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Alice and Her Jabberwock


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Through the looking glass and across a thousand lines of forgotten lore, nestled between the Mountains of Realization and Turpitude Chasm, Alice stumbled out onto the Vale of Controversy, unaware of the carnage past. Surveying the valley from the dark and ominous storm clouds hanging over the abyss to the misty, snow-capped mountainous peaks, she recognized the familiar black and white square pattern of a chessboard sprawled across the expanse. Vanquished soldiers lay strewn about the battlefield while viscera and limbs littered the area like small gory piles of overlooked rubbish. An instinctive hand raised to her mouth to hold back the wretching, as well as, hide her shock and horror; the loud, annoying buzz of flies that had grown too large did not help Alice escape into thought, pulling her attention back to all the debris that stainded the ground crimson. Before she could even react, blood slithered over her body, redressing her in gleaming red infantry armor, a pawn appearing on the chestplate as her once blonde hair tinted magenta from root to end. She staggered at the weight of the garb at first, but managed a step forward into her new awareness: Little Red Alice.

Pandemonium from the far side of the battleground caught her attention, and above the bedlam, Alice could hear the singular shrill cry, “Off with her head!” She ran towards the commotion, weaving between the grotesque remnants of barbarity and hurdling over dismembered limbs. Reaching the center of the board, she slowed to a walk then stopped, feeling the heft of the armor. Panting, she tried to catch her breath quickly even while avoiding the death gaze of a nearby red knight, horse fallen and body impaled upon a spear as if forever frozen in some obscene dance, hand pinioned overhead and leg bowed. Rather, she turned her attention to the scene before her, now within view.

The red queen had been captured between two white pawns. They dragged her, kicking and screaming, to the executioner’s block, forcing her head into position onto the stump. Besides them, a towering white rook watched stoically, the thick haft of the enormous and elaborate axe dwarfed by the sheer size of his monstrous fists balled around it. A couple-few steps away, the animated white queen jumped and shouted loudly, her short, rotund stature made her look like a bouncing ball, complete with flailing arms and legs. Alice was unable to make out everything she shouted, venomously spitting with every syllable spoke, but her tumultuous decree was unmistakable, “Off with her head!” The words filled the air like a siren, the high pitched shriek nearly bursting Alice’s eardrums.

The somber rook raised the business end of the axe high overhead gradually; the head was an intricate combination of curves and edges, the hooked bit reflecting the lightning flashing from over the chasm and highlighting the scabby leftovers of its previous uses that dotted the cheeks like acne picked pockmarked and bloody. It only hung in the breeze momentarily, and Alice turned away just as the executioner dropped the blade. Though she managed to miss seeing the beheading, the unmistakable thud of the red queen’s head hitting the ground could be heard quite clearly in the abrupt silence. Even as the deafening cheer rose, Alice tried to blink back her tears, realizing she was staring deep into the impaled knight’s glazed over eyes. Those milky white marbles displayed not so much as a spark of life, and Alice startled when a low hiss of a whisper passed over his lips as if the red knight’s dying breath: “…Sometimes, the way back IS the way forward…” Alice darted off like a frightened rabbit, afraid to be late, not daring to wait for the dead knight to continue his epitaph.

The shuffling of armor alerted the pawns of Alice’s approach, and the pair hustled to take a protective stance between her and the white queen, momentarily silenced in quizzical observation of the newcomer. From their rear, the lumbering rook belched out a pugnacious roar, a warcry perhaps, then scooped up the red queen before catapulting the twitching, headless cadaver at Alice, barely ducking out of the way of the assault. She straightened upright, tugging at her fault and smoothing her tassets with a side-eyed glance at the brute. “Well, that certainly was rude,” her tone unmistakably flippant.

The pawns gasped in disbelief and indignation, slowly turning to look at the trembling white queen, she looked like a kettle bubbling over an open flame and ready to whistle. “How dare she!?!” her tirade began, “How dare this peasant believe she can address royalty!?! I have never been so offended!” The queen's agitation grew with every word she spat out, causing her arms to flap erratically as the denunciation droned on and on. Finally, after sputtering and stammering until foam spilled out of her mouth, she bellowed, “Soldiers! Seize her! OFF WITH HER HEAD!!!”

