|Alice In L-Space
||[Jun. 29th, 2007|06:56 pm]
For Our Friend Alys
So, I said I'd probably write either Alice, GO, or Discworld...and then proceeded to write all three. I did not, however write any of it very fast, so...*shifty expression*...Part 1 now, Part 2 to follow in the next couple days? This bit's about 740 words.
*hugs* Feel better, dear!
Alice in L-Space
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting behind the desk by the door and reading quietly like a good girl. The book she was meant to be attending to had both pictures and conversations: Mr. Fell had found it for her half-an-hour earlier when he discovered her looking a book filled with odd, squodgy woodcuts and strangely-printed writing that might as well have been written backwards for all she could read it. "Not, perhaps, the Malleus Maleficarum," he'd said, taking it gently away, and then dithering for a while about what she might be allowed, while Alice grew steadily more impatient. No sooner had he settled on a book with very pretty pictures called The Thousand and One Nights than Mr. Dodgson had made a sort of embarrassed yelp and substituted Aesop's Fables.
Alice was fond of Mr. Dodgson, and had quite liked Mr. Fell when she'd been introduced to him and given peppermint humbugs earlier that day, but being expected to sit and read a book full of morals was deeply exasperating.
The two learned gentlemen in their slightly fusty wool frock coats had withdrawn into a back room, engaged in an enthusiastic conversation with which Alice had lost interest when it became evident that Pythagorean mysticism was not going to have anything to do with pie. She was alone in the front of the bookshop, swinging her legs from the desk chair, and dividing her musings between wondering what she'd do if someone came in looking for a book and speculation about where she might find a pen with which to draw pictures on the inkblotter, when she heard an odd, dry, paper-rustling sort of sound, and glimpsed something darting across the floor towards the shelves.
Alice got up at once. "For," she said to herself, "it may be a mouse, or something else quite commonplace, or it may not, but nothing's so commonplace as a book you've read before without enjoying."
She stepped forward, and had further evidence of whatever-it-was's uncommonality when she saw it skitter away from her. It was about the size of her hand, and dull red, and rectangular; she went closer, and saw it dive in between two volumes of Gibbon's Decline and Fall. Alice did not think this could be healthy for anyone.
"Come out, Creature dear," she coaxed, going to her knees and speaking quite as she would have to one of Dinah's new kittens. "And you shall have a nice dish of...of...of...whatever you like best," she promised recklessly.
A very small voice from inside the shelves said, "A treat? A sweetmeat, a delight, a delicacy, a relish, a savoury, a luxury, lap of luxury, creature comforts, purple and fine linen, bed of roses."
"Surely not all at once," said Alice, rather taken aback. "I believe I have a peppermint left, however."
Opening the right-hand pocket on the front of her pinafore to check, she was surprised when something which looked very like a little red leather-bound book came hurtling out of the shelves into her lap, and nestled itself in the pocket next to her handkerchief.
"Well!" said Alice. For a moment she was a bit alarmed, and inclined to object to its presence in her linen, but after all it was a very small book, and Alice thought it must be quite young. She went on in the voice her nurse had used to use when she and her sisters had been caught making mud-pies in the garden, "And what am I to do with you?"
The pocket thesaurus (she saw this stamped in gold on its cover) made no answer, but only wriggled a bit and fell still.
"I shall try to return you to wherever you've come from," decided Alice. She had always been told if she were lost to look for a policeman and ask him the way, but none seemed to be forthcoming here any more than they had been during her adventures underground. "And besides, I haven't any notion what a book-policeman might be like." She got to her feet, dusting off her skirts carefully, so as not to bump her new passenger. "Do tell me if any streets...or rows, I suppose...look familiar."
With that, she set about exploring the deeper reaches of the bookshop, and within the space of a few minutes was throughly lost herself.