“Right over here, you scum! Enjoy your fucking stay!”
Those were the words I was given before a couple of royal guards tossed me into a cold, cramped dungeon cell. My bones still hurt and my knuckles were still bloody, even more so there were spatters of blood all over my body.
As soon as I hit the ground, I got up and raced for the bars of the cell gate and rattled them as the guards locked it. “You have to believe me! I didn’t start it! You’re imprisoning the wrong man! I have witnesses! I have…”
“SHUT YOUR MOUTH ALREADY!” One of the guards yelled. “We don’t need witnesses. We saw it with our own bloody eyes. You were relentlessly beating this poor man’s face in! What the hell are you going to explain to us that would change that fact?”
“Poor man… POOR MAN?! Do you even know who you’re talking about? That was Lester Mulligan back there! The scourge of the underground! He was the second hand to the leader of the Banshees! He killed more people than the demons took from our town!”
“Well, it don’t matter who he is now, does it? We can hardly ask him about it anymore. You broke the law regardless and I wouldn’t hope on ever getting out of here. At least as a living man that is. Now shut the fuck down and use the time to figure out what went wrong in your life.” And with those words, they left me. This was it. This was where it was gonna end.
My name is Jack Cormac. Citizen of the city of Valencia in the Empire of the Order. I knew the city better than my own pockets. Every tavern, every gambling table or guild hall knew my name. If you needed to know the streets, if you needed someone who knew where to go or who to talk to, I was your guy. Or at least I used to be.
This night, I was a prisoner.
I sunk down onto a small bunk that was apparently supposed to be my bed. I used the white blanket lying on it to wipe down my knuckles. It still burned a little when I scrubbed over the scrapes and bruises.
“I didn’t want to kill him. How did this all get so fucked up?” I put my hands over my face as I leaned my head back against the stone wall. It was redundant to ask myself that question, because I knew exactly how it came to this.
The evening started off so promising. I was at the tavern, having a good time, doubling and tripling my winnings at the gambling table. Chugging ales and celebrating with my friends…
I looked down at my bloody fingers, recalling what happened later. My hands were trembling with anger and frustration. “Toby… you better be fucking okay, buddy. This can’t have been for nothing… This can’t…”
I let out a sigh. There was nothing I could do about it now. Or ever. I didn’t know. Maybe this dark cell would be the last thing I’ll ever see.
Regardless, the day was coming to an end. Through the small barred window, I saw that the moon was already high up in the sky shining its light into the room.
I decided to call it a day and even though chances were slim, maybe tomorrow would be a better day. Maybe the others will come and vouch for me. If the guard is even going to listen.
I lied down on my bunk and covered myself with the bloodstained blanket. It was hard, but eventually, I found a tolerable position. Not like there’s ever been a surface uncomfortable enough for me to not be able to sleep on it.
I closed my eyes and hoped to reach the only place that I could be free right now. The land of dreams.
I woke up. At least it felt like I did. It certainly didn’t feel like I was dreaming, but something was very, very wrong.
I opened my eyes not to the sight of a gray, low ceiling, but the sky. A clear sky of vibrant blue. I wasn’t lying on a bunk anymore either. To be honest, I couldn’t even tell what it was. Cotton? Wool? It was a puffy cloud of an unknown soft fabric. It was springy enough to carry me without falling in.
“What the hell? Is… Is this actually a dream? Is someone fucking with me? Did they give me something while I was asleep?” It couldn’t be! I could move my body freely. I knew what I was seeing. And the more things I saw, the more I was bewildered and confused.
“Well, this is definitely… new? Heheheh, ahhh shit, I finally lost it. I’m going FUCKING insane!” I laughed almost maniacally at my own misfortune. First I get locked up and now I’m hallucinating. This day couldn’t get any better.
“Suppose I should at least explore my own madness. See what kind of weird shit my brain can come up with. Come on, brain. Bring it!”
The immediate area around me was filled with a flower bed. From the cotton cloud I slept on to the dirt road a bit up ahead, lilacs grew almost as dense as grass. They were dripping with some sort of purple ooze. Were lilacs poisonous? Can’t really say. I never left the city really and it wasn’t like I ever learned botany. Just to be careful, I ripped off some of the cloud and attached it to my shoes and calves as an additional protective layer.
It looked like I was wearing fluffy, white, thick boots. Great, now I looked insane too.
I put my feet down into the flowers and the second I touched the ground, it was almost as if the plants came to life and they started turning towards my feet. The cotton around my legs quickly became stained with the purple ooze. Whatever the hell those flowers were, they definitely weren’t lilacs.
I stomped through them as quickly as I could, leaving the field with an almost soaked pair of cotton boots. They were covered in purple blots from top to bottom. Avoiding the risk of the possible poison seeping through to my skin, I shook it off and left the it behind in a pile.
Finally, after that small ordeal, I got some solid ground under my feet in the form of a dirt road leading towards a distant river. I checked behind me and noticed that in the other direction… there was nothing. The road started right here at the field. Right here where I woke up. Maybe it was a sign that I should follow it. Or it was a trap. At this point I expected pretty much anything.
I could probably handle it; the streets prepared me for this, I thought. I couldn’t have known back then what would be ahead of me. It was my own imagination, what would I even have had to be afraid of?