The pawns turned to each other in bewilderment, gesticulating and running around mimsy until finally colliding and toppling over. Teeth clenched in an exasperated grimace, the queen regarded the folderol with scorn and loathing. She exploded into a bilious yell, swinging the ridiculously phallic scepter she held with harum-scarum vindictiveness. The bulbous bellend narrowly missed one pawn as he struggled to his feet, but the other was not so fortunate as it smashed into his face; his head shattered as if a glass globe, and the armor-clad carcass fell back with a strangely melodic death rattle. The deceased soldier’s spear stood precariously balanced in its spot for the span of several heart beats. The spearhead, like the nib of a fountain pen, jutted to the heavens; it streaked as if a falling star, plummeting to the earth in a blinding flash, and pierced deep into the eye of the other slack-jawed pawn. Panic stricken, he wailed out in pain with his good eye shifting about frantically, and in confusion, he stepped forward into the weapon, skewering it clean through and out the back of his skull with a terrible wet pop. Though the soldier slumped over dead, he did not collapse, but rather, stood tripod against the lance.

Nonplussed, the white queen blinked several times taking in the shambles while clicking her tongue and sucking her teeth. “Hrmph,” she sneered, turning her full focus on Alice, “That is embarrassing…indubitably, sacrifices must be made. Now, I guess I'm expected to resort to diplomacy with this twee twit. This is such a nuisance.” She scrunched her nose noticing some of the pawn’s scalp on the tip of her pecker scepter; she shook and whipped it around in a fuss trying to dislodge the hairy, gut-churning lump. With an obnoxious chortle, the queen watched the morsel fly free, sailing through the air to land in a wet splat. “It's plain to see, I'm exceedingly preoccupied, and sincerely cannot be arsed to give two shites. Come to, ninny, confess your…intentions…” her face split in two with a cavalier yawn as if to punctuate her point.

She wanted to shink in on herself and disappear, just someplace far from the argy-bargy. “In-intentions?” stammering at first, she clamped her mouth shut and stomped the ground, steeling her resolve before beginning again. “Not begging your pardon, but my business is my own,” Alice stood akimbo, feeling the conviction of her words.

The queen stared flabdisgasted, augers in her wide, unblinking eyes and mouth agape in stupefaction. Irate, she pointed the purple mushroom tipped scepter at Alice and screamed, “Dissident! You flounce up on me with your cause célèbre: you mean to topple my regime! I see your true color,” she paused, narrowing her view on the young woman before outgrabing, “Sanguine.”

“This is ludicrous. I'm not even sure where this is! Listen, I'm certain you're a lovely individual…to someone,” trailing off, Alice gave a slight shrug unable to fathom it, “but I’m just trying to get back home. None of this makes any sense. I know I started on that side,” she shot a sidelong glance to the far side of the valley, “and I just want to advance. If you step aside, I'll gladly pass through and leave you to…whatever it is…happening here.” Her eyes looked from lifeless body to heap before peering back at the incensed woman.

“Oh, poppycock and piffle!” the queen said in an uffish manner. Pounding her membrum virile wand against the ground with an echoing thud, she seemed to drift off into delirium, speaking to some unseen audience, “This imbecile is clearly an agent of that blood soaked king; a spy, indubitably. Her machinations claimed the lives of two of my finest soldiers! The crass dolt foolishly confessed her regicidal ambitions, and even now, aspires to be promoted to the ranks of royalty!”

“Lies!” Alice cried out in protest, the non-existent crowd engulfed in a deafening silence.

“It is my sepulchral duty as your queen, to pass judgement on this situation,” her toned dripped facetious. “I have no choice save to find this burbling nincompoop…guilty - guilty - GUILTY!” She danced around, spinning the meat rod overhead to the unheard frabjous cheering. Pointing her royal mace at Alice, the white queen’s voice lugubrious, but smarmy, as she passed her decree, “Woe, your melancholy fate has been decided. You deserve the full extent of my ire: Release my bandersnatch…” she gave a bawdy gyration of her hips and caterwauled before bellowing, “Behold! The JABBERWOCK!!!” The moniker echoed throughout the plains.

The axe clanged to the ground as the mammoth rook galumphed forward, rocks and dust crumbling from his head and shoulders. A rumble shook the area, and the soldier's unexpected explosion spit magma into the sky to fall like a meteor shower, causing both women to blench and recoil. Black smoke billowed into the darkest, ominous clouds spilling over from Turpitude Chasm, and a screeching howl from within the obfuscation rattled Alice’s armor; she looked deep into the smokey curtain, arms crossed before her, waiting for whatever made that frightful noise to show itself.

