Shortly after I turned fourteen, my father's madness had set in. He would have fits where his blue eyes seem to glow and he would have the strength of five men. But in-between fits, he would be weak and sickly, and soon I, his fourteen year old twig of a daughter weighed more than he. Unwilling to be separated from his only child and last living relative, he stayed in our mansion along with a small army of doctors and nurses. During one of his fits, he called me to him. I slowly walked through the thick plush maroon rug to his room. Thunder rumbled across the sky, making the long light fixtures shake and pictures rattle. The thick door leading to my father's room was open, revealing the mess his room had become. But I could clearly see the pattern in the clothes and dishes strewn about, Madeline Hatter. My name.
He was standing on the balcony, watching the coming storm. The burgundy curtains danced madly away from the giant window in the strong wind. He turned and faced me, his blue eyes glowing with insanity. He spoke of the Hatter Madness and how it was a blessing, not a curse. He spoke of how our ancestors were weak before madness first took hold in our family. He gestured wildly, tearing at his hair and clothes. He told me to check the second drawer in his maple desk. By the dancing firelight from the fireplace nearby, I could see his will. Written in our lawyer's steady hand, my father left everything to me, our land, money, jewels, everything. All that was missing was his signature. Prove to me that you deserve it, he whispered excitedly. Prove it. My own eyes slowly going from green to gold, I realized that he was only escaping death and was just in my way. I slowly turned and faced him. With slow and deliberate steps, I crossed the room, rearranging the pattern with my feet as I walked to spell something else. I asked him if he wanted me to prove I deserved everything he was leaving to me, and his eyes grew wide with fear. I think he sensed what gifts my madness gave me, and that scared him. But the feeling of being in control, I loved that feeling. It was intoxicating. I reached where he was standing, and blue lighting flashed, and I could see my reflection in his bright eyes. This is how I prove it, I whispered in his ear as I grabbed his arms and pushed him off the edge of the balcony. A loud crash of thunder covered up his scream and the crunch of his spine and neck breaking as he hit the stones below. But my heightened senses could still hear it. I smiled. Now, there was nothing standing between me and everything that my family owned. At fifteen, I was insane. I was rich beyond comprehension. I was powerful. I was a killer.
Before I left my father’s room, I pulled a small branch from the basket of logs next to the fireplace and lit the tip on fire. I dropped it on the mess in his room when I was standing in the doorway. In flaming letters stood a confession that the world wouldn’t hear until I was eighteen. I am the Mad Hatter.