Back at The Chess Board, otherwise known as The Queen’s Court, a certain authority figure was impatiently waiting for the Man with the tattered hat.
“Where are those bumbling fools? They best arrive soon and with that dim-witted Hatter in tow.” The Queen was red in the face as she took her turn in the game. The Hare had just taken the Queen’s Bishop.
This was no ordinary chess match. It was played with living pieces. For her next move, the Queen commanded her Rook to take The Hare’s Castle. Satisfied with her capture, the Queen flashed an approving smirk.
Meanwhile, along the dirt path from the Hatter’s house to the Court, the guards dragged him kicking and screaming. The Hatter was horrified at the prospect of losing his head over something as ridiculous as not being able to find a piano player.
The guards stopped in their tracks suddenly and the Hatter bumped into them, falling on his backside. A giant smile appeared out of nowhere in front of them.
A tongue sprang out from between the teeth and licked imaginary lips. Then, the teeth began to speak to the guards, “You fools better hurry. The Queen is getting restless which will only make matters worse not only for the Hatter, but also for you.”
By the sound of the voice, everyone could tell that beautiful set of teeth belonged to none other than The Cheshire Cat. He was the eyes and ears for the Queen, but the smile and his tone always left the members of Wonderland wondering if he didn’t have an ulterior motive.
The rest of the Cat’s face appeared finally, floating in midair. “I’ve got my eyes on you boys. The Queen is losing her chess match, so the longer you take to get to Court, the more likely it is she will lose the entire game. And you know what that means. HAHAHAHAHA!!” The Cat’s heckling laugh echoed for miles as he once again disappeared.
The guards yanked the Hatter back to his feet and dusted him off before continuing their journey back to the Court. Altho, now, everyone felt a bit more tense knowing that the Queen was losing.
The Hare was moments away from giving the Queen her first chess match loss in years when The Cheshire Cat appeared right in the middle of the board. He looked towards the Hare and smiled that big old smile. Then, he turned to the right and smiled at the Queen.
“What are you smiling about you obnoxious feline?” The Queen shouted for all to hear.
The Cat grinned even more, sarcastically replying, “Your Majesty, I found your guards taking a rest about 10 minutes down the path. The Hatter is shackled, but is giving the guards a good fight. I think after this episode you may want to find some new guards. Their “cards” seem to be tarnished.” The Cat winked and smiled directly at the Queen.
“Where are my other GUARDS?! Go get those bumbling nitwits. I want this over now.” The Queen was beet red at this point. One would expect smoke to be blowing out if her nostrils.
A pair of Aces (guards) stood at attention in front of the Queen. They saluted her and took off for the path.
The guards and the Hatter, who, in reality, were not resting, saw the Aces sprinting in their direction. Of course, the two original guards thought this was backup.
The Aces stopped in front of the guards and grabbed the Hatter by the arms. Without saying a word they pulled him along as tho they were on a mission and their lives counted on completing the task. The Hatter stumbled and ate some dirt as the Aces hurriedly brought him to the Court.
Moments later the Hatter and the Aces were announced to the Queen’s Court by two blaring trumpets (yes, the trumpets are creatures of Wonderland as well).
The Queen glared at the two original guards as they quietly took their places in line with the others. The Aces shoves the Hatter forward and he dropped to his knees, ” Please, Your Majesty, I just need a little more time. Someone must know how to play the piano. Give me three more days and I promise you will have your piano concert. If I don’t find someone then I, myself, will play.”
“Am I to believe that you, Hatter, will be able to play the piano as well as a trained professional? What do you take me for? An imbecile?”
“No, your Majesty. You are the smartest of the smart. I will do the best I can if I do not find someone.” Sweat was pouring down the cheeks of the Hatter at this point.
The Queen looked to the left and saw the Cheshire Cat looking on in amusement. She looked back towards the Hatter, “You have 48 hours from this moment to find a person to play the piano. If… and that’s a big IF, you do not find someone then YOU will play for me. If I do not like the quality of your music then you know the drill.” The Queen smiled a smile almost as large as the Cheshire Cats.
Stumbling over his words, the Hatter said, ” Ye… ye… yes my Queen. I… I… I know what will happen.”
“Well, just as a reminder… OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!!!” The Queen shouted loud enough for the entire Court to hear. “48 hours Hatter. And then…” the Queen paused for a moment… ” Your head is mine. Ah hahahahaha!!!”