Clarissa wished for more, she was not sure what she wanted more of, but the desire filled her heart to the brim that she should have it. She was not the kind that made her intentions known, but pursued them largely in secret. Even the state of her journal was left undisturbed with false entries. She was not to be found out.
Her father kept a journal mostly of his conquests. Not of the romantic kind, but of grand voyages near and far, and he did so dare to go further still. Clarissa didn’t know if a life of discovery was what she wished, but it might be a start. Clarissa watched as Eloise, the middle sister, poked at Alice, the youngest of the three. Eloise’s distaste was most plain, and every so often she would even permit herself to scowl at little Alice. Clarissa didn’t draw as much attention but when she did, she did it for the highest praise.
She fiddled with a straw of grass and Alice bounced around her and tugged on her dress.
Alice poked at her sister’s arm, causing Clarissa to move her lovely neck and gaze at the girl with her chestnut brown eyes.
‘Will you not play?’
‘And what, pray tell, am I refusing to play?’
‘Oh no, you-‘
‘Father said you would, you won’t?
Clarissa gazed at her father. Then at Alice. She tugged her skirt from Alice and stood.
‘Explain,’ she said.
‘I don’t understand…’
‘What are the rules?’ responded Clarissa.
‘There are no rules in Wonderland, everything is opposite, it’s upside down, there is magic, rabbits, castles, queens and…’
Alice went on for such a long while. Clarissa was not bemused by the child’s enthusiasm.
‘Let us begin then,’ said Alice tugging her arm.
‘Oh don’t step on that, it’s a door mouse,’ Alice exclaimed pointing to a rock.
‘No no no, we can’t walk forward it must be backwards,’ so she said holding Clarissa’s hand.
The girls entered a meadow behind the trees from whence they entered.
Clarissa describes things rather differently to her friends, that her sister with due force, paraded her through her lunacy and childish ways, but amongst that meadow something had changed. Dandelions clung to Clarissa’s blonde hair, so Alice dubbed Clarissa the White Queen. Clarissa tucked leaves amongst Alice’s hair and a crown of her own, she and Alice danced and sang, and climbed trees and laughed in the summer breeze. Her hand was warm with little Alice tucked beside her under a tree trunk, and after, when afternoon came, both were reluctant to return, and walked as though their shoes carried led and their meadow, their secret. That was the first secret Clarissa shared.