You are busy preparing an argument to go against the rabbit, when you stop.
Of course I must be Alice, you say to yourself, I am that girl who was on the sofa, watching the program with my big sister… I must be…?
You watch as the rabbit's mouth curls up into that wicked smile again.
"Now, come on Alice," he says as though he has read your thoughts, "We need the precious help that you can give!"
But something is lingering in your thoughts… something isn’t right. Curiously, you follow the rabbit ever deeper into the cave; it doesn’t seem to end. Looking round, the exit is just a blob of light in the distance.
“No going back now.”
And, at those words, the rabbit vanishes and it has become so dark that you cannot see your own hands inches in front of your face. You walk forward, groping for a wall, any wall…
And then you fall. Down, down, down, down a hole that must have been in the back of the cave. You find yourself screaming, even though you are actually quite enjoying the sensation; just like flying.
Your arms being the only things you can control, you spread them out like wings and control your descent.
As you (finally) land and put your feet back onto solid ground, you suddenly realise that there are large flaps of skin between your waist and your arms- which is probably why you could fly so professionally.
You hear whispers and look up from your observations of the ‘wings’. Gathered around, five or six feet away from you, are a group of at least ten animals, all different, but all bearing the same marking on their forehead- a pair of broken ruby-coloured circles- and shockingly human expressions.
One, a timid young female with huge black lashes and a beaver tail poking out her skirt, chucks a silver dinner-tray at you. You frown at it. She doesn’t say a word, but points to the dinner try, and then points to her face. She attempts a smile, but she is obviously very frightened.
Realising that she telling you to pick up the mirror and look into it, you obey. What you see shocks you.
Your features are all but normal. You have sharp incisors and big front teeth, perfect for gnawing through nuts, and it appears that fur has started to grow on the rest of your face. You touch your nose; it is surprisingly soft and looks brown in the almost non-existent light down here. And there, in the centre of your forehead, is the same marking that the rest of them bare. Horrified you drop the tray, which hits the floor with an echoing bang.
“Where is this place?” You cry, “What’s happened to me? I was Alice, but who am I now?”
Suddenly, the muttering from the animal grows louder, and you hear cries of “it’s Alice!” “It is!”
A grey-haired male with a beard and soft ears poking out from his hair approaches you.
“It’s okay, dear.” He says, “Come and talk to us, you’re safe.”
You are hesitant. Should you trust them? You look around the cave area. As well as the ‘animals’ gathered, there are two tunnels. You turn to the first one, but the grey-haired male puts a paw (or is that hand?) on your shoulder.
“I wouldn’t go that way. It’s bad. The ones who have gone that way never came back….”
They never came back… Hmm… You think, That could be good, but…
You look to the second, smaller tunnel. You could probably fit down there if you got on your hands and knees and squeezed through.
Suddenly the white rabbit is there, right in front of you. You make a grab for him, but he winks and appears in the mouth of tunnel two. He gives you a very human grin and runs off down the smallest tunnel.
Now you have a choice…