Golf Fundraiser Takes an Interesting Turn

You’re on a golf course taking part in a fundraiser to cure a disease that’s near and dear to your heart. On the 11th hole, you hit a ball into the woods. While searching for that ball, you see a white rabbit that stops, looks you right in the eye and says, “Follow me.”

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

Want more creative writing prompts? Consider:
The Writer’s Book of Matches

You might also like:

359 thoughts on “Golf Fundraiser Takes an Interesting Turn

  1. MildChild

    Having lost my family to heart disease, I was determined not to follow suit. I switched to a low-fat diet, careful cholesterol-monitoring, exercise. Now I’d taken up golf, and here I was, studying my position on the 11th hole, half-listening to my partner’s litany of criticisms.
    “Helena,” someone whispered.
    I looked around. No one in sight, just a thick clump of bushes. I turned back to my badly-positioned ball, mopping the sweat from my face and neck.
    “Helena!” Voice repeated, a louder and more urgently.
    Still nothing in sight. I strode over to our bags, snagged fresh water, and returned to my ball, emptying a third of the bottle in one deep gulp.
    “Ignoring me won’t help,” Voice said.
    Irritated, I turned in a slow circle, searching the landscape. It stood up when I faced the bushes again. A big white rabbit, standing on its hind feet.
    Great. Just what I need. Heat-stroke.
    I took another slug of water, and poured the rest over my head. With a sigh of relief, I addressed the ball.
    “Helena! Come here! I need to talk to you!”
    A glance over my shoulder proved that not only was the white rabbit still there, it had left the bushes and was coming closer.
    I had to turn and look then. It was wearing traditional garish golf-attire: vivid green-and-orange checked pants, a blue-and-pink striped shirt, and a fluorescent purple-and-gold golf cap in one, er, paw.
    I leaned the golf club against my chest and rubbed my eyes. Felt a tug on my clothes. Cautiously opening one eye, I looked down. Yep. Still there.
    I dropped the club and held out my hand. The rabbit took it. His, er, hand was exactly how I would have expected it to be, warm and dry and fuzzy.
    “C’mon,” it insisted, tugging urgently. “It’s important. Do you think I would have come out to talk to you if it wasn’t?”
    With a shrug, I followed the apparition into the bushes.
    “Took you long enough,” said another voice, this one from a big gray tabby, which looked remarkably like my late brother’s pet whom I’d inherited.
    “She wouldn’t come,” the rabbit growled.
    “Let’s go. They’re waiting.”
    That was the last word I got out of them until we reached the trees.
    “Looking good, Hell,” said a familiar voice.
    “Jack?” I had to rub my eyes again, but yes, it was my brother, standing there as large as life.
    “I’m glad to see you’ve been taking care of Whiskers, but I wish you’d made a will specifying what was to be done with him.”
    “A will…?” Oh, no. Not after all the work I’d done to lose weight and get in shape. Fearfully, I looked back to the golf course. There was a human shape collapsed on the ground beside my ball.
    “It’s okay, dear,” my mother said, putting an arm around my shoulders. “We’re together again.”

  2. sandraxanne

    It took a minute before I could get a complete grasp on what I just heard.
    “Did you just… talk?” I asked out loud, although more for my sake so that I could prove to myself that the blazing heat was playing tricks on my mind. Beady black eyes stared at me, seemingly vacant, until they flashed and began to twinkle.
    The rabbit nodded its head and stretched out its furry paw. My dark brown eyes grew wide in surprise.
    “Come with me.” The voice was deep and elusive. A talking forest animal was obviously unnatural, but I was overcome with curiosity. The rabbit turned its back to me and began to hop into the depths of the forest. Even if the worst happened, people would quickly notice I was missing, I reassured myself. I glanced behind my shoulder, gripping the iron club tightly in my hand, and began to walk on.
    It seemed like we walked for miles, stepping over branches, pushing aside bushes, and avoiding obstacles that would cause me to trip. When it seemed like I could no longer hold my silence, the rabbit threw out its arm in front of me. I halted to a stop, peering down at him.
    “You’ve been searching for the cure all your life, Chloe.”
    My heart skipped a beat. “How do you know my name?” I questioned, taking a step back. The rabbit slowly turned to face me. Its eyes were transparent. They began to reflect images of people who I had known that had lost the battle against cancer. Each person struck a chord in my being, and it wasn’t long before I broke down into sobs. The last person that was shown was my mother, who was currently undergoing chemo and was in the hospital. Just when thought I had moved past the pain due to the loss of my aunt and grandmother, it resurfaced. I could not bear the thought of losing my mother, too. I dropped down to my knees, overwhelmed and weary, feeling numb.
    “You are the only human that holds the power to end the disease forever.” Somehow, I was still stable enough to understand the sentence that left the rabbit’s mouth.
    “H-how?” I asked, willing to do anything to save the life of my weak and fragile mother.
    Ahead of me, a patch of the forest was illuminated to show the golf ball I had lost floating in the air. I was mesmerized by the anti-gravitational object. Instantly, I knew it was the answer. I got up and began to walk towards it, but the rabbit blocked my path.
    Its eyes went back to dull black. Its expression held caution.
    “You will die,” it warned.
    In the distance, my name was being called. Without hesitating, I grabbed a hold of the golf ball. My fingers tingled before my breath escaped me.

  3. darkwinter09

    I call it the walk of shame.
    The march through the woods to find the gold ball is especially embarrassing in front of all of these people who I hardly know. After stepping two feet into the woods, I encounter a small white rabbit which I expect to immediately run away in fear. However, I am stunned like a tazered suspect as the rabbit speaks in clear human speech.
    “Follow me,” said the white rabbit. “I have found what you are seeking.”
    How can I help myself from following a talking rabbit? What other wonders must hide within this forest? After following the white rabbit for several minutes, I conclude that the ball cannot possibly be hiding this far away. Eventually, the rabbit stops before a small spring. The surface of the water is so still that it resembles an actual mirror reflecting the surroundings.
    “I am not looking for a lake,” I said. “I am looking for my golf ball.”
    Ripples form as a woman in a white cloak rises from the spring and walks to the edge with a sword in hand. From talking rabbits to a woman rising from the water to a sword, this world is more magnificent than I originally thought.
    “I am not looking for a sword,” I said. “I am looking for my golf ball.”
    “No, you are seeking a cure,” said the woman.
    “Yes, my good friend died from cancer,” I said. “I am participating in a charity golf outing for a cure.”
    “You have found the cure,” said the woman. “This blade is the ultimate cure for the darkest of human demons. I dub thee the Knight of the Cure. Now go, the human race seeks its cure.”
    The woman taps my shoulders with the blade and places it in my hand. Then she returns to the water below. I observe the blade very carefully noting its fine details and light weight feel allowing easy usage. My friends will not believe my story when I return to the golf game not with the lost ball but a sword instead and claim it’s the cure for every disease.
    My thoughts are suddenly disrupted by a dark figure with a large black cloak and shroud blocking my path. The figure resembles a ghost but could possibly be a human underneath, or what is left of a human. The ghost draws its own sword and immediately strikes. Although I am not an expert in combat, save golf, the blade instantly takes control of itself and blocks the attack of the ghost by itself.
    In one powerful swing, I impale the creature which dissolves like a witch in water. The disease is cured. The white rabbit appears at my feet once again.
    “Now go, the human race seeks its cure.”