There was just a blur from the smoke, all Alice could see, moving at her faster than she could react. Her gauntlets clashed against one another as something struck her hard enough to knock her clean from her feet, dazing her for a spell. Washed in it's shadow, she tried to clear the ringing in her head, letting her eyes adjust before climbing to her greaves. The white queen rallied off to the side and beside her, standing yards taller, the Jabberwock splayed its limbs intimidatingly, staring down Little Red. She had to blink thrice, confused by what she saw.

The chimera stood erect easily over ten feet tall, though hunched and crotched in on itself to hide its manxome stature. Multi-hued scales gave it a sickening shimmer like oil on blubber, and Alice found herself nauseated if she tried to stare at it too intently. Four spindly arms extended from its segmented torso clothed in a darb blue vest, each arm with two elbows that bent contrary the other, ending in colossal palms and six curved scimitars for phalanges per hand - the lower set on its frame webbed with sinewy wings. Muscular frog legs held the creature up, whipping a rat tail side to side with loud cracks. A long, slithy neck resembling an eel topped its trunk, only it had no face to be seen; the head merely a gaping maw with gripping hook-like fangs for teeth, always open and constantly swallowing in a sloppy gargle that made toxic spittle dangle and drip from its chin.

“You can see the Jabberwock’s beady, black eyes” shouted the white queen cackling gleefully, trying to be heard over the oppressive din of the beast, “if you get deep enough into its gullet!”

Without hesitation, Alice charged at the queen in a sweeping arc, swiftly taking up the mounted soldier’s spear from the nearby grass before running up his back to launch high into the air, as if by springboard. She cried out angrily as she hung in midair, the weapon poised over her head, preparing to strike. The Jabberwock stretched its neck, ready to pluck Alice from the sky, but she jabbed with the spear into that ravenous mouth, down its throat where the point found its mark. With painful yowl, the creature swiped at the hornet, hitting her away a short distance; the damage done though, the long shaft stung deep within its gob. She hit the ground and rolled, knocking the wind from her chest, though her armor took the brunt. Getting up was painful and it took her several long seconds to catch her breath, watching triumphantly as, in a frenzy, the monster’s arms unsuccessfully tried snatching the spear while sputtering and spitting green ooze. The Jabberwock collapsed emitting a ear-shattering screech, swallowed in a cloud of dust.

Peeved, Alice turned to face the ululating queen, dramatically weeping into her palms; for a brief moment, she felt pity for the woman. “What have you done?” the white queen weeped, “What have you done?” She peeked at Alice through split fingers. It was in that moment that she realized the queen wasn't crying, but rather, tittering.

That tendinous tail sliced through the settling dust, catching Alice in the back with a powerful crack, as if lashed with a bullwhip. The rear of her armor fragmented into thousands of tiny shards that splashed on the ground as blood droplets, leaving her back flesh and derriere exposed. She tipped forward, landing flat on her face as an angry red welt raised across her posterior; searing agony burned at her nerve endings, and she closed her eyelids together tightly trying to hold back her tears.

The Jabberwock, spear still sticking from its jaws and standing on all six appendages as if some twisted arachnid, howled diabolically at Alice, yet prone on the ground. Struggle to her hand and knees, more of the armor dripping off her form leaving her in a set of gauntlets and greaves, and the front most of her breastplate that did not quite cover her breasts fully. With a gasp for air, she opened her eyes to see the executioner axe lying at her hands in the low cut grass. She propped herself upright on one knee, trying to negotiated the enormous weapon; its sheer size and weight dwarfed her, her hands not even big enough to wrap around the handle. Behind her, she could hear the white queen snigger as she stood, and the Jabberwock let loose a derisive gaffaw at the sight of the small, nearly nude girl clutching an axe larger than she.

She pushed off with one foot, slowly swinging the axe in circle, revolving like a top. Her opposition gawked in confusion, the Jabberwock eventually becoming perturbed and skittered menacingly at Alice, picking up speed in her twirling. Screeching, the beast closed in on the gyre, and she shut her eyes to keep from experiencing vertigo, but more from fear - she knew she had no chance to overcome this. The axe landed however, the Jabberwock stopped mere inches from her; so close, she was able to smell it exhale, like rotted fish and stagnation.