And so, I headed out on the road, headed for the unknown. The walk wasn’t anything I didn’t expect from a hallucination. Black dragons in the sky, talking, weirdly human sized mushrooms. Though I couldn’t help but feel watched by both of them. It wasn’t just paranoia; it seemed like they were actually turning their heads and stalks as I walked past them. I sped up my pace a little bit. A trip like this wasn’t worth traumatizing myself over.
With my hands in my coat pockets, the rest of the walk was fairly quiet. I would’ve at least expected that something had jumped out at me by now, but nothing happened. I still felt weird looks on me, like something or someone was just urging to get their hands on me but for some odd reason held back.
Soon I was close enough to hear the rushing of the river. It was rapid and splashing over its sides. Almost as if it was in unrest. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong here.
Further down the road, I suddenly hear a commotion up ahead. There were people talking. I could make out 3 voices. 2 sounded like adult men and one… like a little girl?
I got in closer, hiding behind one of the massive mushroom tree’s stalks as I stumbled onto a strange scene.
Two men, their clothes drenched in water had cornered a small girl with blonde hair that reached down to the bend of her back in a frilly blue and white dress. She had white stockings, black, tiny shoes and blue ribbons tied into her hair. Although they didn’t seem to be directly to her hair but… a pair of horns? Now that I looked closer, that wasn’t the only weird feature about her. She had a set of red wings protruding from her lower back and a demon-like, pointy tail that poked out from the back of her skirt.
She looked scared as the two men approached her. “I’ve…I’ve helped you already, so… I…I’ll leave now.”
“Where are you going? We haven’t even properly thanked you for pulling us out.”
“I already told you. I’m looking for someone.”
“Oh? And who’s that? Maybe we know him. We can help you find him. Hardly could leave such a cute young thing as you walk around without someone to look out for you, right?”
“Yeah, we know lots of people. Maybe not around here, but we’re very perceptive guys. You would be an… idiot if you didn’t want to come with us.” The second guy emphasized as he pushed her against a mushroom stalk.
On his extended arm, I saw the the branded image of a chopped off, medusa head. The logo of the banshees. Why was I imagining things in this much detail? I couldn’t possibly hallucinate that. This was really happening. I pushed the question of how this is possible aside. There was no time to waste.
“There you are! I’ve been looking all over the place for you!”
I was met with 3 vastly different faces. One of the guys looked confused, the other immediately pissed and the girl too surprised to react but an immediate sense of relief crossed her face.
I quickly got in front of the gang members and got the girl behind me. I threw glances at her as I tried to appear convincing. “Thanks for looking out for my little sister. I’ve got it from here.”
“Excuse me, who the fuck do you think you are?”
“Her brother, Jack Cormac! Again, thanks for taking care of her. I got it from here, you can leave now.”
“Oh really? He’s your brother?” He threw a doubtful glance at the terrified girl peeking out from behind my back. “Alright.” He looked back at me. “What’s her name then?”
Before I could even answer, the little girl barked out. “Alice! Alice Cormac!”
“Shut it! That question wasn’t for you!” He yelled in increasing annoyance, scaring her to hide behind my back again. I felt her cling to me from behind.
I clenched my fists, holding my tongue. “Would you mind not yelling at her like that?”
“Only if you mind not bullshittin’ us. I don’t believe for a second that you’re her brother, so move out of the way or this’ll have consequences.”
“You’re right. It will. So I’ll give you this chance to let this go over peacefully.”
“Do you hear this fucking clown? Thinks he can talk smack at us! Ain’t that the best joke I heard all day. Tell you what, you’re funny. So just give us the girl and we’ll let you live.”
They approached me, getting ready to grab the girl if they get the chance. I signaled her to step back a bit.
They went in for an attack. I kicked the first guy’s shin before he could reach me, making him stumble and collapse onto the ground.
The second guy used the time to pull out a knife that he struck up at me in a quick motion. I dodged it, grabbed and twisted his arm until he dropped it and headbutted his nose with an audible crack.
With both of them on the ground, I grabbed their throats and pulled them up onto their knees.
“Hey, you guys like gambling?”
“Wha…” They choked on their question as I lifted both of them up by their necks.
“Go fish.” With as much force as possible, I tossed them away from me and into the rushing river.
They immediately went under and were flushed away into the distance.
I relaxed as I no longer saw them, and miraculously, as if it was conscious of it, the river quieted down and went back to a calm flow.
I held my forehead and rubbed the slightly painful spot on it. I had some blood on my fingers as I pulled them off. Whether it was mine or his, I didn’t know and it wasn’t that important either.
With the problem now out of the way, I turned to the little girl. She looked up at me, still with tears in the edges of her eyes, but filled with amazement and wonder.
“Eh, hey. You’re okay, right? They didn’t… do anything too bad, did they?”
She shook her head, still sobbing a bit in shock. But then she suddenly smiled through her tears with a joyous, sweet little smile. “Onii-chan…”
“Umm… bless you?”
“Ufff!” With a thump, she threw herself against me and rubbed her tear-stained face in my chest. I didn’t understand what this was about, but just wrote it off as her being happy. Consolingly, I carefully petted her head and rubbed her back while she clung to me. She snuggled and hugged me enthusiastically and happily repeated. “Hehehe, Onii-chan. Onii-chan…”
“Okay, I got it, Onii whatever. Is that some kind of foreign word?”
She hopped one step backwards and clenched her hands together in excitement. “It means big brother.”
“Why are you calling me your big brother?”