  4. sholsten

    It is a nice sunny afternoon on the Lake Front Country Club. It is not a millionaire golf course but still nice and overlooking a giant lake. I am playing in the Alzheimer’s Open which is a golf tournament to raise money to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s. I am on the eleventh hole with two strokes under par. It is a tough hole with woods on one side of the fairway and a cliff leading to the lake on the other side. I hit a straight drive but with luck that nobody could have predicted the ball hit a rock alongside the cart path and ricocheted into the woods. I walk over into the woods to locate my ball thinking I should take a drop and a stroke penalty when I look over to see a white rabbit sitting at the foot of a tree. The rabbit makes perfect eye contact with me then starts to talk.
    “Hey Dude!”
    “Me?”
    “Yeah you, the one in the nerdy golf shirt, follow me.”
    I follow this rabbit through the woods which strays far from the hole where I am playing. I follow him around a tree by a brush pile in the woods where there is a small opening leading under this pile. I crouch down to follow this rabbit into what appears to be a cave with finished rooms. I had stepped into a different world. The rabbit is now my size or I am his size, I can’t tell. The rabbit takes a seat on a couch and lights up a big cigar.
    “Want a light man?”
    “No thanks, I don’t smoke.”
    The rabbit pulls out a golf ball and asks, “Was this the reason you were looking around in the woods?”
    “Yes, that’s my golf ball.”
    “I have quite a good collection of these. People hit balls out here in the woods all the time, but the locals and the club members know that any ball hit into these woods is a lost ball. You, for some reason, decided to come after yours.”
    “It seemed to be a bad luck shot because it was a straight drive, then it hit a rock along the cart path making it go in the woods.”
    “You’re a new face, tell me what brings you out this way.”
    “I am playing in a golf tournament that’s raising money to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.”
    The rabbit then does something that is much unexpected.
    “I know you, I’ve known you for a long time, I know how much finding a cure for this disease means to you man, $10,000 will be transferred to the tournament account in one hour. You will return to the eleventh hole. Finally, never tell anyone of this experience. One more thing, your grandma, who died of Alzheimer’s, she said to tell you hi.
    I returned to the eleventh hole back to where I took my first stroke; this time the ball didn’t go in the woods.

  5. Curtis955

    Sweat dribbled down the side of my face, I had been out in this heat for what seemed like an eternity. I didn’t even know what I was doing, I had only played golf two times in my life. My sister had entered us in this tournament though. It was a charity event for recovering cancer patients. I knew how much she cared about this, having only been cancer free for four months. I looked over at her, the appreciation shined back in her hazel eyes. I knew it meant the world to be here.
    The green fairway seemed to roll over itself endlessly, and I couldn’t putt to save my life, so by the time we reached the 11th hole, I was exhausted. It had been a long day, how do people play a course for 8 hours a day, I wouldn’t ever understand. After waiting for the pair ahead of us to tee off, it was finally my turn.
    I reached down, placing the wooden spike gently into the turf, and tightened my hands around the rubber grip of my driver. A strange thought entered my mind, how far would dad have hit the ball? He was such a strong man, and technically these were his golf clubs, that he left for me in the will. He died during the chemotherapy process, devastating the whole family. This was for him, just as much as it was for my sister.
    I swiftly reached back my extended arms, and came forward with a force that surprised me. Had I hit the ball straight, I might have been a little excited, but despite any valiant effort, there it went, straight through the treetops to the right of the fairway.
    “Damnit” I muttered to myself, as I waited for my sister to tee off, and set off on my journey to find the cursed ball. Arriving at the edge of the woods, I noticed the underbrush was thicker here than the other holes. With no apparent sight of my ball, I decided to push farther in, letting my sister play on. I struggled to navigate the branchy forest, but after a few hundred feet, I knew it was hopeless and almost turned around to drop a ball, taking the penalty. Suddenly my eye caught a flicker of white. A white rabbit whizzed past my peripherals, and when I turned to look at it, it abruptly stopped, and while I didn’t see it’s little mouth move, a voice sounded in my head during our eye contact.
    “Follow me.” It said, in a tone that creepily resembled my father’s voice.
    I must be crazy I thought, but I had to follow, I had to know. I dropped my clubs, taking a slight jog to catch up, when I reached the base of a massive oak tree, roots tangled throughout each other, and a doorway etched through the hull of the tree. I didn’t see any other choice, so through the dark opening I went.

  6. ScubaSteve

    Of course I sliced this one into the woods… and it had to be this hole too.

    “You find it yet? We’re ready for the beer cart out here!”

    Yea I’m thirsty too fellas but this damn hole gets me every time. I refuse to let it make a fool of me now.

    “It has to be right here somewhere! Why don’t you fools climb in here and help me look?”

    I expected their response to be doubly cheeky and equally sarcastic, yet no response came. My head had been facing the ground the entire time I was in the woods. I was crouched over with my eyes glued to the ground searching for my elusive white mistress. I stood finally to gain my bearings and spun in place, bewildered. The green that was maybe ten yard behind me a second ago was gone! It was now replaced by thick woods as far as my eyes could see. I slowly realized that I could no longer hear the sound of clubs swinging or the voices of my unusually rowdy foursome. All was silent.

    Too silent

    A creeping panic began to overtake me. Something was very wrong. I could feel it…

    Behind you!

    I’ve never spun so fast in my life, which I could confirm as it flashed before my eyes.
    I was crouching now with my left hand flailing wildly for balance and my right hand gripping my Five Iron with ferocity unseen in golf, even by a Tiger. To my equal amazement and bewilderment, roughly twenty paces in front of me stood a white rabbit. Now when I say stood I do not mean in the way one is used to seeing a rabbit stand, but rather that it literally stood on two legs, upright. Upon closer inspection, after much blinking and eye rubbing, I noticed that this rabbit actually had the body of a man and simply the head of a rabbit.
    It was in fact the body of a very well dressed man, and the head of a very well groomed rabbit!

    “Follow me”

    It’s voice was also that of a well-spoken man, though I do not know how a rabbit’s mouth was able to articulate so well. The manner in which it spoke was also quite odd. The words were not an order or a warning, but simply a statement; spoken as a butler might speak while leading his houseguests into the dining room. The rabbit, as I shall call it for lack of a better term, then simply spun in place and marched stoically off into the woods. I stole a glance behind me as the last hope of the return of normalcy evaporated. There was no going back now. My golf party would have to hit on the drink girl without me. Using my club as a cane to help myself up, I set off towards the continually marching rabbit, the James Bond of Energizer bunnies, having no idea what was in store.

  7. rob akers

    Slayerdan,

    We may be brothers from another mother. One of the passions of my life is the heavy crunch and the double kick drum that is played fast and loud. I grew up in rural Tennessee, stuck with the Hair Bands on the radio and the occasional video on MTV. Until a chance meeting in 1986 with a new kid in school changed my musical life. He was from California and got me to listen to some record called Masters of Puppets from a no-name group called Metallica.

    Honestly, I am very monogamous in listening habits and Metallica is my first true love. I have seen them 5 times, all since 2000. I enjoy the other Big Four but have never owned any of their music. I get my music from XM Radio now and I know all the songs played there from Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, ect. However, I fell in love with Five Finger Death Punch recently and have bought all 3 of their albums. Yes I did feel weird buying their music, just like I was cheating. I haven’t seen them, yet but they are on my very short list of groups I would like to check out. When I write, I am usually listening to them.
    I always appreciate your stories and your POV. Keep the faith brother and like Don Henley says…”Take it easy.”

  8. novicette

    Be gentle:) I’m new and posted this response as a class assignment. I admire all you patient writers! I teach young children and typically choose to read informative-type books and articles during my own leisure. The only fiction I have spent a lot of time reading is children’s fiction. Although, now I am longing to sit down and read a good fiction book! Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. radioPanic

      novicette said, “I admire all you patient writers!”

      Hey! Not all of us here are patients!

      Ahem.

      All kidding aside, this is a very nice, well-rounded story, and doesn’t feel rushed despite the word limit. Ishmael has a good point about the song. You could even put it in italics to make it stand out more. (Cough. Cough.)

