Lucky Charm

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

My uncle gave it to me. He says that it brings good luck.

Cover image: pixabay.com.

Lucky Charm

What the hell is that?” Terry points towards my keyring.

Huh? My keys,” I answer.

No, not the metal bits, but that thing you’ve got hanging there with them?”

Ah, you mean this!” I hold out the piece of fur and bone towards him. “It’s a rabbit’s foot.”

Gross, Kelly. Take it away. Please, please tell me it’s not real.”

Of course it is. My uncle gave it to me, said it’s a lucky charm.” I give it a gentle stroke with my finger, pretending not to notice his horrified look.

Well, sooner you than me. I’d rather take my chances.” Terry begins to walk along the pavement, heading away from me.

See you later,” I call, putting my keys and my lucky rabbit’s foot safely in my pocket, and heading off in the other direction.

I love to go for walks across the fields, taking in the wild flowers that grow along the edges. I’ve been teaching myself to recognize some of the smaller birds, although the trees have been proving harder for me to identify. Their leaves, for the most part are so similar.

On my walks I have seen the odd fox, and more than a few rabbits. My uncle says they are vermin, but I think they are kind of cute. I’d never hurt one myself, but there’s nothing wrong with carrying the charm is there? I mean, the rabbit wasn’t killed for his foot, was he!

It’s a nice day to go for a stroll. The sun is out, but the gentle breeze stops it from becoming unbearably hot. If it hadn’t been for that I’d have waited until later. The crops are in need of cutting. I’m careful to keep to the grass at the edge of the field; the farmer doesn’t mind me walking so long as I am mindful of his livelihood.

There seems to be a lot of rabbits around this afternoon. It strikes me as a bit strange, for generally they prefer to stay in their burrows until later and take their exercise in the evening. I rarely see more than a couple of them but today I can see ten, maybe even more.

I don’t need to worry about them. The rabbits are scared of me and never come close. Or at least that is how it has always been before. They seem to be approaching from all over the field to gather around me. I finger the foot in my pocket nervously. The rabbits seem to be surrounding me, for now there are some behind me and some to either side.

I catch the eye of one of the rabbits, and I don’t like what I see. Is it possible for their eyes to show hatred, because that’s my impression of the look I am getting? I would really like to turn around and head back home, but these small creatures seem to have reached a group agreement that I am not to be allowed to.

Checking that there is no one around, I shout out. “Ha!”

The loud noise should have made them disperse but instead, those furry little bodies have pressed closer to my legs. I feel like they are herding me, steering me in some direction. I have walked this field so many times I was sure I knew every inch of the verges, but the place I now find myself is not familiar to me; not at all.

There are deep banks of earth beside me that I don’t remember seeing before. In places they are almost as high as I am tall. And there are brambles snaking across my path that snag at my ankles and make me trip.

It’s way past the time for me to turn back. In spite of the rabbits beside me, I spin around and then gasp. There must be hundreds of them following me! I have never seen anything like it. I put my hand into my pocket to grip my lucky charm, but then think better of it. In the circumstances it does suddenly seem to be in very poor taste.

Okay,” I say, addressing the small mammals. “I’ll throw it away. Look!”

I pull it from my pocket, detach the furry foot from my keyring and hold it out, showing them what I am about to toss into the distance. My hand never gets so far as throwing it though, for I suddenly find myself falling sideways towards the bank, then into it. There is a huge hole opening up against my weight and there’s nothing for me to grab hold of to stop myself from tumbling into the earth.

For a moment I think that it looks like a giant warren, but what sort of wild creature in these parts would need a hole so big. I don’t really begin to panic until the earth and stones begin to collapse on top of me. I’m kicking and gasping and struggling to keep my mouth shut. In the earth, I can no longer tell which way is up for all the light has been blotted out.

Can I breathe? I can’t, for the earth clogs my nose and my mouth. My fingers frantically scrabble at the earth, but this seems to do nothing other than bring more land sliding down on top of me. Gently now, I try to make a bit of space around my face. I need to look at things logically. The earth has just fallen in; it can’t be tightly packed, so if I can dig a hole to let me get some air to breathe, maybe I’ll be able to calm my panic.

But that’s before I feel this horrendous pain coming from the area of my ankles. I try to pull my legs towards me but that just makes more earth fall, then suddenly my legs are free. My feet! The rabbits have taken my feet! And they are leaving me now, to be buried alive, until I stop breathing for good.

 

 


Submitted: June 05, 2020

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Vance Currie

Oh, wow, Hully. What an experience. The revenge of the rabbits! I hesitate to mention this but you wrote the first four lines in past tense before switching to present tense. That is always an easy mistake to make--which is one reason why I never write in present tense. In a story like this, however, present tense is good because it is also written in first person and makes the reader experience what the narrator is experiencing up to the moment of death. An excellent way to end the story, but not so good for the narrator.

Fri, June 5th, 2020 9:59pm

Author
Reply

No, I'm glad you did, Joe. I'm trying to transition from past to present, but so often it doesn't work out. I'll go off and try and edit it all to present.

Sat, June 6th, 2020 6:52am

moa rider

The lucky rabbit's foot was always in European stories, Mama Hullabaloo, but I can never remember any of my contemporaries having one. We always carried a tail in our pockets though. I remember my mother's delight when she received a bird's foot (or was it a fox's?) with a gem on it from Scotland. I don't remember her ever wearing it though. Usianguke

Fri, June 5th, 2020 10:21pm

Author
Reply

I can't say I've ever had one, but I have seen them, years ago now. I'm glad to say they have gone right out of fashion along with the fox fur scarfs. Honestly, just thinking about them makes me shudder.
Thanks, Moa.

Sat, June 6th, 2020 6:56am

Mike S.

A hopping good tail--err-tale, Hull!

Fri, June 5th, 2020 10:21pm

Author
Reply

Thanks for giving it a read, Mike!

Sat, June 6th, 2020 6:57am

Derina Peng

I never know why people take rabbit's feet as lucky-charm. And I always thought what if we also suffered the same from the animals' loss. In Australia, they use kangaroos' scrotums as lucky-charm too. Really crazy.

Sat, June 6th, 2020 9:34am

Author
Reply

Gross, the lot of it! Thanks, Derina!

Sat, June 6th, 2020 7:04am

HJ FURL

A delightful fairy-tale of a story, Hully, Beatrix Potter meets Grimm as down the rabbit-hole you fall! Well, that was how the hole felt to me said Alice, until the naughty rabbits (not the white one) came and? I really loved this. Might you write a book of grown-up fairy tales, I'm sure you have the tales, or tails! Smashing, Hully.

Sat, June 6th, 2020 2:00pm

Author
Reply

That's an idea, HJ, but at the moment I'm struggling to write anything. I'm glad you enjoyed the story, and thanks for reading.

Sat, June 6th, 2020 7:19am

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