*NOTE* This is a rewrite of a story I unintentionally abandoned a while ago. I changed the name too. Yay for redrafting.
It all started with a cat.
Alice tore down the street in an effort to chase after her escaped cat, knowing exactly where the animal was headed. If she got into the Jesse's yard and went after his birds he would never, ever forgive her, and Alice knew it. Silently cursing Dinah for getting out in the first place, she ran down the street, along the footpath. Her long honey blonde hair flew out behind her as she ran, praying that Dinah wasn't where she knew she'd be. Finally she skidded to a halt in front of the house, and her heart sank. There, sitting on the front veranda, was Jesse, looking not at all happy.
"Hey Jess." Alice greeted him cheerfully. "I was-"
"Looking for Dinah?" He suggested coldly.
"Yeah, you know how she gets out sometimes, I know she…" His hard expression caused her to trail off. For a few seconds neither of them said anything, both getting increasingly angry at each other for seemingly no reason at all. Alice folded her arms and glared at Jesse with such ferocity he nearly cowered.
"You should keep better control over that mangy thing of yours." He snarled.
"You can't blame her, she's a cat! It's her instinct!" She screamed at the boy who was formerly one of her closest friends.
"You could keep a closer eye on her and just because it's her instinct doesn't make it right!" Jesse King yelled back her, his expression absolutely livid.
Alice gritted her teeth and folded her arms crossly. "Well maybe you should keep your birds in a real aviary that can keep cats out!"
"Birds don't belong in a cage; I like to appreciate them in the open air as they should be."
"Then don't act so surprised when one gets killed!"
Jesse wasn't having any of it. Without another word to Alice, he turned heel and stormed off into the distance. Alice watched him go, breathing heavily and still positive that she was right. If he wanted his birds to be safe from cats and other such animals, he'd put them in an aviary, their natural beauty be damned.
Grumbling to herself, she stomped back inside the house where she expected to find her elder sister Margot. Instead she discovered a deserted house, save for Dinah, who was wandering around aimlessly looking for some kind sustenance, not caring whether it came from a box of cat food or Jesse's backyard. She looked so happy, so placid; it only solidified Alice's belief that she was right. So rather than bother herself with worry over her sister's absence, Alice quietly fed Dinah before collapsing onto the sofa to contemplate the argument she had shared with Jesse earlier. She had never had such a heated argument with anyone, and it surprised her that she had gotten so riled up over something that wasn't even that bad. Especially when it was Jesse she was arguing with.
She didn't mean it, not really. She knew she'd feel the same way in his place. Alice stared at the ceiling aimlessly, not knowing what to think. She knew she was right. She was right. If Jesse just got over himself and put the birds in an aviary, none of this would've happened. It wasn't her fault. If anyone was at fault, it was Jesse. There was just no way Alice could've known that Dinah would sneak into his yard. There was no way she could've stopped the cat from doing what cats do. He was overreacting. If anyone should apologise, he should. And yet, she still felt guilty. Alice got up and sighed.
"I suppose I'd better go apologise to him, eh Dinah?"
Dinah just stared at her. Alice rolled her eyes and went outside once again. She began walking down the street in the same direction Jesse had when he stormed off earlier. At first she was walking, and then she quickly began running, getting increasingly desperate to repair their friendship. They'd work something out. They always did. She had reached Jesse's house and ran to the front door. Alice bit her lip at the certain future awkwardness of the situation, but tried to push it aside and think of what she was going to say to Jesse. She was spared an awkward situation, however, when no one answered the door. Alice walked out onto the street, wondering where Jesse had disappeared to. It wasn't like him to just vanish, and the only place there was to go if you wanted to be alone was the small wooded area not far from where both of them lived. In some last ditch effort to find her friend, Alice headed to the cluster of dark, murky trees.
The air was thick and heavy in the wood, but Alice pressed on nonetheless, desperately calling Jesse's name every minute or so. When there was no reply, she began to fear the worst. Suddenly, there was a flash of white right in front of her. She stopped, wary and confused. She looked around wildly, her eyes resting on a flash of white as it disappeared behind a tree. Momentarily distracted, she ran after the unknown thing, half hoping it would be her friend. She was quickly weaving her way rather clumsily through the trees after the thing, which she eventually realised wasn't Jesse at all, but a small white rabbit. Curiously she began to approach it but the little creature was too fast for her, and disappeared into the darkness, almost like a ghost. Alice slowed to a halt, unsure what to do. She turned around and saw nothing but dark, menacing trees. It was almost sinister, this place. Not the way she remembered it at all.
"Jesse?" She called uncertainly. "Jess, I'm sorry! Jesse?"
He did not appear, though Alice wasn't all that surprised when he didn't. Jesse could be anywhere in this wood, and would return when he was ready. She certainly wasn't up to the task of finding him anyway. She remembered when the King family had first moved into the house down street from her own family's residence, and meeting Jesse for the first time. It was hard to believe that event had taken place just last year.
Resigned, she turned to walk back, but tripped over in the dark. She fell down onto the dirt, coughing and spitting out the dirt that had gotten into her mouth. For a few seconds she just lay there, unwilling to pick herself up. There was a rustling, and she slowly she looked up to find the white rabbit sitting a little away from her, carefully and meticulously rubbing its face as most rabbits did. Alice moaned a little and tried to get up when she felt something wrap around her ankle and pull her viciously backward. She screamed lashed out, grabbing onto whatever she could find, but whatever was pulling her was too strong. It wrenched at her ankle and pulled her back, down into a filthy rabbit hole. Alice screamed for help and out of fear, but with one final heave Alice Knight was pulled underground, leaving nothing but the echoes of her screams and the scratch marks her nails had left in the ground.