A Merry Hatter Christmas

Hatter couldn’t believe she was back in London, England. She takes a deep breath of air and hold it for a while. She had missed England and was happy to be back. The holidays were a few weeks away. She looks at her partner in crime Dakota as she stood nearby. They were waiting on her friend Cyril to come and pick them up. He was going to take them back to his place, till she got in touch with her old gang leader.

Dakota looks over at Hatter as she stood staring out at the road that lead into the cargo section of the airport. She was instructed to contact
Terry once they were settled in. This was her first time in England.

“So, who is this person we are waiting on Hatter?” Dakota had a light wind breaker on.

“An old friend of mine. Him and his wife took me in when I escaped from the mental hospital. They managed to get me out of the killing rage I had slipped in.” Hatter could remember bits and pieces of that time.

She had lost herself to the anger she felt. She had gone after her father and killed him. Afterwards she had jumped out of one of the windows and ran away from the house. When she had jumped through the window, several pieces of broken glass had embedded themselves in her body. Because, she was still overwhelmed with adrenaline. She didn’t feel the shards in her and passed out due to blood lost. Cyril and his wife came along and found her laying on the side of the road. They took her back to their place because it was closer and tended to her wounds.

“There he is.” Hatter had spotted Cyril’s yellow delivery van.

Dakota looks over towards the yellow van as it got closer to them. Inside was an older man that had to be in his late fifties, early sixties. He stops right in front of them.

Hatter opens the sliding side door and put hers and Dakota’s bags inside. She climbs in and motions for Dakota to follow her. Once they were inside. She shuts the door.

“Okay Cyril, were inside.” Hatter makes herself comfortable, while Dakota watches as they leave the airport.

Dakota leans forward “where are we going, Hatter?”

“Were going to Cyril’s place.” Hatter couldn’t wait to get back to see Lottie.

She missed her a lot. If she was going to classified someone being a mother to her, it would be Lottie. Lottie meant a lot to her.

“I thought it was too hot for you to be in England, Aylin?” Cyril looks in his mirror back towards Hatter.

“Things have changed and there is some important business I need to take care of. I promise not to draw any attention to you and Lottie.” Hatter meant what she said.

“Alright.” Cyril knew Aylin meant what she said.

Dakota was just staying quiet and observing. This is the first she has seen Hatter be concern about someone else. She wonders if there are some connections between them.

After thirty minutes, they come to a house on the outskirts of London in New Malden. Cyril pulls the van into the garage and turn the engine off. He gets out and open the side sliding door.

“Thanks Cyril, this is my friend Vicki Boston. She’s into the same type of business I’m in.” Hatter was a known art thief and car thief.

Dakota had gotten some lessons from Terry and Hatter in how to break into and disarm security systems on cars and such. Terry even put together a kit for her, that should handle most jobs. Dakota had practice when she wasn’t helping Terry at the shop.

“Nice to meet you Vicki.” Cyril shakes Dakota’s hand.

“It’s so nice to meet you as well Cyril.” Dakota grabs her bags and hands Hatter her bags. Cyril escorts them into the house and up to the rooms they would be sleeping.

“Cyril, where is Lottie?” Hatter was sure she should be home when they arrived.

“She’s down the block taking care of Valentina’s family. Valentina’s husband ran off and took all the cash from their saving account.” Cyril couldn’t believe Arthur would do something like that to his wife and three children, especially this close to Christmas.

“I knew he was cheating on his wife, but I could never prove it. It must have been that new secretary.” Before Hatter had left, she had been worried about Valentina.

Dakota could tell something was bothering Hatter.

“What’s on your mind?”

“Nothing.” Hatter wanted to find out how bad Valentina and her family were off. She’ll ask Lottie when she gets back tonight.

Hatter goes into the kitchen and looks through the cabinets to see what they had on hand. She normally doesn’t cook that much, but she wanted to make something special for Lottie and Cyril. She starts grabbing spices and things down from the cabinets and start prepping the ingredients.

“Mind if I help you?” Dakota had spotted Hatter in the kitchen prepping items for dinner.

“I don’t mind. You can chop the chicken breast up into cubes. Thanks.” Hatter was making curry chicken for her friends tonight.

