Sorry for late update! XD I mean I really really really hate writer's block! XD
Seriously I just had my FINALS week so it was HELL! XD I had to rest my brain for
at least a week or 2! XD So here it is!
(meaning Remember Madness in Latin.)
Chapter 10: Promise to Believe in Doubt
Pitch woke up after falling out of consciousness in London. He opened his eyes into a rather cold environment. A familiar area of Wonderland. A sanctuary of eternal night; Snow, Ice burgs and frozen lands were all he could see. Unlike other places of Alice's la-la-land, he was quite fond of this one. He liked it because it was dark, cold and very ominous. Pitch recalled sharing his fondness to Alice of the icy-utopia and the 8 year old girl had asked if he wanted a castle here. Technically this was her Wonderland, she's practically a god here. The little Liddell had already made plans of constructing the Boogeyman's domain. She wanted to name it 'Nightmare Castle' after Pitch's occupation. Pitch had tried to tell her he didn't need a castle but Alice, the stubborn child, claimed 'every king needs a castle.'
Pitch shrugged off his head ache and went on looking for the girl. Knowing her, she would get herself into some kind of trouble if he wasn't there.
The lady Liddell had found another memory as she dropped to the icy earth. While the Boogeyman was still unconscious, she discovered the glass key floating on a black-stoned pedestal nearby. An unfinished obsidian stoned clearing; This place held such a significant memento for her and Pitch. It was no surprise a 'Pitch memory' would be found here. Once she picked up the glass figure, she was sucked into another episode.
She remembered Pitch and her younger self standing at this very same spot 11 years ago.
Both of them stared up at the dark sky, they both studied the crescent moon with a thin smoke pipe. Alice remembered him chuckling at it. Some kind of inside joke, he said.
'Out of all the places, this one, I favour.'
'Why is that? It's cold and dark.' The little Alice said observing the icy wasteland and she found Pitch smiling down on her.
'Exactly, child. It goes so well together and I also fancy the moon here. It's like a big laugh for me.' The Boogeyman gave a hearty laugh after he explained. The girl couldn't help but ponder at his statement. As she stared at the moon, an idea popped in her head and she spoke it effortlessly.
'Would you want to stay? I'm certain the Wonderland folk would love to build you a castle.'
Pitch's eyes widen at the girl, stunned. Before long, he cleared his throat, obviously embarrassed, and spoke in a hush tone.
'I'm flattered, girl but— '
'It's decided then. We shall make you a fortress!' She declared before Pitch could decline.
'It's not necessary I—'
'Nonsense. Every King needs a castle! And furthermore, I want you here.' The little Alice faced the Boogeyman with such vim and said.
'That's a promise, Boogeyman!'
The Boogeyman couldn't argue with her once she had her mind set. And Pitch just sighed and gave up.
Now, she recalled it. This was the place she was supposed to build his castle. But since the Fire happened, Alice had unintentionally abandoned the project. After all this is over and Wonderland is restored, she would keep to her word and build Pitch a realm of his own, a place where they could be friends and hopefully, family.
"Alice, there you are."
After Pitch came to consciousness, he immediately went searching for the girl. She had a habit of running off to who-knows-where and get into all sorts of trouble. Minding his surrounding of his favourite realm, Pitch found Alice almost without effort. He had a pretty good haunch she would be in this particular spot. A snow clearing with dark stoned flooring, unfinished obsidian structures and a pedestal in the middle of it; this was supposed to be the main plaza of his future 'domain.' This was also the spot where they would get a good glimpse of the odd crescent moon smoking with his thin pipe. Such a familiar place. So many memories.
"Alice, there you are." He called as he approached. The little Liddell turned to him rather dazed like she'd been daydreaming. Pitch studied her face for a moment. She looked sadder than usual. Her eyes were distant and watery like she had remembered something that she shouldn't have.
"What's wrong, child?" The Boogeyman asked and Alice merely shook her head.
"I've broken my promise to you, didn't I?" She admitted bitterly to him which was quite a shock to Pitch. He never would have guest she would remember. With all this chaos going on, he thought Alice had forgotten the promise she made.
"That's what's troubling you, Alice? It's a trivial matter. Don't lose your head over it." But Alice would not take his advice. She still refused to let it slide.
"I've almost forgotten. Everything I used to know, shattered and scattered. What else have I forgotten? I'm such a disaster." The girl muttered sadly, lost in her self-pity.
Pitch grunted and held his temples; unknowing what to do with this problematic child. Why does she have to make a big fuss over this small thing? She does tend to that ever since she was little. She fusses over things that aren't worth fussing. Such a silly child but that was her charm and Pitch couldn't help but find it charming and annoying.
