Friday, June 27, 2014

The Trial

 Chapter 10: The Trial
(Secret Love Affair - Alice in Wonderland Parody)

The prosecutors arrived at breakfast time with their ubiquitous blue boxes: tossing bedding and looking under mattresses, emptying out shelves and tipping over vases. When they had left and the lizard had gone to work, the fox went into the piano room and reached into an opening in the back of one of the stereo speakers. From it she took out a long white scarf, a bottle of ointment, a deck of cards, a packet of hairpins, and a toothbrush. Then she pulled out a small object wrapped in cellophane. It was a red USB.

She took it to the prosecutors. They were glad to have her turn state's evidence, but they had cleaned the laptop and were retrieving the data. All the files on the king and queen's chocolate factories and their dealings with the knave: dumping cocoa husks and byproducts in the river, price fixing, value inflating, and smuggling. It was all there.

“You can still read the hard drive?” she asked, amazed. “I bought three computers for nothing? One to drown, one for you to find, and a new one for myself!”

''Ah well,” he said tolerantly, “the general public has only a vague idea of these things.”

The case came up shortly in district court, and being very high profile, three judges were assigned. The king refused to appear, going around in pajamas and pretending to be sick. The queen agreed to testify but didn't help her cause any by repeatedly shouting, “Off with their heads!”

When the judge asked the fox to testify she slowly rose in the dock and adjusted the microphone. “I now intend to focus only on myself. The king and the queen, and the knave, who is leading the counsel, I'm not interested in what punishment they'll receive. Neither do I intent to seek favor saying I'm not the main culprit.”

Back at the college, Kang was finding out that Seon-jae had dropped out of school. “Didn't you hear?” his assistant asked. “I thought you knew everything.”

This dashed all of the lizard's plans for showing off his own protege. “No. You can go.”

In the courtroom, the fox was still speaking, “Every illegal act I've committed was never coerced, but was only by my choice. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.”

Kang's assistant was telling him all the worst news, “He returned the scholarship papers, his student ID, and even the remainder of this month's support.”

At that Kang lost his temper and sent everything on his desk crashing to the floor. “Do you want to quit also? GET OUT!”

The fox was just getting into her stride. “When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people...”

Just at that moment Seon-jae felt a very curious sensation. He was beginning to grow larger. He thought at first that he should leave the court, but decided to remain as long as there was room. “I wish you wouldn't squeeze so,” said the Dormouse, who was sitting next to him.

“I can't help it,” said Seon-jae, “I'm growing.”

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent...”

“I can hardly breathe.”

“Oh all right,” Seon-jae jumped up to leave but had gotten so large that he accidentally knocked over the jury box, upsetting all of the jury onto the court reporter's table. In his defense it must be admitted that he didn't expect there to be a jury box at all, because they don't have jury trials in Korea. “Oh I beg your pardon,” he exclaimed, and began picking them up and stuffing them back into the jury box as fast as he could.

“But in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground.”

The center judge interrupted the testimony. “This trial can not proceed until all the jury are back in their proper places.”

“All of them,” added the left judge. Seon-jae saw that in his haste he had put the lizard in head downwards, and the poor thing was waving his tail around helplessly. This caused confusion later because the lizard hadn't been thought to be at the trial at all. Seon-jae put him back straight.

The right judge, who had been working on his laptop, called out, “Silence!” and read out, “Rule 42: All persons more than a mile high to leave the court.” Everybody looked at Seon-jae.

“I'm not a mile high,” he said.

“You are,” said the right judge.

“Nearly two miles high,” added the center judge.

“Off with his head,” the queen shouted. Nobody moved.

“Who cares for you?” said Seon-jae. “You're nothing but a pack of cards!” At this the whole pack rose up into the air, and came flying down on his head. He tried to beat them off, and found himself lying on the bank next to his brother, who was brushing away some dead leaves that had fluttered down from the trees.

“Wake up,” said @docster6, “what a long sleep you've had!”

