Author's Note: This is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass with Prim replacing Alice. Effie replaces the Mad Hatter with Cinna replacing the March Hare. Not all of the Wonderland characters were replaced with Hunger Games people, just when it seemed fitting. I tried to preserve the magic, making minimal changes when possible. One liberty I gave myself was to update the punctuation to today's standards to make it easier on the reader.
More changes will be found in Part II: Looking Glass. If you've studied the books, you then know that Looking Glass was actually a solemn book. This reflected well with Prim as Alice, requiring a more changes in the later chapters. I also reinserted the "A Wasp in a Wig" section.
Part I: Wonderland
CHAPTER I: Down the Elevator Shaft
Prim was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister in their compartment, and of having nothing to do in District 13. Once or twice, she had peeped at Katniss's tablet to see what training manual she was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, and what is the use of a book, thought Prim, without pictures or Conversations?
So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for never going outside made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the challenge of descending and climbing the stairs would calm her nerves, when suddenly, Beetee came to a stop in his wheelchair before their compartment door, which had been forbiddingly propped open!
There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Prim think it so very much out of the way to hear Beetee say to himself, "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!" (When she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time, it all seemed quite natural.) But when Beetee actually looked at his communicuff before jumping out of his wheelchair, and hurrying on, Prim started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen Beetee out of his wheelchair since being injured in the Quarter Quell. And burning with curiosity, she ran into the corridor, past his wheelchair, around a corner, and fortunately was just in time to see the man pop into an open elevator.
Lunging for the call button, Prim stopped the doors from closing, but when she entered, the car was empty. Certain she had seen Beetee, Prim stood dumbfounded as she watched the elevator doors close. When she took notice a few seconds later that the normally busy elevator failed to move, the floor beneath her most unexpectedly fell away.
Screaming from the initial fright, Prim had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep elevator shaft. Either the shaft was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next. First, she tried to look down and make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything. Then she looked at the sides of the shaft, and noticed that they were no longer concrete, but rock, filled with cupboards and bookshelves. Here and there, she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. She took down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it was labelled ORANGE MARMALADE, but to her great disappointment it was empty. She did not like to drop the jar for fear of killing somebody, so managed to put it into one of the cupboards as she fell past it.
Well, thought Prim to herself, after such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs. How brave they'll all think me at home. Why, I wouldn't say anything about it, even if I fell off the top of the house. (Which was very likely true.)
Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end! "I wonder how many miles I've fallen by this time?" she said aloud. "I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth. Let me see; that would be four thousand miles down, I think." (For, you see, Prim had learnt several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this was not a very good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over.) "Yes, that's about the right distance, but then I wonder what Latitude or Longitude I've got to?" (Prim had no idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.)
Presently she began again. "I wonder if I shall fall right through the earth. How funny it'll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downward. The Antipathies, I think." (She was rather glad there was no one listening, this time, as it didn't sound at all the right word.) "But I shall have to ask them what the name of the country is, you know. Please, Ma'am, is this New Zealand or Australia?" (And she tried to curtsey as she spoke—fancy curtseying as you're falling through the air! Do you think you could manage it?) "And what an ignorant little girl she'll think me for asking. No, it'll never do to ask. Perhaps I shall see it written up somewhere."
Down, down, down. There was nothing else to do, so Prim soon began talking again. "Buttercup will miss me very much tonight, I should think." (Buttercup was the cat.) "I hope they'll remember her saucer of milk before dinner. Buttercup, my dear, I wish you were down here with me. There are no mice in the air, I'm afraid, but you might catch a bat, and that's very like a mouse, you know. But do cats eat bats, I wonder?" And here Prim began to get rather sleepy, and went on saying to herself, in a dreamy sort of way, "Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?" and sometimes, "Do bats eat cats?" for you see, as she couldn't answer either question, it didn't much matter which way she put it. She felt that she was dozing off and had just begun to dream that she was walking hand in hand with Buttercup, saying to her very earnestly, "Now, Buttercup, tell me the truth; did you ever eat a bat?" when suddenly, thump! thump! down she came upon a heap of sticks and dry leaves, and the fall was over.