“Because you are! You said so yourself! I’m so happy I finally found you!”
“Wait wait wait wait, I’m not actually your brother. I just said that to cover you.”
She seemed confused and my words didn’t really seem to connect with her. She cocked her head and kept smiling. “But you are everything a big brother should be! You’re strong, you protected me and you were so freaking cool! You have to be my big brother!”
I gently kept her at a bit of a distance with my hand on her forehead as she once again tried to get close to me. “Hey, listen. I’m sorry. But I’m not your big brother. I’m just some guy who just came to whatever this weird place is like a few moments ago. I need to figure out what to do myself. You seem like a sweet girl and I bet once you get a little brother, he’d love to have a big sister like you but you’re on your own until then. You understand me, right?”
She stifled her enthusiasm a bit and slumped down. “Sorry. It’s just… I was looking for so long for you and got really excited when I finally found you.”
“Found me? What do you mean you were looking for me? I only just arrived.”
“Yeah but…” She took a deep breath and introduced herself while fidgeting with the hem of her skirt. “…I’m Alice. I need a big brother to protect me. Monsters like me never know what their big brother is like. We just know that they’re strong and responsible. I just hoped maybe you would want to be my big brother but… hic… I guess you don’t…” She started trembling and choked on her words as she tried her hardest not to cry.
“Alright… I’ll keep looking. Still, thank you for saving me. I won’t forget it.” She swallowed her tears and walked past me, down the road I came from. The road I knew only lead to a dead end. I watched her to see how far she was willing to go for this little act… but she didn’t stop.
I let out a sigh and drove my hand through my hair. I closed my eyes and called out to her. “STOP… stop! Where are you even going?”
“Huh? Like I said, I’ll keep searching for a big brother.”
“And if you don’t find him? What then? Do you have a place to go back home to?”
She hung her head and shook her head.
“So what would you even do afterwards?”
“I don’t know, I’ve always just kept looking somewhere else.”
“You know that’s no good for a plan, right?”
She nodded reluctantly.
“Haaa… look, I don’t want you to come across more guys like those two so…” I tilted my head, signaling her to follow me. Her eyes lit up with joy and she ran toward me.
“Onii-cha…nnnghh?” As soon as she came close enough and wanted to yell again, I put my hand firmly on her mouth and made her listen.
“Hold it right there! First off, there’ll be rules. Do you understand me?”
With my hand on her mouth, she nodded wildly.
“Okay, firstly, no more Onii-chan. It’s weird. My name is Jack. Understood?”
“Mmhmhhh!” She nodded with a muffled confirmation.
“Secondly, you stay close and stay careful. We don’t know if any more of these guys are around.”
She nodded again and dialed down her excitement.
“Good.” I took my hand off her mouth and she took a deep breath as if she was holding it in. “Now we can get started. You do know your way around this place a little bit, right?”
“A little bit, yeah. But I often get lost. I’m afraid I can’t tell you much.”
“So what do you know? Anything you can tell me will help.”
“Well, this is Wonderland and its ruled by the Queen of hearts. I haven’t met her yet but I think she’s probably really nice. Everyone in Wonderland loves her. I did meet her assistant though. He was really nice too! He was the one who told me where I would find you!” She answered with a cheery, cute tone.
I scratched my neck as I listened. I still couldn’t believe I was still going along with all of this. Wonderland, the Queen of hearts, monsters… I mean I’ve seen monsters before. Hell, the underworld of Valencia was full of them. It was just hard to even believe that Alice was supposed to be one of them. Apart from her tail and wings, she could pass as a normal girl and she seemed way too innocent to be one. I needed to get some clarity and especially some time to figure out how this crazy world ticks.
I had to get oriented first so it seemed like a bit of surveillance was needed. I turned to Alice. “Alright, we’re gonna look for a high point to get a lay of the land. You’re okay to walk, right?”
“Yes, I’m fine and ready!” She said with conviction.
I nodded. “Good, I see a hill off in the distance there. We go there and see if there are any landmarks around. You remember to stay close like I told you and we’ll get you somewhere safe.
I was about to turn away and head off as I felt something wrap around my hand. I looked down and was greeted by a happy smile as Alice grabbed onto my hand. She was about to pull it back as I looked at her sternly but reluctantly let her have at least this much. When I squeezed her hand back, she beamed from ear to ear and started humming happily as we followed the track towards the distant hillsides.
On the walk to our destination, Alice kept holding my hand, sometimes with one, sometimes with both hands but never letting go. She seemed so happy just to have someone to spend time with her. What was she doing before all of this? How long as she been on her own? Was it even my place to ask? I didn’t even know how long we would be together. This could’ve all been a dream after all. If only I knew back then where this whole thing would lead…
“Jack? Can I ask you something?”
I looked down at her from the side as I kept walking. “Sure, why not. What do you wanna know?”
She shyly rubbed her neck and laughed in embarrassment. “I don’t really know where to start. I guess I want to know you better. Tell me something about you!” She said with a cheery smile and a skip in her feet.
“I don’t think you’d be that interested in it. And my story isn’t really a happy one.”
“I think I still wanna hear it. When it’s in the past, it’s only half as sad, right? And the more people you share your story with, the less sad you’ll feel.”