“Oh no,” Seon-jae muttered, “I always hate it when it turns out to have been a dream.”

**THE END**

Thank you to Jung Sung-joo for writing Secret Love Affair, Viki.com for the English subtitles, Lewis Carroll for writing Alice in Wonderland, Project Gutenberg for easy access to the book, and Steve Jobs for inventing the iPad.

The Lobster Quadrille

 Chapter 9: The Lobster Quadrille
(Secret Love Affair - Alice in Wonderland Parody) 

In the early hours of the morning as the sky was turning purple, a dark figure in a hooded jacket and skinny jeans walked along the cement embankment of the Han River. Pink streaked the sky and reflected in shimmering blue water. Overhead street lights lit the bridge, where a few vehicles were crossing, although lights along the embankment path had turned off. The figure found a place where a slanted buttress met tiered cement blocks and sat down on the edge.

Taking off her backpack, she set it on the ground, lowered herself to the step, and pulled the zipper. A flash of light caught a laptop as it slid quietly down the buttress and disappeared into the water with hardly a splash, followed a moment later by a matching tablet. She zipped up her pack, looked casually around, and stood up.

“Look here, look here, what is this?” demanded a voice behind her. It was Kang, flanked by four policemen.

“This is cheap of you, Kang!” she cried.

“Penal Code 241, Dumping in the Han River,” intoned the Three of Clubs.

“You know how hard it is to dredge?” the Five of Spades demanded. “That thing is only eight feet deep!”

“You'll have to come along,” added Three.

Quite a crowd collected at the police station; the duchess got a call and came to enjoy the show. A few others were there, including Seon-jae. He tried out an excuse on the officers. “It wasn't dumping. She had a lobster trap.”

“We didn't see any lobster trap.”

“Maybe it came loose and floated off.”

“You can only catch carp and eel in the Han.”

“That's what people eat,” Hye-won put in eagerly, “but we weren't going to eat these. Haven't you ever heard of a lobster quadrille?”

“You form a line along the shore,” Seon-jae explained, (“Two lines,” put in Hye-won) “and advance twice, with a lobster as a partner. Throw them out to sea-”

“Swim after them and turn a somersault in the sea!”

“Change lobsters again, and come back to land.”

“You can do it without lobsters, but it is a very pretty dance,” ended Hye-won.

“All right, all right, enough of that stuff.” The lizard indicated Seon-jae. “Tell me truthfully regarding him. Are you perhaps in league with the griffin?”

“I'm not certain what you mean,” Hye-won replied, not looking up.

“Are you two inciting him to go overseas?”

“We never banded together.” He picked up a file and threw it, making her yelp.

“There, there, there. Please be quiet,” said the Three of Clubs. “Mr. Kang, please describe in detail what you saw.”

“Wait, whether I directly saw it or not is not important here!”

“Are you saying this has nothing to do with the illegal dumping of waste from a chocolate factory?”

“Chocolate factory?” asked Seon-jae, startled.

“Here, one moment please,” Hye-won interjected. “Can I call a lawyer?”

“Sure, go ahead,” said Three. She stood up to walk out, but the lizard grabbed her arm and jerked her back into her chair.

“Do it here,” he ordered. “You have an intention to flee!” He handed her the desk phone. She called the Knave of Hearts, and no one objected when she talked to him alone in the hall.

“Will you help me if I hand you over those files you wanted?” she asked him.

“If the queen is on the list of people to investigate, sure,” he returned. They shook hands and he got the charges dropped.

“What's this?” objected the duchess. “They're not going to jail? I thought this would be the end of the Love Affair of the Century.”

That night the lizard was insistent. “Just confess!” he yelled. “Then I will get a villa in Jeju and a lifetime pass for the Namsan cable car!” When she refused, he lashed out in frustration and knocked her cosmetics off the counter.

