Happy Valentine’s Day! Thanks for joining me for Wonderland Wednesday for another chapter of Down the Rabbit Hole: Alice in Shifterland. I decided not to shop this story with a publisher because I didn’t want anyone messing with my high camp or telling me to tone down the kink. It’s definitely for adults only, so if you’re not at least eighteen, please navigate away from this site.
If you missed any of the previous chapters, you can find them here. Please enjoy, but keep in mind, this story hasn’t been professionally edited so try to forgive any boo-boos.
Blurb: All of her life, Alice knew she was different. Not only did she have trouble relating to the people around her, everything about her surroundings seemed off. She had no idea why until she chased a white rabbit into a hidden tear in the universe and landed in a strange, but oddly comforting, land of sexy shifters, power-crazed royals with a penchant for BDSM and a gorgeous stranger who insisted her appearance in Shifterland was her prophesied destiny.
On her way to the croquet grounds, Alice chatted with the white mouse. He was not at all difficult to understand as long as he was sitting on her shoulder and he was much more pleasant to converse with than that horrid March Hare. The little mouse was very polite and gave excellent directions. As they approached the entrance of the garden, Alice noticed a large rose-tree surrounded by three gardeners busily painting the white roses red.
“What are they doing?” Alice whispered to the white mouse.
“The Queen of Hearts only likes red roses. One of those boneheads must have planted the wrong tree here. If the queen sees those white roses, they’ll lose their heads.”
Alice’s eyes widened and her lips parted. “Seriously?” She placed her hand over her mouth.
“I’m afraid so.” The mouse’s high-pitched voice interspersed his words with squeaks. “The Queen of Hearts is very difficult to please.”
“How dreadful! Viva democracy,” Alice balled up her fist and shook it.
“To be fair, the King is far more lenient and often quietly pardons the condemned once the queen is out of earshot. In fact, I can’t think of one instance where someone here has actually been beheaded.”
“Well, that’s a relief.” Alice watched the gardeners argue over painting techniques. The tallest of the three, a man with dark hair and a handlebar mustache preferred large brush strokes and wanted everyone to paint in up-and-down strokes. The only female, a short brunette in a gray jumpsuit, wanted the roses painted in a circular pattern and the third, a thin, white-haired old man wanted them to make their strokes from left to right.
“Young lady,” the white-haired gardener called out to Alice, waving her towards them.
“Yes?” Alice strode over to the group.
“Please settle this conundrum. Which rose looks best?”
Alice tilted her head to one side, observing each rose before answering, pointing to her favorite. “That one.”
“Ah ha!” the female gardener said, smiling smugly at the others. “I painted that one!”
“It’s lovely,” Alice replied, “though the other two are nice too.”
“Oh, what does she know,” the tall man said, scowling.
“Excuse me?” Alice was insulted. “You did ask for my opinion.”
The tallest gardener folded his arms in front of his chest haughtily before answering, “In fact, I did not. He did.” He pointed to the white-haired gardener.
“You’re quite rude,” the oldest gardener replied to the tallest.
The tall gardener ignored his co-worker and turned back towards Alice. “What are you even doing here?”
“I was invited.” Taken aback by the man’s abrupt manner, she knitted her eyebrows.
The white mouse spoke up, defending her, “Alice is a guest of the Queen.”
The rude gardener’s face turned ashen and he dropped to one knee. “Forgive me. I’m so sorry. It’s just so stressful working for…” His voice cracked.
“It’s okay.” Alice motioned for him to stand. The Queen of Hearts must be a major bitch.
“Oh no!” the female gardener spoke with panic in her voice. “The Queen! The Queen!”
All three of the workers panicked, running around in circles before dashing off and leaving Alice and the little mouse alone to greet the Queen’s procession. Even Alice’s little white mouse was spooked, jumping down from her shoulder and scurrying off into the bushes.
Two-by-two they marched with what appeared to be soldiers leading the way. Tall and well-built, these men were striking in their uniforms. Their chainmail was covered by bright crimson surcoats emblazed by a white trimmed, black heart over the chest and topped off by black cloaks with white trim. Their black leather boots were oiled and polished to a brilliant shine, and long swords hung at their left sides from leather waist-belts. In total, ten handsome men carried shields with the Queen’s signal, all of them hard-bodied with fair, shoulder-length hair. Alice raised an eyebrow, pressing her thighs together. She had always had a thing for guys in uniform, and she certainly wouldn’t have kicked any of those fine, military men out of her bed in the morning. She fanned her face with her hand, thankful the Duchess’ tincture was holding her symptoms at bay for now.