I weakly smiled at her. It was such a simple and naive mindset, but I decided to indulge her a bit. “Well, I grew up somewhere… I guess pretty far away from here. In a town named Valencia. It wasn’t really a pretty town. It was a dirty and dark place with a lot of bad people in it. I wasn’t really born there, nor did I really want to live there, but my parents left me there nonetheless, heading off for the bigger, richer and cleaner cities… without me to drag them down.”
Alice gripped my arm a little tighter and walked closer to me. “Why would your parents do that?” She asked with sad eyes as she looked up at me.
“I wish I knew. I was barely 7 years old. I didn’t understand why people did the things they did. Why some people were bad to other people. Either way, I had to figure out how to live on the streets among all those bad people. I learned by watching them how things worked. You stole the food you needed, beat up the people who threatened you and won easy gold by gambling at the taverns. If you watched it long enough, you became good at it and people who are just as good at it took notice of that. Those people eventually become your friends. As far as I’m concerned… these people might be the only family some of us will ever have… so you do everything in your power to keep those friends.”
Alice thoughtfully looked ahead before turning back to me. “Were you happy with your friends?”
“Yeah… I was happy with them. Even had a best friend named Toby.”
“Did you have to do something for him too?”
I swallowed hard and stopped in my tracks. “Story time’s over.” I said sternly as I carefully removed my arm from Alice and kept walking.
She looked a bit dejected as I let go of her, but she kept walking beside me diligently.
She averted my eyes for a bit but then spoke up. “You know, you’re right. Maybe it wasn’t fair. You got to tell me so much about you but I haven’t even told you MY story yet!”
“Okay? You know you don’t need to tell me, right? You don’t even know how long we’ll be together.”
“I know, but I thought it would just be fair. You told me about you and you barely know anything about me. One hand washes another, you know?”
I let out a light chuckle. “Okay, sure. Let’s hear it.”
“It’s not a very happy story either though.” She said with an embarrassed smile.
“That’s okay, you know sad stories can shape you sometimes. So what’s yours?”
“Well…” She looked away for a second before turning to me again with slightly saddened eyes. “…I’m an orphan too.”
“Yeah, I never really knew my parents and I still don’t know where they are. As far as I can remember, I was always on my own and usually things just worked out for me. There was always someone who would take care of me for a while but they always left me in the end. I knew that one day, I would find a big brother. Someone who would always be there no matter what and who was cool and strong and nice. Because a big brother doesn’t just leave you behind.”
I nodded along with her story and even smiled a little. It was such an optimistic outlook. To one day find someone who will make all of your worries go away. And to keep looking until you find them. As a child, I often hoped the same. Hoped that someone would get me out of this dark and scary place. But even back then, I knew deep inside that that help would never come.
But now I was looking at Alice and she is in the same situation now that I was in back then. I wondered if I could be that someone for her.
I looked at my hands and noticed that the bruises were still there.
No. I wasn’t the right one. I couldn’t drag her down with me.
With a heavy exhale, I turned to Alice. “I actually really like your story.”
“You do?” She asked with a surprised look.
“Yes, it didn’t feel that sad. And who knows. Maybe your story will actually have a happy end.”
She seemed happy, but there was something underneath that seemed to bother her. “But… what about yours? Your story can still have a happy end too.”
“Ah, it’s too late for me, Alice. I already made peace with that.”
She wrapped her arms around me and met me with a supportive smile. “I don’t think you should. Your story isn’t over yet.”
I closed my eyes and chuckled before I met her with a smile of my own. I petted her head, making her giggle happily. “Thank you. Maybe I won’t give up on it quite yet. For now though, we should probably focus on getting you a happy end instead of me. If only these mountains weren’t so far away. We don’t really seem to get any closer.”
I looked into the distance. The hills were still as far away as they were when we started. We didn’t seem to have made any progress and the weather was turning dark. Soon, it began to rain. I was shocked to find out that the rain was… warm, almost hot even.
I caught some of it in my hand. A brown, milky puddle formed in it. It was hot chocolate.
I turned to Alice with a visible question mark on my face. “Is this… normal?”
“You haven’t seen the worst of it. At least the stuff that’s falling from the sky is actual liquid.” She answered as she pulled my coat over her head.
“Huh… well either way, we need to find some shelter. Let’s just set up camp on the side of the road here and call it a day.” I explained to her as we carefully moved under the cover of one of the massive mushrooms.
I let her get out from underneath my coat and shake, what little chocolate she got into her hair, out of it.
I visualized the campsite we were provided with and tried to figure out how to set it up. I clapped my hands together, ready to get started. “Okay, first off, we need…”
But when I turned around, Alice was already busy with something. I watched her as she took a sharp shard of some crystal out of her pockets and start shaving off some ‘bark’ from the mushroom’s stem. The chunks were easy to cut up and she piled them onto a stack, resembling sticks on a campfire. After that, she knelt down onto the grass and started intricately scanning through it until she apparently found what she was looking for.
It was small enough that she had to pinch it between her thumb and index finger. I looked closer and recognized it as being a small little bug. “What is that?” I asked her curiously.
She moved to the pile of mushroom chunks and held her pinched fingers over it. She squeezed them together, making small, orange droplets drip from them and as soon as they hit the mushroom pieces, they burst into a bright flame and after a big flare, started burning. She set down the small bug, which apparently was unharmed and crawled away. Alice smiled widely with pride. “It’s a fire ant. They crawl around all over Wonderland. If you look hard enough, you can almost always find one.”
