A/N: Hi. This is my new baby, I'm working on it for Camp NaNoWriMo. The chapters are not going to be focused on length, they will range from anywhere between 500 words to 5000 words. I welcome any feedback, as long as it is constructive!
The song for this chapter is 'Wonderland' by Taylor Swift.
With that said, enjoy!
It is not quite dark, but it is getting there - with a grey gloomy cast to the world. The silhouettes of bare trees are blurred and softened by fog. The fog has an eerie glow to it, an otherworldly glow. The night is still, frozen in that pause before a breath is taken.
A figure stands alone, fog caressing her legs in tendrils. Her muscles are tensed. She is ready. And suddenly, she is not alone. Someone is now opposite her, a bold outline against the swirling mist.
"Fancy seeing you here," says the newcomer, his tone neutral, his words clipped.
The girl cocks her head, hair shifting with the fog. Her eyes consider him.
"You came," she says, sounding faintly surprised. "I wasn't sure you would."
"Weren't you?" It is the latecomer's turn to cock his head. His words test her. She stays silent. She fails.
"Alice," he says the name slowly, lips savouring each sound and syllable. It mocks her.
"That is not my name," the denial flies from her mouth with no consideration.
There is silence while they both mark her folly.
"Is it not?" he taunts. "You claim the legacy."
"I'm Charlotte," it is a weak protest.
"Are you?" the words hit her like daggers.
Tears well up in her eyes, grey like their surroundings. She turns her head away, looking out at the skeletons of trees.
"Why did you ask me to come?"
She doesn't turn to look at him when she answers, the words falling from her mouth uncontrollably.
"I fell," she says. "I fell into Wonderland. It wasn't a conscience decision, but it was a choice. I swam in it, and it in me. The more I found, the deeper I went. I was here all the time. If I wasn't, well, then I was anyway, because I couldn't stop thinking about it. I stopped seeing the sky as blue, I stopped seeing much of anything."
She falls silent. Dark eyes watch her closely, but he doesn't say anything. She plays with her hands, twisting an ornate ring around and around on her finger. The metal glows dimly.
"I did love you."
These are the words the night had been holding its breath for, and with their utterance, the world begins to turn again. Trees creak softly, silvery grass rustles. Wind whispers.
The Hatter still doesn't say anything. His face is half in shadow, dark eyes now watching her with a fierce intensity, black locks of hair spilling across his face, like bleeding, untended to, wounds.
She takes a step closer. There is still distance between the two, but it is undeniably intimate. She is still playing with the ring. Her pale eyes search out his, tracing the planes of his face with an almost desperate gaze.
Finally the Hatter speaks.
"This is a goodbye."
It's not a question.
P.S - I'm looking for a beta-reader, so if you think you're up for the job, send me a PM :)