Preamble

The one thing that Luttie would remember most about that night would be the Hatter's eyes and the red gash of his mouth, caught between astonishment and terror. And then he'd turn to her, and smile half-ruefully; right then, with his hair all in disarray and his eyes shadowed by the light of the crystal chandelier of the concert hall, he would truly look mad. "Well then," he'd say, and reach out to take her hand.

Her heart would be singing even as it broke into a thousand pieces.

The Queen would pronounce her verdict.

And that would be that.