Prim was not a bit hurt, and she jumped up onto her feet in a moment. She looked up, but it was all dark overhead; before her was a long passage, and Beetee was still in sight, hurrying down it. There was not a moment to be lost. Away went Prim like the wind, and was just in time to hear the man say as he turned a corner, "Oh my squares and compasses, how late it's getting!"
She was close behind him when she turned the corner, but Beetee was no longer to be seen. She found herself in a long, low hall, which was lit up by a row of lamps hanging from the roof. There were doors all-round the hall, but they were all locked; and when Prim had been all the way down one side and up the other, trying every door, she walked sadly down the middle, wondering how she was ever to get out again.
Suddenly she came upon a little three-legged table, all made of solid glass. There was nothing on it except a tiny golden key, and Prim's first thought was that it might belong to one of the doors of the hall; but alas, either the locks were too large, or the key was too small, but at any rate, it would not open any of them. However, on the second time round, she came upon a low curtain she had not noticed before, and behind it was a little door about fifteen inches high. She tried the little golden key in the lock, and to her great delight, it fitted.
Prim opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole. She knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark hall and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains, but she could not even get her head through the doorway; and even if my head would go through, thought poor Prim, it would be of very little use without my shoulders. "Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a telescope. I think I could, if I only knew how to begin." For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Prim had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.
There seemed to be no use in waiting by the little door, so she went back to the table, half hoping she might find another key on it, or at any rate, a book of rules for shutting people up like telescopes. This time she found a little bottle on it, ("which certainly was not here before," said Prim,) and round the neck of the bottle was a paper label with the words DRINK ME beautifully printed on it in large letters.
It was all very well to say drink me, but the wise little Prim was not going to do that in a hurry. "No, I'll look first," she said, "and see whether it's marked poison or not." For she had read several nice little histories about children who had got burnt and eaten up by wild beasts and other unpleasant things, all because they would not remember the simple rules their friends had taught them. Such as, that a red-hot poker will burn you if you hold it too long; and that if you cut your finger very deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had never forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked poison, it is almost certain to disagree with you sooner or later.
However, this bottle was not marked poison, so Prim ventured to taste it, and finding it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, wild-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast,) she very soon finished it off.
"What a curious feeling," said Prim, "I must be shutting up like a telescope."
And so it was indeed, she was now only ten inches high, and her face brightened up at the thought that she was now the right size for going through the little door into that lovely garden. First, however, she waited for a few minutes to see if she was going to shrink any further. She felt a little nervous about this. "For it might end, you know," said Prim to herself, "in my going out altogether, like a candle. I wonder what I should be like then?" And she tried to fancy what the flame of a candle is like after the candle is blown out, for she could not remember ever having seen such a thing.
After a while, finding that nothing more happened, she decided on going into the garden at once; but alas for poor Prim, when she got to the door, she found she had forgotten the little golden key. And when she went back to the table for it, she found she could not possibly reach it. She could see it quite plainly through the glass, and she tried her best to climb up one of the legs of the table, but it was too slippery; and when she had tired herself out with trying, the poor little thing sat down and cried.
"Come, there's no use in crying like that," said Prim to herself rather sharply; "I advise you to leave off this minute." She generally gave herself very good advice (though she very seldom followed it), and sometimes, she scolded herself so severely as to bring tears into her eyes. Moreover, once she remembered trying to box her own ears for having cheated herself in a game of croquet she was playing against herself, for this curious child was very fond of pretending to be two people. "But it's no use now," thought poor Prim, "to pretend to be two people. Why, there's hardly enough of me left to make one respectable person."
Soon her eye fell on a little glass box that was lying under the table. She opened it and found in it a very small cake on which the words EAT ME were beautifully marked in currants. "Well, I'll eat it," said Prim, "and if it makes me grow larger, I can reach the key; and if it makes me grow smaller, I can creep under the door; so either way, I'll get into the garden, and I don't care which happens."
She ate a little bit and said anxiously to herself, "Which way? Which way?" as she held her hand on the top of her head to feel which way it was growing. She was quite surprised to find that she remained the same size: to be sure, this generally happens when one eats cake, but Prim had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the common way.
So she set to work and very soon finished off the cake.