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Return to Wonderland [PG]


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[center][font=palatino linotype][size=4][b]Alice's Evidence[/b][/size][/font][/center]

[quote][font=georgia]"Wake up, Alice dear!" said her sister; "Why, what a long sleep you've had!"

"Oh, I've had such a curious dream!" said Alice, and she told her sister, as well as she could remember them, all these strange Adventures of hers that you have just been reading about; and when she had finished, her sister kissed her, and said, "It WAS a curious dream, dear, certainly: but now run in to your tea; it's getting late." So Alice got up and ran off, thinking while she ran, as well she might, what a wonderful dream it had been.

But her sister sat still just as she left her, leaning her head on her hand, watching the setting sun, and thinking of little Alice and all her wonderful Adventures, till she too began dreaming after a fashion, and this was her dream:--

First, she dreamed of little Alice herself, and once again the tiny hands were clasped upon her knee, and the bright eager eyes were looking up into hers--she could hear the very tones of her voice, and see that queer little toss of her head to keep back the wandering hair that WOULD always get into her eyes--and still as she listened, or seemed to listen, the whole place around her became alive the strange creatures of her little sister's dream.

The long grass rustled at her feet as the White Rabbit hurried by--the frightened Mouse splashed his way through the neighbouring pool--she could hear the rattle of the teacups as the March Hare and his friends shared their never-ending meal, and the shrill voice of the Queen ordering off her unfortunate guests to execution--once more the pig-baby was sneezing on the Duchess's knee, while plates and dishes crashed around it--once more the shriek of the Gryphon, the squeaking of the Lizard's slate-pencil, and the choking of the suppressed guinea-pigs, filled the air, mixed up with the distant sobs of the miserable Mock Turtle.

So she sat on, with closed eyes, and half believed herself in Wonderland, though she knew she had but to open them again, and all would change to dull reality--the grass would be only rustling in the wind, and the pool rippling to the waving of the reeds--the rattling teacups would change to tinkling sheep- bells, and the Queen's shrill cries to the voice of the shepherd boy--and the sneeze of the baby, the shriek of the Gryphon, and all thy other queer noises, would change (she knew) to the confused clamour of the busy farm-yard--while the lowing of the cattle in the distance would take the place of the Mock Turtle's heavy sobs.

Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown woman; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood: and how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago: and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days. [/font][/quote]

[center][font=palatino linotype][size=4][b]Rabbit Hole Syndrome[/b][/size][/font][/center]

[font=georgia]Welcome to [b]Return to Wonderland[/b]. Let me take a brief moment to explain what this thread is all about, for those who are interested in participating.

The concept for this thread has been done a couple of times before. If you are familiar with "Through the Looking Glass", you'll know what I mean. Also, some of you may have played a PC game called "Alice", which is all about her return to Wonderland.

Through the Looking Glass wasn't really written in the same way as the original novel and Alice was a uniquely morbid twist on the story of Wonderland.

My intention with this thread is to write a kind of "true sequel" to the original novel. But I'm not going to do this on my own. In fact, all writers (and even non-writers) on OtakuBoards are welcome to join me in this little endeavour.

This thread will be somewhat like The Reanimatrix and somewhat like 55 Fiction. Like Reanimatrix, it will involve contributions from anyone at any time, with all contributions centered around the subject matter. And like 55 Fiction, I will require that posts are limited in length - with perhaps three paragraphs for each [i]post[/i] at the very [i]most[/i]. ~_^

So how does it work? Well, allow me to demonstrate:

[quote][b]Post 1:[/b] They were indeed a queer-looking party that assembled on the bank--the birds with draggled feathers, the animals with their fur clinging close to them, and all dripping wet, cross, and uncomfortable. [/quote]

Followed by:

[quote][b]Post 2:[/b] The first question of course was, how to get dry again: they had a consultation about this, and after a few minutes it seemed quite natural to Alice to find herself talking familiarly with them, as if she had known them all her life. Indeed, she had quite a long argument with the Lory, who at last turned sulky, and would only say, I am older than you, and must know better; and this Alice would not allow without knowing how old it was, and, as the Lory positively refused to tell its age, there was no more to be said.[/quote]

Followed by:

[quote][b]Post 3:[/b] At last the Mouse, who seemed to be a person of authority among them, called out, "Sit down, all of you, and listen to me! I'LL soon make you dry enough!" They all sat down at once, in a large ring, with the Mouse in the middle. Alice kept her eyes anxiously fixed on it, for she felt sure she would catch a bad cold if she did not get dry very soon. [/quote]

These examples were taken directly from a chapter of the novel and they are condensed (ie: only one paragraph per post here), but hopefully they give you an idea.

