|MJ's a little (flirty) wrote in doorslogs,|
@ 2013-07-22 22:15:00
|Entry tags:||cheshire cat, door: tales, snow white|
Snow White took precarious steps as she left the woods. These Witching Woods, where she had spent her childhood and where her sister now resided, were familiar to her in all the ways the land before her wasn’t. She knew it by name, few didn’t know of Wonderland in the mundane worlds, but never once had she contemplated what it might truly look like. Or even fathom visiting it.
But now there she was, the homelands she had known behind her and moving towards this new land, jarring as it was knowing that it hadn’t existed when she was growing up there. She didn’t plan on staying long, or even staying at all. The influx of new people in their little world meant new areas, and possibly new problems. Snow hadn’t been kidding with Bigby when she said they needed to go scouting and since she was in the area she didn’t feel any problem getting the lay of the land without him.
Dressed in a pair of jeans and a blousy violet top, she crossed her arms as she stood on the hill that afforded her a nice, albeit far away, view of most of Wonderland. No one was in sight, as far as she could tell, and it made a relaxing picture. Strange, yes, with woods and hills and chessboard lands in the distance, but relaxing all the same from her vantage point. All in all, no threat, at least not at the moment.
In a branch in a tree that grew just high enough on a rounded hill, swaying in dappling green and yellow, sat a cat with virescent eyes blinking. His tail, a loose question mark striped in creamed coffee, swung below smooth and polished bark—like one might see on a gentleman’s cane. Leaves glistened in pale cat’s eye green, thin as skin. And it was very peaceful, all things considered. There was a quiet breeze whispering through that held its tongue. And though, surely, a bonanza of activity was flourishing somewhere off near the garden of singing flowers, near the brook that ribboned up toward the aquabibs that circled the bulge of the hill—the very same Alice had tried and tried to reach by walking toward it (in Wonderland, that never did work)—here, here, it was placid as a pond cupped in a valley.
Until another Alice stumbled through an unseen looking-glass.
Sharp ears pricked high and the Cat lifted his head from his paws.
A woman in trousers of a like the Cat had never before seen, with hair black and long, strode into the pell-mell of Wonderland with its untidy lawns hedged with ordered disorder; she appeared with, it seemed to the Cat, purpose. She paused atop the hill and searched the horizontal horizon below as it stretched 180 degrees and back again.
In a branch in a tree that grew just high enough, the Cat grinned. His brown-white fur - in a pattern seen nowhere but here - shined in the limey beams of sunlight dropped beneath a blue sky, free of clouds, as he leapt from his branch to one nearer the visitor. She was not, he could see, from Alice’s England. Her bizarre clothing was a testament to that. But she was a foreigner all the same, and everyone knew the Cat had a soft spot for helping such.
“What is it you see?” He asked, curious in the golden gleam.
Snow started as the voice cut through her thoughts. She turned her head up to the voice and spotted a cat, and mentally chided herself for expecting a man instead. Even if it wasn’t him, the famed Cheshire Cat himself, talking animals were the norm around here.
“A cat,” she replied dryly, surveying his coloring and feeling a mild disappointment he wasn’t all pink and purple. She supposed this was what others might feel when they met her. She shrugged the thought away and looked back to the hills she was spying. “So this truly is Wonderland?”
“I wonder,” riddled the espied Cat, stretching his glimmering claws against the bare bone wood of the tree. It shook underneath him and harumphed. He finished his descent to the ground in a Devonshire streak, curling away and around the trunk of the tree with his tail flicking, out of sight. It took only seconds for the tall man to emerge from Wonderland green foliage, fingers peeling leaves back and stepping with ginger feet.
He was dressed primly, as ever, and his pretty smile was a long string of pearls. His collar was high, winged, worn underneath collegiate stripes. His waistcoat was double-breasted in a dark gray, his bowtie the vintage tint of glass, rolled and arsenic. The frockcoat was the same deep green spun on soft velvet. His hat was held by fingers on the felt brim.
He said nothing more; he reclined against the irritated tree, one shoe flat against the trunk, and he lifted his eyebrows and smiled.
Whatever she was expecting to appear once the cat reappeared, man was not it. Dressed primly and of times long ago, Snow let her cool blue eyes appraise him, sweeping over him head to toe with none of the warmth or interest another woman would have.
“Cute trick,” she replied, something akin to a compliment if she had ever been prone to giving those out. As it was, she wasn’t that impressed by it, a five hundred years dealing with talking animals, witches, giants, and all manner of fairy tale creatures taking out any awe one might find with dealing with a shapeshifting animal.
She turned back to the landscape. “A yes or no would suffice for my question.” Him wondering didn’t help her at all.
‘Cute’ was a word with no meaning the Cat understood, it was a hard catch against the back of the teeth at the cathedraled dome of the mouth followed by what brought to mind a drop. He chose its definition. It was not, after all, shapeshifting that he performed. It was much simpler than that. It was an exercise in volition. The man in the tall hat continued to grin, as if the presentation of the woman before him was somehow unbearably funny, but in a way to which only he was privy. His smile was a slow thing, sweet and razor sharp, the hard edge of a diamond, at once beautiful and cutting. His eyes picked out the flowers on the flowing material of her top and he was sure they must have been marigolds, though marigolds who’d lost their scent.
Much like the woman herself, no doubt.
“To which?” The Cat left his perch by the tree to draw nearer, curious of the way her legs were sleeved each in their own casing of strange blue.
Snow’s brow raised in question, but it was just a hair’s breadth away from twitching in irritation. The grin wasn’t helping matters, making her glower as she turned toward it. Her blue eyes narrowing, all ice, no hint of warmth or mirth that he was seemingly feeling. Moments stretched between them, silent, heavy, Snow awaiting his realization and him, surely, awaiting her to repeat it.
How she loathed having to repeat herself.
“Wonderland.” Her thumb sharply pointed to the side, the strange land sprawling out beside them. “Yea, or nay?”
She was welcome to loathe what she wished, but the woman had yet to repeat herself. The Cat kept careful tabs on conversation, and he knew well enough the words she’d said, and how, and the words she had not, and how. She had failed to differentiate, to append the question mark of her query to the desired sentence, and that was little fault of the man’s. He continued to smile, even in those few starless, wordless moments, wholly unbothered and wholly at ease. He came closer, eyes on her own claws as they eviscerated the air and hooked toward the loping hills cresting as waves before them.
The span of a second slowed. The Cat as a man was once again the Cat as a cat. Sitting on black hindquarters, he considered the stranger with eyes like a snake’s.
“A yes or no would suffice, as would a yea or nay, but it would provide no answer,” replied the feline around incisors. “And you wish for an answer, do you not?”
Snow’s patience was fraying rapidly but she kept her cool, wrapped it around her like a cloak and tried to keep her temper at bay. “I wouldn’t have asked a question if I didn’t.” She waited a moment, a long one, letting time tick by as she tapped her foot before finally throwing her hands up in exasperation.
“Fine,” she grumbled, turning on her heel. He wasn’t going to give her any new answer - at least, not one she’d like - which should have answered her question enough. “This must be it then.” Wonderland, with it’s famously mad denizens. This Cheshire Cat was proof enough of that.