Down the Rabbit Hole

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Contently Deranged Travelers

A little girl finds herself in a strange world where she becomes a toy and dreams about even stranger things. Sequel to GENESIS and THE FALLOUT. Continues in GREATER LOVE, ETERNITY, and AND NOW

Once again, I’m flying.

Straight across the gigantic bed, feeling horribly sick and yet strangely excited. I’ve almost grown to like that part.

It’s the falling that feels pretty bad. I land hard on my back, the cold wooden floor tickling my skin. The pain is almost numb, as if someone had been squeezing my spine from inside for a long while.

Every morning Master picks me up, jabbing me in the stomach with his large, greasy finger. He shakes me violently. I want to vomit, so I cry out to him, begging him to stop. Of course he can’t hear me. He never can.

“Again with the toy! When will you stop sleeping with it!” he yells at Little Miss. His roar is deafening. I feel ocean waves rising inside my head and collapsing against my eardrums.

“Dad, don’t do this to Vera!” Little Miss’s voice is tiny even by my very modest standards. It’s squeaky when she gets mad, but it’s still the sweetest voice I’ve ever heard.

Then Master tosses me away. If I’m lucky, I fall on the sofa; it’s actually fun, because it’s so soft. But more often than not I just end up on the floor. Master clomps heavily, slamming the door on his way out.

Little Miss picks me up and hugs me. I love those moments. Her soft fur touches my aching skin, her long floppy ears wrapping me up in a warm caress. I snuffle loudly. Of course she hears that.

“Poor little Vera!” she cries and kisses me on my forehead. “My poor sweet darling! I’m sorry Dad is so mean to you… He doesn’t understand… He thinks you are a toy!”

“I’m not a toy!” I protest grumpily, engulfed by waves of gratitude and fighting back bitter tears. “I’m a human being.”

“I know!” Little Miss exclaims, adjusting my rumpled clothes. “I know that, but he doesn’t… Nobody does… I don’t know why they can’t see what I see… They think you are a toy because you don’t look like a rabbit.”

“Why should I look like a rabbit if I’m a human being?” I say sulkily. Oh, I wish these moments would last forever!

“Exactly!” Little Miss says decisively, frowning in her typical cute way. “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell them. Just because we are rabbits doesn’t mean we own you. Maybe we are meant to protect you… take care of you… maybe you are actually nicer than us?”

She talks more and more, her excitement gradually dwindling, until she is fast asleep, clutching me in her puffy paws. After a while, my pain fades, and I drift off into a dream…

…I’m dreaming that I’m on a great, bright planet. The sky is intensely blue and the sun is blazing. I’m standing on a stage of sorts, and it’s surrounded by a huge crowd of people. They are all human beings, just like I am. There isn’t even one rabbit, as far as I can see. They’re all shouting, and it looks like they are expecting something from me, but I’m too overwhelmed by my new sensations to say or do anything.

Then somebody nudges me gently. It’s an ordinary-looking male human being dressed in a black suit.

“The speech, Madame President,” he whispers. There is a wire dangling from his ear. He looks concerned.

President? What is that? I rub my temples hard with my two forefingers, trying to remember what that word means. In my dream, I know that I’m supposed to be on that stage. There is nothing strange in the incredible fact that there is a whole planet populated by humans and there are no rabbits to use us as toys. But I still feel that something is wrong, that I’ve forgotten something extremely important, something that is supposed to help all those humans around me.

“Your statement, Madame President,” the man hisses imploringly. “Will you agree to cede Europe to the Caliphate? Will you accept the economic conditions of the truce with China? Will Islamic education become mandatory in the States of New York, Ethiopia, and Chile?”

I don’t understand more than half of those words. I don’t know what he wants from me. I look around helplessly. There is pained expectation on the faces of most of the people standing closest to my stage. The noise has subsided, the crowd is almost still now.

Something – I have no idea what – tells me I have to say “no” to all those questions. Saying “yes” just doesn’t feel right for some reason. So I open my mouth.

At that very moment, I see a hand sticking out from the crowd, holding a glittering piece of metal. It makes a barely noticeable movement, and a fraction of a second later something pierces my chest. I gape at the man near me in childish amazement. Then pain overcomes my entire body. I want to scream, but I can’t.

Then I wake up.

