“…and she didn’t care what she’d done?” I asked as the Queen finished the story, a small frown creasing my forehead. She shook her head, a delicate frown on her own porcelain features. “I’m afraid not. We all mistook Alice for the sweet young girl she was the first time she came to Wonderland.” The Queen’s head shook slowly, a small sigh of distaste falling from her lips. “I just wish we hadn’t have handed everything over to her so easily. Everyone was in such a state of shock that Alice took it all without a fight.” “Not a single person tried to stop her?” I questioned, looking up at the Queen hopefully. She only shook her head in response, glancing over at me with a sad smile. “No one that’s still alive. Some followed her; those who didn’t were exiled or trapped here in Marmoreal. Some managed to hold on to some parts of their previous lives, like Terrant did after everything fell apart…” “So, he got to keep part of his normal life after things ended between him and Alice?” I questioned, looking out over the white marble balcony we had ended up on. “What do you know about Terrant and Alice?” The Queen questioned in return, eye trailing slowly back to look out the kingdom which rightfully belonged to her. “Nothing.” I said simply, “Can you tell me what happened?” I asked eagerly, looking up at the Queen. “It is not my tale to tell, Shae. You must hear it from Terrant or Alice.” As my lips parted to ask yet another question to clear the jumbled thoughts in my head, the Queen glanced over her shoulder where a lady in waiting stood expectantly. “I believe it is time for bed, Shae. We shall talk more in the morning of what is to come.” She said with a smile, nodding as I reluctantly followed after the maid.
Arriving shortly after at the room that would become mine for the time being, the tall, lanky woman who led me had straightened out the bed, laid my silk pyjamas out on the satin sheets and pointed out the closet which was full of clothes in just the right size. As she left, she closed the door gently behind her, leaving me alone in the oversized and rather empty room.
It took me nearly an hour to finally get myself changed. Between taking in the unbelievable size of the room, the perfectly maintained floors and walls and the stainless furniture that was dotted throughout the room and wondering what my family had done when they’d noticed I had fled yet another set up, I was in no mood to just sleep everything off. Of course, with the time I arrived and how long the Queen and I had spent talking, there was barely any night left to sleep through. I stood out on the balcony that was connected to my room, the silk violet pyjamas hanging off my pale skin and my messy, black ringlets pulled up into a messy bun to keep them off my face. I had slipped on a pair of white slippers that had sat by my bed, letting the cool breeze blow past me and into the room through the doors I’d left open behind me.
“Oh, she is here! The Saviour has arrived!” “Shhhh! She’ll hear you! We aren’t supposed to be up!” Frowning slightly at the voices behind me, I slowly turned around to see two dogs, both similar in colour to Denar but one obviously smaller in size. “Who are you?” I questioned, raising a brow as I walked closer to the two bantering puppies. “I’m Haven!” The smallest chirped up, tail wagging eagerly as her tongue lolled out of her mouth. “This is my big brother, Keinai. Are you really the Saviour? Are you really going to defeat Alice?” I swallowed the lump in my throat, head falling into a small nod. “I—I’m going to try…” I said softly, Haven jumping up and wagging her tail enthusiastically. “Oh, Keinai! She’s here! She’s going to save us!” The dog exclaimed, immediately coming to a shocking stop as Denar came up behind her. “Shouldn’t you two be in bed by now?” He asked, looking down at the two pups. Haven’s ears fell, her tail tucking itself between her hind legs while Keinai simply shook his head. “Come on, Sis. Big Brother seems to think he’s in charge.” He growled, scowling as best as he could manage at his older brother. “Bed.” Denar growled in response, watching the two scamper off to their bed before turning his attention to me. “I apologize if they disrupted you, Miss. They are learning.” He said with a bow. I shook my head, smiling slightly. “They didn’t disrupt me.” The dog nodded, “Well, you should get some sleep, Miss.” I nodded as Denar walked off down the seemingly endless corridor. Sighing softly, I shut my door behind him, flicking the lights off before crawling into my oversized bed.
Waking up late morning the next morning following a restless sleep, a small groan slipped from my lips at the piercing light that fell through the open balcony doors. “Five more minutes, Mum.” I mumbled into the soft silk of my pillow case, quickly jolting up at the unusual feeling of such an expensive material. “You have got to be kidding me…” I mumbled softly, looking around with wide eyes. My head shot around at a soft knock at the door, which creaked open slowly afterwards. “Oh, you’re awake.” The maid noted with a small smile, “The Queen requests your presence for breakfast in the dining hall, Miss Warren.” My head fell into a small but quick nod, “I’ll be uh… right out.” I said with a forced smile, to which she nodded in response and left the room.
