Alice In Wonderland
Hello all! Just hoping that if you do happen to read through this, please comment and tell me what you think, if there's something I should change, or if you notice one of the many gramtical errors I have likely made. Thanks to all!
The sun peaked over a plateau, casting twisted shadows on the dusty little town. Only a handful of buildings, it was one of the only stops when crossing the Hourglass Desert – a nearly impossible feat. Posters dotted the walls of rundown buildings; some advertising events in another town, some informing of new taxes. Most of them, though, were bounties, sent out by the government hunting for escaped or wanted criminals. Faces covered the posters with rewards and warnings, but one stood out the most, as the very man on the poster stopped to look at it. Frowning a little, he passed on by. In no hurry, he strolled through the town.
Upon see this strange occurrence, a man grabbed the scrap of paper, and scrambled over to a set of tables outside the local saloon.
“Hey man, look at this! I think that’s him, the guy everyone’s been talking about.” A ruff-looking light-haired gentelman, maybe in his early thirties, slapped a wanted poster down on a creaky table and pointed across the road. An older man sitting across from him picked up the slip.
“Demon Cat of Alice the Witch, wanted for destruction of government property, breaking and entering, evading arrest, thievery, and the use of Magic,” the old man read aloud. He scratched his beard in thought, and he glanced across the road. The man in question, a neatly dressed stranger, stopped to speak to a woman. She stared at the sword hanging around his waist, clearly alarmed. “If you’re right, this guy could be trouble Jake…” grumbled the man to his partner.
“Yeah, but did you see that reward?” Jake whispered excitedly. “Over 100,000 gold peices for him! That’s enough to keep a man fed for years, even split a couple of ways. Abe, this could be a big break.”
“You don’t think there’s a reason it’s so much money? I heard Kal down in the inn say five different bounty hunters went missing going after this guy!” Abe said gruffly, irritated. “I don’t like this…”
“He doesn’t look so tough, you know?” the younger man retorted. “And all he’s got on ‘em is that sword. I think-” he was cut short as the man suddenly glanced over towards them, eyes squinted, scrutinizing them. Both men, stunned, tilted their hats to hide their eyes. He turned away, and resumed speaking to the woman. Abe glanced over the description, heart pounding, and tried to make a match without staring. Obviously from the north, the man on the sheet and in the street had pale skin, and dark purple eyes. Unusually white hair, partially hidden with a short black hat, curled down to just below his chin. Though the hat hid the top of his head, and a long coat hid his back, it was clear by the black and blue spiraling tattoos on his right arm that he was one of the Agma – half human, half demon.
Blue and black lines twisted their way up the Demon Cat’s arm, forming sharp, coiling, spiraling patterns from his wrists all the way up his arm that Abe could see. He was tall and lean, though well built from the looks of it. As sand clouds drifted through the lonely little town, the two men resumed their conversation.
“You may be right, but even so, this wouldn’t be an ordinary bounty. Ha, you ever heard why call him the Demon Cat?” asked Abe, gruff voice lowered. The younger man shook his head, curious. “They say he has ears like a cat, black and blue - and a matching tail - along with sharp claws on his hands.”
“That’s absurd! Who ever heard of an Agma with cat traits? I thought they mostly resembled birds and reptiles.”
“All Agma are cursed with animal traits, as well as the demon marks. The animal depends on the demons blood that made them. The more concentrated the blood, the more the traits show through. It’s easily possible that he was summoned with the blood of a feline demon.” Jake stared at the man across the road in disgust. Agma were often shunned by humans, and were banished throughout most of Wonderland, though few people had the strength to object when one was around. Dark clouds passed over the sun, cooling the town briefly.
“That’s not all, you know,” a voice interjected. Both men jumped in surprise. A tall, dark-haired man stood behind them, leaning on a table; they hadn’t heard him arrive. A long, dark coat rippled in the wind, and a worn grey top hat dipped down over his face, casting sinister shadows; he raised it with a finger, bright green eyes flashing. “Hello Abe! Been a while since I came through here last, eh?”
“Hatter,” Abe grimaced. “What business have you here in Linor? Surely you haven’t given up your latest chase to come find this kitty?”
“Bounty hunters always follow the high prices, like flies drawn to honey. And I am no exception.” Hatter grinned, glancing towards the Cat. “Thought I’d enlighten you as to a secret, though. Agma are more than different in appearance. They are stronger than any man, and faster too. I know he looks young, but that kid is fierce. Cats are tricky, you know; they slink around like thieves, and when you back them into a corner, the claws come out. I’d leave this cat to the big boys if I were you.” He stood up, showing off his full height. A silver gun glinted in its holder, and there was undoubtedly a stash of knives in his coat.
“You know, Hatter, you’ve got a messed up sense of priorities. You can’t be much older than my son,” said Abe, “and still the queen calls you in for the tougher jobs, and like a loyal dog you come running when your master calls to attack. You’re just a twisted kid with no home, so you hunt for the crown for profit. State Bounty Hunters make me sick.” Hatters face darkened at these words.
“I’m not a kid, you know; and I’ve no care of your opinion of my lifestyle, old man. And besides,” said Hatter, smirking,” you two ever want a good score, make sure to keep your eye on your target.” He grinned again and pointed across the road, where nothing stirred but dust motes. The two men stood up, shocked, their chairs falling in their haste, mouths gaping.
“What the hell? Where’d he go?!” yelled Jake, spinning to face Hatter. “W-what?! He’s gone too!” Jake stood, shoulders shaking in rage, eyes wide.
“Figures. It takes a sneak to know a sneak.” Abe picked up his chair and dusted off his jacked. “Good riddance to him,” he sneered.
“I don’t get it. What’s with that guy? He couldn’t have been older than seventeen or eighteen… but you said he was a State Bounty Hunter.” Jake moaned angrily, pulling up his chair, embarrassed by his lapse in attention. Abe pulled out a pipe and lit it, taking a deep breath.
“They call him the Mad Hatter,” explained Abe. He continued, “You never heard of him?” Jake shook his head and put it down on the table. “I’m surprised. He’s been famous since two years ago when he became the youngest bounty hunter employed by the crown in over two hundred years. And he’s good too. Never missed a target yet. Damn,” said Abe, laughing grimly and pointing at list of recently convicted men. “Even managed to get his last score and intercept the cat here, halfway across Wonderland.” He sat back in his chair and folded up the wanted poster. “I wouldn’t want to be him now though. Seems like that’s a pretty crafty cat; maybe Hatter’s finally gonna have one slip away. That’d be the day…”