Evan and Dot woke early Easter morning, jumped out of their twin-sized beds and bolted for their bedroom door.
“Me first!” Evan said, ripping Dot’s hand off the door handle.
Dot scoffed and pulled Evan’s hand away from the door. “Nuh-uh, me first!”
In one swift motion, Evan grabbed Dot’s nightgown and pulled her to the ground. Even though they were twins, Evan had two inches and ten pounds on her. “NO! Me first!”
No sooner had he reached for the door, he began howling in pain as Dot’s teeth sank lower into his bare leg. “MOM!”
Mom and Dad rushed into their room. Evan’s face turned bright red as he spied Dad’s Superman boxers. Dad owned the situation and assumed Superman’s famous pose, glaring down at his daughter. “Dorthy Alice Cooper!”
“What have we said about biting?” Mom finished.
They were always finishing each other’s sentences. Especially when yelling at Evan or Dot.
Tears soaked Evan’s t-shirt more when Dot dug her nails into his butt when she stood.
“He started it!”
“Don’t you dare give me that, little Miss,” Mom said, wagging her finger. “You know what today is, don’t you?”
Dot nodded. “That’s why I wanted to be first.”
Evan’s eyes lit as he sneered at her. “You admit you started it. Oh my gosh! You are so going to get it!”
“Excuse me,” Dad said, gripping Evan on the shoulder. “Is that how we behave?”
Evan winced and shook his head.
“You two know what happens when little boys and girls have been mean to each other on Easter, don’t you?”
Dot and Evan looked at each other in horror. They knew alright. Everyone knew. They gulped and looked at Mom and Dad. “We’re sorry,” they said in unison.
Mom shook her head and looked at Dad who shrugged. “You know what’s going to happen if you don’t mean it. I think the Easter bunny left your basket in the living room.”
Evan and Dot bolted out the door and ran downstairs. Soon, shouts of “me first” and “you’re mean” filtered through the house. Mom sighed and Dad shrugged. “What can you do?”
Evan was the first to reach the Easter basket laden with goodies. There were eggs of all colors, chocolate coins, marshmallow bunnies, and rainbow-colored plastic grass. He slapped Dot’s hand away from his favorite colored egg and reached in to see if there was anything under the grass.
The room started spinning and all he could think of was to grab onto his sister for dear life, hoping she would save him and stop whatever was happening–she didn’t.
With a flash of light and deafening crack, Evan and Dot landed painfully on their bottoms.
Dot was the first to open her eyes. “Where are we?”
Part 2 by Di of Pensitivity101
‘You mean you don’t know?’ Evan demanded. ‘This is all your fault! I’m going to tell………… DAD!!!’
‘It’s no good calling for your parents, children.’ said a voice. ‘They can’t hear you down here.’
Rubbing her sore bottom, Dot stood up.
‘Where are you? It’s rude not to show yourself when you’re talking to somebody.’
The Smile appeared first, then big blue eyes followed by a furry face, an extraordinarily large tabby body and a forked tail.
‘The Cheshire Cat!’ Evan stated.
‘Not exactly. That’s in a parallel fairy tale, and as you can see ‘ it added waving its appendage, ‘ they got my tail completely wrong! Now then………..’
‘Oh no you don’t,’ said Dot bossily. ‘We want to know where we are and why we’re here. And where’s our basket?’
The Cat’s eyes flashed angrily, then it sighed.
‘Esther Bounie wants to meet you and……..’
‘Oh goody,’ Evan interrupted rubbing his hands in glee. ‘We get to meet the Easter Bunny for real. All that chocolate!!’
‘Er no. Esther might be a relation, but she is not the Easter Bunny at all, and certainly doesn’t like chocolate. She’s more of a ………….
Here’s Sadje’s Part:
……… a hare.
“What’s the difference?” Dot askedimpatiently.
“A hare is a rabbit, isn’t it?”
” Well she is a rabbit but she is not friendly, she doesn’t like children, especially!” The cat was getting tired of this conversation and these spoiled children.
“If she doesn’t like children, why does she wants to meet us?” Evan felt that he should contribute to the conversation as well.
“She has a task. She puts sense into naughty and spoiled brats. And that description fits both of you, I believe” The words were barely out of the cat’s mouth when with a sudden whoosh an ugly looking hare appeared in the room. Both kids were startled and a bit afraid too. It looked mean and perhaps was angry too.
Dot clasped her brother’s hand and took a step back. She opened her mouth but no words came out! Instead………..
Dot belched. Her brother jumped as if goosed. The hare (which was much bigger than a rabbit and had gray mottled fur), bared its two huge front teeth in a gruesome caricature of a grin.
“Better out than in!” Esther (the hare) exclaimed! “But what awful manners you have girlie!”
Dot’s eyes filled with tears. She was good at rousing up a few crocodile tears if she felt threatened or afraid. And to drum up a little sympathy.
“PHOOEY!” spat Esther. “Your fake tears are worse than your manners! And I’m magical so you think that crap will fool ME?”
Dot, shocked to her core by the exposure, stopped trying to cry and shrank back behind her brother, grateful for once that he was bigger. Evan didn’t appreciate becoming a human shield, particularly since there was an apparently rabid animal who was TALKING F*S!
The big hare (aka Esther) seemed to puff up until she was gigantic. The children truly felt fear for the first time in their lives, and a growing respect. They didn’t know what either emotion was, so they didn’t get what was happening, save they knew it was highly uncomfortable.