      Seriously, though, the only thing I might suggest is showing us toward the beginning that he’s an unusually large rabbit, because when he gives the narrator a hug that felt just like Mom’s, I was picturing a little rabbit-sized rabbit, and it caused a kind of disconnect. Might just be me, though.

      Looking forward to more!

      1. novicette

        A kidder I see. Haha!
        I love the cheesy and laughing, so keep it comin’.

        I see that you immediately picked up on my formatting fears. I like the suggestion and will definitely change the formatting for the song. I also appreciate your suggestion about the rabbit’s size. Now, it seems so weird that I didn’t notice the size issue. I’m definitely gonna add a few more details to the description at the beginning, including changing the rabbit to a female. I guess because all the entries I had read led me to think of the rabbit as male, I assumed he had to be male. Looking back at the prompt I can see it is not set in stone. Thanks for the advice!

  9. novicette

    “Follow me,” said the well groomed white rabbit as he stood on his hind legs and reached for my hand.

    Wondering if indeed the 110 degree heat index was taking its toll on my senses, I turned to head back to the golf cart where my father was waiting patiently. I had taken about four steps when I heard the rabbit speak again.

    “Yes, follow me Macey.” The rabbit’s eyes were a sparkling indigo color and his voice was kind and gentle. He went on, “Follow me. I have something for you.”

    I glanced back to see my dad talking with a group of guys from work. I mused aloud, “What will it hurt? It’s gotta be better than golf.” I took the rabbit’s soft hand as he quickly led me into the nearby forest. As we walked it felt as though I was dreaming and I couldn’t speak. We came to a gate surrounded by brilliant red roses and he used the colorful keypad to gain entry to a beautiful garden filled with animals that appeared to be tending the flowers. We sat down on a bench made of ornamental iron.

    The rabbit spoke almost in a whisper as he explained, “Macey, I brought you here to tell you something very important.”

    Finally able to speak, I almost shouted. “Wait! Let me talk. Who are you?”

    The friendly rabbit looked into my eyes practically peeking at my soul and said, “I am Little Bunny Foo Foo and I don’t like your attitude.”

    I wasn’t sure whether to laugh, cry, or yell at him. You see, my mother had passed away two years ago after battling breast cancer for four long years. Though I was only fourteen years old, my heart had grown hard with pain. I treated every one and every thing as if it were the cancer that had taken my momma. She always sang to me, even at her weakest. Because she loved my smile, she would sing her own version of “Little Bunny Foo Foo” when she could see I was struggling with things. I looked at the bunny through tears and began to sing, “Little Bunny Foo Foo, hopping though the forest, picking up the field mice and boppin’ ‘em on the head. Along came the good fairy and said, ‘Little Bunny Foo Foo, I don’t like your attitude. Always be thankful, and count your blessings instead.” I broke down in tears as the rabbit came closer and gave me a heart warming hug that felt just like mom’s. I am not sure how this happened or how the bunny knew what to say, but it was exactly what I needed.

    In the next moment, a good fairy dressed in pink appeared and sprinkled dust before my eyes. I awoke back on the edge of the forest near the 11th hole. My dad was still talking as if barely any time had passed.

    1. Ishmael

      Delightfully charming. I also felt like I was sitting in a child’s reading circle. You have a wonderful grasp on writing. This was a good story with a poignant theme.

      I wouldn’t change a word. My only change would be to separate the song in the paragraphing. It gets lost and loses its impact. It would make it stand out, look more like a song, and give greater emphasis on your feelings when we return to your narrative of, “I broke down in tears…” We’d break down in tears.

      Very nice. Welcome.

      1. novicette

        Thank you and I agree with your suggestion to separate the song. For the most part, I have only written formally or technically in the past 10 years. I struggle with “being okay” with the formatting allowed in story writing. I am picking up on the differences as I read more fiction though. I look forward to reading more on this site. Thank you for the kind welcome.

  10. whitwhatup

    Shocked, I immediately looked down at my half empty Coors Light hoping the last 8 beers had taken away my sanity along with my lackluster golf game.
    “you heard me loud and clear, buddy….follow me. Where else you need to be? Your foursome ain’t going to miss you”.
    A talking rabbit was fascinating, indeed; a smart-ass talking rabbit is beyond surreal. Perhaps I’d been hit in the head with a run away ball and this was my journey into the pearly gates. I better decide fast because this rabbit was fast. His white body became smaller as he scurried away not looking back to make sure I was behind him.
    I didn’t waste any more time deliberating what to do. I figured if a talking rabbit ever existed and chose to talk to me, I better do whatever the hell it, HE, tells me to.
    So, I chased after him, screaming, “wait….you. Wait for me!” I came to the edge of the golf course and stopped short at the busy street filled with rush hour traffic. Calmly, the Rabbit sat waiting for me to catch up, but immediately darted out dangerously somehow dodging death between every car. I immediately found myself chasing him in a real life Frogger video game. I can’t die twice, right? Once dead, I’m, well, DEAD. Focus on the damn rabbit. Follow the white tail, and get to the other side. Oh. My. God. I just caused a massive car pile up and I’m still alive….that’s at least 10 points, cha ching! Never knew getting into heaven would be just like playing a video game. So glad God has a sense of humor.
    WIth only a few hops to go, Rabbit looked back to check on my status. I waved my arms to encourage him to keep going, I’m fine! He just sat there, completely unaware of the shiny black coupe speeding towards him. Perched like a sitting duck square on it’s death mark, I screamed, “NOOOOOoooooo!” as the horrific impact obliterated my new friend. I fell in front of the murderous vehicle and wept like a baby mourning His death. Sobbing the unknown world I’ll never know on the other side.
    I don’t remember how I got to the sterile, cold, white room that became my home for the next 3 years. I do remember the treatment and rehabilitation therapy I received was poignant in bringing me back to a reality I share with my beautiful wife and 2 little girls. Ironically, the day I followed my floppy eared guardian angel, I was playing in the SSGT, Schizophrenia Society Golf Tournament. Having been diagnosed just a year earlier, I had recently tossed my meds convinced my mild diagnoses was harmless to my family and society.
    I now embrace my schizophrenia with open arms. It’s a disease that nearly took my life until I surrendered my own. Thank you, Rabbit. For sacrificing your life and not mine.

  11. rob akers

    I believe that slayerdan was referring to Rodney King of the 1990 era LA Riot fame. Some say he was a criminal and malcontent but I say he was modern day poet, humanitarian, and philosopher on par with Plato and Socrates. His words ring as true today as they did back in the day. “Can’t we all just get along?”

    I have been wondering this since he first appeared and now I must ask this question to slayerdan. Are you named after a small band of brothers fronted by Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King?

    1. cathymcdowell

      Very nice to meet you Rob. yes, we can all get along. Overlooking things is sometimes helpful.
      I agree with what you said about Rodney King. Cassandra King still remains one of my favorite authors.
      I can tell by reading the stories and peoples opinions here that most can’t agree on everything.
      There are thousands of readers that flock to buy Stephen King books. I can’t stand the way that man writes.
      Thank God we aren’t all alike.
      Being a certain genre writer and doing fun prompts are two entirely different things.
      I’m guessing the new story prompt will be out tomorrow?
      I’m looking forward to it. I may go back and add my lines to some that were done weeks ago.
      Practice makes perfect.

