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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Page 8--White Rabbit--Chapter 2

Once Alice and her family arrived at Butterfly Kisses, Alice could barely contain herself. She flew out of the car and flung open the door before her parents’ shoes had even touched the pavement. Alice froze once inside and her parents had a chance to catch up with the little imp. Her eyes were wide with excitement as she beheld the shelves of the most beautiful dolls she had ever seen.

“Who are you?”

Startled, Alice spun around and saw the shopkeeper who was giving her a tired look from under his heavy, wrinkled purple, eyelids. The shop keeper was an odd one. He always wore a top hat and pointed shoes like those of an Arab. He also smoked a funny little pipe that was long and thin. He would often amuse the children by filling his pipe with dyed tobacco and blow rainbows of smoke rings about his store. He did this now and by the time Alice’s parents entered the store Alice was chasing a pair of green smoke rings which had melted together into a butterfly shape.

“Alice, won’t you pick one?” Alice’s mother said, pointing at the shelves of dolls.

Alice glowered, “I want to catch the butterfly…”

Alice’s mother narrowed her eyes, “We are here to buy your doll.”

Alice swatted at the smoke rings and then ran over to the shelves. She scanned the shelves back and forth, her eyes dropping over each doll.

“How on earth do you make them so lifelike?” Alice’s mother asked the shopkeeper as Alice looked.

“That’s my secret, madame,” the shopkeeper said in a dreamy voice and took a long drag on his pipe.

Alice then turned to the shopkeeper, her face souring, “Don’t you have a special doll?”

The shopkeeper blew a red smoke ring in her direction, “Well, I have one that I just made last night.”
“I want to see it,” Alice demanded as she made ready to stomp her foot if her desire was not met.

The shopkeeper glided across the room and disappeared through a doorway with beads hanging down. When he returned he had a doll with curling auburn hair and thick lashes that would make even the cutest of girls jealous.

Alice reached for the doll and gave her mother a reproachful look, “I want that one.”

“Are you sure, Alice? There are plenty of other dolls here, and he might be saving that doll for someone.”

Alice narrowed her eyes and wrinkled her nose, “Of course he’s saving it. He’s saving it for ME!”

Alice’s father started mumbling and twirling the dial on his watch, “Just buy it, we must hurry now. Hurry, hurry, hurry, no, no, we mustn’t be late…”

Alice’s mother let out an exasperated sigh as the shopkeeper handed the doll to Alice who promptly wrapped it in her arms and hugged it defensively. Alice’s mother then handed him the money. He was in the middle of counting it to determine the change when a strange little man poked his head out through the beads hanging in the doorway. The storekeeper excused himself and started talking to the man. He had a white turban on his head, dark skin, and shoes like the shopkeeper’s. They were talking quickly and clicking their tongues.

Alice tugged on her mother’s sleeve and whispered into her mother’s ear once she had bent down to Alice’s level, “Why is the man talking backwards?”

Alice’s mother whispered back in a tone of finality, “He’s just talking in another language. Now don’t be rude, Alice.”Alice’s mother straightened up once the dark man left and the shopkeeper walked back over to his counter. Once there, he handed Alice’s mother the change and they left with the shopkeeper staring after Alice, sucking on his funny little pipe thoughtfully.

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