Friday, October 31, 2014
[Bunny Stories] It be Hallowe'en, it be Hallowe'en! Find a bunny and feed them greens!
As a black bunny Umbra took her job as Hallowe'en rabbit very seriously. It was her job to gnaw the Hallowe'en pumpkin, it was her job to set up the candles (this year she didn't singe her whiskers,) it was her job to make sure everyone got spooky invitations and it was her job to tell the Hallowe'en stories. It hadn't been her job to make the food since the first year; everyone was quite grateful when Speedy generously took over the job on top of his own party. Everyone agreed, Umbra included!, that Speedy made the best snacks ever.
There was pure white Buttercup and light brown splotted over white fur Jensen, buff lop eared Mr Mick (although he insisted he was orange. Maybe it was a Hallowe'en thing) and dark helicoptered ear Harrington and the brown, star-nosed Hannah, and creamy Speedy with his brown smudged nose with his brown ears, of course. New comers tanned dwarf Thor and lopped eared, English spot, Don Pedro were cautiously drinking the pink ginger ale and wondering if the bubbles were supposed to go up their noses.
Umbra sat herself between two candles in the dark and shadowed room, the fan on across the room to cause them to flicker and dance. Ambiance was everything, after all. She'd drawn the line at the pumpkin spice incense that had caused her to sneeze half the night away last year. Some sacrifices even she wasn't ready to make!
"It was a dark and stormy night -- " she began.
"Isn't it always?" Mick whispered.
"IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT!" Umbra repeated, forcefully, just daring Mr Mick, snot of the north-east to interrupt her again. She'd nip his tail into next week if he did.
"Hmph." Mick may have added something about foo' does, but Umbra decided it was probably best to ignore him or he'd be on about a sore tail all night.
* * *
Buttercup and Jenson had been taking the closet portal to Speedy's Hallowe'en party when they got dumped out unexpectedly. It wasn't a nice warm closet, freshly organized and tidy in expectation of kitty and bunny visitors but a nasty cold ditch with slimy grass sludged at the bottom of it. It was drizzly and dark and storm clouds were gathering over the head.
"I told you to concentrate!" Buttercup snapped.
"I *was* concentrating! Something went wrong with the bunny tunnel! It just burped and here we are!" He looked around, "Where is here?"
"Lost is where we are, so here must be lost!" Buttercup told him, scrambling up the steep side of the bank. She ignored Jensen putting his nose against her butt to give her a shove up and over. He gave a leap and then scampered up behind her. She periscoped one way while he periscoped the other. It was muddy and miserable. The road had probably been fresh tarmac and useful, but now it was full of puddly potholes and was more cracked than smooth. The paint lines were faded to near non-existence. The bushes on the other side of the ditches were rustling as the wind picked up to a brisk pace. None of which was particularly pleasant when you fur was getting sodden.
"I don't even know what *country* we're in." grumbled Jensen.
Buttercup sighed, "Me neither. We could be *anywhere.* We could get lost in time or something!" The TARDIS traveled bunny tunnels didn't it? It could go anywhen. She didn't want to be stuck in some barbaric time where they ate bunnies! What horror that would be!
Jensen sniffed about, "I don't think so. I mean, it's a tar road. That's fairly new, right?"
Buttercup looked mollified, "Good thinking!"
Jensen offered a smile, "I think I see a steeple or something over that way. Maybe they have a closet?"
"*Anything* is better than sitting here in the muck!" Buttercup replied, turning in the direction he indicated and started hopping down the road. While it would be warmer and far less mucky to hop up the road, neither of them wanted to take a chance with cars. At least from here they could jump back into the ditch if absolutely necessary. Some humans had truly dreadful ideas of things that were funny.
The grey mess of rain slowly revealed an old mansion house. Well, that meant they were probably somewhere in either Old England or New England. Maybe if they were in Old England they could still get to Speedy's even if the closet system was broken. Of course, considering how wet and muddy they were, it might be better to just get home and make a mess of their own carpets instead of Speedy's nice mummy's.
The house was dark, with wooden siding that looked like it was slipping in places. The windows all had dark drapes covering them from the inside. The shutters weren't latched and bounced around banging in the rising wind. The rain was starting to turn from drizzle to fat rain drops. One plunked right between Buttercup's ears and she jumped a mile and growled in complaint.
The two hurried up the stairs to the large wooden double doors. There was an old fashioned knocker on each door, but no sign of a doorbell.
"Don't go in there!" a voice called from down bellow. The two bunny's stopped in mid-about-to-thump. They scurried to lean over the stone wall on either side of the wooden, creaky, steps. Looking up at them was a scary black cat with orange eyes that seemed to glow in the faint light. "The master's gone crazy, or something's eaten him, or something!" The head disappeared, "Come in here!" the cat said, muffled.
The bunnies hopped down the stairs and scurried around to find a hole in the stones that made up the side of the steps. They wiggled in to find dark plastic sheeting with some tatty towels plopped about randomly. The cat sat in the corner, a flash of lightning making his eyes seem to snap. Both rabbits started and then jumped up a mile when the thunder sounded so very close. They both landed with a thumps of displeasure at the sudden bright lights and loud noises.
"That's just Thor having a party." The cat said. His voice was growly and low. He shuddered, shaking off fur that looked brittle and spiky. "Don't mind him, they never last long."
The Thor THEY knew was a very nice little Dwarf who wouldn't go throwing lightning about just to scare people! He'd been a bit cannon happy, of course, but weren't all pirates whether they hopped on four feet or walked on two or less?
"So, uhm, what happened with the house?" Buttercup ventured, not sure what to say to the cat. Speedy had warned them that not all cats were nice and friends, that something of them were quite nutty and tried to *hurt* bunnies!
