Miss Tennyson, modeling at Katrina's Garden, Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA, Early Earth Dimension
Miss Tennyson's close-up shot
"Ahhhhhhh," she said, "It is an invitation from my dear, though slightly demented, friend, the Mad Hatter, from Wonderland."
It was well-known among many circles, both upper class and throughout the under classes, that the Hatter loved to throw a party. This time though, his invitation was to a Ball, where wearing a hat was required. Instantly KarraBella wondered how she'd be delivered to this soiree' as it was going to be held in the lesser known country of Ark-Kansas, in an obscure dimension that resembled Early Earth. It was actually a parallel dimension that was hard to get to in the "normal" way. (She also briefly wondered which of her thousands of hats she'd wear.)
So she told Fiona, "Please call Cap'n Crunshay to a mid-morning tea, as I shall consult with him for my travel arrangements." To her chef Boo, she instructed him to prepare tasty edibles for the Cap'n's visit .
At once, KarraBella dined on her lovely breakfast, wiped her pleasantly shaped chin, and proceeded to freshen her already fresh self and dress for tea. As expected, Cap'n Crunshay arrived promptly at Eleven. Fiona and Boo (who was suspiciously transparent and had been for an long as he was in KarraBella's employ) served tea, Lumpet Crumpets, Snips and Snails, Puppy Dog Tails, and Treats of Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice. After exchanging the required cheek kisses, both KarraBella and the Cap'n sat down to the treats laid before them.
The Cap'n oftened gazed upon Miss Tennyson's beauty in awe. Her lovely skintone made one wonder of her descent. Was she Latina, Early Earth? Or perhaps she descended from one of the rural indiginous tribes in the Countryland of their dimension. Maybe she had family from the Peninsula Memarina, who resembled the lovely Asian peoples who had imigrated many centuries ago from Early Earth. Her skin, combined with her lovely green eyes and long black hair, had been the topic of much conversation for a number of years among many communities.
KarraBella and the Cap'n engaged in the perfunctory conversation of the day, regarding who was sad or glad, who was marrying or who may have been parlaying into the dangerous territories of adultery, who in the community that were eating no fat, or perhaps about who in the feminine population could eat no lean, who was being born or dying, planting or reaping, killing or healing, laughing or weeping, dancing or mourning, casting away stones or gathering stones together. At any rate, it was decided between the two of them that there is a time for every purpose under heaven. Of course they discussed at length, War & Peace, Love & Hate, and the Embracing that was always sure to follow. They regaled stories of rending and sewing, cooking and cleaning, and about Peace. I swear it's not too late. Turn. Turn. Turn.
Finally, KarraBella directed the Cap'n's attention to the need of the day. And that was how she would successfully jump dimensions to attend the Mad Hatter's Ball in Ark-Kansas, in the odd little city of Fayettevillea. Please be sure to pronounce this correctly.... 'Fae-ett-vill-EEEEE-uh'. It would behoove one to learn proper articulation, diction, and sense-stress, just as KarraBella is inclined to do. Otherwise, one may suffer disdain and be unable to acquire a proper profession.
After nipping at his distilled juniper juice on the sly and after consuming copious amounts of Snips and Sugar and Spice (KarraBella noted that he avoided the Snails but then thought that even with the correct sauce, they still seemed a bit salty - she would speak to Boo about that... if she could find him), the Glorious Cap'n Crunchay used that magical mobile device embedded in his left, furthest back molar to discuss Miss Tennyson's flight plans on the steampunked dirigible known as the 'J.Verne' with a terribly underpaid girl who booked such things, such as passages through time-worms, steam-bus trips, massages, and hairdressing appointments. It was commonly known that this steam powered monstrosity of an airship was the only air vehicle known to the race known as humankind that could jump easily within dimensions.
What a lovely machine it was though! It was veritably covered with so many unnecessary things such as unused and/or discarded watch parts and clock inner-workings, parts from crashed 1964 1/2 Ford Mustangs imported from the Early Earth dimension, leftover items from assembling baby cribs, high chairs, and IKEA furniture, as well as bridal tulle and thousands of beads and pearls that fell to the dance floors of the universes when Mistresses and Madames danced heartily, and albeit drunkenly, on the ball room floors of humanity. KarraBella was so excited to fly about in such extravagance!
After the arrangements were established, the Cap'n departed, Fiona packed the Mistress' steamer trunks, the pumpkin-inspired carriage was called to the front of her mansion, and it was pulled by none other than than her friend Mistress Cynthia Rella's white mousy looking horses since Karra's were at the veterinarian getting booster immunizations for commonly known equestrian diseases.
