So it's Wednesday, which means time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers!
Last week, as you'll recall, we saw Will and Doctor Smith... er, I mean Dallas and Campbell, of course lol Anyway, they were rather abruptly pushed into Wonderland by Dallas' sneaky ex. So let's see what happened to them, shall we, in this week's episode. Don't forget to see what the other Briefers have been doing. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!
Dallas in Wonderland II: Chapter Thirteen
Everything happened so quickly Dallas had no time to scream. Not a warning, or from fear, or anything else.
One moment, he and Campbell were standing in the attic of Dallas’ apartment building, watching Dallas’ ex, Quentin, open a doorway to Wonderland. The next thing they knew, they were falling through that door. Pushed by that same ex.
Why would he never learn when it came to Quentin? The man could not be trusted. End of story.
Campbell? Where was Campbell?
A panicked Dallas reached out, as well as he could, considering he was tumbling in freefall. “Campbell?” he cried out, his voice echoing strangely in his ears. God, please let Campbell be all right, please let Campbell...
He felt the warmth of Campbell’s hand in his and relaxed into the fall, just moments before they hit bottom with a thump.
Dallas must have blacked out. When he opened his eyes, he saw Campbell’s concerned face looming over him. Dallas blinked, and Campbell breathed a sigh of relief.
“Oh sugar, are you all right?”
Dallas struggled to get his bearings. He was lying on the ground, his head in Campbell’s lap. He stretched out his legs, then moved his arms and wiggled his fingers. Everything seemed to be intact.
He ran his tongue over his lips before replying. “Yeah, I’m good, what about you? Are you okay?”
“I’m just fine.” Campbell craned his neck, peering about them, although his point of view must have been rather limited, considering their positions on the ground. “So, this is Wonderland?”
Good question. How did Dallas know he could trust Quentin about that? What if there were other worlds, besides Wonderland, and he’d thrust him into one of those? What if they were stuck in this new place, never to return?
Reluctant to move, he placed one hand flat on the ground, and Campbell helped him into a sitting position. From there, he surveyed the land around them. His fingers sifted through soft green grass, lush and sweet smelling, redolent with hints of mint and wild onions.
He could see flowers in pastel shades, their delicate heads bobbing and weaving in a gentle breeze. And when Dallas turned his head to the right, he knew they were in the right place, for just before them, lay the strawberry river that wound through the heart of Wonderland.
“We’re here, Campbell, we’re really here.” He smiled up at Campbell, unable to contain his excitement at not only being here, but having Campbell with him. Campbell would be his justification and his verification that Dallas Crosby was not crazy. That he’d seen what he’d seen, and did what he did.
And then Campbell swooped down and their lips met. And for that one moment, everything else was driven straight out of Dallas’ mind. Only Campbell remained.
And then they came up for air.
“I knew you could do it, Dallas,” Campbell exclaimed, admiration evident in his voice. “I believe in you.”
Campbell’s words warmed Dallas’ heart, especially after the treachery he’d experienced recently in his life. Quentin, then Samuel, and even his sister Paris.
“Thank you, Campbell,” he murmured, feeling a warmth steal through his bones, and for a moment, he wasn’t sure he could get up at all. But then Campbell helped him up and they both stood, brushing grass from their clothes, as they surveyed the scene before them.
What to do now they were here?
Dallas glanced up and down the red river, but he saw no sign of the hippie/lawyer or his boat. He supposed he could be anywhere. And he wasn’t even sure what part of the river they were on. Nothing looked particularly familiar.
“That’s certainly an unusual looking river,” Campbell commented. “Does it taste like it looks?” He turned his inquisitive gaze to Dallas.
“You mean is it strawberry flavored? I don’t know,” Dallas admitted. “I don’t think I drank any of it when I was here last time.” He wasn’t sure if that was even a good idea, considering what happened with the mushroom.
“In a place like this, that was probably smart of you. Which way do you think we should go?”
Good question. Despite having wanted to come here, Dallas hadn’t exactly formulated a plan for what he’d do once he arrived. Other than prove to Campbell that Wonderland existed, which he’d just done.
Now he needed to gather up some sort of proof. But he wasn’t sure what that might be. And he realized that he didn’t even know how to find his way back. Last time, it had just sort of happened, when he’d awakened in Samuel’s office.
He couldn’t afford to leave their return to happenstance. Now he had Campbell to consider, and damned if he was going to let anything happen to him.
He squinted at the far side of the river. There was a bit of open land, and then trees that stretched as far as he could see, which wasn’t all that far. But was that smoke, curling up above the treetops? Where there was smoke, surely there was fire. Perhaps a home? With people? People who could give them information, perhaps?
The question was how deep was the river? Would they be able to wade across, or would they have to swim for it? If so, they’d have to be careful not to swallow the water.
“Look.” Dallas pointed in the direction of the smoke. “There maybe people there. Want to find out.”
“I’m game if you are.”
Dallas sighted along the riverbank, spotting a place where the level of the shore seemed to ease into the water. He took Campbell’s hand and led him to the spot, glancing back and forth at the water, and the far shore.
“Are there fish in there?” Campbell asked.
Good question. Dallas remembered the walking fish. But he’d created that, hadn’t he?
“Come on, Dallas.” Campbell bent down, kneeling beside the river, and plunged his hand into the red water.
“Let’s go for it.”
to be continued
Now see what the others are up to!