Again, I was confused by the weird ecosystem of Wonderland but couldn’t help but smile a little. “A fire ant. Whatever god came up with that one must have been a fan of bad jokes.” I sat down cross legged next to the crackling fire and stared into the flame while throwing occasional glances over at Alice. “Gotta admit though, you at least have some good survival skills.”
“Had a lot of opportunities to get good at it.” She responded with a weak but still genuine smile. We sat across from each other, looking past the fire to see one another. A few moments of silence passed as we just rested with the sound of the charring mushroom chunks and the pitter-patter of the rain.
In the midst of the silence, I spoke up. Not because I needed to. I enjoyed silence as much as anyone. I felt like it was time to come clear with Alice. If we really were to stay together for a longer stretch of time, she needed to know who she was dealing with. Even if she wasn’t going to like what she heard.
“Yeah?” She responded, meeting my eyes with curiosity. She was eager to listen.
I let out a long breath as I scratched my hair. “I’m not a good man. I wanted you to know that. There was something I didn’t tell you about what happened before I came here.”
“What was it?”
I looked into the fire, too ashamed to look at her directly. “I… killed someone… Alice.”
“You what?!” She gasped, more in shock than in disgust. After a moment of thought, she asked. “Why… why did you do it?”
“I told you about my best friend Toby before. Good kid but… very naive. He owed a bunch of people money that he hoped he would earn back at the tables but he never did. One day he borrowed money from the wrong people, had just enough bad luck to lose it all and was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I came out of the gambling hall shortly after he left it. And when I went outside… I saw him on the ground… bloodied, beaten and choking for air. There were 3 people wailing on him with iron bars and spiked wooden planks. And I… I just saw red. I charged into the group, pinned their leader to the ground… and beat his face in until it had a noticeable dent in it. The guards saw me with bruised, bloody hands over his lifeless body and locked me up. And that prison cell was the last place I was at… before I ended up here.”
She looked at the fire and then back at me with a surprisingly mellow reaction. “Why are you telling me this?”
“Because I wanted you to know who I am. I’m not a good person, Alice. I did something terrible that I never should have. And if we end up sticking together for a while, I wanted to at least be honest and open about it.” I explained to her with a straight, serious tone.
Alice on the other hand, gently smiled and crawled around the fire. I was a bit confused up until she was right across from me, opened her arms and… hugged me.
Unsure of how to react, I returned her hug and wrapped her small body up in my arms. She felt warm and despite her size, she squeezed me surprisingly tight.
“I don’t think you’re a bad person, Jack.” She spoke reassuringly as she crawled onto my lap. “You protected your friend. Actual bad people could have hurt him way worse if you weren’t there.”
“How would you know that I’m not a bad person. I’ve done other bad things before that.”
“Because… a bad guy would’ve already abandoned me. You’re the big brother I always dreamed about. You’re tough, but you’re kind. You’re cool but you care. And when someone is in danger, you’re there to stand up for them. I like you for who you are. I know you won’t be my big brother… but I still think you’re amazing. For whatever that’s worth to you.”
Her tiny little fingers dug into my back as she hugged me even tighter than before. She was so genuine and openly honest with her words that it stirred something within my heart. For the first time in a very long time… I felt touched. God knows I didn’t deserve them, but I treasured her words and fully embraced her. With my head on her shoulder, I made a pretty risky call. “You know what? Fuck it?”
“Hm?” She wondered in confusion.
“I’ll be your big brother. You said it yourself. My story isn’t over yet. Might as well spend it protecting something that matters.”
Her eyes widened and lit up like stars. “Really? You mean it!”
“Just drop that Onii-chan stuff and leave it at big brother, alright?” I said slightly jokingly.
“I promise! I PROMISE!” Wildly, she threw her arms around me and excitedly hopped around on my lap. With tears of joy in her eyes, she nuzzled her face into my shoulder and cried over and over. “Big brother! I have a big brother!” She couldn’t believe it. Neither could I to be fair. What was I doing? Well, it didn’t matter now. I said it and I couldn’t take it back. From now on, I had a responsibility. I would protect Alice with my life and make sure that her and I would find a place to finally call home.
We sat there like this for quite a while. I held her in my arms and wanted to do so for a while longer, but suddenly, my back started aching and the position became incredibly uncomfortable.
Alice stepped back as I twisted and stretched my body. “Are you okay?”
Kind of a dampener on the situation, but after what basically equates to 2 days of travel without break, my body was exhausted. “Sorry, Alice. Guess I’m a little tense. I went through 2 fights and a whole lot of walking. Makes sense that my muscles would start to ache a little.”
“Oh, are you hurting? Let me help you out! I can massage you and get the cramps to go away.”
“I appreciate the sentiment, but I’ll be fine.”
Alice crossed her arms in a surprisingly stern manner and started scolding me. “You might be my big brother, but that also means that I’m your little sister. And siblings look out for each other. Don’t treat me like a kid and let me handle this for you, okay?” At the last part, she was more pleading than asking. With puppy dog eyes, she looked up at me while fidgeting with her dress. “I just want to prove to you that I can help you too. ”
I reluctantly agreed to let her do it. “Alright, knock yourself out. But I’ve got a pretty tough back, you might have a bit of a problem actually getting down to the nerves theheheeeeeere!” As soon as she put her hands on me, a sharp feeling of pain followed by a deep relaxation shot through my body. “Holy crap! You can actually do this!” Her grip was insanely tight and her fingers dug deep into my flesh and relaxed muscles that I didn’t even know I had.
