Down the Rabbit Hole
I know I put that blasted still around here someplace. Shouldn’t sample so much of the stuff before I draw up my map this time. It sorta makes the trek out here bearable, though. Middle of no place and all that.
My flask gives me extra fortification for the quiet. The stillness. It’s a backdrop for thousands of shifty things I never can quite make out. But, they’re out there. Just beyond the line of trees and scrub. Over the lip of the next hill. Or the next.
I thrash through a thicket. Climb over some rocks. Next thing I know, I’m falling. Through a hole in the earth. A tipsy speed demon in the dark.
I grab at flimsy roots and chaw on hands full of dirt. With a quick look at the fleeting pinhole of light, I vow not to drink so much next time, if only the Almighty will give me a next time. Jagged rocks scrape the skin off my knuckles and tear at my work clothes.
The earth is eating me alive. I wonder if all the alcohol I consumed will give it heartburn, make it burp.
That’s what I think right before I land hard on my rear end. Water trickles from the end of my nose, and when I look up, I see I’ve only fallen about twenty feet. All that drunken melodrama, for twenty measly feet into a well or some such.
Only, when I look around me, I’m in more of a cavern or some such. The rock floor is slick with sweat, and the faint light from above twinkles on the walls and ceiling, constellations underground. Cool air blows in my face from one direction or another.
Some old man once told me this land was like a buried sponge. Crannies and crevices, cracks and canyons that twist and bore on forever.
I always thought he sampled too much of his own fire water, but as I crumpled my hat and set it alight with a dose of my own moonshine, I knew better. Behind the shadows that danced on the walls and licked the white button roof, I saw it again: that knowing look behind the whites of his eyes. He saw this place, right before he went to hell.
Or wherever he ended up.
A fiction series to explore a place. Who knows where I will go, but it will NOT be Wonderland.