• across the chessboard
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    welcome to across the chessboard! we're an alice in wonderland based site with an original plot and slight modern dystopian twist and canon characters from alice's adventures in wonderland and through the looking glass and what alice found there, both by lewis carroll. for a longer summary, please visit our information center here. if you have any questions, feel free to give an admin a shout in the cbox (it's to your left- just click the chatter button and it should pop open). again, welcome, and we hope you join us!

    it is currently summer 2015 in london.
    it is currently summer-ish in wonderland.

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    Wonderland wasn't always this way. There was a time when it mirrored medieval England, albeit with a few magical elements: a few quirks and eccentricities that made it truly unique. While all feared the Queen's mercurial temper and the fine blade of her Guillotine, all was well, until a little girl named Alice Liddell disturbed the status quo and sparked a revolution. The kingdom began to fall into decay as the taint of the modern world invaded. History is beginning to repeat itself and no one is happy. As the Queen of Hearts tangles in a battle of wits and riddles with the Cheshire Cat, the rest are starting to wonder ... is it true that the White Rabbit is bringing humans to Wonderland when they themselves are banned from going to London?

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 Blake Everly
blake everly
 Posted: Aug 7 2015, 02:22 AM
I seem to be having this tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle. As soon as I reach some kind of definite policy about what is my kind of music and my kind of restaurant and my kind of overdraft, people start blowing up my kind of planet and throwing me out of their kind of spaceships!
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blake everly

I'll be posting all one-shots of JUST blake and his sad life here, to keep them from clogging up the past/future thread box. I anticipate there will be a few of them.
blake everly
 Posted: Aug 7 2015, 08:22 AM
I seem to be having this tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle. As soon as I reach some kind of definite policy about what is my kind of music and my kind of restaurant and my kind of overdraft, people start blowing up my kind of planet and throwing me out of their kind of spaceships!
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blake everly

And So Another Day Slipped By Unnoticed; Blake's Birthday

It was a Friday. He could have been out all night, since it was summer and a weekend and he had nowhere to be in the morning. He could have met up with Lael and taken her up on that offer to go out for drinks that she'd made back in April that he'd never taken. He could have gone back to that bar where he met Isaac. He could have gone to see his busy boyfriend Luca, who was surely running around his Centre making preparations for one thing or another. But could-haves didn't happen.

It was a very normal Friday. Nothing special about it compared to any other Friday. There were no sales going on. It wasn't a holiday. No news-worthy events happened. There was the average amount of traffic. Petrol prices were stable. No movies were coming out that day. It slipped by completely unnoticed.

Blake woke at his usual time for the summer- 7:30 on the dot, even without an alarm. He always woke at 7:30 even on days when he had no plans. He made his usual English breakfast tea and had a store-bought raspberry scone. It was slightly stale in that usual store-bought way. He clicked his tongue and reminded himself, as he did every day he had a store-bought scone, that he needed to buy some fresh raspberries and make his own. He didn't get around to going to the store that day, but he never went to the store on Fridays. That was strictly a Wednesday evening activity.

He read his morning newspaper without a thought, leaving the telly on for the morning news programme. There was never anything on until the afternoon on weekdays, even if that weekday was friday. It was a shame. He reminded himself that EastEnders and Master Chef were on tonight. That was his usual Friday night ritual.

He sat in his usual comfy chair for the majority of the day, flipping through a musty copy of Beowulf in the original Old English. He was translating it as part of his doctorate program, trying to retain it's poetic nature. Even he knew it was dull work, but such a dull Friday was the perfect time to do it. He muttered a few lines to himself at a time, scribbling in the already deteriorating margins ideas on how he would translate certain words, but it was neither here nor there. No actual work got done that day.

He lunched around 2 in the afternoon, distracted by his work. He made himself a sandwich and had some crisps, keeping his lunch small since he had a larger dinner planned. It was his usual routine. All of it was his usual routine, even being distracted by his work. After he went on his ancient-looking laptop and checked his emails, all spam, of course, even some spam from Luca about upcoming activities, and deleted them before playing some solitaire.

