Anna Madness returns ch1
The sound of the grandfather clock echoed in her mind, images of keys hung from strings. Her mind drifted deep into illusion.
"Come now Artimes, it's only a dream." A voice of a man broke the rythem of the grandfather clock.
"It's not a dream it's a memory and it makes me sick!." She see's the image of a girl...long beautiful black hair, shimmering blue eyes sitting across from a rather large skinny man sat at the end of a long table. Under the table the girl holds a knife, stained with blood. The man pull's a lever and behind the girl a large saw come's dangeriously close to her. The image changes to...fish swiming...then to cards flying around in the darkness.
"Now...focus. Wait your floating again, weightless...a cipher. Relax." Artimes took a deep breath, the images in her mind began to change again. The images began to shift to a battle feild, thousands of people fighting. Blood soaking into the ground turning it bright red.
"Fire...I-I'm in hell! STOP!" Artimes screamed when the image of a tall grey grusome man appeared.
"Forget it abandon that memory, it's unpreductive. Go...to another world." More distorted images filled Artimes's head
"I can't...I'm trapped..." Fire filled her delusions, a school on fire and hundreds of children screaming in pain and agony.
"No Artimes. Discard that delusion, forget it go to your own world." Waves of water douced the flames of her previous vision.
"I rather not doctor, all my worlds are shattered...they're dead to me now." Tears slowly filled the corners of her eyes.
"Your preference dosen't signify, girl. Now, Artimes, where are you?"
"I'm...sailing with friends, hmm somethings different. Thing's somehow have changed." She was sailing on a lilly pad, the girl with black hair beside her and sitting across from this girl was a young boy.
"Change is good, it's the first link in the chain of forgetting." Said Dr. Bumby, but in Artimes's head the boy sitting across from her began to fidget.
"What's happening? Are you mad?!" Asked Artimes to the boy.
"I'm not mad." Said the doctor.
"That's not right what's he doing there?"
"Is something wrong?!" Questioned Artemis.
"Something wrong...raaaaather-" Then in a horrific display, the young boy's head shot off. Blood sprayed like a gyser from his neck, covering both Artimes and the girl next to her. She stood up fast taking a knife into her hand. The once beautiful surrounding's began to turn into a world of hell and disaster. The crisp clean river began to turn into a dark, rotting fleash smelling black ooze.
"No, not that!" Arm's reached from the black ooze clawing at the lilly Artimes was perched on, the girl sliced at the arms with her blade. Sadly with her best efforts, it was in vain.
"Don't struggle Artimes, let the new world emerge." The arms tear away at the lilly pad till finally it was not there anymore.
"Pollution, curruption! "It-It's killing him, my mind is destroyed, my mind is in ruins!" The arms reached in from the black ooze grabbing at Artimes, clawing her face off.
"Forget it, Artimes...block that dream. Awake at the sound" Artimes screamed as the last bit of her skin was ripped from her face and she plunged back into darkness. Returning to her sense she is in the room of Dr. Bumby, a therapist that specializes not just children but also teens, young adults and adults.
"There, Artimes. Better now, aren't we?"
"My head exploded...and there's a steam hammer in my chest." Said Artimes as she took deep breath's trying to slow down the rapid pounding in her chest.
"Yes, well the cost of forgetting is high."
"My memories make me vomit, what can I-"
"Remember other thing's!"
"I want to forget! Who would choose to be alone, imprisoned with their broken memories?"
"I'll set you and you're family free Artimes, memory is a curse more often than it is a blessing." Said Bumby walking over to a window.
"So you've said, many times...and..."
"And I will say it again; the past must be paid for. Now, before our next session, collect those pill's from our high street chemist. Oh and if you would...please remind Ms. Nightengale it's not polite to skip sessions."
"...Very well doctor." Said Artimes as she made her way towards the door, Charlie another pacient then took her place.
"It's my turn to forget Arty!" Said Charlie.
"Now, Charlie. Your Pa was hung for killing your Ma who beat you. Lets try to forget that shall we? The past is dead Charlie." Artimes proceeded out he door and moved towards the door, around her the other children schedualed to meet with the good doctor spent they're time drawing and playing with blocks. Artimes walked outside to be greated by her blind brother Duncan and Anna a mute girl who answered an add for being a house maid for the family. Artimes sighed and began her walk home, Duncan acompanied her but Anna had to do some shopping. Anna was a strange girl, she was the only one that accepted the job to be they're maid. Louis seemed overly joyed to see her, which was a good thing. About one year ago he was taken away from his family cruelly by Megatron, a man bitter about Louis's aunt refuseing to marry him. So as an act of revenge he took Louis and locked him away in his asylum, but about three weeks later the entire asylum was exposed for abuse and sick and sudistic practicies. Louis's parents never found out who protected they're son in that horrible place all he told them was "My Alice saved me." and that's it.
