Hello HatterMature

(Lights up on the communal area. Alice is already on stage once again with her little rabbit. Nurse is sat nearby making notes on a clipboard. Henry is sat down on the floor. Nurse exits to fetch more patients. Henry looks at Alice. He stares at her. Alice refuses to look at him. He slowly stands and wanders over to her.)



Henry: Alice.


Alice: Henry.


Henry: I missed you.


Alice: (no response)


Henry: They said you were having treatment.


Alice: No.


Henry: I was.


Alice: And?


Henry: It was interesting.


Alice: Go away.


Henry: Do they hurt you Alice?


Alice: Go away.


Henry: I won't hurt you.


Alice: You did.


Henry: No.


Alice: You did.


Henry: No.


Alice: You want to.


Henry: No.


Alice: I can see it.


Henry: How?


Alice: I can. I can see it.


Henry: How can you see such a thing?


Alice: You're dangerous.


Henry: You're beautiful.


Alice: Go away.


Henry: Does rabbit want me to leave?


Alice: How can you possibly know what he wants?


Henry: I don’t but I would like to be his friend. Your friend Alice.


Alice: Rabbit is just my friend.


Henry: Why don’t you ask Rabbit what he wants?


Alice: What?


Henry: Ask him. See if we can be friends. All three of us.


Alice: I don't want to.



(Henry should slowly begin looking like Hatter)



Hatter: Come on Alice. Put the screws to him.



(Rabbit enters)



Rabbit: Leave her be Hatter.


Hatter: She won't accept we're compatriots. We fought together in the great battle against her Majesty. Either side of Alice no? Comrades in arms! Brothers in the field!


Rabbit: We're not.


Hatter: That is sheer fraudulence Rabbit. Despicable. People who maintain. That they are always honest. Are surely lying.


Alice: Rabbit, you don't have to talk to him.


Rabbit: It's alright Alice.


Hatter:  Curious how adjacent you two are. You, the poltroon and her, Alice. Fearsome, gruesome, imposing, formidable, wonderful Alice.


Rabbit: She scares you then?


Hatter: Quite. But I respect that. I respect fear. It puts a chill in my bones, makes my flesh prickle, makes my heart stop beating, and makes the blood in my veins run cold. She does that. Her. Alice. The very name invokes a feeling negative or pure. Your choice.


Alice: Rabbit let’s just go.


Hatter: Wait.


Alice: For what? (Pause)


Hatter: Do you have any idea why a raven is like a writing desk?


Alice: Pardon?


Rabbit: Come Alice, leave him to his madness.


Alice: No. I don't know. Do you?


Hatter: Don't be absurd.


Alice: I thought you enjoyed absurdity.


Hatter: I enjoy you. And your wicked little mind. Fascinating. Intriguing. Beguiling.


Rabbit: Leave her alone now Hatter. She's tired.


Hatter: I believe Miss Alice can articulate, enunciate, and expatiate for herself Rabbit.


Alice: I am tired. I always am.


Hatter: No wonder. Insanity is rather exhausting. Your mind runs away with you. Ticking, ticking, always ticking over. The hands always spinning. The hours always passing. Moulding into one long agonising memory. Your brain is so alive you can barely feel it. Clever.


Alice: I wouldn't know.


Hatter: You comprehend all too well Alice. The true feeling of insanity. The feeling of the numbing toxin running through your mind as it engulfs your very being. It slithers through your blood stream always wanting more, more of you, it consumes.


Rabbit: Alice just leave him here.


Hatter: I do believe one can auscultate the impending doom?


Alice: Hatter!


Rabbit: What?


Hatter: Alice knows.


Rabbit: Who?


Hatter: The Queen. Her excellency. Her majesty. Her royal highness. She’s like an ebbing in the back of your head. A whisper through your ears. Omniscient.


Alice: No.


Hatter: She is. You can hear her. Sense her. Feel her. I dare say you can even taste her little Alice. She’s in your veins, those delectable veins.


Alice: Give me it.


Hatter: Pardon?


Alice: You know what I mean.


Hatter: I don’t quite postulate.


Alice: Where is it?


Hatter: Now, now,inquire nicely. One must always remember their manners.


Alice: I know you have it. Please.


Hatter: Please? A word used in polite requests or questions. Alternative words include gratify, satisfy, indulge, beg. I could go on.


Alice: It’ll stop her. Don’t toy with me.


Hatter: Suppression is a dangerous game Alice. Do you really surmise that this is for the best?


Alice: Stop playing games.



(The faint sound of Alice's name being screamed can once again be heard. Hatter should begin changing back into Henry. Rabbit should now exit.)



Alice: It’s too late. She’s coming.


Henry: Who?


Alice: You heard her.


Henry: Who?


Alice: Stop trying to confuse me!



(The screaming reaches its crescendo)



Alice: Save me! Don't let her get me!


Henry: I don't understand dear one.


Alice: Oh God. Oh God.


Henry: Alice?



(Henry goes to touch Alice but she screams and lunges at him. Henry falls backwards onto the ground, Alice is on top of him clawing at his face. He shouts at her to get off of him but she doesn't listen. She closes her eyes and hits his face over and over. Head Nurse and Nurse enter with John, Belinda, Rose & Violet. They rush over and pull Alice off of Henry. Head Nurse holds her tightly)



Head Nurse: Nurse! Help Henry. I will deal with Miss Liddell.


Nurse: As you wish. Come on Henry.



(Nurse exits with Henry)



Head Nurse: As for you. You're coming with me. Don't think you'll get away with this behaviour this time. As for the rest of you, the next person that steps out of line will be submitted to a swift spike through the eye and trust me I can make it a very slow and agonising process.


(Head Nurse drags Alice off stage)



Belinda: Look what she did to Henry.


John: She will have a reason. They always have reason. In their own mind.


Rose: Reason? Since when do any of us have reason?


John: She might.


Violet: She doesn't.


Rose: Why do you protect her?


John: I don't.


Belinda: Who is it for?


John: No one.


Rose: Henry.


Violet: Henry.


John: He's my friend.


Rose: Of course.


Violet: Of course.


Belinda: I told you. There are no friends in here. Do you think Henry would care if you just disappeared? Hmm? Do you think he would mind if you lost your head? No. None of us would. So keep your head down and your mouth shut. Affiliation with Alice is a death sentence. You know what she did.


John: Yes but...


Rose: (interrupting) No John.


John: And you aren't?


Violet: What did you say?


Rose: Leave him. You heard what she said. We have to ‘behave’.


Violet: Yes we have to behave.


Rose: I would be careful John, if I were you.


Violet: Be careful John.


(Lights down.)


The End

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