    2. slayerdan

      Rob—-it is indeed. I am a self professed concert whore w over 400+ live shows to my resume. I started listening to Slayer back in the 80s and through all my musical twists, likes, dislikes moods, and changes, they have remained a permanent fixture in my cassette player, cd player, ipod. The earlier stuff especially. In 1990, they played the lakeland civic center in lakeland florida with Anthrax, Megadeth, and Alice in Chains. From that same concert, they released Decade of Aggression live–my brother and I are on the insert enclosed w the release—it remains one of the top 2 concerts I have ever seen–ACDC is first by default. So for years I have used slayerdan as sign in names and various other things and it just stuck. So funny as I sit here now listening to Don Henley for me to say Slayer is a permanent fixture in my regular listening. Thanks for asking….and for the record, I think they would get a prime kick out of being mentioned in a thread so dominated about Christian views(2 of them are Catholic, 1 Atheist, 1 Agnostic). :)

  12. david.leehy

    “Whack!” I could feel the vibration shoot down the club, knowing that I had hit a good shot off that tee. The two-inch, white ball became a spot in the distance as it sailed towards the green. Just as it peaked over the hill, still sailing, the wind picked up and the ball went from a straight shot to a hole in one to the woods on the left.

    “Damn that wind is messing up all our shots, yours got the worst of it Jim.” Mark joked. Only it wasn’t a joke, my ball went flying into the woods, leaving a trail of leaves as it crashed through the trees.

    I picked up my club and headed off in that direction to find that two-inch ball in hell. As I crouched through the hanging tree branches just off the 11th hole, I knew it was going to be impossible to find the ball. The bushes were so overgrown that you couldn’t even see the ground, if I had another ball I would have just taken the stroke and tried again. But this tournament had been horrible on my ball supply as every time I was doing good something would happen and I would lose another ball. I was down 4 balls for the game, and my score wasn’t doing much better.

    Then from the left side I saw one of the bushes rustle and it sounded like something was going to come out of the bush. I turned my club right side up like I was a baseball pro and was ready to swing on whatever came out.

    A white rabbit, he wasn’t just any ordinary rabbit. He stood on his hind legs and carried a cigar.

    “Whoa buddy, drop that club.”

    I yelped in surprise at what I had just heard. “You can talk!”

    “Of course I can talk, can’t you?” said the mysterious rabbit.

    “Well of course I can, but why are you talking, you guys are not supposed to talk, are you?” I remarked, wondering if maybe I had been hit over the head by a branch and was just imagining things. This heat was getting to me as well. Why had I signed up for this charity tournament? I didn’t like golf. I could have just donated the money and stayed home.

    “We all can talk, me, my cousin thumper, mama, the whole family.” Said the rabbit who identified himself as hopper. “We just choose not to, cause we don’t want your kind to come poke and prod us like we are some strange thing. We don’t do that to you all!”

    “Really? Can I meet them all?” I asked.

    “Well mama doesn’t like it when we bring home guests, but she also doesn’t like that I’m out here with this cigar, so I guess if I break one rule might as well break em all! Follow me, but you’ll have to be quiet and get real low to the ground. It’s through this bush!”

  13. LenkaLovee

    “Follow me.”

    The rabbit’s beady black eyes stared straight into my blue ones. The hairs on my back rose and cold shivers ran down my arms and legs. The hours playing golf in the sunshine must have gotten to me. Surely I was hallucinating. I mean, animals don’t talk, at least not to humans.

    The rabbit just kept staring. Even as thoughts of insanity ran through my mind, I just couldn’t break eye contact with the rabbit.

    You’re insane. Standing in the woods playing a staring contest with a rabbit. Thinking he is speaking to me.

    “Follow me.” The rabbit’s bored expression gave nothing away.

    “Excuse me?” My disbelief rang quite clearly in the silent woods. Suddenly, the rabbit seemed to shrug and hop away.

    As if hypnotized, I followed him along, heading deeper and deeper into the woods. His white fur was like a beacon, standing out in stark contrast to the dark foliage.

    “You’re not crazy, you know?” I almost tripped over the rabbit as he suddenly stopped and stared at me again. I could see him mouthing the words. “Animals can talk to humans, we just don’t like to. You guys are so mighty and so unlike us, I’m sure you can understand why we prefer to talk amongst ourselves. Anyhow, sometimes we make an exception. Hence why you are here. I’m Rabbit by the way.”

    The dazed look on his face must have given away my confusion since he followed up with, “I’m kidding. It’s really John Benjamin Owens, but you humans can’t tell us apart so we just introduce ourselves by our breed.”

    “Oh. So why me?” My mind called me all sorts of crazy but my heart somehow spoke up, continuing the conversation with Rabbit.

    “That disease you and your friends are trying to cure? That’s why you’re all here on our territory, correct?” Not waiting for a reply, Rabbit continued. “I can help you with that. Follow me.”

    “Wait, what do you mean?” The rabbit ignored my shout and kept hopping. I had no choice but to follow him. At this point even my mind was intrigued.

    The clearing was unexpected, as a gorgeous meadow unfolded before me, taking my breath away. I was literally stunned into silence by the view.

    “Beautiful, isn’t it?” Rabbit interrupted my thoughts, a little bit of pride echoing in his voice. “It’s one of the only places that hasn’t yet been touched by humans. So, it serves as our escape of sorts. You humans have your resorts and golf courses, and we have this meadow. Most of our daily activity takes place in our own world, underground. Yes, Alice and the Wonderland is based on a true story. That who shall not be named went and published his story about his adventures in our world. Since then, no human has been allowed back in. The meadow is as far as most get.”

    “Wait. Alice in the Wonderland is real?” I couldn’t hide the astonishment in my voice. This day was turning out stranger and stranger.

    “Yes.” Impatiently Rabbit looked up at me and once again hopped away. “Follow me. You’re the first one since that who shall not be named who gets to come underground with me.”

    1. radioPanic

      I realize it may be a little late, since I can sense the next prompt just around the bend, but I wanted to let you know my first impression.

      “I’m Rabbit by the way.” made me laugh. “I’m kidding. It’s really John Benjamin Owens” made me laugh harder. Nice double-whammy humor, there.

      Little too tired for me to give a more detailed critique, but I’m definitely looking forward to more!

  14. slayerdan

    No desire to jump in with the banter, just a geenral comment. This is a writers forum. Not a pagan writers forum. Not a Christian writers forum. Not a transvestite, lesbian automechanics writers forum. It is a writers forum. And as any creative outlet, it brings in people from all walks of life and backgrounds. It is like New York claims to be–a melting pot. As such, I dont believe there should be any boundaries with language or subject matter–as long as it sticks to the prompts of course. I grew up in a solidly Christian home, and the word fuck was a prominent fixture. Its like rose, chair, shark, or barn—its a word. Shunning words give the words power–accepting them in the right context makes them even more powerful, but positively so. There is a time and place for every single word in the lexicon writers have. This reminds me so much of my 80s heavy metal days when the subject matter of sex, drugs, devil worship etc…permeated the news. It was what those artists were living. It was what they wanted to express. 90s rap is the same. We have to have an open mind to what others offer, not disregard if it doesnt fit within our own framework of ideals and experiences. Its ok if you dont like something—I dont like everything I read here either, but I realize people have their own POV and strengths and thats what they bring to the table—bad words, subject matter, or imagery. I will base it on its own merit, not my own internal values, and I think we all should.
    I have rambled long enough.
    ” Cant we all just get along?”–R. King

    1. cathymcdowell

      YES!! I pray we can all get along and I didn’t by any means try to cause anyone to argue.
      My comment that I will not be posting on others prompts was simply to say, I don’t expect any one to comment on mine. I am here for the mere fun of it. I love a challenge.
      I once did the 100 word story challenge in less than 5 minutes. It won!
      The thing that did get me was, Bride said “you’re new, you’ll get better as you go”
      I am new. New to this site, not new to writing. I guess I took that comment wrong?
      I’m guessing I am probably the oldest writer here. That’s not to say better.
      You can tell sometimes by and how things said and words used etc.
      R King? One of my favorite authors is Cassandra King.