They didn't know until later that the laptop had been fished out of the river.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Mad Tea Party

 Chapter 8: The Mad Tea Party
(Secret Love Affair - Alice in Wonderland Parody) 

The interview was a mistake from the very start. Seon-jae hadn't wanted to go. The lizard patted him familiarly on the back and forced him to wear his scaly clothes. He could hardly bring himself to go into the lizard's room, let alone wear his shirt. He saw a book open to an underlined passage:

They told me you had been to her, And mentioned me to him:
She gave me a good character, But said I could not swim.

He wondered who had marked the book, and if it referred to him. When he went down the stairs their talk made his whole body cringe. Then they wanted him to smile and play something short and sweet on the piano. The whole thing culminated in an awkward Portrait of Parents With College-Age Child.

The griffin brought over a crowd of people from the mock @turtle1's farewell party. They scrounged fruit and kimbap from the kitchen and sat outside at a big table under a tree. The March Hair and the Hatter dispensed tea at one end of the table, while the dodo and the duchess set up a game of mahjong at the other. The Dormouse sat between the girls with his head on the table, and they used him as a cushion, resting their elbows on his back. “What is this?” he complained. “What about the gum and the hairpin? I thought you two were mad at each other.”

“Not any more,” answered the March Hair complacently. “She said she was sorry and called me unni.”

“You're the one I'm mad at,” the Hatter pinched the Dormouse. “What were you trying to pull? Where did you even get that car?” The March Hair snickered and stuck the lid of the teapot on his head.

“Ok, 418,” he sighed.

“What?”

“I'm A Teapot." At her quizzical look he added, "HTTP code. They use it on April Fool's Day.”

The lizard made the fox sit next to him, draping his arm around her shoulders, giving her wine, and making her eat strawberries out of his hand. She escaped, sweating, to her room to find that Seon-jae had marked the book:

If I or she should chance to be Involved in this affair,
He trusts to you to set them free, Exactly as we were.

She was about to go back downstairs when she noticed her mirror going foggy. As it melted away, she saw peering through the silvery mist an elderly lady wearing a crooked shawl, with her hair in a sloppy knot topped by a silver crown. “Would you just help me through, my dear?” the lady asked, holding out her hand. The fox found herself supporting a bejeweled arm as the lady climbed over the counter and stepped onto the floor. “Thank you, that's much better!” The fox helped her straighten her shawl and pin it in place with a brooch inscribed "@mdj101."

The mock @turtle1 was improvising a jazz version of Swan Lake on the piano. Seon-jae, who had gone in to listen and get away from the party, blenched to see a flock of little girls in white swan tutus swarm down the stairs followed by a short plump lady also dressed in white. As the fox shepherded the little girls outside, the lizard yelled, “That's not even real jazz. Play something classical!”

The mock @turtle1 laughed and began with the famous:

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat! How I wonder what you're at!

He couldn't resist souping it up and ended in a Disney style, with a long run of flowery chords. The lizard tried to get up, but he had drunk a little too much wine. “Seon-jae! You show them too!” he hollered through the door. Seon-jae was already sitting at the piano. He began bright and brittle:

Up above the world you fly, Like a tea-tray in the sky.

But soon he morphed into a moody minor and then to a loud, crashing dissonance that ended with a one-finger dirge.

As the fox tried to find places at the table for the little girls the Hatter called, “I want a clean cup, let's all move one place over,” and poked the lizard. He tried to comply, but stumbled into the fox and made her upset the teapot in front of the duchess.

“Yah! How could you?” the duchess picked up a handful of mahjong tiles and threw them at the fox. As she pitched more tiles in increasingly random directions, the little girls began to screech. More people arrived, including @comickiwi, the soup ahjumma, and several guards headed by @diamond888 and @katchie82.

“Is the king here?” @diamond888 inquired in a formal voice.

The lizard tried to stand again. “That punk needs to hear what I have to say,” he yelled, and fell down. Seon-jae and the griffin tried to hold him up.

