Botanical Science

As you request, begrudgingly, a lesson in Botanical Science, the lady in white (now identified as The White Queen) pulls a flower, along with a curl of her hair- ‘snap!’- away from the rope.

As you both swing, she passes it to you to examine, and you gaze, mystified as the flower re-grows itself around the platinum lock but, at your touch, starts to fade to a blue colour.

“This is not the world you know,” The White Queen remarks kindly, before the other lady on the swing to the left of yours (who you presume is The Black Queen) snatches the flower, and it crumbles away into ash.

“There are some things that you should know. Creatures in these woods are merciless. They’ll trick you, they’ll treat you, and then they’ll bring you to The Red Queen, who has evil eyes and a storming temper.”

“Okay, but how do I defeat her?”

“You’ll encounter many of her creatures. Most will be slowed by clever words. Some will need to be attacked in order to save this crumbling world.”

She pulls a tiny silver mirror from her pocket, watching it shimmer and reflect off the smooth leaves of the tree above. Suddenly, it catches a beam of light that has snuck through. It propels it through the clearing and onto another tree, which bursts into flames.

“Wow!” you say, again.

The White Queen hands you object saying:
“Treat it with the utmost care. In the wrong hands, this little mirror could cause so much pain.”

The Black Queen then goes on to describe different types of (non-live) fruits and vegetables which can be found in the forest and surrounding underground tunnels and be eaten, and then describes how the trees (and the different species which are easiest for swinging from) can be used to climb away from any sort of danger, especially men on horseback.

You grin as you are finally allowed to jump off the swing.

“One day, with the proper training,” harrumphs The Black Queen, “You will have a beautiful crown, dotted with sapphires.”

You thank you ladies- albeit with some sarcasm- and wander of into the trees.

“Oh, and one last thing,” The White Queen calls, “Flesh-eating tomatoes are scared of the ruby that is hidden in the Tweedles’ map. Their cottage is through the trees, there.”

You pop in to grab the map, just in case.

The End

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