      1. Bridee0809

        Cathy,

        Well, I didn’t say that so yes you took it wrong. I still mess up when doing dialogue tags but when you said ‘hmmm, I just re-read it and the dialogue tags are all there.’ when they clearly were not tells me that you need more practice!

        Post, don’t post. Comment, don’t comment. There are christian writers websites out there (faithwriters.com or christianwritersguild.com). Good luck to you.

      2. Ishmael

        Argh. Like Slayer, I don’t wish to become embroiled in debate, but I do have strong opinions on this matter, as well as your attitude. Please note that this is written with all Christian love and kindness in mind.

        Again, in total agreement with everything Slayer wrote, this forum brings all walks of life. There’s even a writer from Kenya. If you’re too prissy to deal with the world, then I have to question your faith. Seriously. Did Jesus hang out with the Pharisees or the common man? AND the criminals, the lepers, the wanton woman, etc.? Most of his time was spent with people who likely cursed and had done ‘bad’ things. Heck, both Moses and Paul were murderers. Granted, they weren’t contemporaries of Christ, but…these are Biblical heroes! Have you closed your eyes to that? Or to all the other human frailties in the Good Book?

        Honestly – and I don’t like to share my personal history, but I will touch on it – I’m a devout Christian myself, and lead quite an active church life. I don’t really make a habit of cursing, but I sure know all the words, and I don’t think I’m ever ‘above’ using them. I abstain from ever using GD, but I realize others do. When (not if) I ever have a character that would say it, then I won’t hesitate to write it.

        I had a conversation with a friend of mine from this board – a preacher’s wife, as a matter of fact – about the subject of cursing. Of course we are both opposed to gratuitous cursing; cursing just for the sake of it…for shock value. But to write a character effectively, one must know the intricate details and backstory of said character. If that realistically includes incessant use of FUCK (there, I wrote it), then so be it. It is a REALITY of this world.

        I’m not a murderer, a rapist, a ten-year old, a wild west figure, an old lady, or a drag queen, but I’ve written about all of them and many more. Oh, and I actually used the word ‘bitch’ in one of my stories. It fit the character.

        The reason I question your faith is not a personal attack, but because as a writer, you have the unique ability to reach the masses…to make committed disciples of Jesus Christ through the transformation of the world. Yet you shy away from that which makes you uncomfortable. Not the best missionary work I’ve witnessed…I’ll testify to that! Oh yeah, I already am.

        We are in this world, not of this world, but how can you expect some of what YOU have to rub off on the world without immersing yourself in it? And, as a matter of fact, some of this world will rub off on you – plain and simple. THAT’S another reason I question your faith.

        You evidently aren’t confident enough to expose yourself and feel that your faith can weather the storms of life (or the dissonance in the world). You view it with fingers over your eyes, allowing in only the things you want to see. “I can do all things through Christ, who give me strength.” Phil. 4:13. So…experience the world in all its wonder and adversity with Him as your guide. Don’t be an ostrich.

        I find it admirable that you write inspirational stories. I’ve read literally hundreds and recently read and watched, “Courageous.” Good values, fair book, fair movie. Unfortunately, it lacked realism. It presented a nice microcosm of Christian life, and was a pleasant PG fare. But it was written for a specific demographic, as a way to strengthen one’s Christian life. It was preaching to the choir. I like to reach people who don’t know Him.

        I’m not your typical Christian – I’m the one Satan’s worried about. I’ve danced with the devil, and through the strength of Christ, came out with the Mirror Ball Trophy. And I write about it. Most stories in the Bible are about people like me.

        And now, for an honest critique of your story. I suffered through it. I’m not saying this because your attitude has gone and teed me off, but simply because of your writing skills. I found them elementary. Your story fell flat and was uninteresting and banal. The repetition was senselessly overused and didn’t work. When you say that you’re ‘guessing that you’re probably the oldest writer here,’ does that mean you’ve been writing a long time, or that you’re as old as Methuselah? An experienced writer would have chosen precisely the correct adjective, leaving no confusion…so I have my doubts. You also had countless grammatical errors. My red pen runneth dry.

        So…write away for the sheer pleasure of it. I do the same. I’m trying to make a living doing the craft I love, though, and learn a lot from other writer’s styles, words, and comments. I recently wrote a story in a style against the norm to see where it worked and where it didn’t. I valued every critique – good and bad. I think it would greatly benefit you to do the same. Read with abandon. Don’t dislike a story merely because it makes you cringe…perhaps that little vignette of people’s lives is spot-on, which is why it makes you cringe so. But, by all means, if you can’t discern the reality of it all, and feel a story is ‘bad’ because of language, then pass it by. You missed the point, even before reading.

        I’m very opinionated, and try to critique in the kindest way I can. This is likely the most caustic I’ve ever been. But you’ll get over it, and I’m not going to lose any sleep tonight.

        No response required or desired.

  15. cathymcdowell

    I will lighten up! Whether someone in your story is horny or not is not a concern of mine.

    P.S. The Wizard of Oz is my favorite movie and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
    I’m thrilled that you didn’t write it.

  16. whitwhatup

    Shocked, I immediately looked down at my half empty Coors Light hoping the last 8 beers had taken away my sanity along with my lackluster golf game.
    “you heard me loud and clear, buddy….follow me. Where else you need to be? Your foursome ain’t going to miss you”.
    A talking rabbit was fascinating, indeed; a smart-ass talking rabbit is beyond surreal. Perhaps I’d been hit in the head with a run away ball and this was my journey into the pearly gates. I better decide fast because this rabbit was fast. His white body became smaller as he scurried away not looking back to make sure I was behind him.
    I didn’t waste any more time deliberating what to do. I figured if a talking rabbit ever existed and chose to talk to me, I better do whatever the hell it, HE, tells me to.
    So, I chased after him, screaming, “wait….you. Wait for me!” I came to the edge of the golf course and stopped short at the busy street filled with rush hour traffic. Calmly, the Rabbit sat waiting for me to catch up, but immediately darted out dangerously somehow dodging death between every car. I immediately found myself chasing him in a real life Frogger video game. I can’t die twice, right? Once dead, I’m, well, DEAD. Focus on the damn rabbit. Follow the white tail, and get to the other side. Oh. My. God. I just caused a massive car pile up and I’m still alive….that’s at least 10 points, cha ching! Never knew getting into heaven would be just like playing a video game. So glad God has a sense of humor.
    WIth only a few hops to go, Rabbit looked back to check on my status. I waved my arms to encourage him to keep going, I’m fine! He just sat there, completely unaware of the shiny black coupe speeding towards him. Perched like a sitting duck square on it’s death mark, I screamed, “NOOOOOoooooo!” as the horrific impact obliterated my new friend. I fell in front of the murderous vehicle and wept like a baby mourning His death. Sobbing the unknown world I’ll never know on the other side.
    I don’t remember how I got to the sterile, cold, white room that became my home for the next 3 years. I do remember the treatment and rehabilitation therapy I received was poignant in bringing me back to a reality I share with my beautiful wife and 2 little girls. Ironically, the day I followed my floppy eared guardian angel, I was playing in the SSGT, Schizophrenia Society Golf Tournament. Having been diagnosed just a year earlier, I had recently tossed my meds convinced my mild diagnoses was harmless to my family and society.
    I now embrace my schizophrenia with open arms. It’s a disease that nearly took my life until I surrendered my own. Thank you, Rabbit. For sacrificing your life and not mine.

