* Shattered Dreamland *
Series - Disney's Adventures in Wonderland
Sum up - Alice learns not to take your friends for granted - they might not always be there..
Contains - Depression, and sweet friendship moments.. Yur warned.. n_n
Disclaimer - I don't own Disney's AIW or its characters in any way..
Note - This idea was based from how I felt when I found out that Disney's Adventures In Wonderland was canceled in 1995, when I was a child.. I certainly didn't like losing that show, and knowing I couldn't watch it anymore just made it that much worse, since it was such a special part of my childhood..
Rated T [for Teen]
One thing was certain: Alice Liddle learned a very valuable lesson that day - not to take your friends for granted. She felt so secure that they'd always be there.. she never saw this coming, and she considered it to be one of the worst moments in her childhood. The day started out like any other..
Twelve year old Alice sat at the kitchen table, downstairs, eating cereal, while her little brother and his friend played a game in his room upstairs. It had been about twenty minutes and she was taking her time with her cereal while she listened to her mother talking on the phone with her grandmother about the upcoming Easter party, which was only two days away. Alice had just finished her cereal, when the sound of something falling sent a loud crashing sound through the upper part of the house, just loud enough to be heard downstairs. Alice and her mother looked toward the stairs in some alarm and Alice left the table. She made her way upstairs, searching for what the noise could've been caused by.
She soon realized that her brother and his friend were in her room, the door was open. She stepped into the room, clearly upset, "Look, you two.. Mother said for you both to stay out of -"
She stooped dead in mid-sentence when her eyes caught sight of her mirror - its surface laying face down on the floor. Alice stormed forward, growing more angry with the two boys, and knelt down to pick the mirror up off the floor, but as she lifted it, large shards of the mirror fell onto the floor beneath the mirror. Her green eyes widened and her anger instantly turned to horror.. this was what that shattering sound was. She sank to the floor beside the mirror, in a bit of a horrified trance.
About that time, her mother, Mrs. Liddle, came into the bedroom, still holding the phone. She realised what had happened and immediately began scolding the two younger boys, but Alice was too absorbed in her shock to listen to them behind her. A few moments later, the mirror's frame was lifted, snapping Alice out of her shock. Mrs. Liddle was standing the mirror back up. Alice's eyes grew watery as she started at the backside of the pieces of broken mirror on the floor. She carefully picked one small piece up and turned it over to see her reflection in it.
"Oh, honey, I'm so sorry.." Mrs. Liddle said, setting the ruined mirror up right. She then knelt down to gather up the pieces of broken mirror. "..Alice, I know you liked that mirror, but it was old, practically an antique.. I'm sure it was bound to fall apart eventually. We can get you a new one, honey, don't cry about it.."
Alice felt warm tears filling here eyes, she was bursting to say that it was more than just a mirror to her.. It was so much more, because it was her only way into a secret world of hers.. It was her only way to Wonderland, but she knew her mother wouldn't believe such a thing as that. Alice slowly rose up and took a seat on her bed, clutching the small piece of her mirror. She watched her mother and the two boys leave the room and she sat there in a dead, teary eyes silence until her mother returned a few moments later with a large, sturdy box.
Alice quickly slid the piece of broken mirror she had up under her pillow so her mother wouldn't take it from her while she began picking up the shards and placing them into the box to be taken away to the trash. "Alice, come downstairs and clean up your cereal you left behind, please.." Mrs. Liddle told her as she cleaned up the last bit of mirror and went out of the room. Alice quietly followed her down the stairs and went into the kitchen. She emptied out her cereal bowl and washed it in the sink, the entire time feeling as though she wanted to sink to the floor and cry. For the rest of the day, she tried to get her mind off the deep, terrible feeling of loss that she'd buried inside herself.
