IX: A GIFT FIT FOR A QUEEN
“Where are we going?” Alice asked, not once breaking her stride. She had been waiting all day for this. She had finally found the rabbit and he seemed just as keen to keep on running. But this time he was running with her, not from her.
“To the Red Queen’s Castle,” he told her. “The queen has heard of your arrival and she wants to meet you, Alice,” he told her. “This will be better for you, she doesn’t usually try to meet the Alice’s that come through here. She usually just demands that their heads be removed.”
Alice couldn’t tell if he was joking or not. She chuckled as if it were a mildly funny joke but the look on the rabbit’s face confirmed her original theory; that it was anything but.
Alice dug her heels in the ground and stared at the animal in front of her. “I’m sorry, beheaded?” she asked. He nodded at her and reached for her hand again. Alice pulled her hand away from him, letting it rest at her side.
“We were already late enough as it was. It’s taking far too long to get there. The queen’s head is growing each minute we are not there. You don’t usually want to see the queen on one of her good days, let alone a day where her head is even bigger than her shoulders.” Nivens grabbed her hand and tugged twice.
In the distance Alice could make out a red castle, the walls were in the shape of a broken heart and several playing cards in heavily armored suits stood outside the archway. “Were going there?” she asked, her finger stretching to the edge of the floral hedge maze.
“Yes,” he said. Alice didn’t know the rabbit well. Sure she’d been in his house and she had been trying to find him all day but she still didn’t know him. She thought he was scared. He played with his paws and let his ears fall straight down behind him, his foot tapping the dirt gently.
“Are you a real rabbit?” she asked him, looking down at him curiously. “All day I’ve been chasing a rabbit but I could have sworn at some points you were a man,” she explained to him. The rabbit said nothing. He brushed past her, heading towards the castle.
“Why are we going?” she asked, walking beside him now. The rabbit hopped along, slowly quickening his pace, hoping Alice didn’t realize he was attempting to hurry her along.
“The queen is hosting another croquet game,” he explained. “You are to attend as her guest of honor.” Alice’s brow furrowed. All of this fuss over what was simply a game of croquet? Seemed more than a bit silly, even for Wonderland.
“I’m afraid I haven’t played in a long time. I might not be very good at it,” she said to him sadly. The rabbit laughed, hopping even faster than before, looking back at her with a look she couldn’t quite read. “What’s so funny?” Nivens wiped a tear from his eye, continuing on their path.
“No one plays with the queen. She plays alone. You must merely pretend and throw off your game. That’s how it goes,” Alice’s lips parted in shock. They were to the edge of the lavish hedge maze now and Alice had to break out into a slight jog to keep up with the rabbit in front of her. He darted around the first corner quickly, causing Alice’s feet to nearly slide out from underneath her.
“How can one play a game all alone? What is the point of the game at all then?” She called out to him. The rabbit did not slow his pace in the slightest, even when Alice became short of breath and began to pant like a bloodhound.
“She doesn’t like competition. She isn’t the best at it. There’s only so many people you can behead for winning until they adhere to the rules of the game entirely to fit your specifications,” he told her.
Alice might have been competitive when it came to games but never had she decided to behead someone for winning against her in a game. She hoped she would never know that level of insanity.
“It still seems odd,” she said, coming up on the rabbit, who had stopped in his tracks. He stood several feet away, marveling at the bloody red castle, not wanting to get too close to it.
“Everything is odd in Wonderland,” he whispered. Alice followed his gaze, looking to the top of the tallest tower in the castle. “The maids will take it from here,” he said, not once breaking eye contact with the stone.
Alice turned to ask who the maids were and where she was supposed to go but armored hands circled around her forearms before she could get a word out. Alice struggled against their grip as she was lifted off the ground and carried away, quite literally kicking and screaming.
When she reached the doors to the palace Nivens cowered and darted back into the hedge maze, not even bothering to say goodbye to her as she was hauled off like a sack of potatoes. “Where are you taking me?” she asked the cards. “I can walk you know!” she insisted.
The cards dropped her on the ground, letting her scramble after them. One of them held a door open for her, the other made a move to grab for her but Alice ducked under his arm and ran into the room without even thinking about what she could be getting herself into.
“Take off your clothes,” a girl said from inside the room. Alice spun around, looking at the girl with wide eyes. Alice went to turn back, wanting the guards to take her away from this place. They could put her in the dungeon for all she cared. Nothing was scarier than a woman who looked ready to attack you with beauty.
“What?” she asked, trying to make sure she heard correctly. Another girl walked up behind Alice, undoing the back of her dress so it fell to the floor.
“You are to be the queen’s gift,” the other explained, tossing aside Alice’s brassiere and pulling down her stockings. “You can’t be seen in this, you must wear red. It is her majesty’s favorite color.” Alice didn’t even have time to object as the woman had already stripped her bare.
