Alice Wondabout strolled across the card sidewalk that tilted precariously up and down. It was the smoothest road in all of Wonderland, which didn’t mean much for the people of the kingdom. But Alice loved everything about her land.
On that lovely morning, Alice was headed to a hat shop. Her hat shop. Her father had owned it, but after his death in the war between Wonderland and the Looking Glass, he had left it to Alice. She ran the shop ever since that moment to honor her father’s memory.
She opened the door with ease, for it hadn’t been locked in the first place. When she left the shop at night, she no longer locked the door. One of the many Jabberwocks would just unlock it anyway.
She trudged to the back and began restocking the shop. After fifteen minutes of preparation, Alice opened the shop. The bell immediately rung once she was behind the counter, but the man that came in was not a customer. The Mad Hatter entered with his atrocious hair flying in every direction, glaring at Alice.
Alice glared back at the Hatter. “Get out, Allistair.”
“Not until you close down your shop!” he cried like he did every morning. Alice rolled her eyes.
“Don’t you have your own shop to run?” she questioned, feeling more agitated with every passing minute she had to look at the Hatter’s ghastly face. Just across the street, the Hatter owned his hat shop. They had been rivals in business since Allistair had arrived from the Looking Glass.
The Hatter glared further. It was no wonder everyone called him mad. “My shop doesn’t open for another thirty minutes!” he exclaimed.
“So you’re just going to hang out until then?” She leaned against the counter and crossed her arms above her chest. She was never in the mood for the Hatter to be anywhere near her.
“Unless you close your shop,” he hissed. Alice almost expected a snake’s tongue to protrude from the Hatter’s grinning mouth. It wouldn’t be odd for him.
“Allistair, we have this conversation nearly every day. I’m not going to close my shop.” Allistair sighed and sat down on the counter next to the register. Alice stifled a fatigued groan.
“Alright.” His voice was like sandpaper to Alice’s ears. She was the only person in the kingdom who did not like the Hatter. And the Hatter was the only person in the Kingdom who did not like Alice.
Allistair glanced around the fully stocked shop until his eyes fell upon a particular hat rack. He took off his own red and black top-hat, revealing more of his wild purple hair before he walked to the rack.
He took a large, blue velvet top-hat that was covered in grey and cyan feathers and placed it on his oversized head. He looked back at Alice with a mischievous glint in his crimson eyes. Alice already knew what the Hatter was thinking. “No, Allistair, you cannot steal that hat’s design.”
Allistair’s wide mouth curved from a grin to a frown. “You’re no fun, Alice.”
She smirked at him, trying to contain her laughter. “You’re one to talk.” The Hatter grinned in reply. As much as Alice disliked him, she had to admit he was a nice fellow with a phenomenal sense of humor. They would’ve gotten along well if it wasn’t for…
Alice shook her head as her smile fell. She didn’t want to go back to that time again.
Suddenly, the bell rang as the door opened. She placed a grin back on her face. She never had customers this early. “Good morning, and welcome to Wondabout’s Mad Hats!” she said before she noticed who the customer was. “Oh. Hi Mom.” She smiled at her wonderlandiful mother.
The Hatter peeked behind one of the many racks that he had been wandering through and smiled at Ms. Wondabout. “Ms. Wond! How lovely to see you,” he said, tilted slightly sideways on the awkward flooring.
Ms. Wond smiled at the Hatter. “Allistair! Let me give you my condolences regarding your father,” she said. Her face held a kind but loopey smile before she glanced at Alice. “Don’t you agree, honey?”
Allistair glanced at Alice with an unsettled look. He and Alice both knew she had no need to feel sorry for his loss. She just shrugged. “Yes, indeed. I wish you well Allistair.”
The Hatter raised a brow to the lady before looking back to her mother. “Well, thank you, Ms. Wond.” She nodded before turning back to her daughter.
“Ali, the Queen is requesting to try on a hat designed from your shop for her in two weeks. Do you think you’ll be able to do so in time?”
Alice beamed with honor sparkling in her blue eyes. “Sure thing! I promise,” she said. Her mother smiled back.
“I was hoping you’d say that. I’d recommend giving her something similar to a crown, alright?” She smiled at Alice, and with that being said, exited with grace.
Alice sighed before resting her head on the cool glass countertop. Her mother had no idea of who the Hatter’s father truly was. Allistair walked toward Alice and rested his hand by her arm. “You know, you shouldn’t lie like that. About my father. It’s mad.”