Directly after the soldiers, a plethora of courtiers followed, also two-by-two. The majority of the women wore short gowns in vivid colors, encrusted with sparkling gems. Short petticoat slips flared their skirts and thigh-high stockings accented the women’s shapely legs. The men’s clothing was more modern than the women’s, but they still looked like they stepped out of a Prohibition-era mobster movie in their pin-striped suits, fedoras, and two-toned shoes. Many of them even carried walking sticks. Those that weren’t wearing fedoras wore hats similar to the one Mr. Blackhard had worn to tea.
Once the hoity-toity crowd passed by, an even more regal entourage filed in, also strolling in pairs. Right off Alice recognized the Duchess and her husband. They had traded in their leather for more stately attire, adorned with their house seal, a heart, half pink and half black with a pink pig embossed over the black side and a black horse embossed over the pink half. Closely following them was a beautiful young woman with long, wavy red hair, a darling heart-shaped face and big, blue eyes with the longest eyelashes Alice had ever seen. The fabric of her dress was red with black hearts and had a high, ruffled collar and matching ruffled sleeves. Her large breasts were lifted and pushed together by pearl-trimmed, cream-colored bodice, and on her head, she wore a crown with a heart-shaped ruby. Could that be the queen? She looks so young!
Walking along next to the lovely crowned woman was a distinguished looking man in a light gray suit. The style was similar to the courtiers except he wore a crown rather than a hat. He had salt-and-pepper hair, a creased forehead, and a dark, well-groomed beard. Just as the woman approached Alice, she stopped abruptly and asked, “Who the hell are you?”
Alice’s face flushed and she stammered, “I…I…um Alice.”
The woman stared at Alice so intently she felt naked. Face-to-face with her, Alice noticed subtle signs she wasn’t quite as young as she looked from a distance such as the tiny crow’s feet hiding behind those thick eyelashes and more understated lines around her puffy red lips.
“Ah yes, the Princess of The Land of Racing Time. You must play croquet with me now.
Alice nodded and curtsied. “Thank you for the invitation, your majesty.” Alice hadn’t played croquet since she was ten and wasn’t too keen on playing it now but it didn’t appear she had much of a choice. She thought she remembered the rules well enough to give it a decent go.
“Yes, well we are distant cousins and when you reclaim your great-grandfather’s kingdom, you’ll be a queen in your own right.”
“What?” Alice gave the Queen a questioning look since she was talking nonsense but shrugged it off. After all, everyone in this place spewed bullshit twenty-four seven. Why should the sovereign be any different?
The Queen sighed. “I suppose I’m getting ahead of myself. Anyway, I’m Queen Beatrice. This is my husband, King Duncan.
The King gave a toothy, sideways smile before taking Alice’s hand and giving it a kiss. “Shall we play Princess Alice?”
The Queen stopped short, twirling around and craning her neck to look at the tree the gardeners had been painting. “What’s all that, Alice?”
Alice hesitated, terrified she’d say the wrong thing and get someone beheaded. “All what?” She widened her eyes innocently, having decided playing dumb was the way to go.
“The bucket of paint on the ground in front of my rose-tree…who would leave such a mess in my garden and why would anyone have left paint here?” Anger flashed in her periwinkle eyes.
“How would I know?” Alice held her hands out as she shrugged her shoulders.
“You were here before we arrived.” The queen replied while crossing her arms under her huge breasts.
“So was the paint.” Alice shrugged again, lifting only one shoulder this time. Technically, she wasn’t lying. The paint was most certainly there when she arrived.
The Queen huffed impatiently, her nostrils flaring. “And no one else was here?”
Alice tilted her head, looking off to the side as she considered the consequences of being caught in a lie. “I didn’t say that.”
The Queen face flushed and she raised her voice, “Just as I thought! Who are you covering for and what were they up to behind my back?”
