The Clock Tower | Teen Ink

The Clock Tower

May 2, 2010
By Ichabod BRONZE, Indianapolis, Indiana
Ichabod BRONZE, Indianapolis, Indiana
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Television says, everything says 'This is the world'. And it's not the world. The world is so much more'
~ Terry Gilliam, Director and Artist

March 48, 13:93

That little girl had told me something peculiar. It was some very peculiar questions and advice indeedy. Why should my watch not tell what day of the month it is? Was time different for her? Is time different in the entire world, or even the entire universe, perhaps? What was time? What is Destiny? What is a Dream? What are all these things that confuzzle and baffle my knowledge? Interesting how I am now the little girl with tussled-brunette hair. Shall I be dreaming about this all next? Is my entire life nothing more than a Dream? Am I a Dream myself or am I real? Do I mock reality or do I define it? These questions need answers, and I shall search them out and discover truth!

First of all, what was time? From what I used to know, time was a clock: An annoying, small device controlled by mankind and other beings to turn back or to turn forward, and it could be broken easily. Although, tea and butter probably couldn’t break Time itself; those little shenanigans would only be useful on Time’s little handy devices that never stopped ticking. Maybe something like tea, only bigger and better, would be able to break Time, such as gas or maybe urine, or perhaps even simple water! Now that I have my question down, that leads me to a new question: Where is the human personification of time? I’ve seen anthropomorphic animals and flowers, so there must be one of time! But how can I have forgotten him? It was only last March at the Queen’s concert! He made it so that my friends and I were having tea at every moment and every day and every month and every year endlessly!

I couldn’t leave my table or my seat, could I? Time wouldn’t allow it, for we were stuck like this, drinking tea until Time’s end, or at least, our end. Suddenly, though, that brought to mind what Death is. Death is the ultimate end of all things in the world, thus, the end of their time. That must mean Death can be the end of Time! But now, I had to search for two things, Time and Death, and I still couldn’t leave my table unless I was called upon! Unless…what would happen, exactly, if I did leave my table to go in search? I am not being called, and I’m not being held back. If that little girl (I believe her name was Tilly…Abigail, perhaps?) was able to come to our tea-party and leave it, wouldn’t we be able to come and go as we pleased, my friends and I? While the others, March Hare and Dormouse, were asleep, I placed my foot into a tea kettle outside of the table. Then, I began walking away, slowly and loudly with my tea-kettle boot and a duck attached to my other foot (ducks were quite stylish, in my opinion). This didn’t bother the others, though, as they just slept peacefully with tea over their heads and tea-cups on their noses. Ingenious! I could move away from our table without consequences and go upon my search for Death and Time! But before I did, I wanted to see the world that I missed so much. I missed Underland and its inhabitants and all of the talking flowers. I had not seen these since I was a young lad of nearly 16 and 6/10! Perhaps I would find Death and Time along the way.

As I travelled Underland vigorously, I began studying things about Time. Now, Time no longer seemed like a clock, but rather, like a clock hand, endlessly moving and going on and on and on. Now I had to learn of how to move the arrows at my command! I had to think more and more, each day now. This was so exhilarating to make the jelly in my brain move and tingle inside at command without disruption. But it hurt so much to think! There were too many thoughts moving about at once, and to control it made me head-pain. But I would get over this, if I had to, to figure out the meaning of Time. But if Time is an arrow, what are the numbers? Are they the Destiny of us all? No, Destiny is not an event, Destiny is written. So maybe Destiny is Time, and the numbers are Dreams! Dreams are stories and nothing more, so that must be it! So, really, all of life is a Dream and nothing more, not reality, not fantasy, just all dreams!

But, does that mean that the numbers are in control of time? Destiny must be a Dream to all humans, as it is a story made by man. So now, if I knew how to control Dreams, I could control Time! But no, I didn’t want to control Time, I wanted to stop it, therefore, I must find Death! But…did I want to stop Time? No…I wanted to break it and fool with it, as it broke me and played around with me after the Queen’s Concert! Time does not mean anything if it is controlled by Dreams and Dreams are nothing if they are controlled by me! I went inside of my house, nearly forgotten after what must have been months and months. It was tall, dark, and sturdy, made of bricks, stone, and all of the sort. I would have to turn it into my study to further investigate all of this Time and Dream and Death.

