Suggested Audio Candy:
Danny Elfman Alice’s Theme
I’ve been perched on this wretched riverbank for over a sodding hour now and I am beginning to feel a little dejected. Life can be such a banal endeavor when watching it pass you by with nothing to lift the veil of boredom. How do fishermen do it? I get that it must be quite the adrenaline rush when that inevitable bite finally comes but what about the rest of the time? Sitting there in pea-green galoshes, staring out into space without a jot of visual distraction. That may appeal to some but my attention span is far too fleeting. Should I be left long enough to my own devices then I invariably end up forging lifelong friendships with caterpillars. Sanity is a fickle creature and mine has had one foot out the door for some time now. Should it stay or go? I say close the door behind you when you leave.
I just wish there was something to break the monotony. Maybe a courageous salmon shall leap onto my lap for a bedtime story. By all accounts that would be simply delightful. Something has to happen soon as I’m beginning to find my mind and I’ve been attempting to give it the slip all evening. There is that curious looking bunny, he wasn’t there a moment ago. Ordinarily a lonesome hare wouldn’t be out-of-place in surroundings such as these but when the white rabbit in question is clad in a tweed waistcoat with monocle and riding crop tucked underneath his wing, whilst clutching a pocket watch you know you’re in for an adventure. He seems flustered, maybe a tad short of time, as it appears he is delayed for a rather important social gathering. “I’m going to be late. Oh bother. Tardiness is most frowned upon.” Well, that’s the first sign of madness. Talking to oneself is deemed to signal the removal of one’s hinges.
I think I shall tail him, it’s not like there’s anything better to do right now and he’s bound to lead me to some place more happening than this. Even the water looks bored here. He hasn’t even registered my existence; too busy babbling incoherently, huffing and puffing in turn. I think I’ve sussed it; he has probably been attempting to outrun the tortoise and lost his bearings. I’m sure he’s worrying about nothing as it’s unlikely he’ll ever lose that particular head-to-head. I think when I eventually catch him up I shall suggest a mug of herbal tea. I packed my finest bone crockery for this expedition and, as long as he’s okay with double-dipped tea bags, I’m sure he’ll enjoy my brew. I even brought along some home-baked macaroons and he’s more than welcome to help himself to those.
He’s a spritely little fella I’ll give him that. I’m attempting to remain in his slip stream to give me hope of staying in pursuit but he’s putting some distance between us with his bounding stride. Just as it appears I may have to give up as a painful stitch begins to manifest, he stops dead in his tracks. I keep my distance as I don’t wish to startle him further and instead I watch intently from my safe vantage. He is standing astride a rabbit hole, possibly his warren, and preparing to take the plunge. It doesn’t look exactly spacious and I will likely be required to dislocate both shoulders to make it through his slim passageway. Nevertheless, it has to be better than sitting around on the riverbank twiddling my thumbs. It is now or never.
Down the rabbit hole he goes, but he appears to have left his trusty pocket watch behind. Judging by his panicked posturing I would assume he will be kicking himself when he realizes he’s travelling light. I must catch him up and present him with his timepiece before he becomes inconsolable, there’s nothing more distressing than a riled-up rabbit after all. Take Roger for example, backed up to the whiskers with sexual frustration and cock-teased relentlessly by Jessica, he was a nervous wreck and a shoo-in for myxomatosis. Nobody wishes to see that, especially if there’s a chance that it can be avoided with a little perseverance and a kind turn. I’m fully aware that Bonnie Tyler has been holding out for a hero but she can hold her horses as there are more pressing matters at hand.
The pocket watch is a real beauty; ornate and intricately designed, it would no doubt fetch a handsome price on eBay. However, it appears to be faulty. The hands are moving like clockwork but in entirely the wrong direction, no wonder he has been harvesting an embolism. I glance once more at the rabbit hole and it seems that my destiny is clear, this could be my good deed for the day. Without further ado I leap on in. He must’ve been suffering from an upset tummy as he left a token for me within the winding tunnel. A hanging fart cloud to be precise. I shall be seeking remuneration when this is said and done. I wriggle past the toxic obstruction with nostrils firmly clenched and discern a vague light source before me. Just a few more yards to go, there’s no turning back now.