She was off to the dirigible-port. Once delivered and boarded, she decided to nap the afternoon away. This was a good decision since time-worms were somewhat uncomfortable to jump through even when sitting on a cushy red velvet sofa. Before she knew it, she was delivered safely to the lesser known country of Ark-Kansas, in an obscure dimension similar to that of Early Earth at the edge of the odd little city of Fayettevillea (don't forget to pronounce it correctly or one may laugh at you when you are not looking).
KarraBella was only used to the best of the best so she hailed a white horse drawn carriage. The able footman loaded her steamer trunks and she rode comfortably to the Parishilton Inn, checked in, and took the aircart to her room. This particular suite was so tastefully decorated with a plethora of color! She could barely remove her irises from the spectacular sight! Color, color everywhere. Amazing! The bedwall and the comforter were perfectly matched. ("What artist did this??" she thought.)
As she sat on the king sized bed, she used her molar communication device to order up a meal fit for a princess who was wary of her waistline. With a flick of her tongue, she activated the mechanism and spoke the words clearly, "Room Service, Parishilton Inn." At once, she was connected and the order was placed. While waiting for it to arrive, she then called up BethEllen TheCoDuGuCo , her favorite personal stylist. BethEllen could not only get her hair just so, perfect her makeup, and select her clothes, but she had an uncanny knack for bringing steamer trunks that were simply chock-full of whatever might be needed for her clients that attended distinguished galas, balls, charity events and all sorts of sordid and perhaps secretive functions that occurred all over the galaxy and time dimensional wormholes. KarraBella wished for such magical hands and brain. Alas, she would have to continue to content herself with her bank accounts and beauty. BethEllen after all, wasn't that lucky. Ha! "Ooops, back to reality!" she thought. Happily, BethEllen, and her trusty assistant Jinxie Blu Jones (an odd looking little creature with blue fur on her dog shaped face with white fur on her longish muzzle-like nose ) could fit her in even though she was only in the proximity to stylize another Mad Hatter Ball attendee. Jinxie Blu Jones would no doubt be constantly on her boss' right heel lending support and assistance as needed.
KarraBella knew she needed to rest well after such a difficult day of travels but unfortunately, it seemed she was unlucky enough to get Princess Pea's mattress reject . Alas, after watching Pay-Shekels-Per-View until the wee hours, she finally lapsed into the Land of Nod where she politely rejected the conversations of Winken, Blinken, and Nod. They were disappointed but they were used to it as sometimes people arrived via Nyquil, Unisom, or Lunestra and were rendered useless when it came to conversation.
When her adequately, though uselessly, adorned steampunk alarm mechanism awakened her, she called her friend Dorothy's favorite beauticians, massage therapists and tattoo artists from the Emerald City Spa, to beautify her (cuz ding-dong, the witch was dead and they were now free to travel about the universes as they pleased). They were still rather humble since there is no place like home and would work well under BethEllen's direction. And they would even arrange for KarraBella's travel clothes to be sent to the eco-friendly laundromat to be cleaned. After all, she'd need them to travel home in.
The personal stylist arrived, exactly on time, as did the wonderful ladies, workers of beauty magic, from the Emerald City Spa. BethEllen directed them with such exactness and wonder that KarraBella was left in a state of awe. It was like a conductor standing in front of a massive orchestra. First, after a gentle shoulder, neck and scalp massage, her hair was styled in such a way that it would compliment the very tasteful top hat that BethEllen extracted from one of the steamers. Adorned with lavender netting and a large (and very extravegant) bow in the back, the chapeau seemed to be one of the Hatter's original pieces.
She then took the white horse drawn carriage to the Walmartian Supercenter (since they WERE in Ark-Kansas) for the ball. Oh what a grand time was had!
Miss KarraBella Tennyson was truly in her element. So many friends and acquaintances she needed to grace with her presence! Edward and Bella Cullen (Forks Dimension, Early Earth), looking shimmery in the bright lights brought their famous, and already grown-up daughter, Renesmee' who was being overseen and attended to by a stunning olive-color-skinned man. "Oh, what was his name?" she thought, "Ummm, perhaps it's Jacob?" They indeed made a beautiful couple though the lovely young woman bit him constantly. He seemed to like it. And over by the left entrance, Harry Potter (UK Dimension) and his bride to be, the lovely Ginny , entered, while their state of the art turbo-assisted brooms were placed carefully in the adjacent broom closet. Oh! and over there! Princess Leia??? (From the Far, Far Away Galaxy.) Who exactly was that escorting her, Han?? , He apparently wasn't aging gracefully. KarraBella just wished that the woman would finally retire that ridiculous metal and steam-hardware bikini topped gown "thingee" she insisted on keeping . How embarrassing it would be to Karra to appear in the same outfit twice, let alone three or four times. But then, Karra knew how men could be... it was probably Han who had the most to do with why Leia kept it. Silly man. He may be gray-headed now, but KarraBella could tell where his gray head was at. It had been that way with most men since ED medications were invented on Early Earth and made their way into the other dimensions. ED, it seemed knew no boundaries.