“We're here to investigate the king,” @katchie82 told them. The lizard slumped to his knees. The guards began busily looking behind bushes and knocking over chairs..

“No! Wait!” @comickiwi frantically waved her hands at the guards.

The fox broke a bottle and threatened them with it. “He isn't here! Out! That's the kind of noona I am!”

The soup ahjumma threw a cup of tea at the fox. “If you make a living of running errands for rich people, you should at least have listening skills!” she railed.

“Stop! Stop!” @comickiwi ordered. “I came to give you some news! ALL of you need to listen!” The duchess stopped throwing tiles, the little girls stopped screaming, the fox put down her broken bottle, and the guards quit knocking over furniture. Everyone held their breath.

“I have just heard from Seoul.” @comickiwi announced dramatically. “Kang the lizard has won the Baeksang Award for the best drunk scene of the year! He beat out Jun Ji-hyun!”

Everyone cheered. The guards hoisted Kang onto their shoulders and carried him around the garden. His health was toasted in orange juice. When the excitement finally died down they filtered out and piled into cars. @comickiwi went to find the mock @turtle1. “Have you seen the White Queen?” she asked.

“I saw her once, but I don't know where she is now,” he admitted.

“I wondered if she made it. I'm sure she'll turn up,”

When everyone else had gone, the earlier stress of the day crashed down on Seon-jae. He put on a fake smile, tried to cheer up the fox, and sent her to go sleep. He made it outside and then crumpled onto the sidewalk. One wrenching sob shook him but no tears came. He felt oddly disoriented. Someone touched his shoulder and he looked up to see the White Queen standing there. “That's the effect of living backwards,” she said kindly. “It always makes one a little giddy at first.”

“I don't understand.” A strange calm settled over him.

“You aren't going to cry now. All your tears are back in Chapter 2. @comickiwi asked me to do it.” Her shawl was slipping again so he straightened it for her.

“What does this say?” he asked, pinning the brooch more securely.

“101. It's HTTP code for switching protocols. That's how I initiated the backwards protocol.”

When he got home he found his copy of the book open to the last page.

Don't let him know she liked them best, For this must ever be
A secret, kept from all the rest, Between yourself and me.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Queen's Croquet Ground

 Chapter 7: The Queen's Croquet Ground
(Secret Love Affair - Alice in Wonderland Parody) 

The @queennafre slid aside the art-glass door and walked across the bedroom to where the king was buttoning his shirt. “I'll do it,” she offered, taking a suit jacket from the Nine of Hearts, who turned and went out. While the king worked on his shirt cuffs, she felt a lump in a jacket pocket and found a diamond cocktail ring. She surreptitiously tucked it away.

“What's the @queennafre's schedule for today?” the king asked cheerily.

“I have lunch plans, but don't forget to meet me at the croquet ground in the afternoon.” She smiled and turned on the aegyo. “When the game is over, we can play, just the two of us.”

“He, he,” he chuckled. “Is today my lucky day?”

“How about this one?” she handed him a blue and brown striped tie.

“Whatever you choose.”

“Can I cancel one of the trust accounts?” she asked with extra winsomeness.

“What for?” he still sounded indulgent.

“For chocolates.”

The Dormouse went with the caterpillar to the student orientation. Becoming bored, he started checking out the girls and texted the March Hair, “They are rich here. One has a $300 knit hat and a $4000 bag.”

The March Hair's boss caught her texting and hit her on the head with a plastic bowl. “Get out. There is a customer who wants a shampoo.”

The lizard supervised concerto practice for the caterpillar. The fox played the orchestral part on a second piano while the lizard beat time with his fingers. “You've gotten a lot better,” he approved. “See you at the rehearsal tomorrow.”

“See you at the croquet game,” called the fox as Kang went out.

The @queennafre's croquet ground was a real showplace. The entrance was flanked by colorful flowerbeds and water fountains. The fox, one of the first guests to arrive, was surprised to see three gardeners picking the flowers off of a rose tree and dredging them in a chocolate fountain. “Watch out now, Five,” she heard one of them say. “Don't go dripping chocolate on me like that.”

