Sorry. Chapter Four was a little late on schedule. We got disconnected from the internet for a while. Oh, before I forget. I have created a twitter account for Alice Thereafter! Follow alicethereafter. Feel free to leave me a message or tweet me about any comments or if you just want to talk.:) Anyway, here is Chapter 4! Enjoy reading! :)
Alice knew she was dreaming again. She was back in her father's study. And there it was again—that strange figure she saw in her father's study.
"Dad?" The man (or whatever it was) did not respond. He only walked further away from her. She thought maybe he can't see or hear her. It was a dream anyway.
She tried to stand up. She wanted to look at the figure closely. She wanted to know who or what it was. But before she can take a look, Alice woke up to the sound of the door as it opened. Carol just got home from work.
"Hey, sweety…" Carol walked by the hallway and saw Alice by the sofa, still drowsy. "You slept on the couch again." Carol said as she was nearing her.
Alice was puzzled. She has so many questions. Who, what is he? Why is he in their house? And most especially, Why is she having this dream now, after she went back from Wonderland? She wanted to ask Hatter about her strange dream. If only Hatter was here. It was only Hatter she can talk about this. She knew it had to be connected to Wonderland. But he was nowhere to be found. Where IS he, anyway? It's not like he had anywhere else he'd visit.
Everyone in the palace can hear the former Queen's occasional wails and screams. Day after day after day, the Queen suffers from the wicked whispers the chamber creates for the Queen's unpleasant suffering in exchange of the chaos she has brought Wonderland. The voices are getting to her head. One might say she's starting to lose it. Everyone is starting to get annoyed by it. But nevertheless, it seems fine in Wonderland.
"I've had too much thinking for one day. I'll take a rest for now." Jack has been working endlessly in planning for the rebuilding of the city after his inauguration as King of Wonderland.
"Charlie!" The only surviving knight in Wonderland just walked by and was startled by his majesty's call. "Take charge for me, will 'ya?" He didn't wait for the White Knight's answer. He wasn't expecting any. He just asked the person he first saw; and apparently, Charlie just walked past the door. He wanted to take a rest from all that planning, ordering around and whatever it is that needed attending to—which is pretty much EVERYTHING. Everybody stared at the newly crowned King as he was walking out the room. He gave Charlie a big smile and a pat in the shoulder which probably means good luck.
Obviously he was mistaken. He can't be talking about Charlie running the place. They all certainly seemed surprised about him being in-charge. He isn't really what others might call normal. Hatter even thought of him crazy back when he and Alice first saw him in the woods. Told him he was as mad as a box of frogs. Charlie was shocked as the Wonderlanders were. Of course he told the King that he would be of service to him, but he certainly did not expect to be doing such an important task.
After a minute of being frozen, Charlie composed himself and took the part he was assigned to. "Well then, back to work everybody!" And that was all it took.
Jack threw himself in his bed. He was obviously exhausted with all the preparations he had been doing for the past few days. But it was not just about the kingdom. Actually, it was never about the kingdom. He was thinking about Alice. He had been thinking of her since the day she went back through the Looking Glass. What is she doing? Is she back at the dojo? Does she still think of me?
Jack paused for a moment. He sat himself up and heaved a deep sigh. Of course he knew the answer for that last question. She turned her down. It was obvious she had her heart stolen by one eccentric Wonderlander, Hatter.
Clearly, he still hasn't forgotten about her since she went back. How could he? Although it was already planned that Alice fall in love with him, it wasn't planned that he would actually fall for her. He always had thoughts of leaving Wonderland and going back to the Oysters just to see Alice. But he has duties now, as King of Wonderland. He can't just abandon them; most especially when the kingdom is still putting things back to normal. As he was talking to himself, someone barged in his door.
"Now, darling…" The Duchess was at the door. "… Why the long face?" she always talked with that distinct seductive voice. She was obviously trained well to bewitch Jack.
Jack gave a heavy sigh. He clearly wanted to be left alone. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm your fiancé. I should be helping my… " Duchess got interrupted.
"I don't need help." Jack told Duchess heartlessly. "Certainly not from you."
Duchess looked a little disheartened. It's not a surprise she has feelings for the man. But she had always kept it hidden, for Jack at least.
"Why don't you… just… have a little drink?" said the Duchess as she poured him a glass and handed it to him.
Jack turned silent. Jack has a hard time trusting the Duchess since she worked for his wretched mother. And the last time the Duchess offered him a drink, it wasn't exactly the martini you'd expect. However, this time, he really needed one. He wanted to forget about Alice turning him down. He accepted the Duchess' offer and she sat with him.
The Conscience Chamber was the same with all the other confinement rooms in the palace. It was difficult to get in or out. There were no visible doors. Only darkness surrounds the room.
Like a scared little girl, the Queen sat in a fetal position, rocking to and fro as she covered her ears and talking to herself. She's trying not to give in to the voices of chamber but it doesn't seem to work. Nothing will. That's how the chamber works. You hear voices you don't want to hear.
"Who's there?" The Queen of Hearts cringed with the slightest of sound. She is becoming paranoid with all the whispers she is hearing. "Answer me this instant!" She thought she saw a figure pass by.
"Guards!" Of course there were no guards. She just assumed there is. "Who are you?!" The Queen's eyes were covered with terror, looking everywhere for the figure. There it was again. She felt it this time (or she thought she did). She thinks someone's there to kill her. She trembled in fear. She thought she'd be dead in that very second.
"SSTTTTTOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPP!" she yelled as she panicked inside the chamber. She was on her knees and breathing heavily. She thought it was already gone but as she slowly opened her eyes and she saw an eerie looking smile on the floor.