"Welcome to Wonderland."
It was dark. It was cold. It was musty. It was…
She shivered. There was barely any light, but what she saw was undesirable.
The room was a dark muddy brown that caged her in. The corners were completely shadowed by darkness. The air stank of an old rotten carcass- and something else, something she didn't recognize.
Why was she here?
Marry shakily got to her feet. She was scared. She was scared, and she didn't want to be here.
There was a door. It had suddenly appeared in front of her. It was an old wooden door, half-decayed and mildewy. She put her hand on the knob and recoiled. The hand was slick, far too slick to be natural. It was a glistening black, gleaming too much in the darkness.
M-maybe the sliminess was just water?
She told herself that, told herself to believe it, but she didn't really believe it. She yanked the door open and ran through it. Her hand tingled, as though it had been stung. Corrupted. She swallowed down the bile and trudged on.
She was walking along a wearied and cracked cobblestone road, the stones faded and chipped. Crimson roses and charcoal crosses were scattered along the path. There was more light now, but it was an off-putting red, like the sun's dying rays, only redder.
It reminded her of blood.
She gulped and shook her head. It wasn't time to be thinking about that. She needed to get out. She needed to get out.
There was a pounding in her head. She gripped a hand to her heart and tried to breathe steadily. In, out, in, out. The pounding- was it getting louder? Was it getting louder? She whipped around.
There was no one there.
She exhaled, turned, and bolted. She hated this place, even more than the dark room. This place was red and horrible, and everything felt wrong.
There was yet another door at the end of the path, opened this time. She barrelled into it, and the door slammed shut behind her. She gasped and threw herself back into the door. Nonononono… she couldn't be trapped, she couldn't be, couldn't be-!
"Hello, little Alice."
She jerked around. It was a young boy, about her age maybe, with brown hair and cold, hazel eyes. He was wearing a dirty white jacket, a murky sky-blue shirt underneath, and tight brown sandals. Knives hung from the belt around his waist. She took a step back and her spine brushed against the door.
"M-my name's not Alice-"
"I don't care." He idly twirled one of his knives. "You're quite the troublemaker, you know. I want nothing more than to serve my liege, and yet her power is being called in question. Right as you fell into this world… how very coincidental."
Marry shrank back. "I-I don't know what you're talking about."
"I have orders." He turned and affixed his gaze on her. "You are to be brought to the Queen's court. Unharmed, unfortunately, but orders are orders." He walked up to her.
Marry cowered under his stare. Her body trembled at the coldness in his eyes, the cruelty. She saw the glint of a knife, and screamed.
There was a sharp pain, and everything went black.
She awoke in a grayed cell. Her hands were bound in chains, and her feet were weighed down by a large metal ball. The quiet dripping of water echoed emptily in the corner.
She lifted her head. There was a white-haired male next to her, also imprisoned. His eyes- a dull pink- were staring lifelessly at the ground. He was so still… she feared the worst.
She buried her head into her knees and trembled. She didn't want to be here! Why was she here! She wanted to get out of this place!
Do you really wish to get out?
She flinched at the noise. It hadn't come from the male, he was still staring lifelessly at the ground. The voice had rang in his head, without any clear source. Was she hearing things?
Do you really wish to get out?
There it was again. She swallowed nervously and nodded, not daring to speak.
One has been infected with the blood of the basilisk. Find the monster and kill them… before it's too late. Accomplish this task, and you can leave this place.
Her blood chilled. Kill?
Tick tock. The voice fell silent.
She wiped her clammy hands on her dress. Somehow, it hadn't torn yet. She looked up at the male, the male who was far too still, and nudged him with her foot.
His finger twitched. Slowly, achingly slowly, he lifted his head.
"H-hello," she tried.
The male closed his eyes and opened them. She swallowed.
"W-what's your name?"
Another slow blink. A pause.
She attempted a smile. It felt feeble. "A-ah, my name's Marry."
Again they fell to silence, one that crawled up her skin. She didn't like it. She didn't like any of it.
"...Why are you here?" Her voice was hopelessly fluttery.
He averted his eyes. "...I… don't… know." His voice was thick, as if the words were dragged out of him.
"Oh… I see…" She didn't see at all. Was he really wasting away in this cell for that long? She hoped not.
There was a faint beating. She flinched and shrank back from the cell door. Konoha didn't react.
Marry blinked and stared at him. "...W-what?"
The beating was getting louder now. She recognized it as footsteps.
Konoha angled his eyes towards her. His lips formed a whisper.
"I'm not myself, you see."
The cell door swung open.