She reached in front of Alice, flicking her nipples so they hardened against the air, smiling at her work before wrapping a thick red sash around her body, making it into a large bow in the front. So I’m not just going to be presented to the queen as a guest. I’m her literal present, great. Just great.
“You’re terribly behind schedule. If you would have been here hours ago like we planned we would have had time to make up your face and do your hair but a bit of gloss will have to do,” she said, swiping on the red glitter before she tugged her along with the other maid still attempting to calm down the blonde ringlets of Alice’s hair.
“Huh?’ Alice asked. She felt even more disoriented than she had after that nasty fall down the rabbit hole.
“Nivens will bring you to the queen,” the maid told her, leading her through the back door, opening it to reveal what looked like another hedge in the queen’s maze. “Good luck Alice,” she said, shoving her into the bush.
Alice gasped and spit as various leaves hit her in the face as she passed through the large hedge. Alice could feel each twig scrape against her skin as she continued on before falling out of the other side rather ungracefully, nearly toppling the rabbit who had been nervously tapping his foot on the ground again.
“There you are!” he said, taking her hand and pulling her along with him. It amazed Alice that even though she had finally found the elusive rabbit she had come to Wonderland to find that she was still struggling to keep up with him. “The Queen of Hearts has been waiting for you!” he told her.
She tugged at the red bow tied just above her navel awkwardly. Being the Queen of Hearts gift was not something she wanted. In all actuality, she had only agreed to do it because she thought it would offer up answers to the rabbits job but it only made her more confused than before.
Alice shuffled out to the garden where she found several playing cards in shoes standing at attention, no doubt waiting for the queen to make her appearance. She tried to wrap her arms around herself to disguise her nakedness, but it did nothing to solve her problem. If anything, it only made her nudity more apparent.
“The Queen of Hearts!” Nivens announced beside her, blowing his horn almost directly in her ear. Alice cringed and curtsied awkwardly in anticipation for her, which was rather awkward given her state of undress.
“Hello, Alice,” the queen said. “I’ve heard so much about you,” she said pointedly. Oh my her head is huge. It sat under beautifully pinned red curls, all forming the shape of a heart. It looked exactly the same as so many of the trees and bushes in her maze.
She wasn’t dressed in typical attire. There were no gowns or robes involved in her getup. She instead opted for a bright red corset with intricate designs on the front and a matching lace red thong and heels. The only things she wore beside that was her crown, which was the only thing left to help people make the distinction between a whore and a queen.
Alice’s new outfit - if it could even be called that - suddenly made more sense. As her court filled in behind her she noticed they too were in some state of undress. A handmaiden wore only a pair of red lace panties, her breasts decorated with tassels that bore only a red heart on the end of them.
There was no need for pleasantries. The queen obviously didn’t think very highly of Alice to begin with. The queen held out her hand, snapping once before a flamingo was placed upside down in her hand. She swung it over her shoulder, resting it there as she looked Alice up and down.
Dear God. I’m almost certain she knows this was done in five minutes and not the eight hours she planned on me having. Let’s just hope it isn’t my head she cuts off.
It didn’t seem like she was very interested in what she saw but the burning rage behind her eyes told Alice that she was envious of Alice, at least in some way. It may not have been her breasts - which were not very large to begin with - or her perfectly shaved body.
It might just as well have been the color of her hair, or the size of her head that made the queen tick. She snapped in the general direction of the rabbit and stuck up her nose. Nivens scrambled back to the archway, blowing his horn again, this time even louder than the first.
“The King of Hearts!” he announced. The queen looked at Alice a moment more before she stuck up her nose and sashayed to the side of Alice, making sure the girl knew that she was not a fan of her at all.
The court followed their queen like lost puppies, practically trampling over each other to keep up with the queen’s brisk pace. They all wore various forms of hearts. For one woman it was heart shaped bra cups, for another it was a heart made out of pubic hair right on top of her cunt. Alice tried not to laugh at them as they passed her by but she couldn’t help a few of the snickers that slipped out when it came to their attire.
The king followed behind the court at a distance, his head down. He wore red latex briefs and a choker around his neck. The closer he got to her, the easier his features were to make out. He wasn’t wearing a necklace. He was wearing a collar and the chain that followed behind him was not a fashion statement. It was a leash.
Alice had to squint to read the name but when he was within five feet of her she had started to make out the W that started the name. If anything, it was nice to see a woman in a power position instead of her beau.
“Winston,” she mumbled. He looked up in shock, surprise written all over his face at the sound of his name on someone’s lips. It was then that Alice noticed the heart tattooed on his body. A tattoo she’d most certainly seen before, but not on a king, on a gardener.
A gardener who happened to be a king. A king who was bound to a queen with a penchant for removing heads. She had fucked the king.