Grey! What an atrociously boring, ghastly color. Grey! The Hatter frowned deeply and looked into the mirror that Cheshire had offered so that he would be able to witness this atrocity for himself. He gave a short intake of breath, blinking in confusion at the stranger blinking back at him. Who was this strange man looking back at him? Why had he stolen his reflection? He had unruly, wild orange locks that were hanging limply, almost straight! What was the point of having orange hair if it was straight? And those eyes. Those large, dull, boring grey eyes that blinked back at him frightened him terribly. He had never seen such doll, boring, hollow eyes. And his skin was extremely pale - as if he were auditioning for the role of the moon on a pitch black summer night. "What is happening to me," he whispered shakily, wondering when he had begun to lose himself.

He had always prided himself in still having the child like joy that many become sucked dry of as they grow older. But now, now it seemed as if he were losing that childlike innocence and the witty banter. He needed to figure this out before his eyes turned black for there would be no turning back if they were to turn black. Imagine at Hatter with black eyes! What a strange, peculiar thing.

His head snapped up and her name entered his mind. He had begun to lose his muchness when she left Underland, or Wonderland as she had fondly called it. It had been approximately six months since she had slayed the Jabberwocky and had returned home to the "other world". He had desperately wanted her to stay behind with him, but that would have been terribly rude of him to hold her here when she blatantly told him that she had questions that needed answers. And so, she had bid him farewallen and life was supposed to return to normal since the White Queen was back in power. Tea was supposed to resume at six o'clock promptly, but everything was out of sorts.

Since she had left, he had been late for tea almost every single day which was very unlike him. He was usually the one yelling at her for being late and yet here he was, setting up a horrid example for her to follow. He would be unable to scold her for being late for tea when she returned to Underland, especially since he was late for his own tea party. How rude of him! Oh he felt so guilty for making the others wait. Though, he found himself wondering if she would ever return to have tea with him once more.

She had kept him waiting a long time once before and he was unsure of how long it would take for her to return for tea again. Time seemed to work differently in her world. One day she was a young, naïve little girl with great muchness potential and the next she was a young woman having lost her muchness. He did not like it when she went back to London, as she had called it. It sounded like a strange place from what she had told him of it.

Animals not speaking and scolding mothers left and right. A place where being mad was simply mad! How unfortunate. He wondered how it was that the Alice with great muchness had come from a place so drab and dull as London. London. What a horrid place it must be compared to Underland. If you were normal in Underland, you were simply mad and not the good type of mad, but the bad type of mad where you would get your head chopped off if the Red Queen were still in reign.


He finally spoke her name and butterflies fluttered in his stomach. "Oh hello butterflies, how did you get in there," he pondered aloud for a moment. "I do not recall eating you and entrapping you in my belly," he continued.

He was unfamiliar with these strange feelings when he thought of Alice. Her curly, light colored blonde hair that was soft to the touch and her large, childlike blue eyes that would often times mirror his own child like joy. Together, it was them against the world. But, without her, without her, he was just as mad as a hatter. His heart ached when he thought of never seeing her again. "Oh, dear heart, do not hurt. I am sure she will return any day now," he thought out loud, trying to reassure his heart along with himself that she would be back any day now.

Though, as the words left his lips, he couldn't fully believe in the words that were leaving his mouth. Deep, deep down he knew that there was a possibility that she would never return to Underland. She would never come back to her Wonderland - to him. The more he believed that she had abandoned him and his world, the darker his eyes became.

First, they had turned from a deep, bright green to a faint blue. Then, they slowly started turning grey and now - well now as he glanced at his reflection in the mirror, his eyes were slowly turning a darker shade. A shade known as black. He gasped, snapping the mirror shut and shoving it back towards the cat.

Closing his eyes, he began to ramble incoherently, trying to make sense of it all. "Black! What kind of ghastly eyes are black? They were green and bright and lively when she was here and now that she is gone, they have turned black. She is the black eye color turner! I am losing my muchness," he whispered the last part in horror. For it was different when a Hatter lost his muchness compared to when the Alice lost her muchness. The Alice was able to gain her muchness back with the help of the Hatter. He had saved her eyes from turning black. But, she was not here to save him from lack of muchness. Without his Alice here to save him, his eyes would turn a nasty shade of black. If they stayed black for the time of three tea parties, well then they would remain black forever and his heart would turn to ice - as cold and barren and empty as the Red Queen's heart.

He let out a sob as Cheshire grinned widely, his toothy smile greatly annoying the Hatter. "Black is a lovely color on you," he commented before slowly disappearing, his body first and then his large, toothy grin. That grin was the last thing the Hatter remembered before his entire world went black. His last thought was, "Alice," before all went dark in his once bright, lively world.

Somewhere in the other world, up in London, a young girl named Alice who had been sleeping soundly of rabbits in waistcoats and talking caterpillars woke up startled, drenched in a cold sweat. She looked around her bedroom wildly, her unruly, curly locks whipping around her head from the swift movement of her body. "Mad Hatter," she breathed out as her heart raced and her pulse quickened.