Chapter 1 What If

Alice watches Hatter breathing hard and wincing on the floor of the bus/elevator in pain from the gunshot he had taken for her.   She really didn’t know what to think of this man.  He says that he hoped they would be friends, and then turns around and paid Ratty for her.  He offered her a coat so she doesn’t get cold and to cover up the mark.  After this, he replies to her question of why he would help her with the comment of does he need “a reason to help a pretty girl in a very wet dress?”  Of all things!!  Who did he think he was, Don Juan?

Hatter then pointed out that it would be in her best interest to travel with him.  She agreed, after realizing what she had experienced so far in this world, that he is right, he may be the frying pan but Wonderland is definitely the fire.  And Wonderland is definitely not a kid’s story anymore.  (What kid’s story has people being shot?!)

Then Alice had an episode with her fear of heights when they had climbed down the ladder from his office. ‘Why oh why can they not have built this city on the ground like any normal sane person would of?’ Realizing that there had been something wrong, Hatter helped her with her fear of heights by taking her hand and gently leading her on the ledges, he took great care to make sure she stayed on the inside as he blocked the view down.

But after that, he tried to sell the ring Jack had given her. ‘Why did Jack leave the ring with her?  And what about how he says it is a family heirloom?’ Demanding that he receive his usual up front percentage of his cut!

Everything changed one more time when Dodo interrogated and threatened her with a gun. Hatter had stepped forward; trying to protect her, and even took a bullet on her behalf.

After she had knocked down Dodo and ran out to the hallway to try to get out of the Great Library alive, Dodo had followed and Hatter tackled Dodo, who he then proceeded to fight to give Alice more time to get away. When he looked to see why she had not gone and noticed that she couldn’t get the elevator moving, he told her what button to push to be able to get away…. leaving him to the mercy of Dodo.

This is just too much.  She is a sensible girl that just wanted to find out what happened to Jack.  Alice also wanted to know what was Jack’s intention behind leaving the ring in her pocket after she had told him already that it is too soon for a ring.   She feels guilty that Jack got captured, since the White Rabbit seemed to know about her.  She can’t think of a reason why they would take Jack. Alice wants to do the right thing because if nothing else he is a friend.  And she doesn’t give her friendship away easily.  But this… this… place… argh!!!

Hatter and Alice arrive back at the top and she is running out of the door before he can get off the floor.  She just wants to be by herself and try to make sense of what is happening to her, Alice is a loner and she always thinks better when she is by herself.

As she tries to sprint up the stairs, she can hear Hatter behind her getting closer.


She finds the opening out of the passage way and heads around the corner. “Whoa!” She exclaims as she grabs the tree to stop herself from falling.

“Where do you think you are going?” Hatter asks as he comes around the corner and notices her grabbing the tree.

“Anywhere but here.” ‘Can’t he just leave her alone for a second?’

“There are no-go areas in town” He replies to her statement as he watches her move around the tree.

No-go areas?  What is he talking about?  Some Wonderland strange type of logic? Alice moves around the tree to see if there is a way out.

“I don’t believe this is happening!!  I mean this place, you people… This is all just too weird!”  Alice is ranting and she knows it.  But for crying out loud she had a gun trained on her by two elderly people and then a person name after a BIRD tried to shoot her!  For a RING!

“Calm down… I’ll get you home,” Hatter replies as he tries to follow her around the tree so he can talk to Alice face to face.

“Really…”Alice retorts sarcastically as she moves around the tree again. ‘There has GOT to be a way out of here that does not include a drop or going past Hatter!’

“Yes really!” Hatter continues as he tries to get her to stop walking away from him. “Can you just keep still?”

She can tell that Hatter is exasperated trying to follow her around the tree. She stops. ‘He is exasperated with her?  What about all he has done to her?  Does she not deserve to be… be, whatever she is feeling?’ Alice is on the brink of losing it and turns on the one person she can take it out on.

Alice yells at him, “And what is in it for you?  Let me guess you want your usual cut up front?”  What the heck is his usual cut?  Like he really wants to help her for nothing! She found out the hard way that nothing is for free here…

Hatter holds his hands out imploring her to listen to him as he tries to get her to listen to him, “I don’t blame you for being angry I acted impetuously-”

“Selfishly!” Alice interrupts, “You acted selfishly.”

Hatter tries again, “Whatever word you want to… use.  Let me make it up to ya,” Hatter pleads with her, “Alice, this is a dangerous place. Trust me you are going to need my help.”

Alice sighs.  She can’t walk around in this city – that they had insanely built UP not out – without having a panic attack.  And Hatter is, unfortunately, her only option to get through this with some sanity.

Hatter holds out his hand to her looking at her with his soft brown eyes silently begging her.  “Alice, please let me help you.”

Alice stares at his eyes for a few minutes, trying to see what his intentions are.  Finding what she needs to see, Alice slowly reaches out and puts her hand in his.

Hatter sighs in relief, “Follow me and don’t look down.”  He starts to lead her from the dead end to the closest ledge walking backwards staring at her.

Alice takes a big breath and follows him keeping her eyes on his.  She finally asks, “Where are we going?”

“Back to the Tea Shoppe.  I need to get some things together and you will be safe there while I try to figure out what to do next.”  Hatter looks at her as she tries not to shake and keep from looking down.  He needs to distract her.  He thinks and then asks her, “Tell me about your world.”

She looks at him shocked.  “What… Why?”

Hatter answers her, “It will help take your mind off of the heights.  Tell me about your hobbies. What you do. What you like to eat.” He is also curious about her.

Alice takes a deep breath and briefly closes her eyes. ‘C’mon Alice, you can do this.  Talk to him, keep your eyes on him, and you can get through this.

She opens her eyes and keeping them on Hatter’s brown ones, she tells him, “I like to eat pizza…..”


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1 Comment

  1. The OTHER Mrs. Northman

    Love it, looking forward to more!!! On to ch 2!! 🙂


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