I’m back in Little Miss’s bedroom, cuddled between her paws. It’s very quiet, not a single sound disrupting the peaceful night. I pant rapidly, greedily inhaling the familiar smells of this place.

This happens every other night or so. A long, complicated, exceedingly confusing dream broken into disjointed fragments. And no matter what, I end up getting killed.

Maybe this is a sign of what is going to happen here, in the real world? The more I’m horrified by that thought the more it convinces me. Deep inside me, beyond the bruised limbs and the damaged organs, grows a desire to die.

Master is angrier than usual today. Little Miss has overslept again. He is livid, intoxicated with rage. He bends over and yanks me from her hands. His red eyes are glowing like hellfire. I’m drowning in his rancid breath.

“Get up! Get up! Get… up!!” he screams madly.

“Put Vera down!” Little Miss sits up in the bed, reaching her paws to touch me. But Master holds me tight, squeezing the air out of my lungs.

“That’s it!” he roars. “I’m throwing away this stupid toy!”

Stubborn little tears are glistening in Little Miss’s lovely eyes.

“If you do that, you are not my Dad anymore!” she shouts.

But that only makes him more furious. He grabs a pair of scissors from the drawer. He sticks my head between two giant steel blades. He starts pressing.

Little Miss shrieks horribly.

“I’m going to kill it!” he screams. “You see this?! I’m cutting off its ugly head! This will teach you to like a stupid toy more than your own father!”

Little Miss lunges at him. But it’s too late. For a brief moment, I’m suffocated, and that almost feels like a relief. Then I can see, like in the wildest of all dreams, how my head is being detached from my body and blood gushes out of my neck’s severed arteries.

Then I wake up.

I’m back in my bed.

It’s dark.

I clasp my neck.

I lie there for a long while, covered with cold sweat.

The shrill sound of a siren penetrates the air. It’s six in the morning. By the Overseer’s decree, it’s time for everyone to get up.

Blinding lights fill the room. I squeeze my eyes shut and lie for a little longer.

I can hear my parents talk quietly to each other. Mom gets up and starts taking out pots and pans to prepare breakfast. Dad is shaving. He has a big meeting today, something about vault security and increased protection against deathclaw attacks. My little brother is still sleeping in his bed.

I open my eyes.

Dad stops shaving and looks in my direction.

“Look at that, the princess is awake,” he says and smiles at me.

“Dad,” I say.

“What, sweetheart?” he is slightly alarmed by the tone of my voice.

“Dad!” I cry out.

He rushes to me and hugs me. He holds me tight. I stain his shirt with my tears.

“Dad, I had this really weird dream! I was a toy… on a planet controlled by those giant animals. They call them rabbits. There are only a few humans there… and those rabbits think we are toys! They don’t understand that we are alive… They can’t hear us… Except Little Miss… that’s the girl who owned me… and maybe a few other children, I don’t know… Dad, it was so real… I lived a whole life there… I could swear it really happened!”

“Calm down, Vera, it’s just a dream,” he says, caressing my head.

“No, Dad, it gets even weirder… in that dream I had other dreams! All that time I was on that rabbit planet I was having dreams… about the Earth. About how the Earth was before.”

“Before?” he asks, puzzled.

“Before the war. Like, a hundred years ago. Before everything was destroyed. Before the Earth became radioactive and we started living in vaults. I was dreaming I was a President… like the Overseer, but of a lot of people… and I had to say something important… and maybe, if I said it differently, there would be no war… and we’d be back on the surface… under a blue sky… it was blue, Dad! Blue!”

I keep sobbing. I just can’t stop. He still holds me, exchanging worried glances with Mom above my head. Somebody knocks on the door, and Mom opens it. I can hear voices.

“Mr. Men? The Overseer is expecting you, sir.”

Dad asks them to wait. Gradually, I calm down. Mom is suggesting some medicine, but Dad disagrees, so they argue. Dad gets annoyed because he has to go. He kisses me goodbye, then my brother wakes up and tells Mom he wants to hear some story she’s told him yesterday night about some person named King again. Then the two of them start arguing.

I sit on the bed and at first try not to think about the dream. But deep down I know that I can’t forget it. I’m not allowed to. I don’t know why, I just know. So I make sure I remember every little detail. About the planet of rabbits, Master, Little Miss, and me being the President in another dream. Who knows, maybe someday I can save people who don’t want to be toys. Or make the right decision and prevent a war. Who knows?



