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Rabbit Fever

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Rabbit Fever

I had just dropped off kenn at his university and headed back home. When I walked into our empty and silent apartment I noticed his backpack on the floor and in one pocket his phone was ringing.

Oh no, he forgot his phone again. I grabbed it. Answered and it was kenn. The reception wasn’t good- as if he was in a basement and so I collected my wallet, keys and my cell phone and ran to my car.

I am walking up the steps and noticed a couple of actors talking. They were still in their costumes. They were reminiscing about how they started working at this theatre- when they were young and full of life. I looked closely as I approached. The one man was older, aging terribly with greying hair and sallow cheeks. The other was also older but his dark skin was smooth and his age could only be seen in his salt and pepper hair and his deep wise eyes.

I passed them and entered the building. Suddenly I dropped my wallet and keys and went to grab them. But the floor was wet and somehow they’d rolled into the bathroom. I didn’t have time for this. I went in search for Kenn.

I’m in the basement. The garage is open and suddenly a little white rabbit runs into the room. There’s a lady next to me. She looks at the starved rabbit and shakes her head. I notice the rabbit has a tattered pink collar. His fur is patchy and he’s breathing very heavily. He’s looking for food and seems on the verge of dying.

“I have to help him!” I yell to no one in particular.

The woman near me says something about letting the rabbit die since he was already so close.

I turn to the freezer and can only find a small ziplock bag of homemade bacon covered Popsicles. Some bacon has broken off and I grabbed those slowly feeding the rabbit. The bacon quickly thawed and he nibbled happily. His breathing is still heavy.

I realized the frost on the bacon was a good thing because it was hydrating him as well. He quickly finishes the small piece I gave him. I give him more. He nibbles as he wheezes. I look at him. He was once beautiful. If I can save him his fur will be silky and milky white. I could just see his sleek handsome healthy self. What family decided to let him go? Who thought he could survive on his own? And let him go with that tight thick collar around his neck? I think of my snake Seschet who escaped and wonder if she’s starving somewhere looking for food. I shake myself.

I reach up at the shelves above the rabbit looking for something better to feed him. I bump my jacket and somehow it falls to the ground. I keep searching for something better to feed the rabbit, but find nothing. When I look down I realize he’s mostly covered by my black leather jacket, laying down under the shelf, a piece of bacon still between his little jaws. His eyes are closed. His breathing is a little less heavy.

“Oh no!” I say as I reach down, “I’m so sorry!”

“It’s ok.” He replies, “I think I’m going to sleep now.”

Wait what? He talked? I don’t think he actually talked. I mean he had frozen bacon in his mouth. I think it was his eyes that told me.

So I got up and turned to go back upstairs to raid the fridge and find better food. What the hell do rabbits eat? I’m sure they don’t eat meat. Couldn’t they live on grass? But he’s dying so maybe not.

I bump into Kenn.

“I’ve been looking for you!”

“Hey babe! I need to find food.”

I rush past him. Up the stairs.

People are everywhere. I see bags and purses everywhere.

“Where’s my wallet?” I ask no one in particular. A lady responds, “Here it is!”

I look over to her. She’s next to a table
Covered with a Vera Bradley table-cover and sure enough my Vera Bradley wallet with the same pattern is barely discernible on the table. I grab it. And rush out. The actors are still talking. The camera crew is nearby waiting on the darker man to return to them so they can continue to film.

I’m in the kitchen. My mother is there.

“What’s the rush?” She asks.

I mumble something as I reach down into the bottom drawer of the fridge. Why are there three containers of chopped up hot peppers of all colors? I need green bell peppers or carrots. There is a tray of sliced bell peppers. I grab a handful and stand up. Turning to my mother.

I wake up. Realization washes over me like warm jello. There is no rabbit. I want to sleep more so that I can see what happens to the rabbit.

I cuddle up closer to Kenn and wake him just enough to say, “I saved a rabbit.” After a slight pause, “Now, I want a rabbit.”

He snores happily, oblivious to my sadness.

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