13 | Bluebird

Without drugs in my system to keep me down, my adrenaline kept me going until I realized we were flying through the woods with no idea where we were headed. Was the bear behind us? Who knew?

When my knees buckled, I had no choice but to stop running. My heart threatened to give out with a tight squeeze and I sunk to the floor, propped up by a tree trunk.

Where are we? I asked, gasping for breath.

Wind howled through the trees, blowing a strangely warm breeze with it. At least we wouldn’t be cold that night.

There’s a power line! I yelled. We can follow it to town tomorrow.

At that moment, I needed to sleep. The ground wasn’t comfortable but I was too tired to care.

The next morning we followed the power line through the trees, dodging this trunk and that branch. In some places, branches wound through the lines, straining them in ways I was sure couldn’t be safe. When a gust of wind blew a little stronger, you could see the poles struggling to stay standing.

Finally, the sun began to set again and I feared we would spend another night alone in the woods. Until, there was a light ahead of us. But I hadn’t seen a road.

When I rounded the last bush, I stopped, awestruck, at what we’d found.

In the middle of the woods, stood a classic Bluebird bus, painted white with red flames. Lights sparkled from inside, where people were clearly having the time of their lives. A line of people wrapped around the bus as if this were the highlight of life in the woods. I was a little afraid we would run into CA Man there. It was his kind of scene, afterall. But we had to have run far enough to be safe from him by now.

I checked my backpack for cash, happy to find CA Man hadn’t taken a cent. To the bus we went. Well, to the line for the bus we went.

How bizarre, I said.

Where did all these people come from?

Inside, open flooring, with marks where bus benches used to live, led to a rustic looking bar, backed by a stout ginger man with a slightly diminishing hair line and a thick beard.

Looking around, I was sure this had to be the kind of place I could replenish my stash. I’d been out of shrooms and any other relevant substances for far too long. A day to be exact.

When I reached the front of the line, I asked the bartender for a beer and, after looking side to side, a plug.

He raised his eyebrows at me and asked where I was from, because I certainly wasn’t from here. I gulped, somehow thinking I’d randomly stumbled upon an extension of the Bible belt buried in the California mountains. Then he smiled and I realized he was just messing with me.

Next, the bartender took a step and disappeared behind the bar as if he’d sunken into some invisible trap door. When he came around the end, I gasped. All 5 feet of him barely reached above the countertop. It was like I was staring down at a leprechaun and, in fact, if I had been tripping still, I would have been convinced I’d stumbled upon some sort of bus hiding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Drew, as his name turned out to be, led me to an especially brightly lit corner, where a woman sat in a white dress that I could have sworn was a wedding gown. She was surrounded by a colorful assortment of Holland Lop bunnies. Their ears flopped around as they hopped on their leashes around her. She had every color of bunny except for white.

This is the White Rabbit, Drew explained.

Her tiara sparkled.

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