That night, she laid in bed with her cat, Dinah, beside her and for the first time, she let herself cry, despairing in the loss of all her friends that she was sure she'd never see again. She'd placed the mirror shard into one of her small envelopes and titled it 'Wonderland Mirror', then she placed it into her top dresser drawer for safe keeping. She laid there in the darkness, staring at the area where her mirror used to be. How would they all feel if she never returned? She was sure they'd worry, but she had no way to contact them to let them know what had happened. Most of all, she was mourning the Hatter. He was her favorite Wonderland resident and he was always so kind to her.
Over the next few days, she felt like this had become a sort of nightmare that she couldn't escape from. Almost anyone who knew this story would say that she was taking this too hard, but the loss of loved friends without warning is a hard thing to be put through. She forced herself through the Easter holiday and upon returning to school the next day, even surrounded by her friends in class, she felt completely alone and miserable. She was so depressed by now that she hardly paid attention as her teacher, Ms. Tanya, was welcoming all the 6th graders back from the holiday. She walked around, giving all her students a little Easter gift for them, as most had given her gifts.
Ms. Tanya got to young Alice's desk and reached into the large handbag of hers. She pulled out a 8 inch tall, cream and white colored bunny with bright and shinning eyes, long ears and a joyful smile on its mouth. She handed it to Alice, who took it with a sad expression. "Here you are, Alice.. Since you seem to like rabbits so much.. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a solid white one at the time.. but I hope you like this one -"
Alice finally couldn't hold this back anymore, the toy in her hands bringing all the sweet memories of Wonderland to her. A few tears streamed down her face and she began to cry, pulling the toy rabbit close to her.
"Alice, what's wrong, dear?" Ms. Tanya whispered, kneeling down at the girl's desk.
Alice only shook her head in response.
"Come on, sweet heart.. What's wrong?"
"They're gone.. All my friends are gone and I'll never see them again.. They were my only friends.." She whispered, snuggling the toy closer as more tears streamed down her face. "My stupid brother and his friend broke my mirror.." Alice paused, knowing - even at her young age - that it was no use telling the truth about Wonderland. No one would believe her anyway.
"What friends are gone, Alice?"
Alice only shook her head. "You won't believe me.. No one will.. So why should I say anything? No one can help.."
"Well, dear, I'm going to check into getting you someone to talk to about this.. Alright?"
Alice only nodded, wiped her tears away, and tried to focus on the lessons for that school day. Occasionally, she'd read a word that brought back memories of some adventure or some incident that she experienced with her friends in Wonderland. She kept the rabbit toy at her side the entire time, and at lunch, she barely ate anything, not even her cream pie desert, which she loved. She only placed the tip of her fork on it, making little swirly shapes in the cream while she immersed herself in the memory that the pie brought back to her.. It was of the time when the Wonderland gang had to stand up against Hare's old high school bully, named Mike McNasty.
He liked to bully people by throwing pies at them, but Hare was too clever and got the best of Mike in the end. Clever Hare.. She'd miss him, too. She'd miss all of them. As the week passed on, her friends and her teacher noticed a big change in Alice's personality. She barely ate her school breakfast or lunches, she stayed quiet all the time. She didn't even socialize with her friends during class breaks or when they went outside for recess. She'd sit on the swing alone or sit by the fence, drawing pictures in her spare writing tablet. By the end of that week, Alice would've given anything to visit Wonderland again. On Thursday of the next week, however, her lack of eating took its toll on her.
She was in gym class and the activity that day involved running. The assignment was to run five laps around the gym building. Alice really wasn't feeling up to running, but she did anyways, and, unfortunately, she pushed herself too hard. During her third lap, the tiredness she felt turned to unbearable dizziness and she nearly collapsed onto the ground, but managed to catch herself only inches from the ground, so her head was spared the hard impact of hitting the ground. She laid there, wave after wave of dizziness consumed her head, her chest burned from the running. Her friends saw what had happened: one ran up to her while the other went away to get the gym teacher.
