At long last! I finally am able to post this story! And now, the boring stuff… (READ IT. IMPORTANT!)
Rating: T (For safety purposes...I've already lost my head once. That's why I'm here.)
Disclaimer: If there is anything I DO own in this story, I'll point it out. As of this chapter, I own only the characters of Mally's family. Everything else goes to Tim Burton, Disney, and Lewis Carroll.
Summary: My origin story for Mallymkun the Dormouse, plus her point of view of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. Hints of both Tarrant/Mally and Chessur/Mally throughout.
Notice: This story was begun, quite literally, five minutes after I first saw the film in theaters. At the same time, I began work on The Final Game of Cat and Mouse. Originally I wrote this as a companion piece and prequel to that story…but then along came Paper Faces. Some of the chapters that shall appear later were/will be changed slightly for this reason; this origin story is meant to be canon with ALL my works, from Alice in Wonderland: The Seussical! to No Big Deal, Hatter!: if you prefer the Paper Faces/Thriller Night canon, this works. It would just as easily work, however, for The Final Game series, written by both myself and katzsoa, a fantastic author whose own stories were inspirational in the creation of this fic, and whose help in certain future scenes and chapters is greatly appreciated. To her, I dedicate this. Thanks, Katz.
And now…let the games begin! (evil laugh)
Mally: Why do you do that? I hate it when you do that.
Myself: That, dormousey, is what makes it fun.
Chess: MY NICKNAME!
Myself: Sorry! Now, enough of this small talk…
Hatter: How can talk be small? After all, there are so many languages, and many isn't small, and small isn't many, and...
Myself: Hatter! Please!
Myself: (sighs) Just...let's start the chapter, all right?
Chapter I: And So it Begins...
A small, white dormouse opened her eyes.
She flinched slightly as she sat up, her cheek still burning...
I still don't know what set him off this time...
Well...he won't be back for another two days. That, at least, gives me a break from being broken.
The dormouse stood up, moving over to the miniature coat rack that she used to keep her clothing on. She had but one outfit, as did all of her family: a pink blouse, a pink skirt, a vanilla-colored apron with no pockets or frills, and a pair of maroon-toned breeches.
She winced – twice – as she put the outfit on.
Everything hurts, as usual...
And I MEAN everything...
The dormouse often thought to herself...speaking to herself out loud was suicide in her mind, and she'd been taught long ago to keep her thoughts hidden when it concerned her...father.
That was all she could call him. And there was no affection in that word. He had helped to bring her into the world, and that's all he really was. He wasn't even a parent, in her mind. Just a father. He wasn't "dad," or "papa," or anything else...just "father."
Her mother called him Lawrencio.
She sighed softly.
Her mother...Mally loved her, but she didn't understand her. Why did she put up with him? For that matter, how could she? What was the point?
He hits her almost as often as he hits me...
She growled, serious again.
Her shifting moods were a constant of her age and being. A life of smacks, slaps, swats, punches, kicks, and...other things had caused this.
Of course, she didn't know this...not consciously.
The dormouse's name was Mallymkun.
And she had no idea she would, someday, become a living legend.
Mallymkun half-smiled, half-frowned.
Reason number one on why not to live in a burrow: no real privacy amongst family. No doors...
Mallymkun had three siblings, all sisters: Milliani and Moldoven, the twins, who seemed to agree on everything, both with tan fur. The only difference between them was the color of their clothes: Milliani wore a green outfit, while Moldoven wore a dark purple one. Both were about a year younger than her, and very shy. The third, and youngest – younger than Mallymkun by almost ten years – was Mindysa. She was quiet, and a bit timid...but all in all, she was her eldest sister's favorite, for one simple reason: she spoke up.
Mally, as her sister's called her, spoke up, and got slapped around for it, often. Mindy would speak up, and get whacked, too...but, like her older sister, she never kept down.
But they had learned to keep their mouths shut most of the time...
Mark the word "most"...
"Morning, Mally. Mom's waiting. You ready?"
"I'll be right out, Milly. Where's Mindy?"
"She and Molly are waiting outside."