Dinner was a grilled chicken salad at 8, while watching EastEnders. He went with green tea this time, though even that wasn't out of the ordinary for him. Master Chef was afterwords, going until 10. After that he turned the telly off and read a few Sherlock Holmes stories until 11:30, when he turned in for the night. Exactly eight hours of sleep until 7:30 the next morning, when he'd be up again.

A perfectly normal Friday. Unremarkable. Unnoticed. No one cared.

Blake woke the next morning, Saturday morning, at his usual time. He changed up his schedule only a little by going on his laptop instead of reading the paper. He frowned slightly as he tried to log into his email, misspelling his password one too many times and locking himself out accidentally. He sighed and went through the password reset form, reading over his personalized security questions.

"Favorite Childhood Pet: bullfrog. "

"First wife's name: Emily. "

"Date of Birth: "

Blake frowned at the final question. Date of birth.... 1971... 24 July.

"Date of Birth: 24 July, 1971. "

Blake blinked at the screen, glancing down at the time and date in the corner. July 25th.

"Oh......" Blake said softly. "Hm. "

He finished the password change form, checked his emails- more spam- and went to make his morning tea. What would he do today? An average Saturday, and he was sure Luca was busy or he would have called. He poured himself his tea and took his usual seat.

And so another day slipped by unnoticed.

"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?" -Satchel Paige
blake everly
 Posted: Aug 7 2015, 10:27 AM
I seem to be having this tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle. As soon as I reach some kind of definite policy about what is my kind of music and my kind of restaurant and my kind of overdraft, people start blowing up my kind of planet and throwing me out of their kind of spaceships!
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blake everly

Truth or Dare; Teen Blake

It wasn't that big of a deal, really. I'm not even certain why on Earth you really care. Surely you have other things on your mind. We could talk about those things instead. I'm never very comfortable talking about myself... No? Fine. I'll tell you everything, then, to the best of my memory. Mind if we have a drink before we start? I think we'll both need it by the end.

I don't really like talking about myself because I don't really find it does anyone much of any good. It was the past, after all. Talking about it doesn't really make it much better. It happened. It hurt. And it won't get better because it is over. But... I suppose as C.S. Lewis said, “pain insists upon being attended to."

My pain in this instance happened when I was 14. It was that age, you know, when everyone was starting to find girlfriends and boyfriends and experiment with make up and trying to fit in. The school year had started recently, so everyone was trying very hard to get new friends and impress them somehow. Usually by having a girlfriend or boyfriend that all your other friends thought was 'so hot'.

I never fully understood it, myself. I could never really grasp why spending more time with an attractive person would make other people like me more. But that's how the social ladder was climbed. So, because I was young and stupid and impressionable I went with it.

Some kids that I considered my friends had convinced me to go out with this girl. Stacy, I think it was. She was... I don't know, really. I suppose my friends thought she was pretty. Blonde little thing. Tried too hard. Wore make-up. She was popular. And because she was popular, I was too, just because I was her boyfriend.

We'd been going out for about a month when we were invited to one of her friend's parties. I wasn't especially interested, but I knew if I didn't go I'd be ostracized. It was one of THOSE. The party-of-the-year type events you hear about in movies. One of those parties where the kid was rich and their parents were unobservant. Not going to this party would have been social suicide, except...


...I'm getting there.

Like I said, rich kid, unobservant parents. Or at least I assume they were unobservant because I never saw them that evening. They must have help set all this up, because it was quite a nice party, but they didn't seem to play a part in it. Maybe I've just erased them from my memory because the idea of them being there and not helping later is worse. I don't really know.

Stacy and I showed up together, of course, because showing up as a couple was important. We all showed up as part of a couple, and those that didn't were high enough on the social ladder that people assumed they'd slept with the professors' wives. I stuck by Stacy's side the whole time but mostly because I didn't know what else to do. I couldn't admit to anyone else that I'd never been to a party like this before and my usual instinct to put myself against a wall and read would definitely not be an option.

