I was Queen of the World. Until I wasn’t. One moment I was in chains and bleeding, the next I was fine – but dressed in red.
Someone had played a dirty trick on me. They’d dressed me in a red cartoon outfit – like a Queen. But not my usual goth black.
And I also couldn’t get out of it. Buttons too high on my back. Hoops and petticoats I couldn’t reach under to get free of.
Someone was going to pay for this.
That little Sue Regniald was the last person I’d seen. And here she comes now.
Are you kidding me? She’s got a baby-blue fluffy dress, white apron, red sash around her middle, a blue ribbon in her blond hair – where have I seen that?
NO. We’re in Looking-glass Land! Like I said – somebody’s going to pay…
Alice in the Moon – Fiction Writing – Brower and Marpel
I ran at Sue to knock her down.
Or tried to, anyway.
These hoops and petticoats made running extremely difficult. I had to use both hands to hold them up away from my feet front and back. But those hands were the ones I wanted around Sue’s throat.
Nobody, but nobody ever treated me this way.
On top of that, she was uphill from me, and it was all grassy. My flat, squared-off shoes didn’t seem to have any tread to them, and the grass juice made things slick real fast.
She was just standing there, with the light wind swishing her fluffy blue dress and white apron. Her long, wavy, blond hair was somehow keeping out of her eyes – that blue satin ribbon was doing the trick. Like that red sash around her waist was keeping her dress and apron in some sort of order..
But her smile was the most irritating of all.
As ticked off as she made me, my top speed – with all this buffoon-wear I was lugging around – ended up only as a fast walk.
Not that any of this helped my temper. But the amount of work it took to get that fast walk left me out of breath and sweaty.
Sue just watched from up there with her innocent smile.
But I was determined.
I slogged on as I could, while she just waited.
At last I was within arm’s reach and she simply stepped out of the way – and tripped me.
Flat on my face. Again.
At least this time she didn’t put her knee into my back and chain my arms together. And I didn’t get any split lip or bloody nose.
Soft grass is better than landing on hard, tiled floor.
Rolling over is easier in hoops, though.
I only saw Sue’s face again, more concerned than trying to rub salt in the wound. And just got my elbows up underneath me and looked back at her.
“Why’d you have to trip me?”
“Because it was a quick way of ending your silly parade. You’d have to catch your breath that way and think things over.”
She was right about that. This meant a lot more strategy.
“Well? Aren’t you going to help me up?”
“I don’t think so. Not because it isn’t the polite thing to do, but you really haven’t cooled off yet. You’d just pull me down on you somehow and we’d wrestle around on this grass until I hurt you again. Meanwhile, I’d get grass stains on this pretty dress.”
So, she saw through that tactic.
“If you want to get up in hoops, you have to be a lady and quit your attempts to get revenge for imagined slights. Or – quit even trying to be a lady and use your hands and knees and elbows. It’s a kind of ugly squat motion, where your butt goes high into the air.”
I glared at her.
“Well, it’s getting hot here. I’m going over to that swing under the shade and wait for you. Good luck.”
And I watched her almost skip across the hillside, swishing her skirt as if she was enjoying having that long skirt and fluffy petticoats on.
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