Alice in the Massacre - Chapter 10
“Alice! Did we land a hit on the Nightmare!” Jack shouted at her, firing his revolver erratically. Alice slumped to the ground and raised her voice as she struggled to back away with her loose hips.
“He’s approaching! No! You missed him!”
“All units, fall back! The Nightmare is getting closer!”
No sooner had Jack yelled than Alice’s eyes caught sight of the Hatter lifting his other hand and lightly flicking his index finger.
His mouth turned hideous, saying, “You won’t escape” in slow motion.
When Alice’s eyes widened, the Hatter swung the rabbit he was using as a shield and flung it at her with all his energy. The human-sized object, a messy lump of flesh, was sent flying like a wrecking ball towards her.
Before Alice’s eyes, as she shrieked, the rabbit carcass crashed into one of the men who had been firing his gun, hurling him backwards like a bullet. Jack and the others paled at the sight of the man, who spat blood and was blasted away.
“It’s no good… I can’t see them…!” Jack gritted his teeth, ceased shooting, and seized Alice’s hand in a nearly reflexive action. “I can’t see the Nightmare…!”
Wringing his words out, Jack took Alice in his arms and dashed towards the dome. Upon witnessing this, the Hatter gripped the head of one of the rabbits again as he advanced on them.
Its right eye twitched, and the rabbit caught within his grasp froze like ice momentarily.
He swept it up and lobbed it upwards in a wide arch. There, its right eye began to rotate slowly with a clicking, clacking noise.
“Running is a good option, though! You have to avoid them, Alice, or you’ll die!” Raffi looked up at the sky and spoke up. Alice paled when she spotted a stuffed rabbit hurtling towards her.
The movement seemed to have been suspended. An instinctive part of her was emitting an alarm bell.
She had no idea what was happening.
But even so…
That thing was dangerous.
“Jack, look out!” With a screech, she yanked forcefully on Jack’s clothes. Alice pulled him back and tumbled into the shade of a tree on the side of the road, her body slamming against the ground as Jack collapsed in a heap.
The rabbits landed in the center of the men who were attempting to flee, firing their guns in disorder. She thought she heard a click. The Hatter’s right eye paused in the center and he grinned.
A massive explosion erupted.
As if stepping on a landmine, a burst of flame ignited into the air. She wailed and clutched her head. Jack frantically held Alice’s body against him.
The ground crumbled like bullets and scattered around them. The men were slammed against it and caught up in the flames as if they were being tasted, and the men had swept apart.
The flames rose, flailed around as if they had a will of their own, and slipped within the helmets the men were wearing. Several gruesome screams went off. One by one, before the eyes of Alice and the others who had covered their eyes, the men who had been roasted from the inside of their protective suits lost their strength and collapsed.
“Hmm? Hmm? Hmm?”
The Hatter stepped leisurely forward and halted the rabbits, who were proceeding like an army, with his right hand raised. He then stopped at a short distance away and opened his mouth.
“Now, Alice. Come on out. Let’s do something nice with me. Let’s crunch all your bones and mince your feet with a big juicer! I can’t wait to hear what kind of melody you’ll play for me! Today is a good day! It’s a HAPPY DAY!”
“HAPPY DAY! HAPPY DAY!”
The rabbits struck their sickles against the ground and howled loudly. Alice shuddered and clung to him as she watched the slow-moving multitude of rabbits encompassing her and Jack in a circle.
“What’s going on…? Please settle down, Alice, and explain the situation to me.” Jack whispered in a stifled voice.
Alice said through clenched teeth. “We’re surrounded by… rabbits and a guy with a large head… who says he’s going to kill me…”
Then an exclamation sounded. The Hatter had extended his long hand and grabbed one of the citizen women who had survived being pinned down. His right eye began to spin around and click.
“What exactly is happening… she’s floating…?” Jack, observing it from behind a tree, muttered. Alice went blue from the bottom of her heart.
Could it be. That large-headed monster… the Hatter. He may be able to produce a bomb out of anything he grabs, just like it did with the rabbit. Could it have destroyed the barrier of the dome in that way?
She let out an inaudible scream and reached for Jack’s hand. Then, as if rolling over, they leaped out from behind the tree.
A beat later, the woman in the hazmat suit, frozen like ice, came blasting through the air. She smashed into the tree that Alice and Jack had been hiding behind… It burst apart with a cracking sound, spreading a column of fire. The pieces of the exploding tree pierced the back and arms of Jack, who was protecting Alice.
When she rolled on the ground with Jack, who had fallen with a grunt, she caught sight of several burning trees that had tumbled down due to the gouging of the ground from the roots. By the time she realized what was happening, it was too late.
Jack shoved Alice away. Alice, who had banged her head heavily on the ground, had her eyes drawn to Jack’s body as it was sent flying by a large tree that had fallen with a roar.
As Alice screamed out, her ears registered the sound of dull footsteps approaching from behind. Jack had crashed into the tree on the other side and seemed to have fainted. There was a sound of air leaking from his protective suit.
The Hatter was standing behind her, peering at the trembling Alice. He poked Alice with his cane.
He glanced down gleefully at the frightened, screaming girl and seized Alice by the hair as she turned around. Then, just like that, he plucked her up like a fish. Her scalp made a strange sound, and she felt an intense pain in her neck and head.
Alice let out a shrill cry as she thrashed around. Eyeing her suspiciously, the Hatter opened his mouth.
“What is it…? What is it, Alice? How tedious. Can’t you be more, like, resistant?” Unamused, he remarked and tossed Alice aside. The small girl’s body rolled staggeringly on the ground.
“Unless Alice is willing to play with me, I’ll play with those stubborn people over there. Yes, let’s do that. I can’t digest it like this, it’s totally indigestible.” Muttering to her venomously, the Hatter strode towards the unconscious Jack.
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