A single drop of rain fell to the earth landing on the face of a young woman. He long blond hair had been pulled up and was hiding underneath a hat. She didn’t mind the rain drop, it had been threatening to rain all day and in any case she wasn’t going to be out much longer. Slowly she placed on foot in front of her and shifted her weight forward and brought the other foot down before her as she glanced behind to see if someone was there. A man much older than her but with the same light blue eyes and light hair returned her glance with a confused glare. She looked forward again scanning the side of the mountain for where she had seen the deer. The creature was looking off in another direction with it’s ears perked up. The girl wiped a droplet out of her eyelashes and drew her riffle closer. The rain was beginning to fall continuously. During the seconds she prepared to shoot the deer hastily changed it’s mind and took off bounding, probably looking for someplace dry. Sighing the girl lowered the riffle and turned around, it had been a long but fruitless day and unfortunately she would be returning home the next. It would be so much easier if she could just stick around for longer periods of time instead of having to come up with so many different excuses as to where she was going. “Sorry Alice.” The man said to her. “Maybe next time.” Alice nodded and followed the man back the way they had come. “I’m sorry it was such a wasted trip, if only I didn’t have to go back so soon.” “Well your mother would probably drop dead if she knew that I’d been taking you hunting.” “I know. So where am I this time?” “Shopping, with Aunt Stella.” Her father replied. “Don’t you think it will look suspicious when I get home with nothing?” Alice asked stopping and putting her hands on her hips. “Don’t worry.” He father assured her. “We’ll find you something pretty on the way back.” “I’d rather have something dead.” Alice grumbled. Her father chuckled and beckoned her to keep moving with his hand. “Have I ever told you that you should have been born a boy?” “You might have mentioned it once or twice.” Alice pulled off her boots and wiggled her toes letting her feet enjoy a moment off the ground as she sat on the side of her bed. By the time they had returned she was nearly soaked from the rain and even more exhausted knowing she’d have to return home the next day. She stripped herself of the wet clothing and replaced it with a thin night dress. She faced the dresser and began running a brush through her tangled hair. Life would be so much easier if she could just cut it all off like a man. As opposed to continuously brushing and washing and styling it, or having someone else brush wash and style it. As she turned around the brush fell from her hand and a small surprised squeal escaped her lips. Next to the window on the opposite side of the room stood an unfamiliar man, looking very out of place. He had a long red cape draped over him and wore high dark boots with a white tunic embellished with a red heart. “Who are you?! What are you doing here? How did you get in?” Alice spit out a string of questions as the man watched patiently. “Why I came in through the door of course.” He said plainly. There was no way he could have come in without anyone noticing, besides Alice was sure she had locked it. “I am a knight of the Queen Mathilda of Wonderland, as for why I am here-“ “The what?” Alice cut him off leaving him with an annoyed expression. “ I have no idea who you’re talking about.” It seemed far more likely that there was some madman in her room looking to watch her undress than it was for her to receive a royal summons from an imaginary country. “Do not speak so casually of the queen!” The man said with a hint of panic in his voice. “Queen Mathilda needs your help right away, it is vital that you come with me.” “Okay…”Alice said looking to the door and wondering if she should call for help or go along with the man. “But what makes you think I’ll just go off with you, and in my…” She looked down at herself realizing she was only in her night dress and quickly grabbed a robe off of her bed and out it on. “It would be much easier to explain this if you would just come with me to Wonderland.” “I’m not going anywhere with you unless you tell me what you or the Queen wants.” The knight sighed and nodded. “ Someone is after My Queen’s life, Alice. She needs someone to find and kill this person before they get to her.” “But how do you expect me to be able to do that?” Alice said forgetting she was talking to a madman. “I’m not a hit man. Wait…You know my name?” The man nodded. “Of course the Queen knows all about you. You are quite a skilled hunter are you not?” “Well…” Alice fumbled around for words. “I guess but, why not find someone in Wonderland to do the job, I seriously doubt I’d have any success.” “On the contrary Alice, there is no one in Wonderland who can match him, in fact I’d be willing to say that it is because they are from Wonderland that they cannot kill him.” “That doesn’t make even the slightest bit of sense.” Alice said shaking her head. “I still don’t see why I should trust you.” “You don’t have to trust me, you just have to come with me.” “Oh? And what if I don’t?” “Then,” The man said drawing a sword. “I shall have to kill you.” Alice jumped back and cried out for help. She was about to make a run for the door when she noticed the blank wall ahead of her. The door! Where was the door?! It was there before she must have been losing her mind. Panicked Alice ran her fingers over the place where the door had been pounding on it and yelled for her father. “There’s no point in doing that.” The man said holding out his free hand to her. “We need to leave quickly before this room becomes permanently altered.” “Why?! Why is it doing that? Where is the door?” “Wonderland is seeping out, I suppose it has rather unusual effects on this world.” His explanation led Alice to wonder how many times he’d done this. How did he know so much about her world when she had never heard of his? Had he tried to convince other people to follow him? Alice tried to sort out her thoughts on the matter, she could try and fight him away, but there was still the issue of the missing door. Any way she thought about it going into this Wonderland seemed like the only option. “Will I be able to come back?” She asked. “Hurry” The man ordered. “Unless you want to be stuck in here forever!” “Alright alright!” Alice said grabbing his outstretched hand. The man smiled and sheathed his sword then grasped the air like a door handle. As he pulled the invisible door aside the area seemed to move and warp as if something was being moved. A dark hole appeared in the room and the man stepped into it motioning to Alice to follow. Hesitantly Alice stepped in her, stomach gave a lurch as she did so trying to convince her brain to turn back. The darkness filled in the room around her obscuring and ultimately closing out all familiar images. She mentally hit herself for walking into what must have been the equivalent of a black hole on earth. There didn’t seem to be anything