Never wonder no more


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Her fingers ran the length of the wood panelled wall. The scores dug deep and the blood ran. Nails fell to the floor and after what seemed like frantic minutes or desperate hours, her efforts ceased. The bib at the front of her dress; formally white, now stained rouge and more vibrant than her hair, betrayed her hopes.

The entrance was closed, now and forever; her adventures at an end. She’d been home too long. Her Father; happy to see her at first, now worried she was mad. Her new mother pushed for the doctor.

As she stepped from the mantelpiece, she slipped. Her ragged flailing failed to grasp, her knee nudging the clock and as she tumbled to the floor, it smashed; time everywhere and she landing on her bottom.

Alice sat; crumpled and disconsolate with her back to the fireplace and her head covered in bloodied hands.

The tears flowed, flooding her mind. She could no longer think straight. Her shoulders juddered forth, heaving, aching.

Light from the early afternoon bathed the room, but failed to land on the heart-broken youth. She wept in a dim heap. Her ears; filled with her heartbeat, unable at first to recognise the licking that came from above. Curled tightly and grinning deviously, he appeared, first on her head and then sat upon the chaise longue and watched as she raised her head in a whiplash alarm.

Her eyes blazed the colour of surprise, but no sooner had she realised who she saw, the Cat vanished. She leapt to her feet and turned this way and that, but he had gone.

This was about all Alice could take; locked out and now taunted. Her shoe soles hammered the floor in frustration.

It was then, at the end of her tether that soot fell from chimney and escaped the hearth. The amber polished wood felt the wind of cremated coal upon its skin and then a cough followed; not Alice’s, but the Rabbit’s.

He patted down his blue overcoat while his red eyes, bleary, glared at Alice. He looked around the room and saw the shattered clock.

“One really should be more careful, Miss Alice” he said, gathering up the pieces in a frenzy and reassembling them.

“One never knows when one will be in need of a good timepiece”.

Alice stood and stared; her mouth open.

The Rabbit turned the hand to 5 o’clock and pulling a key from his pocket, wound the mechanism.

A wind gushed in through the bay window and the oaken door of the parlour slammed open.

The Rabbit held out his right hand.

“We mustn’t be late”.

Alice smiled, grabbed the dumbfounded rabbit around the waist and held on, sobbing into his shoulder.

The Rabbit sighed, stroked her auburn locks and swirling counter clockwise, they disappeared into the face of the clock.


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