Part four of Guess who is coming for dinner. If the dinner itself was not awkward enough, a letter was being sent from a mysterious Elder witch from the land of Dyre, that was going to bring an end to the festivities.
Dessy: Mariela still kept silent when Alice asked questions, only looking over at Scar when he began speaking. “Comparing me to the Queen of Hearts is a huge mistake. We are nothing alike.” she finally commented, before giving Scar a warm smile in return. Feeling the squeeze of his hand, her smile grew brighter. Alice then began asking questions, and Mariela turned her gaze back forward. This girl asked too many questions.
Mariela simply nodded her head in approval when he mentioned that great change was coming. It really was. Mariela was so different compared to every other ruler of Greed. First of all, she was kind-hearted and good. And she’d never let her ambition and dreams control her to the point that that’s all she cared about – like Lydia. Both Lydia and Mammon let their Greed get the best of them… and look what happened to them.
“No worries. We were just waiting.” Tessa said with a smile, and Mariela smiled back.“This is Alice. Alice, this is my best friend Tessa, and my two little brothers, Sam and Sean.” she said, gesturing to each of them. Tessa gave a wave, and the brothers both nodded.
She gestured to the chairs where they were to be seated, and the trio moved. But before she could sit down, she turned her head when Alice mentioned the Queen of Hearts. She then turned to the closest guards and pointed. ‘I want this removed. Now.” she said, before glaring back at the picture. “That was Lydia – the former Princess of Greed. I don’t know much about this Queen of Hearts, but from what I understand, they were the same person.”
Kingdom of Greed – Castle
Turns out that not all of Lydia’s portraits had been taken down in the midst of the remodeling of the castle. To see the image of the grinning former Princess of Greed staring down at them from the gilded frame was enough to put anyone on edge. None more so than Scar who actually jumped back a little to see the haunting image. Thankfully, Mariela was quick to think and react as she ordered the closest guards to remove the picture immediately. Two formally dressed guards snapped to attention at her words, and went to the picture to take it down from the wall. The pair made a little bit of a fuss, grunting and huffing for the picture weighed quite a lot – a lot more than one might imagine. When it was finally down off the wall, Scar breathed a sigh of relief.
He hoped that he never ever saw that face again, not even in his own nightmares. Alice watched the two guards cart the picture out of the room, and then her eyes shot across to Mariela, who said that it was a portrait of Lydia, the former Princess of Greed. Even though Scar had explained that though the two women looked alike, they were very much different people. There was one thing however, both women were incredibly evil in their own rights.
With the drama of the portrait over, it was now time for Alice to formally meet Mariela’s siblings and her best friend. They were all dressed impeccably for the luncheon, but there was something about them that didn’t fit in with the lavish setting. Alice herself was not a magical creature, nor did she belong in Hell. Her world was a far cry from the modern era, and her dress showed this. The first time she left her world was down the rabbit hole, the second was through the looking glass. Now she had found another looking glass, or was it the same one? The young girl had never bothered to check when she had stepped through it. All she knew was that she had seen Scar or Hatter on the other side. In Wonderland they had a good friendship, as he had helped her out before. Even if he was quite mad at the time.
“So nice to meet you all. Sam, Sean.” She nodded to each with a little curtsy when gripping the edge of her skirt. Alice then turned to Tessa, who was introduced as Mariela’s best friend. “You are so pretty, Lady Tessa…just like the Princess.” The girl was putting on her best airs and graces, as she felt it appropriate now. For some reason, the Princess appeared on edge, though Alice could not understand why.
Suddenly, the gong was struck by one of the footmen, and the announcement was made that luncheon was now served. Alice gave a little clap. A staffer offered to show her to a seat, which thankfully was up the other end of the table. Far enough away so as to no longer trouble the Princess with any more questions. If anything, Scar was happy for that. It had been days since he had a moment’s rest and the strain was starting to show. Being the gentleman that he now was, he pulled out a chair for her highness and gestured for her to take a seat. Sam, Sean and Tessa were seen to by other members of staff, and when all were seated, the wine was poured.
Looking to the boys, Scar knew he was going to have to ask Sam and Sean as well as Tessa.
