Dark Light

Alice in Alex

by Hend Ashraf

It was a hot, crowded, blissful day on the beaches of Alexandria. Families and friends enjoyed the cold and salty waves of the Mediterranean and built their sand castles of golden sand. But for young Alice, it was just another long, hot, sunny August day. Her love of reading saved her from the boredom of the vacation. What could be more exciting than lying on a matt on the seashore, reading her favorite novel? She loved to play dominoes, but she didn’t have any company at that moment. Nina, who at eleven was four years older than Alice, was having fun and playing beach volleyball with her middle school friends.

As the fresh sea air lifted her beautiful, blonde hair, the little girl yawned and glanced up with her wide blue eyes. A funny little orange-blue crab grabbed her attention, especially its tiny, funny-looking, colored bow. He ran past her towards his crab hole and disappeared into it. Alice hurried after the crab into the hole. She slipped deep down the narrow hole to find herself in a curious hall surrounded by a large number of locked doors of all sizes. A tiny cup of juice was placed next to one of the small doors. The cup was labeled “DRINK ME.” Without any thought, little Alice drank it. Suddenly everything was becoming larger and larger and she realized she had become the size of the bottle. But she didn’t enter the tiny locked door; another thing attracted her. An awesome cupcake stood there waiting to be eaten. A small card was placed next to it, with “EAT ME” written on it.

Eventually, everything seemed to get smaller and smaller for Alice. “What is going on?” Alice wondered, as she grew bigger. “How does this happen? This must be magical!”

Overwhelmed with happiness and excitement, Alice jumped as she grew larger. She hit her head very hard, and became angry; she hit a door with her giant foot, and it broke, bringing in water that flooded the hallway. Alice shrunk down again to her normal size. The little girl swam in the water until she met a shrimp called Sunday. She tried to be nice and wanted to start a conversation with Sunday. “Did you see Tenn, my fish?” obviously wasn’t the right question to ask a shrimp, which is food for fish. Anyway, their talk didn’t last long, and trying to help her, Sunday told Alice which way to go to escape from the flood she created.

After a short time, the flood became very crowded with a bizarre collection of animals and sea creatures: a school of funny little turquoise fish who called themselves the warriors, two couples of golden sea horses who seemed to be wise, a little crazy grass hamster, and an old, dark green turtle. “I am very sorry. I didn’t mean to cause all this!” Alice apologized. It didn’t matter to them anyway. They were used to funny and odd situations, and living haphazardly was their custom.

They were on the seashore of Alexandria, but a different one. One that Alice had never seen before. Amazing purple flowers that looked much like sunflowers swayed in the gentle air. The light-blue sky was painted with lines of spectacular orange waves. It was simply a place that was one of a kind. The sea creatures that easily floated in the air as if they were swimming were outlandish and bizarre. They were all noisy and active. The crazy hamster said, “Let’s run in the tornado race to get dry.” The tornado race is a race where they run in circles until they get dry again, without a certain winner.

Alice shouted at the animals and frightened them away, as they were making too much noise. “Stop, or else I will call Tenn!”

Alice found a comfortable sitting position on a rock, where she sat and started to talk to the dark-green turtle smoking his hookah. He questioned her about her opinion of their land, friends, almost everything. They had a long conversation. When Mr. Turtle asked Alice about any poems she knew, she said, “I can’t really remember any. But maybe I’ll just make up one now. Look at that little starfish dancing and shining over there! I’ll sing for it:

“Twinkle, twinkle, Mr. Star.

“Now I wonder where else you are. Deep in the sea, up on the sand; I found you even in Wonderland.

“Twinkle, twinkle, Mr. Star.

“Now I saw you eating a chocolate bar.”

“What a wonderful song! Alice, you’re talented, my dear.”

“Thank you, Mr. Turtle; I’m glad you liked it.”

Before leaving, Mr. Turtle told Alice that one of the two purple sunflowers was for shrinking and the other for growing taller. The little girl wanted some fun and took the risk of trying a piece from each flower. One made her shrink smaller than ever, smaller than a tiny ant, while the other caused her legs to grow so long that she reached some birds that flew by the beach. Alice walked in a very funny way, as if she was dancing on two wooden sticks. She found a colored plate with some cupcakes, and with some effort, she reached down to it. After eating one cupcake, she returned to her normal size.

The little girl was wandering around, when she heard some noise behind one of the purple sunflowers. The crazy little hamster was having a lemonade party with his company. “Come on, little Alice! Join us. There is plenty, enough for everyone.”