"If it makes you feel any better, Alice, you haven't broken the promise yet." Once he said so, she lifted her head and eyed the Boogeyman seriously and hopefully.
"You can still build me my domain in your Wonderland if you wish. I strongly don't need it but it's your world and every whim and fancy shall be done, yes?" Pitch managed to make her smile in relief. He's getting a hand of this 'comfort' thing in his own sort of way.
"You're right. Once this is all over, I swear, you'll have your lair right here. And I'll make it even bigger." Pitch was about to object to Alice's new plans but he knew it was pointless.
"An army of Black knights and Nightmare horses as their noble steeds will suffice?" Alice asked him and the Nightmare King dragged his hand against his face.
"I don't need that kind of luxury, child. You're going over-board, per usual." Pitch remarked before finally getting on track.
"I believe the Mock Turtle needs to be found?" He reminded and Alice agreed.
"Oh no! B-Boogeyman! Don't let your devil horses eat me!" The Mock Turtle trembled at the site of the Nightmare King approaching his ship. And Pitch's eyes rolled at his cowardly action. As much as he loved seeing fear, the Mock-Turtle's way of showing it was irritating. But, there were at least one Wonderland folk who were terrified of him. No one could blame the cow-turtle for that. When Pitch first arrived in Alice's land, the Boogeyman almost trampled him with his Nightmare stallions and they tried to have him for lunch. All of it unintentional, of course, but first impressions last and he feared Pitch ever since. So, when Pitch walked close to the Mock Turtle's ship, he practically cowers behind the mast. The Boogeyman wouldn't have the patience to negotiate with the turtle-cow at his state and that is why Alice did it for him.
"Calm yourself, Admiral. We're not going to cause any harm and his horses, I assure you, won't eat you. Isn't that right, Pitch?" Alice elbowed Pitch to vouch so the Turtle would cooperate.
"Of course. Of course." He said like a gentleman but—"At least, not yet." Pitch muttered darkly.
They boarded the wooden navy craft with ease, thanks to the Mock Turtle's assistance. Yet even after coming to a truss, the hybrid turtle still kept a good distance from the Nightmare King.
"Quite a vessel you have here, Admiral. But in my opinion, the Looking Glass Line was more of your…style." The Boogeyman said crossed his arms as both Alice and himself walked on to the deck.
"I agree. What happened to the Looking Glass Line? And what do you know about the infernal tr—" Before the girl could finish, the cow-turtle hushed her.
"Shhh! don't breathe a word of t-that thing! They might hear you!" The Mock-Turtles waved his flippers up and down to stop her.
"They? Who's they?" Pitch asked and the answer literally smashed against them.
The ship rocked and trembled as wooden sharks attacked it from all sides. These creatures must be the work of the mastermind. They've been encountering a lot of villains in Wonderland since they arrived. It was hard to keep track of them all and even harder to defeat them. Both summoning their weapons, Pitch and Alice eyes' shifted from enemy to enemy and they had their backs against each other; cornered like rats.
"Confounded beasts, they want my ship!" The Mock Turtle panicked.
"I think you're more to their taste." Alice replied.
"Never! We're almost relatives!"
"You're related to soup, Admiral." Pitch pointed out before the ship rocked again from the impact of the wooden shark's attack.
"Admiral, don't you think we should be shoving off?" Alice suggested.
"What? Now? My sweet vessel is not meant to handle harsh—" But before the Mock-Turtle could give any more excuses, Pitch growled with eyes flaring in yellow rage.
"Get this ship sailing or my horses will have you for lunch!"
Immediately, the Hybrid Turtle-Cow brought up the anchor, let the sails go and stirred to the oceans depts. And to tell you the truth, the Mock Turtle isn't the best captain or navigator. Pitch and Alice rammed against the mast, rolled on the deck, hit the ledges and nearly went overboard. They managed to grasp the ledges of ship's stern and brace themselves from the rapids.
Both of them yelled as they plunged into the sea.
'The Boogeyman isn't real, Alice.'
'He is real!' She had yelled at her mother all morning. Trying her best to tell her Pitch wasn't some bad dream but to no avail. Her mother insisted it wasn't real despite the fact he sat with them at dinner. Why would they believe her? Pitch was there! He was real!
'Come now, darling. Let her believe what she wants to believe. She's a child. She'll soon grow out of it.' Her father said to the mother as he came into her room. And the girl looked up at him like she was betrayed. Father always believed in her tales of fantasy; even the strangest tales, he supported. Yet why did he believe her stories about the Boogeyman? Why didn't they believe he came every night and keeps her company?
