Alice Caddies for the Red King

A short satire by Matthew Jakubowski

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Alice accused the Red King’s men of astroturfing

“What’s astroturfing?” barked the sealions

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Alice didn’t take the bait

“Do you miss sports?” she asked the Red King

“What do you mean?” he bellowed and waved his flamingo. “I golf every day”

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Alice bashed a mushroom with a flamingo

The Red King screamed and covered his crotch

“What’s gotten into him?” Alice asked the caterpillar, who cried, “Brava”

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The Red Prince arrived on a walrus and threw Alice into a cage

“Let me out! I’ve done nothing but play a game with the King!”

“Dem’s the breaks!” the Prince said, getting down so the walrus could ride him home

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Alice sent up a signal by burning the Red Prince’s book

“Sacrilege!” shouted the Red King’s third wife

“Sorry,” said Alice from her cage

The third wife giggled. “No, you fool. It’s the name of my new fragrance.” The press applauded

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The Red King drove his golf cart in circles around Alice in her cage

“Stop, I’m getting dizzy,” she said, trying to keep him in sight

The King ran out of storage room on his phone and called for another

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“Send these images to my handler,” the Red King said

Not knowing which one he meant, his soldiers gave the phone to Alice

Alice stepped though the looking-glass of the phone but was pushed right back out

“No room!” shouted all the other Alices

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In anger, Alice squeezed the phone. An Alice popped out. This gave the original Alice an idea

She squeezed the phone many more times. Soon there was no more room and the cage full of Alices burst open

“Waste of a good shell,” said the mock turtle

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The Red King was delighted to see all the Alices but the mock turtle slowly shook his head

“No witnesses, my King,” the mock turtle drawled

“No witnesses,” said the other cards in the deck and when only one Alice remained the turtle used a flamingo as a gavel on his head

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“I see that you’re free to lose the game now,” the Red King said to Alice, handing her a flamingo

“Your turtle is a monster!” Alice said stamping her foot

“Yes,” admitted the King, “but he is very generous with his advice”

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Alice couldn’t believe her ears

“Next you’ll tell me you take advice from the Mad Hatter and the March Hare”

The Red King grinned dopily and said, “Sure, but I prefer the White Rabbit. Bwaha. Get it? Eh?”

Alice could’ve warned him but let him trip over a rake into a sand trap

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Senators and Carlsons dove into the sand to rescue the Red King

They were gone a long time. Alice decided to swim a few laps in a nearby water hazard

Refreshed, she returned to the sand trap and found the Red King on his back, his belly swollen

“I ate them all. Every last one”

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Alice was astonished. She’d never met someone who could eat an entire cabinet of poisons in one sitting

“Are you feeling okay, Red King?” she asked, hoping the answer was no

The King smiled then grabbed his belly with both hands “Oh, no!” he bawled. “They want out!”

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It made no sense to Alice. “So let them out, fool. You’ll feel better”

The Red King coughed. “Stupid child. I won’t be able to trust them. I need them gone. I’ll find new ones!”

Alice didn’t want to help but forced herself to

“Here then. Put on this mask and hold them in”

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The Red King put the mask on and fell asleep. He recovered several days later

Alice went home

Masks were in fashion, to kill poison within, or to keep poison out. Some, like the Red King, wore no mask because they no longer believed in poison

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