Three Years Later-
No lawyer or handwriting analysis could prove that the signature on my father’s will was forged, so everything was mine. As soon as I turned eighteen, my father’s lawyer deemed me able to take control of my inheritance, and called it a miracle that the Hatter Madness hadn’t set in with me. If only he knew how wrong he was…
I fired every servant except enough to keep the house running so I was left to my own devices. None of the help knew what I was and what I did, except for Tara, my personal maid, who was the only one who knew of the scars on my arms I gave myself after killing my parents and the small collection of dead and tortured animals in glass boxed kept in a hidden room adjacent to my own.
I loved thunderstorms. The bright flashing lights and growling thunder spoke to me. They told me what to do, and gave me visions. And one night, I had the best vision. It was me, but it wasn’t. It was me, my eyes gold with madness, dressed in red and black with a top hat. It was me, but it wasn’t. It was the Mad Hatter.
For weeks, I locked myself in my room. Tara was the only one that saw me during this time, and she knew what I was doing. There were spools of crimson and sable fabric spread all over my room, and on a steel mannequin in my alcove, my vision was slowly coming true. After I had been in my room for five weeks, it was complete. I called Tara in to see. On my mannequin was the Mad Hatter’s outfit, which you see me in as I now give you this confession. My costume allowed maximum movement, so I wouldn’t be hindered when pursuing my passion. Tara was excited for me, but I sensed fear in her at what I would do. So in order to protect her, I told her I would pay for her to go anywhere, so that she would be away from me and not be charged as an accessory when I allowed myself to be caught. Allowed? Yes, my dear officer, if I had not wanted to be caught, then you still wouldn’t know who the Mad Hatter was.
And fearing what would happen to her when I was caught, she accepted my offer, and so I wrote her a letter of recommendation, gave her five thousand dollars, and paid for a plane ticket to any place she wished to go. And no, I will not tell you where she is, because I told her I would protect her, and I will take that promise to the grave, for you see, Tara was the one living human being who did not judge my madness or say I was insane, even though we both knew I was. I think her devotion was partially out of fear, but I felt something akin to love for her, love as though I was her protector, which I like to think of myself as. But I digress…you wish to hear of my first victim, and so I shall not deprive you of that account.