“Will you all be staying here now?” The alp was wondering if they were prepared to go back, and leave their sister in Hell. No doubt Mariela was going to have something to say about this, but Scar needed to hear it from them. His hat…was the way home. Scar reached for Mariela’s hand before saying anything else.
Dessy: Mariela watched the guards remove the picture, taking it away, and she gave a nod of approval. She then gave a breath of relief. She’d have to walk around to make sure all portraits were removed from the castle. She turned to Scar, seeing him also breath a sigh relief. “Now that that is over…” she spoke.
She never wanted to see Lydia’s face again. Like… ever. She turned to Alice as Alice bowed, but the trio just continued to smile. They were so out of place in Hell, while Mariela had adjusted to it quite quickly. “Thank you, Alice.” Tessa then said with a smile, before the trio took seats where they were supposed to.
Mariela felt slightly happy that Alice was moved all the way to the end of the table. When Scar pulled out her chair, she smoothed out her dress before taking a seat, crossing one leg over the other after he pushed it in. He then asked the trio if they were gonna be staying, and Mariela looked at them. “You’re not staying.” she spoke before they could answer.
“You guys don’t belong here. You still have lives to live back on Earth. My life is done with. I’m not going to take the rest of the life you have away from you.” Mariela spoke. “I understand.” Tessa started, nodding her head. “But… it is very nice to have seen you again. And seeing you fit in so perfectly up here, makes me really happy. For someone who shouldn’t be up here… you fit in well.”
“I agree with Tessa.” Sam said. “We’re just glad to have seen you one last time.” he spoke, and Sean nodded. Mariela gave a smile, before turning to smile at Scar when he took her hand, then looking forward again. “It was nice to see you guys, too.”
Kingdom of Greed – Castle
It was nice just for once, for everyone to be happy. All seated at the large dining hall table, Mariela and her family, along with Scar and Alice could enjoy a meal that was long overdue. Tray after tray of fine food, and delicious deserts were brought out and each plate filled before being placed in front of each luncheon guest. To see Mariela accept that her family had to go home, brought about a proud smile from her Scar. He knew that it meant she had truly matured and earnt the right to be called the Princess of Greed, even if she was not really of that sin. She would do what other heads had not done, and that was to fall to the spell of the sin. While Sam and Sean chatted and Tessa was being interrogated by a nosy Alice, Scar was watching Mariela – admiring her all the more. She was a beauty both inside and out, and few people in Hell could attest to being both. The Alp hoped and prayed, that nothing would ever spoil her or taint what he considered to be the rose amongst the thorns.
Music was playing softly in the background, and with the chatter of conversation it was easy to miss the sound of the beating wings of a raven. Still the most popular way for the kingdoms and other realms to stay in contact with each other. The black bird flew in through one of the open windows and flew high around the chandeliers, before choosing it’s mark and swooping down to land on the table, right in front of the Princess. It was enough to shock Scar, who dropped his fork in surprise.
“Gah….horrid birdy. Shoo…shoo, last thing we want is bird poo in the salad.” Scar took off his hat and swung it at the bird, who looked quite indignant about the Alp’s display. It was a messenger raven and if the Princess looked closely, she would see that there was a note tied to its leg. If she were to remove the note from the raven, it contained an invitation. A special invitation that had been sent to all the Elder witches in the realms. News it seems had not gone unnoticed by the Witches Circle, or the Elder – Lavinia. The invitation carried her seal, and the bird waited patiently for the Princess to take the message off his leg so he could return to his home base.
My dearest Mariela,
You are required along with those of your kin to attend a special meeting of the Elders at the Witches Circle, tonight at eight o’clock precisely. We fear that great danger is coming, and we need to prepare in order to protect the ones we love. Time is of the essence, and I trust that you will not be late. I know this invitation might appear to be out of the blue, since you would not know of me in this reality…….but child, I have watched you a long time, and it was only after your courage against the former Princess, that I knew you would be ready to join us.
Looking forward to seeing you again,
Supreme Elder of the Witches Circle.
Once the invitation was read aloud, the raven would take off from the nearest window.