How Peculiar

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"Alice, The Red Queen, The Mad Hatter, and the Peculiar Looking Hat"

Chapter I: 10/6

Based on Tim Burton's upcoming Disney film, "Alice In Wonderland" and Lewis Carroll'sAlice's Adventures In Wonderland.

There once was a time when the Mad Hatter wasn't mad and the Red Queen wasn't evil. In fact, there was once a time when they were in love. The kind of love that you only read about in stories, but in this case it was a love formed within an imagination. The imagination of Alice Kingsley.

Alice had often fantasized about love and falling into it. But being that her mother and father (two very wealthy and respectable people in London) were arranging a marriage for her, it seemed as though all hopes of ever falling in love were impossible.

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Alice lay in the grass amongst several daisies as she looked up at the clouds, looking for shapes and pointing them out to herself when she spotted them. Odd shapes of chess pieces, teacups, and hearts. The most distinctive and original shape, however, was a rabbit. A rabbit that appeared to be glancing at his pocket watch.

Alice sighed, it had been such a long time since she had last visited Wonderland. Her parents had kept her busy with dates with suitors (most of them older and highly boring), studying and having long talks with her about growing up - much to Alice's displeasure.

"You simply must stop that day dreaming, Alice." Her mother would scoff at her, "With that childish behavior, you'll never find a proper husband."

Alice knew that her mother meant well. But Alice didn't want to get married - not at this minute, at least.

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Later in the afternoon, Alice was out shopping with her mother.

She stood beside her, waiting patiently for her mother to be through with the rather long conversation she was having about daffodils with the woman selling flowers, when Alice curiously wondered into a hat shop called "Head Toppers."

The shop looked old and rather musty. It smelt damp and stale, like her parent's wine cellar, expect it lacked the pleasant scent of grapes and berries. The little shop was filled with feathers and hats that looked as if they belonged to the circus (which Alice figured that some of them were indeed from the circus). Suddenly, Alice caught a glimpse of a peculiar looking hat. This hat was certainly unlike the others. It was tall and black, certainly the dustiest looking one in the shop, and it also had a tag sticking out of it, a tag that said, "10/6".

Curious, Alice reached her hand out to pick it up for a better look when suddenly-

Alice gasped, an extremely dirty and aged hand had grasped her wrist. Startled, Alice pulled away before meeting eyes with an insanely filthy man.

"I wouldn't go near that hat if I was you, young girl." The man said with a gruff voice, "Some say that it would make ya go mad."

"Mad?" Alice repeated, backing further away.

"Dotty, insane, crazy." He whispered, his eyes darting around the room. "Hat makers that wear those hats inhale fumes from the mercury that is part of the process of making felt hats."

Alice listened, frightened and intrigued.

"I meself didn't recognize the violent twitching and derangement… By the time I did, I had already gone mad… Me wife thought that I was a drunkard -" The man's voice seemed to have gotten quieter the more he went on, and soon she saw him turning and leaving the shop, muttering obscenities as he left.

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It wasn't until evening, after Alice skipped her queen over her father's bishop, that Alice brought the conversation of the strange man in the hat shop up.

"Father?" Alice asked, eying him boldly.

"Hmm?" He grumbled.

"I had the oddest conversation with an insane man in Head Toppers today."

"What?" Her father said abruptly, causing Alice's mother to whip her head around from behind the settee where she was knitting in front of the crackling fire.

"What did I tell you about wandering about alone?" Alice's mother shot in.

Alice ignored her mother's remark and continued on, "He said that hat makers that make felt hats have a tendency to go… mad."

"Rubbish." Her father grumbled, shaking his head and returning his gaze back onto the chess board.

"But… but…" Alice stuttered, annoyed that nobody ever listened to her.

"Alice, dear, why don't you go off to bed. You have a very important date to attend to tomorrow." Alice's mother suggested, getting up and leading Alice to the stairs.

"Goodnight, and do try and get some rest tonight instead of staying up and dreaming up some more your preposterous stories." She heard her mother call up to her as she made her way to her room. "If I didn't know any better I'd say that you're the one going mad."

That night, Alice lay in bed, staring at her ceiling in disbelief, annoyed that her parents always seemed to fail to believe anything that she said.

Perhaps tomorrow would be a better day.

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This is my first Alice In Wonderland fanfic… So I apologize if it seems out of character and what not…

I hope to continue this. Feel free to leave me any comments or suggestions. Thank you for reading :D

Dedicated to Neon Blaqk,because without our kinky strangeness, this would never have been thought of.

Also dedicated to my cousin Kimberlyn, who loves "Alice In Wonderland".

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