"Hello, hello! Welcome to the one and only Queen's Court!" It was a male with straw-blond hair, a sickeningly sweet smile plastered on his face. "I am your host, the Cheshire Cat!" He twirled around once and bowed.
The chains in her captor's hands tightened. A frown colored his face, the first she'd seen.
"Idiot." He yanked the chains, and Marry stumbled forward. Konoha dazedly stepped forth to avoid tripping. Their captor turned around and smirked. "Right then, Alice, Caterpillar."
"My name's not Alice," she whispered, but it went ignored.
"I'm sure you have questions, and I'll do my best to answer them. I am the Mad Hatter. I answer to the Queen, and only the Queen. Unfortunately, the Queen has been facing some… difficulties in her kingdom. Someone has challenged her rule, causing unrest among the people. The White Rabbit- the guy who took you in- has been going around and eliminating those who get too… rowdy. You see, we don't really want to have our Wonderland be tainted with blood. Which is why the Queen has decided to make sure any anomalies are… taken care of."
Marry gulped and tried to focus on anything other than the male's eyes. His hair was a deep black, slightly unkempt and messy. He was wearing a green jumpsuit, the dye slightly worn away. There were multiple fuzzy areas, like nicks in the leather. On his head was a small army hat with a pair of goggles.
The chain was yanked once more. She was met with a smile that was all too sharp. "I do hope you're listening to me," he drawled. "The Queen dislikes such… absentmindedness. It will do you well to pay attention."
She flinched and nodded. Her heart drummed in her ears, beating on her head.
Kill- the- mon- ster. Kill- the- mon- ster.
She wanted to get out. But she didn't want to kill. She didn't want to stain her hands with that awful, horrible substance…
The crowd's roar snapped her out of her daze. The noise was deafening, howling through the corridor. Her captor barked out a laugh. Konoha slid his eyes up to the entrance, the view of the frenzied crowd awaiting him.
"Now then!" the Cheshire Cat called. "Let the trial begin!"
She was frozen. Petrified. The crowd's mocking gaze bore into her, dug through her skin and clawed to her heart. She barely dared to breathe, the heaving of her chest far too harsh for her liking. On another platform was Konoha, his posture stiff and impenetrable. He didn't show the slightest bit of emotion on his face, completely cold and stoic.
"Now then." A girl clad in black opened a thick black book. "The trial will be between the Queen and the traitors. The Queen- the accuser- has the right to use whatever means necessary to get information out of the traitors- the…" she wrinkled her nose, "...defendants. The defendants have the right to defend themselves-"
Boos rippled through the crowd.
"Yes, yes, I know you don't like it, but rules are rules and other distasteful legal jabber." She rolled her eyes and continued. "They have the right to plead guilty for a decreased sentence, and they have the right to try and run away should the need arise."
Another jeer rang from the crowd. The girl glared at them and flipped her finger.
"Your first warning." The crowd fell silent. "The defendants are, of course, not allowed to leave the court until the Queen dismisses them. Furthermore, the Queen decides when the trial ends, and the Queen is the one who decides the verdict. I, the Duchess, will be the juror for this trial, and will announce the Queen's verdict." She slammed the book shut and shoved it to the side. A dazzling smile split her face, one that almost felt wrong. "Now then! With all that finally out of the way, I present to you the Queen of Hearts!"
The cheers nearly blasted her ears off with their volume. She clamped her hands over her ears and shrank back. All eyes were on her- no, behind her- eager and almost hungry.
She turned. Above her was a female with long green hair, draped in deep purple robes that trailed on the ground. She descended from the stairs, her emerald pumps darting out with every step. Her gaze was cruel and callous, even as she was surrounded by fanatic cheers. She walked to a throne situated at the front of the circle and sat.
"Uncover your ears," she commanded.
Marry started and slowly lowered her hands. The Queen then turned her head to Konoha, a challenge in her gaze. Konoha only stared emptily back.
"You are here on the account of treason," she stated, "Caterpillar, Alice. Admit to your crimes now, and you'll have a… less painful time."
Marry trembled. Her throat closed up.
"...I see," she droned. "I suppose I'll have to force your confession from you."
A blade was pointed at her throat. Marry gulped and stared. It was a sleek, gleaming silver, polished to an edge and almost blinding her with its brilliance.
How could something so deadly be so beautiful?
She wanted to run. She wanted to run, but her feet refused to budge. Again, her heart pounded in her head. Kill- the- mon- ster. Kill- the- mon- ster.
"Speak your crimes," the Queen snarled. "Or I'll run you through."