“I couldn't help it,” said Five in a sulky tone. “Seven jogged my elbow.”

“Would you please tell me,” asked the fox, “what is going on here?”

Five and Seven said nothing, but Two began in a low voice, “Why the fact is, ma'am, these ought to have been chocolate roses to match the fountain. We put in a real rose tree by mistake, and if the @queennafre were to find out, we should all have our heads cut off.”

At this moment Five called out, “The @queennafre! The @queennafre!” and the gardeners threw themselves prostrate on the ground. A procession came up the walkway, a troupe of little girls in ballet costume in front, then a string quartet from the school, several ajhummas with refreshments, and finally the king and @queennafre followed by a crowd of guests.

Seeing the rose tree, the @queennafr exclaimed, “What HAVE you been doing here?”

“May it please your Majesty,” began Two in a humble tone.

“I see,” she said, examining the roses. “Off with their heads!” The procession moved on to the playing ground.

The griffin stayed behind to talk to the fox. “I watched your video of the caterpillar,” he said. “It sounds good, but it's no help at all. It only shows his head, never his hands playing. You can't tell anything of his technique.”

“Humph!” sniffed the @queennafr, who had quietly returned, holding a flamingo under either arm. “I can tell you why.” At his questioning look she went on, “she thinks his eyes are cute.”

“Uh,” the fox hurried to change the subject. “Are you going to the concerto?”

“What would I watch for? I have an important meeting with the dodo. We don't do things unless photos are taken.”

“Since you are head of the music sch-” started the griffin.

“Either you or your head must be off!” She exclaimed, thrusting one of the flamingoes at him. When he had gone, she showed the cocktail ring to the fox. “Seeing that it's without a box, he might have given it and taken it back. Did you know about this?”

“No. Not at all,” lied the fox.

“It's a dereliction of duty. Take care of it. And the chocolate mess too, or it's...” she threatened, and walked away.

“Off with my head,” the fox finished.

The Dormouse brought the $300 Hat girl to the concert, meeting the March Hair at the entrance. “Say hello, this is my friend,” he introduced.

“We're friends from high school,” the March Hair let out, much to his chagrin.

“A vocational high school? I thought a lot of things were strange about you,” the Hat girl said to the Dormouse, walking out in a huff.

“That's the Hatter, huh?” the March Hair asked.

“That's the Mad Hatter,” he corrected, chasing after her.

The concerto was wonderful, and the caterpillar did a great job. He only had the audience worried once, when he paused and seemed to forget what he was doing; but he came in on cue after all. They couldn't find him for the celebratory party afterwards. Although if there had been a security camera in the backstage storage area, it would have picked up a pale caterpillary wriggling motion. In the dark. Before the lizard came through, hollering. Then it went away. The only one who saw it was the @crazycat, or at least its grin.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Pans and Pepper

 Chapter 6: Pans and Pepper
(Secret Love Affair - Alice in Wonderland Parody) 

Seon-jae stayed up half the night playing the grand piano and slept in late, so when the March Hair came to see him, the ahjumma told her not to wake him. “I'll just peek at his face and go,” she promised mendaciously. But the first thing she did was chuck her backpack at him and yell, “Yah! You jerk! You should have called me!” She jumped on him, grabbed his ears, and pulled his hair. He coped by pushing at her face and getting her in a head lock. Suddenly she collapsed into tears.

“Geez,” muttered the ahjumma, and then called out, “You kids want to eat?” They did. Which was good. She liked to see young people eat well.

“I got my necklace fixed,” the March Hair said cheerfully, waggling it in her fingers. “The Dormouse did it.” It looked uneven. Seon-jae gave her a suspicious look and reached for some more kimchi.