  17. RF Fletcher

    I look around, to see if anyone else has noticed the speaking rabbit on the golf course and I am surprised to see that there seems to be no one around. So, unsure of what else to do, I follow it. After a few moments slog through the underbrush, holding on to trees to keep my footing I was feeling rather silly and wondering what I was going to say to the rest of my foursome, but a loud noise kept me from turning back to the fundraiser. The rabbit seemed to be moving toward the noise and I let my curiosity get the better of me and kept moving behind it. There was a breeze running through the trees that hadn’t been there previous, the day was muggy and still, with no hint of a wind. I tripped over a log as I tried to get down a small gully and went tumbling farther than I’d thought that the hill would go, and as I reached my feet, wiping the dirt from my eyes, I saw it, a large round metal disk. It hovered in a clearing right before me and I saw the rabbit run underneath the giant whirring monstrosity and seem to disappear slowly from view, like he was never there at all. I thought about following him, but my instincts got the better of me and I ran, as fast as I could, not caring that the branches scratched my face and legs, I tried to beat them back with my four iron that I still carried in my hand. I could see the edge of the course now and as I burst from the foliage, panting, I was relieved to see that there were now other golfers visible. “Find your ball, boss?” Ed from the marketing department called out, his voice so innocent. Still panting I leaned my head back to catch my breath and all I could do was point as the saucer rose from the trees behind his head and quickly zipped toward the atmosphere, but by the time they looked it was a blue sky speckled with clouds and just the smallest fleck of metal.

  18. michaelwcrosby

    At first I was unable to breath or shift a muscle. Panicked, I required concentrated struggle to pull air into my lungs. Actually seeing the rabbit with my own eyes defied explanation.
    Late one night, when I was but eight years old, I slipped out of my bed and silently creped down the hall to eavesdrop on my Uncle Mike talking to my father. He was my idol, and while I was unsure of his exact occupation, he travelled across the globe, always returning with many exciting tales. That one night, he described a happening, which, from his ominous tone, I knew that clearly it disturbed and shook my unshakable Uncle.
    I became extra intrigued when I peaked around the threshold, discovering mother was sitting on the sofa, pushed up close to my father, listening ever intently. Seldom did I see my mother join my father as Uncle Mike described his travels.
    His normally loud somewhat boisterous voice was now trembling and almost a whisper, as he leaned into my parents as though to keep his story very private. He poured himself a drink of my father’s whisky, quickly swallowed the entire contents of the glass in one big gulp, and then poured another, holding it close to his mouth as though keeping it in place for quick and emergent consumption.
    I could not hear everything, and some of what I did hear actually did not make sense. But what I did here sounded like Uncle Mike describing a horrific encounter with a white rabbit possessing human- like abilities of speech and walking upright. Uncle Mike’s rabbit was nothing like any rabbit I had ever come across, and this rabbit was dangerous. Apparently Uncle Mike had taken something, which belonged to the rabbit- something valuable. When he opened the chest to display it to my parents, my mother let out a gasp, and my Dad reached out and quickly slammed the lid, which startled not only my mother and Uncle, but made me slip and fall. I scampered back to my room, and with one leap, jumped into the bed slipped under the covers, and never discussed what I heard with anyone – until now. That was the last time I saw my Uncle, as he died in a tragic accident somewhere in a jungle.
    I’m not quite sure, but I never mentioned the events of that night to my parents, probably because it was easier to think of it as a nightmare rather than something that truly happened. But now, clearly, I am standing face to face with Uncle Mike’s rabbit.
    Perhaps I thought playing in a fundraiser on a golf course to cure a disease close to my heart would somehow protect me from evil, but obviously I was wrong, because while looking in the woods for my ball on the 11th hole, suddenly and to my horror, I found myself, with Uncle Mike’s sinister rabbit looking right in my eyes and saying, “follow me.”

  19. cathymcdowell

    I’ve decided after reading these story endings, I’m going to pass on commenting.
    I don’t use the language that most of the writers here use and to comment would be
    negative because of the language used.

    I will continue to post my story endings and if you don’t care to comment, I understand.
    I like the challenge of prompts.

    1. Bridee0809

      Hi Cathy.

      At first I found it daunting to put my comments out there but, for me, that’s part of participating in the group. All of us put our stories here because we want to get better at what we love to do. It’s always nice to hear that others like our stories and a nice ego boost but we’re not here just to hear the good.

      Don’t get me wrong, it really stings sometimes to hear criticism but it’s necessary and can be said gently and without negativity. For instance, for my story I didn’t think what you said was negative at all. It’s something I need to think about for sure because if I ever do want to do this for a living then I need to hear what is confusing, wrong, and just plain bad.

      We have writers of all levels here and all are welcome. I hope you will reconsider your decision to not comment but whatever you do please continue to post your stories.

      Bridee

      1. rob akers

        Cathy,

        I must agree with Bridee0809, and I would like to speak for everyone. We all need each other’s comments. Every person on this board is at a different level, ability and talent. I am an old guy and just started writing almost a year ago. I found this board because I needed some place to get some experience developing my style, voice and to gain some much needed feedback. I have found every comment to be useful and to me as an aspiring novelist, I find that everyone here is part of my target audience. Believe it or not but that includes you, Cathy.

        Not to pressure you, but if you withhold your comments from mine and other posts, then we might miss the one reader who could have shaped us and helped mold us to be better. Collectively we are stronger when you participate in the process. And individually I grow when I read and comment on others posts. If I don’t get the point from another writer, then I have an obligation to say it. If I see something that could be better written then again, I can help a brother or sister out. And everyone wants to hear “Great Job!”

        Open minds and open hearts are important to consider. Comments that are critical but positive are important. No one will ever force you to comment, but we all welcome your thoughts. Either way, please keep posting because the world needs your voice.

        1. jincomt

          My two cents (and yes, that’s about all it’s worth) :

          I have yet to read a story that I can’t find something positive to mention in my comments. Just the fact that someone is gutsy enough to write and post here is amazing to me. I’m always impressed by the caliber and/or creativity of writing.

          Glad you are contributing Cathy– hope you trust us enough to offer praise and constructive feedback. I haven’t been on here that long and have found the feedback gentle and helpful. :)

        2. cathymcdowell

          It isn’t about hearing great job. What really tickled me what Bridee0809,said I found in her story, not mine. My point is, the language used isn’t appealing to me in any shape, form or matter.
          I don’t read smut, therefore I can not read most here.
          I don’t use the F word. nor do I like reading it and when someone uses the Lords name in vain? my blood runs cold.
          I am a writer, I write Christian stories of inspiration.

    2. MCKEVIN

      Hello Cathy,

      Welcome to the forum. I am somewhat of a newbie here myself and so far this experience has been challenging, enlighting and entertaining. I have gotten more than I bargained for. My favorite author is Walter Mosely (Devil In A Blue Dress) and he said you should write for one person and one person only. He never named the person but I figured it out. I like you am a writer. I like the way it sounds and I love what it means. I create like you, worlds, characters, situations and outcomes that are near and dear to me. Some of my characters are rough in the beginning of a piece and even rougher at the end. Some are soft spoken and others are loud. As an author, I get to create this stuff any way I want. That is the beauty of this medium. And I believe wholeheartly in its premise. I, the author never intend to offend anyone but my characters actions and voices might. I don’t apologize for their experiences, ways and outcomes. I want my readers to laugh, to get angry, to cry and to go through the whole spectrum of human emotions. I say this because I believe you do the same things also. Your creative license gives you the right not to use harsh or foul language with your characters. I so respect that right and I hope you do too. I will probably never meet a talking rabbit or have a bookie in this lifetime. But, I might write about what I think the experience might be. I might create a recluse rabbit and horny bookie who knows, and still try to weave a 500 word story. All I am saying is lighten up and enjoy the ride. I for one am glad you’re here and based on what others have written so are they. Again, Welcome to the club.

      McKevin

      PS. If I had written “The Wizard Of Oz”, Dorothy would have slapped Glenda The Good Witch senseless if all she had to do was click her heels. But had she told me that at the beginning, we wouldn’t have had much of a story would we?

  20. fairlore

    Watching my ball head straight for the trees, my shoulders dropped as my new “search for the ball” reality hit. I looked towards Frank, one of the foursome I was a part of it.

