And They All Lived… Ever After

2 - The Curious Queen

There were cards everywhere, just like in the movie. They were lined up like soldiers, all facing Gabrielle, as if waiting for something. She looked around, quite stumped. "Excuse me, but what are you all waiting for?" she asked in her tiny voice. One in the front looked puzzled. He stepped forward. "My Queen, we're here for the daily inspection," he nervously explained. Gabrielle tilted her head to the side at how he addressed her. She looked down at her clothes and saw herself wearing a marvelous red black and gold gown with hearts all over it. She patted the top of her head and felt a crown. She smiled, and some of the front row card soldiers drew back in surprise. "My- my Queen, are you feeling well?" he asked, and she nodded. Gabrielle waved her hands at them all and raised her voice only a bit. "You're all looking great, you may leave now," she instructed. Nobody left. They all had a bewildered look in their eyes. "Go on, leave," she repeated. A few laughed only a bit before they filed out of the courtyard.
She went inside the castle and began exploring the corridors. She hadn't yet noticed the silver bracelet on her arm with the sparkling gold fairy wings. She did however notice the absence of the White Rabbit, and everyone else for that matter. Then again, the rabbit didn't get to the castle for quite a while.

After a while, wandering about aimlessly had lost its fun. She'd been through the hedge maze more than twice. But, three times was the charm. She turned a few corners and flew through random ins and outs until she found a dead end. She was about to turn around when something caught her eye. Gabrielle approached the end where she saw a curious little bug munching on leaves. It was much like a caterpillar, perhaps three times the size though. It had alternating stripes of pastel yellows, pinks, and blues. It had a little bit of fuzz on top of it's head. It made strange little sounds as it made a meal of the hedge. "Weeple, weeple."
She smiled a bit as she stood behind the little bug. It was cute in a strange sort of way. "Hey there little guy," she greeted happily. The bug turned its head to look at her with big black eyes. She reached a finger out to pet it. Just as she was about to reach it, it started to bear its razor sharp teeth. She backed off as the smile vanished. It hissed at her for a moment, then went back to eating a nice hole in the hedge. Gabrielle frowned. But there was something beyond the leafy wall where the bug was eating. It was dark, but she was sure she could see trees. Like a forest. It started to crawl through the hole, and soon was out of sight. She decided to again approach. She put her hands on the outsides of the hole, which was about a foot in diameter. But, as she poked her head through and began to look around, she felt herself losing her balance, and she fell completely through. Gabrielle rolled forward perhaps three yards until she came to a stop and landed nicely on her bum.
Shaking her head to get rid of the dizziness, Gabrielle once again looked around. It was dark. That was about it. There was a yellowish path winding into nothingness from the exact spot she had landed. "Hmm… I wonder where it leads?" she asked herself as she made sure her crown was still on, though not sure why it was. She stood up and dusted herself off before starting down the path humming.