Anna strolled down the side walk, mind fixated on where Louis maybe and if he was alright. She then found her eyes locked with a mysterious white cat, it's blazeing golden eyes stared deep into her's. The blazeing golden eyes...shimmered in the dusk of the setting sun, the cat meowed and slowly walked to an ally. Anna...began to follow the white cat, pulled by some mysterious force that she had felt once before. The cat lead her through the twistng and turning ally's away from the dark area's and finally the cat dissapeared in a backway. Anna looked around until a feeling came over her, the feeling of being watched. she slowly turned around and jolted back at the next sight she was confronted with. A hideous creature, large buck teeth, string like antena's, horrifieing large yellow eyes with no pupile. The gaze chilled her down to the very core of her soul, the body was of a normal man. She backed away but found herself surrounded by the same creature, they closed in fast upon her suddenly a hand touched her shoulder. Turning around fast she was face to face with small old women.
"My stars and garders Anna Nightengale, slumming again are we?" Anna looked around, the creatures were gone. She pulled from the bag on her hip a small chalk bord and wrote on it.
"Nurse Witless, what luck, twice in these many months."
"Out on your own, you look frazzled deary not doing well?" Anna shook her head.
"Well come to my place and look at my pigeons, pretty birds like you." Anna erased the previous words on her chalk bord and replaced them.
"I don't think so, the last time I went with you it costed me several pounds and got me no where."
"I might recall where your friends little stuffed cat went." Anna stopped and stared at the withered old women, she let out a small breath and followed the old women. As they walked the old women recalled of her old job...her old job in the asylum.
"Still a mess, no suprise really. Being beaten by her mother in the street's then being sold to the asylum. That greedy whore, sometimes I wish I wasn't so old so I could make her mother feel the same pain she did. But now she's out of the asylum dear little Anna, I could recall a small boy at her sides at all times, holding on to her dress, brushing her hair. That boy was like the brother she dreamed of, but then that horrible monster Megatron he just had to ruine it. He tried to drive the poor boy insane with his new machine, I heard him say it can penitrate a person's head and you can control how the fantasy's in the subjects mind works. I was appauled, until I saw Anna get into that thing late at night. The look in her eye's...just like an angry mother who's child was abused by some horrible older boy. That girl destroyed that machine and caused a black out, that black out lead to an investigation and Megatron was exposed. The asylum was shut down and the pacients were taken somewhere else for treatment. Anna and that little boy went free, thank goodness I say...but still costed me my job. I don't hold a grudge but, an old women need's a drink. If she dosen't pay me for my silence about her time in the asylum then her new employers will have no choice but to throw her out, they don't want they're children going among mad people."
Anna and returned to her home, Anna quickly set out and bought five bottles of rum for the old women as she awaited her return on the roof with her pigeons. Anna set the bottles down on the table and scaled the steps up to the roof, she made her way to the pigeon coops and to Witless. She furiously wrote on her chalkbord and showed to her.
"Nurse Witless do you mean to harm me and my new family, to send them to asylums too?!" She took a few steps back, folding her arms and scowling at the old women as she threw feed out for the birds.
"I won't say no, I have a thirst you can photograph...need a drink." Nurse Witless's voice began to change, it began to shift to something more...demonic.
"More then my whistle needs wetting." Two wings sprouted from her back, she turned and had become the same hideouse creature Anna faced back in the ally. Witless gave a horrible screeching roar, and steped towards her. Anna backed away in fear, as she backed away suddenly the ground beneith her began to crack and break. Then the floor gave way swallowing her into a void, she twisted and turned as she fell through the different changing colors. All around her she passed different items, tea cups, dolls, books, rocking chairs. The walls of this long fall began to change as well, passing through pipes and oozeing doll faces. She fell deeper and deeper into the void, then a strange purple mist surrounded her. Wrapping itself around her torso, she huddle together, eyes closed tight and as if holding something she threw out her arms and legs letting out a strange power...her once beautiful blue vest and black skirt where gone now replaced with new clothing. As she opened her eyes and was gently floating into a different world, a forest of magnificent beauty. Her dress had changed, it was a beautiful blue dress with a white apron...but upon the apron was sploches of blood. Long black and white striped stockings and black buckle shoes, she landed softly upon a moss laden rock. Domino's as stepping stones hep to get across a small stream.
"Very upsetting journey, but I'm rid of Witless or what ever she's become." Anna...was talking, her voice returned.
"At least the place I've landed in is some what familiar." Said Anna looking around crossing over the domino stepping stones. When she gets on shore a mysterious figure meteriolized infront of her, it was a cat. It's body was nothing but skin and bone's, it's smile was wide and glimmering. His golden eyes sparkled and glowed deviously, yet gently.
"About time too my little Anna." Said the cat.
"Oh blasted Ches, don't try to bully me. I am very much on edge already." Said Anna crossing her arms and bouncing on the ball's of her feet.
"Puuuuurect, when your not on edge your taking up to much space." Smiled the cat.
"Your being no help at all right now!" Said Anna stomping her foot.
"What do you know I can be?" Smiled the cat.