    “Frank!” yelling his direction.

    “What’s up Becky?”

    “I friggin hit my ball into the god forsaken trees. Again.”

    I heard Frank’s laughter.

    Walking towards the thick line of trees, I reminded myself of why I was here. The fundraiser. This is not about me! I repeat, This is not about me! I lost my brother to diabetes a few years ago and have been participating in these fundraisers as if they were my new church.

    The crowd disappeared behind me as the curtain of trees dropped its veil around me. It was quiet and peaceful as if none of the teams and spectators existed.

    Scanning the brown for that little ball of white, I suddenly did not feel alone. The hair stood up on my arms..

    “Hello Becky,” said a deep male voice.

    I spun around, highly alarmed.

    I felt my bladder want to release and quickly pinched my legs together. I was staring at a 6 foot white rabbit.

    I started to wonder if this was a joke from one of my teammates.

    “Ok, is it Randy?” Smiling, I started to move towards the rabbit. “Or, is it Doug?” I was standing right in front of the rabbit and started pulling on the costume. I started touching the fur and realized this was no costume.

    I backed away and looked into the eyes of the Rabbit. “What the…”

    The Rabbit cut me off.

    “Becky, I am real.” The Rabbit paused. “And I’m here to help you.”

    The letters WTH kept circulating in my mind and I could not form a complete thought if I tried. “What?” My arms were like lead weights.

    “Yes. I am here to help you. I know you lost your brother a few years ago to diabetes. I know you miss him so much.”

    My head nodded.

    “I come to offer you a chance to be with him.”

    See my brother again?

    “Do you want to be with your brother again?” I nodded slowly. What was happening? I failed to notice that the trees had faded.

    “Take my hand,” he said as he extended it. I felt my own hand moving towards his. This is not real I repeated in my head, yet when my hand felt his warm fur, I struggled with the not real part.

    I looked around and the trees were gone. Then I saw my brother. “Sammy!” I yelled and ran to him. “I have missed you so much.” We talked for what seemed like hours.

    I felt the Rabbit’s paw on my shoulder. “Becky. We have to go back now.” My brother smiled at me with so much love, I felt my heart expand and fill my entire body. “Becky,” he said, “I’m so happy here. Stop doing all the fundraisers and go find yourself again. We will see each other before you know it. I love you Sis.”

    That world disappeared and the trees came back. Frank was standing over me.

    “Becky!!” I sat up.
    “You ok?” I nodded and looked around. The pain of my brother was gone.
    I looked at Frank and saw his pain for the first time.

    “Frank, I need to go.” I smiled as I could feel his questioning eyes on my back. I was free.

    1. MCKEVIN

      I love lines like these:
      “I have been participating in these fundraisers as if they were my new church.”
      “I struggled with the not real part.”
      “This is not about me! I repeat, This is not about me!”

      They put “me” in the story because everybody has felt this way at one time or another.

      This one makes me want to write the forum administrators and ask to them to expand the word count.
      “We will see each other before you know it.”

      I want to know did she die too or if Sammy ever came back for another visit.

      Great story and you did a good job with it.

      PS. I got a friend named Doug too.

  21. MCKEVIN

    I did. When you can “just whip something out with a chuckle” that’s talent. If that’s how you do most of your writings, then its also your “style.” You go girl!

  22. jincomt

    “You know, we know a little about…” He pumped his furry fist up and down and waggled his long ears at me, giving me that “knowing” look.

    “That’s just wrong,” I said. But really, was there anything right about a talking rabbit, much less one giving me a little insight about STDs?

    The day really had started out pretty normal. I am a caddy at Merchant Bay Golf Course. I show up in my white polo and khaki pants, haul clubs, chase balls and maybe get a tip or two. Today I was going to be dragging clubs for the annual charity game sponsored by Our Saints of Perpetual Sorrow. This year’s sponsored recipient had me and the other caddies doubled over with the irony: the Foundation for Research for Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Of course, now we know why the saints are perpetually sorrowful.

    The participants are usually local celebrities, volunteering their time. It looked like I would be the caddy for Don Sleigh, a big-shot in the newspaper biz known for staring down his nose at us caddies. Whatever. I got paid either way, but today was especially brutal. Mr. Sleigh, for all his huffing and puffing about his golfing skills, wasn’t playing well and kept blaming the course. “It’s all in how you start the stroke, son,” he’d say to me as he wound his body back. “Nothing tricky at the end, just a clean follow-through.”

    But I’d watch, he’d always add a little something just as he hit the ball to bring out an element of surprise. I rolled my eyes. It rarely worked. And around the 11th hole, it went completely awry sending the ball out into the woods. I smiled benignly, “I’ll go get that, sir.”

    Which is how I met the rabbit. I was pulling up bramble, cussing under my breath, hoping that every STD out there would get to Mr. Sleigh’s balls, when this rabbit wearing—no kidding—a cap and vest, hopped up. He was nibbling on a carrot the same way my uncle Herman Manfreidy chews on his smelly stogies. “Man, that gig looks horrible,” he said holding the carrot in his teeth.

    “It sucks,” I said, before I thought of the implications of talking back to, let alone seeing and hearing, a verbose rodent.

    “You should come with me.”

    “I’m not in the habit of following my illusions,” I said.

    “You should try it. Very satisfying. Just be careful.”

    I thought about the charity and snorted. “Good advice.” I looked back at Mr. Sleigh standing with his hands on his hips, shaking his head, impatiently. “Yeah, real good advice. Let’s go.”

    So here I am six hours later, tossing back carrot juice with shots of turnip, straight up, with a bunch of wild hares. Turns out rabbits are pretty knowledgeable about transmitted diseases—which makes sense if you think about their procreation rate.

    “But you don’t see us perpetually sad, do you?” My cotton-tailed friend tossed back another shot and wiggled his ears at me.

    1. MCKEVIN

      That was good. I thought about how fast rabbits multiply but I never would have thought to interject STDs in there. Lol! I love it. You obviously have a style all of your own and that’s a good thing. McKevin

    2. Bridee0809

      Very clever. The characters and setting was very clear and I could see it in my head. I like stories that give you a little teaser at the beginning, made me want to keep reading. Well done!

    3. Ishmael

      I like how you got a wild hare and magically whipped this one out! You’re good that way…it always astonishes me.

      The caddie was good to leave the ball sack back on the course. He can finish out the rest of the game on his own.

    4. Naomi

      I am charmed by this story. You painted an excellent portrait of the caddy, using very few words. Having Our Saints of Perpetual Sorrow sponsor a charity event for research on STDs is very smirk worthy. My favorite sentence is, “He was nibbling on a carrot the same way my uncle Herman Manfreidy chews on his smelly stogies.” I love this! Another great read, jincomt.

      1. jincomt

        Thanks for reading and responding everyone. This came to me after a conversation with a friend–i wasn’t intending to post this week. Sometimes I take the writing of the prompts too seriously. It was fun to go lighter (in attitude as well as content) this week.

