Ace of Blood

Alice has found a new kind of wonderland. Jamie Cunning is just an ordinary girl. Sort of. Bearing the scars of a thousand painful memories, old an new, she found a strange set of friends in the abandoned and untended headstones of a nearby cemetery. But this girl who prefers the company of the dead to that of the living finds a shocking new life thrust upon her when she is shoved into a world of danger and death. The worst of all: it lurks just around the corner. The paperboy. The school bully. The neighbor. They may all be a part of it. Watch out, because Ace is always watching, and you never know how the cards will fall.


20. Welcome to Wonderland

 She was ready. Alice had finally woken from the dream, had realized Wonderland was not what it seemed. The Rabbit smiled as it dropped the note, smile down to its soul. It wished it could see her face when she opened it, wished it could watch the horror melt into fear.
 “Come and find me,” it whispered, smiling a crooked smile. “Come, set me free.”
 A single tear rolled down the White Rabbit’s cheek as he slunk from the room, careful to stay in the camera’s blind spot.
 Welcome to Wonderland, my dearest Alice, the Rabbit thought, closing her door. The girl had been stupid, or perhaps lucky, enough to stay in the more occupied parts of the large home, rather than returning to her bedroom when the shock had proven too much for her. The Rabbit was certain it would have killed her, had she opened that door while he was still inside, had she seen its face.
 Starting over is much more fun than ruining the game, after all.
 We made your dreams reality, we saved you from your own life. You have been reborn here, the Rabbit thought, wanting nothing more than to yell the words down the hall but restraining itself for prudence sake. We gave you a new family, a new home. And now you play our game, dance to our tune. Now you can see inside the curtain of reality, into the very heart of the matter. You know exactly what we are, what we do.
 She’d seen the blood, after all. She’d seen, and she’d known. Alice had finally realized that the Cheshire Cat was more than a house pet. The Cat had revealed itself, become visible in a rare moment of transparency, and shown them all that precious glimpse of his true nature before disappearing once more.
 Alice would meet the others as well, over time. She’d meet the Hatter, the Caterpillar, and the Mouse. She’d meet the March Hare, the Duchess, the Knave and the Gryphon. She’d meet all of them. Actually, she’d already met most, but Alice was proving to be rather slow. The Rabbit hoped she’d be good sport.
 Already he was looking forward to the next game, planning his pieces in advance so as to catch her off guard.
 She’d never see it coming.
 Alice, if only you would open your eyes. You are meant to be the one to see us, but it seems the requisite is simply blindness. You may see better than the last, but you still do not understand. How long, Alice, will it take for you to realize the true scope of our game? How many will have to suffer for your ignorance?
 By the time it reached the door leading out of the house, the Rabbit’s shirt was damp with the tears it could not stop.

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