With a chipper smile, Alice continued proudly. “Told you. Don’t treat me like a child. You underestimate me. I can do a lot!”
As she said that, it threw up a question that I was wondering about since I met her. “Alice?”
“You seem a lot more mature than girls your age usually are. How old are you anyways?”
“Oh, I never told you? Hmm… Now that you’re asking, I’m not really sure myself. I think… around 25… 26 maybe?”
I choked on my own spit as I heard that. “Wh…WHAT?”
“Yeah, somewhere around that. I haven’t really kept count that much. I stopped after 20.”
“But… you look so…”
“Young?” She asked, finishing my sentence. She still continued to rub and massage my back unperturbed. “Yeah, a lot of people think that. I’ve heard some people talk about it when I visited some towns in Wonderland. According to legends, there was once a great witch that cursed various monsters to always maintain a childlike form. They weren’t from our realm, but apparently it spread very far and there is even a cult surrounding it. The followers of the Sabbath. The worlds out there are crazy and weird sometimes.”
I grabbed my forehead, assessing the situation. In disbelief I started laughing to myself.
“What’s so funny about that?”
“Just thought that you saying the worlds out there are weird when you live in a world filled with fire ants that actually produce fire, conscious rivers and flowers that actively reach out to poison you. Yeah, I think it is kind of funny. And now I find out that the little girl I thought I was traveling with is actually almost as old as me. This world is screwed beyond belief and I think I’m starting to embrace it.”
“Are you mad?”
“The better question is: What isn’t mad about this? I have no clue how it got this crazy but somehow I’m thinking it’s winning me over.”
Alice laughed along with me and embraced me from behind, indulging me in my descent into madness. But after she was done laughing, she turned her face towards me and asked with a serious tone. “It… doesn’t bother you that I didn’t tell you that earlier, does it?”
I inhaled and exhaled as I recovered from my mad laughing fit. “No… I don’t think I mind. Actually, that makes it a lot easier. Before, I didn’t know if I could tell such bad things to someone as young as you seemed to be. I was worried about corrupting someone that was so innocent and sweet. You are a pretty cute girl after all.”
Alice’s cheeks flushed a deep red and she averted her eyes with an embarrassed smile. “You think so?”
“Of course I do. You’re the cutest monster I’ve ever met in my life. Given the monsters I know, that probably doesn’t say much, but I still mean it. Maybe all that crazy is just starting to get to me and I’m just starting to roll with it.”
“That’s what Wonderland is. Not much makes sense here. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I wanted to have someone to hold on to.” She squeezed me from behind, wrapping her arms around me and resting her face on my back. “I’m glad I met you.” She spoke with a soft, somber voice.
I smiled to myself. I didn’t want to admit it, but I was happy I met her too. What did I have to look forward to in my world anyways? Prison? Freedom in dirt and violence? No, here I could actually build something that mattered to me.
I entwined my fingers with one of Alice’s hands. She hummed behind me and I could feel her heartbeat on my back. What was going on? I was starting to get excited. My mind wrestled with the question if it was okay to even think something like this. But now I was much more aware of her as a girl. Those were her breasts on my back and her hands around me. Did I… like her? In that way? What was I even thinking about?
I was too wrapped in my thoughts that I didn’t even notice that her now open hand slid down to my crotch. Not consciously, but because it didn’t have anything to hold onto anymore with her other hand now in mine. Alice gasped as she reached it.
“There’s… something very stiff down there.” She said unabashedly. “That reminds me, I haven’t even finished my massage yet.”
I jerked up and carefully distanced myself from her. “You know, you don’t necessarily have to. I’m feeling fine already. All relaxed.”
She gave me a slightly frustrated pout. Did she only pretend or did she actually not notice what she was doing? “I said I would prove to you that I’m dependable. I don’t want to do a half baked job.”
“Just relax. I got this.” She said with determination, crawling towards me once again. Before I could even react, she was fumbling around with my zipper.
“What are you doing, that part is not…” And just like that, my cock sprang out in full view for her to see. I gulped as the blood rushed to my head. I couldn’t even comprehend the situation. I was almost fully erect and my cock showed no sign of wanting to obey me and go down.
I didn’t know what to say in my defense but to my surprise… I apparently didn’t even need to. Alice looked straight at it without even a hint of surprise.
She got close to it and inspected it. “There it is!”
I hissed as she gripped me. “W…what do you mean: There it is?”
“The tense muscle that I felt. It’s even more stiff than I expected though.”
“Are you… are you messing with me right now?”
She earnestly looked up at me with my member in her hand. “No? I was just… massaging you. And I really want to do a good job. I never massaged a muscle like this before though. I might not be very good at it.” She said with an apologetic face.
I was conflicted. Would I play along with this or would I stop her. When I looked down at her, her sincere wish to do this and her pleading, questioning eyes… I was so tempted by it. I couldn’t deny her. With a gulp, I told her. “Don’t worry about it… I’ll guide you.” I finally spoke up reluctantly, tensing up a little each time she squeezed my shaft a little tighter. “Okay, first, form a ring with your index finger and your thumb around it and just start jerking it near that ridge around the top.”
