Annabelle was a beautiful doll. Upon her mass of deep purple hair sat a rich red bow, and her dress seemed to be made of gossamer, or perhaps a humble spider's webbing. Nevertheless, she was delicate and mysterious, the incarnation of every woman's silent dreams.
But unlike many of the women of this world, Annabelle has been forever shadowed by tears and bloodshed, which in turn always falls upon her kind and loving keepers. None of these innocents knew how Annabelle came to creation, nor could any hear her tinkling voice, forever whispered in warning. That is until one child, young and imaginative, came upon her. But that is not the story for today, though it is one that shall be told in the process of time. This is the story of Alice Liddell, the hated child of a wicked, unloving Queen.
At the age of 12, Alice Liddell had never been outside her family's estate, nor had she ever seen the world that existed there. Her father was often travelling, being the owner of a successful merchant business, selling his cargo along the rich coastlines of the Pacific Ocean. Her sister, Lizzie, accompanied their father on these journeys, but Alice always remained home to keep her mother company. Yet no matter how far her she could have travelled, her mother was forever out of reach.
Given her lack of knowledge of the outside world, Alice frequented the garden's, primarily the beautiful red anthurium that reminded her so of the queen's burning heart. When she was not in the gardens exploring, she locked herself in the play-room with her beloved toys. And she could always feel the presence of her mother, sitting in her armchair in the library, never reading, never writing, simply looking out upon her red roses, in another world.
Alice loved the library, but took great pains to avoid her mother, lest she be scolded, or worse. She would wait until the last lamp in the house had been doused, and creep out of the nursery, Annabelle in hand, to the library.
The Liddell Library was almost like an extension to the mansion, and though the room itself felt rather grand with its great timber pillars, its large bay window and beautifully engraved runners, the truth was... it was eerie. Perhaps it was simply the amount of wasted time spent in it by her mother, but Alice believed something more sinister to have once have occurred within the library's perfectly kept interior.
Indeed, by this time, Annabelle was in the possession of Alice, having been a gift from the child's sister, found on one of her travels with father. It was Alice's only friend and most treasured belonging, and no matter where she went, Annabelle was carefully carried along.
On her nights spent in the library, Alice came upon a treasury of tales, and in her mind, these fantasies came to life. Talking creatures and super-beings with power likened to that of the devil. Alice wondered why her mother kept these books, being herself a devoted child of the Lord, although her father believed deeply in imagination. Nevertheless, as time went by, with only the empty house and her shell of a mother for company, Alice began to weave her own tales...
Once upon a time there lived a Red Queen...
She named herself the Queen of Hearts, and demanded her pack of followers call her nothing else.
The Red Queen married one day, to the King of Diamonds. The ruler was kind-hearted, and brimming with love and devotion for his countless followers. He knew of the Queen's cruelty, but believed he would be the one to open her cold heart. During this stable union, the Queen fell with child, and the warmth of her happiness began to melt the ice within her. However, the child was lost, and in her rage the Queen cut her heart from her chest, and buried it deep in the earth beneath her favourite rose tree. Beside her heart lay her beloved child, Eliza, and the Queen would lie next to her grave, weeping for her loss. Her pure tears, shed for one other than herself, began to turn the petals of her tree a soft cream.
When all the petals had turned a flawless white, the Queen again fell pregnant. She vowed to never love this child, for lack of a heart, and for the fear that she would break once more.
The king vowed that he would take care of this child, and with his wife give them all the love of the world.
A beautiful baby girl was born, her soft tufts of hair a golden weave, her eyes a vivid crystal blue. The Red Queen wished to call her Malice, in anger for the child that was replaced. When the Queen left to lie again beside the grave of her lost, the King renamed the living girl Alice.
One night, the King disappeared. At the darkest hour, he made far from his castle, and in the morn no-one was sent to find him.
Years passed, and Alice grew, tended to by the household servants, ignored by her Mother. She was not unhappy, nor was she ever fully contented, and she often begged for a living, breathing playmate to keep her company.
On the night of her twelth year, she, as her father before her, fled into the night with only her warmest clothes and Annabelle in hand.