Submitted: April 25, 2016

© Copyright 2023 Oleg Roschin. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:


Chris Green

Very nicely layered story that just gets better and better as the plot unravels, Oleg, and although on the surface it might seem frivolous, you do manage to make some serious points along the way.
Great work!!

Mon, April 25th, 2016 6:10am


Thank you so much for your kind comment, Chris! I highly appreciate your support and feedback. The idea for this story came from watching how my girlfriend treats her toy plush rabbit with such care that at times I start thinking she (the rabbit) is alive...

Sun, April 24th, 2016 11:37pm


I like your work there! very much a fiction but made me wonder how would any ordinary pets feels upon human beings treatment on them. anyways enjoyed your short story. Cheers... with regards , nimmy

Mon, April 25th, 2016 7:52am


Thank you for your kind comment, Nimmy! I think there is something mysterious in pets... it's as if they were on the way to become human...

Mon, April 25th, 2016 3:27am

Daniel McGonagle

Interesting story. Did a quick read through since i need to fish my own story for a contest so sorry if i am incorrect about anything. But from what i saw it is very interesting. Btw would this happen to be set in the Fallout world? Is so auto 10/10 haha anyways the story itself was interesting as well. Being a fan of fallout myself i will check out your other stories later (Even if i am incorrect about this being in the fallout world)!

Mon, April 25th, 2016 11:37am


HI Daniel, thanks a lot for reading and commenting! This story is part of the imaginary future I've made up for all my other stories as well, and a part of it is post-apocalyptic Earth (after the year 2121), which is made deliberately out of the same components as the Fallout setting. In fact, this story is a direct sequel to my other short story, which is actually entitled "The Fallout" (and also "Scarlet Beast", which describes the events of 2121)! I am a big fan of Fallout and role-playing video games in general, so I make frequent references to those :-)

Mon, April 25th, 2016 6:10am


I really like this! It is obvious a work of fiction, but it's still amazing. You do reference to some very deep and strong points throughout the book. Overall, a great job!

Mon, April 25th, 2016 2:20pm


Thank you for this comment, C.S., I'm very flattered! If you like this story, I'll hope you'll like its predecessors as well:

Scarlet Beast:

The Fallout:

Mon, April 25th, 2016 8:37am


Whoa, your story is practically in LSD format meaning that it's trippy. I like how you snuck in a little horror factor in the story as well. It was definitely worth the time. Three thumbs up so Keep it up.

Mon, April 25th, 2016 7:38pm


Thank you! Appreciate your comment :-)

Mon, April 25th, 2016 8:42pm

Vance Currie

I like your writing style. It is easy to read and free from grammatical distractions. The story is imaginative and entertaining. The dream within a dream concept is clever. Perhaps each dream is an alternative reality. You can read a lot into a story like this. It is mentally stimulating. ~ Joe

Mon, April 25th, 2016 8:10pm


Thank you very much for the kind comment, Joe! I admit that the dream within a dream concept is clever; such a pity I shamelessly stole it from the movie "Inception" instead of thinking of it myself :-)

Her dreams are real, of course (unlike the dreams of "Inception"). She lives in the 23rd century and dreams of the far future (when humanity is conquered by giant rabbits) as well as the pre-war past (22nd century). My other stories shed more light on the mystery...

Mon, April 25th, 2016 8:42pm

Megan Fox

Hi Oleg
That was definitely down the rabbit hole! What a scary thought, being considered a toy by a giant rabbit and being tossed around like a doll - it makes me wish I'd been a little more careful of my own toys as a child. Then you zipped us back to humanity with some not too fanciful ideas about our future. I really enjoyed both the style and the content. Nice writing.

Tue, April 26th, 2016 2:20am


Thank you very much for the encouraging feedback, Megan! Yup, the future isn't very bright in my stories. Worse, however, is the fact that we probably do end up as rabbit toys. Because Vera's other dream (being a President in the 22nd century) is certainly real... that is, within my imaginary version of the future.

