The rabbit paused only briefly to look back over his shoulder, to make sure she was following him, then continued on his quickly. He would stop and wait for her every ten feet or so, then would move on. Eventually, he led her to a cave-like hole in the rockwall of a nearby park.
It was a fake cave, something put up to entertain the children with their imaginations, but in afternoon light, it looked a little more threatening; a little more dark. He stopped at the entrance and turned to look back at her. "This way!" he insisted, pointing at the cave, then hopped inside and utterly dissapeared.
Elaine stopped at the mouth of the cave and just stared into it, panting heavily from the effort it took to keep up with the white ball of fluff. Her hair and clothes were now soaked with rain, which made every step she took feel like she was dragging too much weight. The only thing dry was the tank top she was wearing under her favorite jacket, with all the zippers and pockets. She could still feel the catnip, lighter, cigarettes, and loose change all in the different pockets, and was thankful that they didn't get wet. She smiled slightly in relief, zipped up the jacket the rest of the way, and started walking in. "I can't belive I'm doing this..." she muttered. She put a hand on her shoulder and winced. The pain from the car crash was finally starting to kick in. Her head was throbbing, but it was more annoying than painful, which only added to Elaine's sour mood.
The rabbit opened his watch again and the face of it lit up instantly, glowing with something one would call ethreal. He studied the face and then looked back at Elaine. "This way! Hurry! We're very late!" he said through the cave, his voice bouncing off the walls. He then hopped on, his watch face still glowing, but growing smaller and smaller from Elaine's view. What she didn't know, was that there was a large hole only a few steps in front of her.
Elaine sighed in annoyance. "Late for what, a funeral or something?" she called out, and completely slipped into the hole. She couldn't see a thing, and started to grab at the walls frantically. "Shit, shit, shit, shit!!!" She swore as she fell. Her mind flashed back to her dream and she started to panic.
She felt something slip past her hand and she grabbed at it, but when the hole suddenly got brighter, she realised it was a rubber snake. She yelped and threw it at the wall, and started to fall into things that were flying towards her. All around her were random things, simply floating as she fell down the hole. All different colors of light illuminated the tunnel as she fell, revealing things like chairs and pillows, bottles, cans, shoes, and even a fly swatter. Random playing cards whooshed past her head, and a blanket wrapped itself around her legs from beneath her as she collided with it. She was falling, falling, falling. She couldn't tell how fast, or how long she fell. She was thankful she didn't see the images like she had in her dream, but she knew that blackout was coming at the end. The bottom of the technicolor tunnel was coming up fast, but at the bottom of the tunnel was a large pile of pillows and blankets, and a mound of feathers, unlike the darkness in her dream.
Elaine fell face first into the feathers. She wasn't injured from the fall, but she was pissed since she fell on her shoulder and head, which made it hurt more than it already was. Struggling with the blanket, she finally kicked it aside and dusted herself of feathers, grumbling and cursing under her breath the whole time.
Once settled, she looked around to see where she was. It was the circular room full of doors, just like in the story. Doors of all sizes and shapes, some with curtains, some without. Elaine shook her head. "This is just... wierd." she muttered. She picked a card that had gotten stuck in her collar and flicked it, embedding it into the oak wood of a black, broken down door. "Hey rabbit, you here?" she called out.
The rabbit wriggled himself out from a hole at the base of the broken doorway in front of her and he tilted his head. "Come on, slowpoke! Why are you wasting time? Come, come! In here!" he said and turned around, fitting himself back through the doorway quickly.
Elaine shook her head, thinking the rabbit seemed different. He seemed a little more calm, but a bit more bold. She shook her head and broke down the black door. Before moving on, she looked back at the card she had embedded in one of the doors. She stared at it a moment before taking the ace of Heart's card with her, putting it in her pocket. She walked ahead into a a dark hallway and ended up in another circular room. She growled in irritation and took her hair down from the ponytail she was wearing, rubbing out her headache. The only thing different with this room was that there was a table in the middle, and no pillows, blankets, or thankfully; feathers.
"Are you kidding me..." she mumbled darkly, and quickly turned to come back from whence she came. However, there was nothing there, just ugly puke green wallpaper staring back at her. She lost her temper and punched the wall, but nothing happened. "Damnit!" she cursed. She stood there breathing heavily for a moment, to calm herself down. She then went and tried to open some of the doors. None of them opened.