As it passed, I turned my house into a mansion of Time and mechanics, like a clock tower. I added gizmos and rooms to the place to work more. But then, I would periodically take small stops of my Dream research and began self-reflecting. What about Marchy and Dormy? How were they in my absence? They’d probably forgotten about me as I forgot about them. Why exactly did Time betray me that day and why did I not know about him anymore? It seemed that, by now, I enjoyed hurting my head with thoughts of these sorts of things. It was enjoyable, almost pleasurable, to think long and hard. It was almost like how our Queen had such a jolly out of murder. Did that mean I was as mad as her? For these questions, I could not answer immediately. I was worried; I didn’t want to become a madman.
I placed a collection of mirrors around in the house to self-reflect further upon myself. Was I truly as mad as the Queen? I didn’t want to be such a thing, it could never be true! I was not a sadistic killer who would be ecstatic at the sight of heads being severed from their necks. I was never like that; therefore, I cannot be mad! But no matter of little things like that now, back to work on Dreams! It occurred to me that Dreams may be stories, which is what we all are made of and live in. But if we can choose how the story will end and how the story will go, then so should Dreams. We can control how the Dreams will end out, if we’re smart enough and controlled enough. I can’t be mad, then! I can control my thoughts as a normal being! No…I slapped myself hard at the thought. I do not wish to be a normal person, because normal people are so boring. But people who aren’t normal are mad. How could I choose who I am!? Am I mad or am I boring!?

I passed my selfish thoughts away after another day. It was time that I learned how to control Time. No longer would Death be necessary, I didn’t want to stop time; that would be too easy. I wanted to break him. I returned to the tea-party, where my lovely little friends were still sitting, sleeping and laughing. A funny thing happened as I entered the party, though, and it was not the type of funny that would induce laughter. It was the type of funny that would induce question and confusion. As soon as I walked in, I felt simpler and more…what would the word be…Ironic? No, not even close! Would Gilly-esque be the word? Like a mongoose? Oh, bah! I’m just throwing together random words! Anyway, I took a look at the Hare and the Dormouse. It seemed as though they weren’t even aware of my absence and just carried on with our party.

I didn’t go directly up to my little friends, though. I spied upon them behind a tree. I was going to knock them out and take them by surprise and drag them back home. While I worked, I got into an idea that gave a huge dilemma to me. In order to control Dreams, I had to control one’s mind. So I would have to use a friend’s mind to do such a thing. But…that was to sick and disgustingly cruel for me! I could never stand the sight of a brain right there! But, maybe it didn’t have to be human. Killing an animal may be sick, but…I had to know how to control time! And perhaps killing and animal wouldn’t make me entirely mad! Doctors that I know do it all the time, which is…if I knew any real doctors. And it wouldn’t land me to a crime, now would it? Doctors were perfectly sane, and so was I!

The next day, Marchy and Dormy woke up in a little laboratory, tied down in a straightjacket upon an operating table. I was picking out which tool to use on them, as there were so many curious little things on my table. There was a needle on the end of a tube that might work as a cutting thingy. Then there was a scalpel covered with chocolate and Danish breadcrumbs (How I acquired all of these, one would never guess, so I won’t bother). Marchy seemed to come to his senses and realized what was occurring. He screamed out “Madman! Madman!!” repeatedly, as if somebody would come to save him and Dormy. “I’m not mad!!!” I shouted back, holding the knife close to his eye. I realized how hypocritical this may have seemed of me, but remember, my dearly-dearest reader, that I am not mad at all! A madman would have done this with joy and for the sake of murder and nothing more. I was doing this for Time, and it gave me no pleasure to kill my best friends in the whole long Underland. But I had to! I simply bloody had to!!!

I chopped Marchy’s head open, carefully not hitting the brain, to ensure that it would remain intact. His tongue popped out, while his eyes crossed, as I began poking around. Each poke seemed to make him twitch more and more, so I began looking further into his cranium to see what made him dream! It must have been in the middle of a different half of the brain, so I kept looking. The end result was an utter failure on Marchy, so I gave him whatever was left of his brain back as an apology. But I wasn’t done with him, yet, oh no! I hung him up to the wall to further experiment on him. Dormy being Dormy, only slept the entire time as I operated, so I hadn’t felt as guilty. I chained him down to the operating table as I gave his mind back, but that infernal sleeping kept bothering me. Oh, no matter, it was only sleeping, I’d get used to it.

