"Have you ever heard of Arthur Kirkland?"
You looked up from your novel, and peered up at your friend, who you found staring into your (e/c) eyes, two inches away from your face. You smirked at her, and marked your place in your book. Setting it down in the grass next to you, she asked the same question.
"Well?" She asked. "Have you?"
"Have I what?" You asked back, resting one leg atop the other, leaning back on the big oak tree behind you, putting your arms behind your head.
"Have you ever heard of Arthur Kirkland?" A little annoyance detected in her voice.
You had to ponder a moment. You hadn't recalled any 'Arthur'.
"I..don't beleive so."
Rolling her eyes, she plopped down on the grass next to you.
"You really must get out more, _______!" Your friend said, grabbing your book. "You can't just sit inside and read fantasy stories all day! Go outside, or at least in town once in awhile. Maybe you'd finally get a taste of the real world."
Defencively, you grabbed the book out of her hands. What's wrong with reading 'Alice in Wonderland'? Granted you really didn't get out of your house much, but you didn't see the problem with reading. Come to think of it, she really didn't have a reason to be picking on your books in the first place. It was better than gossiping and shopping for new dresses.
"Either way." She murmered, sitting back and holding herself up on her arms. "There's been rumor around London. They say there's a man that goes by the name 'Arthur Kirkland', whom grants you any wish you please!"
"Sounds too good to be true, if you ask me." You murmered almost right away, opening your book to the place you last left off. Your friend snatched the book out of your hands, and shot you a quick glare.
"I'm being serious, _____!" She hissed, setting the book down just far enough away so you couldn't reach it. "They say if you happen to find him, he can grant you your deepest desire! But there's a catch. If he happens to grant you your wish, you have to repay him in any way he chooses. It's sort of like a favor, really. "
You squinted an eye. "Sounds like a creep more than a magician." You answered, folding your arms back over your chest. "And besides. Catches are never good. That's why they're called catches."
"He's not a magician, either. He works with Black Magic and stuff! I wish I could find him to see if the rumors are true.." She said excidedly, ignoring your last comment.
"Black Magic?" You asked, squinting up at her. "And that doesn't send you any mixed messages at all?"
She shook her head. "Seriously. You have to lighten up more! Have a little fun, and stop being a fuddy duddy!"
"It's called being careful." You said, still squinting. "And I'm tons of fun! I'm just being cautious."
"I worry about you sometimes, _____." She said bluntly, but with a small smile. "But I guess that's why we're friends. So I can keep you in line and show you a good time!"
At that moment, you wanted to slap her. She made you sound like you were a buzz kill who spent every waking day and night knitting in a dark corner murmering nonsence to herself. But instead of speaking up, you just gave an uncomfortable laugh, and rubbed the back of your head.
"I wouldn't...say that." You murmered, shrugging. "But-"
"OH! ______, I forgot one of the main reasons I came to find you!" She said, flapping her hands in the air like she was a bird trying to take off. You sighed. You mean the main reason she didn't come here was to annoy the hell out of you?
"I was wondering if you were prepared for the Masquerade Ball tomorrow? After all, we have been planning it for weeks!"
As soon as she mentioned the ball, you grew stiff. You forced a smile, trying to swallow the sudden lump that started to form in the depths of your throat. "Sure..Yeah..How could I forget?"
"I knew you wouldn't!" She said, wrapping you in a hug. "I better get everything ready for it! I'll talk to you later! Remember, tomorrow night at 9:00!"
And with that, she practically pranced down the steep hill, almost toppling over nearly three times.
"I..wouldn't miss it for the world!" You hesitantly called, a nervous smile planted on your face. She turned around, nodded, and waved goodbye once more. As soon as you couldn't see her anymore, you collapsed to the ground. Groaning, you spread yourself out as if you were making a snow angel. Being as busy as you were, you had totally surpressed the memory of there even being a ball, let alone it being tomorrow. Why do you even need to go? It's not like you had a costume or anyone to go with, besides your friend. And even then, she'd be oggling over men and their costumes all night, so she wouldn't even be paying any attention to you.
You sighed, and closed your eyes. You sat there a moment, contemplating on what to do. Your eyes suddenly shot open.