“How would I know? Why would I pay any attention? What goes on in your garden is hardly my business? Alice met the Queen’s eyes and bit down on her bottom lip while holding her breath. She was playing a dangerous game, just short of lying, but strictly speaking, she had simply asked questions and had neither confirmed nor denied anything.
The Queen stomped her small foot and started to speak, “Off with…”
The King touched Queen Beatrice’s arm, getting her attention long enough to distract her. “Is that wise, dear?”
The Queen pursed her lips in annoyance but took a deep breath and calmed down. Like a saccharine sweet coating glazing over a cupcake with a cayenne pepper-cream center, the Queen plastered on a smile and her voice lowered to its previous melodious tone. “No matter. Please, dear Princess Alice, do come and play with me.” The Queen even hooked her arm with Alice’s and led her over to the croquet ground. That one scores a ten-out-of-ten on the crazy meter.
“Will the Prince of Darkness be joining us?” Alice turned her head towards the Queen as she awaited an answer.
Queen Beatrice gave her a sideways glance but a glimmer of realization seemed to cross her face just before she answered, “I assume you mean the Prince of Spades and no, he hasn’t played since he was a young lad.”
“That’s a shame.” Alice envied him for having enough pull to get out of this shit show with his head intact.
“I always invite him, but he never comes.” The Queen actually looked kind of sad. “And he was such a sweet child too. I don’t know why he became so brooding.”
A warm hand groped Alice’s bottom, startling her as someone murmured into her ear. “It’s a very fine day. No?”
She recognized the Duchess’ voice and sweet scent and decided to ignore the uninvited touching. “It certainly is.” Alice turned to face the older woman.
“How’s the ass?” The Duchess licked her lips, leering at Alice shamelessly.
“Sore.” Alice pursed her lips over gritted teeth.
“Is that so? It certainly was a pretty rear-end. I’d love to have another whack at it! ”Her eyes lit up devilishly as she yipped at her own comment.
Alice shook her head. “Oh no! Three for you and three for me—That was the deal.”
“Quite so.” The Duchess’s mouth folded into a pout.
Instinctually, Alice put her hands behind her back and covered her ass as she eyed the Duchess, wishing she could take her revenge for the humiliation she had suffered under the sexy redhead’s cane. Alice liked the game but hated being subjugated. She wanted to be the one cracking the whip.
“Get to your places!” the Queen called out loudly. Caught up in the flurry of activity and buzzing conversation, Alice looked around and could hardly believe her eyes. The mallets looked like long, bent phalluses and the balls were painted to look like breasts, and if that weren’t loony enough, the soldiers had to remove their cloaks and do backbends to create the arches. Alice couldn’t help but burst out laughing. You have got to be fucking kidding me!
Once everyone grabbed a mallet, the game began without warning. Alice might not have played croquet in a long time. but she was certain that the rules required taking turns at least they had back home. Here everyone played at once, pushing and fighting to get at the boob balls. Alice couldn’t even look down at her mallet without laughing to the point of tears and when she finally got a chance to hit the ball, the damn soldier arch she was aiming for got up and moved to a different part of course. This game sucks ass. No wonder the prince refuses to play.
Alice wasn’t having any fun and all this running around couldn’t be good for her cupcake-induced condition. She looked around for a shady place to sit this cluster fuck out, hoping no one would notice her slipping away. As she scanned the area, a strange disturbance in the air drew her attention. I better keep an eye on whatever that is. In this senseless land, there’s no telling what it might be and I don’t want it sneaking up and biting me in the ass.
After a couple of minutes, the tell-tale grin showed up and Alice rolled her eyes. “Of course, I should have known it was you, Lewis.”
Without being so kind as to completely materialize, the cat asked, “So how are you enjoying our little kingdom?”
Alice refused to talk to a floating mouth so she waited until the eyes and ears appeared before answering. “Not so much.”
The cat’s entire head showed up and Alice continued. “These people don’t play by the rules.”
The cat laughed. “I think you might have just found a motto for all of Shifterland. We will reject your reality and replace it with our own.”
Alice groaned and continued to complain. “This is complete madness! I don’t even see how it’s possible to win this game. Some rules are necessary or the game is no fun.”
The cat lowered his voice. “How do you like the Queen?”