Hye-won had gone to eat with the King of Hearts at his favorite place for ox-bone soup. The air was full of smoke. The soup ahjumma was leaning over the fire, stirring a large pot. “There's too much pepper in that soup,” Hye-won said to herself, sneezing. There was certainly too much of it in the air. The only ones in the room that weren't sneezing were the the soup ahjumma and a large cat that sat on the hearth grinning from ear to ear. “Please would you tell me,” Hye-won asked,” why your cat grins like that.”

“It's a @crazycat, that's why,” she returned shortly.

“I didn't know that @crazycats always grinned; in fact, I didn't know that cats COULD grin.”

“They all can,” retorted the soup ahjumma, “and most of them do.” At this point she took the kettle off the fire and began throwing everything within reach at the customers. The fire irons were first, and then a yellow saucepan and a teakettle.

“Look at that ahjumma! Oh please, watch out!” cried Hye-won.

“I'm looking,” agreed the king. “Find out what days she has off.”

When the ahjumma brought their orders he tried to get her to talk, but she just said, “Tell me if you need anything.” The door creaked open and she wheeled and sent a blue-and-white bowl through the gap. There was a thud and the door shut abruptly.

“I will.” He winked.

“I guess I'll be going,” Hye-won put in hastily, as the ahjumma started to lift a large electric dakgalbi pan.

The afternoon she met Seon-jae at school to practice the Rachmaninoff was the day he left his jacket in her office. That was the time he didn't realize he had no key until he was standing in front of his house unable to get in. He called her for help only to discover that she had found the key and beaten him home. This was when we were treated to the view of the electric meters in the hall, the fluorescent light, the blue-and-white bowls in the sink, the teakettle and yellow saucepan on the stove, and the round dakgalbi pan on the bottom shelf. We saw the bottles of cooking sauces and oils and the jar of toasted sesame seeds. But we didn't see when the light blinked and went out, or when the largest bottle rattled and burst its lid open.

We saw the two of them sitting on the roof looking at the moon and then scrambling to hide when the March Hair and the Dormouse arrived unexpectedly. He went to face them, she hid in a storage shed under a tarp. A couple of alley cats attacking each other just outside her shelter made her jump and scream, knocking over a box and dropping dust and cobwebs on her head. She was at least as loud as the cats. The Dormouse charged out to chase them away. “Go! Go! You little!” One fled to the next roof, the other just disappeared.

The Dormouse went back inside. The March Hair was trying to wheedle Seon-jae into buying her a new chain for her necklace. “Knew it!” he exclaimed. “I knew there was... well... I have something to tell you guys.”

Hye-won thought she was safe when the Dormouse left, but one of the cats startled her again by suddenly appearing on top of a pink duffle bag. It was the @crazycat. “What ever happened with the soup ahjumma?” it asked.

“Oh! Uh... she's going to see him.”

“I thought so,” it said, slowly disappearing, starting with the tail and ending with the grin. Then the head came back. “You found out when she has off?”

“Second and fourth Mondays.”

“Ah,” the head evaporated except for the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. “Well!” thought Hye-won, “I've often seen a cat without a grin, but not a grin without a cat! ”

The Dormouse walked the March Hair home. “I thought you'd cause a scene at least,” he admitted, throwing his arm around her neck. “About that chain...”

Seon-jae went out on the roof, to find Hey-won dirty and a little shell-shocked. “I hate to tell you to wash your head, but...you need to go wash your head.”

The next day the duchess was in a bad mood as usual. “What's with you, Oh Hye-won? Where's my @crazycat?”

“What? The soup ahjumma's @crazycat?”

“Soup ahjumma nothing. It's supposed to be my @crazycat. It was supposed to be me sitting with the @crazycat feeding my baby.”

“Sneezing at the pepper? I don't know where it is; it disappeared. But... what do you mean, baby?”

“You're so annoying!” the duchess slapped her. “You've seen him. Woo-sung. With the plaid suit.”

Hye-won took a deep breath and held her cheek. “Eh-h. Your hands are really strong. THAT baby?”

