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.