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Topsy Turvy

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For being only eight years old Billy thought he was really smart. His teachers always wrote nice things on his report cards. He could read books that were above his age level. His mom always said he was. But most importantly he knew when to get out of the house and leave his dad alone.

So currently he was at the beach. His dad had began to slam things around and Billy had ran out as fast as he could. He was playing in the sand and watching the waves come in.

Suddenly there was a white rabbit in front of him. It’s little nose twitching as it looked at him.

“Billy?”

Billy’s eyes grew wide. The rabbit had just spoken to him.

“What are - hey wait!”

The rabbit ran off down the sand. Billy got up and followed as fast as his legs would carry him. He didn’t pay attention to his surroundings. The only thing in his eyes was the white rabbit.

The rabbit stopped slightly in front of him. Billy swears the animal winked at him before going into a hole. When Billy got there he stopped to catch his breath.

“Mr. Rabbit? Please come back.”

Billy leaned down to look for the rabbit. He grabbed onto the edge to look deeper. The ground fell out and he found himself falling. He screamed and tried to grab onto something. Everything flashed by and he closed his eyes and feared the upcoming landing.

Much to his surprise the landing was soft. When he opened his eyes again he saw the white rabbit running down a hallway. Billy got up and followed.

“Hey wait you stupid rabbit!”

Billy stopped in a room full of doors. He looked around and saw the smallest door closing. He rushed towards it but it closed before he got there. Angry he punched the door.

“Ow! Watch it!” Billy took a step back in shock. “You want in? Get a key!”

Billy backed up to the other side of the room. He might have been eight but he was smart. Doors should not talk. This can’t be real. His chest started to feel tight and tears burned his eyes. This can’t be happening and he’s lost.

Something happened then that scares Billy even more. A wave comes out of nowhere to pick him up and rush at the door. The door opens quickly and he’s spilled out into some kind of forest.

Shakily Billy got to his feet and began walking into the forest. The leaves and bushes around him moved. He froze, then tried to stand tall like his dad.

“Who’s there? I’m not scared!”

“Not scared eh?”

“Not polite, I’d say.”

“Right right no manners.”

Billy turned around. In front of him stood two round identical men. Predatory smiles wide in their faces. Billy didn’t scream but he did turn and run. He wished he never followed that rabbit. He kept running until he hit a giant mushroom.

“Whoooo are yoooou?”

Smoke blew into his face from the top of the mushroom. Billy looked up to see a caterpillar sitting on it. A pipe held tightly in its arms.

“What?” He coughed out.

“Are you stupid child?” The caterpillar blew out more smoke. “Whoooo are yoooou?”

“Billy.”

“I didn’t ask for your name. I asked who you are.”

“What?!” Billy was confused. What did this thing want from him?

“Look at this.”
“Can you believe it?”
“What an ugly little flower.”
“Quite dumb too.”

At that moment Billy realized the flowers around him were talking. He backed away from the mushroom and started running again.

“Where am I?”

Billy was terrified in this place. Everything was weird and not as it should be. He ran past trees barely noticing as it got darker. Soon, however, he couldn’t see anything. He fell to his knees and began to cry.

“Why did I follow that stupid rabbit?” He sobbed.

“Out if curiosity I’d say. Although he is pretty dumb. So I agree you should have followed someone better.”

Billy looked up but saw no one around. The area around him slowly started to brighten, but still no one was in sight.

“Who’s there?”

Right after he said it Billy regretted it. A smile formed out of thin air looking sinister and mean.

“I would say but as you can see I’m not all here.” Billy didn’t know what the smile meant.

“Well how do I get out of here?”

“That depends on where you want to go.” The smile twitched and slowly the head and body of a cat appeared. “I could take you to the Hare and the Hatter if you’d like. But they’re not all there either.”

“What are you talking about?”

“They’re mad but they can’t help it,” the cat rolled around on a tree branch. “We’re all mad here.”

Billy was confused by the cat. But he still followed the animal hoping it would at least lead him out of the forest. It seemed to be a good choice because soon he saw a small house in front of him. The young boy walked faster but stopped when he got to the edge of the forest. In front of the house was a long table full of teapots.

“No! No room! No room!”

Billy screamed as a teapot came flying at his head. He heard a yelp from the cat as well.

“Now, now lets not be rude.”

Billy looked up to see a tall man wearing a top hat walking across the table top towards him. Somehow the man managed to not knock over any of the teapots. He gracefully jumped off the table and landed in front of the boy.

“Hello Hatter,” the cat purrs lazily.

“Hello Chesh, and hello you. You’re very late. Naughty.” The man gently took his hand and pulled him towards the table. “Don’t mind the Hare. He forgot you were coming. Now time for tea.”

Billy was confused. How could he be late for something he didn’t know about?

“Who are you?”

“The Hatter! At your service,” the man smiled wide as he bowed. “But you can call me Steve if you want.”

“Okay Steve, what’s going on?” Billy knew he was being rude. That he could never talk like tia around his dad. But his dad wasn’t here.

“Teatime!”

At Steve’s words the table came to life. The pots started steaming and whistling. Cookies and small cakes floated around Billy’s head. Billy grabbed a cookie smiling. He didn’t know what was going on but he enjoyed himself. Nothing this fun ever happened at home. Steve was funny even if he was a little weird. Nothing the man said made sense.

“Off with his Head!”

The shout rang in the air. Both Steve and the Hare froze. The cat slowly disappeared.

“Damn it’s the big head.”

Steve quickly grabbed Billy’s hand again and pulled him up. They went into the small house as the sound of marching came closer. Steve led Billy to a large mirror and stopped.

“Go in,” his face looked sad.

“What?”

“The Queen will hurt you if she sees you’re here. Go, go home.”

“But...”

“I’ll see you again Billy. Now go.”

Someone pounded on the door and Steve pushed him to the mirror. Billy tried to look back but he fell through the glass. He was scared he broke it. But when he looked around he was in his parents bedroom. He turned around to look in the mirror but Steve was nowhere in sight.

The door flew open and his dad stood in the doorway. Billy looked up at him in fear.

“What are you doing in here boy?”

Billy quickly tried to explain everything that had happened. As he talked he didn’t notice his dad getting angrier. He only stopped when he felt the back of his dad’s hand connect with his head. He quickly became quite and left his parents room. He also decided to never again tell someone what happened.