"I'll frighten myself when nessesary thank you very much, some of the others I know want to escape from it." She said sadly, the cat's body became a mist and swirled around her till it wrapped around her body and resilitified into the cats form again, his forhead on her's.
"They must abandone that hope, a new law rains in this wonderland Anna it's a very rough justice all around we're at risk here. You...be on your gaurd." The strange cat then disappeared, leaving Anna alone. Anna took a deep breath and proceeded up a hill. She walked through the beautiful lushes garden like forest, she passed by giant carvings in the moutain sides. Some looked like the Wolfbane family members, she stopped at one that had her apperence. The statue of herself was of her crying her hands clutched to her face in depression.
"So many times of pain...but must press on." Said Anna and continued on her way, she climbed over rocks and used spongy mushroom as trampolines to jump to high ledges. Before she knew it she was standing near a small pond of purple water, the waterfall pouring into it was flowing from a bottle that said "Drink me" tied to it on a tag.
"I've been down this road before, good things in small packages right?" Anna turned her head to the Cat reappearing before her.
"Though lacking a batheing costume, a plunge in that pool is in order." Said Cat with a wide grin. Anna stared at the cat for a few minutes before standing under the rushing purple liquid, once her body was covered it began to shrink.
"My god, I'm shrinking in this potion! S-Shall I disappear!?"
"Almost but while smaller you can see things that were once invisible to your bigger self."
"Ah, I get it quite. Forrest for the trees just the other way around. Short sighted is merely a matter of perspective." Anna grew back to her normal hight, proceeding north by north west after collecting some of the shrinking liquid into a vial she discovered near by. Her new ability came quit in handy, fitting through small openings and seeing hidden messages. She climbed up a hill until she stopped, she stared at a floating transparent item before her. It looked just like the cat doll Anna sewed Louis when she was in the asylum, slowly approaching it she gingerly reached out and touched it. It the popped like a bubble and she then heard little Louis's voice.
"I'll never have more fun then when daddy took me to that big slide at the park, next time Anna you should come with me!" Anna sat there wondering what had just happened. She remembered that day, Louis got to spend the day with his father. She smiled as she remembered how excited he was when he returned home that night, Anna walked up to one spongy, springy mushroom and jumped on it. The mushroom sent her flying up way high on to a ledge, there she saw a slide. A very long and large slide, she now understood what that object was. The transparent object was one do Louis's memories, she guessed that each memory will be shaped like something familiar. Anna nodded to herself and jumped on to the slide, she began her decent. Finally she reached the bottom, she walked along a small stream. Rounding a corner she was confronted with a giant skeleton, the skeleton of what appeared to be a dragon. Within the skull of the dead creature was a knife, again the cat materialized, sitting by the dead creature.
"The vorpal blade is swift and keen and always ready for service." The cat turned to the knife, the knife upon its own accord levitated to Anna. She took it and examined it.
"I didn't come back here looking for a fight." Said Anna as she checked over the blade still stained with blood. It was engraved with intricate designs, it rang softly as Anna ran her finger along the edge of the blade.
"Really? That's a pity one is certainly looking for you." Smiled the cat as he disappeared again. Anna stared at the knife, the blood on the knife obscured her reflection. Clenching the knife tight she rain down the trail, over hills, around fallen trees and under arches. Anna shivered, she felt a evil presence just not to far away. Coming upon a clearing she saw puddles of something disgusting, it reeked worse then a pig farm on a hot day. Before she could take another step the puddle began to bubble and rise, it started to form something. The creature oozed the disgusting black sludge, it's face was that of a porcelain doll. It let out this un-godly roar, Anna readied her knife. The creature then charged at her, she evaded the creature. Slicing it with her knife, the creature turned around and roared again before it's arm fell off. Anna charged the monster, with one clean motion drove her knife deep into the face of the monster. Killing it quickly, she withdrew the knife and panted.
"Bloody hell...what are you?" Questioned Anna examining the creature.
"Ugh...your a bloody Ruin that's what you are." Said Anna. She cleaned her blade of the black ooze and proceeded on, the smell of the Ruin still permeated the air. It almost made her vomit a few times, but she stood steadfast and pushed forward. Standing upon a tall hill she spotted the duchess's kitchen, it would be nice to see the duchess again. Jumping down off of ledges she strolled up to the kitchen, but when she got there she was not met by the duchess but someone else.
"Artemis!?" Anna ran over to her, Artemis laid upon the floor of the kitchen in a deep sleep. Then the same purple mist appeared, the cat appeared before her.
"Ches what is the meaning of this, why is Artemis here!?"
"She was needed, of course she can't walk around looking like this." the cat dissolved into the purple mist, swirling around Artemis's body he began to alter her clothing. Her top became this beautiful fiery red corset with orange trim, red sleeves with orange trim decorated her arms. She wore dark brown shorts, beside her was a pepper grinder, slowly the beautiful maiden awoke from her slumber. Her beautiful pale green eyes opened, she blinked a few times before regaining her sight.
