“Zim!” Dib shouted, leaping up after him. He pumped his legs as hard as they would go and soon he was right on Zim’s tail (yes, Zim literally had a cute, fluffy, white cotton-tail to go with the rest of his bunny motif). “Zim! What’s going on? Where are we?”
The Zim-rabbit flashed his eyes at Dib in annoyance. “I know not of this ‘Zim’ of which you speak,” he snarled, “so stop calling me that! I am the White Rabbit and you will refer to me as such!”
Dib rolled his eyes. “Oh give me a break, Zim. All you did was put some bunny ears on and tie a stupid pink nose around your head. Do you think I’m dumb?”
“As a matter of fact…” Zim said with a smirk. Dib scowled, knowing he’d walked right into that one. He tried to cook up a good retaliation, but he was running out of breath, and Zim was now too far ahead to hear him anyway. The alien dashed through a door at the end of the hallway, and a moment later Dib did the same, finding himself standing in a large, dimly lit room with a high, arched ceiling. He spotted a small table made of glass sitting off to one side, but as for Zim there was absolutely no sign of him.
Dib’s eyes darted around the room, looking for Zim’s means of escape, but instead they landed on something glinting on the table. He walked over, his boot heels echoing loudly on the checkered tile floor, and picked up the tiny object.
“A key? Then there must be a door around here somewhere...” Dib looked around again. He didn’t see any doors, but behind him he spied long, purple curtain covering a section of the wall. Odd... how had he not noticed it there before? Being his paranoid self he eyed it with suspicion, then pulled a corner aside, revealing a very small door. And I mean very small. So small, in fact, that it barely even came up to his knees.
"You have got to be kidding me."
Frowning, he knelt down to examine the door more closely. “How's anyone supposed to fit through a door that size?” he griped. Then he noticed the doorknob. Dib just stared at it, furrowing his brow in confusion as he noted it’s odd, yet unmistakable shape. It looked exactly like…
Of course Dib was more than used to seeing truck-loads of merchandise modeled after his world-famous father, the one and only Professor Membrane-- their house was full of objects shaped like the Professor‘s head, after all-- but seeing something like that down here of all places was a bit surprising. Leaning forward he tugged on the strange looking knob only to be rewarded with a loud yelp of surprise.
“Hey! Watch it, Mr. Grabby Pants!” the doorknob said in a voice that was eerily similar to that of a certain Professor. “You don’t have to pull so hard you know.”
“Um, sorry... I guess,” Dib apologized, somehow not really all that shocked to be talking to a doorknob. He went to skool with an alien, had once encountered a horrible space moose, had traveled to a dimension made entirely of ham, and had even been turned into a walking bologna. He could certainly handle this (although the fact that the thing looked and sounded just like his dad certainly upped the weird factor a few notches).
“Ah well, no harm done,” said the door. “Now, is there something I can help you with, young man?”
Dib got down on his stomach and leaned in closer. “Actually, I was wondering if Zim came through here by any chance?”
“Yeah, little green alien? Wearing a bunny costume for some reason?”
“Ah, yes," said the doorknob, "as a matter of fact he did. You juuuuust missed him.”
“So Zim was here!” Dib clenched his fists in determination. “I have to follow him!”
The door burst out laughing, much to Dib‘s irritation. “Don’t be silly, my boy! You’d never be able to fit that big head of yours through here!”
“My head’s not BIG!” Dib huffed.
“Uh, yes…of course not,” the Membrane-esqe doorknob muttered, sounding not the least bit convinced. “Well, nonetheless I suggest you try that bottle on the table over there.”
“Huh?” Dib was about to point out that there was no bottle, but when he turned around he did, in fact, see a small, glass vial sitting on the tabletop which he was absolutely positive hadn’t been there a moment ago (there was just no way he, The Obsessive/Compulsive Dib, could've missed something like that).
He picked up the bottle and noticed a tag tied around its neck. “Hmm… Drink Me,” he read the words printed on it, eyeing the liquid with his usual level of scrutiny. “And exactly how is drinking this stuff supposed to help me?”
“Just give it a try!” the doorknob piped in jovially. “I invented the formula myself! I guarantee you’ll be thoroughly satisfied, and it’s also quite tasty, I might add!”
“Well… if you say so.” Dib shrugged. After all, this was his dad… sort of. He could trust him, right? He uncorked the bottle, giving the contents a little sniff before taking a hesitant sip. “Mm… Hey! That is pretty good, actually!” he remarked, licking his lips and taking a longer drink. "Sort of of makes my mouth feel all tingly."
Wiping his mouth on his sleeve, Dib went to set the empty bottle back on the table, but before he could he noticed that something about it seemed a little… off.
He blinked, a puzzled look wrinkling his features. Had the tabletop always been that high up? And it wasn't just his mouth that felt tingly now, but his entire body. Why did he feel so strange?
Before he could answer these pressing questions, Dib was distracted by a funny sinking sensation in the pit of his stomach. It felt like he was on an elevator that had jerked downward suddenly, and looking around, it did seem like he was riding an elevator. The walls looked as if they were rising up taller, the ceiling seemed to get higher, the entire room looked like it was expanding around him like a balloon filling with air.
“W-what the!?” he gasped. “What's happening!?”