Alice looked up as her friend knelt down beside her to comfort her until the gym teacher got there, then the students told the teacher what had happened. The teacher then told one of the students to go get the nurse. Alice laid still, fighting dizzy spells, until the nurse arrived. She seemed quite alarmed by this and asked Alice if she could walk. Alice shook her head, knowing she was too dizzy for that. The nurse was slender, but fairly strong enough to pick a twelve year old child up. She knelt down and lifted Alice up, and as she lifted Alice off the ground, Alice suffered a dizzy spell that was so severe that she passed out in the nurse's arms immediately.
Alice slowly opened her eyes, her body feeling woozy and her back laying against something soft. Before she really had time to register where she was, she felt her hand being taken, then she heard a voice.
"Alice, honey? Are you alright?"
She looked to the side of her and saw her mother and father sitting close to her. She realized that she was laying in a bed with machine contraptions all around her, the lights above her were dimly lit.
"Where am I?" Alice asked.
"You're in the hospital, baby.. How are you feeling?"
Alice began to look a little scared, she never liked hospitals. They frightened her. "..My head feels dizzy and my chest hurts.." Alice whispered. "I'm hungry, too.."
"Alright, we'll have a nurse bring you something to eat, okay?" Mrs. Liddle said and she watched her daughter nod before continuing. "Now, the teachers and I have noticed that you haven't been eating very well.. We can tell you've dropped a lot of weight in these few weeks.. That has got to stop, Alice.. You need to eat.. You fainted because you weren't eating enough food, honey.."
"Now, the doctor has instructed me to keep you home from school for about a week until we get some weight back on you so you don't faint in school again, and you are to eat at least three decent meals a day, starting today, understand?"
"Why are you doing this?" Mrs. Liddle asked.
"My friends are gone.. I'll never see them again.." Alice paused, thinking, then continued, "They moved away to somewhere else and I can't speak to them.." Alice said.
"Well, I know you're sad over this.." Mr. Liddle said, "..but it's no reason to stop eating, Alice.. You're making yourself sick, sweetie. Your friends wouldn't want you to make yourself sick because of them moving away, would they?"
Alice thought for a moment - she knew the answer to that. No, they wouldn't.. All of them wouldn't disapproved of her starving herself out of sadness and for a reason that couldn't be helped, especially Hatter and the Red Queen. She said what she was thinking, "No, they wouldn't.. I just hope I'll see them again sometime.." Alice whispered.
"You might, you never know.. but you've got to cheer up.. You're frightening us, honey.." Mrs. Liddle said before leaning down to give her daughter a kiss on the forehead.
Over the time to come, Alice did try to cheer up. She really didn't want to continue to be miserable over them for the rest of her life. Alice's grandmother got her a new mirror for her bedroom and Alice kept the little, stuffed rabbit that Ms. Tanya had given her on a shelf in her room. Slowly, the weeks turned into months, the months into years, and before long, she'd left her beloved world of Wonderland behind, having forgotten all about it. Time had washed the childhood memories from her head.
Alice, now 20 years old, was cleaning her room out one afternoon. She'd not moved out of her parents place yet, nor had she gotten married, she'd had no interest in that, unlike the typical, other girls of her age. She was sitting on the floor, digging through old boxes that she'd stored away in her closet and she came across an old envelope that she'd written "Wonderland Mirror" on. Confused, she opened the envelope and looked inside. There was nothing in there but a small piece of a mirror. Alice took it out, wondering why she would keep a mirror shard. Just out of curiosity, she got up and took her super glue off the dresser.
She walked over to her mirror and, just for the fun of it, put a dab of glue at the top left corner of the mirror. Then, she quickly placed the back of the mirror shard against the glue. Surprisingly, it stuck on too well. She smiled, admiring her handy work for a moment, then what happened next made her step back in surprise and fear, wondering if she was beginning to hallucinate. The mirror shard just absorbed right into the very surface of the mirror, then the mirror's glass surface began to move, rippling like water. Alice happened to be home alone at the time, so she couldn't inform anyone of this. Yet, somehow, through her fear, this felt familiar, as if she'd seen this before in a dream.
