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Hot Tea and a Drone

by Maddi Davidson

About the Author: Maddi Davidson is the pen name for two sisters, Mary Ann Davidson and Diane Davidson. Residing on opposite coasts of the US, the sisters have spent too many years inflicting “new and improved” information technology on leery users. They have authored several published short stories and three novels in the Miss-Information Technology Mystery Series.


The opening night reception at AliceCon was bathed in normalcy, as normal as an audience of Lewis Carroll disciples could be. Acolytes dressed as hatters, hares, hedgehogs, and other Carrollian characters convened in the cavernous ballroom like a belfry of bats. Near the stage, the Queen of Hearts held court, serenaded by a three-piece band and a tipsy walrus warbling “Jabberwocky” to the tune of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” After the last wimoweh, the walrus pointed at the Queen and wailed “off with their heads.” He then flippered over, spilling his hot buttered rum.

As the band announced a break, the Queen, a.k.a. Charlotte Litchfield, discreetly checked her costume for rum spatters. She was interrupted by baritones barking in unison.

“How d’ye do?” they said.

Tweedledum and Tweedledee—George and Harold Smith—posed arm in arm before her. In typical Tweedle fashion, they held out their free hands so that, as she grabbed both hands at once, they twirled around in a circle: a wisp of a woman whirled between ponderous ovoids.

“So pleased to see you both,” the Queen said when they halted. “It couldn’t possibly be AliceCon without you.”

“Contrariwise,” said Dee with a smirk. “It would be AliceCon, but oh, so dreadfully pedestrian, my Queen.”

“True,” she replied. After three decades of attending AliceCon, the Tweedles had the lock step walks and Carrollian lingo down, as did no others.

Story Comments

Feb 8 - Dennis O'Malley

This is nicely written fantasy who dun it. The Clues are there, you can solve it if you try...

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