Chapter 1

Every morning I'd take a trip to that huge dirt hole in our backyard's garden. When I looked down, I'd see nothing but darkness. I'd always test the depth of the hole by dropping a rock or other small things into it, and listening carefully for that THUD! that occurs when it lands. Every morning… I'd hear nothing.

My mother would never tell me what's down there, so I felt like she was hiding something from me. "Mom, please tell me! I'm sixteen; I'm old enough to understand whatever it is!" I pleaded one morning, desperate for answers. It was my birthday.

Instead of answering me directly, Mom changed the subject. "Ana, how many people are we inviting to your party this Saturday? I think it was around twenty-five of your friends? Tell me if I'm wrong, I need to get the plans in order." She stated, searching the office room for a pen.

I rolled my eyes, picking up the pen that my mother had dropped earlier. "I want to know about that hole. It's two feet wide, yet you and Dad never got rid of it! You must be hiding something. You know I hate liars." I snapped, throwing the pen at the desk. It was a bit too brutal, but I was pretty frustrated. Washed with curiosity that has been building up ever since I found that hole seven years ago.

Mom glared at me, waving me away dismissively. "Ana, leave. I have work to do."

"But, Mom! It's my birthday, at least you could-"

"Anastasia Liddell! It's a hole, not a treasure chest." She barked, pointing at the door. "Leave,"

It was silent, and I stormed out the office, slamming the door to keep my pride. She can't make me sound like a fool. I knew there was something weird about the thing in the back yard, but I don't know what. It could be a rabbit hole, but it was so large that I couldn't imagine a rabbit big enough build such a big home. I bumped into Aunt Edith and Aunt Lorina.

"Happy birthday again, Ana!" My aunt exclaimed, the two of them enveloping me into another hug for the day. Aunt Edith pointed at the office door. "Is Alice in there, Sweetie?"

I nodded slowly, and then watched them enter the office happily. Screw what my mother said; I don't need her to tell me what that hole is all about. I'll figure it out myself. After tugging on something decent to wear outside, my purple sundress, I left my house using the back door, strolling into the yard. The hole couldn't be seen from the porch, you needed to actually maneuver through our rose bushes. Behind the fifth rose-bush was the hole. I leaned my head in, looking around. The oddest thing about this hole is that even when the sun can completely shine on it, the sunlight seems to avoid this very spot. Nothing blocked it. I bit my lip as I dropped a pebble into the hole, silently waiting to hear something. This experiment, as usual, ended with the same quietness.

I held the largest stick I could find in the yard, and lowered it slowly downward. The only thing it touched were the walls of the circular hole, nothing new. Looks like I had to check out the hole more directly.

"Anastasia!" I heard my mother holler from the porch. She most likely could see my butt sticking up in the air. "Ana! Get away from that hole!" she shrieked.

My right hand reached down, feeling the edges of the hole, and going as deep as it could. And that's when it happened. I reached so far, that my body tipped in my arms direction. I lost my balance, and fell head first. I screamed for a second, then stopped when I heard another voice. Aunt Edith.

"Alice! You need to go down that hole to find her!" Aunt Edith yelled, panicking as much as my mother, it seemed like.

"I can't!" My mother cried, "Each person enters their own different dimension when they reach the bottom!"

And that was when I continued my screaming, because I couldn't see the opening of the hole anymore. I was covered in darkness. Nothing was visible, so I braced myself for the impact of the ground. So far, it seemed like I could hit the bottom any second, but I just kept falling.

And falling.

And falling some more.

And when I hit the ground, I almost started rejoicing. Who knew that after ten minutes of plunging into darkness would become boring? The impact of the hit didn't really hurt as much as I expected- I was more shocked than anything. No wonder I couldn't hear anything when I dropped things down here! I glanced around the room, the lighting was extremely dim, and so it was very difficult to see anything. My eyes squinted at something. There was some light seeping through the cracks of the walls. I walked toward it, because I really needed to see and check out what's down here. I patted the crack, and the texture was rocky. My hands slid down the rough wall till I felt something smooth. I grabbed it.

A door knob?

I turned it and pushed forward, and the door didn't budge- so I pulled instead and it opened. I felt my mouth open wide in awe when I saw the other side. The sky was blue, like a perfect shade of blue. There was not a single cloud in the sky, and neither was the sun. I could see rows and rows of flowers, bundled together by color. They were in a weird pattern, and as my eyes gazed carefully over the flowers. They seemed to be spelling something.


