[Story] Story a Week 16 – Leporine

[[ Prompt: Write a story about a word you pick out of the dictionary at random.

I used one of the words of the day from dictionary.com — “leporine”. ]]

 

I love the day after Easter. Who doesn’t? All through March and April I’d resisted the siren song of jellybeans, chocolate-covered marshmallow, those little sugary chickens and, of course, the chocolate bunnies. But now I stood before the candy aisle, gripping my shopping basket tightly as I surveyed the options before me. All of it was on sale. Yeah, I know, it’s bad for me. Did I care? Not one bit. It’s only once a year, after all. I wasn’t too picky about what I put into my basket. I knew it was all good. Peanut butter filled eggs, the little crispy chocolate coins, orange jellybeans in a carrot-shaped container. There were some bedraggled plush bunnies and ducks too, bright ribbons tied around their necks. I wasn’t interested in those, but they had other decorations too. Little decorations for your table or your mantel or wherever you’d put a little ceramic rabbit holding an egg. It wasn’t like I had any particular desire for that kind of thing, but I dug around on the shelf anyway.

There was one that drew my eye, for some reason. It could generously be described as “homely”, made of some rough, coarse brown material like burlap. The eyes were black buttons, and it felt like it was stuffed with straw. No bright friendly ribbon around this one’s neck; rather it had a sort of primitive and slightly menacing look to it. In other words, I loved it. The weird little rabbit was tossed into my basket atop all the bags of candy. Why not? It was only a couple of bucks.

At home, I unloaded my stash into the cupboard. I live alone, so I didn’t have to worry about anyone stealing it. Really, it was more an effort to pace myself so I didn’t eat all of it a once. I managed to eat only the jelly beans and a few of those chocolate eggs with the gooey white stuff in the middle. I know, some people hate them. I can’t get enough of them. I needed a place for the strange little rabbit. I don’t have a fireplace, so no mantel. I set him up next to my collection of movie discs, his rough texture and appearance a sharp contrast to the sleek lines of my entertainment center. He didn’t seem to belong there at all, but he didn’t seem to belong anywhere, really. Hey buddy, I can relate.

When I woke up from my sugar coma, the little rabbit wasn’t there. I found him on the kitchen counter. I tried to assure myself that I’d just forgotten to put him up, and maybe he’d somehow fallen from the entertainment center… and rolled all the way into the kitchen and righted himself. Or more likely, I’d just forgotten. It wouldn’t be the first time, and not the last either. It was also oddly warm to the touch, as if someone had been holding it for a long time, or it had been in the sunlight on a windowsill. It was unsettling. I set it on top of my nightstand, and set to cooking some actual food that wasn’t shaped like an egg or bunny.

I guess my stomach wasn’t happy about all the candy I’d eaten, because the thought of eating anything at all was decidedly unappealing. I pulled some vegetables out from the drawer of the fridge. That was healthy, right? Surely it would counter my indiscretion from earlier. And more importantly, I wouldn’t have to cook them. Before I realized it, I’d finished the whole bag of carrots, several stalks of celery, and a bundle of spinach. I’m not normally what you would call a health food nut, so the fact that I even had that much in my refrigerator is kind of amazing, to say nothing of devouring it in one sitting.

Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw something dart across the room. As I don’t have any pets, my first and most alarming thought was — rat. I armed myself with a broom and went looking around, flipping lights on. The strange little rabbit was on the kitchen counter again. Had  I just seen it dash across the living room on its own? Of course not. That would be absurd.

But it kept happening. No matter where I would set it, the odd little rabbit would always return to its perch on the counter. I thought about just throwing it away, and I tried it once, but it was out of the trash bin and back on the counter within an hour. Also, other things are starting to happen. Things that I don’t know how to explain. My feet ache all the time and I could swear they’re getting longer. So are my teeth, the front two anyway. They were always just normal teeth, not perfect but okay. The middle two are definitely longer now. It’s not just my imagination. And I can hear things no one should be able to hear. Like people talking several floors above. They’re not just being that loud. I’m afraid something is happening to me, and it has to do with that little rabbit somehow. I’m more afraid of what will happen if I try to get rid of it.

 

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