You still didn't really believe in him, no matter what anyone had supposedly said. In a way, you compared him to Santa and the Easter Bunny. Just figments of peoples imaginations and such. You held your book up to you so you were staring at the cover. There, Alice, just a little girl, was staring up into a tree where a rather large, purple cat was looking down upon her, smiling like a crazed man. If Alice believed, why couldn't you? Maybe the man everyone was supposedly talking about could help you with your problem. If he really existed, that is.
You slowly got up, and made your way towards town.
The bell above the bookstore door dingled lightly as you opened it, and took a step inside. Mentally begging didn't seem to help you one lick so far, so you decided to go and ask people you knew. And since you barely knew anyone, you just decided to go to the place you visited most often to find what you were searching for. Sighing, you searched around the store to find a friendly face. But there was barely anyone there, except a little scruffy looking child with a news boy cap atop his head, sitting peacefully in the big red chair by the non-fiction section in the back of the store. A small smirk came across your face as you continued to search.
After a few more minutes of peeking behind bookshelves and nicknacks, you just decided to go to the front counter to see if there was someone usefull enough to tell you about the man you were looking for.
"_______?" A familiar voice asked.
Surprised, you looked towards the front counter to find no other than Matthew Williams. A smile spread across your face as you made your way towards the counter.
"Matthew, what are you doing here? I mean...in England?" You asked, fairly certain he didn't live anywhere near London.
"Oh, i've been here on buisness for some time now. I just thought i'd fill my spare time in by working here when I can." He said, rubbing the back of his neck with his hand. "But what about you? How have you been?"
"Actually, now that you mention it, not that swell. There's this Masquerade Ball tomorrow, and my friend thinks I knew all about it. And to tell you the truth, I put it off completely. I don't really have anyone to go with, and have absolutley nothing to wear." You said, leaning your elbows against the front counter, sighing lightly. "And on top of that, i'm trying to look for this person. But the thing is, I don't know who they are, or what they look like."
Matthew squinted at you, as if to process everything you had just said. After a moment, he just smiled and nodded. "Well, ______, I don't know if I can help you with your missing person problem, since I barely know anyone here, and all. But if you want, I can..." He paused a moment, a slight blush coming to his face. "I can take you to your ball-I mean, if you want me to. I'd understand if you didn't want to go with me."
You smiled sheepishly, and looked down slightly. "I'd like that." You murmered, face turning a light shade of red.
The man let out a small laugh, and rubbed the back of his neck once more. "O-Okay." He murmered, voice a little shaky. Nodding, you lifted your arms up off the counter and started heading towards the door. "It's tomorrow night at the Marriet Hotel. 9:00!" You said, warmly smiling at Matthew. "I'll see you then!"
He gave a small wave, his eyes closed and mouth formed into a smile. You smiled back, and headed out the door, hearing the bell chime behind you. Granted you hadn't got your question answered, but there was one less request you had to ask of Arthur Kirkland. And besides, Matthew was a really sweet guy. You'd been friends with him for as long as you could remember, so it wouldn't be awkward or anything.
Smiling to yourself, you headed down the street. You suddenly stopped, and looked around you, now noticing all the people. You then also relized that you should probably get back to the task at hand. Murmering something under your breath, you then decided to walk around and ask anyone you could about the man.
You had lost all hope. The hours until the event were dwindling more each time you got the answer you didn't want to hear, and you hadn't gotten anywhere.
'She's full of it.' You thought bitterly. 'Not one person i've asked has ever heard about an Arthur Kirkland.'
After more of your hopeless searching, you finally raised the white flag. You were done. Maybe you'd just cancel on Matthew. But then again, you really didn't want to do that to him. He seemed like he actually wanted to go with you.
On the other hand, you couldn't really go if you had nothing to wear and no money to spend it on. You'd be just fine reading your books and keeping to yourself for the night. Maybe you'd just curl up on your couch infront of your cottage window and fall asleep. Heck, maybe you'd even buy a cat. You felt like a rebell.
You continued to walk, listening to the clicking of heels on walkway, quiet chatter of people, and chirping of birds that happened to fly over you. Sitting down on the edge of the fountain in the middle of town, you crossed your legs just as you had under your tree, before your friend had bothered you with nonsence. You tried to forget about it, and just listened to the flowing water behind you. When that didn't get your mind off the matter, you opened your book, resting your head in your hand. Maybe the Hatter and Hare could help you take your mind off things.
"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?" You read aloud, but just quiet enough so you could hear. You smirked.