I tilted my head at it, completely confused. It was very difficult to read considering the flowers were shaped in a very odd font. I shrugged it off and walked past the odd welcoming of the flowers. As soon as that happen the sky faded into black. My eyes widened and I took a step back, and it was sky blue again. Weird. I walked past the flowers once more and the sky turned to darkness again, but I could still see pretty okay.

I continued my little adventure, avoiding trees and pesky branches that seem to appear everywhere. When I reached a particularly humongous tree, I gaped at it. "Wow," I breathed, kicking the tree with my foot. "Sturdy," he commented, nodding. Nature always interested me.

"Who gave you permission to touch my house?" I heard a voice ask. It was definitely male, smooth.

I blinked and looked up toward the voice. There was a guy standing on one of the thicker branches. He was lean, slim, and one hand was on his hip. He had a black spiky collar around his neck, and there was something bushy coming out of his bottom. Was that a tail? Weird. I squinted to distinguish the colors of the fur. Purple and black- a bruised shade of those two colors. I looked up at his head. He was on the mysterious, handsome side. His eyes were a shocking yellow color, but it suited him nicely, with wide, slit-like pupils. I studied his hair, floppy. A very dark purple. Then, something made me stifle a laugh.

"You have kitty ears!" I blurted, pointing at the top of his head. I blushed, not expecting that to actually come out of my mouth.

The dude leaped off the tree, landing steadily on his feet. He smoothed his hair back and leaned close to me, patting my head. "Yes, I also have a fluffy tail." He snickered, gesturing toward his striped tail.

I stared at it, trying to take this all in. It looked so real, but it seems impossible. He looked like any other human being, except he had an authentic tail and big cat ears on his head. I giggled, my hand reaching subconsciously to touch those ears. I absolutely adored cats, so his ears were mighty intriguing.

Before I was an inch away from his head, the guy grabbed my wrist and stared at me, an eyebrow rising suspiciously. "Staring at me?" he purred, gently turning me away from him.

"U-uh…" I blushed, scratching my head. "I'm Anastasia Liddell," I reached my hand out.

He poked my hand. "I'm aware. So, you're finally here," the guy nodded thoughtfully. "It's about time you showed up. We've been waiting, Ana."

I blinked a few times. What? "We? Who's we?" I wondered. Did I hear that right? "You were expecting me?"

The cat-dude gave me a grin- a huge, wide grin. His teeth were slightly pointed. "You'll find out sooner or later," This guy is so mysterious. "I'm Cheshire Cat."

"Is that your name?" I asked, completely lost at this point.

He leaned against the tree, shrugging. "Sure," he answered coolly.

I groaned and shook my head. "Whatever. How am I supposed to get out of here, Cheshire Cat?"

"Oh, that way," Cheshire Cat blurted, pointing towards the welcome flowers. "Wait, it could be this way," he corrected, pointing beyond his tree home. "Eh, maybe it was over there?" he pondered, gesturing towards the sky.

This is getting weirder and weirder by the minute. A ten minute fall to the bottom of a hole. A flower welcoming committee. And now, a misguided cat dude named Cheshire Cat. What kind of name is that?

"You can just call me Shire, Ana," he mentioned, interrupting my thoughts.

"Well, Shire, I'd appreciate it if you actually steer me in an actual direction. Please." I begged, resting a hand on my hip.

Shire leaped onto his tree, sitting down on the thick branch. His legs dangled happily, leaning against the bark. "There are so many paths that will lead you to the same place," he explained nonchalantly. "You'll get to your destination eventually, Ana. No worries," he shrugged, his tail dangling off the branch.

Finally giving up, I began to walk in a random direction, beyond his little tree. As I brushed past his tail, he leaned down and kissed my cheek. Shocked, I turned my head and gasped. "You-"

"When you meet the other guys, tell me what you think." Shire requested, going back to his original position on the tree. He smirked when I blushed and gave him a confused look.

"What? What was that all about?!" I squeaked, wiping my cheek.

He chuckled, resting his hands on his stomach. "Oh, Ana. I guess you haven't heard? In this realm, every male character is in love with you."