Despite her fear, she came toward the mirror and reached out to touch the surface, her eyes widened as her hand passed right through the moving mirror without any sensation on her skin. It was as if she was placing her hand through airy mist. She gathered up her courage and came forward next to the mirror, then she placed her head slowly through it, as if looking into a doorway. Her breath caught in her throat immediately. There was a forest on the other side. In between the trees were mushroom that looked anywhere from one to four feet tall and were all sorts of colors. Golden orange rays of sunlight shimmered through the trees.
She could tell it was either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. She was so drawn to the beautiful forest that she allowed herself to step all the way through the mirror into the woods. She looked behind her and saw herself reflected in a mirror portal that seemed to be suspended in mid air only inches from the ground. Then she paused, realizing her clothing had been changed. She was now in a blue dress with a white pinafore. She stood there, staring in surprise over how her clothing could change without her feeling or noticing it. Yet, she shrugged off the strangeness of it and turned her eyes back to the forest. Colored flowers decorated the forest floor and Alice could hear the chirping of birds.
She began to walk through the forest, not so sure about if she'd be able to find her way back to the mirror, but she didn't have long to walk before a soft purring sound caught her ears nearby. She stopped suddenly, wondering if she was hearing things, then, to her complete shock, a large purple creature appeared, floating right in front of her at her head's height. She stepped back with a start, wondering if she'd gone completely insane over the last few moments, and she soon realized it was a cat with big blue eyes, covered in purple, striped fur and a mouth that formed into a grin. She was even more surprised when it spoke to her.
"Hello, Alice.." the cat said in a male voice, making purring sounds as it spoke, "I was wondering when I'd be seeing you again.."
"You know me?" She asked him, getting the idea that this cat was friendly.
"Yes.. I do.. I've never forgotten you.. I'd know you anywhere.. You've grown quite a bit since we last saw you.. Why did you leave us?"
"I.. Who's this 'we' and 'us' you're speaking of, cat?" Alice asked, coming closer to the strange, smiling feline.
"Oooh.. You've forgotten, have you?"
"I.. think so.. What is this place?"
"Wonderland? I.. I think I know this from somewhere.. a long time ago.. but I can't remember where.."
"Come with me.. I'll take you to the Hatter and Hare.. They can probably help your memory.. I'm sure Hatter has a machine or an elixir for that.."
She hesitated for a moment as the cat motioned for her to follow him. "But how will I get back to my mirror portal if I wish to leave?"
"What mirror portal?" asked the cat.
"That one over there.." Alice said, pointing to her mirror that was quite a few yards away from her.
"I don't see a mirror portal of any kind, Alice.."
"Hmmm.. I guess I'm the only one who can see it, then.."
"Well, if you want to go back to your invisible portal, then I'll escort you back to this spot. Okay?" the cat told her.
Alice nodded and began to follow the floating cat through the woodland until they reached the edge of the woods. The cat lead her through the land of mushrooms, strange plants and trees until a house came into view. It was large and yellow, shaped like a hat. There was a waist high, stone border around the front yard and a gate set in the right side of the stone wall. There was a long tea table set out in front of the house with dozens of tea things set upon it. Two people were sitting outside at the table, drinking tea. One was wearing a colorful suit, and had a mess of brown hair with long, brown rabbit ears. The other was in a purple suit and wearing a large, grey hat.
"Well.. Here we are, then.." the cat said.
Alice's attention was pulled away from the cat when the strawberry blond haired man in the purple suit stood up from his place at the table, and, wearing a curious expression, he walked toward them to meet Alice and the cat outside the gate. His coat was very long and it nearly swept the ground behind him as he walked. Alice's breath soon caught in her throat. She immediately remembered who he was. The Hatter..
"Hello, Cheshire cat.." the Hatter said, smiling at the cat in a friendly manner. "Now, I know well who you are," Hatter said to the cat, "..and you are?" he asked Alice, turning his bright blue eyes to her.
