Typically, I write screenplays, but I enjoy the occasional challenge. Some of my friends are novelists and short story writers. I was hanging out with them at Pauper’s Pub in downtown TO, and we were doing twenty minute writing stints. I was in a short story mood and a horror mood. What came forth from my mind was as cuddly as it was sinister. Let me introduce you to my hell-spawn creation “Rabbit Hole”, and it’s unassuming protagonist, who is truly the “uncompromising hand of God”.
This story is both disturbing and full of spectacular gore. Reader discretion is advised.
Written by Chris Griffin
Blankets of clouds rolled and tumbled across the vast horizon. Quaint country farm houses disturbed what was a paradise of fields filled to the brim with life giving sustenance. A strong wind fought its way across the rugged surface of crops and wooded lots, stealing away the occasional leaf or seed.
A young and industrious rabbit lived in a nearby wooded lot. The fields that stretched out as far as the eyes could see, were his domain. He knew every root and every insect. The rabbit spent years devising a system of underground tunnels, with the ultimate goal of optimum food transportation and distribution. He often relished in his own engineering genius.
One day, this rabbit found himself in a foul state of mind. His plans had been compromised, as had his tolerance and peace of mind. He stood at the entrance to a cabbage field.
The rabbit peered down at a young boy, who was trapped. How did he get down there? The rabbit couldn’t imagine how the child even managed to fit. The rabbit laboured away for days digging that hole; it safely lead to the freshest of vegetables and the boy had thrown a wrench in his well oiled machine. Confined to the hole, arms tight against his side, with head barely poking above the ground, the boy squirmed.
The boy screamed and he cried. Oh, how the rabbit hated this boy. “What a horrible waste of flesh” the rabbit thought of the boy. “When he finally dies, his stench will carry for miles, ruining my appetite.”
The rabbit didn’t expect much from life; leisure, good food, exercise, and lots of anonymous sex. What female would allow him to take her with the odour of death in the air?
“Oh no!” the rabbit thought “it has begun” as a whiff of human urine infected his delicate nostrils.
Something needed to be done about this oversized vermin, it must be removed, but the child was far too big for a wee little bunny to relocate. Rabbits can only move tiny bits at a time, if only this child were tiny bits. Could he become tiny bits? This theory intrigued the rabbit. He was never a critic of experimentation.
The rabbit looked about for his brilliant solution. That is when he came across an old pumpkin carving knife left behind from the Corn Festival the week before. The knife wasn’t very sharp but the child’s skin appeared soft enough, at least as soft as a pumpkin.
The rabbit braced himself, he knew this might take a few days, could he endure the child’s screams for that long? Could he endure the rotten smell for months? He chose the lesser of the two evils.
The rabbit laboured well into the night. To his surprise, the child’s screams of agony ceased after the seventh hour. It took days of careful carving in order to remove pieces of the boy from the earth. The rabbit felt like an artist creating an exhibit dedicated to the art of deconstruction. Flesh, bone, and organs came apart taking on identities of their own. These bits spoke to the rabbit. Told him tales of functions and processes, of actions once taken, a life once lived. Enlightenment filled the rabbit’s awoken mind. In the bits, he saw the face of God. He now understood life’s purpose.
The boy, now the paint on the canvas that was the field, was the rabbit’s gift to the world. May they look upon him and see themselves.
Exhausted but satisfied, the rabbit nibbled on some cabbage and stared up at the dark and cloudy sky. A sound caught his ears, which yanked him out of his rapturous spell. It was a repetitive “Melvin, come home for dinner, Melvin!” What was a Melvin? The rabbit thought to himself. The echo of the heinous word stabbed at his mind like the claw of a badger stabbing into a ripe melon.
He could not see over the mountainous wall that was the corn field, just beyond the cabbage patch. All he could do, was feel the vile sound vibrations that resonated in the air around him. Humans.
Their yells and cackles drew closer, stalks of corn rustled in the distance. His tunnel free from obstruction, called to the rabbit. He answered that call, as he dove in nose-first.
Moments passed, as the foot steps of giants crashed and boomed from above. The rabbit’s tunnel held true, the architectural marvel that it was.
He heard their screams with a sense of giddy pride, soon overtaken by concern. In his art, they had found themselves, and what they found was truly savage. The wails that emerged from the giant’s throats could have called upon the devil himself.
No sooner had the humans arrived, they had left. The rabbit knew that this wasn’t over, that eventually, they would come for him. He had to get to them first. He followed the vibrations of their footsteps as he raced down old tunnel corridors, many he himself couldn’t remember digging.
He emerged from an exit to a hole just outside an old farm house. It was so tall, that it reached up into the clouds. Windows lead into dark shadows; shadows deeper than the void in the rabbit’s mind that ever teased him with the possibilities of what could be. The house was painted a deep and rich red. The rabbit found himself, full body, pressed against the red siding of the wall. He hugged the wall, as the colour took him in, he melted into the visceral red.
The Rabbit had to pull himself away. What did the boy do to him? What had he become? He hungered for far more than a carrot or a beet could ever provide. There was no beet, juicy enough, bloody enough, to satisfy his craving.