"Wha...Anna is that you? What are you wearing?" questioned Artemis. Anna stood dumbfounded not knowing what to say, Anna saw Artemis everyday and she always looked good but now...she looked absolutely breath taking. Image lived up to the name she was given, she was the vision of a goddess.
"Um..." Anna couldn't say anything, she was deep in shock. Artemis looked back at Anna, she tilted her head in confusion.
"Anna do you know where we are and-" Anna put a finger it Artemis's lips.
"Artemis I want you to listen to me." Artemis's eyes grew wide, Anna spoke. She really, really spoke!
"A-Anna did you just...just-?!" Anna covered Artemis's mouth again, slowly removing her hand she nodded.
"Yes Artemis I'm talking, right now we can't worry about that. Dangerous creatures might still be lurking about." Artemis sat there eyes wide in shock, Anna was talking. Standing up, Anna ushered Artemis forward. The strange wondrous surroundings filled her soul with a strange inner peace. Anna looked about the land for something, Artemis spoke up.
"Anna where are we?" Anna turned and with no emotion in her face she said.
"Wonderland." Artemis blinked.
"Anna as amazing as that sounds, I highly doubt we fell right into a book." said Artemis, Anna turned to her.
"Artemis this isn't the book, this is a wonderland far different from the story book tale. This world was created by your brother Louis." Artemis stumbled back, shock stealing away here breath. This world, this utterly beautiful symbol of beauty was created by her little brother!? She watched as Anna scaled over rocks with ease and skill, guess its second nature what with all of her siblings running around. As they came to the top of a steep hill they found at the bottom of it was something that was sort of out of place. Anna, holding the pepper grinder handed it off to Artemis.
"Keep it close you will need it." Artemis stared at it, what use would she need a pepper grinder for? Slowly the landscape began to change, the grass began to die. Red clay dirt became the ground as they continued, trees began to fall. Continuing Anna looked ahead for anything, she froze and motioned Artemis to get over to her. Artemis did so, Anna pushed her hands to the pepper grinder.
"Get that ready, we're about to dive into hell." said Anna. Artemis looked at her with a raised eyebrow. She looked down and saw these strange green people, they had tea cups for hats, plates for shields and forks and spoons for weapons. Anna drew her blade, Artemis looked at it and then back at her grinder.
"How come you get the knife and all I get is the stupid pepper grinder." whined Artemis, Anna looked at her and smirked.
"Hold this Arty." Anna handed Artemis the knife as she took the pepper grinder. Anna put one foot in front and turned the crank of the grinder. Pepper bullets began to shoot out, it hit the green men shattering they're shield and disarmed them. Anna smiled and looked at Artemis.
"Still think this pepper grinder isn't that great?" Artemis just sat there in shock and awe, Anna switched back with her and they walk down.
"Let's keep moving, we need to keep moving." said Anna, they passed the disgusting little men. Artemis cringed at the vial smell entering her nose, rounding a corner they find themselves face to face with a familiar face.
"GAH! What the heck is that?!" shouted Artemis as she saw the smiling cat.
"Cheshire cat..." Anna whispered softly, Cheshire cat smiled his crescent moon grin at the girls before slowly approaching them.
"Riddle me this, when is a croquet mallet like a billy club? I'll tell you, when ever you want it to be." slowly he disappeared into the purple mist.
"Again I ask...what the heck was that thing cause it definitely wasn't a cat." said Artemis.
"That was a cat Artemis, that was or should I say what's left of the Cheshire cat." Anna began to wander around, she then found a croquet mallet. A few meters away was a giant tea pot turned upside down, Anna approached it and found a giant crack in it. Anna stepped inside while Artemis stayed outside, she still couldn't make sense of this place.
"Arty come here, now!" shouted Anna. Artemis jumped at the sudden call of her name, she raced into the tea pot. Her breath hitched at the next sight, laying on the ground was her beloved brother Duncan. His clothing, like hers was changed.
"What on earth?!" Artemis reached for her brother but was stopped by Anna, who motioned Artemis to stay back.
"Careful now Artemis, see these bandages around his eyes?" Artemis nodded seeing the strange dark violet sparkling bandages around her brothers head.
"I want you to hold his arms, these bandages are right on his eyes and we need to be very careful about unwrapping them." Artemis gave her a stone cold stare.
"An you know this how?"
"When I woke up here these same bandages were on my neck, when I pulled them off I began to talk." Artemis's eyes grew wide again.
"D-Does that mean Duncan will..."
"Be able to see? Yes I believe that is what will happen but right now Artemis I need you to hold him still." Artemis nodded and held h brother close, Anna gent felt around the bandages before finding one end of the bandage to unravel them. Slowly the bandages began to reveal his stunning sterling silver eyes, Duncan let out a gasp and covered his eyes.
"Ow my eyes...what was that?!" Duncan asked, Artemis smiled big.
"Duncan open your eyes." said Anna.
"Who said that?!" thou he was confused by the strangers voice he did as told and opened his eyes slowly. His vision set a blaze with things he had never seen before, his eyes gazed upon his elder sister.
