I had said goodnight to Queen Llola and settled down into my bed when the Manor clock struck midnight. Our kingdom was peaceful, that last of the residents had landed their helicopters, tied up their boats and turned off their music. The gentle lapping of waves round the Manor lulled me to sleep.
I awoke with a start at the sound of a scream. I dressed quickly and took a look round. Nothing seemed amiss on the ground so I took the Anywhere door up to the Yellow Brick Road, or at least that was where I thought I was going. As I exited the door on all fours it was obvious that wherever I was now was not the Ozland I knew. The ground underfoot (and hand) was uneven leaf litter and stalks of giant mushrooms towered above me. Had we been griefed?
I was about to click on the nearest stalk to look for the owner – ermmm! Mouse? Computer? Chair? Study? House? RL?
I pinched myself. That was what you were supposed to do, wasn't it. Ouch, that hurt. Nope, I was not dreaming. For some reason a mental image of a white disc flashed into my mind. No! Then a word popped up, 'Ficton'. Was I inside somebody else's story? After all Oz and Alice had surfaced into Heinlein's 'Number of the Beast. Was I armed? The baddies in that story were dangerous. The only thing military about me were the GI Joe PJ's I was wearing.
I got to my feet and started to look around. No caterpillars, no Cheshire Cats, no playing cards or white rabbits running round, scratch Alice in Wonderland then. I certainly was not in Oz or Kansas either. Just what had I wandered into?
The toadstools and mushrooms hid the sky and it was gloomy here. Only the red and sulphurous yellow of some of the fungi lent any colour to my surroundings. There did appear to be a path of sorts, and it was wide, wider than someone of my size would have made. That made me uneasy, whatever made these paths was big, really big. I walked as quietly as I could, the leaf litter rustled slightly, that was good I would be able to hear anything moving on the path.
I felt rather than heard the thing moving behind me. The ground shook from its footfall. It was moving faster than I was. There was nowhere to move off the path, the fungi were so close together. All I could do was move faster. Hoping for a side path or somewhere I could hide. It was still gaining on me. I broke into a run.
Eventually ahead of me the gloom lightened. I turned towards the light. I glimpsed water and a heron taking off from the surface as I burst into the light.
I awoke in front of my computer, that was going to be the last time I ate garlic mushrooms as a late night snack when trying to write a story.