Daniel in Wonderland
Daniel hurried back to the well – not running, yet – and braced for a jump. There had been ledges and things; if he could get hold of one, he might be able to climb up. The first time he didn't jump with full power, just to save some hope. He didn't even reach the well's opening.
Panic was starting. He leapt again, and still barely reached the opening. There was nothing to grab.
He sank back on the floor, panting, gazing up. If he could reach a foothold he wouldn't even need to climb, he'd be able to jump between them like some goddamn video-game character – like a pinball. How far had he fallen? If he'd really fallen for as long as it'd seemed, he would have passed through the Earth's core.
But this was Wonderland, wasn't it? No rules were going to apply here.
He rushed out into the bedroom and headed for the door, but froze and felt his heart twitch in his chest when he saw a glimpse of movement. The terror was gone, and all he could think was that there was another person here, someone who might know a way out – but it was just a full-length mirror, obscured behind the heavy drapes of the bed. He saw himself, frozen in an almost graceful step, flushed with fear. His body looked slimmer than it had done before he started wearing the suit, as if that was another effect the suit had had on him.
He yanked at the door handle and it slid open, no problem. A vast shadowy hall faced him on the other side. He stopped to catch his breath – but he still had the suit, he was better equipped for anything than any normal human. The thought gave him the courage to step inside.
The hall was darker, but not completely black. It was wide, with an aisle between two rows of beds, each with its bedstand, as if this was a dorm. All the beds were empty, and as tidy as if no-one had slept in them. A strip of grey light lit the aisle and didn't quite reach the walls. The lines of beds stretched until they dwindled to nothing.
Daniel set out. There was no sign of him approaching the other end, so he started running. He was as fast and light as ever, but there was no end, no change. The only sign that he moved were the pairs of identical beds blinking past.
Even he ran out of breath eventually. He slumped next to a bed, lungs bursting. When he had recovered, he got up and headed back. After barely a minute, he reached the door he had come from.
On the table was a glass flask and a plate with a thick slice of a plain, raisin-studded cake. Perhaps they'd been there earlier and he hadn't noticed. He hesitated, but he needed all the strength he could get if he was going to get out of here. If whoever was in charge of this place wanted to poison him, there was nothing he could do about it. The drink tasted like strawberries or redcurrants, non-alcoholic; the cake was the tastiest thing he could remember eating.
He explored the room again. There was a slim door in a corner, but it only led to a bathroom. A white toothbrush stood on the sink, as if someone had left it for him.
At that point, his eyelids and limbs were getting heavy with sleep. He remembered the food, but drugged or not, his only choice was whether to collapse in the bed or on the floor.
He was about to get in the cloudy-soft bed, but hesitated. He ought to go to bed in the rabbit suit, in case anything happened – but he'd never slept in the suit before. Even now, he was more afraid of it changing him irreparably in some way than of this shaded underground realm.
He concentrated, not sure whether it would still work, but his T-shirt and jeans flew onto him, still smelling of home. It only he could travel there as easily... but even emotions were too much work. Daniel took off his jeans, then crawled into the bed. He was out as soon as his head hit the pillow.
Written by on 07 May 2019
The White Rabbit