"A-Artemis?" his sisters eyes filled with tears as she hugged him.
"It's me Duncan its really me." Artemis couldn't believe it, Anna smiled as Duncan looked at her.
"Who...are you?" asked Duncan.
"Its me Duncan, Anna." Duncan shot up from his sisters lap.
"Yes Duncan, I know I'm talking but please calm down." Anna, Duncan and Artemis stood up and dusted themselves off. Anna then produced the croquet mallet to Duncan.
"What should I do with this?" asked Duncan pointing at the mallet. Anna smirked and handed the mallet over to Duncan, when his hands gripped the handle, a light enveloped the mallet. It morphed from a simple croquet mallet into a large hobby horse, spikes running from its head down, emerald green eyes. It looked quit demented and heavy but Duncan held it like it was weightless.
"Whoa..." Artemis could only mutter that word, she was just astounded by the sudden transformation. Duncan marveled at the new item in his hand how misleading it was, it looked heavy but was as light as a feather to him.
"Ok now Duncan see that rock over there, I want you to take your hobby horse and hit it." Duncan gave her an odd look but obeyed, walking over he lifted the hobby horse over his head and brought it down with some force. The rock didn't break, it exploded into a cloud of dust. Duncan brushed the dust away and gasped at the massive curator that lay before him. Anna nodded in approval, she walked to Duncan and placed her hand on his shoulder.
"Very nice Duncan, now let's get moving." Anna tugged on his hand to get him to move. The three of them moved on, breaking, cutting or shooting anything that got in their way. Finally coming to a metal platform on a cliffside, Duncan and Artemis looked around while Anna stared into the distance before walking over to a giant horn. Above the horn was a sign that said, blow for trolly. Anna looked back to see if Duncan or Artemis was looking, when both we're looking away Anna took a deep breath and blew into the horn. The sound emitted from the horn was enormously loud, it shook the ground a little. Scared poor Artemis and Duncan out of there minds.
"Anna what the heck are you doing, are you trying to give us heart attacks?!" screamed Artemis, before Anna could answer a tea pot shaped trolly appeared.
"What the heck is that thing?" asked Duncan, Anna turned to them.
"We need to keep moving forward, the only way to do that is by getting on here now come on." Duncan looked at his sister hesitantly but did as told, Artemis followed as well. Anna stood while Artemis and Duncan sat down, Duncan looked outside as they were about to take off. He stared at something that he couldn't explain, it was a carving in the cliffside. It was carved like Anna, her hands on her face as water poured from her eyes. Duncan couldn't explain it, but he felt as if this was linked to something.
"Hatters domain...it's worse then I thought." said Anna to herself, Duncan was about to speak when a familiar mist appeared. The mist formed into a familiar figure with a grin to match the crescent moon.
"Appearances as you know Anna are deceiving, much has changed here." said Cheshire cat, Duncan shaking away the shock and spoke.
"But doctor Bumby says change is constructive, that different is good." Artemis nodded in agreement, Cheshire cat turned to them and his grin faded fast.
"Different denotes neither bad nor good, but it certainly means 'not the same'." Cheshire turned and wrapped himself around Anna's body, his forehead touching hers.
"Find the "other" Hatter, Anna. He knows more about 'different' than you."
"But does he know the difference between bad and good?" suddenly out of nowhere strange creatures known as bolter flies start ramming into the trolly.
"Making friends Anna, your as randomly lethal and entirely confused as you ever were." said Cheshire as he uncoiled himself from her body.
"We have managed so far without you cat, return to whatever hovel is home to you. We'll call if we need you."
"Predictably rash, it's not the matter of "if" Anna its "when" now hold on and as they say shut up." Cheshire gave a gentle push to Anna's chest pushing her on to the bench where Artemis and Duncan sat.
"So predictable." muttered Anna as she prepared for impact, the trolly crashed threw the wall of the Hatters domain. All three passengers were sent flying threw the hole in the wall, Duncan now with his new sight caught a glimpse of Anna's dress changing. It became black like the thick denim cloth at the steel mill, her apron looked like metal but it was more like leather. Straps around her arms and midsection stopping just under her breast and above her hips. Her boots remained the same along with her stockings. They all landed roughly but safely on the ground of the domain, Artemis was the first to regain her senses and sat up. Anna and Duncan were next, Anna stood up and dusted herself off.
"Well I made more graceful entrances." said Anna, they looked about the area and could tell its horrid condition is getting worse. Above them was a platform to high to reach and the surface of the side much to smooth to climb. Anna then noticed a spout blowing steam, it wasn't cold nor was it hot. It was just air, Anna stuck her hand in and felt a very strong gust.
"Great what do we do now?" questioned Artemis, Anna took two steps back before taking a leap on to the valve. The burst of steam shooting from the spout sent Anna flying, her dress acting like a parachute. She floated over to the platform, looking down at Duncan and Artemis she called to them.
