Hatter’s Son

In the crease that’s where he stood. Which side of it, he didn’t know. Lot’s of people told him though as he walked through the village. They called him a Hatter. They seemed to know who he was before he did. He thought they must be right, they look the same as he did. His dad was the Hatter for Alice and so he was Alice’s Hatter’s son.

The world felt shrunk but so large without any room, but entirely open. His mother said he was the perfect amount of mad as was to be expected. They gifted him hats and fabrics and scarves to make hats and feathers to make hats and bows and threads and straws but still, he felt the most alone in that workshop at the back of the house. He’d look at his shoes and worry himself about why he was there. He stared at his shoes day after day and walked himself silly until one day he noticed he had nearly worn out his entire shoe entirely with worry.

He picked up the shoe took the sole out, watched as the leather buckled against the unravelling of stitching and layering. The layers made him curious and he assembled foam and thread and glue and found himself with a whole assembly of tools. Without question he found himself remodelling the shoe the way he saw it could be rather than what it was.

What he had started with was borderline unrepairable but what he saw it could be, a magnificently crafted shoe with little hats printed into the rubber sole, that surpassed even his imagination. An imagination he thought was best left free of expectation but valued what could be’s, rather than a more fixed idea of what should occur. And after he fixed his shoe he looked in the mirror, usually used to show a customer a hat, had a look at his handy work and then had a long stare at himself. ‘What could be’s, that’s not half bad’, he thought.

~ Written by Stephanie Kentepozidis


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