"Tell me about daddy." The three year old begged Alice as she was trying to lay her down to sleep. It seemed like a bedtime story to the little girl. Alice sighed, she knew that the girl just wanted to know about the man that she saw in pictures around the house, but she was tired after a long day at work.
She smiled, though. "Your daddy is one of the bravest men I know. He and I met when I followed a friend of mine into a strange world…"
"Wonderland?" the girl excitedly cut in.
"Yes, Wonderland." Alice said, she'd told her daughter this story many times. "Mommy's friend was also from Wonderland and some very bad men had come to take him back. I wanted to save him and followed him through the Looking Glass. I was caught…"
"By the White Rabbit?" the girl cut in again and Alice smiled and let out a small laugh.
"Yes, by the White Rabbit." She said. "I escaped though and I was brought to your father. He ran a tea shop, but he also smuggled supplies to the Resistance. They wanted to bring down the Queen of Hearts and rebuild Wonderland. They turned on your daddy, though, when he wouldn't let them hurt me. We ended up running from the suits that the Hearts sent after us and from the Resistance all while trying to save Jack. We managed to find a knight in the woods that helped us.
"Your daddy was concerned for me, though, and insisted that I should just leave Jack because he was sure that I would be trapped in Wonderland if I didn't and he wanted to get me home safely. I couldn't just leave Jack behind, though, so I went off on my own and got caught by the Queen's suits. I was being interrogated when your daddy and the knight saved me and we flew away from the Hearts. While I had been with the Hearts, though, I'd found out that Grandpa was there in Wonderland.
"I hadn't seen him for 10 years and wanted to save him, no longer fearing for Jack because I had just found out that he was from Wonderland during my brief captivity. Your daddy risked his neck to reach out to the Resistance so that we might get Grandpa out. Then, when mommy was going to see Grandpa, she was captured again. Your daddy tried to save her, but was caught himself. I thought he would die.
"Both of us escaped, though, and found each other. We brought down the Queen of Hearts and saved Wonderland. We said goodbye at the Looking Glass before I was sent home. I wasn't even sure if Wonderland was real until Grandma told me that David was at our apartment for dinner and that he was the one who found me. I went out into the dining room and saw him standing there, your daddy.
"He stayed here, in New York, for two years. Then he disappeared. I didn't even know about you until a week later. I tried to find him, thinking that he might have gone back to Wonderland, but I couldn't find the Looking Glass. It had been moved. I know that he's still out there, though, and that he'll find his way back one of these days." Alice concluded to her now sleeping three year old. She gave the girl a kiss on the forehead and walked slowly to the door.
She turned to look at the girl as she turned off the light. "Good night, Abby" she said just before she closed the door. Alice walked down the hall to her room and lay down on her bed, wishing that Hatter would come back soon. She wished that she could at least know what had happened to him. Despite it having been nearly four years since he disappeared, she could just feel that he was alive and that he wasn't gone by his choice.
Fourteen Years Later
Abby tapped her pencil while listening to a lecture from her English teacher. She had never really appreciated school, but this year was the worst. She was about to graduate a year early. All she needed was to pass this class and she was as good as gone. She just wanted to go off to college and get her life underway. All her mother ever seemed to do was talk about Wonderland anymore. She didn't know why because Abby had stopped believing that nonsense when she was 10.
She didn't believe that her father was the mad Hatter or that her mother had gone to Wonderland. She did believe that her father had probably run off as soon as he figured out that Alice was pregnant, even though her mother insisted that he didn't know when he left. Abby just figured that she'd messed the dates around or something. As it was, Abby was always reminded on September 2nd that that was when her father went missing.
From what she could tell, she had inherited some of his looks and definitely his hair. She had his eyes and his nose, but the shape of her face was very much so like her mother's. Finally, the bell rang. Her last class of the day was done. Abby nearly jumped out of the desk as she slung her bag over her shoulder and carried her books out of the room. She stuffed her books in her bag as she was walking through the halls on her way out of school.
She didn't have a car. She didn't even have a license. She either walked or biked wherever she wanted to go. When it came to school, she walked. It was on her way home that she started feeling like something was strange. She looked around, but didn't see anything out of the ordinary. There were some other students around and a couple of businessmen across the street. Nothing seemed unusual, so she just kept walking.
She got to the apartment that she and her mother lived in within a half an hour. For the entire walk, she couldn't shake the feeling that she was being followed. She locked the door behind her, dumped her bag on the couch and then rummaged through the cupboards for something to eat. She knew that her mother taught classes for another few hours. She had grabbed some crackers and was about to get on her computer when she heard a knock on the door.
Setting the crackers on the counter, she walked over to the door and peeked through the peep hole. She didn't recognize the man on the other side of the door. "Sorry, we're not interested in buying anything." She said rather loudly.
"I'm not selling anything…I'm looking for an Alice Hamilton." The man said. Abby thought that it was strange, so she still didn't open the door.
"Sorry, no one here by that name." she said. It was technically true. "I think she might work at the martial arts studio down the street, though. You might try there." She added.
"Are you sure she doesn't live here? This is the address that I was given for her." He replied.
In hind sight, Abby should have left the door closed and bolted, but she had a bit of an aggressive side. "Look, buddy" she said as she opened the door, "she's not here. Go aw…" she didn't have a chance to finish her sentence before a white smelly cloth was pushed in her face. Everything went black after that.