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Down the Rabbit Hole

Warning: Emotional trauma

By JBazPublished 2 months ago 9 min read

The mirror showed a reflection that wasn't my own, it was unclear, blurry. Yet I knew it wasn't me. The image wavers. I feel moisture upon my face, a wetness chills my body.

A voice from behind calls out, faraway, hollow, barely coherent. My eyes are fixated, unable to blink, the image beckons me, I try to step forward my feet refuse to move.

The voice from behind calls again, 'Daddy....daddy.'

A thought flashes in my brain. ‘I’m not crazy.’

"Daddy, look at me."

I snap out a dream like state, my body damp. I'm staring into a waterfall, an image reflecting back. Slowly raising my gaze upward, the water plumets from one hundred and sixty feet. The sound should be deafening, but all the noise is absorbed, contained within this tiny canyon.

Glancing around, I am alone. I know for certain there were at least a dozen people here a moment ago. My heart stops, where is my son? Confusion is quickly replaced with fear.

Yelling, “Logan.” I scan the surrounding area, there is only me, standing on the dry rocky riverbed. Filling my lungs, I prepare to call out again.

"Daddy look at me." My son calls out. His dirty blonde hair pops up from inside a hollow cedar stump, twenty feet behind me. Adrenaline still coursing through my veins, but relief floods through me.

We are alone, the day is beautiful, sunny, and warm, a perfect day for a hike in the woods. Goldstream park is no more than a fifteen-minute car ride away from our home. The moment you step on the ground, you are transformed to a different time. There is nothing but nature, the river flows down from the mountain, meanders through this old growth rainforest flowing to the pacific ocean. Every autumn the salmon returns, smell of rotting carcasses overwhelm the senses. The spawning season is nearly over, yet the stench still hovers by the river. If you follow a side trail, it leads you to the waterfall and away from the decaying flesh. Once again you are taken to another world, where the narrow water flows from above, and eventually joins the ocean.

The uniqueness of this Waterfall is how close you can approach it. Water drops from the rocky heights and fills a tiny but deep pool which seeps through an underground cavern for a hundred or more yards then pops up, winding it's way to join the river. You can reach out and touch the water if you dare, while standing on dry rocky ground. This is before the winter rains make it impossible. When that happens, the entire riverbed becomes a torrent of chilled mountain water.

It takes only moments for the flood to occur.


Running over to my son, I lift him out of the stump, his laugh echoes amongst the surrounding forest and rocks. I hold him close to me. "I thought you were gone, don't hide from me like that."

“Can we go up today?” He asks, already knowing the answer.

He wants to climb up the path to the top of the waterfall, I keep telling him he is too young. The climb is steep and the footing dangerous.

His short arms wrap around my neck, soft cold cheeks press against my own. I cannot help but squeeze him tight. I look around, seeing no-one, still baffled by the sudden disappearance of so many people.

As I begin to walk, there is a soft sound, distant yet discernible.

His body weighs next to nothing, he is smaller than most of his preschool friends. Setting him down, we scramble up and out of the dry riverbed, then follow the path back to the car.

Still laughing, he is the happiest child I have ever known. My heart bursts with love as I find myself laughing along with him. His love of the outdoors comes with a natural instinct to explore. It is infectious.

The sound of water fades away as we continue to walk, his tiny hand in mine. Winding our way through ancient trees, draped with moss, he begins to sing. The light is dim, late afternoon sun is hidden from view by gigantic old growth trees. Their limbs reaching impossibly far overhead. You feel like you are walking in a fairy realm or a Brothers Grimm tale.

It is one of those days you wish would never end.

Be careful what you wish for.

Logan wants to stop and pick up rocks. He collects one or two on every hike. I again hear a sound, which doesn’t fit the forest. It is an echo moving throughout the treetops, like wind chimes. Beautiful yet out of place.

Logan is squatting down deep in concentration, picking up and discarding pebbles. We both look up when there is a noise of a branch breaking. Turning around I see ...nothing, only the narrow path. A cool breeze blows gently through the trees, stirring the fallen leaves.

A soft voice whispers to me. “Daddy, look a white rabbit.”

He is standing pointing into the woods. I crouch, peering into the forest. All I see are shadows growing longer, tiny streams of light dance in amongst the leaves, tricking my mind. "Ok, Logan, let's ..."

