I am totally excited to be part of the this amazing Blog Tour! On todays stop I have an extract for you of this dark and disturbing adaptation of Alice. Hope you enjoy it! My review will soon follow too!
Down the Rabbit Hole
Two vines exploded from the maze wall, and wrapped around her ankles. The vines tugged sharply and she fell hard to the ground on her back. Before she or Hatcher could do anything she was pulled along the grass and the roses closed around her.
Thorns pricked at her skin everywhere, poked at her face and hands and the top of her head and wormed through her jacket and pants. She thought Hatcher yelled her name but she couldn’t tell, for roses were in her ears and her nose and under her eyelids, crawling inside her. She opened her mouth to scream and roses pushed their way inside, choking her.
Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop. She wished she were a Magician; she would make the roses go away, get them out of this maze, fly away from the Old City forever and forget about the Jabberwocky and the Rabbit and Cheshire and the Walrus and Mr. Carpenter and roses, everything that could make her scared or cry or bleed. She would make the roses burn to the ground so they could never hurt anyone again.
Her hands were hot, hot with her own blood running from the thorn pricks in her arms down over her palms, and suddenly there was smoke, and a sound like a million tiny creatures squealing. Then the thorns were yanked from her skin and the flowers crawled away from her throat and nose and ears and eyes and something pushed hard into her back, and she was out, flat on the grass and crying and spitting rose petals from her mouth.
“Alice, Alice.” Hatcher’s voice, and then Hatcher’s hands all over her, patting and soothing, and then Hatcher’s arms taking her into his lap and rocking her as she cried and cried and cried.
All the strength she thought she’d found was gone now, smashed beneath the roses’ assault.
Hatcher rubbed his hand down her back and said, “Alice, my Alice, don’t cry. I can’t stand for you to cry.”
“I w-want to go h-home,” she said. Her tongue tasted like salt and roses.
“Where’s home, my Alice?” Hatcher said. “Where’s home? We don’t have a home, you and I.”
“Then I want to go back to the hospital,” she said. “We were safe there. Nothing could hurt us. Nothing could grab us and take us away.”
“Except the doctors,” Hatcher said. “Or the medicine they gave us. Or our own memories. We weren’t safe there, Alice. It was an illusion. And the hospital burned down. There’s nowhere for us to go back to. We can go forward. We can find our way out.”
She cried harder then, because she knew what he said was true. They had nowhere to go and no safe place to be, and they were trapped in this labyrinth by the whim of a madman.
“How do w-we even know there is a way out?” she said. “How do we know that Cheshire won’t keep us here, running in circles forever?”
“We don’t know,” Hatcher said. “I do know this. You’re a Magician, as sure as I’m mad.”
“Not now, Hatch,” she said. She was tired and scared and not up to fighting about this.
“Look,” he said, taking her chin and turning her head toward the rosebushes.
There in the hedge was a hole— a smoking, charred, empty place where roses used to be.
“Did you set it on fire?” Alice asked. “Is that why they let me go?”
“You set it on fire,” Hatcher said. “I don’t think the roses will trouble us any longer.”
At these words he stood, still holding her in his arms like a child. She never thought about how big and strong he was, but she was very tall and he could hold her like she was nothing, a little bit of a thing. He approached the wall of the maze, and Alice turned her head into his chest, her eyes closed.
“No,” he said. “Look.”
She opened her eyes just enough to see through the slits, and then opened them wider, astonished. The roses were curling back on themselves, rolling into tight little coils. Alice reached her hand toward the vines, her curiosity stronger than her fear.
The roses shrank away from her touch, emitting that high- pitched squeal, like they were afraid.
Afraid of her.