The concept is that, like an RPG, each post follows on from the last in sequence. However, we are not playing as characters or anything like that. Instead, we are all writing a story together.

The challenge is that if you post after someone else, you'll have to follow their lead; in other words, you will need to consider what to add and where to take the story.

By injecting many writers into this process, we should come up with lots of interesting scenarios and ideas. Some people will want to throw a curve-ball into the mix and even if it seems weird, the following writer will have to follow on from it as best they can.

The aim isn't to have a totally random story -- I would hope that members will follow on with some logic, even though the story will no doubt be odd. However, by having only one to three paragraphs in each post at a time, we can see the story rapidly unfold and it can be pulled in many directions.[/font]

[center][font=palatino linotype][size=4][b]Advice from a Caterpillar[/b][/size][/font][/center]

[font=georgia]Now, for this thread to work, it's going to be important to just reiterate a few points. These points will help to ensure that things stay somewhat focused, even if people are injecting lots of different ideas.

[*]Remember: [b]one[/b] to [b]three[/b] paragraphs per post. Your paragraphs can be any length, but not ridiculously long. The idea is to encourage somewhat rapid posting and fluidity through the story.
[*]Pay attention not just to the post before yours, but to the last two or three posts. Posting in a total void could make things a bit confusing. So be sure that even if you include your own new ideas, you're still following on from the previous narrative.
[*]Remain in the [b]third person[/b] at all times; Alice in Wonderland is written this way and for our purposes, it makes sense anyway. If we jump between first and third person all the time, the thread won't read properly.
[*]You may include images and artwork in your posts if you like; the formatting is up to you.
[*]In some cases, because this is a continuous story, people's posts may overlap (ie: people may both post at the same time or something). Please be aware of this and try to avoid posting when someone else is also posting. Sometimes it's unavoidable though, so if it happens, it's recommended that the second post is deleted (ie: if two people post at once, the [b]second[/b] post is the one that should be removed).
[*]It would be a great idea if everyone [b]included the name of the person who's post they are following[/b] at the beginning of their post. This will not only help to avoid overlap, but it'll also ensure that we know there are no gaps anywhere.
[*]Finally, sequences with lots of dialogue are exempt from the three paragraph rule, due to the way dialogue is structured. You may write three paragraphs in addition to a section of dialogue (at most), but again, try not to make it too long.

Hopefully that isn't too much to take in! As long as we follow these simple steps, this thread should turn out well. Since I'm running low on ideas right now, I'm not entirely sure how great my first entry will be. But here goes...[/font]

[font=georgia][size=3]Alice had become all-too accustomed to sitting by the bank with her sister and having nothing to do. As had happened many times before, her sister's nose was buried in the pages of a hefty-looking book, which (as usual) contained no pictures or conversation.

With her sister in her own little world (and apparently now completely unaware of Alice's presence), she reached for a little clump of stones that sat against the reeds on the bank. [i]"I've no idea how anyone can find interest in a novel without pictures or conversation,"[/i] thought Alice, as she fingered the smooth stones. [i]"I shall never understand it."[/i] She then carelessly flicked the stones across the river's surface. The first stone skipped twice and sunk: [i]tak, tak, ...glomp![/i] The second stone skipped three times but didn't sink: [i]tak, tak, tak..."Ouch!"[/i]

Alice woke from her lethargy and squinted in the direction of the sound. The sun was in her eyes, but she could almost make out a small dark object on the water's surface. Upon closer inspection, she noticed that the object was, in fact, a fish. [i]"Poor thing, I hope he isn't too sore,"[/i] thought Alice (this was her very first thought at the time, as it didn't immediately occur to her that fish generally do not speak). Alice wandered closer to the water and noticed that the fish appeared to be making a gesture. "You!" she heard it cry, "Are you responsible for that rock?"[/size][/font]
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[font=Book Antiqua]"Oh my! You can talk?" Alice exclaimed.[/font]