It was now Ape-Rill in Underland, and I still hadn’t found my answer yet! I had tried to figure out all about Dreams, and they’re still nothing more than a conundrum, wrapped and sealed as tightly as a cork glued into a bottle. This was so infuriating, I couldn’t keep myself controlled! If the numbers on a clock are the equivalent to events in Destiny, those events are Dreams! But if Dreams are stories, isn’t Destiny a story or a Dream? Then I just need to control Dreams to do so! I began slipping further and further into my work, and I didn’t give a damn about Underland anymore! It was foolish and stupid, with our bloody child of a Queen ruling! On the 3rd day, I had given up. I didn’t care what I was drinking now, so long as it tasted good. Tea was weak now; I only wanted pure opium or something of the sort. I heard a weak screaming of “Madman!” once again, and very loud snoring.

These infernal idiots of mine had finally worn out their welcome! I ran downstairs, into the basement, and knocked the March Hare out with a tea kettle. Instead of just breaking against his head this time, there were some small bits of broken glass in his mouth. I tore them out, but didn’t care; he was an irritation beyond belief! “You’re the lunatic here!” I began screaming. “I’m trying to work, but you keep screaming in that annoying high pitched voice of yours, you bloody oaf! Nobody will help you! The definition of insanity is to do the same thing repetitively, expecting a different outcome! You’re the insane one here, not I!” I knew he couldn’t hear me, but it felt so good to yell at him! I carved out a pit into the floor beneath him and filled it with boiling tea, to shut him up if he ever screamed again. The Dormouse was next to take care of. His snoring was so irritating; I couldn’t even concentrate as I fixed something to keep him awake! I smacked him awake, and he cried a little. “Dear friend, Hatter… Why are we being treated like this?” he said in his soft voice. He wouldn’t win me over at all! “You infernal idiot! You’re trying to keep me from my work, snoring as loud as you can and insulting me by hiding your precious thoughts from me! I will have them yet, though, and when I do, you won’t be a friend of mine at all! I will have my revenge on time alone!” I shouted, quickly smacking him again. I fixed a machine that would shock him anytime he snored. That is taken care of now.

It is now May in Underland. Perhaps I am not thinking hard enough. Maybe the only way I can beat Time is to be Time. If there was no such thing as Destiny, only Dreams and events, perhaps I could be Destiny! And if Destiny was Time, I had to be Time! But…no that last part didn’t add up! Yes it did! But…no, yes, maybe, yes, no, yes! Yes! I would become Time itself! I began ripping off and tearing off my limbs and back to replace them with clockwork and cogs and gears of the sort. It was more than painful, of course, but I had to beat Time! Nothing mattered anymore now! I had no friends, I had no family, and I have only work and enemies! In this world, nothing matters more than revenge! When I had finished, my limbs and body had stretched out from their original size quite far, almost like tree branches were attached to my body now. I placed my Hat upon me, but nothing had changed. I was still the Hatter, and I still didn’t know the secret to Time or Dreams.

It couldn’t be! I was so certain that I had it down this time! I don’t understand it! It no longer makes sense to me! I wanted to hang myself for being such a fool, I couldn’t live anymore. I killed two of my favorite lunatics in the entire Underland for nothing more than a foolish revenge scheme, all because that little Abby girl said something. But I stopped, and please hear me out dearest reader, it struck me! That girl was the only human person I knew, like me. She was the one who had told me about the watch and Time! I understood fully, now. The March Hare and Dormouse were not capable of dreaming, but little Alice was. She was human, like me, and I would figure out what made Dreams tick and tock from her. I would wait for her to return. I would wait to build my castle and understand Dreams and Time and become Time’s master. I will have my revenge, say I, a poor raven upon the writing desk. Alice, as of right now, you are the most important thing in the world to me…

The author's comments:
This is a short narrative piece by the Mad Hatter of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The inspiration for this came from ideas about the concepts of Desitny and Dream from 'The Sandman' series and trying to delve further into it. I leave the message, or moral, totally up to you. Hopefully, this will show how Wonderland's darkside is truly made.

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