Esther told the children that they were going on a journey and that at the end of the journey would be a test, so they’d better pay strict attention to what happened during the journey. Use their gray cells for something other than filling for their heads!
The big hare kicked out her powerful hind leg and a rather small door appeared in the ether. “Come on!” commanded Esther, “Time waits for no hare nor human!”
It seemed rather doubtful that Esther would fit through the door, but she did and with room to spare. Clearly things were not as they seemed in this place.
Dot and Evan reluctantly followed. The cat, it shall be noted, had disappeared completely, taking its manic looking grin with it. The trio found themselves in the midst of a huge dense forest.
And sitting right in the middle of the path through the trees was….
Padre’s Ramblings wrote this:
. . . a rather morose tortoise.
“Morning Esther. See you got youself some-muer learners,”
“Well, I’m not at all sure of that,” Esther retorted, “I don’t think this pair could take a nap, much less take a hint.”
“Why that is urnfotunate,” Henry Tuttle replied, giving the children a stare that seemed to suggest that they would deserve whatever they got. “You two a better be minding Esther, hear. This ain’t no place to be a foolin.”
“Henry Tuttle, we are in a hurry, so I don’t have any time to waste, please move out of the way so we can pass.”
Dot turned to Evan and sniggered, as she whispered, “The turtle’s called Tuttle.”
“You know that I am not only magical, but that these big ears aren’t just for show,” the hare snapped. That’s strike two. Crocodile tears and sniggers. My badness, you children won’t learn a thing, I’ll wager. I don’t know why Cousin Bunny is even giving you a chance.”
With that, she pushed past the tortoise and snapped, “Keep up or I will just leave you here.”
It was all the children could do to follow her into the hole in a hollow tree where . . . ”
… they found themselves sliding down the longest slide they had ever seen in their lives. It went on and on into the depths of the earth. Evan wondered if they were going to end up in the Earth’s core. After what seemed a long time they finally landed on a floor made of stone blocks. They both looked around. The walls were made of stone, as though they were in a castle, or maybe a dungeon. The room was dim and lit by only a single lantern hanging from the low ceiling. Esther stood before them looking impatient, like she had been waiting for a long time for them to finally appear.
“That was fun!” Dot cried out. “Can we do that again? PLEASE?” Esther just looked at her unmoved.
“I’m afraid not. I brought you down here because I have something to show you.” Esther said seriously. “Follow me!”
She hopped to a wooden door the children hadn’t noticed before and opened it. The children followed her. They came to a balcony that overlooked a huge room below. In this room Evan and Dot saw hundreds of children like them, they were melting chocolate and pouring it into molds, others were removing chocolate eggs and bunnies from the molds, while some could also be seen wrapping up the eggs and bunnies in foil. All of them looked expressionless as though they were automatons. The overwhelming smell of chocolate made them hungry.
“What is this place?” Evan asked. Esther turned to him.
“This is what happens to the bad boys and girls, and the unfortunate ones (but let’s not worry about them). This is where they all end up, and you will too if you don’t pass the test. It’s a neat little business, huh?” Esther told them as she looked at the children working below. Evan frowned. He didn’t want to end up here.
“Look at all that chocolate! They’re so lucky! They could eat as much chocolate as they want.” Dot observed, but Esther gave her a cold smile.
“Eventually they get sick of eating chocolate and stop liking it, as you would too.” Esther warned. Dot stared at her uncomprehendingly. How could anyone get sick of chocolate? That was crazy!
“I would never get sick of eating chocolate!” Dot stated.
“You may found out how wrong you are.” Esther countered. “Given your track record so far, they may be getting two more workers shortly.”
“So what happens now?” Evan asked.
“Now you follow me, the test continues.” Esther replied. She hopped to another door in the balcony and opened it. Again, the two children followed her.
The door opened to what looked like daylight, which startled Dot and her brother because they were obviously deep within the bowels of the Earth. But, there was a sun and a sky… not quite blue but darker and indistinct. Looking down, they saw that there was still a long way down. In the distance, forests grew… but not green forests. Mushrooms that seemed the size of skyscrapers. Through it all ran rivers… most seemed cool and inviting but a few boiled and steamed and left a patch of bare earth along them.
Esther seemed to be thinking. Her fur blew ever so slightly in the dull warm breeze. Evan didn’t seem to like being so high. “Can we go in, now?”, he asked. Esther replied,
“If you go back in, you’ll be candy slaves until you die; and, your bodies will have absorbed so much sugar that they’ll be thrown into the vats to sweeten the chocolate for other workers to process”
Evan instinctively reached for his sister’s hand. As if they both had the same thought at once, they looked up at the sheer wall that was above them. They weren’t going up. And, below them was a thousand feet of the same sheer wall. “To do this properly”, Esther stated flatly, “We need to get down to THAT river”. She pointed vaguely with her paw. The children squinted at the distance and made out a wide river that flowed so slowly that it seemed to be a lake. Dot thought she even saw a boat on the water moving in and out of the mist.
“How do we get down there without going back inside?”, Dot asked Esther.
Esther took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I have many talents”, she answered, “But, you’ll need to trust me. Can I count on your trust?”
The two children nodded mutely.
“Grab some fur… tightly”, Esther ordered, “–but, not THERE. Anywhere but my ears”
The children grabbed tightly at the fur on her back. They felt Esther start over the balcony wall. Both children closed their eyes.
“Here we go”, Esther said…