Death of the Mad Hatter: Excerpt Two by Sarah J. Pepper

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There were the types of girls who dressed for guys, the type who still played dress-up, the type who lived in sweatpants, and then there was an entirely different breed who wore mismatched socks with pride. This chick fell into the last category. Why anyone could possibly think bright orange and blue would go together, unless they were a Boise State fan, was beyond my thought process. Her shoes were quite possibly handcrafted a hundred years ago, and her tattered skirt looked as though she found it in a dusty box tucked away in an attic. However, the zebra patterned gloves actually appeared to be from this decade.

“Well, it’s rather fortunate that you didn’t dribble. Mr. Ruth would have a fit if he became familiar with the underside of your pet-soaked shoe,” the girl said, petting the stuffed animal’s head. Her accent was none that I’d heard before—and I’d lived in a lot of different places. She sounded like a British gal impersonating a southern bell. “It’d be quite regrettable if anything happened to him on the first day of school. He must have fallen out of his hidey-hole.”

“You named your stuffed rabbit, Mr. Ruth?”

She covered the bunny’s ears. “Rutherford is his real name, but he hates it and makes all the other rumperbabbits call him by his nickname.”

“Rumperbabbits?”

“Bunnies, rabbits, hares—rumperbabbits. Same thing,” she said with a wink. She had the most volatile light-blue eyes that were so electrifying I couldn’t look away.

Time out—just for reference, I didn’t believe in juvenile notions, like love at first sight. In my book, time didn’t cease to move forward when two people fell in love. As a matter-of-fact, I’d have to be drunk (not on love) for such an irrational thought to enter my mind.

But, there was something magical about her. A mischievous charm. I wouldn’t have said that I necessarily liked it, but it was intriguing. She was intriguing… and new. For a town whose newspaper’s biggest story was the harvest report, having a new girl in school would most likely be headlined on The Gossiper’s front page.

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Visit Sarah J. Pepper’s website to learn more about her unique retelling of the classic Wonderland tale, right here at: http://www.peppersreadingcorner.com/.

Also, check out her special Facebook interview here.

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Toi Thomas

I like reading, writing, cooking, dancing, movies, and music. I'm a big kid and choose to see the world in my own special way. Yes, I'm educated, but I haven't let that stop me from being who I want to be. I'm a wife, teacher, author, blogger, and more.