And They All Lived… Ever After

1 - Introduction

In the happy and lovely town of Henrietta, there lived eight children. Well, maybe they weren't all children. Meet Allison Hamm and Gabriel Hyatt. Since they didn't have a sufficient amount of high school credits, they had no choice but to take… Drama. Meet the fifth graders in Mrs. Sneed's elementary school Drama class: Cassandra Baker, Evan Holland, Ian Frost, Justin Williams, Christian Nolker, and Gabrielle Hyatt. I'm sure you wonder how these two groups fit together. Well… let's take a little look, shall we?

One day Mrs. Jones informed the class of a special project that required a group of two. Being two rather, shall we say, undesirable partners for other students, Allison and Gabriel teamed up. She then told the class they would be working on a one-month assignment to help a group of elementary school children make a play. Hell broke loose, detentions were assigned, but the project was still in effect with threats of failing the class and repeating the grade. Ergo, the two worked at it for about four weeks. That leaves us here, the first dress rehearsal of Alice in Wonderland.

"Hey… he-ey! Gabriel?" a twelve year old boy with shaggy brown and blond highlighted hair and big brown eyes was yelling at the snoozing teen in a chair. He snorted a bit and repositioned himself, mussing some of his dark brown hair from his ponytail. "Wha…?" he groaned. "Your sister doesn't know where the safety pins are, we need a lot of 'em for her Queen of Hearts costume," Ian told him. Gabriel rummaged through a pocket and produced a handful of them. "Take 'em," he yawned, and he did so. The boy ran off to the other side of the room. Justin was helping drape random yards of fabric over Gabrielle. Cassandra was putting various different sets of rabbit ears on Christian, who sort of sat there with no complaint. Neither Evan nor Allison were in sight. "Where's Ches?" Ian asked, handing Justin the pins. Of course he meant Evan, who played the Cheshire Cat. Cassandra answered with a quick snap of her head, her two curly green pigtails bouncing, "Allison's out there smoking, can't you see the big cloud?" She pointed out the window and she wasn't exaggerating. Gabrielle shook her head and said in her quiet voice, "How can people do that to themselves?"
Justin tugged at his short brown hair and protested, "It makes your teeth nasty!" Cassandra randomly cheered, and the others looked over to see her victory over the bunny ears. Christian was now fitted with a nice furry pair that nearly matched his strawberry blond hair. "He's the Off-White Rabbit!" Ian laughed. Gabrielle smiled, and Justin shook his head then went back to his work frivolously. "We've got to do something about your hair," he commented, holding up her straight auburn locks. She shrugged. "I've got a scrunchie," Cassandra suggested. The boy nodded and she tossed it across the room to him. The door opened and almost all attention was diverted to a rather scary looking woman and a boy a bit older than all of them, who spilled into the room. A smoky odor filled the air. Ian pranced over to Evan and pointed at him with a smirk, "Time for your stripes." It didn't seem to effect him, in fact, he returned the smirk and stepped toward him, more than a few inches taller than him. Ian made a little squeak and retreated behind Gabrielle. "Oh, my great Queen, save me!" They laughed.
Cassandra helped find Justin's green top hat to complete his Mad Hatter look, and she fitted Ian with his own pair of ears to become the March Hare. She had Evan help her with her own Alice costume. Allison worked on waking Gabriel while Evan turned himself into the Cheshire Cat.
The younger ones worked on lines and motivating their supervisors to get into their costumes as well. Soon enough, Allison came out as the Jabberwocky, and Gabriel was a very tired Caterpillar.

They filed their way through the halls to the gymnasium where the stage was. They set up their meager props and all prepared for the first scene. Gabrielle had taken off part of her costume to play the necessary role.
"Alice? Alice? Are you paying attention?" she began. Allison signaled from the back that she needed to be louder. She repeated the line with little change, but they kept going anyway. A strange thing happened though. Just as Cassandra said, "My world would be a Wonderland," one of the lights up above them flickered out. She faltered, but Gabriel told them to keep going. Before she could say another word, another light went out. Then another, and soon it was all dark. Someone screamed.

Cassandra opened her eyes. "Holy crap! Did you see that? All the frickin' lights went out at once! That's some alien ghost crap right there!" she immediately started yelling. She looked around when she didn't hear anyone. She was in some sort of strange forest. A wood sign appeared from nowhere reading: "Tulgey Wood." Her eyes widened. She looked down at her clothes, which turned out to be a much better version of Alice's dress than she had made. She checked her hair, and was glad to see that it was still curly and green. "Anybody home?" she asked, and her voice echoed quite a bit. The echo changed pitch, and got a bit deeper. "What's going on? Where am I? Why can't I see myself?" a familiar voice asked frantically, and at the same time a figure began to form on a tree branch. Soon enough, Evan the Cheshire Cat was looking around bewildered at his surroundings. He put a hand- or rather a paw- in front of his face and laughed hysterically. "I'm a cat person! Sweet!" he yelled, then finally noticed Cassandra staring up at him confused. "Check me out, I'm a pimp!" he commented excitedly. She laughed, stunned. She noticed a strange bracelet on his wrist and pointed at it. "Wha's'at?" she asked him. He looked at it and shrugged. "You've got one too. Mine just has a little magic carpet charm," he answered. She looked at her own wrist and realized that she had a charm as well, only it was a glowing mirror. "That's weird," Cassandra murmured. She looked for a was to take it off, but it seemed pretty much stuck on. "I think we have no choice but to wear these," Evan observed, and she shrugged. It didn't bother her that much.
"You seen the others?" Cassandra asked, looking around. A small yellowish dirt path was forming from her feet and winding through the trees. A sign appeared beneath the limb Evan was perched on. "'Mad Hatter,'" she read aloud. They both shrugged as Evan jumped down. "Maybe we'll find Justin," Evan commented.