Slipping out of my bed, I pulled on the slippers that were left on the floor from the previous night and trudged towards the mirror on the vanity that sat opposite the bed. Sitting down in the rather plush chair, and letting my eyes trail over my obviously tired complexion. A small sigh escaped my lips as I let my hair out of the bun I’d pulled it into the night before and put the pin on the vanity before lifting the ivory brush that had been placed on the counter. Running the brush through my hair, I brushed out the ringlets my hair had been in and parted my hair, pulling half over each shoulder. A small frown touched my lips at the unfortunately feminine disposition I held.
Once I had finished silently judging how I looked and changed from my pyjamas to a white dress with a blue overlay that I had found in my closet and slipped on a pair of heels that lay at the base of my closet, I made my way towards the dining hall with the help of a maid to find it. “Ah, Shae. I trust you slept well?” I curtsied as gracefully as I could manage, barely keeping my balance with the added height of my shoes. “I slept rather restlessly actually, Your Majesty.” I replied sheepishly as I stood, making my way to the chair she had set for me and sitting in my seat. “Oh, dear. Well, we’ll have to make sure you get a better nights rest tonight then.” She said with a soft smile, picking up her knife and fork to begin eating her meal.
With slight chat over our meal, we didn’t discuss much other than my experiences so far in Wonderland and what was to come. The only thing that was discussed at length was me paying the Red Queen a visit in the near future, as she is the only one that knows the full story of Alice apart from the Knave but as he resides in her palace it would be much too difficult to talk to him. Not wishing for me to make the journey alone, nor did I particularly want to go alone given the circumstances, it was mentioned that Hatter would take me to visit her in the upcoming days. Denar set out during our meal to request Hatter’s presence at Marmoreal so that we can leave together.
As breakfast and conversation came to an end, I decided to take the opportunity to explore the grounds. Slipping out of the dining hall and back towards the front doors, I peaked out to the front court first before making my way out and into the gardens.
Wandering aimlessly, I felt quite out of place among all the pure white marble and flowers growing everywhere. With my hair being as dark as ebony, it alone made me quite the sight for sore eyes, and the blue in my dress didn’t help any. It didn’t take long for my feet to become rather sore from the unusually high shoes, resulting in me slipping them off and carrying them in one hand while the other remained simply at my side.
As I approached the far side of the palace, I heard some rather mumbled voices happening just around the corner. I slowly pressed myself against the wall, cringing slightly as the heels of the shoes in my hand hit the wall. The voices cut out for a moment, picking back up only a few seconds later. I sighed silently in relief, inching closer to the edge of the wall as to better hear the conversation happening just a few feet around the corner.
“Shush, Madilyn!” One voice snapped, I could almost hear the cringe from the other girl. “Sorry…” She replied softly, her voice barely audible above that of the other girl. “If there is someone listening we can’t have them hear.” The first grumbled back, huffing slightly before the soft clack of heels on the stone court indicated someone moving. My breath hitched in my throat, eyes closing tightly as I silently prayed that she couldn’t come around the corner.
“You know the plan, right?” The first girl asked a few moments later, allowing me to let out the breath I’d been holding. “Of course I do, Mam. We’ll be out of here with the jewels and the girl by dawn.” She recounted, to which I could almost hear the first girl relaxing. “Good, I’ll meet you in the west wing at dusk then.” The soft clicking of their heels on the ground echoed slowly into the distance as they both left, which allowed me to peak around the corner.
I slowly made my way into the now empty back court, looking around slowly before dropping my shoes which landed with a loud clatter on the stones and running very quickly into the palace.
I slipped and slid across the floor as I ran, looking desperately for the Queen but instead I ended up turning a corner rather sharply and crashing into a maid in a simple white dress. “Oh, sorry!” I cried quickly from where I’d fallen on the floor. For a split second I could have sworn I saw the maid scowl, a hint of something darker in her eyes but whatever I may or may not have seen was gone as fast as it came and replaced with a soft smile as she stood and offered me a hand. “No harm done, Miss.” She said with a small nod as I was pulled to my feet. I let my own head fall into a small nod, “Good, now if you’ll excuse me I must go speak with the Queen at once.” I said, curtseying before dashing off down the corridor once more.