"And she says i'm too attatched to my books. If she read this, she'd know why." You murmered to yourself. As you were about to continue, you heard a voice.
You raised your head, and looked behind you.
"Hello?" You asked to no one in particular. But all you saw was the front of the fountain. Shrugging, you went back to your novel.
"It's kind of cute, actually. But you should probably get that cat. You'd finally have someone to discuss those novels of yours with."
You angelly shot your head up. "Seriously, who's there?"
All you got was a stare from a little boy, who was then rushed off by his mother a few moments later.
"Don't pay attention to her, child. She could be ill." The mother whispered to her child, an annoyed tone in her voice.
"Yes, Mama." The boy murmered back, taking one little glance back at you.
Your eye twitched as you slowly lowered your head to the printed paper infront of you, the slightest blush blooming across your face.
"Looks like you even scare little children, love." The voice slurred into your ear, slow and taunting like.
Your face felt hot this time, the little blush you had growing larger. You got up, and decided to walk around. After all, the voice was just in your mind.
You continued to read while you walked, heading towards the nearest coffe shop. A warm drink on a chilly day was what you needed to calm yourself. Opening the wooden door with one hand, book in the other, you slowly walked in and sat at a random table. You picked the nearest chair at the table that had a veiw of outside.
"What could I get you?" A lady wearing an apron and notepad asked, coming up to your table.
"Just green tea with a scone, please." You said, looking up from your book and up to the waitress.
She just scribbled something down on her notepad, nodded, and left. When she finally came back with your order, you gladly took it and thanked her. As you gulped down your tea, you continued to read.
'Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said. 'One can't believe impossible things.'
'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I-' You read, only to get cut off.
"Pretending to ignore me, Hm? It's really no use. It makes me laugh at the thought that you'd even try to block me out."
"SHUT UP!" You hissed, slamming your book shut as hard as you could. A few moments after you yelled, you regretted it. Slowly looking up, you could see the people in there stop whatever they were doing, and looked directly at you. Lowering your head, you took little bites of your scone. Eventually people went back to what they were doing.
"Look, whatever or whoever you are, stop following me. It's getting weird. And at this rate, they're going to lock me in a nut house for talking to myself." You whispered as quietly as you could. When you didn't get a reply, you sighed and just continued on your scone. Losing all apetite, you stuffed the scone in your coat pocket and paid for your food. As you grabbed your book, something outside the window caught your eye. Peering out the window, you swore you saw a little bunny. But not a regular bunny. It was a little green one with wings, floating through the air. It looked at you, stuck its tounge out, and floated away.
"Was that.." You murmered, looking around the shop to see if anyone else had seen the strange animal. No one looked up or replied, so you just grabbed your book and left. You looked at the cover of your book as you stould outside, then peered around for the bunny.
You then heard a small whistle, and shot your head toward the right. There, the bunny sat floating, spinning in a small circle, tounge still hanging out. You glared at the small creature. If Alice had tought you anything, you'd follow it. But then again, if small rabbit creatures had tought you anything, it's not to follow them when they're trying to show you anything. But then your friends taunting words echoed through your head.
You broke out in a sprint.
The bunny, caught off guard, stould there wide-eyed for a moment, but then ran ahead of you.
"You son of a-" You swore under your breath as you kept running.
It continued to do spins in the air as it flew infront of you, showing off as if to say 'Suck it, little girl. You couldn't catch my fuzzy little butt if you tried!'
This, thinking he knew it would, ticked you off even more. When he darted into the forest, you started to slow until you stould face to face with pure darkness. Wincing, you peered into the wilderness, trying to pick out anything unusual at all. Normally you wouldn't have thought twice about darting in, but you thought this to be your Dads fault. You had always loved venturing off into the unknown as a child. It gave you a certain thrill you couldn't really explain. But ever since your Father had read you a terrifying version of your favorite child book, 'Little Red Riding Hood', you could never quite look at wolves, baskets, the woods, or your Grandmother the same way ever again. But all and all, if you couldn't see two feet infront of your face, you were screwed. It wasn't necessarily the dark you were afraid of, but what was in it. Especially in these woods. They always seemed dark, no matter how sunny and bright it was out. It just stayed dark, gloomy, and all around mysterious. But darn it, if a little tiny mint colored bunny was brave enough to venture through it, then you were too. You took a few steps in, and continued on from there.
