Disclaimer: It's all mine, except the random stuff I stole… cough uh, borrowed from Alice in Wonderland. And the lyrics. Not mine. All from Red Hot Chili Peppers songs.
Summary: Set after the events of 'Take it on the Otherside', we now delve into the mind of Tobias Oxenstierna as he ponders his situation and relives the moments that led to his return to Fairview Mental Hospital.
Chapter 1: Down the Rabbit Hole
I was back.
They had locked me in here when I started talking to dead people, thinking I'd dropped my marbles down the drain, and now I was back. I hadn't really been crazy before, what made them think I was now? It hadn't been that big of a deal, what were a few hallucinations between friends?
I once again surveyed the padded room around me. White. Everything was white. The walls, the clothes, the little white pills they give you when you get too loud. No, they usually said hell with the pills, straight on to the Thorazine. So much faster than pills. They'd gotten smart a long time ago. You couldn't hide a Thorazine injection under your tongue. There was no choice anymore. It's been a long time since a good, quality patient riot. Most of the patients are too doped up to care what's going on out there.
In the water where I center my emotion, all the world can pass me by…
As long as I stay calm, my head stays clear. First sign of trouble and I'll get tranked again. So, I have to sit here all serene-like, so they don't get suspicious. I won't get another chance like last time.
I wonder if this the same room… Who can tell? All the rooms probably look the same, so no one gets jealous of someone else's view. Right, the view. Of the wall. It's a pretty wall, don't you doubt it. Like those fancy pillow-top mattresses. Only bigger… and room-shaped.
Oh God, I'm trapped inside a pillow-top mattress! Where those counting sheep will chase me through a million sleepless nights. There's no escape from their wrath. But I won't do it! I won't count! I can't, not here. What if I miscount, what if skip 37 again? Those fluffy sheep aren't so nice then. Sharp incisors and canines appear out of nowhere, and they do the dirty work, so the sheep in white lab-coats can keep their consciences clear.
I'm not crazy, it's just the drugs talking. That's what I tell myself every day. How did I get in here, you ask? I ask myself the same thing. The answer is a little fuzzy around the edges, and a bit foggy in the middle.
It all began with a jaunt down the rabbit hole.
They say that these things are brought on by stress. I didn't feel stressed, but hey, they're the experts. Who am I to argue? As far as I can tell, one day I was normal, and the next, I… wasn't.
It was a kidnapping case. A little girl. Everything pointed to her being taken from her house, and out through the small forest-thing behind the house. Maybe it was a park. Whatever. So, I checked it out. And there she was, I saw her, clear as day, under a stand of birch trees, half covered in leaves. I turned around and called back toward the house. Rebekah came over and I turned back to show her the body, which was… gone. In its place, a rabbit.
The conclusion was obvious. "He took her!" I cried, pointing at the rabbit. Instead of apprehending the villain, Rebekah just stared at me. What was wrong with her? Why didn't she understand? I knew her, she was smart. What was going on here?
I pointed again. "He's taken her down his rabbit hole!" It made perfect sense, why couldn't she see that?
Rebekah looked down at the rabbit. Finally, we were getting somewhere. "Tobias," she said softly, "that's a rabbit."
"Yeah," I said, matter-of-factly. I knew it was a rabbit! Who else would have a rabbit hole? Not a badger, nor an ermine—
"Are you okay?" she asked, still speaking softly. She looked… worried? Why could that be?
"I'm… yes, fine…" The ground suddenly leaned sharply to the right. I grabbed a nearby tree trunk for support. This had to be his doing. "Damn rabbit…"
I looked at Rebekah. She seemed to be having no trouble standing. I let go of the tree and straightened up. Gravity was back to normal. No, wait… The scenery did a sudden counter-clockwise 270 at lightening speed. Then everything went careening to the left, and it all went black as the ground flew up and crashed into my head.
You can die but you're never dead, spider web…
I woke up to someone calling my name. What could they want? Couldn't they see I was busy? I opened my eyes and found myself staring up at Rebekah. What was she doing here? I looked around. I was laying on the leaf-strewn ground. Then it all came back to me.
"Did you get him?" I asked. Damned if I was going to let that rabbit get away.
Rebekah looked at me with concern, then sighed. "Um, yeah. We're taking him in for questioning."
I nodded. "Good. But watch out, things get weird when he starts turning the up and down off."
She smiled a little, but her eyes still looked worried. "Ok, I'll be careful," she said in a near whisper as she brushed my hair off my forehead. She looked up, back towards the house, as I heard approaching sirens.
"What's going on?" I asked, as people started walking towards us. "I'm fine, you know." I started to sit up, but paused as a bout of dizziness hit me. I thought I was going to hit my head on the ground again, until I felt a hand on back, holding me up. It helped me move into a proper sitting position. I looked over my shoulder to see Rebekah, now sliding behind me, to keep me steady.
There was some sort of conversation between this EMT fellow and Rebekah. I mostly tuned them out. I was on auto-pilot for the next half-hour or so. I vaguely recall being at the hospital, where I got a CAT-scan and various other things that don't make a very exciting story. Then, before I knew it, I was back here, at ol' Fairview.
So, near as I can tell, that's how I got here. Apparently accusing a rabbit of kidnapping is grounds for insanity. I wouldn't be so sure. First the rabbits, then the sheep. Pretty soon we won't be able to trust any innocent-looking herbivores.
I think putting me in the institution was a little harsh. So what if I ran down the hall of the hospital screaming, "You'll never catch the gingerbread man!" There's nothing wrong with that.
They'll never find Alice without me. That's the little girl, you know. They're looking in totally the wrong places. She's been taken down the rabbit hole, into the looking glass. They haven't even checked those. They're busy questioning the family and chasing pedophiles. All wrong. Just wait, when they run out of leads, they'll look in the rabbit hole, but it'll be too late by then. She'll be gone, taken through the looking glass to the other side.