"Well come on we don't have all day." Artemis and Duncan both stunned followed her lead, over and under pathways they went taking down foes as they went along. As they stopped to catch they're breath a shriek of terror was heard. Anna shot to her feet and ran to an opening, her eyes went wide at what she saw.
"No..." on a platform below her was Lucas and Shooting star the youngest of the Wolfbane children. Both were under attack by a creature known as an eye pot, a strange but very dangerous creature none the less. Body of a tea pot, three spear like legs, a large red eye and the ability to shoot blobs of skin dissolving tea at you it's to say its a creature you don't want to mess with. Artemis felt her heart leap with fear, she had to save her siblings.
"Artemis, Duncan grab hold!" Anna grabbed they'er hands and jumped, before Artemis could scream they found themselves floating down on to the lower platform.
"Duncan get your siblings, Artemis use the pepper grinder and shoot at its eye!" shouted Anna, without skipping a beat they did as told. Duncan raced to his siblings with tremendous speed, scooping them up into his arms. Artemis shot the creatures eye. Temporarily blinding the tea pot cyclops, Anna then moved in for the kill driving her vorpal blade deep into the eye of the monster. It let out a hideous screech before dying, Anna panted hard her face covered in the creatures blood. She cursed under breath, who ever is doing this to wonderland would pay dearly.
"Arty, Duncan!" the twins hugged they're older siblings, like them they're appearance had changed. They had long rabbit ears, red waist coats, either plaid pants or skirt and both had a golden watch in they're breast pockets.
"How the heck did you two get here?!" asked Artemis, racing over to her siblings.
"W-We don't know." said little Shooting star, clutching her twin brother.
"We were playing in the park and out of no where we see this white cat, it had something in its mouth. It looked like it belonged to Louis so we chased after it, we fell down a hill and hit our heads. Next thing we know we're in this place being chased by monsters!" said Lucas, Artemis instinctively began to look them over for any wounds. Once she saw the twins were unharmed she hugged the tightly, Duncan smiled. Now he could see what his siblings looked like, he knelt down to them.
"Lucas, Star, it's so great to see you with my own eyes." the twins gasped in surprise, their brother had his sight. Anna walked up to them, kneeling down to see if they were ok.
"Are they alright Arty?"
"Yeah Anna they are." the twins eyes lit up
"Anna and Duncan can...can..." Duncan cut them off.
"Yes you two, Anna is talking and I have my sight back." said Duncan.
"Right now we don't have time for celebrating, cat said to find the "other" hatter because he may have information about Louis and his whereabouts." said Anna.
"Again Anna that wasn't a cat that was a walking skeleton that use to be a cat." said Artemis. Anna ignored the comment and motioned everyone to follow her, taking the twins on their backs they pressed on. Stopping to rest Anna suddenly felt her self being drawn to something, rounding s corner she came to a door. A door the exact size, shape, style and form of the door of the school that burnt down. Behind the glass she could make out flames, licking against the door. Slowly almost drawn in by an unseen force she reached for the door, she could not hear the voices of her friends calling out to her as she walked in. The door closing behind her, Duncan raced up gripping the door knob shouting Anna's name. Inside the door no flames could be seen, just a simple library. But this library wasn't ordinary, it was the library of the school. Anna suspected she was in one of Louis's memories, sparing a glance she saw on the couch a newspaper. It's date was the night of when the school caught fire, Anna turned and looked at the library. She saw Louis sitting in a chair reading a book, Anna felt tears run down her cheek as she muttered.
"This...lovely library was a fire trap, a conflagration waiting to happen. Louis...what happened...where are you?" she reached out to Louis but only ended up grabbing the handle of another door walking back into the arms of her friends.
"Anna!" yelled Lucas.
"Anna what the heck were you doing in there, did you get burned, did you get hurt?!" Artemis began to look over Anna's body for injuries.
"I...saw Louis in there." said Anna. Everyone looked up at her.
"You saw what?!" Artemis gripped Anna's shoulders.
"Where did you see him?!" Anna paused for a moment getting herself together.
"The library of the school...he was the last one in the library...but he..." Anna groans and sunk to her knees rubbing her head.
"But what tell us!" demanded Artemis.
"You remember the firefighters said the fire came from the fire place in the library?" asked Anna.
"Yeah what about it?" asked Artemis.
"The school...didn't have a fireplace." said Anna. Everyone stared at Anna, this bit of information simply shocked them. Anna stood back up and walked on, the others followed until Anna came to a trash chute.
"Stay here, I'll go first to see if it's safe, if I don't call for you then don't come down." said Anna as she got herself ready to jump, taking a flying leap she jumped into the chute. Sliding down she landed on a pile of soot and muck, climbing off she explored the closed space. In a corner she saw a wriggling mass, it was a head, the head of the other hatter muttering to itself.
"Hatter I remember leaving you in a decrepit condition but not in pieces."
"Oh it's you!" the head replied as Anna picked it up.
"What's happened here you've lost your hat and some...parts are missing."
"Missing indeed, though things being what they are. I barely miss their missing, as what happened, you should know that better then I it's your place after all, I know my place." Anna placed the head on the torso of what's left of the person.