With dexterity, she did exactly as I asked. I still couldn’t believe this was happening. Her short, small fingers barely fit around it but the tightness made it even better. Her expression turned so serious as she focused on moving her fingers right. She knocked against the head of my cock from underneath and rubbed that narrow, sensitive area right under it. She couldn’t fully pump down as the thickening shaft was too much to get a hold of for her.
Also, there seemed to be another problem for her. “Aww, Jack I’m really trying but it’s so hard to move.”
“That’s because you need to lubricate it. Like massaging oil.”
“But we don’t have anything like that here. Is there any other way to make it easier?”
I swallowed once again. “Well, there is. Your spit will do the job.”
“Yeah, just let it trickle onto it and spread it until it becomes slippery enough to move.”
“You don’t mind if I get my spit on you?” She asked insecurely.
“I won’t. In fact I think I might like that even more. I’m glad you’re putting in that much for me already.”
She blushed a bit at my praise and turned her gaze down at my cock again as to not let me see her red face. I really couldn’t tell how much she actually knew about things like this. All I knew was that she was acting insanely cute.
Alice shoved her hair back with one hand while she held my dick in place with the other. She opened her mouth wide and let her tongue dangle over my tip. Slowly but surely, globs of her saliva dripped off it and landed on my twitching cock. The hot fluids seeped into my flesh and her hand coated my entire length in it. Her movements became smoother and she even became emboldened by it. She used both hands now, one further up and the other further down my cock, rubbing it in two different angles.
Her small fingers were deft and, as if by instinct, knew exactly how to tease the most pleasurable spots. Yet throughout the whole thing, she never once seemed like she knew what she was doing to me. She might have a pretty mature mind, but she was still extremely naive and innocent to stuff like this.
With a frustrated frown, she focused on my cock. “Nnnghh! It keeps drying up. The spit doesn’t stay on long enough.” Even though at this point, my tip was glistening with precum, I let her figure out what to do next herself just to see what kind of conclusion she would come to.
She shot up glances at me, worried that I would be frustrated with her and that I would think she was stalling. “Maybe if I…”
I curiously watched as she once again shoved her hair past her ears. This time though, she didn’t leave it at letting her spit drool onto my cock, this time… she went further. I ground my teeth a little as I felt her thin, tiny tongue run around my head, slurping and lapping at it the whole way. She seemingly wanted to make it as wet as possible because she let her drool excessively spill from the side of her mouth. A mixture of her saliva and my precum flowed like a river down my shaft until the whole thing looked like a melting popsicle.
She tried to force her mouth down more, but it was too small and at the halfway point, it already reached the back of her throat. With what length she could get though, she did the best she could to bob her head up and down and slid her tongue along the underside. There was barely any room in her mouth and even her cheeks bulged out to accommodate me.
Just seeing her like this from above fueled a deep sense of sadism and satisfaction. The thought that I was using a cute girl like her to pleasure me. I started enjoying this too much because without me focusing on maintaining my composure, I was dangerously close to cumming.
“Alice! I think, I’m almost there!”
She popped off my cock with sparkling eyes. “Really? I’m doing a good job?”
“Yeah, you really are! Do that a bit more!”
“Alright big bro! You can count on me!” She spoke with enthusiasm and was right back at it with even more vigor, sucking me off and massaging the lower parts that she couldn’t get to with her mouth.
Her devilish tail wagged with joy and her equally spiky wings twitched in anticipation. Her body sure knew what she was doing, even if she herself didn’t.
I held onto her horns as I drew ever closer to my climax and aided her in her movements. I heard her wet choking sounds and her drool covered lips smacking.
And with a final burst, I came and sprayed the inside of her mouth with cum to the point of it splattering out at the sides. I wanted to be careful with her, but it was too late. She swallowed a good chunk of my cum but soon she started coughing and choking and spit out my member before it became too much. Her face, neck and dress were completely covered in semen. On the white of her dress it was barely noticeable, but her pink face had strands of it all over it from her lips to her ears.
It was a lewd, dirty and almost immoral image displayed in front of me. Once I came to my senses and relaxed from my orgasm, I reached into my pockets and pulled out a fabric tissue to wipe off her face. As I padded away the stains, I held her close and embraced her. She was still breathing heavily and was very confused.
“Did… Did I do it? Do you feel better?” She asked sincerely, clenching her hands in front of her chest hopefully.
I was so short from bursting out into laughing, that I had to swallow the desire to do so. I asked her straight out. “You know what we just did, right?”
“I gave you a massage?”
I chuckled. “It wasn’t quite that. This was a lot more than that. You really didn’t know?”
“No. I just followed what you were saying. It was a bit scary at the end though.”
“You know, what you just did is called fellatio. You don’t do that for people like you do massages. You only do something like this for people you really, really like.”
Without a single shred of doubt in her mind and a beaming smile, she answered me with sincerity. “Then I’m glad I got to do it for you, Jack.”
My heart exploded from her cuteness. I pulled her closer and cupped her cheek, meeting her blushing face with my own. She shyly looked into my eyes as I said to her. “Same here, Alice.” And with those words, I surprised her with a soft, loving kiss. I was convinced at this point, that I wanted her to be mine. Not just as a little sister, but as a girl as well.
Her eyes shot open in surprise before melting into a confused but happy daze. She went with the flow of the kiss and after a period of confusion entwined her tongue with mine. I gently laid her down and pinned her onto the grass near the crackling fire. The soft warmth mirrored our passionate embrace and set the mood for what was about to happen.
