Live Rabbits Ahead

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


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Submitted: September 23, 2017

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Submitted: September 23, 2017

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The grass was warm and moist under her feet as she ran through the late September night with her arms full.

 

It had been a long flight and her aunt and uncle, now her new parents, said that it would be a long ride back to their home. She watched planes taking off through her passenger window in her uncle’s Chrysler as they left the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. They drove through rolling hills covered in golden fields swaying in the afternoon breeze. She felt sleepy and curled up with her stuffed little polar bear and dropped off to sleep.

 

She felt more alive than she ever had. Looking up into the star filled night with it’s big yellow moon, she thought she would just burst with feelings she couldn’t explain. Her lungs were burning with breathless exertion. She ran on.

 

The road noise changed and she woke up. Looking out the window she could see why. They were now on a dirt road. Her aunt looked over the back seat and smiled.

“Hey, Sleepyhead. We’re almost home. Are you okay?” her aunt asked

She just nodded and looked out the window again, feeling her uncle’s gaze on her from the rear view mirror. Just as she was about to lay back down again she saw a sign pass by. At least she thought it was a sign. It was in the shape of a pink bunny. She thought that was weird, then they passed another one a little further down the road and this one was yellow. She saw her uncle smile at her in the mirror but she ignored him. Another one went by but this one had a word on it. It looked like “LIVE”. After a bit another one went by and it said “RABBITS” in black letters on a mint green bunny with long droopy ears.

“Are you seeing the rabbit signs, Sweetheart?” her aunt asked

She never answered. She just kept watching for the next sign. When it did pass by it read “AHEAD” on a baby blue bunny shape. All together it had said “LIVE RABBITS AHEAD”. She was intrigued.

 

A light came on at the big red house. A man stepped out in a bathrobe. She saw him standing under the bright porch light and peer into the darkness of his backyard. She turned back around and continued to run but she stumbled and fell. Stars seem to explode around her as the lightning bugs set off. She reached out with the innocence and curiosity of the nine year old she was. Her blue eyes seemed to glow in the light cast by the little bugs. For a moment she forgot where she was and what she was doing. She heard the old farmer yell in her direction.

 

“Oh, so you noticed the signs, huh?” her uncle said in a playful tone.

“We’re coming up on our neighbor's place, Red’s Rabbit Farm.” he continued.

“We’ll get you settled in and then in a week or so your aunt and I’ll take you over to see the critters….if he has any left, that is.”

“Stop it.” her aunt said. “Don’t tease her.”

“What?” her uncle said with a smart aleck grin. “I heard some evil chef from the city bought every last one of them for his city restaurant.” he said. And flinched as his wife smacked him with her clutch purse.

“That’s not funny.” she said and turned to the backseat and reassured her niece that her uncle had a bad sense of humor and that she should just get used to it. Her aunt would give him dirty looks for the rest of the ride. She continued ignoring them and kept her thoughts to herself.

 

The farmer stood in his yard surrounded by rabbits and open hutches. The little buggers hopped happily around his feet as he gazed out into the darkness wondering who did this.

 

‘Well.’ she thought ‘That didn’t go exactly as planned.’ She let go of the three bunnies she had ran off with when she saw the porch light come on. They wouldn’t run away like she thought they would. None of them had. All she wanted to do was save them from the evil cook but they wouldn’t run. She felt like crying but she promised herself she wouldn’t do that anymore. She watched the farmer’s wife come out and then, from a safe distance, watched as the two gathered the bunnies with love and place them back in their hutches. She overheard the two of them talking about how many they might have lost to the coyotes and hawks tonight. This horrified her.

The farmer and his wife were startled by the little girl in a nightgown as she walked into the light holding three lop-eared rabbits.

 


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