Today I've got an amazing surprise. The first five hundred words of my Alice in Wonderland reimagining, Blood and Snow 10.1: The Dark Moth Society.
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Down the Demon Hole
Everyone had a favorite game. Mine involved slaying underling demons. And I was antsy, ready to start. Our trainer, a Dark Moth warrior by the name of Peter didn’t care. He kept going on and on in his monotone about the demon order in the Underworld. As though where we lived, deep below Wonderland, Arizona was any better. The worst part was we’d heard the same speech more at least a dozen times over the years. He needed to shut up already so I could slay me some demons.
“You know of the seven deadly sins?”
“Yes,” we all said in unison.
“Well not only are they scary stories told in Sunday School, they are also living, breathing demon royalty…”
Blah. Blah. Blah.
“The demons you’ll be fighting today are called underlings.” Peter pointed at the cage on the other side of the large instruction room. The cage had been fortified by troll magic. Every time a demon tried to slip between two of the metal bars, they were burned.
A hundred of the little buggers growled, gnashed their teeth, and threw themselves against the rods, making the air reek of burning demon hair and flesh. Not a pleasant scent when they already smelled like rotting eggs mixed with decaying corpse. They didn’t look much better, resembling sewer rats with leprosy. Their skin appeared to be peeling off and oozed snot-looking liquid.
“They’re fast and tricky. Killing them is easy, if you can catch them. Don’t use your weapons unless you’re sure you have a clean shot. Otherwise you’ll wind up sticking the end of a blade into another trainee. Got it?” Peter gave me a direct look. “Alice, what did I just say?”
I forced myself not to roll my eyes. Peter was a great Dark Moth warrior, but his father had been a Pride demon, which meant he had an inordinately high opinion of himself.
“Be careful when using your weapons. The underlings are tricky.” My weapon of choice was a katana, but I also kept a small dagger in my right boot and a 9mm in a holster under my shirt.
“Very good.” Gray eyes that exactly matched the rest of the Dark Moth trainees studied me. I was an oddity in many ways, but the most prominent was my eye color, which was bright blue.
“Queen of Hearts,” the guy on my right whisper-coughed.
Everyone around him snickered.
“Quiet!” Peter’s angry voice boomed. Even the demons stopped chattering. “There will be no name calling. Use your energy and focus.” The tension in the room shot up. “This isn’t a game…” he began and then trailed off, a giant smile replacing his anger. “What am I saying? Of course it is.”