The First Alice
"The first Alice was quite the young lady, if I remember correctly. Her name was Miss Meiko. She had been raised in a strict, somewhat overbearing environment and, being a teenager, she felt it was time she found herself. Or, anyway, the self she thought she ought to be. Her story as Alice began when she ran away from home, the naughty thing, and found herself quite lost. She was going to turn around and head back the way she came when, much to her surprise, a large white rabbit appeared."
"Sound familiar?" Tweedledum interrupts with a wink, much to your annoyance, breaking the image you had begun to form. I had been annoyed when this first happened to me, so I don't blame you. "This rabbit, quite big for a rabbit, I might add--in fact, perhaps it was more of a hare--went on to astound the girl by taking a pocket watch from his coat pocket, for he wore a very dandy little coat. As though to confuse the poor girl further, and perhaps he quite meant to, he then proceeded to speak…"
"'I'm late,' he said," Tweedledee took over. "And around here," she continues seriously, "it is considered a very bad thing to be late. Why, in the old times, they would cut out a man's eyes for being late. 'If you couldn't have seen the time with them, you shan't need them next time,' the queen would say. It was in much the same way thieves would lose their hands, and the gossips, their tongues. But then again, this isn't really about that, is it?"
"Of course not," Tweedledum agrees. "It's about our dear Meiko-chan. Then, without further ado, the rabbit, upon saying such, disappeared with a flick of his little white tail, bounding off into the forest. An odd sort of feeling came over Meiko then, and she felt compelled to follow the rabbit as best she could. You could call it fate, I suppose, that such a feeling overtook her. I mean, it's not normal, something like that. If she'd been a smart girl, she would have turned back while she could. Though her human size was hardly suited for quick travel through the forests, she chased the rabbit nevertheless."
"Quite useless, if you ask me," Tweedledee interrupts.
"Oh, quite," Tweedledum agrees. They smile at each other.
"The rabbit," Tweedledee continues, waving her hand in a dismissive way, "disappeared into a large hole at the roots of an even more remarkably large tree, what would be assumed to be a natural phenomenon, though quite suspiciously well-placed."
At this point you, much like I had, felt momentarily compelled to share with the young storytellers the facts of a rabbit's den and lifestyle, directly proportionate, of course, to the size of the rabbit itself, but it really doesn't seem like the time for that, so you remain silent.
"She found herself in much the same position as you," Tweedledum says thoughtfully. "And she quite enjoyed it, too. I suppose it seemed to her as though an entire world created itself just for her and her own whims. As I'm sure you can imagine, the years of rules that held her back escaping in one breath was, I'm sad to say, not very pretty. You should have seen her face. It was quite a mess, required a lot of cleaning up afterward."
"Luckily," Tweedledee continues, "the authorities arrived before everyone had been slaughtered."
Both girls grin at this, the sort of grin that entices a number of shivers from your spine.
"There were plenty of survivors," Tweedledum murmurs. "But sadly for dear Meiko, the girl who so wanted her freedom, she was caught and held in the dark behind bars, her arms and legs chained to the floors, as she slowly starved, weak and powerless. A fitting end, I should think."
"For a mindless criminal, I should ask for nothing more," Tweedledee adds, shaking her head slowly. "Honestly, to do something like that is just unthinkable." They look back up at each other, their eyes meeting, and they both smile innocently once more.
"But that was only the first," they say together, turning back.