This week’s bit for the Writer’s Island, the theme being Breakthrough.
“Hey, come on – cool it, will you?” Tim Burton said soothingly, taking a step towards the wizard. The film director held up both his hands in a placating gesture, shaking his head slowly, as if he couldn’t understand quite why the wizard was reacting in this way. “I’ve no intention of picking a fight with you – whoever you are – I don’t even know your name. I just think you should clear off out of here – you’re holding up filming…” He looked at his large computerised wristwatch. “Time is money, if you know what I mean.” He glanced over at the sobbing Alice who was still clinging to Bartholomew’s side. “I think your friend wants you to take her home,” he added casually, turning away and going back to the cameras.
“Yes, I know… but I’m not sure exactly where that is.” The young wizard glanced over his shoulder at Elvira, who had been standing just behind him all the time. “Do you know Elvira?”
Elvira frowned at the papery black and white illustrated little girl for a moment.
“Let’s see, Oxford? Yes, Oxford.”
“Well, that’s where we are now,” came a different voice, clear and strong, an actress’s voice. The young woman who was playing the part of Alice strode towards the intruders, her long golden curls clustered around her face, which seemed theatrically white beneath the lights. Her scarlet lips were pressed together tightly, trembling slightly with emotion. “Look, I don’t know who the hell you guys are but you better get out of here right away, you’re holding everything up, don’t you see, this is my big chance, my first staring role – and a big Tim Burton film. Oh, I’ve waited so long for this chance, and now you’re going to ruin it.”
“Take it easy, Tabitha,” said the director, putting his arm reassuringly around the young actress’s shoulders. These people were just leaving, isn’t that right?” He glared at the witch and wizard accusingly. “The door’s over there,” he added needlessly, nodding his head in its direction.
Alice’s papery edges seemed to have stopped shaking so violently, as her sobs slowly subsided, perhaps even a touch of resilience coming into the shaded strokes of her pen lines, as she raised her eyes up to Bartholomew’s face, her contrasting black and white edges seemed even more clear than ever.
“Am I really going to go back to my book? Will I see the mad hatter once again?” She asked quietly.
“I don’t know about that, Alice, I’m afraid. Not if Oxford is anything like I remember it. you say the year is now 2014?” The Wizard glanced at the director before turning towards the door.
The director nodded curtly, already getting back into his successful film directors roll. As she took a step outside, Elvira whispered into Bartholomew’s ear, “It’s ok, Bart, don’t worry… I think I remember Oxford pretty well and I don’t believe it will have changed much in a few years. let’s go.” She pushed the young wizard and Alice ahead of her, out into the entrance hall, giving Bart a quick kiss on the tip of his nose as she did so.