KarraBella wandered over to a steam powered, five-legged table that was effectively and accurately maneuvering amongst the guests, carrying trays of delicacies and flutes of fine Burmese Monk-made wines. She selected a morsel from each platter, placed them on her plate, and decided on a lovely pale purple wine on which to imbibe. As she sipped, she spied a familiar face and nearly choked! What was SHE doing here?? In this time? In this dimension? HOW did she get here?
When Karra was a foreign exchange student in 1969, Early Earth time, she met a girl named Crissy with the most glorious head of auburn hair. The strange thing though, was at any given time, her hair could be shoulder length, but the next day it could be down to her adorable fanny. Since KarraBella always maintained a sense of decorum and good manners, she never asked Crissy how she did it. Technology, to Karra's knowledge, didn't allow for that type of luxury, even in the Far, Far Away Galaxy. She knew of no steam mecha in her own dimension that could pull that off. At any rate, Karra and Crissy would on occasion eat their lunches at the same table, nibbling their bland sandwiches crafted from something so awful called "tuna," swishing it down with something she missed, Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, or even Royal Crown (she wondered if "cola" could be imported legally yet), here and there during the two Earth years she was there. She remembered her being a pleasant, though flat-chested, girl. She simply had to speak to her.
Setting her plate and the wine flute down with haste on another steam-powered table, she made her way through the crowd of ball attendees, all sporting different sizes and styles of headware, because after all, this WAS the Mad Hatter's Ball.
Crissy and Karra took one look at each other and hugged each other tightly. At once they sat down and talked about the groovier things of life in the 70s of Early Earth, how they dressed, how they styled their hair, how Earth had changed, how the society had become complacent about the basic needs of all people, how mass-manufacturing was making the populace buy what they didn't need, how the banking system failed them, how they were still dependent on plastic and petroleum, how the political systems were trying, but they just didn't know how to fix things. They talked about Karra's dimension and how steam had changed their world, how they communicate civilly over tea or with their communication molar when they could not be in the same room, how they traveled about town by horse drawn carriage (so eco-friendly and it provides free fertilizer), how being educated by the errors of other peoples in other dimensions had shown them how to live better, for the most part, but most importantly how they lived at peace with their environment and their world. Crissy listened intently and vowed to take time to visit Karra's realm to learn about such a life style, and perhaps come home to run for President, armed with this new knowledge as ammunition. It had been said for many Early Earth years that the Presidency could use a woman's touch. Perhaps now was the time.
KarraBella insisted that when Crissy visited that she stay at her palatial home. And Crissy agreed to accept Karra's gracious invitation.
Until then though, both women enjoyed the ball, schmoozing with so many celebrities and well-known folk. They enjoyed getting to know some of the lesser known creatures that were well-represented. The Fae-Folk sent Pixiwhix and his gal Trixie. Pixiwhix wore his best hat adorned with the blue feather of a Blue Chicken. Neptune, as a gesture of good will since he could not attend in person, sent his trident with the water sprite, Merrecho. She was brought in to the main ball room inside a lovely aquarium decorated by strands of oyster pearls, glorious and colorful corals, and polished conch shells. She was accompanied by schools of clown fish and the most famous one of all, Nemo himself. Mereccho's handmaidens for the day were the lovely mermaids Mersephone', Meris, Merjolie, and Meriadne (who had to be reminded constantly that even though she is a Melusine with two tails, that she could not (1) splash around so much and (2) she was not allowed to use her dagger to steal pretty things from good looking men and she kept eyeing the handsome Jacob). The ever-entertaining jester from Early Earth's early days, Sabaustiann' Farceur', time traveled and teleported by means of a steam-generated Captain Kirk (brand) teleporter to be present. By the way, where was Admiral Kirk (who had been rumored "dead" for years but all know how it can be in that realm-- no one really dies)? Now that he had retired from the Federation Starfleet, he usually was often seen attending the best parties across the galaxies. Last KarraBella heard, he'd created a company that specialized in steam powered mecha, he'd adopted several homeless (though spayed or neutered) Tribbles and was living in an obscure galaxy with a strange blue but gorgeous alien woman. She never really was sure she could believe what was written in the Interdimensional Enquirer anymore. She was also thankful that there were no telepaths in attendance (to her knowledge) that could listen to her thoughts, as she was also wondering if the Admiral was with the blue woman because of a little blue pill. Lucky man. Or maybe, lucky woman? Suddenly she remembered the mind-reader Edward Cullen was there, but he seemed too engrossed in the lovely Bella to notice her wayward thoughts. Whew! One really never knows what they get with modern vampires.