The @queennafre made her day by piling it on. “What's with your face? You should fix her habit of hitting people.”

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Rabbit Sends a Little Lizard

 Chapter 5: The Rabbit Sends a Little Lizard
(Secret Love Affair - Alice in Wonderland Parody) 

From a distance Seon-jae saw the March Hair talking to someone, gesturing to that confounded necklace. When he looked again she was coming down the path towards him. He bent over and took another shovelful of dirt, trying not to catch her eye, and tossed it into the wheelbarrow. “Hey,” she called, “Can you look at this necklace for me?” He stood up. He saw that the other person was Hye-won, and that she was now talking to the white @luvhollanlop rabbit.

That the one you had before?” he asked. “It's broken. Just toss it.”

But it's pretty.”

Ask Kang then,” he replied, gesturing to the lizard, who had the other shovel, and turned back to the pile of dirt.

Hye-won had thought it was funny that the March Hair had tried to hide the necklace. “It's ok,” she had told her, “I'm pleased you like what I used to wear.” She had headed up the path again but was stopped by the rabbit.

Why @mariannavishniakova, what are you doing out here?” it asked. “Run home this moment and fetch me another bow-tie. Quick now!” She was so startled she went off at once without trying to explain the mistake it had made. She went in without knocking and went up the stairs. The first room she looked into was full of little girls in pink tutus doing ballet exercises. To a very badly played piano. In the second room she found, on a table by the window, several bow ties and a dish of celery. Almost without thinking, she picked up a stick of celery and took a bite.

Kang put down his shovel and held out a hand. “I'll take a look at it,” he offered. Seon-jae hacked at the dirt to break up the clods and threw another shovelful into the barrow. He looked up at the house. The sound of the piano, with many wrong notes and off rhythm, filtered out of the window. It was just about more than he could stand. He stabbed at the dirt some more and looked at the sky as if to say, “Why me?” In another moment he had thrown down his shovel and was stalking towards the house.

As soon as she swallowed, Hye-won began to feel strange, kind of sick and bloated; but she didn't realize what was happening until her head hit the ceiling. “I'm getting bigger?” she thought, as she knelt down on the floor. In another minute there was not even room for this, and she tried lying down and wedging one elbow against the door and the other arm out the window, with her shoe in the fireplace. She heard feet pounding up the stairs and supposed it was the @luvhollanlop rabbit, coming to get her.

She was wrong. It was Seon-jae. “Stop torturing me, seriously!” he raged, shaking the pianist and knocking over the piano bench. The little girls screamed and fled down the stairs and out of the house. “I can't stand hearing it any more!”

This guy is crazy!” gasped the accompanist. “Someone report this psycho!”

Anyone would go crazy, listening to this every day!” he shouted. “Try it the way I tell you!” They grabbed him by either arm and dragged him down the stairs as he gave his last shot, “Your posture is incorrect to start with!”

By this time they had discovered the giant hand sticking out of the window. The rabbit wanted it taken away as well. There was a long silence. Hye-won could only hear whispers now and then, such as, “Do as I tell you, you coward!” At last she spread out her hand and made a snatch in the air and heard a shriek and a fall, and the crash of broken glass.

She heard the murmur of many voices talking together and made out the words, “Where's the other ladder?”

Kang's got the other. Kang! Fetch it here!”

No, tie 'em together first!”

Who's to go down the chimney? Kang!”

Oh! So Kang's got to come down the chimney, has he?” thought Hye-won. “This fireplace is narrow, but I think I can kick a little.” She drew her foot as far down as she could, and waited until she heard scratching and scrambling about in the chimney close above her. Then she gave one sharp kick.

The first thing she heard was a general chorus of, “There goes Kang!” Then the @luvhollanlop's voice calling, “Catch him, you by the hedge!” And then a feeble, squeaking voice.

That's Kang,” thought Hye-won.