So we chatted away, listening to the latest gossip, talking trash about our teachers, eating copious amounts of junk food and sodas. I did my best to pretend to enjoy it, and I'm fairly certain I was successful because Stacy never had to give me that look she always gave when I didn't fit in- a frown combined with a not-so-subtle eye-roll and a huff of 'you are such a dweeb'.

Everything was going fine. The night was starting to go long. And that's when someone decided that we should spice up the party games with Truth or Dare. It was 7:00 already, and I had to be home by 8, but leaving now as the party was 'just getting interesting'- or so Stacy said- wasn't going to happen. I sat down in the impromptu circle on the floor and accepted my fate.

Truth or Dare is a terrible game, especially when played by teenagers. I would rename it to 'confirm gossip or do something embarrassing that we'll use for gossip later'. I didn't really know that at the time.

It started with the party's host and his best friend. It always starts that way. The brave boy chose dare right away and he had to trot around the room making horse noises. Everyone laughed, while I cringed with second-hand embarrassment. In turn he asked his girlfriend, and she picked truth. It was some question about if she really went out with the nerd next door, and the answer was that she did, in kindergarten, because his mom paid her to. Uproarious laughter ensued. I made a mental note to send him a birthday card that year... I don't know that I ever did.

I don't remember when it was my turn. I don't remember who asked me. I don't even remember what possessed me to choose 'Dare'. Maybe because I was more afraid to hear what rumors they had on me than I was of making a fool of myself. I had no idea. If I could go back and change it I..... I'd have left the party the moment I'd arrived and never looked back.

"I dare you to...... to make out with Stacy!"

And there was laughter, and some 'ooohs', and Stacy giggled and puckered up.

I couldn't do it.

I couldn't. I don't know why I didn't at least fake it. It was all too embarrassing. I was too shy, too introverted. I didn't even want to BE at that party. I didn't know any of these people. I didn't even know if I actually LIKED Stacy or not. So I said no.

"NO?" someone asked "You won't even kiss your own GIRLFRIEND? "

"What, do you think she's ugly or something?" asked another.

"What is WRONG with you? "

I shook my head quickly and tried to sputter out some kind of apology, saying that I'd answer a Truth instead. I'd answer anything, I just didn't want to do the dare. I couldn't do the dare.

I should have done the dare.

"Okay, okay, Truth, then. Are you gay? Is that why you won't kiss her?"

I stammered out a "What? No." and that's when my fate was sealed.

Stacy jumped up and shouted at me. "I knew it! You ARE gay, aren't you!" It wasn't a question. It was an accusation. She sounded like I'd lied to her somehow.

There was more laughter. Kids are cruel.

I tried to explain, and apologize, but they couldn't hear me. They wouldn't have cared even if they could. They had their rumor now. And it was a good one. The entire lot of them immediately started trading horrible names to call me. 'Poof' and 'fairy' were the most common ones. 'Lady Alexis' was a quick runner-up.

Stacy gave me the worst look. She looked disgusted with me. She swore at me, called me a loser faggot and asked why she'd ever wasted any time on me, and stormed out of the party. I followed close behind, but not because I was going after her. I was just trying to get away.

You know, I was never a very self-conscious child. It might be hard to believe. Even the embarrassment that was Dissection Day, it wasn't really something I thought about. I was never very worried about what anyone else thought of me. My mother was always very supportive of me. She always knew what to say... But I couldn't tell her about this. This one was a step too far. So I hid it.

I sat out in the garden at my house until my curfew, so that they wouldn't know something had happened. It was at least half an hour, if not more. I don't really know. It felt like ages and it gave me plenty of time to think on everything that happened and begin to turn it into self-loathing. It also gave me time to fix myself up. I certainly couldn't let my father see that I'd been crying. That wouldn't have helped the rumors, either.

I dragged myself into the house, but looked as cheerful as I could. My parents asked how it was, and I told them it was fine. My mother asked how I was, and I told her I was fine, but tired. Long night and all that. I went up to bed.

I didn't want to go to school the next day. I wanted to play sick. I wanted to stay in bed, but I knew I couldn't. If I did my mother would find out. I was a terrible liar. So I got dressed and went to school. The first person I saw was the host of the party. I kept my head down.

