White Rabbit



Scene Title ʇᴉqqɐɹ ǝʇᴉɥM
Synopsis Go Ask Alice.
Date August 21, 2018


Laying back on layers of threadbare blankets, rugs, and a winter jacket, Eve Mas is somewhere else and yet she can still feel how hard the concrete is beneath her. Overhead, the sound of rain hammers against the roof, droplets of water tracing their way across rusted supports. A few candles are lit, red wax melted to the floor, mingling with the dirt and grit. Headphones tuck over ears, and a battered old cassette player rests at her hip. Eyes close, lips part, and brows pinch together.

Eve raises her right hand, bringing the twisted joint to her lips and drawing in sharply. Paper burns, glows orange, and two silken ribbons of smoke drift out of her nostrils. Lips part, smoke wafts out over teeth like a low-lying fog, and the narrow slits of her mostly closed eyes then a chalk white.

Her thumb depresses play on the Walkman, and an old cassette starts playing. First guitar, then drums. The room melts away, the day-long ache for sleep claims heavy eyelids. She feels weightless, painless, and distant in the infinite gulf of nothing.

One pill makes you larger

And one pill makes you small

And the ones that mother gives you, don't do anything at all

There is a room, dark and spacious, with blue light burning in the air. Coils of blue, snaking in serpentine fashion, looping through rings, attached to plugs, feeding fluid into veins. Two harnesses hold upright figures, plugged into the chemical intake. One with eyes open, another with eyes closed. The figure with closed eyes lets out a rasping moan, and the figure with open eyes exhales an agonized whimper. As his eyes shut, hers open. Gold.

Go ask Alice, when she's ten feet tall

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A blonde woman with a severe expression stares down at Eve reproachfully. Her hair is tied back and away from her face, lips downturned into a frown. There is a man in the room, withdark and curly hair. He turns to the blonde woman, retrieving money from his pocket and offering it to her. “Get a cab,” he tells her thoughtfully, “I'll find the child’s parents and take her home.” The blonde woman, looking large, looks down at the girl with worried eyes. “Don't worry yourself, Alice. I'll take care of it.”

“I'm not worried about that,” Alice explains, looking from child to the dark-haired man. “I'm worried that she's going to get snatched up by the Company.” Blue eyes square on her counterpart. “She's special, Alphonse, like my sister.”

Alphonse looks down to the girl, then shrugs helplessly. “But what can you do?”

And if you go chasing rabbits, and you know you're going to fall

Tell 'em a hookah-smoking caterpillar has given you the call

Red and blue lights flash on a foggy road. The sky is slate gray, the asphalt wet, misting rain falling from an overcast sky. It is forest all around, tall and old, moss on the trees. The police car parked on the side of the road has set out flares, they burn pink and red against the drizzling rain, shine like knives down along the street. A lone car, rust-colored, sits by the side of the road with a dent in its hood and a broken windshield. A blonde woman lays in the street, blood in her hair and face, a police officer crouched over her, his jacket covering her chest, but he dare not move her. “Help is on the way,” he says reassuringly while the driver that hits her panics on the side of the road, vomiting at his feet.

The blonde woman reaches up to touch her head, fingers shaking. “Where— ” her voice is coarse, scratchy and rough like sandpaper. “Am I?” The question makes the police officer nervous, and he lays one hand on her shoulder to steady her.

“Easy,” the officer warns. “The driver said you ran out in front of him, in front of his car. You were hit, but you're going to be ok. Do you know what you name is?”

The blonde woman stares intently at the officer and nods slowly.

“Kara,” she says with certainty.


And call Alice, when she was just small

A sound of thunder rolls in the starless skies.

Gunfire is a terrible sound, it carries across the open expanse of dusty desert that spills out from the foot of the mountains. Between elevated wooden lodges, screams erupt between the noise of gunfire. Blood soaks into the sand where a man in a plaid shirt lays on his back, bullet holes torn through his chest, glasses crooked on his blood-spattered face, eyes open and glassy as they peer upwards at the lightning flashing through the clouds.

Beneath one of those elevated lodges, a tiny young girl lays on her stomach in the dirt. Blood from her father is still tacky and warm across the right side of her face, some droplets smudges where tears have made them run. Dark, chocolate brown eyes watch her father's lifeless body where he lays, and not much further away where a man in a soldier's uniform lays dead as well, a burning hole in the middle of his chest from a direct lightning strike, clothing blown apart on his body in charred strips.

Wind picks up, wind and sudden snow flurries, a pop of electricity as lights on the cabins blow when a stroke of lightning hits a nearby power line. All Alice Shaw can see are booted feet running along the packed earth walkways. Trembling hands cover her ears, eyes wrenching shut and lips pressed together tightly. "Say goodnight, Alice. Say goodnight, Alice. Say goodnight, Alice." The mantra is whispered as she struggles to block out the terrible sounds. As if hearing her wishes, thunder rolls like a beat of war drums above, drowning out the pop of gunfire.

The sudden, terrifying sensation of a hand wound around one of her ankles has Alice shrieking as she's dragged out from beneath the building. Her fingers curl into the dirt, eyes grow wide and a shriek spills from her lips. The young girl turns, writhes, kicks and claws at the ground to try and save herself as a pair of soldiers haul her out from beneath the building.

One of them lets go of her leg, unholstering his sidearm from his belt, cocking it back and aiming the revolver down towards Alice. Fear fills her eyes and the sky flashes bright with a peal of thunder and lightning, followed by a stroke of white-hot light lancing down from the heavens, striking the gun-toting soldier in the top of the head, flash-frying his eyes and burning a hole through his helmet and hair. His skin boils on the inside, smoke expels out his mouth and he flies backwards onto the ground, legs and arms convulsing involuntarily.