Presently she heard rustling outside the window. The rabbit's voice came in clearly, “A barrowful will do,” and a shower of small red objects came rattling in, followed a moment later by something that looked like a half-empty wineglass until it hit the wall and shattered into a thousand pieces. Hye-won picked up one of the red things. It was a cherry @ktomato.

Considering what the celery did...” she thought, and popped it into her mouth. As soon as she was small enough to fit through the door she ran out of the house, passing the crowd waiting outside. The poor little lizard, Kang, was being supported by the @Llamaesque, who was giving him something out of a bottle. Seon-jae was nowhere to be seen. Hye-won ran on down the path and disappeared into the @greenwood96.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Advice From a Caterpillar

 This chapter comes a little out of order according to Alice, but it needs to come here according to the SLA cannon.

Chapter 4: Advice from a Caterpillar
(Secret Love Affair - Alice in Wonderland Parody) 

Hye-won wandered away to where an @ash623 marked the beginning of the @greenwood96. A large @ktomato was growing there, about the same height as herself; and when she had looked around it to the right and around it to the left, it occurred to her to see what was on the top. She stepped back to get a better look and was surprised to see a large caterpillar playing a spinet piano.

It stopped playing to take a look at her. “Who are YOU?” it asked.

“A piano teacher,” she answered.

“Not a ballet teacher? I can't abide ballet.”

“It's the accompanists,” she sympathized. “They get lazy. Come play for me. I have a concert grand.”

“A grand.” He wiggled down off the @ktomato.

He liked the padded door to her piano room. “It's nice in here,” he said. “It's like a cocoon. I could stay in here all day.” They did. They played solos for each other and duets by @chingulinka, @kalidreamz, and @suchadiva42; and were only interrupted once, when the duchess came by.

“Set me up with HIM!” she exclaimed, side-stepping a bevy of little girls in pink tutus that ran through screaming when she opened the door.

“Out!” roared Hye-won.

“Not ballet!” shrieked the caterpillar.

They didn't even eat. The ahjumma brought a them a dish of celery and they didn't want it. “I thought a caterpillar would like celery,” she said.

At the end of the day, Hye-won pinched the caterpillar's cheek and said it was a special compliment. The next week she invited herself over to the @ktomato to watch him play the spinet. Climbing up on top, she stepped on something that burned her foot. “What is this?” she yelped.

“Glu- glu- glue trap!” the caterpillar sputtered.

“Why does this hurt so much?”

He grabbed some leaves and tried to pull it off. “It will hurt a lot. Endure it a little bit.”

“It'll hurt a lot but you want me to endure it only a little bit? Oh – ahh!” as he jerked harder and it came off. And then she yelped again as he picked her up in all his many arms and carried her down the @ktomato to wash her feet with soybean oil.



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Caucus Race


Chapter 3: A Caucus Race
(Secret Love Affair - Alice in Wonderland Parody) 

They were indeed an odd-looking party that assembled on the bank, all dripping wet and cross. The dodo took charge. “The best thing to get dry,” it said, “would be a caucus race.”It took off running.

“I don't know though, Dean,” called the @queennafre as she followed the dodo at an increasing pace. “Wait, I need to talk to you.”

Catching up, the duchess objected, “you're not getting any of my admissions spots.”

“I only need one, just one,” Kang the lizard panted, falling behind.

They came to @threemaples growing at the edge of the sand and began running around each other and the trees, watched by a @junebugg and a @fireflygal buzzing high above. The lizard came around a tree and found himself facing the duchess. “You what – where do you think -” she kicked him in the shins. “Give me the nominees list,” she cried, throwing water in his face.

“Yah!” he sputtered, catching her handkerchief to wipe with. “Why would I plan with you if you're being like this?”

“If I call the gryphon now will you join hands?” He tried to grab the phone from her but she bit his wrist and beat him over the head as he tried to ward off her blows with his hands.

“What are those two doing?” wondered the @fireflygal.

“They always play like that,” sighed the @junebugg.