Chapter III: A Wonder Through Wonderland

Annora sighed as she watched Chess disappear. While it was still somewhat unusual, the young girl found herself familiarising with the act because it seemed as though he, like everything else in the odd land, was a mystery; a mystery Annora was willing to unravel.

It was then that she noticed that her outfit had changed; gone was her white night gown her mother had dressed her in for bed, and gone where the plaits her mother had done her hair in to keep it from becoming too unruly tomorrow.

Replacing it was a deep blue dress that went down past her knees and ruffled out past her waist. The sleeves were puffy and she had a white apron at the front of her dress with small pockets at the front which were barely visible. Straining to see the back of the dress, Annora noticed that she had a large white bow which obviously kept the apron on. On her feet was a pair of dainty flat black shoes that had a strap across her feet keeping them on. Experimentally, she wiggled her feet and found that the shoes were exactly the right size.

Annora's hair had changed as well. Her hair was open and in the bottom was in large ringlets that seemed to join the hair together at the front. The back was mainly straight, but slightly wavy, just as her hair was in the Normal World. Annora patted the top of her head and found a small Alice Band at the top of her head. She smiled slightly at the thought but carried on looking at her reflection. (She was still too young to understand the term irony.)

Now as you have been told, Annora was a girl on the eve of her seventh birthday; suffice to say, she was still a young girl. And if you were to ask any parent about a child their age, they would say two things; the first being that the child would ask many a question, for seven was the age of questioning, and the second being that a child of that age would not be able to stand still in a place of interest long without getting curious.

And that was exactly what happened.

Annora huffed and began looking for places to travel in the magical land. Her eyes fell upon a stone path that would lead her through the small river and over to the other side of the bank and she quickly followed it.

As she hopped across she saw a statue of a woman with her hand held out. The statue also seemed to be a waterfall and as the water leaked from her eyes Annora watched with wonder; it made the statue look like she was crying.

Annora walked up to it and scooped some of the water into her hand. It was cold. Not freezing but a pleasant temperature and she lifted the water to her lips and drank. The water was the sweetest water she had ever tasted and she hummed with pleasure.

Curiosity quickly overcome her however and she continued to make her way through the path that seemed to be made for her.

Not that far ahead, Annora noticed something white moving up and down. Moving closer she saw a white rabbit with a blue waist coat and a golden pocket watch and her eyes widened in surprise.

The surprise was not yet over however because as she got closer to it she heard it say, "Oh dear, I truly am late for tea with the Queen. She will have my head if I do not find those roses."

Now, Annora was a kind girl, and when someone needed help, she would try to help them as best as she could and so, it was these kindnesses that lead her up to the rabbit. "Hello?" The rabbit jumped and frantically looked around. "Oh I'm sorry; I did not mean to startle you. I merely overheard that you were looking for roses and I thought I could help."

The rabbit peered closely at her, tilting it's head to the side before taking out a pair of spectacles and putting them on.

When he did so he gasped loudly and hopped up to her. "Alice? Is that you my dear? You seem to have grown younger. You must have befriended Time."

Annora looked slightly alarmed at who the Rabbit was suggesting she looked like, for Annora had been born many years after Alice Liddell and yet, to those in Wonderland, time moved differently because as the White Rabbit had mentioned, many of them had befriended time.

It was also to be said that Annora held many a features of Alice herself. The same raven hair, the same emerald eyes, the same pale skin and the same shape of lips. So it was not surprising that she had been mistaken for Alice.

"Your mistaken sir, my name's Annora Liddell but I would very much like to help you with the roses." She told the rabbit sweetly giving him a small smile at the end of her sentence.

"Hmm," he seemed to look down for a brief second and his eyes caught the time on the small pocket watch in his hand. "Oh dear, I am late!" He said once again and began frantically searching the bushes for roses.

Annora found herself looking as well and as she was she came across a bush with white roses on them. "Why, there are roses here." She told him pointing to them. The White Rabbit didn't even look over to where she was pointing.

"They won't do. The Queen will take nothing more than red roses."

"Well you could always paint the roses red." Annora suggested thoughtfully. The Rabbit stopped the pacing he had begun and looked at her.


"I said you could always paint the roses red. Why I could wish for some paint right now." And with that Annora wished she had a cup or red that she would be able to paint the roses with and just like that she felt her picket begin to weigh down.

When she reached into it she was mildly surprised to find that there was a cup and two brushes with red paint. "Here you go," Annora said, handing over the cup.

She took a brush and began painting the roses red and just as she had suggested, the roses began to turn – first a lovely shade of pink but then a blooming red.

"Oh thank you, thank you!" The Rabbit said hopping about on the spot. He collected a bunch of the roses and then, looked at his pocket watch. "Oh dear, I'm late!" With that he turned and hopped off leaving Annora once again alone in Wonderland.

"What a strange Rabbit," she murmured to herself and then jumped as she heard a purr behind her. "Would you please not do that?" She asked. Chess only grinned at her showing all his teeth.

"It is time for you to return to the Normal World Annora." He purred.

"Oh must I? I am having so much fun discovering Wonderland." She asked pleadingly. It was true; she could not wait to explore more of the land. She wanted to see where the White Rabbit was going; she wanted to have tea with the Queen.

"Do not fret young one, you will return. But for now you must return, you do have a birthday today am I not mistaken?"

"That's right." Truth be told she had forgotten all about her birthday but now she remembered and was eager to see if Chess' promise was fulfilled. "Will I see you back home?" She asked.

"Ohh you'll see me sooner than you know." With that promise Annora wished she were back home in her bed and when she opened her eyes, she found the light streaming through her bedroom window and the covers over her.

The funny thing was that Annora didn't feel like she had been up all night, she felt very much awake; as if she had slept for a day. Curious, she thought to herself and sat up in her bed.

The door opened and her mother's head popped through the door. "You're awake." She said cheerfully. "Happy birthday sweetie." Yes, it is isn't it.

For Annora now had her own secret world where she could go whenever she pleased and she couldn't be more excited about it. It truly was the best birthday she had ever had, and it had only just begun.