• Jonathan Shuerger

Alex in Wonderland (Part Two)

Bending down, I banged on the door, but it wouldn't open. It just jammed a splinter into my palm. My day thus far was going swell.

After painfully extricating the offending splinter, I looked around. There was no sign of the hole I'd crawled in through.

Of course not. If there had been, this stupid story would have ended right now. I looked at the table. A key and a candy sat on it. Sounded like a bad joke.

I looked at the candy, and it had two imperative words written on it.



In frustrated anger, I picked up the candy bar and chomped off the end. I was punishing an enemy. I growled maniacally as I slowly made my way to the end of the candy bar. I imagined I could hear its pathetic screams as its doom approached.

That's when I noticed that the table was getting bigger. No, it wasn't getting bigger, I was getting littler! More little. Littler. Whatever.

I dropped the candy bar and began yelling. It was kinda cool to hear. It went from my normally deep and manly voice to a helium version. Honestly, I sounded like a Munchkin. I couldn’t help myself.

Follow the yellow brick road.”

After a few minutes of rolling around, laughing hysterically at myself, I got up, wiped the tears away, and walked over to the door. Behold and lo, it was my size!

Anyone who would have walked in would have heard tinny screams of joy. Yup, right before they grabbed the fly swatter.

I walked over to the door with determination, confidently reached out and grasped the doorhandle, twisted with gusto, and yanked my own arm out of its socket.

After a bout of unmanly crying and relocating my shoulder, I used the incredible mental powers available to me and surmised that the door was locked. Excellent deduction, Wilcott. Here, have a snack.

The door was locked. And the key was still on the table, only three feet over my head. It might as well have been three hundred.

Of course. Naturally. Why not?

I started grousing to myself as I climbed the legs of the table. "Other people get hit by cars. Other people get hit by lightning, or something normal like that. But no, not me. I get possessed rabbits and fifty foot tables.”

Still muttering to myself, I made it to the surface of the glass table and ran towards the key.

So far, so good. It was stopping that was the trick.

Flailing my arms, I zoomed right past the key, directly toward the other end of the table. Tinny screams erupted from my throat as I careened toward a fifty-foot drop. I fell down, and praise be, my leather jacket caught the table and brought me to a stop, inches from death.

Breathing hard, which sounds funny, by the way, when you sound like a Munchkin, I rolled away from the edge, and this time, I very carefully stepped over to the key.

I had dragged the key over to the edge, when a miscalculation struck my mind. I'd gotten up here, great. How was I going to get down with a hundred-pound key? And once I got down, how was I going to get the key into the lock and turn it?

I needn’t have worried. My weight shifted and I started dancing on the edge, looking like something out of Riverdance.

I lost the battle and fell. My rear-end slammed onto the hard metal ridge of the table and began sending signals of please don't do that.

I’d love to be able to tell you that my manly poise took over, my wits came about me and I mastered my situation by just leaning backward.

Needless to say, I went screaming into the abyss.

Luckily, I was still holding the key, and it slipped under me, acting as a surfboard. I hit the downward slope of the table leg and careened toward the door.

The wind was in my hair, my adrenaline was pumping and I was feeling awesome, having cheated death. I turned the key towards the door, thinking that this would be easy.

It was.

That's when I realized that the key had no intention of stopping or even slowing down. The front of the key was fine; it hit the door and stopped. However, following the laws of inertia, which state that things in motion tend to remain in motion, I got catapulted at the door at Mach Two.

It didn't have a chance. I blasted through the door, full speed ahead, sending wood flying everywhere. My unconscious body flew through the air and hit the side of a house, hitting so hard I knocked stuff off of the walls.

Luckily, I revived fairly quickly and saw the rabbit leaving the house at a panicked run. Jittery little guy.

I groaned after it, " Yeah, that's right, you'd better run! As soon as I catch up with you, Imma make me a new watchband!"

However, I hurt. I couldn't hardly run anymore.

I walked into the house, looking for a bed. Which is to say, I dragged my broken body into the house, searching for something flat and half-way comfortable-looking to throw my beaten carcass down on. All I could think of was sleep... and immediate medical attention.

Come to think of it, I was thirsty, too. All of that running, sliding, and screaming had taken some kind of toll on my throat, and the throat was not pleased about it.

I found the kitchen, and lucky for me, there was a bottle of what looked like milk on the little round table in the middle of the room. I sighed deeply in relief.

I walked over, and picked up the bottle. There was a nagging little something in my memory as my gaze passed the table, but I ignored it, sap that I am.

As I chugged the milk, the image of the table flashed across my mind. The little round table—in the middle of the room.

