Okay, here we go. This story was actually the reason why I joined this site. Who else would be interested in it if not some fellow-minded Alice/Tarrant-nutters on here? And of what use would a story be if it's not read? I do have an approximate idea where all this is going to lead, but things might change as I write, that's the way Underland works ;)

*NEWS: Updated the first chapter, was too short. And added the prologue as well. Which, obviously, actually goes before the first chapter. I apologise for this inconvenience and promise that from now on, chapters will be put up in the right order. Problem is that I tend to write things in random order, which is not helping at all if you want to post a story...

*MORE NEWS: I don't know if I am the last one here to find it, but in case anyone has not stumbled upon this yet: www. slashfilm 2009/05/08/glossary-of-terms-for-tim-burtons-alice -in-wonderland/ - most helpful! (That is, if you remove the space before and after 'slashfilm'...)

Oh, and guess what: don't own any of this, just toying! Now what a surprise, huh? :D


Underland simply wasn't the same anymore since Alice had left. At least not to him.

With a dreary frown the Hatter rammed another pin into the hat he was working on.

Or maybe neither was it the same to the others, and either he was too exalted in his feelings or everyone else except him was capable of extraordinary self-control, for it just couldn't be that they didn't miss their charming champion. Well, he had never been too keen on possessing useful qualities like self-control, what should it be good for anyway?

Another pin found its place into the felt of the hat.

No self-control whatsoever, let alone self-command. One would surely go mad if one tried to control or command a mind like his. Whereas, considering that he was mad – at least if one trusted the judgement of his friends and enemies –, maybe he actually had once tried to control his mind and had therefore gone mad. Possible. He did not know just how close he had gotten to the truth at this point. But what use was there in pondering on nonsense like this.

Three more pins followed their brethren.

It had always been one of his greatest pleasures to think nonsense. If ordinary people possessed five senses, did nutters like him possess five nonsenses? But somehow this dear pastime didn't hold the same pleasure for him as it once had. Was he slowly going sane?

He immediately chased this thought out of his head by tucking more pins into the crown of the hat vigorously.

Vigorously. It was a long time that he had last used this word in a positive way, namely when he had last futterwackened vigorously, Alice just having slain the Jabberwocky and eyeing him with a mixture of surprise and delight, her brown eyes sparkling, everyone waiting for the celebrations of her triumph to begin. And then she had left. 'Vigorously' had changed its meaning since she had gone...

Pin, pin, pin, and another one here.

How long since then? He fished his watch out of his pocket and eyed it closely. It wasn't of much help, for it still refused to show the right time, but at least it didn't show six o'clock anymore. Actually it didn't show six o'clock at all. Any other time, but not six o'clock. Maybe to make up for the countless days that it had shown six o'clock only. Time was a funny fellow indeed. Queer sense of humour, even for underlandish standards. Didn't matter –

pin, pin –,

holding teaparties when no one was expected to come was pointless anyway. Moreover weren't they even half as much fun as before, he could never get rid of the feeling that everyone round the table was trying to cheer him! He had always been the centre of every party. Well, he still was, if he wanted to, but also this wasn't just half as much fun as it had once been. Couldn't she just have stayed? Life would have been so much easier, so much more colourful... Yes, life seemed to have lost a bit of its colour. Sure, there was laughter and fun and living and the usual madness, as there had always been and would always be. But life just wasn't that whole anymore, not that perfect... Pins, puns, perfection. Focus. Hat. He was late. He would use some butter for the clock mechanism, as Thackery had suggested. Just in case. Maybe then it would be easier to finish the queen's hats on time. Not that she minded if he was late.

He put the watch back in his pocket again and dreamily added a few more pins to the hat, then stood back one step to survey the result – just to witness flabbergastedly what his overactive subconscious had caused his hands to do while his mind had been adrift.


was written in beady pinheads on the cream-coloured felt, teasing him, mocking him.

Accompanied by a roar and a flood of Outlandish jabbering, a hat soared out of one of the countless windows of Queen Mirana's marble castle and gently landed in a flowerbed. Much to the surprise of a hedgehog.