She kicked a brown barn looking door with one, last angry kick, though it was gently enough to make the door merely shutter in distaste for such violence. She shook her head and looked at the table. Noticing a key and a small bottle full of a rosy colored liquid, Elaine shook her head. "This can't be right..." she said, exhausted. There was a noise of scuffling behind her, and she turned to see what it was. She saw a small shelf with the cake that said "Eat me" on it. She took it, and turned back to the table.
There was now a small note under the bottle. On the bottle was now a label, "Drink me", and on the note it said, "I'm short and stout, my nose is also my hand. Shake it, and I'll let you in."
Elaine stared at the drink and the key for what seemed like a long time. "This can't be real... this can't be happening." she mumbled. Putting the key and the cake in her pocket, she reached out and took the bottle into her hand, and took a small sip of the drink. Immediately, when she drank, she started shaking her head. "No, no, no! Am I stupid, drinking some random stuff?!" she scolded herself, looking around, noticing everything was getting bigger. When it stopped, she looked around in even more disbelief.
"This is so a hallucination... or I'm dreaming... yeah, I'm so totally dreaming this, that I'm in a book. I might as well go along with it until I wake up. I'm going to wake up... in my car.... that's probably on fire..." she said. As she said this, she couldn't help but to be thankful that she was dreaming, especially if she was in that position. She walked over to a red velvet drape and moved it. A door her size was in front of her. She tried to open it, but it wouldn't budge. "Great."
"Hey! Don't be so pushy!" came a voice from in front of her. The doorknob of the door was talking to her, and watching her through two eyes that were made of screwheads. "Did you read the note? No one ever reads the note." he sighed, shaking his 'head'.
Elaine looked over at him with a little bit of confusion and jumped back. "Why would you have a key if you weren't locked... and why the hell am I talking to a doorknob?" she asked herself the question, then shook her head and sighed, now even more irritated than when she had punched the wall.
"Because that key isn't mine! The White Rabbit left it there for you!" The doorknob insisted with a sigh. "And my name isn't doorknob, it's Mr. Doorman to you. Sheesh! So rude and stupid." he scoffed, feeling offended. "You need to learn some manners!"
Elaine rolled her eyes. "Look, I just want to find that damn rabbit and find out what is going on around here. Can I just 'shake your hand'?" she asked, then added with a smirk, "without you biting me?"
"Do you just randomly go up to people and shake their hands for no reason?! How rude! I don't even know who you are! I would perhaps shake your hand if you properly introduced yourself to me like a lady! Alice was never this rude." he said with an equally irritated sigh.
"My name is Elaine." she said with a calm, much nicer tone, sitting in front of him. She was too exhausted to even keep up. She stared at him. "And there is no way in hell I'm anything like 'Alice'. The only girl I knew that was like that just recently died. Too gruesome to talk about." Elaine sighed. "She was my best friend, and she always talked about how she was the heir to Alice. I'm nothing like her, but it looks like in this dream, the rabbit has chosen me." she shrugged.
Mr. Doorman's face stayed still and silent for a moment, gaping at Elaine, then he shuddered with a rattle of metal on metal. "Y-you're not Alisa? Oh dear..." he whimpered. "This isn't good. But... The White Rabbit wouldn't have chosen you if he didn't know if you could handle it. Very well, it's nice to meet you Elaine, I will shake your hand now."
Elaine stood up and shook his 'hand'. "It's nice to meet you." she said with a slight, forced smile. She was trying to be nicer, trying to believe this was all a dream, trying to act like it was a dream. It was starting to seem all too real. How did this place expect Alisa? Would Elaine even mourn her friend in her dreams? Elaine shivered in disgust at the thought.
The instant her hand touched his nose and 'shook' it, the door opened. He smiled widely with a laugh. "Ooh, that tickles!" he laughed jovially and then nodded. "You may pass! Keep that key close to you too, you'll need it. And the bottle, and the cake!" he said.
Elaine nodded. "Yeah, I know." she said and checked to see if they were all still in her pocket. She nodded her head when she noticed it they were. The key, the cake, the bottle, and even the playing card, had all shrunk with her. She took out the cake and zipped up the pocket. When she walked out, she took a bite, and when she grew back to normal size, then she lit up one of her cigarettes.
Elaine looked back to see if the door was still there. The doorman winked at her as the door shut with a soft click. Elaine took a hesitant step forward and tried to open it, but it was locked. With a shake of her head, she turned to face what would lie ahead.
<--- Wonderland Mishaps 1