Alice shot him a look and crinkled her nose before leaning in closer to whisper, “She’s pretty scary. I’ve heard she’s never really beheaded anyone but I’m not willing to take the chance. I like my head where it is.”
The cat chuckled just as the King walked up to them and looked to Alice. “Who are you talking to, Alice?”
Startled by his sudden attention, Alice jumped, turning in his direction. “A cat.”
King Duncan eyed the floating cat head with a mixture of distrust and disdain. “He looks suspect but I’ll allow him to kiss my ring if he so desires.”
The King shoved his hand in the cat’s face, displaying a large gold ring with a heart-shaped jewel inset. The cat threw the king’s hand a dismissive look the way cats are like to do. “Ppppass.” His voice was a disinterested purr.
The King laughed but flicked the cat right between the eyes with his thumb and forefinger. “Don’t be rude, you shitty cat.”
Alice held her hand over her mouth as she tried to restrain her snicker. So far she liked the King’s personality far better than the Queen’s.
“Just then the Queen stepped in from where she had been eavesdropping. “How dare that beast insult my husband! Off with its head. I’ll fetch the executioner.”
Alice shook her head. “Please don’t…he’s just a cat.”
“My dear, most of our subjects are shifters. He can’t get off that easy.” The King stuck up his nose and crossed his arms over his chest.
“But he’s no shifter. Just a cat!” Beside herself, Alice wrung her hands.
“The cat purred, rubbing its head against Alice’s arm. “Shhh, dear, I can take care of myself. You better go take your turn before the Queen sentences you to death too.”
Alice looked off in the Queen’s direction. As her majesty made a b-line for the executioner, she sentenced two more people to beheading for missing their turns. Sheesh! Alice stood up and brushed off the back of her dress. “I’ll be back.” She looked at her feline friend before running off to find a ball.
Chasing down one of the boob balls was no easy task. Every time Alice caught sight of one, someone knocked it away and when she finally got a hold of one, some crazy rabid bitch tackled her.
“Oh, hell no!” Alice screamed, grabbing the woman’s sandy blond hair and kicking her. “Get off me!” Alice wanted to punch her but she had the ball in her hand and wasn’t about to let it go. She managed to smack her heel into the woman’s shin, and the bitch screeched as she rolled off. As soon as Alice was free, she jumped up, grabbed a mallet off the ground and lined up her shot. She didn’t even bother hanging around to see where it landed. She had taken her turn so she rushed back to the cat.
Alice pushed her way through a crowd of onlookers that were silently watching as the executioner argued with the King and Queen. They talked over each other, making it impossible to understand a word they said, but when the Queen looked up and saw Alice, she stifled herself. Following her lead, the King and executioner did so as well and soon all three were insisting Alice mediate their argument.
The flustered executioner asked, “How can I cut off a head when there isn’t a body?
“Don’t be ridiculous! Anything with a head can be beheaded!” The King was insistent.
“Well, something better be done about this cat and soon or I’ll have everyone beheaded!” The Queen shouted, stomping up and down like a spoiled child.
The group collectively gasped and some of the women burst out in tears. They all looked so pitiful, Alice couldn’t help feeling furious. All these people subject to that psycho’s whims—something needed to be done. Still, Alice wasn’t sure what she could do to help but offered, “The cat belongs to the Duchess. Perhaps you should ask her.”
“Indeed!” The Queen said. “Someone find her!”
Half of the crowd ran off to look for the Duchess while the rest stood frozen with wide eyes or trembling lips. The cat began to fade away again starting with his ears. By the time the Duchess arrived, Lewis had completely vanished.
The King was flabbergasted. “Where the hell is your cat?”
“My cat?” the Duchess shrugged, looking around as if she had no idea what he was saying. “I don’t have a cat!”
The King looked at Alice and pointed. “She said you do.”
The Duchess glared at Alice, lifting an eyebrow. “Did she now? That little liar deserves a spanking!”
Alice burned with anger, balling up her firsts. “He lives at your house.”
“And that makes him mine? He’s his own.” The Duchess stepped up into Alice’s personal space.
Alice stood her ground, ready to pounce. “Normally, that’s how it works!”
“Well dear, what’s normal for you is very peculiar indeed. This is the thanks I get for taking in a refugee!”