'But, Papa, he's real! The Boogeyman is real!' Alice cried yet they would not believe her.
'Of course, he is, Alice. There's nothing to fear.'
'But I'm not—'
'Such a good girl, now, off to your room. And if the Boogeyman ever comes back, tell him you're not afraid of him, think really hard 'there is no such thing as the Boogeyman' and he'll go away.'
'But I don't want him to go away!' She cried before running to upstairs and slammed her door hard. Alice always had tantrums. It was one of the many reason she didn't have friends. She would have a fit for the littlest things. Usually they were unreasonable but this time, she had every right to throw a fit. They didn't believe her! The Boogeyman is real! She knows it!
Her tears threaten to burst, she crawled under her bed; waiting for the Boogeyman to come get her. Pitch told her once never to do that. It was dusty and dark but then again when had Alice ever listened. With her stuffed rabbit in her arms, she relaxed under her bed and waited.
'I was sure humans sleep on the bed not under it.'
She opened her red teary eyes and saw the Boogeyman's yellow glowing orbs. Stealthy creeper, he was.
'What's wrong, child?' Pitch asked.
The girl sobbed into her stuffed rabbit and muttered. 'Are you real? Are you absolutely real? Or are you just misleading me to believe in you?'
'If that's what you believe, Alice. It's always about believing.'
Alice tried her best not to cry.
'I believe. I'll never stop believing. I swear.' The girl felt a cold hand on her head and she looked up to his gently frightening golden eyes.
'It's too soon to say, child. We all stop believing at some point. We all forget.' Pitch said bitterly yet quietly so Alice wouldn't pay much attention. But the girl had heard and it made her sad though for some reason she wasn't too afraid. She could never stop believing in him. Alice would never ever abandon him and she was confident Pitch would never ever abandon her.
The Guardians had always listened to the Moon. Even if Manny didn't say much, they always listened. They always obeyed. They hardly questioned it. Hardly ever. Hardly ever understand too yet respect the Man in the Moon's wishes no matter how ominous. But there were some things even Guardians have a hard time to comprehend. Sandy for example. He should be the most understanding out of all of them. He was the first and eldest member of the Guardians. The little man despite his looks is a wise dream spirit and knew the Moon longer than any of them have. He should understand more. But now, Sandy didn't know how far his understanding and patience could stretch at this situation. The little man pinched the bridge of his thin small nose before looking up at his old friend, the man in the moon, Manny. Sanderson stood sternly and glared at his superior. This was the first time Sandy would question the Moon's judgement.
'What are you planning?' He formed angry sand symbols over his head.
Sandy huffed and formed more sand figures. Mostly unintelligent sand fireworks of frustration. Yet not even the little man's silent outburst could make the Moon talk. After realizing this, Sanderson waved a finger at him like he was scolding before forming a figure of the Boogeyman.
'Why the Boogeyman?'
For a moment, Sandy retained the Pitch sand figure and waited. Still nothing. The little man quietly grunted and let his sand fall. He glared at Manny. What does the Boogeyman have to with this? He plopped himself on his sand-cloud above North's Workshop and stared at the sky. Thinking. Why?
He barely noticed Manny's moonlight beamed down on the Sandman. To his shock, the sand in his fist shifted. Unsure, he looked at the sand and then at the moon before releasing the grains. Once gold sand, the fine gravel floated from his hand and shimmered in blue. It swirled and twirled under Manny's almighty powers surrounding the stunned Sanderson.
Out of the dancing blue dream sand, a figure of a girl immerged. Not just any girl, the same girl the Boogeyman had rescued. Alice, as Sandy recalled. He saw the blue-sand Alice twirl and dance with a dangerous knife in her hand. Then, another figure joined her. A sand-Pitch formed next to her holding his scythe, both fighting side by side.
The Sandman was lost yet not as confused as before. It was then he finally got the message when yet another sand-figure formed. A character of pure horror immerged before the sand-Alice and sand-Pitch. Every moment the sand pieced together the villain, the Sandman's eyes would widen and widen in total terror while shaking his head in disbelief until he couldn't hold his fear anymore. He was so terrified to the point that he purposely destroyed the sand in utter fright; dispersing the images away. It took him about a minute to compose himself and his sand before he looked up at Manny.
In all his long existence, Sanderson had never been so horrified. So panicked. Yet beyond his fears, he understood. Barely but he understood. Sandy nodded at his boss.
'I hope you're right.' He waged a finger at the Moon before he went off and proceeded with his job.
Sandy prayed Manny was right or close but he really doubted that.