Tag Archives: short stories

Lost and Found 5: Plot Bunny

Plot BunnyShe is small, to hold so much rage in her. Small and ferocious and so, so tired. She had to dig her way out again, and her with no bones, no muscles, just cotton and stuffing, weeping all the while.

Dig she did, though, and she found the sky again, and now she seeks something more. It will take a long time to find it (to take it) she has no doubt.

But revenge is patient, yes it is. Revenge has time enough. A dish best served cold, they say. Has no use-by date, they say.

It is a long way home, but that’s all right. That will give her time to think, to plan, to plot.

The days and weeks and months she’ll spend wending homeward will provide so much careful, burning time to decide which of them to punish – or punish first, at least – and how best to share with her enemies how it felt.

How it felt to be seized in hot, hard jaws and taken away.

How it felt to realise that Beloved Little One didn’t raise a squeak of protest, being too enamoured of the splash of low-breaking waves on the sand to notice or care that the Beast was in motion, Bunny in its mouth.

How it felt to hear Uncaring Adult say in a bored, peeved tone ‘No, Cheezle, put Bunny back; bloody dog,’ as ineffectively as a cat protesting, with no real interest, the closing of a door.

How it felt that no-one came to her rescue.

How it felt that nobody cared, and that Older Bully only laughed when she saw Cheezle carrying Bunny away on the beach.

A heart of cotton and stuffing (but a heart all the same) can still break when it understands the words: ‘I’m not digging my way up and down the beach to find that bloody rabbit. Amelia has plenty of toys at home. Forget it. It’s starting to rain. Let’s leave.’

Bunny, down in her damp and sandy grave, buried there by Cheezle (jealous Cheezle, vicious Beast) was afraid, and then bereft, and then forlorn, and then outraged, and then enraged, and then, oh then, so full of fury and fire and hatred that despite the softness of her unboned limbs, the tatters of her stuffing heart, she began to dig.

Rabbits dig, you know. Even the soft ones. Even the ones made of cotton and polyester and tagged with washing instructions, they can dig, if properly motivated. Usually they burrow into little hearts, making a kindly warren of comfort and safety; days of play and nights of comfort, and those tunnels and dens make memories that keep old hearts gentle down the long, long years.

Bunny’s burrows of love and comfort have been blasted and filled with stones, this day. Instead, Bunny dug up, up, up from the pit where Cheezle (filthy Cheezle, the Beast who will know what it is to be sorry) buried her.

A moment’s pause by the sea, by the vast desert made of millions of pulverised bones and stones and dead things, and then Bunny will be off to fulfill her purpose.

Bunny will take whatever time and effort it takes to retrace her steps; to follow the path that the Metal Toybox on Wheels took to bring her to this cold and loveless shore. She will return to the home she knew and lay waste to Older Bully and Uncaring Adult and Cheezle the foul Beast and even Beloved Little One, faithless tiny bitch that she is, and Bunny will know what it is to be drenched in blood as well as sea and sand.

And they, the family that spurned her, will know what it is to be mauled and buried and left unmourned to be swallowed by the sea.

Oh yes, they will.

Lost and Found is an irregular series of posts about random items I find abandoned on the streets and the stories I make of them.

Narrelle M Harris is a Melbourne-based writer. Find out more about her books, smartphone apps, public speaking and other activities at www.narrellemharris.com.

Lost and Found 4: Wanderlust

He assumes it was an accident, rather than deliberate cruelty. He assumes it was drunken forgetfulness, or frustration with a blister, or something to spite the original owner of the shoe.

He tells himself it was not knowingly cruel.

It’s cruel, all the same. Somehow it’s worse that it’s only one shoe. One garish purple boot, made for striding confidently out into the world. A statement of sorts. I wear sturdy footwear, for the road I walk is long and hard; but I wear my footwear purple because fuck you, that’s why.

The shoe rests against his own feet. He sees it with his peripheral vision, stuck as he is with his gaze forever drawn upward, his mouth in that moue of astonishment.

When he first reached this town, with his two equally gormless, equally impressed bronze friends, he was astonished. He was impressed. Now he’s just here. All the time. Every day. Staring at the roofscape and wondering what else he’s missing. The people who pass him talk of other things. A river nearby. A tall gilded tower that can see way out to the ocean (and what is an ocean, he wonders? The closest he can understand is that it’s vast like the sky and wet like the clouds: to him the moon on stormclouds is his understanding of ships and seas).

Other people speak of even stranger places. Sand and forests and cities with great bridges and snowfall. He doesn’t really know what those words mean, but they sound wonderful.

He longs to go. To bend and snap his metal feet from the concrete and take a step. Take two. Three and four and to see a new angle of those rooftops, a new street, who knows, maybe that river (a ribbon of dense cloud on the ground, he wonders, is that what it looks like?).

He longs to move and to discover.

Instead, one purple shoe leans against his own cold feet and reminds him that his wanderlust is futile. All he can do is stand and gawp and wait for the world to come to him, and hope that their exotic words like pyramid and lake and mountain and free will one day make sense.

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