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Jason slid down the spiraling red tube, feeling adrenaline burst inside his chest. He couldn’t stop smiling. This tube slide was his favorite at the park. Once his feet touched the coarse, dark mulch, he made a dash up the stairs to go down again. But by the time he got there, other kids were waiting in line to go down the slide.
Impatient for his turn to come, Jason began to fidget with the candy wrapper in his pocket. This didn’t speed up the line. Not knowing what else to do, he started to aimlessly look around him. To his right, Jason saw his father sitting on a metal bench, still reading his book. This didn’t make sense to Jason.
He didn’t understand why his father was just reading a book. If he wanted to, he could be standing in line like he was, waiting to slide down the tube. Or he could be on swing, seeing how far he could reach to the sky. Or he could be in the sand box, building a castle full of brave, heroic knights. But instead, he just sat there, reading a stupid book. How boring.
Finally, it was Jason’s turn to slide down the tube and he wasted no time. His body shot down the tube like a bullet. And once again, he came to a quick landing in the ugly mulch. But as he stood up, something caught his eye. Beyond the playground, there was something white poking out of the grass. Jason’s curiosity immediately took over is body, commanding it to go and find out what it was.
When he was a small distance away, he saw that the white thing was a young rabbit. Jason’s mind rushed with adventures he and his rabbit could go on if it were his pet. Jason was now on a mission: catch the rabbit.
But just as he took a step closer, the rabbit’s head snapped up. Jason froze, hoping that the rabbit wouldn’t notice him. But it was too late; the rabbit saw him and was dashing across the grass. Jason tried to keep up, but the heat of summer seemed to slow him down and rabbit was just too fast.
After some unknown time, the rabbit dashed into the forest. But despite that his father had told him to never go into the forest, Jason was too persistent. He was going to catch the rabbit, one way or another.
The forest soon started to slant down, making Jason go faster. But the rabbit was still out of reach. The forest became steeper and steeper, but Jason kept on running. Suddenly, his foot was caught in by an unburied tree root and his body sprang forward. After being airborne for a few seconds, Jason’s body collided with the ground. He tried to stop, but his body continued to roll and tumble.
Finally, after some time, Jason’s body was halted by a tree. For a second, he felt as if the collision had stolen any breath in his lungs. But then air came back to him and he then faced the pain of his body. While trying to sit his body upright, he realized that some dirt had gotten into his mouth. Immediately, he spat it out, gagging at its foul texture and taste. Once the dirt was out, he noticed that it had mixed with his blood.
He tried to stand up, but a sharp shock of pain shot up his leg, and Jason collapsed back to the ground in reaction as he cried in pain. He looked down to see what had caused the awful surge of pain and saw that his ankle had been twisted out of place. All of these pains made him cry.
Jason started to look around to see which way would take him back to the playground. He might not be able to walk, but he could still crawl. But no matter which direction he turned his head, he saw nothing but trees that looked like copies of each other. Not knowing what else to do, Jason cried out for help. Silence. Jason cried out again. This time, a crow cawed, laughing at Jason’s foolishness.
Fear overwhelmed his mind and tears blurred his vision. The forest began to shrink down on top of him. The crow continued to laugh at him. All Jason could do was hug his legs and cry.
“Why are you crying?” Jason jumped, surprised by the new voice.
“Where are you,” Jason tried to rub away his tears.
“Here,” from behind the tree that he was leaning against, a girl walked up beside him. She was about his age. Her black hair up in two pig tails and was wearing a white dress.
“I fell,” Jason told the girl while trying to stop his runny nose. “I can’t stand up.”
“Uh-oh, looks like I’ll have to carry you,” she then wrapped her arms around him, took a deep breath, and tried to pull him. Unsuccessful, she dropped the boy’s body. “You’re too heavy. Guess I’ll have to stay with you.”
“Thank you,” Jason said as she sat in front of him. She smiled and nodded.
“How did you fall?”
“There was this rabbit. I wanted it for a pet, but it ran off. I tried to catch…” he was interrupted by the girl’s giggles. “What’s so funny?” His check went a little pink.
“You’re like Alice in Wonderland.”
“Alice in Wonderland. You know, the girl that chased after a rabbit. But she couldn’t catch it either. And she fell down a hole.”
“Did she want the rabbit for a pet?”
“No, silly, she wanted to know why it was late. The rabbit kept saying ‘I’m late’ and she wanted to know why.”
“No, its not. The rabbit was wearing a waist coat.”
“It’s a type of shirt.”
“So? What’s so special about a shirt?”
“Well, no other rabbit in the world wears one. And no other rabbit talks, either.”
“Whatever. So what happened to the girl after she fell down the hole?”
“She didn’t get hurt. But she did meet a talking door knob. Then after that she met a dodo bird. Then she met these two weird boys named Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. She also meets a talking catipillar and talking flowers. And then she meets this evil lady called The Queen of Hearts. She likes to cut off heads.”
“It’s not cool! How would you like it if you’re head was cut off?”
“Well…ok, fine, I wouldn’t.”
“That’s right. Oh, I almost forgot. She also meets this weird cat that can turn invisible and has a big smile.”
“That’s a weird story.”
“It’s not a story, it’s a dream. All those things Alice meets, there are all just a dream.”
“What’s your name?” The girl’s eyes went widen but then they lowered to the ground.
“Well, don’t you have a name?” The girl slowly shook her head.
“Then I’ll give you a name?” The girl’s eyes went wide again.
“Sure. How about I name you Alice?”
“I love that name! Oh, thank you.” She immediately threw herself on top of him, hugging him tightly.
“Jason!” The girl released Jason from her embrace and looked up.
“That’s my dad!” Jason told her. “Dad, I’m here! Dad!”
Eventually, Jason’s dad found him and when he did, the both hugged and cried for a long time. Jason’s dad told him to never run off again and Jason told his dad that he wouldn’t. As Jason’s dad carried his little boy away, Jason realized that he had forgotten to thank Alice. But when he looked to where he and Alice had sat, all he saw was a white rabbit sitting still.