“I’m not a refugee!” Alice screamed in the Duchess’s face. The executioner pushed his body between the two women.
“I was referring to the cat!” The Duchess poked her head around the executioner’s arm.
The King nudged at the executioner. “Forget those two. You should be helping me find that damn piss ant of a cat!”
As the executioner let his guard down, Alice made her move, darting around and grabbing the Duchess by her long red ponytail. She yanked those ginger locks, pulling the Duchess’s head down towards the ground as she lifted her knee.
The Duchess struggled to regain her footing. “You little bitch!”
“I got your bitch! I’ll show you a bitch!” Alice put the Duchess over her lifted knee and gave her upturned ass three hard, sharp smacks before dropping her foot back on the ground and allowing the Duchess to tumble down flat on her face. Alice’s hand hurt but the satisfying sound of her palm hitting the woman’s rump had more than made up for the pain.
Oblivious to all the eyeballs watching, Alice stood over the Duchess with her hands on her hips and smirked as she watched her roll over and sit upright. The Duchess’ face was bright red and her eyes were filled with a mixture of anger and humiliation. Good! Now she knows how I felt. At least I was kind enough not to strip her first which is more dignity than she allowed me.”
Alice screamed as a snorting pig ran up and bowled her over. She brought her hands up to cover her face as the animal came closer, sniffing and grunting right by her head. He was the pinkest pig Alice had ever seen and not at all dirty like the pigs she had seen on a school field trip to a farm when she was a young girl. She stared at the animal, careful not to meet its gaze. Some time ago, she’d been told not to look a strange dog in the eyes and figured the same was probably true for a hog.
He sat, snorting again. “Serves you right for laying hands on the mistress!”
Alice jarred to the side as the animal spoke but silently scolded herself as she recognized the Duke’s voice. She sat upright and folded her arms over her chest as she scrutinized his shifted form. “You shouldn’t shift back.” Alice stood and brushed off her backside.
“And why is that?”
“You’re an ugly man but you make a cute pig.”
Alice stood straighter as she surveyed her surroundings. A crowd had gathered around and many of them were snickering and giggling. Nervously, she patted the side of her head, smoothing her hair.
The Duchess ran up and threw her arms around the pig’s neck, hugging him before standing back up and confronting Alice. “I helped you!”
Alice shook her head, having none of it. “You took advantage of me!”
“Don’t be absurd. It’s a matter of supply and demand for goods and services. I had goods you wanted. You bartered your services for my goods.”
Alice’s nostrils flared as she lifted her finger and started to speak. Unfortunately, she couldn’t find a decent argument. She dropped her arm, slumping as she muttered. “Not sure what kind of service getting your ass beat is supposed to be.”
“Hmph!” The Duchess stuck her nose in the air haughtily.
“Oh, shit…The cat!” Alice’s eyes widened as she remembered what facilitated the altercation.
The Duchess’ face softened. “Lewis?”
“He’s fine.” The Duchess lifted her chin towards the action.
Alice whipped around and watched as the King, Queen, and executioner ran around like chickens with severed heads, looking for an invisible cat. She pursed her lips to keep from laughing.
“You’re sure he’ll be okay?” Alice stared into the Duchess’ eyes and the other woman nodded.
“They’ll get bored with him and move on soon enough.” The ginger-haired vixen strode over to Alice, slipping her arms around her waist. Alice stiffened in her grasp, ready to defend herself while the crowd stood with bated breath, likely salivating for more drama. “You know, I like you, Alice.”
Alice sighed, throwing the Duchess a look. “Actually, no, I never would have guessed.”
“You’re feisty. You remind me of a younger me. I’d offer to be your mentor, but I think you’ll be learning from a master soon enough.” She kissed Alice on the cheek. “Good luck with your quest.”
Alice wasn’t sure what all that nonsense the Duchess was going on about was supposed to mean but she was content with having gotten some vengeance. As the people around them dispersed and rejoined the game, Alice took the opportunity to slip off on her own.
A little more set-up in this chapter than in some of the others, but it will help us get where we’re going. I hope you’ll return next week when Alice and Wit will be having a very special “conversation.” In the meanwhile, please check out my books, and if you haven’t already, please sign-up for my newsletter.