As the evening wore on, the Mad Hatter arrived with so much pomp and circumstance that not a single person was heard to utter a word. He had changed his hat since his last appearance in the 3-D version of 2009's (Early Earth Time) Alice in Wonderland moving picture with sound. This hat was constructed of the finest and rarest materials. Karra wasn't sure but she thought there was a small family of birds living in it. Hmmm.
Right behind the Hatter as he entered was his BFF the White Rabbit, also wearing a glorious, Mad Hatter designed chapeau.
The Hatter would not be the Hatter if he didn't show his guests a great and crazy time. Each table was covered with cheeses, breads, cakes, cookies, and crumpets, countless teapots, some full of tea, some full of, well, the guests weren't really sure, and he also served countless courses of different types of food. He even took requests! If a guest was longing for something from his or her own dimension, one of the servants jumped into a Captain Kirk (brand) teleporter to go get it! KarraBella was so impressed by the Mad Hatter and this most wonderful ball, that she jumped up on a five-legged, steam powered table and asked Jacob (Forks Dimension) to get the guests' attention by issuing one of his famous (and loud) wolf whistles. Once she had everyone's attention, she raised her wine flute and offered a toast in recognition of the Hatter. She thanked him on behalf of the room of attendees for the good food, the fine entertainment, and for his graciousness. Everyone bellowed out a hearty, "Hear, hear!" The evening wore on into the wee hours, and finally everyone started to leave for their evening's rest.
KarraBella, arm in arm with her friend Crissy, made her way out, discussing the plans for Early Earth, yawning tiredly. The Mad Hatter's ball was simply stupendous. And she hoped that he'd do it again soon.
Notes from the author: Some would probably wonder about my mind and why it "travels" were it does. Truth is, my brain is in constant motion (if only you could see the dreams I come up with). A couple years ago (2008ish), I was reintroduced to Steampunk.
According to Wikipedia: "Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction and speculative fiction, frequently featuring elements of fantasy, that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used — usually the 19th century, and often Victorian era Britain — but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of "the path not taken" of such technology as dirigibles, analog computers, or digital mechanical computers (such as Charles Babbage's Analytical engine); these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or with a presumption of functionality."
I really like this sub-genre and I really like science fiction. Combine that with doll collecting and you've got an idea for a Steampunk Crissy family doll. I started saving little metal findings, watch parts, Victorian looking jewely, etc. Then in Spring 2010, I bought a couple hanks of black synthetic hair. I started rerooting a Brandi doll with a buzz cut in the summer. Then I drew her outfit on paper. And then the hat design came to me. I love the doll shoes that seller MimiWoo sells on eBay and promptly found the boots that KarraBella would wear. I changed Brandi's tattoo to resemble her old one, but now it's a flaming heart. (You can start to see here where the elements in the story came up in the planning process for the doll - Karra called for someone to touch up her tattoo from the Emerald City spa.)
Just as I was well underway with the doll's style and design process, my daughter announced that she would be flying to Arkansas to see some friends and while she was there, she would attend The Mad Hatter's Ball to benefit the American Cancer Society. She wondered aloud to me what she should wear. The only thing I knew for sure was that one simply must wear a hat to a The Mad Hatter's ball and since the Steampunk top hat that I was drawing was fresh in my mind, I said, "Maybe you should go as Steampunk Alice."
Then the ideas really started flying after I adequately educated her on what the Steampunk genre is.
After awhile, I wished that KarraBella, being so absolutely Steampunk to the max, could go to the ball too, cuz after all, she'd fit right in with her terrific hat!
Because all this happened in the order that it did, then the story started forming in my mind. I imagined her going to the Ball and I wondered how she'd get there. And that is how this story was planted in my head, how it was fertilized, and how it read after it was fully grown. So, that is why KarraBella and her story ended up on this page. Because of my very active imagination. Enjoy
© July, 2010, by Beth-Ellen Colvin
Background courtesy www.escapetheclouds.com.