The following is the opening scene to my novel Undoing Alice whose scheduled publication date is fall 2011. Enjoy!
Dear diary, is it possible to hate someone you’ve never met? If so, then not only do I hate that person, I quite honestly loathe her from the tips of my satin slippers to the ends of my paper-curled hair.
“Who?” you ask. Who could I despise so intensely? Who do you think?
Alice, of course. Queen Alice.
The want-to-be queen. The intruder who stole my crown and my life. The pretender-pawn who did what I should have grown up to do. The one everyone else adores.
Now, I know what you’re going to say. I’m Princess Lily, daughter of the White Queen, the luckiest girl in Looking Glass World, every need and luxury provided by my doting mother. But I call it a terror. No one sees me as an adult ready to embark upon life’s grand adventure. How could they when even my own mother still perceives me as an infant, needing the constant care of Nanny Rook with her polop of borogroves and curling of momraths?
But I have a secret that I will share with only you, my diary. Today I slipped into the Throne Room while the Chorus was busy singing Alice’s midday praises and Nanny was coaxing the momraths out of their latest outgribing attack and I stole Queen Alice’s crown.
It should have been my crown, so I feel no guilt in having liberated it from its perch above Alice’s venerated empty throne.
Before anyone realizes that the crown has disappeared, I shall use it to fly away, as fast as my mother moves across our checkered world. But this journey will not be solely for exploration and the development of a much-needed liberation of spirit. I have a plan. I shall finish the game, topple the Red King and free Looking Glass World from the influence of the human child.
I shall wipe the chessboard clean and start again, this time taking my rightful place as my mother’s pawn, rewinning the crown by my own hand and occupying the throne that Alice so carelessly claimed then abandoned on a whim.
“And just how shall I accomplish this?” you ask. I shall tell you, but only you diary because you guard all my secrets so well and have never divulged a single one of them, not even the time I plucked Nanny’s tail feathers while she slept and tried to fly out the bedroom window. Only you learned of the bruises I suffered after sneaking back into bed, biting down on my sobs lest Nanny or the Chorus hear me.
This is my plan, my dearest confidant. I shall wake the Red King from his sleep, making Alice disappear, to be forgotten as quickly as any dream disappears upon waking. And for once and for all, I shall end the nightmare in which I live.