Alice suddenly felt as if she wanted rush up to him and give him a tight hug, especially after having not seen him in so long. He had aged a bit in appearance, but over all, he hadn't changed hardly at all.
"It's Alice, silly.." the Cheshire cat said, "I was so sure you'd remember her instantly, Hatter.."
The Hatter suddenly came to stand right in front of her and he raised her chin up with one hand to get a better look at her face. He studied her features for a moment, then smiled, his eyes seeming to smile as well. "It is you.. Alice, where have you been all this time? We were wondering if we'd ever see you again." He told her before pulling her into a warm embrace.
She returned the hug, memory after memory surfacing in her mind as he held her.. the memories came so quickly that it was almost overwhelming her. She remembered Hatter, Hare, their friend the little Dormouse named Dormy, the Red Queen of Hearts, The White Rabbit, the Tweedle brothers: Dee and Dum, even the Caterpillar who always had a story to read them, and of course, the smiling Cheshire cat. She tried recalling why she left this place at all.. then, she remembered that day her mirror that lead her to Wonderland had been broken by her brother and his friend, and how miserable she had become afterward.
She then looked up into Hatter's face, feeling tears in her own eyes from the joy of having been reunited with her childhood friends. "I.. I didn't return, Hatter, because my mirror that I used to come to this place was broken.. and after loosing all of you, I became so depressed and sad that allowed myself to forget all about you.. as well as this place.. knowing I'd never come back here.. I nearly wiped all of you out of my memory.."
"I understand, Alice.." he paused, thinking for a moment. "You know.. Most people try to forget about things that cause them pain.. Like the death of a pet they loved dearly.. Most will forget it so the memory doesn't keep causing them pain to think about -"
"Alice?" Hare asked, coming up beside them. "She's really Alice?"
"Yes, she is, Hare.. She remembers us now, even though it's been so long ago.." Hatter said, smiling at his friend.
Alice turned her eyes to Hare, and a moment later, he too smiled, realizing that she was their little Alice after all. "You know, the Red Queen and Rabbit would love to see you again, Alice.. Care to take a little walk to the palace? Her Majesty is home today.."
Alice smiled and nodded, allowing the group to lead her to the queen's palace. Sure enough, the Red Queen was seated on her throne when they entered into her chess-floored courtyard. The Red Queen was wearing a very sulky look while reading through a book, and she turned her eyes to the group as they came into the throne room. The Hatter was the first to speak.
"Your Majesty, do you, by any chance, recognize this girl?" he asked, placing a hand on Alice's back and gently pushing her forward so that she took a few steps toward the Red Queen. All the others remained silent for this.
Alice grew a bit nervous about meeting the Red Queen again as the Queen stared hard at Alice, pondering her for a moment, then the Queen's expression changed into a bright, joyful smile and she stood up.
"Alice." the Queen said, coming forward from her throne. Once she reached them, she took the young woman into a tight hug. "Oh, my goodness.. It's been years.."
"I know.. It's great to see you again, your Majesty.." Alice asked, returning the hug for a moment before the Queen released her.
Just then, the White Rabbit came sliding into the throne room on his skates with a package, looking surprised at the whole group now there. They informed him of Alice, who had found her way back to Wonderland after all. He, too, was greatly over joyed to see her again. They spent the rest of the morning re-introducing her to the rest of her long ago friends: the Caterpillar, Dormy, Dee and Dum, even to the Walrus, who was still a Wonderland resident. They were all very happy and amazed that she'd found her way back after all these years. That very same afternoon, the Red Queen gave a celebration in honor of their little Alice's return.
Yet, all throughout this adventure, Alice felt as if she'd found a missing piece of her childhood.. A piece of her heart.. and this time, as she laughed and celebrated with her friends, she promised herself that she would never allow herself to loose her beloved Wonderland.. her heart.. again.
Note - I hope it wasn't too bad and that you enjoyed it.. Reviews are welcomed.. Thanks and.. sorry for any errors I may have missed.. :/ ^^