The soldier not hit is recoiling, even as Alice draws her legs up beneath herself. He swings his rifle from over his shoulder, pulls the bolt back and chambers a round with a snap-clack. As he levels the rifle up and trains it on Alice, another soldier tackles her from out of nowhere, and the rifle goes off, followed by a puff of red from the middle of his back before he crumples to the ground with his arms around the girl.

Blood spills from the blonde soldier's mouth, and Alice continues to wail like a banshee with his dead weight atop her. Blood soaks into her clothes as she tries to push him off, but his body pins her to the dirt. The rifle-armed soldier chambers another round, ejecting a smoking shell out of the side of his bolt-action rifle as he stalks forward. Closing in on Alice, his lips curl back into a snarl and he levels the rifle down towards her.

Only to have the soldier he'd shot stand up again.

Confusion gives way to hesitation, and hesitation gives way to death. A broken piece of glass from a blown out window finds its way into the rifleman's throat, torn across the front of his neck in a jagged line by the soldier he thought he'd gunned down. Blue eyes stare piercingly from the attacker, from Alice's liberator.

When the rifleman falls down to the ground, grasping at his cut throat, gapsing wetly for air and choking on his own blood, the soldier turns slowly to look back at Alice. He pulls open the front of his button down uniform, checking his chest where a bullet hole goes straight through him. One thumb wipes over the exit hole, smearing blood over perfectly smooth and undamaged skin. Alice's wide eyes stare up vacantly at the soldier, at his nametag: MONROE, A.

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When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go

And you've just had some kind of mushroom, and your mind is moving low

Seated at an easel, Eve Mas keeps her hair pulled back and smile strong. Her posture is straight, shoulders square, and the walls all around her as eggshell as the untouched canvas. A slate of oil paints is cradled in one arm, brush in the other hand. Her white dress is loose and cottony, printed with tiny rabbit stencils that rise along her shoulders, up to the collar, close enough that they might say something softly in her ears. The first stroke of red comes down on the canvas, and Eve begins to paint what she saw the night before.

Standing at her side, a hand on her other shoulder, Simon Broome looks down at the slate in her hand, and the color palette that she’s chosen. Multiple daubs of red, all the same shade. Simon’s brows furrow, dark eyes leveling up to Eve with one brow raised. “That’s a very limiting palette,” he says in a disquieted tone, watching her paint irregular lines on the canvas. Eve looks over, one brow lifted in mirror of Simon’s expression.

“It’s a very limiting world,” Eve replies, turning back to her work.

Go ask Alice, I think she'll know

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“I can’t.

Dress shoes scuff across a tile floor, and Rhys Bluthner shakes his head as he backs away from the blonde woman across from him. “He hasn’t done anything wrong, has he? He’s just… all he’s doing is helping keep things in order.” There’s a look of horror on Rhys’ face, one of betrayal and anxiety. But the blonde woman frowns disapprovingly, hands folded behind her back.

“Who’s order?” Alice asks with a single lift of one brow, and Rhys isn’t sure how to answer. It’s okay, she didn’t want him to anyway. “There is only room in this world for one,” she says with an incline of her head to the young man. “No matter how helpful he’s been to you in the past, no matter how harmless he seems now that his other self has… declawed him. Claws grow back.” Alice warns with a mild look.

Rhys looks down and away, swallows nervously, then looks back up to Alice. “Where is he from?” He asks with a tremor in his voice, “I don’t recognize his shadows.” That question has Alice’s stare dip down briefly to the floor, search Rhys’ shoes, and then alight back up to the boy’s face.

“I don’t know,” Alice says with a shrug of both shoulders. “It doesn’t matter.”

When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead

And the white knight is talking backwards

And the red queen's off with her head


˙ʇɹnɥ sǝʎǝ ʎW” Clutching his head and rocking back and forth on the floor, Magnes Varlane exhales a sharp breath through clenched teeth, eyes wrenched shut. “˙lɐɔᴉʇɔɐɹd ƃuᴉǝq ʇ,usɐʍ I 'ʇɥƃᴉɹ ǝɹ,noʎ 'oN” His eyes roll back in his head, blood trickling from his nose as he slouches against a padded wall, bare toes curling against a stone floor with a drain in the middle. “˙ʇol ɐ ɟo llǝɥ ɐ uɐǝɯ ʇ,usǝop ǝɹns ƃuᴉǝq ʇoN ¿pǝuɹɐǝl ǝʌ,I ʇɐɥʍ ʍouʞ noʎ ʇnq 'sɐsuɐʞ uᴉ s,ʇɐɥʍ ǝɹns ʇou ɯ,I” Magnes babbles, eyes clenched closed, fingers curled into his hair, rocking back and forth.

Whining softly, Magnes slumps down onto the floor, mumbling into the concrete. “˙ʍoɹɹoɯoʇ ǝɹnʇnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇnoqɐ ʎɹɹoʍ uɐɔ ǝM ˙sʞɔɐus ǝʞɐɯ ll,I ˙xɐlǝɹ oƃ 'llǝM” His hands shake, arms tremble, and blood runs from his nose, down his upper lip, along his cheek and pools on the floor beneath him.

Remember what the dormouse said

Feed your head, feed your head


Standing in the ruined ground floor of a parking garage, Eve Mas’ hair clings with the dampness of recently fallen rain. It’s still drizzling outside, skies cloudy and streets shiny enough to reflect the gray back at her. In the shelter of the parking garage, she discovers that she is barefoot, toes curled against asphalt, pyjama pants with little pandas on them, a loose shirt of handspun wool from Lene’s closet.

She blinks, repeatedly, and realizes she doesn’t remember how she got here. Or how far she walked.

Further away in the parking garage, a small white rabbit bounds away behind a derelict car.


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