I spent all of the next morning trying to figure out how to put tea into tarts. Nothing seemed to work. Hatter sat behind me and watched with interest. At one point she walked over to me.
"You're doing it wrong," she said.
"I don't know how!" I said, frustrated. Hatter took the bowl from me. She made a coughing noise at the back of her throat, and a huge ball of spit landed in the tea.
!That's disgusting!" I reared back in horror.
Tarrant's special recipie" Hatter said wiping her mouth. "Tastes great, although don't let Chess do it. Not unless you want a hairball in your tarts." I stared at her in shock.
"You really are mad aren't you!" Hatter laughed. I sighed happily. In a way, I guess I envied her carefree spirit. I suppose that's what happens when you go mad. You become unaware of the misery around you. Sometimes I wish my life could be like that. After grimacing I put the tarts in an oven, hoping I'd got it right.
While I waited I followed Chess to the table. Hatter was sat waiting. Chess pulled out a card and handed it to Hatter. Hatter did likewise.
"What are those?" I asked.
"Today's our Unbirthday" Chess explained.
"28th May. We celebrate our Unbirthday." Queenie appeared out of nowhere and also produced a card. Suddenly Tarrant appeared, with three gorgeous hats, one blue (with ear holes), on white, and one green.
"You remembered!" Hatter cried. Queenie put on her hat, Chess put hers over her ears, and Hatter put the new hat on top of the original. I smiled weakly. I stopped smiling when I heard a roar in the distance. The girls took their hats off and got up. Hatter had kept her original hat on.
"She never goes anywhere without it," Queenie whispered. Tarrant adjusted his own hat and ran into the woods, leading the way. I felt my stomach do a forward roll. Queenie put her hand on my shoulder and nodded to me. We ran through the woods and stepped out into the wilderness. The Red Queen was stood with the knave who was holding the bandersnatch by a chain. It snarled at us. Everyone else seemed to keep their cool.
"Niccy!" The Red Queen shrieked and ran to me. Hatter stuck out her foot and the Queen toppled to the ground. It was all I could do not to laugh. Chess, Hatter and Queenie had no intentions of hiding anything.
"HOW DARE YOU!" The Queen screamed as the girls laughed. "YOU SHALL ALL LOSE YOUR HEADS!" And with that the Knave let go of the Bandersnatch's chain. Again all was a blur. Hatter shoved me away.
"You need to run," she said. "We'll take care of this." She nodded to Queenie, who grabbed my hand and led me away. Chess followed. Tarrant tried to usher Hatter away, but she stood her ground.
"Come on Hatter!" Chess yelled. "We've gotta go!" Hatter shook her head fiercly.
"I'm not leaving Tarrant alone!"
"But you have to!" Chess protested.
"You remember what happened last time! And the time before that! Just go! I can deal with it!" Chess shrugged her shoulders and ran out after Hatter.
"Where is she going?" I asked Queenie.
"Best friends honour," Queenie said.
"I've never had a best friend,"
"Well we can discuss it if we ever get out of here."
"You're going to?"
"Like I said, best friends honour. Now, when I leave. Run. As far away as you can. Now Go!" Queenie dashed after Chess and I was alone.