashing pj's. How could she possibly resist?
Cheshire's Mind: Oh dear god, what does she see in that boy? He is possible dumber than Stanley. I mean even he wouldn't go to Dead Man's Swamp. It's called Dead man's Swamp for a reason: in any case one less thing to worry about.
Cheshire fades away leaving Peter in the middle of the woods.
Cheshire catches up with Hatter, who is studying the moss on tree. Hatter has a habit of following the moss on trees when he is confused, concerned, or just plain lost.
Cheshire fades into a John Wayne Cowboy: Well I see I know who to count when I am trouble.
Hatter: Oh pity you're still alive. So I am guessing you tricked poor Stanley.
Cheshire: Yes and no more like slaughter him. You'll never guess with whose help.
Hatter looked down with a disgusted feeling in the pit of his stomach pretending to be more interested in the moss than Cheshire: Help you say, who could possibly help you?
Cheshire: That runt Peter you were arguing with earlier.
Hatter: Oh yeah I was hoping Stanley ate him before killing you, so why is he here?
They start walking and talking west.
Cheshire: Alice has been taken by the Queen of Hearts so we must save her.
Hatter: So where is Lord something or another?
Cheshire: I told him the Queen of Hearts was in Dead Man's Swamp.
Hatter: Wait a second it physically imposable for Queen of Hearts to be in Dead Man's Swamp because she is in Lock Mountain. That and the fact that no one is dumb enough to go into Dead Man's Swamp.
Cheshire: Yes Hatter I know she is not in Dead Man's Swamp… I lied.
Hatter: Lying? Oh an untruth! Oh well you shouldn't lie however, the death of Lord whoever he is, is not such a bad idea but… won't Alice get upset at you for killing her husband?
Cheshire: Who said Alice will find out? She will probably thinks Peter is still back in her world and now that she is here why would she want to go back.
Hatter: Well good point. Lest he survives the swamp and finds Alice before we do and then tells her of your betrayal and who knows what will happen then.
The sun began to set with Peter feeling completely lost despite Cheshire directions. Tired after his journey through the woods he decides it would be best to rest for tonight until he hears the sound of laughter.
Peter: Show yourself now or I will be forced to bare arms
Two fat little boys appear from nowhere. They look at Peter in his Pajama with utter confusion.
Peter's Mind: Two little boys in the forest…Aw Tweedle Dee and Dum.
Dee: Is there something on your arm we are supposed to see? Which one of your arms are you forced to show us and why? Did the Red queen tell you to show your arms to all who you come across? Why are you here?
Dum: Are we sure that he is actually here? I mean look at him. He is still in his pajama's he could really be in bed asleep and just be dreaming he is here.
Dee: Yes Dum he is here because we can see him. If he was still in his bed we would not see him would we?
Dum: Yes that is true, however did you see that he is in his pajama's that would certainly prove that he was asleep in bed would it not.
Dee: yes at one time he was in bed but he is not now so you see he is not dreaming. He is here with us awake and true to form.
Dum: Well who is he? Isn't that more important than why is his he?
Dee: No because who he is does not matter but why he is here does.
Dum: If we know who he is than we figure out why he is.
Peter watched the two argue for a long time wondering which of the two are correct. It is exactly as he thought when he was first here. However, he proved that he was certainly here as he could not wake up Alice and in addition to that he saw the chess pieces steal his wife..
Dee: Fine. Who are you?
Peter: I am Lord Peter Olson I am looking for my dear wife Alice.
Dum: Oh you are that fellow Hatter has been complaining about. Well where is Alice then… I thought Alice wasn't coming back to Wonderland.
Dee: Well she is not, because she not around now is she?
Dum: Well then why would he say she was?
Dee: Because he has obviously gone mad from exhaustion.
Dum: You mean sleep deprivation, not exhaustion. He would not necessarily have hallucinations with exhaustion, but with deprivation he would from the longevity of it all.
Peter: I am not mad, exhausted or sleep deprived. If you ask me you guys are mad. I am just trying find to some swamp so I can save my wife!
Dee: Now I know he is mad because the only a crazy man would want to go to the Swamp that located down this way. You know it is called Dead Man's Swamp for a reason?
Peter: Do you know where it is?
Dum: Yes everyone knows where Dead Man's Swamp so we can avoid it.
Peter: Can you take me there?
Dee: No we can't do that we can only avoid it. Did he not hear the avoid part?
Dum: I don't think he cares.
Dee: That's because he is mad.
Peter: Alice has been taken to Dead Man's Swamp I must save her from Queen of Hearts.