Opening her eyes, she could see the axe had indeed hit the Jabberwock…in its lower arm, positioned in defense of the blow. The blade had cut through its leathery wing membrane and stuck into the gangly limb, ruddy green blood stained the head. The monster unphased, flung the assaulted arm wide, pulling the axe free from Alice’s grip and throwing it wildly. It spun with random accuracy, striking the white queen in her head and cleaving her in twain. The parts of the once royalty fell over like two halves of an orange, juice spraying everywhere and pooling beneath it.

The brute let out a long hiss and whined as if a kitten, hastily clutching Alice in its claw like a child holding a ragdoll. Slamming its fist against the ground, the Jabberwock rendered Alice insensible before lifting the limp body towards its gurgling mouth; its other claws pulled at her hand and foot, leaving her to dangle almost spread eagle. “Sssinccce you hurtsss meee,” globules of saliva splattered against the unconscious woman, reviving her attention, “meee hurtsss you. Onccce…” it pushed a skinny fingerclaw into the last piece of her modest protection, the chestplate fractured and drained off her body in trails of blood leaving her naked and vulnerable. “Twiccce…” it sank the razor sharp talon into her chest just below the clavicle, and she howled out in sublime suffering as the Jabberwock dragged the blade across her chest, severing her right breast roughly, but entirely. The mound of mammary fell with a wet splat as Alice sobbed, passing in and out of consciousness.

“Thensss, you deaded meeesss queen…” the Jabberwock vituperated Alice with frumious intent. Despite not having a face, there was no mistaking as it lewdly scrutinized her body, slack and torpid. Arousal became evident as a massive earthworm wiggled and crawled upwards from the Jabberwock’s crotch and continued to grow to Brobdingnagian proportions, even as two scraggly worms slithered up the first. The creeping cocks inched closer to their perverse target, and Alice passed out as much from stark horror as the loss of blood from her wounds.

She woke to the Jabberwock parting her legs sharply, nearly forcing them into a straight line perpendicular to her body with the smaller worms coiling around her upper thighs; the tip of the ginormous worm pressed against her crotch as if looking for a hole to fill although had grown greater in girth than her torso. Then, she lost consciousness again.

“…Sometimes, the way back IS the way forward…”

It felt as if a rock was pounding against her groin, and she regained awareness of her predicament with the red knight’s locution still echoing through her hazy thoughts. Her body jiggled every time the enormous worm thumped against her tender area, excruciatingly persistent. Alice bit her lip, trying to fight the urge to scream and refusing to capitulate to the beast. She also managed to stave off sopor, drifting instead into the zen of being wrapped in those dying words like ribbons of brilliant colors…sometimes…the way back…IS…the way…forward…

Alice felt her body float backwards, her ethereal form phasing through the Jabberwock’s clench claws, falling to nothing more than a wisp of smoke to the monstrosity’s befuddlement; its weighty worm bashed against the ground with a whump of disappointment. A light broke through the shadowy cloud cover, perhaps a radiance from the Mountains of Realization, shining on a space behind the Jabberwock's back. Within it, the sky-clad woman blinked back into existence, still wounded, but blessed by the red king. She levitated, legs together and arms stretched out to either side in the glow and whispered the words of the departed white queen: “Sacrifices must be made.”

Shifting her arms forward slightly, the blood drained from her gaping wound and off her pale skin spiralling into chaotic loops around her. As she found her focus, the fluid collided in front of her in a brilliant flash that alerted and wonderstruck the Jabberwock in the same instant. An oversized dagger with a splattering of ichor for its cutting edge dropped into Alice’s hands, the vorpal blade almost a broadsword to her. However, it had no weight to Alice, but rather it felt drawn to purpose, hurtling her at the unwary Jabberwock. As if by instinct, she slashed the dazzling weapon at her opponent, smiting it full force across the elongated neck - the death blow.

The end is not always the end.

The dagger did not cut the Jabberwock. It did not vanquish the beast. Victory can be sweeter than just destruction of all those against us.

The vorpal blade wound around the Jabberwock’s neck as if molten iron, creating an unbreakable metal collar with a matching rust-colored bracelet circling Alice’s left wrist. Her toe touching the final rank of the board, scarlet heels appeared on her feet and a exquisite rose red grown draped her resplendent frame; a delicate silver crown materialized upon her head. Majestically she proclaimed loudly, “I am Queen Alice, and I have conquered the Jabberwock for the glory of that sadistic Sanguinary King.”

Alice stirred, wiping a napping drool from her chin. She had fallen asleep by the chessboard once again, red king still in hand. She did so enjoy examining the intricately carved pieces…

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