Mon, April 25th, 2016 8:45pm

unmasked delusions

I love how unique this story is, the toys/ rabbits, the dreams, everything. It plays into a childs imagination yet it leaves the reader to decide if it was simply "just a dream" or an actual real thing. Plus it was cool how it ended up being the future when she woke up. I also liked how you named it "down the rabbit hole" because of course it made me think of Alice In Wonderland, and set the mood for the story.. This story was great because it had a mixture of different elements to it, fantasy, reality, dreamworld, imagination, and childhood, then it was the future- which added the sci-fi element. Very neat. Also, I liked how you described the world through the toy's eyes- it reminded me of Toy Story, the part where Sid tries to blast the toy buzz into the sky. It must be very scary being a toy ha.

Wed, April 27th, 2016 1:29am


Thank you very much for your kind comment! Always appreciate your insight.

There is a lot of cinematic fan tribute in this story, much of it is a homage to "Toy Story" (as you've noticed) and "Inception" (the dream within a dream thing).

Her dreams ARE real! Well, I do make it unclear (yet) about the gigantic rabbit future, but the past (her being the President) is clearly 22nd century the way I portray it in my other stories. I think the rabbit setting is real too. We are all going to be toys for oversized lagomorphia. And that's still a very mild punishment for us... :/

Tue, April 26th, 2016 8:33pm


Fantastic story. I love the idea of humans being toys for rabbits. And the dream within a dream worked really well.

Wed, April 27th, 2016 9:13am


Thank you! :-) The idea came from my girlfriend and her toy rabbit, she treats it like a human being and I started wondering... what if she is seeing things I can't?.. :-)

Wed, April 27th, 2016 2:21am

Mike Stevens

Quite an excellent story, although I must apologize, I'm unable to read the whole thing, due to a car accident/coma suffered years ago, my eyes don't play well together, so they each do their own thing, which makes reading much difficult for me. I did read the beginning, though, and I can tell you have a well-developed writing gene.

Wed, April 27th, 2016 1:41pm


Thank you so much... So sorry to hear about your condition! God bless you...

Wed, April 27th, 2016 7:22am


You should really turn this into a novel! It's really interesting and I can see that you have put great effort into this. I love it! I wonder what will happen next.
The getting decapitated part is very imagery. I shudder as I read it. The Master...he's a lunatic drunken by rage. I wonder if he's really drunk. But overall, everything's good. Love it! I'll stay tune with your writings!

Thu, April 28th, 2016 1:19am


Thank you for your kind comment! Some people have told me my stories should be novels, but I'm just too lazy to construct a novel...

Glad you liked the decapitation part. That was the dark climax of the story. As for the Master... what if I told you his character was based on myself?.. I need to confess that one time I threatened to destroy a toy. I didn't harm it after all, but I've said those words. So that part of the story is a warning to me...

What will happen next? Well, since Vera's dream of the past was true (22nd century as described in some of my other stories), I assume that her dream of the future is true as well - humans will eventually (no earlier than 2200) become toys for gigantic rabbits...

If you are interested to know how the world has turned into a Fallout rip-off (;)), check out what Vera's ancestor has experienced here:

Wed, April 27th, 2016 11:25pm

Teddy Kimathi

Your story seems to be becoming alive, as one keeps on reading it!!! I really enjoyed it!!! ;-)

Fri, April 29th, 2016 1:31pm


Thank you so much for your kind words, Teddy! Always appreciate your feedback :-))

Fri, April 29th, 2016 7:29am


First off, I would like to say, WOW. This is the best short story I've read in a long time. I could feel the emotions the character was feeling, which tells me that you've either been writing for a long time or you're just really good at descriptive writing. Either way, it was fantastic.

I look forward to reading more of your stories!

Take care!

Fri, April 29th, 2016 8:48pm


Wow, thank you so much for your praise, you are too kind!

I used to write a lot as a kid (long time ago!), but my first work in English is the short story "A Christmas Story" (posted here on Booksie) it's from 2008. Then I wrote two more short stories ("Strictly Confidential" and "PC Game") and stopped writing until spring 2015, when I wrote "Of Dogs and Men". Since then I've been writing steadily.

Once again, very grateful for your feedback! If you like this story, you might like its predecessor, "The Fallout". It's the tale Vera's Mom told her little brother the night before.

Fri, April 29th, 2016 7:51pm


Wow, I loved this. It was very creative and imaginative and definitely a cool new take on the Alice tale. I love exploring Wonderlands. Your writing is so full of life and events that it keeps the story very interesting. Well done.