[font=Book Antiqua]"Miss, you do see these fish lips opening and closing?"[/font]

[font=Book Antiqua]"Yes...but I still don't believe it!"[/font]

[font=Book Antiqua]"Well, deary, believe it. We've always found you humans amusing, did you know that? You are not the only fish in the sea, you know. We fish can do many more things than just talk, in fact."[/font]

[font=Book Antiqua]"Really?"[/font]

[font=Book Antiqua]"Foolish girl, why would I fib?"[/font]

[font=Book Antiqua]"I suppose you wouldn't...fish aren't known to lie...what other talents do fish have?" Alice asked.[/font]

[font=Book Antiqua]"Come with me down the stream here and you can see."[/font]

[font=Book Antiqua]"Underwater? I wouldn't be able to breathe. I'll drown."[/font]

[font=Book Antiqua]"Silly humans and their silly perceptions. Come, take hold of my fin here."[/font]

[font=Book Antiqua]"If you insist, kind fish, I will indulge you."[/font]

[font=Book Antiqua]"And...we're off! Be mindful of the currents now, we wouldn't want you to get swept away, now would we?"[/font]
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[font=georgia][size=4][b]Folllowing on from Siren...[/b]

Alice took the fish by its fin and followed him deeper into the river. The water wasn't as cold as she'd expected; in fact, it felt quite warm and comfortable. As the fish led her further away from the bank, Alice noticed that the sky had darkened and the water had developed a mild pink hue.

Within moments, Alice bobbed underwater. She could hear the river rushing past her ears and she could also hear the fish mumbling to himself: "English girls are such curious creatures," he said, "do they have nothing better to do than harass fish at the river bank?"

It wasn't long before the sound of rushing water almost completely disappeared. Alice could still feel the warm water around her, but now everything seemed to have fallen somewhat silent (except, of course, for the fish's mumbling). She opened her eyes cautiously and saw that both she and the fish were flying over a vast forest of seaweed. [i]"And to think",[/i] pondered Alice, [i]"I have never been able to swim!"[/i] - (in fact, Alice had always been afraid of swimming, ever since falling into the very same river as a little girl) - [i]"Falling down stairs without a single tear and now swimming in such a deep river; how brave they'll think me at home!"[/i][/font][/size]
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[color=darkblue][b]Following after James...[/b]

It wasn't long before Alice and and her guide began coming upon other fish. Brief pleasantries were had with each, quickly followed by a curious glance to the human girl the fish carried in his wake. Alice couldn't help but wonder how they seemed so much like humans themselves and told her companion as such.

"It would be quite rude if we didn't. Honestly, you humans. Always thinking that you're the only creatures capable of acting decent with one another."

"Do forgive me, kind fish. I didn't mean to offend," Alice said quietly, surprising herself by doing so.

"I'm sure. Hang on tight, now, we're almost at our destination."[/color]
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[font=georgia][size=4][b]Following on from Lady Katana...[/b]

The water grew darker and darker. The fish was leading Alice further down, toward the black mass of seaweed. "Hold tightly to my fin, my dear," said the fish, "the seaweed doesn't take too kindly to strangers and it may seperate us if we aren't careful."

Alice did what she was told and held the fish's fin tightly. For a moment, she was enveloped in darkness and could feel the seaweed thrashing violently against her. But within moments, the darkness faded and the water became clear again.

There they were, at the edge of the seaweed forest, in a clearing. Golden light from the river's distant surface streamed down into it. And there, sitting in the center of that very clearing, was a rather large gingerbread house.[/font][/size]
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[B]Following James'...[/B]

As the fish's movement slowed, then finally stopped, Alice studied the sight before her with the kind of caution that is of one who knows just what they are looking at. Being one with a great appreciation for books involving much in the way of both pictures and conversation, she knew well enough to tell herself not to accept candy from strangers--if the strangers happened to be very close to a shade of green and unusually pleasant, that only made the situation worse.

"Pardon me, but--" The fish released a bubbling sigh and shook its head.
"I know what you are about to say, miss, and I guarentee you it is...misguided, at best." He swam a few feet closer to the house before turning about and demanding of her what business she could possibly have standing in one spot, with her mouth open. "Am I mistaken, or was it but a few fleeting moments ago that you were worried to steep yourself entirely in water? And now she stands letting it fill her lungs as though it weren't there at all! What a fickle breed of creature you humans are."