He is gone.

He was no more that four feet away. Calling his name... nothing. I run in circles as far as I think he may have gone. I cry his name over and over, tearing at the brush and branches. I hear the carillon sound floating all around me. Running blindly, I feel the blood in my eyes and heartbeat pounding out of my chest. I fall, crawl back up. Calling his name until my throat is raw.

The chiming is getting louder.

I don’t know how, but I find myself standing at the top of the waterfall. I am startled as a white blur runs out from the forest and into the fast flowing water. I watch a white rabbit struggle against the current, helpless as this creature plummets over the edge.

I do nothing but stare into the flowing liquid. There is something in the waves, a rippling image. It’s like looking into a mirror.

I see.

A reflection that wasn't my own, it was unclear, blurry. Yet I knew it wasn't me. The image wavers, I feel moisture upon my face, a voice from behind calls out. ‘Daddy.'

I am once again standing in front of the waterfall. Mist fills the air, soaking into my clothes. I am alone.

'I'm not crazy.'

“Daddy, look at me.”

I turn around, dirty blonde hair pops up from inside the hollow cedar stump. His head and shoulders are all I see. Gazing down into the stump, he suddenly looks up and smiles. Raising his arms over his head, I see a blurry white object in his hands. “Daddy look. Ta da, a rabbit.”

I make a mistake and hesitate, wondering what is happening, my mind tries piecing this together. All I know is we need to leave.

I run to grab my son, but he disappears down into the stump before I can reach him. He drops as if a trap door opens beneath him.

The ground begins to shake, a low moan reverberates in the air.

I reach in calling his name. Looking into the empty hollow is like gazing down a well. I see only darkness. I wave my arms wildly about trying to find him. I feel a grip on my hand, it tugs me in. I frantically scramble back, scaping my feet against loose rock. I am getting dragged into the stump. Down I fall into a swirling fog, Until I find myself floating above a pool of water. There in the darkness staring up at me is an image, reflecting back at me that wasn't my own. Blurry. Yet I knew it wasn't me. The image wavers. A voice from behind calls out. ‘Daddy.’


I am facing the waterfall, cool liquid seeps into my clothing, I am damp, confused and begin to shiver.

“Daddy, look at me.”

Turning, I see my son, his head popping out of a hollow cedar stump.

I cry out "Oh, God not again."

I race to him, scooping him up before he vanishes, and hold him tight, without thinking I run, holding him, I will not let go.

'I’m not crazy.'

Move, don't stop.

I scramble up the ledge, it is hard climbing with one arm and holding him in the other. I slip on the loose gravel as we climb. My knee smashes onto a rock, pain shoots down my leg. I keep moving. Stepping onto the path I hear a sound. A deep rumbling, floating on the air, weaving in and out of the trees.


I don't stop, Logan is still laughing, he doesn't know what is about to happens, I do. We need to leave.

“Daddy, look at the rocks, I want to pick some for mommy.” He squirms, trying to work his way out of my arms.

My heart begins to pound, I grasp tighter. “No time Logan.”

“Please daddy, I want to pick a rock for mommy.” Again he wiggles, for someone so small I can barely contain him. Why doesn't he understand we cannot stay. We must leave.

Trying not to sound panicked . “Sorry buddy, we have to get home we’re already late.”

He laughs, thinking this is a fun ride. I squeeze him closer. I don't look back, I don't hesitate, I run. I don’t understand why I cannot move faster; my feet are heavy, sluggish.

I don’t stop.

Breaking free of the path, I see our car parked under the Arbutus tree, whose long smooth bark-less branches hovers over the clearing. Leaves of every autumn color slowly cascading down, landing on the ground, covering our vehicle. The crunching sounds of dead foliage under my feet, reverberates in the air.

By Sergiu Vălenaș on Unsplash

Running to the vehicle, I scramble to unlock the door. I cannot find my keys. Against my better judgement I set Logan down. Grasping his shoulder I say, “Hang onto my leg and do not let go.”


“Logan, just hang on.” My voice is louder than I wanted, his eyes begin to fill with water. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to yell, it’s going to be okay.”

I search through every pocket in my jacket and pants, till I feel them in my hand.

