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Chapter Four
Pull Don't Push, Push Don't Pull

The Hatter picked up his cane and pushed it into the ground, a quick twist of the silver top and it neatly folded out like the petals of a flower. He looked at Alice then the three doors and sat on his new makeshift stool. "I believe," he started "that cats can use scissors, have you ever seen an unkempt cat?"

"but I don't understand." said Alice distracted and puzzled at the same time (which was actually quite easy for Alice, she had spent most of her life either distracted or puzzled, come to think of it she also had spells of confuzzledness too)  "I'm not in the habit of carrying doors around with myself so how could I have ever left them in the first place?" she added

"They trim their claws too, I once knew a Siamese cat who opened a barbers shop but it went out of business. No money you see, cats don't have the pockets to carry it in. Such a terrible shame." he carried on looking into the middle distance just above Alice's head.
  "Hatter! What else do you know about the doors?"
  "Claws? Why do you have them? I'm sure they are very nice but that doesn't explain your unkempt hair." replied Hatter "Doors are a different matter all together, you should ask me about them."
  "Oh Hatter! You are just as distracted as I remember, I'd get more sense out of a jar of jam!" said Alice getting a little angry which was like a small big angry but not as short in temper.

A jar of jam walked out from behind a bush, "Tis true," said the jam jar, "we are well known for our sophisticated conversation." it added picking up a silver spoon and marching off into a nearby rabbit hole.
  "Is it always like this in Wonderland?" asked Alice more concerned about what exactly 'like this' actually meant, I mean, after all Wonderland was not your normal land as lands go, it was rather more an extravagant Aunt with a flamboyant husband.
  "No," replied hatter shaking his head then added "No, sometimes it gets weird."

"Doors are like Dodo's; they require a great deal of thought but you still never know what you will get on the other side." said the Hatter.
  "That's nothing like a Dodo, I remember them as most serious and full of windy words." said Alice realizing that she still had the same thimble in her pocket that became her own gift and prize all at the same time many years ago in Wonderland.
  "Not so, according to this." The Hatter pulled out a large leather bound book from under his hat that amazed Alice, not that the book was so big, heavy or amazing, more so that the Hatters hat held such an object without becoming misshapen. Alice once owned a bonnet that had once become deformed from hiding apples although at that very moment she couldn't recollect why she put apples in her bonnet in the first place so didn't mention it for want of sounding silly.
  "It's the Predictionary, the only source of trusted literary absurdness in the whole of Wonderland." proclaimed the Hatter.
  "Never heard of it." said Alice.
  "Well I bet it's never heard of you either but you exist, or do you?" said the Hatter giving Alice a poke.
  "Ouch, that hurt!" snapped Alice, "I liked it" replied the other Alice suddenly taking notice.
The Hatter held the book in one hand and it fell open on a page. "There, under Doors, it says, like a Dodo only with an 'R', case closed, NEXT!" said the Hatter triumphantly.
  "Well that's not right, doors can open and close, doors can be locked and unlocked, you can't do that with a Dodo. It sounds like a silly book to me." said Alice with authority. (Alice's authority was based on recognising something that was silly rather than on a knowledge of doors and Dodo's)
  "Hmmm, A... Al..." continued the Hatter flicking through the book and running his finger down a page. "Ali... A lice... All ice... Alice. Here we are, you are indeed in the book." he added, "Annoying young girl with too many questions, dubious manners and unkempt hair with a tendency to leave behind doors. Noted for her confusion regarding Dodo's"
  "That's not true, I have never left a door anywhere" Snapped Alice.
  "True, all the doors you have left lead to somewhere not anywhere, although many will say they go to nowhere, personally I prefer everywhere but then I am a traditionalist. You must admit the bit about your hair is spot on though." said the Hatter with amusement whilst standing up and folding away the silver petals of his makeshift chair.

  "Look" said Alice, standing up straight and putting on her most serious face usually saved for chastising people. "If all the horrible doors contain horrible things then why open them? Simply leave them and everything will be fine."
  "Impossible my dear Alice, it's too late for that, you should have left them locked when you mislaid them" replied the Hatter suddenly fixing her with a piercing stare, his eye slowly turning with agitation.
  "I didn't mislay them, I didn't even know about them and even if I did why would I leave them here?" Alice by now was getting more than confuzzled and the fact the Jam Jar made a return and marched between her legs on his way to a small door in a tree didn't help matters in the slightest.
  "I'm afraid the problem is a serious one Alice for every door has been opened. Seven doors, seven sins never seen before now exist in Wonderland. Each door has taken something away from whoever opened it." said the Hatter solemnly, "We need you to get what is lost, back. Without it we are all half the person we used to be." The Hatter gave Alice a small mirror. "Just like you, you're lost too."

