Note:Lilith and Because We’re Poets gave us a short story prompt: “Plot bunnies…. we all have ‘em – keeping up at all hours of the night, hopping around in our heads, breeding like, well, rabbits. So, your challenge this week is to describe your various little critters: their personalities, do they have a voice, how do you handle and corral these little beasties? Are they cute little things?” So…
I know each one by name – all of them, despite the fact they look like peas in a pod or rather, cotton balls in a bag. Edmond can attest to my power of recall. Ask him, he’s right here, the one with the intense look in his right eye that is slightly redder than his left. He hangs around me the most, not that he’s better than the others; but he’s managed to gain seniority through presence not age. He is honest and we relate rather well.
We are a dozen, give or take a few from time to time. When we are out, all of us, together, I am always bombarded with questions: Are they all good? What do you feed them? Are they hard to keep track of? Do they taste like chicken? Once, a lady asked me if they are worth the trouble! Children would run up and want to play games. We don’t play games. We work. Real work. Maybe funny, noble, sometimes horrific. Albeit serious, it is what we do to keep going. It is our life line.
So now we’ve been relegated to staying at home a lot – a stifling risk. I’ve come to understand that their existence is eventually my existence. I could not leave them even if it means giving up normal living. I’m like a mother and her brood. I accept all of them and their exponential idiosyncrasies. I don’t split hares.
Nevertheless, we’re a sight. If you want a glimpse of me and my gregarious group: Take a lollipop, lick it (make sure to pack on the saliva) and run it along a dusty floor to collect dust bunnies. That’s us, no pun intended. (Edmond just gave me a twitch, which he had learned to control – up to now.)
Right now we are sitting outside in the backyard. The grass is spring green beneath our feet, cooler than the air that ruffles fur. Orson, he’s a little on the heavy side, just plopped in, with an epic entrance. Edmond and I smile at him.
“It is summer, Orson, you really need to take it easy,” advises Edmond.
I turn my face away to stifle a laugh. My eyes stop at Rex and Zara. I can only see their ears in the tall grass. Those two are up to no good, I can tell. He’s the amorous type and well, Zara is just plain evil. I hear little mincing and feet thumping.
“Hey, you two!” I yell out. “Let the sun set first.”
They totally disregard me and sink into the grass. Not two moments pass when out of the same grass pops a fresh, white, fuzzy face and not so cuddly, as she fashions a black patch over one eye. I fear what she has in store for me.
“Well, what’s your name?” I ask precariously.
“Ellen,” she says looking around at her new surroundings and disappearing almost as instantly as she came. She has the tiniest tail.
“She makes thirteen,” exclaims Edmond, shaking his head east to west.
“Why keep count anymore?” I sigh.
On the other side of the yard, Stephen and Alfred are in a heated debate. I could see their noses twitching within millimeters of each other, while defining the fine line that separates suspense and horror.
They are pretty damn smart. They’re very demanding too, requiring immediate attention. I’ve taken lessons and notes that could fill binders.
Edmond is too busy to remark. He’s eavesdropping on Herbert, Joseph and Dolly who look like white clouds huddled in discourse over war and religion and their effects on lust.
See what I mean. Now Christopher comes hopping over the hill.
“What do you think of a guy who flies around and bullets can’t harm him?” he grins with his buck teeth in full view.
“I think that one’s been done, Christopher,” I say kindly.
Okay, so they’re not all bright. I’m the first one to admit they’re a bizarre bunch. Gotta love ‘me. But I still make time to get away. Everyone must have a hobby. I have my garden. It’s my fun away from work. (Edmond just twitched at me again.)
“Well it is, Edmond!” I reply.
Edmond disagrees that it’s relaxation. He calls it a cash crop. You see, I have rows and rows of carrots. Just carrots. Rosa says it’s good, so we can see things to come. She’s the visionary of the group.
Copyright © 2013 Shainbird. All rights reserved.
Please also read works from other participants of “Wednesday Short Story Prompt #5 – You’ve Been Warned“by Bastet, Lilith, CrankyCaregiver, TJ.