Inspired by the beloved children’s books “The Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum and “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll, comes this original short story by Michael Aaron Gallagher “When Dorothy Met Alice.” It received the First Place award in the Royal Historian of Oz Writing Contest at the 41st Annual Oz-Stravaganza festival in Chittenango, New York (birthplace of author L. Frank Baum). The story was read aloud at the festival by special guest Tom Hutchison, Co-founder of Big Dog Ink Comics and the writer/creator of “The Legend of Oz.”
It was late spring, when the poppy fields were first beginning their season of enchantment. Dorothy planted herself nearby on a blanket with a proper picnic basket filled with enough geometrically shaped cheeses and crackers to delight a pair for a long afternoon. But alas, Dorothy was alone, which meant she would have to eat for two – that is until she heard a rustling in the bushes nearby.
“Hello?” Dorothy called out to the mysterious maker of noises.
“Hello,” replied a voice.
Dorothy realized that she was experiencing a peculiar conundrum. If she pursued the echo any further, she might find that the answer she sought was not the answer she would discover – but not pursuing it would lead to no answer at all.
Fortunately for the both of them, her little dog Toto decided that an introduction might lead to a friend and a friend may lead to a friendship. Charging into the thicket, Toto disappeared into the prickly brush, only to emerge a few moments later under the arm of a girl who called herself Alice.
Alice was a bit shorter than Dorothy, unless you were standing behind her looking up, which then made her taller. She was dressed in the sort of dress that was nice but not memorable, with her hair tied back in the most splendid black satin bow.
“It’s good to meet you, Alice,” Dorothy said. “This is Toto.”
“Well, Toto,” Alice said, gazing out at the Land of Oz, “I’ve a feeling I’m not in Wonderland anymore.”
As the two girls sat together sharing brunch, they giggled at each other’s accent. Dorothy told Alice all about her life in Kansas and how she ended up in the Land of Oz. Noticing a bit of earth clinging to Alice’s shoes, Dorothy asked, “Where are you from?”
“Well, I don’t exactly -” Alice began, speaking timidly at first, then slowly more sure of herself. She was soon recounting her journey with the animated expression of a great orator. “I was tumbling down a rabbit hole – it’s not the first rabbit hole I’ve fallen into, you see – and then I turned in the most unusual way, twisting down another corridor and then out the other end I popped.”
“I don’t understand,” Dorothy said.
“It’s all very strange,” Alice acknowledged, “But if you knew the sort of adventures I’ve had, you wouldn’t find it curious at all.”
As if summoned on cue, a white rabbit tumbled from the thicket, holding a pocket watch that he kept tapping against every surface he could find to see if it was still ticking. “We’re late!” he shouted to Alice.
“Oh dear,” Alice said bunching up her dress and jumping to her feet. “We mustn’t keep them waiting. We promised the March Hare we would bring cranberry scones!”
Alice pulled back the branches, revealing the opening to the rabbit hole. She paused and then extended her hand to Dorothy. “Would you like to come to tea?”
“When Dorothy Met Alice” Copyright © 2018 by Michael Aaron Gallagher
The above work is not to be used, reprinted or broadcast without written permission from the author.