"I don't know!" He protested. "One day I'm napping and I was woken up by the doors. Master went to answer it and he came in with a wonderful box." Jensen and Buttercup exchanged a look, cats were very silly about boxes. "He unpacked something all that plasticy bubble stuff and gave me the box. I had a wonderful time playing in the box and eventually took my pre-supper nap. I woke up to the most dreadful howling coming from the attic and master was nowhere to be found! My food bowl was really quite empty, and there was nothing to eat *anywhere*." The cat stopped to lick his tail and Buttercup just wanted to tell him to get on with it! "I listened to the howling for *hours* and it finally stopped, I thought, great master would come down and feed me now. But then the worst screaming started up and I just couldn't take it anymore! I took out my special door and came down here. I've been here since. Sometimes when the wind is right, you can still hear the screaming!"
The bunnies weren't very happy at the news. "We need a closet." Jensen finally said. "We could.. maybe.. go inside and look?"
Buttercup wasn't very enthusiastic about the idea, but they could hardly just hide under the steps of some haunted house for who knew how long. There may be plenty of grass to eat, but they had a human and a dog to take care of!
The lightning crashed and boomed again. Both bunnies had been half-expecting it this time.
"It's your funeral." The cat finally said with a sniff and went back to licking his tail. "My door is around back."
Jensen gave a shiver and Buttercup followed him out into the rain.
They made their way through grass that probably could have used mowing a few months back, getting wet all over. "I wanna go home." Buttercup didn't quite cry.
"Me too." Jensen reassured her. He'd had enough of rain and misery and scary thunder and haunted houses and creepy cats and muddy ditches.
The back steps were far less fancy than the front, they were also in less repair. With a shake of fur and ears, Jensen hopped up and stuck his nose in the flapped door. He didn't hear any noise coming from within. He hopped inside, Buttercup crowding against him.
The kitchen was kind of dark. Contrary to the outside of the house, the kitchen was kind of modern. Jensen saw a clock that was flashing midnight and he wished that it was telling the proper time. With time zones and silly things, who knew how long they'd been running around in the rain? He couldn't even tell if it was afternoon or night!
Buttercup stood up on her hind legs, peering about. "I can't see a plugin!"
Well, that would tell them, at least, what continent they were on! "Does it matter?" Jensen finally asked, heading towards the door from the kitchen. He gave a glance up to see that there were in fact overhead lights powered by electricity. He wondered if they were turned off or if the power was out in the storm.
Buttercup sighed, "I guess not." She didn't follow Jensen. "This is the kitchen, shouldn't we just use the pantry?"
"We should at least see what happened to the cat's human, shouldn't we?" Jensen said, nudging the door open.
Buttercup muttered an impolite negative about that idea, but followed him out into a living room.
The furniture was shabby and overstuffed but looked serviceable enough. It all centered on an HD TV with a dizzying area of electronics underneath. There weren't any pictures on the walls and the large bay window was covered by dark drapes. The flash of lightning could be seen against the ceiling, but the curtains fell all the way to the floor, creating patterns in the dust on the hardwood floor. It was cooler out here than in the kitchen.
"I wonder if he knows what a heater is." grumbled Jensen. He was cold, he was muddy, he was wet and now he was traipsing through a strange house. it seemed like a good idea at the time.
"Oh he's a flintscape." Buttercup offered.
Jensen didn't think that was quite the word she wanted but instead decided to go up the stairs that were near the front door to the second floor.
There wasn't much to see on the second floor. A room full of cat furniture with a stinky litter box and a non-bubbling water fountain. Another room with a large bed and a dresser with a long mirror propped up against the wall. The bathroom looked archiac. They found the stairs up to the attack behind the fourth door.
"You sure about this?" Buttercup asked.
"No, but let's go anyway." Jensen replied, starting the hop up the stairs. It was gloomy in the attic but they could almost see due to high in the wall windows. The windows were small and round but uncovered, showing the rain outside.
A human lay sprawled in a plush chair. He was balding, with a fringe of frazzled grey hair. His shirt had food splotches on it and his jeans looked very ill fitting.
"Is he dead?" Jensen whispered quietly.
"I don't know!" Buttercup replied. She crept forward, the floor unsanded and a bit rough under paw. She tried not to breath to deeply since it was even dustier up here than it had been in the living room. She was almost within peering range when she stepped on a dark lump, it let out a wheezing moan and Buttercup turned tail and ran back towards the door.
Jensen quickly dived in front of her so she whumped into his side. They tumbled a bit. The human half-woke with a snortled snore before settling back down. "I know what this is!" hissed Jensen. "It's not a howling monster!" He paused and groomed Buttercup's nose. "Well, it IS, but it's not alive." he walked across the floor to the mysterious lump, Buttercup following very carefully. Jensen leaned down and put powerful rabbit jaws to work on the rubbery surface. "It's called a bag of pipes! Speedy showed me a TV show with them once. Air gets in here.." he nudged the bit he'd just chomped a hole into. ".. and then it escapes screaming from there!" He pointed with his nose. "But now the air will escape from here and it won't scream. C'mon, let's go find a closet." He turned towards the door.
"What about the cat?" Buttercup asked, following once more.
"What about him?" Jensen let out a little snort, "He's a scardy cat! He gets what he deserves! The human will come looking for him or he'll get hungry sooner or later."
More lightning blinked through the sky, thunder rumbling after him. "Thor's still having a party." Buttercup said. "Do you think Speedy's still having his?" she asked, hopping past Jensen to scurry down onto the second floor. "We *do* have a Hallowe'en story to tell.."
Jensen found a closet and opened the door. "Well, let's see where the closet takes us!"