‘The smoke will always clear,’ Hatter said.
‘And the mirrors?’ I said.
Hatter took off his mad hat that was spitting out fabric from the top. It’s ribbon tongue lolled to the side as Hatter said,
‘The mouse will go through and break them, all you need to do is-’
‘Go through the right one…’ I looked at all the mirrors, covering the grass like some sort of flat, rigid carpet.
Mirrors were held up against trunks of trees, some littered the floor in all shapes and sizes and others lay on cotton clouds weighing them down so that I might reach them if I were lucky.
What if it’s the wrong one?
I had this suspicious thought fluttering in my gut that although there were mirrors everywhere, I would pick the wrong one.
Hatter thought so too, he didn’t say it, he wasn’t the sort that would. I knew he thought so because every time he thought I wasn’t looking he would stare at the mirror like they were a book of logic – like they housed complete and utter disaster to him. To me.
What would happen to me if I went through the wrong one? No one would speculate.
Not for lack of knowledge, but the sheer fear made their eyes obscure and not once could I get a sentence out of them.
The sky turned red. Solstice had begun.
The Hatter and mouse began smacking into mirrors so much so they shattered and littered shards of razors along any cordial path.
I found myself unintentionally climbing a tree, clinging to its trunk. The hot wind shook and my eye noticed a glint of something.
I heard a large crack, like thunder.
Flocks of large birds emerged from nowhere.
They had strung onto them large packets of cards.
The packets fell from the sky. Hatter and mouse furiously smashed at mirrors. They blurred and distorted in every direction with the Cheshire Cat now joining them. I just hoped that cat was actually helping.
Once the cards hit the grass they unpacked themselves and began putting the mirrors back together – I just knew the Red Queen wouldn’t be far behind.
I began investigating this glint in the wood. There was a baby owl in a small hollow of the tree.
It gave a little squeak of fright. I pat it into a lull so that it closed its eyes. Behind the owl was a perfectly ornate hand mirror. As I went to reach for it, the quietened owl became alarmed and bit me. Hot blood ran along my white gloves. I could hear the Red Queen screech in the distance.
It didn’t matter, because at that moment I grabbed hold of the mirror, I lost my grip on the trunk.
I fell down, down, down. The mirror in my hand become so hot I dropped it. My arms waved frantically as I tunneled towards dirt. It was so far away. The mirror fell from my hand. Someone threw a crumb onto it. It got bigger until I didn’t see the grass or dirt. Just myself being swallowed up.
I opened my eyes, to hear Hatter say, “Oh but it wasn’t a dream.”
‘Did you say something?’
‘No Mother, did you hear a voice?’ I said.
‘Drink your tea,” she said.
~ Written by Stephanie Kentepozidis