Dallas in Wonderland #16
Dallas looked up, looked down, then back at the large green stalks with the serrated edges. Grass? Really? He ran his hand along one in disbelief, staring as a thin line manifested itself on his skin. It quickly turned red, as it filled with blood, and it also stung.
Shaking his hand, he spit out what little of the mushroom he still had in his mouth. Apparently he’d picked the wrong side. So much for playing the odds. Now, should he turn the damn thing around and try again? But what if he were wrong? What if there was no right side? Would he grow smaller and smaller until he became as tiny as a grain of sand? Or even smaller? Would he simply wink out of existence? Would he still be sentient?
Think, Dallas, think. Most of all, don’t panic.
Casting about in his mind for a prudent course of action, the world about him grew dark, as a large shadow fell across the ground. For a moment, Dallas feared a sudden storm had developed. Just what he needed. At his present size, a good shower would easily wash him away. The shadow seemed to loom larger, accompanied by strong winds. He glanced fearfully up, only to discover not a major storm system, but a monstrous black crow, flapping its huge flame-tipped wings.
The crow flew so close he could see its cold, beady eyes. The feathers about its head were red, and the it sported a long pigtail.
He hastily stuffed what was left of the mushroom into his pocket and prepared to run. Fight or flight, his brain said, and he chose flight over taking his chances with a monster of that size, considering that he was shorter than a blade of grass himself.
The giant bird’s shadow engulfed him before he could flee. With a raucous caw, it lifted him from the ground, and began to rise. Dallas struggled, pummeling it with his diminutive fists. Damn. Now he knew how the kid who faced down Goliath felt. Very puny indeed.
The crow held him fast by Dr. Levi’s coat. Dallas was fearful that its talons might poke holes in the fabric, but that was really a moot point if he was going to end up dead soon anyway, unable to return the garment to its rightful owner. He could barely hear himself think above the cacophonous cries.
But how, his logical brain argued, had the coat shrunk to his current size? That made no sense whatsoever. Perhaps it wasn’t exactly germane at the moment, but it did prevent him from panicking quite as much as he might otherwise have done.
He barely had time to mull over the question when he felt the bird’s harsh grip suddenly released. Momentarily he felt as if he were suspended in the air; that lasted for all of two seconds, before he began a rapid head-over-heels descent, frantically flailing as he plummeted back to earth. He couldn’t think of a single prayer—appropriate or otherwise. He opened his mouth, intending to scream, but what came out instead was, "It's time to make the doughnuts..." just before he hit the water with a small splash.
Water filled his mouth—it tasted like strawberry. The current was faster than he’d realized when he’d gazed on the river from the safety of the shore—and from quite another height. He tried to right himself so that he could at least attempt to swim, but he could do no more than float helplessly on his bank, and watch the shore fly by at breakneck speeds, tangerine and raspberry blurs.
He heard a sudden splash. Turning his head, he beheld a bedraggled mouse. He swam alongside him in short frantic strokes. Dallas heard him mutter something that sounded like, “Carving knife! Carving knife!”
“I say!” Dallas hailed the woebegone chap. “Having a swim, are we?” Somehow it seemed rude to ask if the mouse had fallen in, and this gambit sounded far more diplomatic.
The mouse turned his head, regarding Dallas, before emitting a great squeak. Dallas wondered what he had said that was so offensive when he realized it wasn’t him, it was something behind him, just as a large strawberry wave broke over them both. Did rivers really have such waves Dallas was wondering when he suddenly found himself tumbled pell-mell tumble-bumble onto a sandy beach, taking a large mouthful of sand in the process.
He spluttered, spitting out sand and water, as he took note of his new surroundings. He had no way of telling how far he’d been carried by the errant river. Nothing in this place even looked familiar. As strange as this day had been so far, he wouldn’t have been at all surprised to see Doctor Who come strolling along, in any of his many incarnations. Or even a Dalek or two.
“One more for the party.”
Dallas’ head jerked up. Apparently he was not alone.
“Throw another shrimp on the barbie, why don’t you?” The speaker was dressed completely in black leather, including the cap upon his head, and the shades that covered his eyes. He was stretched out full length on the side, his head propped up in one hand.
As Dallas watched in stunned disbelief, a policeman in full uniform came up behind the leather man, pushing at him with a booted foot. The latter rolled over, giving Dallas an eyeful of his assless pants.
“Do I look like your personal chef?” the cop queried. Leatherman’s response was muffled against the sand.
“Seriously, don’t you think we should find…” Dallas’ attention was drawn to a third man. He wore leather garments, fringed, decorated in beads, and a feathered headdress, as if he were some sort of tribal chief.
“Chief, pipe down.” Yet another country heard from. This man was dressed more simply, in working man’s garments and a hard hat.
What the fuck?
to be continued
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