Cast Down. Part 1. ( A DarkAlice Novella)

Just as Alice was beginning to grow ENTIRELY even MORE bored, the ArchAngels reappeared.

They had been gone rather a long time, Alice thought to herself.
Although to Alice, any span much greater than the time required to spin completely once around, was rather a long time.

They had waited just long enough to tell her to ‘WAIT HERE’, before vanishing, leaving her standing alone in the middle of a large and rather featureless chamber.

But now they had returned , from where-ever it was they had gone, and had taken up their previous positions behind the lecterns at the front of the room.

Or was it the back of the room?
The large ornate doors by which one entered the room were the only real decor of note, and certainly a good candidate for claiming the status of ‘front’ of the room. So perhaps…

Alice tilted her head back until she could see the doors of the chamber, a task made easier by the fact that she was sitting on the floor.
‘Waiting for Angels makes your feet terribly sore’, she had thought grumpily.

She tipped her head forward again to look at the lecterns, then back over her head to consider the doors, back and forth, again and again, until she started to grow rather dizzy.

“ALICE”.
A voice boomed from the front of the room, and startled, she fell backwards with a shriek, sprawling on the floor, legs in the air.
She thought she heard a chorus of sighs through her skirts, which were now halfway over her head.
A brief struggle ensued, and eventually, but not quite as triumphantly as she had hoped, she managed to untangle her skirts and scramble to her feet.
She was glad she had decided not to take her shoes off after all, although the hole in one of the toes had perhaps played a larger role in that decision.

She couldn’t decide which of the ArchAngels had spoken, as they all sounded the same to her. When they spoke, she couldn’t tell if was out loud like regular people, or directly into her head, which was rather rude if so. It was she eventually decided, a glass half full and a glass half empty, which made perfect sense to her, as they went hand in hand, unsure why it deserved a saying.

‘They look the same too, for all in tents and porpopises’. She thought, gazing at them.
Although what dolphins wanted with camping equipment was beyond her, as were many of the ‘sayings’ she had collected.

She supposed it had been Gabriel, his being the only Angel name she could remember, and that was as good a reason as any to label him thus.

‘Yes, your majest…er…worsh….. ahh…Sir?’ She tried to look respectful , and tried not to think of chubby little kids with wings and bows.

‘THOSE, ARE CHERUBS’, the center-most Angel spoke.

‘Sorry’, she said, not really sure she’d done anything wrong.

‘QUITE ALL RIGHT’.
Was it her imagination, or did the ArchAngel sound…embarassed?

‘I didn’t mean’, she started., remembering the mental image, ‘that is, I’m sure yours is bigger than that.’
She turned red, desperately trying not to think ‘tiny winkies’. But, as when someone tells you not to think of a purple elephant, that’s the only thing you CAN think of.

The angels looked confused, and she giggled, wondering if they were reading from her jumbled mental images of purple elephants with tiny winkies, or perhaps tiny elephants with purple winkies..

After processing for a moment, Gabriel made a dismissive motion with his hand, and Alice’s head was quite clear and attentive, which she considered rather unfair, and much akin to cheating.

Gabriel continued, getting straight to the point, as one might expect.
‘THERE HAS BEEN A…MIX UP.’ He looked even more embarrassed than before, if such a thing were possible.

Alice waited, confused.

‘WE CANNOT FIND YOUR FILE, YOU DO NOT SEEM TO EXIST.’

Alice blinked.
‘What?!’

‘THERE IS NO RECORD OF YOU HERE. WELL, ANYWHERE, REALLY….’

Silence, then she asked slowly, as she tried to figure it out, ‘So what does that mean’?

Gabriel shifted uneasily.
‘WITHOUT A RECORD, WE CANNOT PROCESSS YOU. YOU ARE.. FREE TO GO.
TRY NOT GET YOURSELF KILLED. AGAIN’
He tapped his wrist pointedly.

‘Is it because I’m a Glassian’? she asked, feeling angry. ‘You won’t let me in your stupid heaven ‘cos I’m a Glassian?’

The ArchAngels looked at her blankly.

‘A Glassian!’, she elaborated. ‘A believer in all things through The Looking Glass’.

The Angels conferred briefly, before one of them asked.

“IS THAT LIKE AN ATHEIST? OR A PAGAN?”

‘Arrrrrghhhhhhh!’.
Alice screamed and stamped her foot.
‘Listen here, you Castiel wannabe!’ she said sternly, ‘My talking rabbits and infinite Tea Parties are just as real as any of your implausible teapots, purple unicorns or invisible sky daddies’.

‘ALICE’.
The tone was cautionary.

‘And you know what you can do with that book? Why you can . . . .’
Gabriel gestured hastily, and the world went black.

Alice sighed, and opened her eyes.
She looked down at her blood soaked dress, and freshly healed scars.
Not having burned in Hell aside, it seemed things were worse than she had thought.

Apparently she didn’t even exist…

“Good One Alice’, she said to the air, sitting forlornly on the ground in the middle of what appeared to me some kind of meadow. She didn’t recognise her location.
‘Now, you’ve really gone and done it..’

(to be cont..)