Cyril watches Hatter as she stood at the counter fixing dinner. He remembers the first time Lottie taught Hatter how to cook. She had to teach her that a knife could be used to slice and cut meat, instead of stabbing the meat. Lottie made her cut up a bunch of vegetables till she learned how to handle a knife properly. Once Hatter learned how to use the knife properly, Lottie would let her help with cooking.

He was a little worried when Hatter started to heal. She was a little wild, skittish and paranoid. She was always on guard and didn’t know how to do basic stuff or take care of herself properly. It took Lottie a while to tame Hatter and teach her basic skills. They both knew Hatter hung around with unscrupulous people, but she never brought them to the house.

He does wonder who the other woman is. She seemed to have a grace to how she moved and conduct herself. He wonders where she came from as well. She didn’t look like the type of person Aylin would hang around with. He sits down in his favorite recliner in the living room and reads the newspaper.

Twenty minutes later, Lottie comes walking in with some dishes she took over yesterday. She smells curry in the air and knew right away who it could be in the kitchen. She walks into the kitchen and notices Aylin. There was a woman she didn’t know fixing dinner.

Aylin spots Lottie walking into the kitchen “hi Oma.” She stands there looking at Lottie.

Lottie puts the dishes she was carrying on the counter and walk over and hug Aylin.

Aylin returns the hug. Lottie was the one person she trusted with her life and the only one she felt was a mother to her. She just holds her for a while.

Dakota just stood back and watched. She didn’t know that much about Hatter, except she had been tortured and experimented on since she was six years old. This side of Aylin, she was seeing now, was a side no one on the team ever saw.

Lottie holds Hatter at arm’s length “what have you done to your beautiful face?” Lottie could tell that Aylin wasn’t wearing make-up like she used to do, but that her face had been permanently turned to white.

“I had it permanently tattoo, so I don’t have to use make-up anymore. I had it done, just before I left here.” Aylin had her face permanently tattoo, instead of having to reapply make-up all the time.

Lottie just shakes her head. She had hoped that Aylin would one-day stop being the Hatter and try to live a normal life. She knew that Aylin identified strongly with the Hatter from the Alice in Wonder Land story. She did what she could to restore some of Aylin humanity and sanity.
The poor child shouldn’t have had to go through what she did.

“I thought it was to dangerous for you to be in England?” Lottie remembers the night Aylin had informed them that she had to leave England and that might not be back.

“Things have changed and there are a few things I need to take care of. I promise not to bring any attention to you or Cyril. I would like for you to meet my associate Ms. Vicki Boston. She’s in the same type of business as I am and is going to be helping me.” Aylin steps aside to let Lottie see Dakota.

Lottie looks at Dakota “it’s nice to meet you Ms. Boston. I hope my Aylin here hasn’t drawn you into a serious problem.”

“She hasn’t. Hopefully, the problem we came to handle won’t last long.” Dakota stirs the curry Aylin had started cooking.

Lottie walks over and taste the curry. She looks at Aylin.

“This is good, Aylin. Unless you made it Ms. Boston?” Lottie looks towards Dakota.

“Nope, it’s all Aylin’s doing. I just helped cutting things up for her.” Dakota was wiping down the counter.

When the curry was done, they sat around the dining room table. They ate the curry and a few other items that had been made for dinner.
Small talk was made, and Aylin sprung the question that has been bugging her.

“Oma, how bad off is Mrs. Valentina?” Aylin wanted to know, because she had always been nice to her.

Lottie takes a deep breath “she’s waiting to hear back if she is going to be approve for assistance and she is going to lose the house. It seems that her husband hasn’t been paying the mortgage on the house or the cars. She’s so far behind on her bills, that she may not have any utilities left turned on by the end of the week. As for the children, they won’t be getting a Christmas this year. Everyone around here is doing what they can to help her and the children.”

“Her husband left his wife and children in this mess?” Dakota couldn’t believe someone would do that.

“Yes, he handled all their bills and the account. He was a very controlling person.” Lottie looks towards Dakota when she responds.

They finish dinner and Dakota and Aylin helps clean the kitchen up. Dakota looks towards Aylin “I’m going to go for a jog. Why don’t you come with me?”