The wailing of the furless beasts from within the house, brought the rabbit back into the real world. He found a broad protruding window close to the horrid noise. The rabbit leapt upwards, leapt with a sensation of power never before known to him. He landed on the window’s sill, and looked inside.
The collective of humans congregated in a common den, a living space of sorts. The only source of interior light being a fireplace, a gas fireplace. The rabbit could smell the hint of natural gas as it leaked through the window. The humans held each other, as they cried out in sadness and anger. A tall one, a woman, turned her gaze onto the the window. She saw the rabbit, peered right into his eyes, into his very soul.
The rabbit stood there on the window sill, locked frozen in eye contact with the hideous creature inside the house. The woman looked away causally. Could it be? The rabbit thought to himself. That these humans didn’t suspect him at all? This could work in his favour. These giants, their ignorance would be their undoing.
That night, the rabbit plotted and he schemed. He surveyed their house from top to bottom, and peered through each and every accessible window. He dug a system of tunnels beneath their precious home. The days dragged on. The rabbit could barely eat or sleep, his purpose urged him forward. The red of the house tickled him, filling his mind and body with a forbidden lust.
Deep beneath the bowels of the basement, the rabbit worked. He memorized the position of every brick, of every pipe. He located all the holes and cracks used by mice and cockroaches to steal away into the basement. The smaller vermin served as his foot soldiers, marching towards a bitter but sweet end. Through a crack in the basement wall, the rabbit’s eyes fell upon the holy grail, the furnace that heated the entire house. He felt the waves of heat emanating from the boiling beast. Beneath the basement was a series of gas pipes. It was all coming together. All he had to do, was dig a tunnel between the pipes and the crack in the wall closest to the furnace.
One fateful night, a storm began to roll in. A powerful wind ravaged the land, turning up crops, shredding tree tops, felling fences, and plucking chickens bare. This force of nature touched every inch of the rabbit, bringing his senses to life. He could feel the world around him, as his mind tapped into the purity and certainty of fate. Tonight was the night.
The entirety of the dead boy’s family were cooped up inside the house; safe from the storm, or so they thought. The rabbit leapt into action. He descended into the dark corridors of his tunnel system. In not too long, he found himself standing above a thin gas pipe, with a large jagged stone held between front paws, and a wild look in his big adorable eyes. He visualized the pipe was the young boy’s battered skull, and with that, he began to slam the stone against the pipe. He swung and he thrashed away at the pipe. Dents formed, followed by cracks, followed by a gaping hole. The rabbit had to pull himself away; the gas was starting to make him feel light-headed. It wouldn’t be too long before the real show began. He raced through the tunnels and back out into the storm.
Back outside, the rabbit leapt into the air. The wind caught him and carried him away from the house. He soared through the air like the devil soaring on a stream of damned souls. The rabbit landed at the edge of a corn field. He watched in glee, as lighter animals such as chickens and pheasants, were launched wildly into the air. He squealed in rapture as a chicken helplessly slammed into the side of the house, contributing to the thickness of the red paint.
Before his wide eyes, it happened all at once. Flames ignited within the house. Screams filled the air. What was once the squeal of an inferior two-legged species, was now a symphony of music that carried in the wind for miles. The thirsty winds fuelled the fire. The inferno intensified. Fields caught ablaze. The rabbit’s domain was under siege by the devil’s army.
Large red metal monsters appeared from the horizon. Humans escaped from the bellies of the massive legless beasts. They wore thick skins and a second skull overtop their heads. Some attacked the flames with long hoses that spat water. Their efforts were in vain, for the rabbit’s handy-work could not be undone.
The experience had transformed the rabbit. He saw his old life burning away, and in the bright eyes of the red metal beasts, he could see his future. The humans – unable to control the blaze – piled back inside their vehicles for protection from the storm. There were so many of them – these humans – how many more could there be? The rabbit thought to himself.
The wind stirred about in the sky. It spun, faster, and faster still. Clouds above, descended on the house, like God reaching down to smite those who disobeyed his will. As the wicked funnel set down on the house, flames were driven upward. Fire snaked around the funnel in ascending spirals. In mere moments, the funnel cloud had set completely ablaze.
Fire erupted from the ground, as gas pipes combusted. The humans in the trucks stared helplessly and obsessively at the mayhem. The rabbit took this opportunity to sneak his way onto the back of one of the metal beasts. The creature hummed and growled under his dainty paws. It jerked and lurched as it made its escape. The rabbit watched the hell on earth, that he himself unleashed, wipe his home off the face of the planet. The image of the inferno receded into the distance as the truck hit the road.
The rabbit took one final look back at a past reduced to ashes. He cautiously climbed onto the roof of the beast. Ahead of them, where the road hit the horizon, was the silhouette of structures taller than anything the rabbit had ever seen. Bright little twinkling lights littered the surface of the structures. He could not begin to identify what it was he was looking at, but he knew one thing, within that strange land, he would find his destiny. In that strangest of places, mankind would discover their demise. Once a humble muncher of carrots, the rabbit was reborn as the uncompromising hand of God. His will be done!
The fire trucks drove off into the distance, towards the city beyond.
You can check out more twisted stories and films at Projects.