Alice At The Lake

Alice looked up after a sup from her daisy cup and said, with a frown, “Everything in there looks upside down”.

At this the toad remarked, “Whatever’s good for you, for us it’s the other way around”, and with a hop and a plop he disappeared below.

“Strange fellow”, thought Alice, and the voice in her head agreed, “Strange fellow indeed. Though wouldn’t you like to follow, just to see, the world not as it is but how it could be?”

Alice didn’t like the voice in her head; it was always too clever by half, often just contradictory for the sake of it and, on occasion, not beyond a little sarcasm. She sensed the start of a battle of wills.

“Follow him, in this dress?!”, she cried. And the voice in her head, caught off guards, replied, “Oh well, dear, you know best”.

But then it continued, “Oh! I can’t stay here all day gossiping, I’ve got better things to do”, and was off. Alice knew not where the voice went when it was sulking; suddenly she felt alone and melancholic.

“One needs to break the tension.”

Alice looked around but saw no one. “Pardon?”, she said.

“The tension, one needs to break it.”

“Who are you?”, asked Alice, “and where are you?”

“I am the lake”, it said. “look, down here.” It went on,

“For pity sake, I see your confusion but what you see is just an illusion; it’s as I did mention, all down to the tension, which one may break by casting a stone, then one will see, what lies beneath will be gone.”

“Oh”, thought Alice and picked out a nice stone by the bank but hesitated. Ought she to cast it? The lake noticing her dilemma, said,

“One ought to do as one’s heart wishes. But, please, if one does it, do mind the fishes.”

Alice considered the fishes, and the kind toad, in their upside down world and dropped the stone where she stood. She wiped her hands down her dress, because, in the great scheme of things, wearing a clean dress didn’t really matter. Then, taking one long last look at the lake, she went off to find where the voice in her head was hiding.

(373 words)

Written for Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo #writephoto Prompt – “Beneath”

Yes, it Lewis Carroll’s Alice. I was thinking of calling her something else but a) it was a problem coming up with a name, and b) it would be too obvious who it was really.

I think it became, unconsciously, a bit of a parable of first world politics. If you can see this, all well and good; and if you can’t, just go ahead and cast a stone, I don’t mind.

For His Eyes Only

Bond made his way via the service stairs to the eleventh floor and now stood in front of door no. 1104, Goldfinger’s room. It was quiet; only a Ukrainian maid with a laundry cart busied herself down at the far end of the corridor. She smiled upon catching his gaze, then let herself into an adjacent room. The rooms were locked electronically but he knew how they could be short-circuited and that they always failsafe to open. He needed a conductor, something very thin.

At that moment the Ukrainian girl came out of the furthest room and, seemingly ending her duties, moved the cart forwards to the service lift. Bond noticed the safety pin holding fast the two sides of her shabby overall; a few buttons were evidently missing. She smiled when she noticed him looking; he moved in for the kill.

Half an hour later, they emerged from the cleaner’s cupboard, she with a rosy blush while he held onto the pin. As soon as the lift door closed, he worked the crooked pin into the slot of the lock. There was a faint pop followed by a click. He pushed open the door enough to slide sideways in.

He was surprised to see Goldfinger prone on the bed, his bathrobe pulled up baring his buttocks to the ceiling. Goldfinger, realising someone had entered the room, turned his head to see but was inconvenienced by his position. He spoke instead,

“I’ve been expecting you.”

Bond froze in uncertainty and remained silent.

“Herr Doctor? My daily shot?”, Goldfinger asked.

Bond understood. He’d been mistaken for the hotel physician. He hadn’t any idea what Goldfinger’s shot could be for but strode purposefully towards his adversary on the bed. Without a word, he stabbed the safety pin into his left buttock, withdrew it cruelly and gave the flesh a slap for good measure. Goldfinger muttered something he didn’t quite catch but by then Bond was making his exit. On the way, he noticed the dossier on the table by the door. That’s what he came for. Picking it up, he slid out the same way as he came in, but in the corridor his mischievousness got the better of him.

He poked his head back around the door and in his best Harley St. impersonation said,

“There may be nasty side effects. Irritation, annoyance, anger, a sense of foolishness. Call me if you ever need the other cheek slapped.”

The man on the bed grew riled but could not rise.

“Mister Bond!”, he cried at last, but Bond had long gone.

Poor Mr. Fleming, turning in his grave. My heartfelt apologies to him.

It’s my first go at the Three Things Challenge – 16 Sept 18, the three words today being “Safety pin”, “hotel” and “bathrobe”.