"When did you ever learn your place now what's going on and where's the real hatter?" suddenly there was a horrible screeching noise like the breaks of a train.
"Gaaah! That's going on, around and up and down, through my ears out my eyes, up my nostrils, down my gullet and winding in my guts."
"Louis was always fond of trains, but I never liked them much unless made by him."
"You like this one at all, not when mock turtle ran the looking glass line, this railroads a bloody shambles. The stink is ferocious, the light blinding and the noise hellacious!"
"I get it hatter, a very bad train. And certainly not made by my hatter, if he was going to make a train he'd make it pleasant." Little did Anna notice the other members of her group arriving and eavesdropping on the conversation. A giant mechanical arm and hand came down and picked up hatter by the gear in his back.
"The world is upside-down, Alice! Inmates run the asylum- no offense. And worst of all... I'm left tea-less!"
"Tragic, let me play the worlds saddest song on the worlds smallest violin for you." Artemis couldn't believe what she heard Anna say, though very cleaver it was not in her nature to say those things.
"Hatter if my comrades an I help you, will you help us and give us information to the whereabouts of the real hatter?"
"Cross my heart... If I had one. Best way out is through the clock face, be on your way now that's a good girl!" Anna sighed hard and turned around to find herself running into Duncan.
"Anna who is this guy?" Anna turned back to the hatter who's torso wriggled an writhed in the air.
"Its a long story, but what I can say is that if we help him get his arms and legs he'll give us information on where Louis might be." Duncan looked at his sisters and brother and nodded, gathering around Anna she explained what they were going to do.
"Ok so first stop is to find the arms?" asked Artemis.
"Yes and door mouse has them so we need to find him, but first I think we should leave the twins here while we get them-"
"No way I'm not leaving my little sister and brother here with that weirdo!" said Artemis.
"No they're coming with us and that's final!" said Artemis as she picked up her brother Lucas. Duncan picked up Shooting star and nodded in agreement, Anna sighed with defeat and brought the others to the to the clock face. Peeking outside Anna saw a strange object, but when she drew closer she saw it was just two umbrellas, the ends of which were shaped like flamingo heads.
"Perfect!" said Anna picking up the umbrellas.
"What the heck we gonna use umbrellas for?" asked Artemis unaware she was about to get her answer. Suddenly bubbling up from below a hideously large mass.
"Menacing ruin!" said Anna, the creature let out a horrific roar. It's three hands covering its three doll faces, it used its third hand to form a fireball of black goo in his hand. In one fast fluid motion, it chucked the fire ball at Anna. Anna smirked and simply opening the umbrella and giving it a, spin she sent that fireball back at the Ruin and it toppled it over the edge, smiling she walked up to Duncan who's jaw was now on the floor. Anna gave the two umbrellas to the twins.
"Ok Star, Luke if your attacked by creatures like that use the umbrellas just like I just did." the twins shivered and nodded. Walking over to a track, loading into a tea cup cart. Riding it to where door mouse was, upon entering his layer they found it uncomfortably hot.
"Geez why did it get so hot all of a sudden sis?" asked Lucas, Shooting star was feeling the heat. It was more preoccupied with the bodies of dead do do birds laying about.
"Um...I think I found why it's so hot." said Anna looking around a corner, turning the corner they all found themselves staring at rivers of lava, above them hatters arms were connected to a smelting pot pouring lava into the rivers. In a cage above the lava was door mouse operating leavers and buttons. His body disgustingly distorted, his legs were wheels, he looked like a demented wind up toy.
"Your presence here is an intolerable annoyance, you'll never stop our plans Alice, some like it hot but no one likes it this hot Ahahaah!" the door mouse laughed insanely, Anna looked around.
"We've got to get up there, those levers control the arms." said Anna, walking up to the edge looking over to see anything that they could use to cross.
"Ok guys take my hands and when I tell you to jump you jump got it?" Artemis stared but for some reason did as told, Duncan taking Anna's other hand. When Anna saw slabs of metal coming, Anna started to jump taking her teammates with her, Luke and Star still hanging on to they're siblings backs. On the other side Anna ran to a valve,turning it it released bursts of icy cold steam. Instantly the lava on they're side turned to ice.
"Alright we can move to the other side without getting burned." said Artemis, Luke sighed with relief feeling cooled by the now chilled air, Star felt the same way.
"Ok now let's find the other valve, once we do we can get up to that control panel." said Anna. The group of five ran across the ice to the other side, in no time they found the second valve and turned the whole area to ice.
"You won't catch me Alice, heheh I'll just move along." door mouse escaped through a hatch above him, Anna raced over and pulled a lever inside releasing the arms into a garbage chute. Soon they moved on to the next layer, the layer of the March hare. It was all metal fists pounding, crushing anything in they're way. Hatters legs were put into a gear that was running everything, do do birds wandered about, screaming in agony as they were crushed by the metal fists.