Alice looked in the mirror, she hadn't realised. When she had visited Wonderland for the first time she had bought with her all the ills of our world. A Wonderland equivalent of Pandora's box opened by its unsuspecting inhabitants and now she had corrupted them all, lost their innocence. Alice started to weep, she hadn't meant it to happen and now felt so sad that she had bought this to such a wonderful place.

  "What shall I do Hatter? How can I help? I don't even know where to start!" cried Alice through her hands, tears forming a large pool at her feet.
  "How about the white doors Alice? We can't open them, can you?" said the Hatter placing his knife down and putting his hand on Alice's shoulder.
  "I don't know, it's all rather too much!" Alice by now was beyond upset, some would say concozzled others would say sobtastic but it was fair to say she was very, very sad but Alice being Alice dried her eyes and faced the Hatter. "I'll try." she said.
  "Maybe one has a barbers shop behind it with a good trim for a penny." the Hatter said hopefully.
  "That didn't help did it." replied Alice, simmering gently.
  "Just saying." said the Hatter taking her by the hand and leading her to the first of two white doors.

Alice placed her hand on the golden hare shaped handle of the first door. "Here we go," she said turning to Hatter "wish me luck."
  "Don't give a luck my dear, wishes are dishes unless you make them come true." replied the Hatter polishing the top of his cane.
  "Thanks" said Alice feeling cross and turned the handle as she pushed the door. "It's locked! I can't get in either, what bother!" exclaimed Alice rather prematurely as it happened.
  "Try pulling. Doors work like that, it's called open." added the Hatter already feeling rather bored with the whole thing, besides it was at least a quarter past March since he had a drink of tea. Alice still looking crossly at the Hatter pulled the door and it swung open, she turned and walked into what should have been the doorway, instead she walked straight into a giant peach blocking the way.
"How inconvenient," shouted the Hatter, "don't you just hate fruit when it does that to you!"
"How strange! Hang on, I can hear voices! Can you hear them Hatter?, they seem to be coming from the inside of the peach!" said Alice rather incredulously.
"I'm sure you're mistaken dear Alice, I'm rather bored of this, you see one large piece of fruit blocking an unusual door that appeared out of nowhere and you have seen them all, try the next one, maybe that will be a pineapple and we can have a fruit salad." said the Hatter with an enormous amount of boredom that bordered on monumental sarcasm.

A puzzled Alice closed the door for now and approached the second. She noticed that this door had a small pink path leading directly to it that stopped abruptly although it looked as though it continued through the door. She placed her hand on the handle, turned it and pulled. It didn't move.

  "This one's locked Hatter! Or something quite hideous is holding it shut!" shouted Alice suddenly worried with thoughts of what might be lurking behind. Alice was often filled with such fanciful notions almost on a daily basis, she once imagined she had witnessed a white rabbit with a pocket watch that could talk, however this turned out to be entirely true causing even more confusion in Alice's over active imagination.
  "Push my dear Alice, push you silly girl!" shouted the Hatter

Alice blushed and pushed, there was a whoosh and another word that rhymed before the door opened. A wonderful scene greeted Alice, lovely blue skies, rolling yellow fields filled with birdsong from birds who had landed on a lone scarecrow, in the distance Alice could just make out a tall shining object. The path did indeed continue through the door only it had changed colour from a nice pink path to a yellow road made of bricks, beside the road was a small stone with lettering spelling out the word 'Ozimile'". What could it mean? thought Alice.

  "Ozimile" said the Hatter, "that sounds familiar."
  "Not to me" said Alice "I have never heard of Ozimile, it does look rather wonderful though, shall I go and have a look?" added Alice eager to explore this new land.
  "It's your door dear Alice, do as you wish or wish as you do. I have had enough of doors for one day and could do with a spot to eat." the Hatter replied searching through his pockets for something edible.

Alice however was preoccupied, for behind the small stone was a shoe, a rather bright shoe that some would call 'ruby red', Alice picked up the shoe and turned to the Hatter. "Someone has lost this, it's rather pretty don't you think?"
  "You may or may not be interested to know It's not a name, it's a milestone. It says 'Oz, 1 Mile'." said the Hatter going back to the previous conversation between nibbling a small hard biscuit he had found in the folds of his handkerchief.
  "Oz? That's not much of a name, I wonder if it is short for something, I suppose there's only one way to find out, I'll follow the yellow brick road." said Alice enthusiastically, "I wonder what wonderful things we will find there?" she added stepping through the door, for once Alice makes up her mind to do something she usually does something about it no matter how foolhardy it is.

"Before you go I'll let you in to a little secret Alice, I didn't send you the key..."

"He did." Said the Hatter pointing to a small set of familiar yellow eyes looking down from the branch of a tree.

"Hello Alicesss" replied the Cheshire Cat.