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Chapter Two
Two Thirds & A Quarter Of Nine

As deep holes go, rabbit or otherwise Alice had more experience than most of falling down them and although she still refused to believe that it was happening she did however concede in her mind that it all felt far too familiar.

    "Well" said Alice out loud "If I am to do this again why then I need to make myself comfortable." which was quite the statement to make from any young girl that finds themselves falling down a hole within a clock opened by a conversational key. This was a "Nice hole as holes go." declared Alice as she grabbed a passing cushion for comfort, for it was tastefully decorated on one side with purple drapes, book cases, the occasional candle and plenty of assorted items to retain interest, the opposite side however was more opulent covered in red satin and punctuated with the odd chair, door or window through which Alice could see neither day nor night with the whole hole wholly divided by a chequer board path.

    Alice, although falling was more feather like in descent and drifted from side to side on a whim. Occasionally she would drift near the walls only to see many familiar and unfamiliar things slowly move by; a globe of the world, a jar of orange marmalade (minus it's label), cakes, flamingos, fluffnstuff, teapots and endless playing cards all silently floated in, around and away.

    "I know this cannot be real, it's all just a dream from watching the raindrops play on the windows, I shall pinch myself to wake up." And so she did, and so she did not wake up either, instead she said 'Ouch!' and drifted on down. It was about this time a most unusual thing happened, not that what had happened so far wasn't unusual, oh no, but this was more unusual than the usual, unusual that had already unusually happened and it all started with an 'Oh My!'

    Alice uttered these words as she looked in a passing mirror, for just like the hole she was now falling in, (down, through, along; falling in a hole is difficult to describe correctly according to where exactly you are falling from) she too was divided into an Alice she is, was, is not or could be, it was all terribly confusing suffice to say Alice was half Alice and the remaining half was two thirds a quarter of nine. (Alice wasn't very good at sums as she would well admit but this was the best approximation she could think of at the time of falling and it sounded quite knowledgeable for a young girl) I suppose a casual observer would say Alice had become many Alice's, they would also say that from the left she looked rather regal and from the right she looked as Alice had always looked but as Alice you would feel quite different as poor Alice did right now. "Why I should be half the person I was I'll never know, but two halves make a whole so I shall just have to make do until later, poor Dinah if she was still here would be beside herself not knowing which half I am or indeed if I am half at all."

    Eventually as is common with all holes she reached the bottom and the fall was over, gently drifting to land on a large plump pink chair conveniently left for just such a task which let out an indignant "Well, I say!" and a puff of dust or so Alice imagined. Alice was not a bit hurt and she jumped up on to her feet with an even greater feeling of familiarity, a glass table, a key, a clock, a curious bottle with a label, memories of a distant past all stood before her but somehow they were slightly different; the glass table had four legs not three, the key was silver not gold and the bottle she remembered which had a small tag with the words 'drink me' beautifully printed in large letters had been replaced by a single word still beautifully printed that just said 'Wonka'.

    The room itself was circular with rather ornate looking floor, in the corner (for circles have corners if you look hard enough because without them you would never return to the beginning) was a spiral staircase that reached up to a small bookcase illuminated by a single floating candle. As there seemed to be no use in waiting around for something to happen and Alice being Alice tended to make things happen even if they were happenings she was unfamiliar with climbed the small stairs and looked at the books. She read each title as she ran her fingers down the spines. 'Welcome To Wonderland' was the first, and the second, and the third and so on until Alice said in a firmer voice as any she had used before "No! I refuse to believe I am here again!".
    "And why would you do that my dear?" replied the ever so comfy pink chair making Alice nearly fall from the steps but quickly regaining her composure.
    "Because you don't exist! This doesn't exist! it's all a childish dream and I will soon wake up home, looking out of the window!".
    "You said 'here again' dear Alice, how can you be here again if we don't exist at all?".
    "I don't know." she replied using her best grumpy voice that often came out sounding like she was awfully muddled. (She was often muddled, more so when confronted with talking furniture.)
    "Come, sit down and tell me all about it over tea." said the comfy chair softly. Alice sat, it was indeed rather comfy and she felt a little better, she rallied a little more when a delicate teapot with two spouts drifted over with the sugar bowl and poured her a nice cup of tea in a china cup.
    "We need you Alice, you DO remember us don't you? Because only you can help us." said the chair which fidgeted whilst it was talking making Alice a little uncomfortable.
    "How on earth can I help?" replied Alice noticing that the chair was getting bigger or indeed she was getting smaller, it was difficult to tell or to even worry about as the tea did taste rather nice, almost too nice right down to the last drop.
    "By starting to believe." said the plump pink chair as it lowered a now smaller Alice to the floor. Alice politely ignored the pink chairs plea not really understanding what she needed to believe in (Alice believed in a lot of things most of them unbelievable so being asked to believe in something she didn't believe she knew was a new way of thinking that tickled and bemused Alice all at the same time) but not forgetting her manners thanked the chair and for the first time noticed a small red curtain in the corner of the room, a curtain that in normal circumstances would have denoted a very stylish mouse home. Gently moving the curtain aside she found a door, a door with no key which was evidently locked as she tried the handle.

  "What use is a door without a key? Why it's like a bee without honey, the sun without the moon, the..."

    "...raven without a writing-desk!" said the Hatter as he burst through the door, "Have some tea dear, we have plenty for everyone!" The Hatter pulled out a teapot from underneath his hat, poured tea into his shoe and offered it Alice. "Don't you drink tea?" asked the Hatter.
    "It's not very civil to offer a stranger your shoe." said Alice.
    "You're not a stranger Alice, a little strange perhaps but not a stranger." replied Hatter, "Who are you anyway and did you get my parcel?" he asked then added "Do you know what time it is? It's almost quarter past July and I haven't a clue what year it is since all those doors started to appear."

    The Hatter was as much as Alice remembered, or at least half of the Hatter matched what was intended for on the right was the genuine Hatter but on the left something was a concerning matter, his eye twirled with a spiral of confusion, his clothes were torn creating a patchwork illusion. A pair of scissors poked out from his hat and in his left hand a carving knife sat. Alice eyed this addition carefully.
    "You sent the parcel? Why? I thought Wonderland didn't need an Alice anymore. It's been a long time..."
    "Indeed my fair Alice, who still needs her hair cutting" he pulled out his scissors and clipped the air " it's been a very long time indeed, long enough for you to have forgotten us all." he replied trimming the length of fabric wrapped around his hat.
    "I never forgot, just chose not to remember." she remarked "And my hair is fine as it is thank you very much." Alice knew her own mind regarding her hair and also about all things remembering.
    "Yes you did!" said Alice only this time it was not Alice that said the words but Alice, or should I say the left part of Alice. "I didn't say that!" replied the other Alice. "Maybe a trim." said the other Alice disagreeing with Alice and causing a terribly confusing three way conversation.
    "I'm afraid you did." added the Hatter "and I agree with Alice, Alice, In fact you are a penny short of a pound of sugar just like the rest of us, when you lost it we lost it too."
    "Lost what exactly?" said Alice normally, "Lost it you did!" said the other Alice agreeing completely with the Hatter.
    "Innocence" said the Hatter quite simply whilst opening the door to Wonderland. "Follow me and I will show you."