Wonderland (Ch. 1)
The crisp sea air blew against Willow Firefox’s face and whipped around her long blonde hair, the cold waves crashing against her ankles. She sighed. Under other circumstances, her life would be pretty much perfect. She wouldn't want anything more. But what she did want, more than anything in the world, was for Alice to come back.
It had been a year since Alice, Willow’s twin sister's disappearance on that day. Alice was Willow’s whole world. They did everything together. When she went missing, it felt like a hole had been drilled into Willow’s heart, hitting her where it hurt most. She cried for days. Even now she still cried for her sister. Although she believed that Alice was still alive and out there somewhere, she had to admit that Alice likely wasn’t coming back on her own. And this broke Willow’s heart more than anything.
Willow wrapped her arms around herself, probably trying to squeeze out the sadness. She wasn’t sure anymore. Life had become a never-ending tirade of waking up, eating, studying, eating again, and going to sleep. There was no purpose anymore. Not without Alice.
I should go for a swim, Willow thought, blinking tears out of her deep sky-blue eyes. That always makes me feel better. The gentle waves felt like soft silk to Willow, and it calmed her every time she waded into the great blue expanse.
She trudged back up to the manor, her home high up on the cliff overlooking the water. Her butler, Thomas, greeted her kindly as she walked in. She nodded her head in response, walking to her room on the third floor.
Willow was only ever in two places: her room and the shoreside. Her bedroom, which had a door (with faded crayon markings from when Alice and her were toddlers) connecting to Alice’s room, was everything she could ever dream of. The walls were painted a dusty rose, there was a loft with a full gaming setup underneath (Willow loved video games), she had fairy lights scattered all around, and a little reading nook was in the corner. All in all, it was perfect. But even a wonderful place like this couldn’t compensate for the sadness nestled deep in her heart. Nothing was the same without Alice.
Willow undressed and pulled on her soft tangerine-colored bathing suit. She didn’t bother taking off her glasses; she planned on just floating on her back. Taking a deep breath, she took off her bracelet too.
Willow’s bracelet was the only thing that she had left connecting her to Alice. They had made them together five years ago, when they were just nine. Willow’s had two white stripes and one purple stripe in the middle, where Alice’s had two white stripes and a pink stripe in the middle. She knew it was silly, but she felt like if she didn’t wear the bracelet, Alice would forget her. Of course, she couldn’t get it wet. But it was still hard to take it off every time.
Willow walked out of her room, ready for a swim, and smacked right into her father. She groaned internally, rubbing her nose.
Willow had always gone to great lengths to avoid her father. Ever since her mother died when she was four, her father had been distant, to say the least. And when Alice had disappeared, he had become… broken. He stayed locked up in his room, always working (though Willow had a theory that he was just trying to distract himself). Sometimes he would come out and wander around the house in a daze. Whenever Willow saw him, she knew the words “Where’s Alice?” were on the tip of his tongue at all times. Willow knew it was hard for her father to see her when she looked so much like Alice, but it still hurt every time he avoided her gaze.
Willow remembered her mom well. Her memory was far from perfect, but she remembered smiles, laughter, splashing in the crystal waters, and more hugs than Willow ever received nowadays. Every time she remembered her, she could almost be happy for a while. But all too soon that feeling faded, leaving her feeling more empty than before.
“Hello Father,” Willow greeted him reluctantly. He gave a grunt of acknowledgement and a pat on her shoulder, avoiding her eyes, and walked away. Willow sighed.
At the shoreside, the sun was covered by the dismal gray clouds, but it did not bother Willow. She strode in and once she was deep enough, laid flat on her back and floated. She didn’t need to worry about anything when she was in the water. She could just lay there and succumb to the gentle lull of the ever-flowing waves.
Suddenly, something scaly and slimy wrapped around Willow’s ankle. She wasn’t worried at first; often the emerald-green seaweed would take a part of Willow in its grasp, only to release it again. But she soon realized that it wasn’t seaweed. Last time she checked, seaweed didn’t have sharp claws and scaly skin.
She was forced down under the water. Willow, panicking, took a good look at her captor. It had big, glassy eyes, electric-green hair, scaly green skin, and a demonic smile on its face. It seemed to be some sort of… mermaid? Siren? But that couldn’t be. What the heck was this thing?
She yanked her leg from the creature and tried frantically to go up for air, but to no avail. As soon as she reached the surface and took a breath of air, the hand enclosed around her leg again. She was dragged down and down into the watery haze. There was no air. She flailed and struggled against the creature helplessly, until against her will, her eyes closed, and there was nothing but darkness.
Hello! My online name is Fiona Sailman (if it's okay, I'd rather not share any personal information online), I live in Michigan, and I'm a teenage author-in-training. What you just read is chapter one of my fantasy novel Wonderland, which is an alternate-universe rewrite of Lewis Carroll's Adventures of Alice in Wonderland that alternates between Willow and Alice's perspectives. I'm using it to practice my imagery since I want readers to really understand what it looks like, as they've probably only seen the Disney version of Wonderland. It's still a work in progress, but as of now I have 12,000 words and 46 pages. It's on track to be drafted and edited in one to two years. I have a five-part series planned out, one book for each of the five dimensions.
Synopsis: One year has passed since Alice Firefox disappeared, and her twin sister Willow Firefox is heartbroken. But a simple swim turns dangerous when a mysterious creature drags her down, and she blacks out. When she wakes up, she's in a mysterious, strange land with even stranger people. When she finds out the queen's name is Alice, she embarks out with her new friends to find that it's true- her sister is the queen. But now Willow has a bigger goal than bringing Alice home: to save Wonderland and the other four dimensions from the Ace of Spade's dark reign, and make it out alive.
My target audience are kids/teens ages 12-17 as it is YA fantasy. I've been writing for years now, and this is my first serious project that I hope to get published. I don't have any specific education in writing other than English classes in school. I write fantasy and science fiction for the most part but sometimes I write realistic fiction and I'm beginning to branch out into poetry. My hobbies are baking, drawing animals I make up, studying psychology, and reading (oh my LORD I read so much). I love the color yellow, animals (particularly dogs and cats), swimming, and collecting throw pillows and stuffed animals.
You can email me anytime at email@example.com. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this (I know it's really long)! I hope you enjoyed it and I hope to hear from you! Have an amazing day!