"You don't have the guts. Really, I think you should just turn back now before you regret it."
You stopped. Arms at your sides, hands forming into fists. Once again, you became angry at the british voice that never seemed to leave you alone.
"Shut the hell up!" You yelled into the nothingness that was the forest. "Just shut up!"
"Ouch. That one actually kind of hurt."
You glared into the forest, but continued on, arms still at your side. "Here, Bunny Bunny."
Just as you said it, the bunny flew infront of you, landing on a tree banch. It smiled, and cocked its head, flapping its little wings. You reached out for it, planting the friendliest smile you could think of on your face.
"C'mere. I won't hurt you." You cooed, trying to coax the animal down.
It peered down at you, keeping as still as could be. You sighed, but just stould your ground, not ready to give up yet. When it still wouldn't budge, the image of your scone appeared in your mind. Smirking, you shoved your hand into your pocket and grabbed out your half eaten, crumbly scone from before. Still smirking, you glared up at the bunny.
"You want some?" You taunted, holding the scone in the air so it could catch its warm, buttery smelling scent. The bunnys nose twitched with anticipation as it carefully fixted its gaze on your food, still gripped lightly in your hand. It peered at it, the tiny fluff of a tail on his backside wiggling ever so slightly. You knew the green creature couldn't hold out for much longer, so you just stould there, now starting to flaunt the food infront of its face. "You know you want some."
Suddenly, without warning, it jumped, making a little squeek noise as it did so. You let out a small squeal, trying to catch it. You jumped into the air, and the little green creature fell into your hands. Relieved it hadn't fallen, you hugged it to your chest.
"Thank God." You murmered, rubbing your face against his. Deciding to be nice, you broke off a tiny peice of the scone and held it near his mouth. Happily, he took it. As soon as the creature swallowed, the wind in the woods picked up. You looked up, the bunny still hugged tightly to you. A shiver ran through your spine as the wind got faster, leaves picking up from the forest floor and surrounding you, forming you in the middle of an orange and brown tornado.
"What's happening?!" You yelled, hugging the animal so he wouldn't be able to get blown away by the wind. Was this the bunnys doing, or was this just one of those leaf storms that lasted only a few moments? The world seemed to spin around you, as if you were falling from a great height. You made a mental note not to follow anymore bunnies anytime soon. You squinted through the cloud of dust that seemed to form infront of you, trying to breath in clean air as you choked on the dirty substance that filled your lungs.
Then, without any warning, everything went black.
You hadn't passed out, and you know you hadn't gone blind. It's just like someone turned the little light there was left off. Then, you noticed a little green aura glowing in your arms. Squinting, you saw it was the bunny. The aura grew larger and larger, until there seemed to be a wall of it right against you. The wind picked up again, sending your (h/c) hair floating straight into the air. You closed your eyes, hoping it would stop soon. You really couldn't do anything about it at this point, seeming as though you had gotten yourself into all this in the first place.
And as if something answered your prayar, it stopped. But as quickly as it stopped, you began to feel a different embrace around you. It wasn't the little, comforting feeling of the mint bunny, either. You slowly opened one eye, then the other. Two stunning, emerald eyes stared directly into your (e/c) ones. For a moment, you thought they seemed to give off a faint glow. They didn't belong to any animal, let alone the adorable creature you tried to bribe with a half eaten scone moments ago.
And you were right. It wasn't the animal. It was, in fact, a man.
He didn't seem like the men you had seen walking around London, dressed in their fancy suits and such. He didn't seem to resemble Matthew, either. No, he was different. Much different.
This man sported a smooth, black hat with dark yellow trim with a fluffy, white feather poking out from the top. Instead of a fancy suit, he wore a long red overcoat, also seeming to have the same dark yellow trim, with splashes of black here and there. Underneith was a ruffled, white shirt with a poofy, short, necktie of some sort with a stunning emerald colored stone that almost seemed to match the color of his beautiful eyes, followed up by worn black pants and dirty boots to match.
He was a pirate.
His grip around your waist got tighter, and a snake like smile spread across his face. You scowled, trying to push him away and hide the blush that spread across your face at the same time. But he was holding onto you too tightly for you to squirm away and make your escape.
The blond leaned in closer, his mouth right next to your ear. You flinched, and felt your throat get tighter.
"Hello, Love." He purred. "I'm Arthur Kirkland."