We were looking for clues. After some brainstorming, Poe and I had come to the conclusion that the Writingdesk conundrum wanted us to do something. And for us to know what to do, he would have to leave some clues. But where could they be? We searched the house, we looked outside and we even tried to look for some answers inside ourselves. There was nothing to be found.
‘Polly, are you sure it wants us to find some answers?’
‘ I think so. I don’t know. It wasn’t very clear on what we should do. It only said I had to wait and that I ask too many questions.’
‘Well, he was right about one thing.’
I gave Poe the evil eye and turned towards the window. There had been more and more people coming by the house. Poe had become a small celebrity in our town because of a newspaper article. There hadn’t been any excitement for a while, so they reinvented his story. The headline was something along the lines of ‘The saddest little rich boy alive’ and all they did was talk garbage, claiming they had had an exclusive interview with Poe. I was only a small part of the story, but most of the people were sure I was after his money.
‘Do they ever leave? I think I’ve seen that couple here last night as well. The one with the camera. Why do they care so much?’
‘Wouldn’t know. Doesn’t matter anyways. They’ll leave eventually. I was wondering. How do you know he’s called the Writingdesk Conundrum?’
‘I don’t. Dirk called him that. He thought it was a cleaver name. It stuck. But I don’t think he has a name or calls himself something.’
‘I don’t know. It might be something…’
‘Why would you say that?’
‘Well, if I know Dirk, he thought of the name by using the Lewis Carroll riddle. The one in Alice’s adventures in Wonderland.’
‘Yes, I thought so at least. It’s where she talks to the Mad Hatter.’
‘Indeed. Well, I think I just found our clue, if we keep going on the Lewis Carroll theme that is.’
‘What is it?’
‘It’s right there, through the looking-glass.’
Poe was right. I looked through the mirror on the opposite wall and the glass had gotten all soft like gauze. Soon it turned into a sort of mist, which made it possible to go through.
‘I think you’re right, Poe. Are you ready to see what your looking-glass house looks like?’
We closed the curtains so the people outside couldn’t see us go through and slowly stepped on a chair, ready to crawl through to the other side.
‘You ready Polly?’
‘ Let’s go.’
We crawled through the looking-glass and entered the room with the fireplace and the chess pieces. The white king and queen were still quarreling about Alice, whether she had been a volcano or not.
‘We should keep on moving. I think we should try to find Alice.’ I said.
‘She goes through the garden, but we should be careful there. It’s a tricky road.’
I smiled at Poe and for the first time I really enjoyed being in a book with him. Our previous experiences had either been dangerous or emotional. This was the first time we were having fun. We had to walk the path to the garden seven times. When, after the fifth time we got back at the house again, we started laughing uncontrollably.
‘Polly, I thought you knew how to get there!’ Poe laughed.
‘Me? I thought you knew. You’re the looking-glass expert.’ After some giggles we finally were able to find our way to the flowers who reprimanded us for looking ugly. The red queen had already left with Alice, but it didn’t matter. She had left the little pegs in the chessboard to show the way. All we had to do was follow them and it would lead us to Alice.
We had been walking for a while when Poe suddenly asked me a question.
‘Polly? Why is a raven like a Writingdesk anyways? I never found the solution.’
‘Well, I think that’s because there is no solution. Lewis Carroll never meant it to have an answer.’
‘But I can remember there being all kinds of answers, like it’s nevar put with the wrong end in front or something about flat notes.’
‘Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat. Those are the ones Carroll made up because people were bugging him about it. My favorite is Because Poe wrote on both.’
‘That’s an answer? You think it has something to do with me?’
‘I don’t know. It was just a joke…’
‘I get that. But it might mean something… We should keep on moving. I think we’re getting closer to Tweedledee en Tweedledum.’
Poe and Polly had a long journey
Which brought them to queen Alice
They met Tweedledee and Tweedledum
On their way to the palace
Their road was long and hard
Full of Sheep in shops and broken eggs
Even a lion fighting a unicorn
And a white knight that couldn’t stay on his horses’ legs
But finally they found their queen
And asked her for a riddle
Six eyes watched them
Red, white and Alice in the middle.
‘You ask me for a riddle you say. What kind of riddle?’ Alice asked.
We had been in the big dining hall and Alice was just about to introduce herself to the leg of mutton.
‘We need some answers about the Writingdesk Conundrum.’ I said.
‘That’s the riddle by the March Hare. I should see him about it, not me.’
‘We already did that, he told us to see queen Alice, she would know what to do.’
Whatever Poe was making up, it was working. He knew Alice thought of herself as a smart person. I was just hoping that whatever she had to say, would be helpful.
‘I know a riddle. But I’m not quite sure if it will help you. It’s rather strange.’
‘We don’t mind.’ Poe said. ‘ Any riddle will do.’
‘Ok. Here it goes.’
A special boy, on a mission to save a world.
Needs a girl by his side to guide him.
Through the miseries and happiness of other people
They will find their own.
But the question is why do they need each other
And why are they picked?
Find the one with a double H
And you will understand the why.
He will show you were to go next.
‘Oh, I’m sorry. That wasn’t much of a riddle was it. It didn’t even rhyme. I don’t know what happened to me’
‘It sounded more like a prophecy to me.’ I said to Poe.
‘Well, I hope it will still be any good to you. I’m afraid I’m out of riddles.’
‘That’s ok. You’ve been very helpful.’ Poe said to Alice. He turned to me and said: ‘I think we should leave. She’s about to explode.’
I nodded and turned towards the door, ready to walk away, but soon all things started to happen at once. Candles started to grow towards the ceiling and bottles started flying with plates for wings. I felt Poe taking my hand and we returned before any harm could be done.
‘We can never go somewhere calm, can we?’ I said.
‘There’s no excitement in that. What do you think she meant with that riddle of hers?’
‘I’m not sure, but it wasn’t very good. It didn’t even rhyme.’
Poe laughed at me and said:
‘Come on. Let’s look for the one with a double H.’
‘Where do we start?’