‘The Mad Tea Party…a tea shop with a hat shop on top, what a novel idea’ Spalding thought as he passed the shop. It was filled with eclectic furniture of different styles from areas with unique tea selections, but right now he was more concerned about the hat shop and his friend the hatter. Up the balcony and stairs he went only to find the hat shop currently closed.
“No no no, this cannot be. How will we ever have a proper tea?” he says aloud. Had he meant to rhyme? Spalding walked back down the stairs dejected noticing at the counter before exiting the building.
He could hear the sound of celebration not far down the street, but he needed his friends before he went there. The hare turned away descending the stairs and saw what he believed was an old friend who was passing with a new friend. “Hello there!”
Beatrixe Rouse, a white mouse moreau wearing a blue jacket and skirt, turned back. Her metal eye and appendages made her move slower, but she still leapt slightly at seeing him, “Oh! There you are! I think I recognize you…we have tea sometimes yes?”
“Yes, we do I believe, would you like a spot of some now?” Spalding offered as he gestured to the shop next door. “Your friend can join us.”
“Yes, of course!” Bea responded and looked to her friend, who appeared dazed and smiling vaguely. “Coming Winter?”
The confused looking fox moreau turned to Spalding and nodded vaguely, like she was on an opium bend. “Yes, I would enjoy some tea, there are many teas like many people.”
She followed the energetic rodent and him into the tea shop and they took the big chairs in the back. The three sat comfortably together as if they had always been friends, “So how have you been Ms. Rouse, it feels it’s been so long.”
“Very long, too long,” She said chipperly. Her fox friend slowly drank her tea silently as the two caught up. “I was locked in the asylum a year or two after the spots didn’t go out. Or was it the hospital? The militia lady and the wolfy were very strict. Everyone was.”
“Poor dear!” Spalding shook his head in commiseration as he took in her metal appendages again. Only her torse remained, she had metal ears, arms, tail, and one eye replaced. “Did the mean kitty do this to you?”
Beatrixe shivered slightly, looking into her tea with terror as she thought of the event, “Yes. The mean kitty. Beryl-the-not-Beryl now.”
“I’m so sorry,” He replied sadly as he stirred his own cup. “The mean kitties have affected me too.”
“They have?” Beatrixe looked indignantly at him and stomped her metallic foot. Her fox friend looked up at the sudden crunch against the floor. “Someone should stand up to the mean kitties!”
“Yes, yes someone should.” Spalding said as he was swept into her excitement. “You and I could form a team, one that we had once in a dream!” He was rhyming again, and was not sure if it was on purpose or not. But he liked it.
Beatrixe tilted her head and considered him for a moment before she responded haltingly, “We could stand up and rise, and show everyone all of their lies.”
Winter, the fox moreau, looked between them with an uncertain look in her eyes, “I may not know the cats from the rest, but are these rhymes a form of test?”
“Well the cats here are mean and cruel, and will treat you like a fool,” Spalding responded quickly.
The three looked between each other and grinned maniacally.
“We could hatch a heroic plot, which will let our enemies rot,” Spalding sipped his tea more happy and alive than he had ever been in his life, and all thanks to one evil feline. “This rhyming is taxing but this tea is relaxing.”
“Oh, I can make a few rings, but also a few metal ally things.” Beatrixe offered, showing her toolbelt. She giggled, clearly enjoying herself, “
“Oh really… that’s quite a useful skill… and a decent roll to fill,” Spalding responded.
“I have no clue, as I am new to all of you,” Winter nodded as she thought, rubbing her chin, “But you can depend on your new found friend.”
“We need to make a plan, or else our ideas will hit the fan,” Beatrixe lamented as she replenished her tea. The staff did nothing to interfere with the discussion as they seemed happy Beatrixe had found a friend. Albeit friends as mad as the boss mouse herself.
“A plan… a plan… such a simple request, one that I cannot think of I confess,” Spalding replied sadly. The felines had fooled so many into thinking they were good.
“First we must set a trap, so we can have some resources to tap,” Beatrixe mused quietly to herself.
“Well, hopefully we can find my friend the hatter, before we grow old and fatter,” he had been struggling to word that for ten minutes.
“Oh, I know where he lays, the same employer is the one who pays,” Beatrixe responded quietly as she began to giggle wildly. “And if we need help as they say, there is one who has not seen the day!”
“Raise a glass to the three of us, tomorrow will be four or plus,” Winter raised her tea conspiratorially.
“Then the night shall be our friend and we can see the kitties end,” Rookswood said as he raised his glass and the other two clicked their teacups to his. They drank to seal their mad accord.