"Y… You'll kill me," she gasped. Her voice quavered. "I- I'll die."
A small smirk graced her lips. "You won't die. Not with this sword. Although… you'll wish you were when I'm done with you."
Marry leaned back as far as she could without falling. Konoha… Konoha was still staring emptily ahead, not even paying the slightest attention to her.
Kill- the- mon- ster. Kill- the- mon- ster.
She was trapped. She was trapped, and she didn't want to be here.
"I don't know what you're talking about," she whispered. "I don't know, I don't know!"
The Queen's eyes were cold. "Then I suppose you'll suffer."
She lunged. Marry screamed and tripped. The sword passed over her head. The Queen's face twisted into a burning scowl. She angled her sword down and swung.
Marry rolled away and scrambled to her feet. She didn't think. She bolted. Her vision was blurring before her, the crowd's cheers were deafening. She collided into someone and crashed to the ground. The pounding accelerated.
A sob was strangled out of her mouth. She staggered upright. Something hard barreled into her and she fell again.
Something was pressing on her back, pinning her down. It dug into her skin and ground against bone. She cried out and felt a sting in her eyes.
"Someone… please…!" she whimpered. "Please… help…!"
"Poor little Alice," the Queen scoffed. "All alone. How foolish she must be to think she could ever run from me."
The crowd roared their approval. Marry gritted her teeth.
Something was pressed into her hands. She clenched her hand around it. It was rough and grainy.
She wanted to get out.
She screeched and lashed out. The pressure on her back slackened. She threw herself up and tore at the Queen. The wooden sliver in her hands found their way into flesh.
A piercing wail. "MY EYES!"
She didn't stop. She didn't let up. She kept jabbing and jabbing and jabbing, until red stained her hands and her ears rang with screams. She kept her assault until bones crunched under her foot and the body in front of her crumbled.
Kill the monster.
She whirled around. Somebody snarled and flung themselves at her. She ducked under the knife and tackled into him. Her free hand found the knives hanging from his waist and used one to stab his heart. The White Rabbit lurched back and fell.
The Duchess was staring at her with wide eyes. With the wooden sliver in hand, she flew at her and jammed it into her throat. She gasped once and collapsed.
She ripped out the sliver and cast her eyes about. The crowds were fleeing, swarms of people piling on top of one another. Her eyes honed in on the Mad Hatter, and she attacked.
The strike that was aimed at him was shoved away. Before her was the Cheshire Cat, with a narrowed gaze and fanged smile. He reached for her, but she dodged and drove her fist into his stomach. He grunted and staggered back. She followed and ran him to the ground. Her fists tightened on the sliver and she bashed him again and again.
The Mad Hatter was yelling, a murderous glint in his eyes. The chains in his hand clanked ominously. She met his gaze and tensed her muscles.
He was thrown back by another figure, one she recognized. Konoha reared back his fist and slammed it into his head. Blood splayed the ground. There was a choked whisper, and he was hit again. And again. And again.
Marry walked up to him and drove her weapon through his heart. His limbs spasmed, then laid still.
Silence. The Queen's Court was quiet. Empty. The audience- once frenzied and ecstatic- had left fearful and frantic. The only ones that remained were the corpses and the killers.
She let loose a sigh and dropped to her knees. The scent of blood hung over them, like a thick blanket in the air. She looked up at Konoha, the same empty gaze in his eyes.
She looked at herself. There were splotches of red on her dress, and her fingers were slick with that same redness. In her hands was a wooden stake, drenched in crimson.
She gasped. The stake clattered to the ground. Her eyes prickled as she stared at the awful, horrible substance coating her hands. They started to quiver. She felt her whole body shake along with them. The needles in her eyes turned hot and streamed down her cheeks.
She had wanted to get out.
And she had killed for it.
An foreboding laughter rang in her head. It was a voice she had only heard once before, and yet it was all too familiar.
She heard a choked cry. Konoha fell to his hands and knees and was heaving. His eyes dilated and turned a sickening red. Tears spilled to the ground. A blackness was twisting through his hair, corrupting it and engulfing it entirely. His clothes were also turning black- black and a murky yellow-green.
Her breath caught in her throat. She crawled back slowly, cold sweat breaking out on her skin.
"No… no… no, no, no, no- nononononono-!"
She should have known. She should have known.
"I'm not myself, you see."
The bloody eyes of the basilisk locked onto her. She took her final breath and screamed.
The corrupted Wonderland shook with the sound of horror.
A/N: This was based off of an Outer Science cover on RafScrap's channel for A-L1! Please go check it out! Some of the lines are ripped straight from the PV haha