“I can’t remember?” She points towards her ankle “I have a few errands I need to take care of by myself. I should be back in about two hours.”

“Well, if you’re going out, take this cellphone with you. It’s been encrypted and has everyone’s cell number already programmed into it. It is also a satellite phone. So, if you go somewhere that doesn’t have cell coverage. You can still reach any one of us.” Dakota hands Aylin the cellphone that has been assigned to her.

“Thank you. I promise to only be gone for two hours.” Aylin heads into the living room.

“Oma, is my motorcycle still in the garage?” Aylin had left her BMW motorcycle with Cyril and Lottie when she went to America.

“It’s right where you left it, Aylin.” Cyril hadn’t bother to move it.

“Thank you, Opa.” Aylin heads out towards the garage and locates her motorcycle.

She takes the tarp that was covering it off and back it out of the garage. She hopes it will still start. She flicks a hidden switch and kick start it. It turns right over. She slips her helmet on and heads towards the storage unit, where she has hidden a lot of her stolen items.

As she opens the storage unit, she steps back and look at all the items she stolen. There were a few items she has collected that were Alice in Wonderland related and a few items that weren’t. She goes to the back-right hand corner of the storage unit and clear away a few boxes from the area. She looks around for the sledge hammer she keeps in the unit and finds it. She uses it to break the concrete in the right-hand corner up. Once the concrete is broken. She pulls up a garbage bag wrapped box shape item up and fill the hole up with the broken concrete and move the boxes back into place to cover the hole up.

She takes the contents of the garbage bag and transfer it to the saddle bags on her motorcycle. She looks around some more and grab some more gear she was going to need for the mission. She also grabs a folded-up map, that has the places where she keeps spare equipment and that could be used as hiding places. Once she has everything she needs. She visits a few stores to make arrangements with them to make a late-night delivery on Christmas Eve.

She heads back home, but stops at the house Mrs. Valentina lives and sneaks inside to gather some information. She makes sure not to wake any one inside as she moves about. She hears Mrs. Valentina crying in her bedroom.

She waits till Mrs. Valentina cries herself asleep and takes the picture from her. If it was up to her, she would hunt the man down and kill him, but she couldn’t do that. She notices that Mrs. Valentina had been holding a picture that had her, her husband and the two children surrounded in a forest setting.

Aylin looks at Mrs. Valentina “hold on a little while longer. Good luck will be coming your way.”

Aylin leaves and head back towards the house she will be staying for a while. She hides her motorcycle in the garage and heads inside, where she bumps into Dakota.

“I thought it was you.” Dakota puts her gun away.

“I told you I had a few things to take care of.” Aylin heads towards the bedroom she was sleeping in.

Dakota just shakes her head as she heads towards the room she was sleeping in. She wonders what Aylin had been up too for the past two hours she has been gone. She also wonders how Terry is doing with modifying the taxi cab. Hopefully, Terry is going to keep the idea of a drone in the taxi cab. It came in handy on their last mission.

Christmas Eve:
Aylin looks around as everyone was enjoying the Christmas Eve dinner, that she and Dakota helped put together. She has already been contacted by the companies she visited a few days ago that they were at the house and unloading all the presents, tree and food that she had purchases for Mrs. Valentina’s family. She had found out who held the bank note on the mortgage and paid it off in full. She deposited a large sum of money in Mrs. Valentina’s bank account and paid off all her debts and bills. All the money she used came from what she stole and kept hidden. It was supposed to be her retirement fund, but Mrs. Valentina family needed it more than she did.

Aylin escorts Mrs. Valentina and her family home and when the door opened to the house. Aylin stood back to observe how she reacted.

Mrs. Valentina couldn’t believe what she saw when she walked into her place. They didn’t have any money to go and get a Christmas tree, but here was one in her living room with Christmas gifts under the tree. There was an envelope with her name on it, and when she opened it up, there were receipts for all her bills saying she’s paid up to date. The deed to her house was inside along with a balance receipt from her bank informing her she had 150,000 pounds in her account.

There was a note inside that said Merry Christmas, written in gold leaf.

Hatter just smiles as she walks back towards her family and friend.

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