But Alice wasn't listening--before her, in the doorway, was a man of pale skin and an expression that revealed a set of canine teeth one would barely believe in, had they surfaced upon a cat. An expression--it was not a smile, by any set of standards. "Indeed, I am aware of such things--I fear I used to be one. Nasty things, especially the children," he sniffed and inquired as to why she had her feet planted in his garden.
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[font=Trebuchet MS][size=3][b][font=Times New Roman]Following from Godelsensei...[/font][/b][/size]

Though the man by the candy house had been glaring intently at Alice for the duration of his speech, she still felt an odd sense of him [i]looking towards her[/i] as he finished. The feeling was unexplainable, and so Alice would not be bothered to mention it. "Young lady, are you quite done staring? I find it terribly rude, though I suppose that is only to be expected of a human." Alice became suddenly aware and looked to her aquatic companion, who was addressing her: "You would do well to let me talk; if you could not gather it, this gentleman does not like your type." The fanged creature nodded morbidly in confirmation and folded his arms.

"Well, do come in. I'd more have you ruin the house than my garden -- I do enjoy it immensely -- and I will harbor you for now. But make no mistake, you will leave shortly." The fish shuffled towards Alice in a gesture that told her to take hold of his fin again. As they breached the doorway, from the darkness of the hall came the voice of the pale man: "Also, please restrain yourself from eating from this building; it does irritate it [i]so[/i]."

As they entered what was apparently the kitchen, the first thing that Alice noticed was a thick book that lay firmly on a table made entirely of cake. It had a sense of reverence about it, as if it contained in its pages the answer to every question ever pondered. Like the rest of the house it was constructed of sweets; the binding and cover appeared to be a kind of chocolate pastry, and in a white icing it proudly declared its title to be: [b][font=Times New Roman][size=1][size=2]I[/size] [size=2]A[/size]M [size=2]M[/size]E[/size][/font][/b][font=Times New Roman][size=1][size=2][font=Trebuchet MS].[/font][/size][/size][/font][/font]
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[B]Following Bio's...[/B]

The words had lept, if in a rather cautious, inquisitive manner, from her tongue before she could think to restrain herself. "I am me." Alice had let go her hold on the fish's fin and was peering across and some ways over the massive cake. She nearly let one of her hands rest upon the "table", but a firm, though not entirely unkind, collection of fingers drew it back.
"I would avoid...touching things, if I were you," said the pale man.
"'I am me'?"
"Aren't you, though?" The man sat down upon a stack of sandwich cookies, all in one fluid movement. There was something elegant about his meanness, Alice thought. "Oh, and you may sit, as is characteristic of human intruders, though I would be warry of laying your hands upon anything...unusual."
She nodded and plopped down upon a browny, which proved to have the same ability to relax as an overstuffed easychair. "I am sorry if I happen to offend, sir, but...who are you? And why are you here? I've read many stories of people who live in gingerbread houses, but you..." Her voice trailed off. She feared she may have, indeed, offended.

The pale man sighed and turned to the fish, who had been watching with an expression of mild amusement. Once again, his fish lips began to open and close: "Young lady, I think my friend here is doing a poor job of implying that the answer to your questions has already rolled off your own tongue. Not a moment ago, I might add."
Alice's eyes returned to the book. Then, they rested upon the pale man.
"If it means so much to you, then go ahead," he said. "But I warn you: it contains neither a great deal of pictures or conversation."
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[color=indigo][b][size=1]From Godel's post[/size][/b]
Alice reached out her hand and tentatively touched the book. Nothing spectacular happend, and she realised, feeling silly, that she had been holding her breath (well, sort of) as she had touched it. She looked up at the pale man once more; he was staring impassively. Her friend the Fish seemed to nod to her.

Heart beating fast, Alice closed her eyes for a moment, then quickly flipped the cover open. It landed softly on the table with a fudgy [i]thud[/i].

She opened her eyes.
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[font=georgia][size=4][b]Following on from Sara...[/b]

The first page contained only a title and a short poem.

[center][b]I AM ME[/b]

Speak roughly to your little boy,
And beat him when he sneezes:
He only does it to annoy,
Because he knows it teases.