A pause as Mally slung on a leather belt.
She didn't know why she had it...she'd taken it from her father.
He didn't seem to mind.
"Did he...hurt you again?"
"He always hurts me, Milly. I would think you'd know that by now."
Milliani shivered slightly; her sister was downright scary when she got irritated or – Heaven forbid – angry.
"Never mind. Let's go."
Mally followed Mindy out of the burrow. It had been separated into eight passages, and a foyer of sorts. Four of the passages led to the bedrooms: the "parents'," Mally's, Mindysa's, and Milly and Molly's. The other four were trick passages, presumably to throw predators off guard.
Predators, Mally presumed, that would easily detect the trickery.
She groaned inwardly; her father was ex-military...or, at least, he claimed he was. In truth, he'd been kicked out for..."inappropriate" behavior.
She couldn't imagine why.
Whatever the case, her father liked to "plan" things...usually not very well. He was very precise (that is to say, sloppy) in his home.
He would often disappear for hours, and sometimes days, at a time on what he called "missions."
In other words, trips to the Marmoreal Palace, where he would rob the storerooms of some wine.
He drank far too much wine.
Thankfully, whenever he left, that gave the ladies of the hole free range...whenever Lawrencio was around, nobody was allowed to leave the mouse hole.
Mally rolled her eyes. Apparently, her father never wanted anybody to leave. The only reason they hadn't run off for good was because they figured he'd probably come after them.
Mally was often the one to stop attempts that had happened before; she wanted nothing more than escape, but she dearly cared for her sisters and mother.
She could take care of herself.
She'd been taking care of herself for years.
Here, most everyone took care of themselves.
It was pretty much foolishness to do otherwise when her father was home.
But, with him gone, and with the date being Yadyam, a celebration of Spring, they had all made plans to attend a festival in Witzend.
Mally had no intention of joining in the festivities, though.
She had other plans...
The white dormouse and her sister exited the mouse hole. Their burrow was built at the base of an old treacle well...it had not been used for a long time.
It had some treacle left in it though.
Mally shuddered; she'd come to hate the taste of treacle. Forget soap in your mouth; disrespect Lawrencio, and you were force-fed a cup (or, what was a cup to a rodent) of pure, aged treacle.
Her mother and Mindy both had light gray fur, almost silver, and white paws and eyespots. Her mother wore a miniature sun hat and a red jacket, while Mindysa wore a blue outfit, identical to her sisters'.
"Now, everyone knows the drill..."
"No one leaves the group without asking."
"Keep your eyes open."
"And, whatever happens," Mally finished, "don't get stepped on or eaten."
Her mother nodded, eyes darting around; Mally often wondered if her ever-set nervousness was a result of some sort of trauma caused by her father, or if it was just her usual personality.
They took off, on all fours, into the Tulgey Woods. It was about an hour's run from the well on the outskirts of Marmoreal to the park in Witzend, reserved for parties and festivals.
Mally ran on, her mind still running full speed, to the beat of her heart.
You'd think mom would be used to this; we've done this every year at Yadyam, and we haven't met a single bird or cat or anything like that in all that time...
Well...unless you count that falcon I thrashed...
Mallymkun smiled fiercely; unlike the rest of her family, she was rather notorious for picking fights. It was a trait that had saved her life about as often as it had gotten her into trouble. Indeed, the only creatures she would usually avoid fights with were her youngest sister...and her father.
She'd never really won a fight with him yet.
For that matter, whenever she tried to start one, it always ended up with her in a worse spot than he, mainly because, for whatever reason, she could never find it in herself to hit back, no matter how hard or how much she wanted to.
After about half an hour, she realized the chattering voices of her family had subsided...
She'd lagged behind.
"Mom? Mindy? Milly? Molly?"
Mally moved forward, slowly, trying to sniff them out...
No hints. Her nose had never been the strongest...
But something was in the air...
The second she realized what that something was, a voice cut into her head: "If I were you," it purred, "I'd be more interested in what's behind me than what is ahead of me..."
Her eyes narrowed.
Why must it always be me...?