Curiouser

Where Wonderland, Oz, and a range of fairytale elements inside a game-like universe are all in one!

Emily continues to relive a terrible memory of her mother's death. As she and her older brother Nate are invited to the king's birthday ball, she steps into another world she's never seen before!

It's an adventurous world full of magic, darkness, and strange things.

(Also Available on Wattpad)

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8. Still Here

Emily wakes to find herself back into her bedroom. She wasn't in the ballroom where she and Nate were before.
Nate was sitting beside her, looking so worried, "Hey, how are you feeling?" He asked. She moved to sit up and said, "I'm fine. What happened?"
He lowered his head and then looked back to her, "You ran into a wall and hit your head. You were out for a couple hours." He said.
She felt her forehead and hissed from the sting throbbing on the left side, "How bad is it?" She asked. He brushed away her hair and looked, "It's just a light bruising, hardly noticeable."
The doctor entered the room carrying in his bag, "I see you've finally pulled through Miss Liddell." He smiled. Nate moved off the bed for the doctor to make a few check-ups. He sat and opened his bag up.
He checked her heartbeat and asked her to follow his finger, "How are we feeling today?" He asked. She replied, "I'm ok, except the bruising hurts."
The doctor took out a cap of pills, "We need to up your dose, as it seems the previous medication isn't working for your Schizophrenia."
She looked to Nate, "You told?"
He looked to the window without a word. The doctor also pulled out another cap and said, "Your anti-depressants."
She shook her head and said, "I won't need that anymore. For the first time in a long time, I feel great. I don't know how to explain it but... my depression seems to have fallen away."
The doctor left it with the other cap, "Just in case, you still need to take them." He said. He closed his bag and bid farewell and left. Nate showed him out and gave thanks.
He returned to the bedroom, and stood at the doorway and asked, "Do you want me to make you some tea?"
She smiled and said, "That'll be great, thanks."
He left to the kitchen to brew Earl Grey in a pot of water and boiled it over the stove. After it was ready, he poured into a tea cup and took to her carefully trying not to spill it.
She sipped the cup as she held the saucer under it, "There's something I want to tell you." She said. He sat on the bed, "I'm listening."
Holding the cup back on the saucer, she said, "I had a really strange dream. It was colourful, and odd. Nothing made sense but at the same time, it did."
He smiled a little, "Wow."
She took another sip, "And you were there, but your eye colour was different and you were a Mage. Your name was Nathaniel."
He chuckled, "Me, a Mage?" He said, "That's funny because my name sounds similarly close to that."

She agreed, it very much does, looking down in thought, she said, "Why did you tell the doctor I needed a stronger dose?"
He took the tea away from her hands, "Because you do, the medication isn't working. You still talk to things. I overheard you today, talking to the photo of mother and father." He said, "I worry about you, you know? Your schizophrenia caused you to run into a wall and everyone saw."
She looked down sadly, "You're embarrassed of me."
He shook his head, "No, Emily. You have never embarrassed me. I am just worried how people think of you, and they say things behind your back. It makes me so angry..." He was clenching his fist on the bed sheet.
He let out a sigh and looked down at the tea in his other hand, "I better take that out for you." He said, and looked back to her, "You should take your meds, say goodbye to your...Friends..."
He left out the door. She took the caps from the table and wandered into the bathroom with a glass of water. She looked at herself and said, "Goodbye...me..." She swallowed down the pills with a gulp.
As the pills started working, she felt less hazy. Her brain awakened to reality. Pictures were no longer moving and talking to her.
Nathaniel called out from outside the room, "Emily, come quick!"
She hurried to the kitchen to find he brought home a kitten, "Aw Nate!" She held it as he gave it to her with a smile. The kitten meowed. She absolutely loved it.
Looking down at the stripy black and grey kitten, she saw the lightning bolt pattern on its forehead, "I think I'll call her, Jupiter!"
Nate chuckled and said, "Ok, strange, but ok." She scratched the kitten behind the ear, "Jupiter is a unisex name, isn't it? It'll be strange to call her Zeus. I would have chosen Thor, but... that name feels odd to say for a cat."
He walked back to the stove to continue cooking dinner and said, "It's your cat, anyway. Do what you feel's right."
She carried the kitten to her room, "And I will." She said.
As days passed, Emily and Nathaniel were getting ready for a play performing at the theatre. She got dressed in deep purple Victorian dress with blue jewellery.
Nate walked in dress in his suit and top hat, "You coming?" He asked. She was just putting on her earrings, "In a minute." She said.
As he was gone from the doorway, she sighed and fixed up her hair. She left the mirror to grab her coat, and as she walked by her reflection, she stopped and stepped back to look at herself.
She could have sworn she saw something, that crown and dress of numbers, letters, and shapes. Her mind is playing tricks on her. She knows she took her meds today. She made sure of it.
Her brother called from outside, "Come on, Emily! We don't want to be late!"
She sighed and turned to leave out her bedroom door. Her reflection was left behind in the mirror, and then dispersed into black mist, disappearing from sight.
The play had only just begun. Nate and Emily took front row seats. It bugged Emily about what she thought she saw in the mirror before leaving.
She couldn't tell Nate, he would think she hasn't been taking her medication. Maybe it's normal because some people think they see things that aren't there.
She shook off the thought and just enjoyed the show.
As she and Nate walked back from the theatre, she stopped for a second. There's something odd with her reflection, "Emily, are you coming?" Nate said, walking ahead of her.
She sighed and walked with him, "Sorry, I just... never mind." She shook her head. He stopped for a moment to talk, "Are you still seeing things? It's ok, you can tell me."
Emily couldn't really say if she was or not, maybe her reflection is just distorted because it's dark out.
She shrugged and said, "I'm not entirely sure, but I don't think so. I am no longer talking to things, if that's what you mean."
He nodded, "Ok. I believe you."  He said, and took up his cane, "Come on."
The two stepped in the carriage. The horse trotted through the town. Things had grown silent between them.
He sighed, and then pulled back the curtain to look outside the window. He saw the street sign, "We're almost there." He said, sitting back.
She pulled back the curtain to take a look. She saw her reflection through the window; it still looked a bit distorted.
Upon arriving home, she unclipped her coat and threw it on the chair in the bedroom. She removed her earrings into the jewellery box.
Jupiter meowed, entering through the door. She smiled and turned, "Hey little one." She said in a squeaky voice as she picked up the kitten in her arms, "Are you hungry?"
In the kitchen, she opened a can of kitten food and poured milk into a bowl for Jupiter. The kitten licked at the milk and went ahead eating.
Emily returned to the bedroom. As she saw her mirror, she walked up in front of it. Her reflection appeared normal.
She sighed and muttered, "I'm really going crazy."
Turning away from the mirror, she saw Jupiter crawling back in, meowing. Her head bopped to the side, which made her even cuter.
 Emily smiled, leaning over to greet, "Hey." As she went to pick her up, she felt a cold presence. Turning around, her reflection distorted, and then misty black hands reached out to grab her.
She screamed. Many shadowy hands reached for her arms and legs, pulling her inside the mirror. The kitten hissed and ran away.
Nate ran into the room to find his sister nowhere in sight, "Emily!?" He called, and searched the whole room. He opened the closet door, "Em!?"
He looked down at the kitten and picked her up, looking around the room, "Where is she?" He asked, looking down scratching Jupiter behind the ear.
There's no trace of his sister in the house, other than her coat was left behind. The police couldn't find anything of where she would have disappeared to.
They asked Nate questions and promised to bring her back once they found her. It's just him and Jupiter for now.

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