They walked through the thick green of the forest; Edgar leading the way, chopping through the vines with his sword.
They'd been walking for what seemed like hours (Tatiana's clock had stopped working when she had entered Wonderland) and she didn't feel like asking Mctwisp what time it was.
Maly, who sat on Tatiana's shoulder, leaned against her neck with her arms crossed impatiently. Malyupkin wasn't able to stay caught up walking so Tatiana talked the mouse into riding on her shoulder.
"Are we there yet
Edgar?" Malyupkin said rather grouchily.
"You'll know when we are, Maly.'' Edgar said, not stopping as he continued to chop through the forest.
Tatiana sighed, pulling her hair back off her face and swatting a fly away.
Suddenly the ground began to shake and they all froze.
But Edgar was interrupted when the soil split and a large claw emerged from the hole and gripped the White Rabbit, Hare, Malyupkin and Edgar up. Tatiana started forward but Edgar threw his sword at her. It stuck itself into the ground right by her.
"PRINCESS! RUN! GET OUT OF HERE!"
Tatiana watched in horror as the claw dragged her friends into the ground.
"MAKE SURE SHE DOESN'T GET THE VORPAL SWORD!"
And just like that they were gone, leaving her in the silent, dark forest.
She looked at the sword in the ground and pulled it, with a little difficulty, out of the ground.
"She wants you to go get them, you know.''
The Cheshire Cat appeared before her, swirling upside down.
"I know.'' Tatiana said, fingering the hilt of the sword.
"It would be rather foolish to go to her castle. Without the vorpal sword it would leave you a clear target.''
"You're saying she can't be hurt with any other weapon than the sword with the clock?"
"That's exactly what I'm saying.'' Cheshire said loftily, floating around her head. "I could help you, you know. These forests can be so
tiring to cut through and I've grown to like you. Even if you aren't the Princess.''
Tatiana turned, scowling at him. "And how do you know
this Lost Princess everyone's been raving about? Who says I want to do this stupid battle and possibly die in the process? I just wanted to know who I belonged to! Is that so hard to understand? I just wanted to know if I was loved or not!"
The Cheshire cat stared at her for a moment before his face broke out in an even bigger grin.
"I already know you are the Princess.'' He said, simply. "You have Hatter's temper problem.''
"I do not
-!" she stopped herself, taking a deep breath. "Have an anger problem. So....you say you can help me?''
The cat soared over to a cleared area nearby and swished his tail, revealing a white door.
"This will lead you to where the Vorpal sword is. Which would by the Queen's castle, of course.''
"I forgot to mention that little bit didn't I? Narcissa has the sword.''
Scowling, Tatiana walked towards the door, reaching out and gripping the gold knob. She looked at the cat. "Are you coming with me?"
She hated the sound of her voice; like a scared little child who needed a grown-up to go with her to a scary place. But she was scared. She was horrified
"I'll be there.'' the cat said, slowly fading away. "You just won't see me is all.''
Taking a deep breath Tatiana swung the door open and dove inside.
Tatiana found herself in the courtroom of the cold castle, the Queen sitting on her throne and stroking her crystal. She sneered down at the girl; eyebrow raised.
"Welcome, little Princess.''
Tatiana felt her stomach twist as guards emerged from the shadows, surrounding her. The Vorpal sword sat right by Narcissa; propped on the globe.
"Are you ready to die?"