Alice watched my hands with intrigue as they crawled up her legs and lifted up her dress. With one hand, I explored underneath it while at the same time using the other to shift down her poofy shoulder straps.
Her laced white panties as well as her uncovered, flat breasts came into view. Her breath was full of anticipation and her eyes were fixated on mine.
I leaned down and latched onto one of her perky nipples while caressing her pussy lips through the thin fabric of her underwear. And just like I suspected before, her body knew more about what was going on than she did, because as soon as I touched her crotch, I felt a rising, deep heat and a spreading wet spot.
Her slender frame trembled at my touches and her legs clamped around my hand. But that move didn’t save her from more stimulation. Her lips quivered as I kissed them yet she made sure to firmly hold on to the back of my head.
I parted from her for a second and looked into her eyes. “You know there’s more things that people who like each other do.”
Her chest heaved up and down from her excited breathing. “Does it feel… anything as good as this?”
“Ten times over, Alice. Ten times over.” I whispered to her, hooking my index finger into her panties and pulled them off her sticky crotch. A thin line of her juices were strung along as I pulled them down her legs.
With her top and bottom completely bared apart from her dress on her midriff, her stockings and shoes, I positioned myself over her. Her looks, whether intentional or not, showed me how much she was looking forward to this. My cock was beyond hard again and raring to go for more. It was still coated with saliva and cum, making it perfect for penetration. Additionally, she was already wet, so there was nothing in the way of getting started.
I took her chin in my fingers and asked her. “You know I don’t want to hurt you, right?”
Her fingers dug into the nape of my neck and she trustingly nodded.
“Because this might sting a little. But I want you to know that it’s going to feel good very soon.”
She took a deep breath and pressed her face into my shoulder. “Okay. I want to do this.”
I held and rubbed her back as I pushed past her folds. Her hairless pussy spread wide open. Surprisingly, penetration wasn’t troublesome at all. She was tight, but just loose enough to take in my entire girth. I felt overwhelmed by the smooth, wriggling insides clamping down around me.
I put more pressure into my downward push, sliding in as far as I could. As expected, most of my length didn’t fit. Three quarters in, and I reached the entrance to her womb.
Alice hugged me tightly, adjusting to the foreign object inside her.
I gasped for air and clenched my body to resist the urge to thrust right away, no matter how much I wanted to. Through my gasps, I asked her “How does it feel, Alice? Are you okay?”
With a squeaky voice, she responded “It… nngghhh….it feels so weird but… I think I like it? Do you like it?”
“You have no idea. I feel amazing.”
“I’m doing good, right? I took as much as I could.” She said with upturned eyes.
My heart exploded. “Goddammit, stop being so damn cute!” I caught her lips, running my fingers through her silky hair as I started pumping my hips.
We moaned into each other’s mouths as we collided. I was careful not to break her feeble body underneath me but still went as strong as I could without doing so. My cock knocked against the back of her love tunnel over and over easily already, but with the force there was behind it, it felt like I was actually reaching deeper inside with each thrust. It was like her insides were stretching and it made me feel better and better the more I sunk in.
I ground against her walls, prodded her womb and exchanged saliva with her. Alice took her arms from behind my neck and searched for my hands instead, entwining her fingers with mine. Both in body and soul we started becoming one and melting together.
She got more and more used to me, crying out in pleasure and assaulting my tongue in turn with me assaulting hers. Our bodies became hotter and hotter and over time, we got so accustomed to each other that we knew what the other wanted without even saying it.
Speeding up, we were almost close to cumming. We didn’t need to say it, both of us already felt it.
My cock was twitching just as much as her insides did and our tongues were thrashing more wildly than before.
I hammered her hips into the ground, pounding her receptive, hungry pussy and released all of my built up cum deep inside. I could feel the spurts of semen cover her walls in white as I pumped my last thrusts to wring out the remaining spurts.
Alice’s insides were spasmingly constricting around me, riding out wave after wave of her first ever orgasm.
I waited until I was completely dry, steadying myself over her as to not crush her beneath me. I was breathing heavily, just as she did herself. We held hands til the end, as twitchy and shaky as they may have been.
After making sure that she was alright, I sidled up to her, collapsing close to her hot, exhausted body. Alice’s wings and tail were retracting and extending in random intervals uncontrollably. I pulled her head into my chest and her body closely against mine. I calmed her down by combing her hair and rubbing her back.
With a sigh of relief and happiness, she clung and nuzzled her face into me. “So… what would you say? Did I promise too much?”
She giggled in her exhaustion. “Ten times over… haaaa… was an understatement.”
“You’re right there. I didn’t expect this either. That was… mind-blowing.”
Alice craned her neck to look up at me with a dewy, dreamy look. “So… you said this is something only people who really really like each other do, right?”
“Yeah, I did. Why are you asking?”
“There is something above ‘really really liking someone’, right?”
“There is, yeah. What about it?”
“I just thought… maybe you would say it to me. If you do more than just ‘really, really like me’ that is.” She said, smiling cheekily.
I smirked a little bit. At least to some extent, she apparently knew what she was saying and doing after all. I leaned down and kissed her on the forehead. “I love you, Alice. That’s the one, right?”
She giggled happily and leaned up closer to me. “That’s the one. I love you too… Onii-chan.” And she in turn placed a sweet little peck on my lips.
The rainstorm kept prattling on outside of our little camp, but from the day after that, my travels with Alice in Wonderland only just started.