I ripped my lips away from the bottle, and frantically turned it in my palm, desperately searching for what I knew would be there.


Aw, crumb.

I felt myself start swelling. Sort of in a resigned way, I sat down, watching my body get bigger.

It hit me just as I hit the ceiling that I should try to get out of the house, since I had absolutely no idea how big I was gonna get.

Trying to be careful, I squeezed myself through the kitchen doorway and made it into the living room. Unfortunately, I quickly saw that there was no way I was getting out that door. I stuck one leg into the hallway, the other up the chimney, an arm out of the window, and the other I put close to my face in case I wanted to suck my thumb. I felt like crying. I wanted my mom.

I lay there, feeling sorry for myself for about twenty minutes. I could not move, and apparently whatever it was that I drank digests really fast, 'cuz I really had to go. You know, go.

That was when I heard somebody coming. Lots of somebodies.

I could hear the rabbit. My problems were forgotten in an instant at the sound of that Brooklyn accent.

"Well, you tell me what it is, genius! You're the exterminator!"

I heard a little scurrying outside the window where my arm was hanging. I willed my arm to look as non-threatening as possible, hoping for just one moment.

The genius started talking in a self-important tone of voice.

" It is, in my expert opinion, a member of the family Bodius, genus Armus."

I barely suppressed a snort. The rabbit was right. This guy was certifiable.

Feeling something prod my hand, I reacted. With a lightning fast motion, I reached out and snatched the critter in my hand. Knowing it had to be the rabbit, I started squeezing.

I heard frantic yelling from outside, and then tiny claws trying to pry my hand open. I squeezed harder, trying not to lose my grip on the wriggling rodent. I grinned fiendishly at the little choking noises coming from in my hand.

That was when I heard the rabbit yell, "All right! Stand back!"

I started thinking, How’s he talking like that. I’ve got him right here—

I was still thinking that when rabbit fangs sank into my hand.

I yelled in pain, and the entire house shook. Things came off of the wall and started hitting me on the back. I released whatever it was that had gotten into my hand, and tried to withdraw the abused appendage back into the house. Which, of course, was impossible, because it was twenty feet long.

I scootched and scurried around until I could get my eye level with the other window. I hoped the rabbit had good insurance, cuz' I was wrecking his house.

What I saw was four little animals crouching around a crushed-looking lizard, fanning his face and slapping his wrists.

Whoops. My bad.

Then I saw the rabbit walking around, spitting and rubbing his mouth.

That was the last straw.

I began yelling, "Look, you little rodent, if you don't find some way real quick to get me out of here, I'm gonna tie your ears into a knot and play tetherbunny with you!"

All four of the other animals cowered down at hearing the rabbit's house yelling at them. So did the rabbit, for a minute, but that New York strain came out again.

"Oh, yeah? Says who?"

"You know perfectly well who this is, you glorified rat!"

"Call me a creep, willya? Well, if I'm a creep, then you're a sud-suckin', mud-swallowin' sap who gets stuck in other people's houses without an invitation!"

"Oh, yeah? Get in arm's reach and say that, you little pipsqueak!"

It occurred to me that this was probably the most mature conversation I'd had in years.

I heard the rabbit scream in exasperation.

"Oh, for Pete's sake! The girl wasn't this much trouble!"

Girl? What girl?

I saw the rabbit stomp right up to my glaring eye, and throw a bottle at it.

I blinked before I was blinded for life, and drew back into the house, startled. The rabbit adjusted his glasses, turned on his heel and stalked away.

I yelled after him, "Hey! Hey, what is this?"

The rabbit turned, and with malice in its eyes, snarled at me, and said, " It's what you drink to make you small, you egotistical youngster! Now drink it and get out of my house!"

I looked at the bottle. Needless to say, I was hesitant. I examined it in every possible way until, finally, I noticed that it had no message on it of any kind.

Ah, what the heck. I took off the top, swigged it, and began shrinking rapidly, all the way down to my original size. Relieved, I felt my body over, making sure that I was all there. I made a mental note to see the school shrink when I got back. Heh, heh, the school shrink. Get it? The sch...forget it.

I walked outside, and looked around. I was alone again. It felt great.

And so with that, I took my first steps into this strange place. They were limping, pain- filled steps. They weren't going to be the only ones.

There were only two things I knew for certain.

I had to go to the bathroom really, really bad, and I most definitely was not in Kansas anymore.

Wait. There was something else I knew. If anything jumped out of the bushes and started singing, especially rabbits, they were gonna die. Slowly. Provided that all four of their legs were broken so I could catch up with them.

Fridays don’t start out much worse than this.