1229 words (4 minute read)

chapter 10

Darkness had a way of making the shortest journey feel the longest, and that was how the descending stairs felt like. As Dorothy and Toto took slow and careful steps, Dorothy could not help but take quick glances behind them. Even though she could no longer see the outline of the fireplace, she felt safer if she checked.

When the steps finally stopped, Dorothy found herself in front of a wooden door. Thankfully, the door was not locked. As they entered, Dorothy could not tell how big the room was or what was in it as it lacked the presence of light. The candle she had could only aid her in finding the walls and to her surprise, that was enough. When she found the first torch on the wall, she found the second torch without any trouble. Soon, darkness left and Dorothy could take a good look around.

The room was not very big, nor was it small. There weretwo rows of shelves and in between them was a long table. Dorothy set the candle stand down and recalled what Glinda had told her.

“The twelfth book on the first row of the second shelf,” Dorothy muttered to herself.

Heading to the second shelf on her right, Dorothy looked up at the first row and began counting. When she stopped in front of the twelfth book, she tiptoed to pull the book out.

It was a brown book with no title. Its pages were not even and some of them stuck out, and when Dorothy blew the dust off the cover she sneezed. There was no doubt that this book had sat untouched for many years, and Dorothy was amazed at how Glinda could remember its contents with so many other books around.

As Dorothy took a seat at the table, Toto leaped onto the table and gave the book a sniff. When she did not make a move to open the book, Toto gave a soft bark. Dorothy was a little nervous with the contents of the book as the weight of truth finally felt too heavy to carry. The responsibility of saving Oz was now on her shoulders and she feared she might fail. Toto, however, thought differently as he used his paw to flip the cover over. When Dorothy’s eyes inevitably fell onto the first page, her fear was pushed out of the way as excitement and curiosity took over.

The contents of the book were written in black slanting ink. Different materials and small objects were stuck onto the pages as well. There were also drawings of creatures, objects and people that Dorothy did not recognize. The book was basically a traveller’s journal filled with everything she needed to know. But more importantly, it was the answer to saving Oz.

Flipping through the pages, Dorothy learned of a world so different from Earth and Oz. There were creatures she had never seen before and plants so unique and colourful.

As she went deeper into the book, she learned of a young girl who entered that land. She was also from Earth and was only a child when she first met the New Queen, who in this book was called the Queen of Hearts. Alice bravely stood up to her ways of judgement and almost had her head chopped off. But after escaping death on a few occasions, Alice did not stop and instead convinced the people of Wonderland to fight against the queen.

It was a battle for power but nothing good came from it. The Queen of Hearts managed to overpower her people and Alice was forced to leave. But it was not a complete defeat after Alice had gone home, or so the author of this journal thought. Whoever he was, he made an ending note that read, ‘Alice left a message and the Queen of Hearts will not rule forever.’

Seeing how the Queen of Hearts looked exactly like the New Queen of Oz, Dorothy gave the author credit for art and prediction. Even though he was not entirely spot on, as the Queen of Hearts found a new land to rule, he knew she could be defeated. With all that she had read, Dorothy knew what she should do next. It was a crazy idea but it was the only one she had.

Not really knowing how old the book was, Dorothy had no idea how old Alice would be. All she had was a piece of Alice’s dress that would help in locating her. Dorothy was certain that Alice was no longer a child, but hopefully she was still strong enough to fight alongside her. Now, the only thing Dorothy needed to carry out her plan was some fairy dust.

“Where can I find black fairy dust, Toto?” Dorothy asked softly, not hoping for an answer.

Toto responded to her question by jumping onto a chair and clawing on the side of the table. When Dorothy attempted to stop him, she realized the table was thicker than usual. Just then, Glinda’s words shot to the tip of her mind, “If you need anything else, my library has it.”

Jumping to her feet, Dorothy placed her hand under the table and began feeling for something. As she walked along the table, concentrating on her sense of touch, Dorothy came across a small bump. It did not take her long to realize it was a button and when she gave it a push, the opposite side of the table popped forward.

Like a large drawer, the hidden section contained a bottle filled with black fairy dust and a few empty pouches. There were also small pieces of parchment and cloth that one would normally find in a town in Oz.

Not thinking twice about her next move, Dorothy made preparations. She poured black fairy dust into two pouches and burned materials from Oz to make the powdery mixture complete. Then she took another pouch and made one for her journey back to earth with Alice’s dress piece.

Being someone who thought further into the future, Dorothy filled a bigger pouch with the remaining black fairy dust. She had a feeling she would need it later, but even if she didn’t she would rather play safe.

When she was done with her preparation, Dorothy cleared an area in the library and placed the pouch to earth on the floor. Taking a few steps back, she pulled out Scarecrow’s matchbox and lit a match. Throwing the match at the pouch, Dorothy hoped it did not take a tornado to get her home. She did not want to destroy the secret library as much as seeing Glinda’s horror if she did.

The small flame set the pouch on fire, and shortly after the flames sizzled out the ground sunk in. Dorothy watched as it created a large rabbit hole that kept going downwards. Not being able to see the bottom was a little terrifying, but Dorothy was not in the position to be afraid. Picking up Toto and grabbing the book on Wonderland, Dorothy ignored her urges to back away and jumped.

Next Chapter: chapter 11