Miki and Miri the sea horse twins, the crab, Sunday the shrimp, and Linzy the notorious, lazy seagull were all sitting around a small brown and beige shell with many holes in which all the friends put their lemonade cups. The juice was delicious, but the party was kind of boring. Miki and Miri were very famous for their riddles.

So they told Alice some of their riddles: “An object that has one leg and one huge sphere: what is it?”

“Is it a street lamp?”

“No, a lollipop. The second riddle: imagine you are in the ocean with a bunch of sharks surrounding you, what do you do?”

“I will call for help—easy.”

“Wrong: stop imagining is the answer. The last riddle: what kind of tree is carried in your hand?”

“I think a palm tree, because we’ve got the palms of our hands. Right?”

“Right! You got it right.”

Alice was very happy she could solve the last riddle. But the rest of the party wasn’t exciting. The hamster and Mr. Crab were telling stories that did not interest Alice. So, she decided to leave and look for something fun to do.

She left the party and entered a large court surrounded by a wall of shells with many colors: brown, white, beige, orange, and yellow. Mr. Crab entered after her. At first, she saw three bizarre living dominoes, one with seven, one with three, and one with five dots. She asked them what they were doing. “Why are you coloring these beautiful white shells dark blue?” she asked.

“Our queen, the Dark Queen, hates the color white. She loves only dark colors like dark blue or dirty green,” answered the seven-dotted domino.

Alice walked a few steps inside to find herself face to face with the most horrible, mightiest, and ugliest octopus ever. It was the Dark Queen, with her potato-shaped head, her forest-green skin, and huge, rounded, midnight-blue stomach. Anyone who saw her feared her. She was the queen of the dominoes, but she liked to call herself the Dark Queen. She wore bracelets of pearls on her long, disgusting legs and wore slate-blue make-up all over her potato head. With her loud and terrifying voice, she shouted out her famous statement, “OFF WITH HIS NECK! OFF WITH HIS NECK,” to her servants who were responsible for cutting off heads. It was her repeated statement which she uttered after even the slightest dissatisfaction with a subject. The King of Dullness was as horrible as her. As they were on the Queen’s beach croquet ground, she ordered Alice to play beach croquet with her. The game quickly descended into chaos. The Queen again started ordering innocents to be killed.

The tarts of the Dark Queen seemed to have disappeared when she asked her servants for them. Naughty little rat, Bob, was accused of stealing the tarts, which the Queen considered an unforgivable crime. The jury was composed of the animals and the sea creatures, including Sunday the shrimp, Miki and Miri the two wise sea horses, Mr. Turtle, and Linzy the seagull. Mr. Crab was the court trumpeter. The King of Dullness was the judge. Alice then found herself growing larger and larger during the proceedings. One of the jury members, a shrimp, complained: “Hey! You can’t grow so huge and take all the air!”

“Do you think I’m growing on purpose? I just started growing and I can’t stop!” said Alice. The crazy little hamster was one of the witnesses in the trial. He used intelligent tricks to trick the King and answered his questions indirectly. The King was frustrated because he couldn’t prove the rat was guilty.

Little Alice, or better to say huge Alice, was called up as a witness. As she stood, she accidentally knocked over the jury box with everyone inside it.

The King ordered, “Animals back to their seats!” before the trial could continue. The King and Queen said, “According to rule fifty-four of our rules: ‘Witnesses taller than a mile aren’t allowed in any trial.’ Take the witness Alice out of here!” But Alice disputed their judgment, and she refused to leave. She argued with the King and the Queen over the ridiculous proceedings. She refused to hold her tongue and debated with them. Irritably and angrily, the Dark Queen shouted, “OFF WITH HER NECK! OFF WITH HER NECK!”

Alice did not care; she wasn’t afraid of the Queen anymore. She called them pieces of dominoes as they started to swarm over her to cut off her head.

“Alice, Alice, wake up!” Someone was calling her. The Queen and the animals started to disappear. Alice was holding some pieces of dominoes and shells she had gathered that morning. The view of the sea and the beautiful sound of the waves reached Alice’s ears. “Come on, Alice! It’s already four in the afternoon. It’s time for lunch,” said Nina.”

“Ok, I’ll be right behind you!”

Alice held the pieces of dominoes very tight, and she remembered a wise word that said: “Life is but a dream, and it’s up to you to make it a wonderland or not.”

Related Posts