Finally I have completed my descent and plummet to hard ground with an almighty thud. It knocks the air clean from my sails and I lay dormant momentarily while I ascertain whether my coccyx is still intact. That was more disconcerting than childbirth and a pilgrimage I won’t be taking again in a hurry. It’s no small wonder that newborn infants often suffer distress on excavation from their cozy womb baskets. I hope there’s a breast to feed on at the end of all this, a little lactose would certainly perk me up right now. It would appear all my bones are still connected and no irreparable damage has been inflicted so I dust myself off and take a gander at my new locale.
What a curious place I find myself in. It is astonishing what one can discover in the most unexpected of places, not at all what I was expecting. There are locked doors of varying shapes and sizes to both my left and right and a small room at the end of the hallway which offers the only route forward by the looks of it. I cannot reach the sky light any longer so purging forth appears my only option. I make my way to the crawlspace exercising extreme caution as what the mind’s eye believes to have seen is often very different from what is actually observed. I suspect my mind’s eye has been on the acid tabs as there’s a talking door knob gesturing me over. Maybe he can enlighten me as to where that frantic rabbit has bounded off to.
“Excuse me sir, I wonder if you would be able to shed some light on a certain white rabbit? He was here just before me but appears to have disappeared into thin air and I need to return this to him.” I hold out the pocket watch and it clearly means something to him. “I know exactly where he is my good man. If I were you I would leave it with me and I’ll be sure to make sure he gets it” he replies. I almost agree and then remember the warning given to me as a child. Never trust a talking door knob. “Thanks but I think I would rather deliver this myself” I stand firm, much to his annoyance. “Suit yourself smeg face”. With that, he pulls himself shut, leaving me marooned inside the chamber. Turns out it was sound advice and I’ll never trust another door knob after this, talking or otherwise. First thing when I get home I’m getting those fixtures fitted from Star Trek. You know, the ones that go psssh.
Now I am faced with something of a predicament. There is another exit but it is far too small to consider sliding through. There are some keys on the table alongside a bottle labelled DRINK ME. There is also a cake on the floor which says EAT ME in neatly arranged currants. I’m neither hungry or thirsty right now so ignore both, grab the keys and turn them in the tiny door hole. To my intense gratification it opens. Less pleasing is the fact that I stand little chance of squeezing through, even if I hold in my gut. That’s it then. Not only have I failed to track down that rabbit but now I am trapped for all eternity in this hell hole. Shame, it looks like a real wonderland the other side. Real smooth Keeper.
As downbeat as I’m feeling right now, I’m starting to see the advantage of having snack and refreshments laid on in my honor. Maybe if I take miniscule enough nibbles and swigs I can last out a few days. Hopefully, by that time, that door knob will have cooled off sufficiently to enable my exit. I start with the cake. What is it they say? A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips. I should’ve checked the calorie count beforehand as instantly I begin to bloat. Within seconds I have enlarged to such a preposterous size that the room can barely contain me. If my coccyx wasn’t FUBAR before then I’m fairly assured it is now and suddenly depleting oxygen has become something of an issue also. I panic and piss my breaches, something I’m not proud to admit, but a fact of life regardless.
Fuck it. Looks like I’m not getting out of here any time soon so I may as well drown my sorrows. I take a sip and another metamorphosis begins. I’m shrinking, it’s actually worked. Who would ever have thunk it? I continue my tipple but this time knock it back in one and, before I can say Danny De Vito, my proportions have altered dramatically. Now I am a mere speck and the door before me suddenly isn’t posing such a conundrum. I’d rather have walked over the threshold on my own terms but instead I drop straight into my own pool of urine and the choice is taken out of my hands. As I swim forward I take consolation in the fact that whatever awaits through this portal can’t be any more bizarre than what I’ve experienced here. Thank God for small mercies. Right, where’s that fucking rabbit?
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2014