Dee: The Queen of Heart is jail ain't she?
Dum: Last I heard, but even so she would not be in Dead Man's Swamp.
Peter: Cheshire cat told me Queen was there.
Dum: Yep he is mad. No one listens to Cheshire.
Dee: Yep he is mad.
Peter: I thought the Hatter was mad, in fact I think this whole place is mad. Fine I am mad just show me where the swamp is.
Dum and Dee looked at each other decided to help Peter, after all Peter dead is not such bad idea for residents of Wonderland. (Writers note: Wonderland creatures are selfish. They like Alice and want to keep her.)
Tweedle Dum and Dee: Ok this away.
The Tweedle brother led Peter out of woods to small village.
Dee: This is as far as we go. All you have to do is head west from here until you get to the swamp. That will do it.
Peter: Well thank you very much for helping me, I will be on my way now. Just keep going this way you say.
Peter starts walking west toward the swamp completely oblivious to the dangers ahead. He never looks back to see where he has been or to have a final farewell to the boys. He is more than confident in his ability to save his beloved Alice.
Watching Peter follow the wooded path to the swamp Tweedle Dee and Dum decide they rather liked Peter and will even miss him a little. After a small period of reflection it was decided that perhaps Alice would not be happy if they let him go to the swamp alone so instead they decided to send him tools.
Peter turns around quickly just in time to see the boys beckoning him back to the path toward the village. Reluctantly Peter returns to them with reservation. Are these boys here to help or hurt, Peter remains uncertain.
Dum: Take these you might need them.
Dum pulls out a rusty old sword and broken sling shot.
Peter looks at them and smiles: Well that ought to do it, Thank you so much. Off I go.
Dee: WAIT! Before I forget I need tell you three things about the swamp. Number one: never follows the lights in the swamp. Two: never look at the water and three: under no circumstance go off the path or else the swamp witch will eat, get, or kill you.
Peter: Which is it? Eat, get or kill?
Dee: We are not quite sure. We have heard all, but no one has ever come out of the swamp to confirm which one is the truth.
Peter: Who is the Swamp Witch anyway?
Dum: She is the evil Swamp Witch who kills anyone enters into swamp by feeding them to her pet monster.
Peter: Oh and you think a slingshot and a rusted sword will do the trick?
Dee: It works for me. It is how the old ones fight the witch. If you have a better weapon in those pajama's maybe you should use that.
A day later Cheshire and Hatter makes it to the foot hills of Lock Mountain. However, too much surprise to Hatter there are also twenty red card Soldiers waiting for them and being led by none other than Knave of Hearts. The Knave of Hearts was sent to another prison in the Nowhere Lands. Cheshire just smiling at Knave as if he knew he was going to be there the whole time. Cheshire faded over Knaves side.
Knave: Cheshire you're late, but I see you a brought presents for the True Queen.
Hatter: You Traitor
Hatter took off his hat and pulled out long sword. He took a swing at the Knave, but soldiers piled on top of Hatter before he could do any real damage to the Knave.
Knave smiled: What to do with you Hatter? You are always meddling in the affairs of Wonderland. Why do you continue to interfere, you always loose in the end?
Cheshire: I didn't realize you were collecting prisoner, besides Alice of course?
Knave: Alice? Tell me Chetty did you bring Alice with you?
Cheshire: Clearly not. I did find her husband in the barking tree forest. He was telling me that Queeny pulled him into mirror.
Knave: Pull him, why would she do that. So she is here and when did she get married?
Cheshire: It's really a pity, but she is married to Peter the fellow that I was speaking to you about...seconds ago.
Knave: I don't care whether she is married or not I want her here. I need her killed before My Queen hears that Alice has arrived in Wonderland.
Cheshire: She didn't know that Alice is here? That so odd why would the White Queen steal her from her bed in the middle of the night. I could see why the Red queen would do this, but not the white. Are you so sure that the Red queen did not do this?
Knave: You mean Queen of Hearts and no she did not.
Cheshire begins fading in and out in merriment of colors: Well it has to be one of them, Time has come said. I to talk of finding things, shoes and shells and candle wax and cabbages and queens…..I must go and find Alice.
Knave: Wait I need news of the untrue queens wellbeing. Please tell me I have good news for the true one.
Cheshire speaks one last time from seemingly faraway: Near dead.
Knave: Good! Now find Alice and tell her that Hatter is in trouble. Hatter you are in luck today you have become useful in more ways than the Jabberwocky.