around her but black. She frantically looked around her eyes stinging as they tried to find any kind of light. “Aren’t you coming?” A voice from her right spoke. “I can’t see anything how do I know where I’m going?” She said in desperation. This seemed to be a place where one could take one wrong step and be lost forever. “Just follow my voice.” Alice stretched out her arms and felt around for anything that might indicate a solid object. After a moment a hand grabbed her wrist and pulled her forward. “Come on.” The man said dragging her along. “We don’t have time to waste wandering about. He must have done this before how else would he know where to go? “What is my father going to do about my being gone?” Alice wondered aloud. “You’re dead.” The man replied. “What?” Alice shrieked jumping in her skin. “The moment you stepped out of your room into this world the Alice he knew died. You have been replaced by a copy that only appears to be a dead body. You can choose how you want it to die if you like.” Alice did not like the sound of that one bit. Her being dead no, a corpse of herself existing so that she could run off into some fantasy land was a bit over her head. She thought of her father and wondered if it would be better for him to find and empty room as opposed to her dead body. “Of course not.” She said slightly offended. They stopped and for a moment she thought perhaps they were lost until a crack of light shot into her eyes. She held up her free arm and squinted looking into a room before them. It was the exact opposite of the where they were the room before them was pure white and filled with millions and millions of objects both obscure and ordinary. Next to what looked to be a trunk of some sort sat a little girl crying to herself, she looked curiously familiar. Upon hearing the door open the little girl looked up and her eyes lit up as she ran forward with her arms outstretched. Then the man swiftly closed the door and gave Alice a pull. “Wrong door.” He explained. “Well can’t we go back that littler girl needed help” Alice protested. “No, we don’t have time to bother with other people’s forgotten memories.” “Is that what they were? Them why was there a child in there?” Alice asked. “She’s probably just an old imaginary friend someone long abandoned.” The man said it so casually it was like he ran into this sort of thing all the time. Another door was pulled open but this time Alice could see the interior of a rather extravagant dining hall. The man pulled Alice inside and let go of her hands as he placed a fold of clothing in them. “Put these on.” He ordered. “What?” Alice said raising her voice. “You can’t meet the queen while being dressed in that!” He said gesturing to her night attire. “But you want me to change here?!” “It’s Okay, there aren’t any paintings in here, and I’ll close my eyes.” He said placing his hands over his face and turning around. Paintings? Alice made a mental note to ask about that later, but she still wasn’t fond of the idea of changing out in the open like this. “I can’t, I just can’t change in a room like this, what if someone walks in?” “Look no one’s going to-Oh never mind.” The man gave an exasperated sigh and grabbed the nearest drapes pulling them around her making a curtain between the two. “How’s that?” Alice looked up wondering how the drapes managed to stay afloat off of the window. There was nothing there, they simply hung in midair as if that was what they were intended to do. She gave in and stripped off her robe and night dress and picked up the clothing examining it. The top and bottoms alike were a pale blue embellished with a white lacey trim. The top had long sleeves edged with lace a corset like middle and what looked to be like a sewn on cravat accompanied by a blue jacket. The matching pants were not much less fancy although were gathered at the knees where they ended. It seemed an odd combination but Alice really didn’t think this was the time to complain about what she was given. She looked down at her feet and realized that she had left barefoot and was never given any shoes. She looked around wondering if she had somehow missed them. “Are you done yet?” The man asked from the other side. “Yes.” Alice said stepping out. “But, aren’t I supposed to have shoes?” He looked down at her bare feet and frowned. “Weren’t there any in the pockets?” Alice assumed if there had been anything in the pockets she would have noticed while dressing. Nonetheless she reach both hands in either side and pulled out a pair of matching shoes. She would have jumped upon finding them but at this point she was simply too tired and confused to give a reaction. The man began walking out and said to her “Just wait here a minute, and don’t forget to put the curtains back where they belong.” Alice looked to the curtains and grabbed ahold wondering how on earth she was supposed to do that, she figured it was the same as drawing them and began pulling on the fabric guiding it to where it had come from. After she was alone she took a long gaze around the room. It seemed that a feast had been laid out on the long table but there was nothing that Alice recognized as looking anything like regular food. As she bent down to smell the food the doors at the other end of the room swung open to make way for a tall fierce yet beautiful woman adorned with a heart shaped crown atop her jet black hair which also was styled to shape into a heart. Alice watched with her mouth hanging open as the woman glided towards her the long full skirt trailing behind her. She was accompanied by only an equally tall man with a stern look. “You must be Alice, we presume.” The woman spoke looking down at Alice while keeping her chin level to the floor. Alice nodded unsure of what to say. “We are Queen Mathilda of Wonderland. We are very pleased that you have come, Alice.” Alice still trying to force out any kind of vocal sound simply gave an awkward bow. “We hope you are pleased with the clothes we have given you. We much prefer red, however Blue is a color much better suited to you.” She said seeming neither pleased or displeased with Alice’s reaction. “Yes, thank you.” Alice finally managed to say. She was wondering if she ought to have added a highness or something in there. “We presume you know why you are here.” “Y-yes, I was told I am supposed to act as some sort of assassin.” “That is correct. The one you seek had been working for us, but managed to flee and now wants us dead.” The queen said with spite in her voice “Who is the person?” Alice asked looking down at her feet. She looked up at the queen to see her almost glaring down. Alice supposed she should refrain from further questions or comments with out being directly asked. Raising her hand and gesturing to the man next to her the Queen introduced the man saying. “This is our Knave of Hearts who we have instructed to assist you in whatever you need.” Alice raised her head to look the man in the eyes hoping he would have a more approachable disposition. While the queen spoke with a regal tone the air about her seemed to push Alice away like an angry wind.