I was always a bad kid, but it’s only to be expected.
You know those stereotypical Irish families with a drunk, aggressive patriarchal lead and a fiery, red headed woman at his side? Yeah, I had that. I didn’t find it too unpleasant, you never do when you’re raised in an abnormal environment- to me, it was the norm. Shouting, drinking and hearing sex through the walls was all part of the package for me. I was an only child, you see, and I imagine that my father, in some last ditch effort to prove he had potent sperm left in him made sure to see to his woman each and every night until one day, and I kid you not- she slapped him hard and told him to give it up. He hit her back of course, and before their combined annoyance could turn on me I took myself off to my favourite pastime on the tube.
We’d moved to London when I turned ten, and one of my key sources of Entertainment was the morning and evening rush hours. There was nothing more amusing to me than seeing all those stuffy English bastards, and the immigrants, rushing onto trains, packing themselves in like big angry sardines- as though each train was the last train they’d ever see in their lives. Now, you have to understand- I was an angry little cunt when I was a kid, and you can make up whatever deep reasoning you like for why I did it- but I fully enjoyed walking alongside a cramped train, and tossing in things of unpleasant odour or sound… rotten eggs, sour milk… the occasional rape alarm or fire cracker. I wasn't very popular and on more than one occasion I was hauled off by security. I always managed to escape before the Police turned up though, I had that going for me.
Now, my parents weren't exactly 'mellow', but soon enough I reached a point where even they disapproved. My father has disowned me, in fact- and mother hasn't made any attempt to contact me since I moved out.
I was about sixteen when my father decided to kick me out of the house- I was allowed back for special occasions, but it was just plain awkward. I suppose I ought to explain what lead to this snap decision and my eventual being disowned. Well, I developed a bit of a drinking problem- my father could hardly judge that, he was the bastard who gave me whiskey when I had teething problems. It helped, sure, but you don't need to keep it up to get your kid to sleep each night. Unsurprisingly, I developed a bit of a taste for the stuff and when I hit the age of thirteen I'd become quite proficient at knicking alcohol from my father, the shop, restaurant tables... anywhere I could get it really. Oh he tried to knock it out of me, but evidently he didn't beat me hard enough.
Now, I'd been getting into quite a few fights with other lads- usually over girls, the older we got, and at sixteen it all came to a head. There'd been a girl I liked, Shannon, and I almost got her- until Jason came into the picture. Now, understandably, as any good teenage alcoholic riddled with hormones and drug induced bravado- I didn't take too kindly to that. I challenged him to a fight, he wasn't keen at first but after a couple of shots he was willing to take me on. He shouldn't have been... I didn't fight fair- never have and never will. I had a knife on me, and as you can imagine, the outcome wasn't exactly favourable.
I will say something for my father- he has good connections. One of his old friends from Ireland was an excellent lawyer, and he got me off with an alibi that both my parents and a couple of bought off neighbours could back up- and Shannon and her friends testifying to the contrary didn't exactly work when they were all clearly hungover and jittery from drug use. Unfortunately, the fatherly love dissipated as soon as we were home from court- and I was told to pack my bags and leave. Mother didn't even leave her room to say goodbye; I imagine she was scared. She was always a bit ... vague when I visited for Christmas and Easter. After a while, I stopped bothering. I think she was relieved.
For three years I was switching it up between sleeping on the streets and getting into hostels, until at the age of nineteen- when I met Harrison.
I'll save you the bother of how we met, I think by now you're aware that nothing I've ever got myself into has ever been entirely normal or legal; but we pretty much hit it off right away, and we started living together. Then I found out- no, this isn't Chicago. Although I did find out something. You've heard of Wonderland, right? Of people being chosen for some quality they possess and being put to tests? Yeah, I know, poor fuckers. See, I'd laugh but unfortunately- I just so happened to be one of those poor fuckers dragged down the rabbit hole.
Okay, I'll admit- I aced the first test. I couldn't tell you know what I chose but I got it right, and the Bandersnatch sent me to the Cheshire Cat. I'll tell you now- Judas is an absolute cunt, and I say that in a very caring way; I have to, he's kind of our patron now... I'll explain that later. He asked me a riddle that, honestly? I doubt you could even fucking google. By some miracle I got the right answer on my second try, and was given a... fuck, I don't remember but it was something I didn't get to keep anyway- to prove myself to the Queen.
Fuck me, the Queen... I probably lost on principle because he could see how I amused I was to find out he was a he. I mean really, I thought he was the King! Or a fucking... card or some shit but no; the Queen had become a modernised version of the word, and it was so fucking funny.
Now, me and Phinneus have something in common; neither of us play fair. Unfortunately for me, it was far easier for the Queen to cheat than it was for some poor schmuck stuck playing with him, and he called me out on my own attempts to cheat (honestly, the fucking flamingo and hedgehog just weren't on my side at all, who ever thought that your own equipment would rat you out?) and I was informed I'd failed the test. I believe I responded with 'fucking fine then' and left, and how I wasn't beheaded on the spot I honestly couldn't tell you. I'm just lucky like that, I guess.
In the time that we'd known one another, me and Harrison had become quite the proficient duo in cons and theft. So, as you can imagine- when I got home I told him all about the place. He was dubious at first, thought I'd drunk a bit too much that morning; but he had nothing to lose by following me, and if there were riches to be had? Well, he was game, as always. I led him back to Wonderland through the rabbit hole (I didn't know about the Looking Glass back then, you see) and we stole through the night to the Palace. Of course, Phinneus isn't an idiot- he has the place heavily guarded and we didn't manage to get very far before we were caught. That night in the Queen of Hearts' cell was one of the most nerve wrecking of my life... and probably Harrison's, too.
That morning, we were due to lose our heads- and our lives, obviously. I remember feeling sick as we were lead to stand before the guillotine- I was first, I knew that Royal fucker was holding a grudge. Last minute he changed his mind, and we found ourselves forced to our knees with a sword at our throats; For all I know Harrison was actually cut, I just had the severely uncomfortable sensation of steel at my throat. The count down began... but before it could reach it's end there was a sudden commotion. A panther had appeared on the stage- and I tell you now I thought I was fucking hallucinating; he'd neglected to show me that form, you see. As soon as I realised it was Judas he'd already dispatched both would-be executioners and was informing Phinneus that they'd have a swap. I don't quite know if he used the heads of the failed executioners as a swap or not, but he bought our lives somehow.
And that, my friends, is how me and dear Harrison came to be doing jobs for the Cheshire Cat when he calls us. Yes, we're the Cheshire Cat's bitches. It feels fucking terrible.
Well, at least we're not dead. Quite the opposite actually- me and Harrison managed to get an alright place for ourselves in London; it's nothing fancy, but it's significantly better than a spike or a cardboard box outside Tescos, yes? I love that man, he's my better half... but not by much. No, we're not 'together' don't be disgusting. Occasionally Quinn comes over, not quite sure how we managed to swing befriending a cop but I'm not complaining- providing she doesn't turn us over for a promotion; we're quite notorious now, you see, with all the cons we've been pulling off lately. Judas helps out, with some of those nifty Wonderland potions and pills. We spend far too much time over there, I'm not completely convinced we're still mortal...
So that's my story... now I can have a fucking drink.