"Your dogged persistence will be only rewarded by pain! I told you to cease and desist but my warning goes unheeded, now you'll feel like a lobster that's being tossed into the boiling pot!" March hare laughed and pulled leavers to make not just the legs but the other birds run faster. Duncan closed his eyes and listened, he found that the fists ran in rhythm of something.
"Now what genius?" asked Artemis sarcastically.
"Working on it." said Anna, pausing to look at the mechanics at work. Duncan opened his eyes and turned to the others.
"Guys I think I can get us through."
"How?" asked Artemis.
"There's a pattern, if we follow the pattern we can make it through unharmed." said Duncan pointing into the labyrinth of mauling gauntlets.
"Ok Duncan you lead the way." said Anna, like before they took each others hand and proceeded through. They moved quickly till they got to a road block, a giant wall and on the other side was the leaver to stop some of the gears.
"Great now how are we to get to the other side?" Anna smiled and pulled out a vial, opening it she poured the contents on her comrades.
"Hey what the heck are you doing?!" complained Artemis as Anna put a cork back on the vial.
"Just follow my lead." Anna stepped back, letting out a hiccup she instantly shrunk.
"Now you do it, just hiccup and you'll shrink." Artemis was dumbstruck but they all tried it and fit through the key hole. On the other side they regained they're original height and pulled the leaver.
"No, stop that's enough, ohh stop your running you blithering idiots. You thin you can stop us?! The merest trifle, I'll be leaving now don't try to catch us don't even try." March hare escaped the same way door mouse did, the group ascended to his control panel and released hatters legs. Following the legs down the chute they witnessed hatters reassembly.
"We finished your work and your complete hatter now tell me about this train and where I can find the real hatter." demanded Anna, hatter dropped to the floor, Artemis and Duncan readied they're weapons just in case.
"I feel like a new man! - or whatever I am. I feel like an unsprung spring, like an uncorroded gear, like an untarnished bit of metal that sticks in your eye!"
"Please, the real hatter is suffering and what's happening could be the cause...or a reflection or the affect." Anna rubbed her shoulders nervously.
"What's going on, what are the new rules, laws anything!" Anna stomped her foot as the hatter took up his cane.
"The law is just...Just a whisper away... A way home to wonder...Wonder who...Who knows how to measure rules...With a ruler! Cruel rules..." Anna growled in anger.
"Idiot I should have left you in bits...come at least you can help us stop what ever is going on."
"Hold it Anna how can we trust this wacko?!" Artemis shouted. Hatter approached Anna, gingerly reaching out his hand. Then violently spins her around, Artemis and Duncan made a snap decision and grabbed hold of hatters legs. Hatter grabbed Anna and made a powerful leap out through the clock face, throwing Anna on to his back hatter made a mad dash for the giant ware house. When they arrived they witness a monstrous train departing, Star and Luke scream with fright.
"We found the source of the shaking but are those two quaking, what are they up to?" suddenly the door mouse voice comes from an unknown location.
"Your to late silly hatter and Alice, it's left you missed the train!"
"The insolence! The arrogance! The inexorable table manners! They are destroyers of Wonderland! Defilers! Diluters! Derangers! Delightful..." Anna turned around to her friends with a questioned look.
"Did those two make that train to destroy wonderland?"
"What does that matter they deserve to die?" said hatter, unaware of the hook coming down behind him. It latched on to him an hoisted him up.
"AH! Put me down, I outta-!"
"Enough talk battle time missy!" said the door mouse, soon a giant mechanical being appeared. Inside the door mouse and March hare controlled it, they're laughter being heard.
"Abandon false hope, forget the past the damage is done hahaha!" laughed door mouse.
"Let the madness begin resume the folly!" but before they could even attack, they're own machine began to fall apart and break along with the domain. The machine spat out the both of them and hatter dropped between them slowly standing up.
"No! The precious domain, and the guests all I really wanted was another tea party!" hatter dropped to his knees and crawled over to the motionless figures before him.
"Hatter tell me what's going on, now!" Anna demanded running up to him.
"There's no time for whatever it is you want to talk about its time for tea." hatter slapped her back over to the others.
"If you want answers talk to mock turtle he ran the looking glass line." clearing his throat he tried to make the lifeless bodies beside him drink.
"Listen to me hatter, Louis the real hatters memories are shattered, we must find the pieces and restore them. Please you promised!" Anna pleaded, Artemis and Duncan held they're younger siblings close looking for anyway to escape.
"Alice as you should know, the ones who must fix the memories are the ones who broke them." said the hatter, suddenly a steel beam falls on on him. Anna stood up as bubbling tea surrounded her and her friends.
"Very petty, he deserved to die, he was nothing but a fraud...and now we're about to drown in tea...in ignorance." said Anna as the tea reaches up to her chest.
"Anna how in the heck can you be so calm about this?!" screamed Artemis. But soon the world went dark and they sank into the tea, the world around them began to change again. Before long, feeling the water temp change from cold hot the five children were being hoisted from the depths...on to a boat, they were back home again.
End of ch 1