We made it.

I quickly buckle Logan in his seat and close his door. Jumping behind the wheel I fumble to put the key in the ignition.

“Daddy, where's rabbit?”

I turn around. “What?”

I stare into his blue eyes. He says no more but smiles.

"Not this time." I whisper.

From behind, I hear a sound, the air rushing forward, a deafening howl riding on the wind. Leaves begin to swirl, distorting my view.

The car roars to life, I step on the gas and pull away. My breathing is heavy, I’m starting to calm down. I dare a smile and glance in the rear-view mirror.

Relief in my voice I say. "We're almost home buddy......."

There is only an empty car seat in my vision.

He is gone.

I continue staring into the rear-view mirror which showed a reflection that wasn't my own.

‘I’m not crazy…. I’m not crazy.’


With clipboards in hand, two Doctors continue observing through the two-way mirror.

“So, you say he has been like this since he got here?”

“Yes, he stares into the mirror, runs around the room, until he collapses from exhaustion. “

“Hmmm. What's he holding?”

”It was his son’s.”


About the Creator


I have enjoyed writing for most of my life, never professionally.

I wish to now share my stories with others, lets see where it goes.

Born and raised on the Canadian Prairies, I currently reside on the West Coast. I call both places home.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  3. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  4. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

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Comments (33)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran2 months ago

    Yoohoo, it's me again back for a revisit, lol! I just can't stop thinking of this story. So I popped in for a reread and a hello!

  • Robby Tal2 months ago

    Amazing work! I look forward to exploring more of it.

  • Charlotte Flores2 months ago

    What a sad and beautiful story. You described the events well. While reading the story I was unconsciously excited and curious to know how the story ends. The sentences are completely professionally written. I hope to read more stories from you. If you are interested, please read my story and comment.

  • Aphotic2 months ago

    The thought of being trapped inside a mind-loop like that is scary enough in itself, but the reveal at the end makes it all the more horrific. Great story, well done!

  • Loryne Andawey2 months ago

    Oh man! What a gut-wrecher. This was more heartbreaking than horrifying to me. Well done!

  • Harmony Kent2 months ago

    Congratulations on a well deserved Top Story! 💕🙂

  • Mohamed Jakkath2 months ago

    Thank you for sharing such a powerful and emotional story. Your writing transported me to Goldstream park and allowed me to experience the beauty of nature through your eyes. Your love for your son is palpable in every word, and I felt your fear and relief when you thought he was lost. The way you described the disappearance of so many people and the strange sounds you heard added an eerie and mysterious element to the story. Your use of sensory details and vivid descriptions made me feel like I was right there with you and your son. Thank you for sharing this beautiful and haunting experience.

  • Colleen Millsteed 2 months ago

    Outstanding writing and a great storyline. Congratulations on your top story.

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Awesome!!! Congratulations on Top Story!!!1💖💖💕

  • Marvelous story. Breathless & frenetic, the sense of panic is palpable. Congratulations!

  • Congratulations 🎉 Nice Storytelling ✨❤️👍

  • Mark Graham2 months ago

    Loved your horror story. This should be a short book.

  • Madison Newton2 months ago

    Well done! Very well-written!

  • Excellent use of description. And truly the stuff of any parent's worst nightmare. Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Kristen Balyeat2 months ago

    This was a great story! I was hanging on every word. Also, having a little boy that age with a very similar disposition and explorative spirit gave me very strong emotions while reading! Congratulations on top story! You definitely deserve it!

  • Dana Stewart2 months ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!

  • PJ Jackelman2 months ago


  • Judey Kalchik 2 months ago

    I found myself holding my breath as I read. Amazing storytelling.

  • J. S. Wade2 months ago

    You twisted my mind . Excellent excellent story! Congrats! 🥇🥇🥇

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Congrats on the well deserved Top Story.

  • Naomi Gold2 months ago

    This was great psychological horror, because it made me feel like I’m going crazy. 😵‍💫

  • Dana Crandell2 months ago

    Great twist! Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Melissa Ingoldsby2 months ago

    Your intense sensory descriptions of nature is breathtaking, I love your vivid deep narrative here. Hearted. Congratulations, on top story!

  • Congratulations on your Top Story

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