It didn't really seem to matter. They all seemed to know. There was a lot of snickering while my back was turned. I learned a lot of new words.... At lunch I went to the library so that I didn't have to try to find a seat. I must have been pretty transparent, because the librarian asked me if I was okay. I said I was.

I ate in a corner of the library every day that year. The teachers and the librarian thought I was very dedicated to my studies. It was a long school year. It was a long few school years, actually.

What would I do differently if I could? I wouldn't go to that party, for one. I wouldn't have gone out with Stacy.... If I couldn't change either of those....

I think I would have told my mother. I never told her. I think she could tell I'd lost my few friends I had, and she definitely noticed I wasn't going out with Stacy anymore... I think it worried her. It probably did. I don't know if she ever knew what I was going through at school. I should have told her.

If I could, I would. I'd tell her everything.

Are.... um.... are we done now? I told you I didn't really want to talk about this. I told you at the start, it didn't do anyone any good. It didn't get any better, but I suppose you know something more about me, now. That's good for you, I guess.

No. I'm fine, really. I'm fine... fine. Let's talk about something else. Want another drink?

“ Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world. ” - C.S. Lewis
blake everly
 Posted: Aug 30 2015, 04:11 PM
I seem to be having this tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle. As soon as I reach some kind of definite policy about what is my kind of music and my kind of restaurant and my kind of overdraft, people start blowing up my kind of planet and throwing me out of their kind of spaceships!
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blake everly

dear god ,

I was never a religious man. I never gave much thought to a divine plan. I wasn't a disbeliever, but I never considered the idea that you were someone I would rely on. I didn't sin. I never committed adultery, I've never stolen so much as a paperclip off my own desk. My life shattered in my early thirties and I felt alone. I never thought to seek your solace. I didn't turn to you. I turned inward. I was my own absolute.

Yet when I found him I found myself believing.

When you showed me his beautiful life, let our paths cross and intertwine, pulled me from the darkness of my own heart, I believed. It felt almost like an apology. That you were saying 'I am sorry for your sad existence, but you can love again'. And I love him. Oh, God, I love him.

All I could think was Luca Risi. This young man, this religious man, this paragon of the community, this embodiment of kindness, was in love with me of all people. All I could think was that I didn't deserve it. That I'd never done anything worthy of such kindness. That Luca had saved me, that YOU had saved me from my lonely, closeted life of self-loathing.

And now all I can think is about why you took it all from me again.

I lost my wife because I could not love her enough. I lost my parents in an accident. An act of God. I lost myself. And now I've lost Luca.

I am not strong enough for this. I never have been. I wasn't then. I'm not now. I am not a strong enough man to handle this kind of pain again. I don't understand. I don't know what you want from me. I don't know what I did wrong. Was it that I was happy? Am I not allowed to be happy? Apparently not. every time I get close, you rip it from me.

At night I lay here in this strange new world and wonder what is going on in London. I have to worry if Luca is okay. I have to pray he isn't suffering as I am. I am once again in an empty bed with a hole beside me where his body belongs. In the mornings when I am awoken by the sun I think "I need to hurry and get dressed. I'm moving in with Luca today" and I have to remind myself that I will never be able to do so.

I have nothing of his. I have nothing to cling to but his memory. Each day I remember the sound of his voice less and less. His laughter no longer rings in my ears. I've forgotten how it feels to be in his soft, strong, warm, embrace. The more I beg to go home the less I think I ever will.

I have read countless books. The works of Carroll, the collections of Shakespeare. Even the bible. I've tried to put myself in every character's shoes to see if I can figure out where to go next. I've read the strange stories of Wonderland and find nothing, no sanity to cling to.

So I turn to you. I don't know if you can here me from this strange world. I don't know if your power extends this far. I don't know if you would do anything for me even if you could... But you are my last hope, Lord.

Bring me home. Let me see him... and if you can't do that, give him a sign. Let him know I'm okay. And let me know he is okay. Don't make me suffer in not knowing. Please... I have no one else to beg to...

In the name of the father, the son, the holy ghost….

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