Peter finally arrives at Dead Man's Swamp a little after sunrise on the third day of being in Wonderland. The swamp was not like any other swamp Peter had been in. The trees were foreboding with blood red bark and with a deep green leafs that seemed to be almost black. The look was bad enough but the smell of decay was overwhelming. There was also a purple mist that hung over the swamp. Peter stared edge of swamp not really wanting to go inside, however he made himself follow little worn path. The sunrise that had given him optimism was no longer with him. Instead Peter had a feeling of doom as he treaded deeper into the swamp. He tried to not let the swamp get the best of him. He told himself to just remember that he would be with Alice soon enough. This gave him courage. It wasn't long before he started to forget the danger and pressed on. This sweet image lasted only a while. Peter then began to get the deep seeded feeling that he was being watched. It made him feel unnerved at the idea of being tracked by an unseen eye. Peter saw comforting white lights. He wanted to follow them thinking it would lead him to safety, yet words of Tweedle Dee rang in his head so he ignored the lights followed the path. Soon he heard the sound of splashing in the water and he so wanted to look see if there beast trying to kill him. The warning of Tweedle Dee rang in his ear. Don't look in the water. Peter avoided another mistake. All was going well until he heard Alice voice.
Alice's voice: Peter is that you?
Peter: Yes. Is that you Alice? I can't see you are you ok?
Alice: Yes, Yes, I am just tied to tree just off path. I am scared Peter. Please help me.
Peter looked into purple mist trying to see Alice. All he could make out was her silhouette. However the words of Tweedle Dee echoed in his head: don't go off the path, stay away from the lights, and don't look in the water. He tried to think of anything about the purple mist but there was none.
Peter's mind: I can't go off the path Dee told me not to and I don't even know if this is Alice this could be the swamp witch, but Cheshire said Alice was here so this really could be her.
Peter: Alice, I can't leave the path.
Alice: Please Peter I am scared, I think something is moving below my feet.
Peter: I can't see you beloved. Where are you?
Alice: Just allow the sound of my voice.
Peter: Hold on I am coming.
Unknowingly Peter walks off the path. Peter followed Alice's voice until everything was silent. The swamp became as dark as the silence he was in. Death. That's what this felt like. He felt like he was going to die.
Peter: Alice where are you?
No response came but Peter saw a large bright light in the far off distance.
Peter's mind: Perhaps the Queen of Hearts has returned and this is her light .It is far larger than the swamp lights. It must be her entire army it's so bright. Tweedle Dee said nothing about going to this light.
Peter began to chase the great light but the light kept moving further and further away. He felt like he was chasing a rainbow with the same results. It was Hopeless!.
Peter: Alice! I am here, where are you. Tell me where you are.
The only response was splash around his feet. Peter without thinking looked down at the water and saw tentacle shooting out of water and wrapping itself around his legs pulling into the water. Peter pulls out the rusted sword he had been carrying for the last two day of his journey and stabs the beast. Beast lets go of Peter and Peter tries to swim back to the surface but three more tentacles grab him. The beast showed its ugly head flashing its teeth as if it was smiling at the prospects of a good meal. It had one large eye that was fine for spotting Peter. It was then that Peter thought he would surely die as jaw closed around his leg. The tentacle loosened and Peter was able to get free and with his sword in hand he stabbed the eye of the beast. Peter swam feverishly to surface finding himself in front of broken down shack. He pulled himself out of the water and dragged himself, bleeding broken to the door step called out in utter desperation. A beautiful woman with long raven hair and deep emerald eyes and skin the color of new fallen snow came running out the shack with long broom beside her.
Swamp Witch: Well look at who have here. Broom be a dear and take our guest to kitchen table.
The broom did as it was commanded growing arms pulling Peter inside the house.
Swamp Witch: Let's take a look at that leg shall we.
The Swamp Witch took off the wet, soiled pants of Peter that revealed a very large gash with green puss seeping out.
The Swamp Witch: It would seem that my pet got you good. Most don't live after first attack let alone a second. Ok Broom, go get me the Bandersnatch blood in spice cabinet and then some Jabberwocky venom, oh and one more thing, rosemary. Things are always better with rosemary
The Broom sulked as it hopped to back into the kitchen. It opened a large cabinet hopped inside slamming the cabinet door behind it as if to let all around to know if was not happy being used as a servant whiles the Swamp Witch starts a fire in stove and pulls out a stew pot.
Swamp Witch: I am sorry my pet got a little too rough, but he gets hungry with so few people around. It seems like no one goes to the swamp any more. Now stay still and I will restore you to your old self in no time flat Peter Pan.