Fri, April 29th, 2016 10:20pm


Thank you very much! Really appreciate your kind feedback. Looking forward to reading more of your excellent work and exchanging comments in the future :-)

Fri, April 29th, 2016 8:03pm


A very unique story. To me, it felt like a story within a story. I really liked it!

Mon, May 2nd, 2016 4:49pm


Thank you! :-)

Tue, May 3rd, 2016 12:27am


Writing style is just awesome. Its easy to understand what you want to say. Enjoyed it a lot. liked reading it. A very good story

Thu, May 5th, 2016 7:52am


Thank you very much for your kind comment, Chinnu!

Thu, May 5th, 2016 9:23am


You see, what people aren't realizing is that this isn't a dream within a dream.

This is a dream within a dream within a dream.

And in your mind, this is a dream that's truly a reality within a dream that's truly a reality within a dream that's truly a reality within a story that you've created within a whole series of stories within a single website on the internet that I was met with after a request from you.

I'm really, really happy you gave me that request.

I don't really think this is based off Alice and her trek down HER rabbit hole, but more of Vera's exploration of her past, present, and future as she goes through a series of realities that will be or haven't been yet. Wonderland was more of a story of fantasy while this is very believable. There are many contrasts. I love how you're building up your own world into short stories and how they could work well if you created a novel, slowly connecting your stories into one where the characters somehow experience a meeting together at the end (or maybe, in an incredible mistake, the characters go through the wrong portals and are sent to a reality that isn't theirs where they must adapt, i.e. Vera actually becoming the president and not dying). You have so much potential here and such skill with writing. I'm also quite jealous that one of your works always seems to be in the section titled "Booksie Popular Content" on the sidebar, you always get so many people shelving your work. It shows in the brilliance of your writing. Keep it up.

Sun, May 8th, 2016 4:56am


Thank you very much for your detailed and beautiful comment, Hanorbi! Even when you write comments your talent and your imagination are coming through.

My stories are actually all connected, they are set in the same universe with many branches. It's a very nerdy endeavor I'm attempting here :-)

The shelves were a big surprise for me, but I've become quite aggressive with read requests recently, looks like it's starting to pay off :) I've been also commenting A LOT on other people's work. One can get addicted to that... :))

Sun, May 8th, 2016 12:54am

Jeff Bezaire

A great, cleverly constructed story you've written! People being toys for animals, America having to bend to its competitors and enemies, instead of making its competitors and enemies bend to it, the post-apocalyptic reality (I'm assuming heavily influenced by the Fallout video game series) - a lot of interesting stuff happening here, as well as the social commentary on how cheaply people are used by others and how we're misunderstood.
I also liked how Master had a temper problem. It's nice when animals reflect the truer side of humans, instead of the nice fluffy side we'd assume a bunny to behave as.
A good story all around.

Mon, May 9th, 2016 11:09pm


Thank you for your kind and insightful comment, Jeff!

In my imaginary late-21st century scenario, there is no longer America, but United States of Democratic West (USDW), ruled from Temporarily Challenged Eborakon (the new political correct name for New York) by an oppressively agnostic regime. Then there is China and the Islamic Caliphate, the two other superpowers. In the year 2121, one of them (or maybe all three?) drops an atomic bomb, which leads to the setting I wholeheartedly stole from Fallout, as you have noticed :-)

The Master is based on myself :-(

Mon, May 9th, 2016 10:23pm


I liked your story a lot and each phrase I read made me wonder what will happen next. To be honest, on one hand I waited for a "bigger climax" in the end but on the other hand I really liked the fact that I couldn't predict the ending.The influence of "Alice in wonderlad" is clear, but, at the same time, you don't copy it, you just take some elements of it and make it your own, which I loved.
Thanks a lot for showing me this wonderful story.

Wed, May 11th, 2016 4:26pm


Thank you so much for your kind comment! The lack of climax bothered me as well, but in the end I decided to stick with the somewhat unresolved ending. It is mostly because all my stories are connected and I didn't want to reveal too much in just one of them.

Wed, May 11th, 2016 10:55am

Erica Pensini

Great plot!

Sat, May 14th, 2016 4:42pm


Thank you! Glad you liked it :-)

Sat, May 14th, 2016 12:00pm

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