I speak severely to my boy,
I beat him when he sneezes;
For he can thoroughly enjoy
The pepper when he pleases! [/center]

Alice looked up at the pale man, who was eyeing her with great interest. "I believe I have heard these verses before," she said.

The pale man ignored her. "This, my dear, is a story about a boy who became a pig."

The fish smiled broadly, "and the moral of that is, [i]you are what you eat[/i]."

Both Alice and the pale man turned to the fish. "Does that mean that you eat fish?" asked Alice. But apparently her question had deeply offended the fish, as he folded his fins over his chest and huffed.

"Nevermind him," said the pale man quietly, "he is eager to find the moral in things, but he never follows his own advice. You know, do as I say and not as I do, that's what he is all about."

Alice glanced down at the book once more. The pale man sighed, "So, this is the story of the pig. Or, to put a finer point on it, this is the story of what happens when one becomes a pig."

Alice turned the page once more, but the second page contained a strange kind of text that she could not understand. [i]"It certainly isn't English,"[/i] thought Alice, [i]"and it can't be French or German. Perhaps it's Arabic."[/i]

The pale man became frustrated. "My girl, don't tell me you can't read! Here, let me narrate for you."[/size][/font]
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[size=1]And so the pale man began his story, irritability fading from his tongue.

"There was once a school of fish, and in this innumerable school of fish, head count 2304, there was one particular fish, the unfortunate subject of this story. One day, when the school was on an excursion far out into the Big Blue, this particular fish [as we shall call him, fish being unfond of Pronouns], dared to venture beyond the safety of the reef, and into a small valley. As this particular fish descended down into the valley, he noted that the water grew ever more cloudy, and the silence ever more intense, until he quite truly felt that he was being deafened.

But his graceful descet had become an undiginified slide, as the slow gradient of the hill became a sharp cliff-face. And as this particular fish fell, he fancied that the deafening silence was actually a song. A song for the deaf surely, for who could listen again after this?

Abruptly the water became clear, and he found himself lying on soft grass, in soft sunlight, and most suitably, enraptured by the soft music coming from that glade just ahead of him...soft music in the form of pan-pipes, and as the fish ventured closer to this magical, implausible glade, the silhouette of a young boy shone through the thin stand of trees.[/size]
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[font=georgia][size=4][b]Following on from Baron...[/b]

The pale man paused and glanced at the fish. Alice noticed that he had fallen asleep.

"The fish in the story...is it [i]him[/i]?" she whispered.

The pale man nodded. "Why, of course, my dear. This fish is much wiser than you know. But to be clear, none of us know if he [i]truly[/i] had this experience of if he merely related it to us. He is a complicated fish and some of his stories are true, but only when the mood strikes him."

"Oh I see," muttered Alice absently.

"You see?" queried the pale man, an eyebrow raised.

"Yes," replied Alice, "at least, I think so."

"You think so?" asked the pale man.

Alice paused for a moment. "Well, I can't be [i]certain[/i], but nothing seems certain today, if you don't mind my saying so."

The pale man waved a hand dismissively. "That sounds like a good moral for our fish; [i]nothing is certain[/i]. I'll be sure to tell him when he wakes up. But for now, would you like me to continue?"

"Oh yes, please," said Alice excitedly, as she looked down at the book once more.[/font][/size]
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[color=#404142][size=1]My attempt -_-[/size]

[b]"All right, Lass,"[/b] said the pale man. Alice's enthusiam brought a smile to the deep-set corners of the man's face.

[i]" The fish approached with caution and skepticism; for he, the fish, was a creature to be in constant observation of the world around him. The silhouette slowly filled with shape and colour; such that the fish took great interest. He had never seen such creature; it stood upon on two limbs and had no gills. This was a magnificent sight the fish had ever bestowed his eyes upon. Then, he suddenly remembered his school lessons; these creatures that stand on two limbs and have no gills are said to be called 'humans'.

'Silly fish, you are out of water. Don't you know you will die?' the creature spoke, 'Are you lost?'

'I will not die. For it is you who are deep within these waters, and you who are lost,' the fish retorted.

'You are a splendid fish. I shall keep you,' the creature reached out, scooping the fish into his hands..'[/i]

[b]"Oh my,"[/b] Alice brought her hands against her lips. The pale man smiled once more.[/color]
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