  23. Nini

    I really hated rabbits. Damn smelly little blighters. My dad had sold rabbits for food in his childhood; if any of my sisters had pined for one of the fluffy rodents in the pet store, my dad would launch into a rendition of one of his more gruesome experiences. I’d been brainwashed.
    So I sure as hell didn’t want to hear one talking to me.
    “Follow me,” said the rabbit solemnly, blinking with its big creepy black eyes.
    I refused the temptation to reply to the rodent. Hoping that this was just some wacko dream caused by heatstroke, I slowly raised my golf club, trying to look big and threatening.
    “Oi, there’s no need for that!” protested the rabbit. The rabbit was talking; and now it was hopping towards me.
    “Shoo!” I barked, brandishing my iron. God; today was a nightmare. Just when I thought that I would get some closure over Annie’s death, I find out that the charity was golf of all things – how the hell do they expect me to play golf? And then, when I just thought I was getting the hang of this damn game, that wind came and wacked up my shot; now this freaky-ass rabbit was talking to me.
    “You just have to listen,” said the rabbit, stopping a little ways away, holding up his paws soothingly. “I have a message for you. From Annie.”
    I froze. A cold sweat broke out over my forehead. With gut-wrenching effort, I tore my mind away from the memories which had begun resurfacing; memories which a lot of alcohol, time, and obsessive working had tamped down into a repressed section of my mind. I’d never really sorted out my feelings about what had…happened. I’d never thought that I’d needed to.
    “First of all, she says that you need to take a vacation. She wants you to go to Fiji, or Hawaii; get a sun tan, a massage, some exfoliation. And then she wants you to sort out your feelings about her dying.
    “She says to tell you that talking about your feelings with someone isn’t un-manly. She wants you to get over her, and be happy. She wants you to stop thinking that donating money to charity will ease your sense of guilt. Because it won’t.”
    The rabbit cleared its throat, nodded once, and then turned to hop away. I could only stare at it, speechless. A hot, prickly feeling was growing in my throat and pooling like a roiling ball of snakes in my gut.
    “Oh,” said the rabbit, stopping to turn back. “And Annie says not to feel guilty about what you’re feeling about Reigna. She approves of her; you’ll make each other happy.”
    And then the rabbit hopped away. My golf ball rolled out from under a bush of foliage, dirty but bright white. I stared at it for a while, snorted, and then turned around and walked away.
    I was going to friggin’ Fiji.

  24. bluelady

    Nervously, Ayan watched as the golf ball rolled on the grass. “Go.” She whispered.

    The ball went in the 11th hole.

    She squealed in delight and clapped her hands happily. Then she noticed the other people on the golf course were giving her dirty looks. “Sorry.” She said.

    No fun. No fun at all. This vacation to Somalia was so boring. Why couldn’t she have stayed in New York with her friends? But no. Her mother had said that she would make new friends, but that would not happen. Ayan had not made a new friend since kindergarten.

    She only agreed to come to make her mom happy. Her mother had been devastated when she found out that her husband had a boyfriend. Ayan had tried to comfort her, but realized that her mom needed to get away. But she never thought her mother would pick Somalia as a vacation spot. She was hoping for a cruise of something.

    But she admitted that Somalia was okay, but it did feel way different than New York. It was a totally different world, besides her mom needed to be near family. It was good for her mom.

    Ayan on the other hand had never been here before so she didn’t know anyone. It was weird to meet relatives that you had never seen before in your life.

    She sighed, pulled out the ball, and dropped it on the ground. She decided to just going to go back to the hotel room. It was such a beautiful room overlooking the beach, but it was starting to feel like a prison. She was so bored she wanted to scream.

    Ayan hit the ball so hard that it flew across the course into the trees. “Oops-” She did not do that on purpose.
    It was then that she saw the rabbit. It was so cute. It was white with long ears. She went closer and tried to be as quiet as possible so it would not move.

    Yes. It had not moved.

    She was so close.

    Suddenly, the white rabbit turned to her and looked her right in the eye, “Follow me.”

    Ayan blinked in shock, “Did you just talk?”

    “Did I stutter, human? Follow me.”

  25. Bridee0809

    I limped into the kitchen still red faced and sweating, the Ziploc bag grasped in my hand. The bag of water swung limply between my fingers making it resemble clear, oddly shaped testicles.

    “Hi Angie, how was your family’s charity event – whoa, what happened?” my girlfriend asked, getting up from the TV room and coming into the kitchen.

    “Golf and rabbits,” I said.

    “Have you been playing in the mud?” she said; looking at my dirty, grass stained clothes.

    “Sort of,” I said.

    “What’s with the bag of water?”

    “It was ice. For my head.”

    “Oh wow, you have a huge lump.”

    “Ouch! Don’t touch it.”

    “Sorry, here give me that, I’ll get more ice,” she said reaching for the bag.

    I flopped into a seat at the kitchen counter. Jackie dumped the water into the sink then put some ice in the bag.

    “Did you say something about rabbits?” she asked, handing the bag to me from across the counter.

    “Yes, I met a rabbit,” I said, gently placing the bag over the lump.

    “Met a rabbit. Sounds interesting, spill it.”

    “It happened on the eleventh hole when I was looking for my ball after I hooked it into the trees trying to nail a dogleg left. I don’t know what the hell that means, that’s what my Dad said when I didn’t hit it down the midway.”

    “Fairway,” Jackie said, filling a glass with water and putting it on the counter in front of me.

    “I went into this willingly, I did. I even bought this cute little golf skirt in the shop and was having fun talking to the people who came out to play golf. The very first swing and I hit the ball into the sand thing.”

    “Sand trap,” Jackie said as I paused to take a drink of water.

    “When I tried to get it out, I hit my foot with the club and sand flew everywhere and I ended up with sand in my ba-ba. It’s the middle of summer so I already feel like I’ve been licked by a giant St. Bernard and now I have sand in my crotch.”

    Jackie shot me a sympathetic look.

    “Anyway, I dragged my bag into the trees to look for my ball and inside there is this little white rabbit and it says, ‘follow me’. Well, I figured the heat is getting to me and I might as well enjoy the hallucination until I pass out. I followed it and he told me he had escaped from a lab and needed something and was just about to tell me what when a ball flew into the trees and hit me on the head. That’s the last thing I remember.”

    “You’ve had quite a day. Hungry?” she said.

    We heard a rustling sound and looked into the laundry room. The rabbit hopped out of the golf bag and into the kitchen and looked up at us.

    “I am, what’s for dinner?”

    1. fbxwriter

      Amusing story. You started into a nice rhythm with Jackie correcting Angie on her golf terms. The rhythm was so nice that when Angie referred to her “ba-ba” I automatically expected Jackie to correct her. Then I realized that wouldn’t quite fit the tenor of your story! Still, that’s something to think about for the future. It’s a nice way to set up a joke.

    2. cathymcdowell

      Good story. I like the way you took it away from the golf course/woods.
      I did get confused when who said what was apparent during the:

      What’s with the bag of water?”

      “It was ice. For my head.”

      “Oh wow, you have a huge lump.”

      “Ouch! Don’t touch it.”

      “Sorry, here give me that, I’ll get more ice,” she said reaching for the bag.

      I’ve learned the he said she said’s are most important to readers. Silly readers are like rabbits sometimes. All confused ya know?

      1. jincomt

        Great comment Cathy. I’ll be curious to see if anyone else responds.

        Donald Maass in his book, “The Fire in Fiction” actually addresses dialogue and cautions against too many attributes– he/she saids. He adds dialogue can be a great way to move the story along quickly and create tension. If there are only two people talking, and you are notating it correctly in different paragraphs, always tagging it with a “said” isn’t necessary.

        Interestingly, I just finished reading, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” (Jonathan Safran Foer) and he not only didn’t use attributes in many places, he didn’t break the conversation of individual speakers into paragraphs. I think the effect was to show the process of the protagonist’s thoughts, but I found it required a lot of concentration and was tiring to read in too large a chunk.

        Thanks for getting my gears thinking about this! Julie

      2. Ishmael

        I think, if there’s been adequate character development, the indicators aren’t necessary. Each has a way about them, and a tone is created. If written well enough, through transitional statements, it should be apparent who’s doing the speaking. I agree that good dialogue can drive a story. There are many writers here who handle dialogue extremely well.

  26. dblayne

    It was the second day of our fundraiser golf tournament in South Bend, IN. So far the spring weather had been kind to us, but I would have been happy to have had bad weather as an excuse for the crappy way I had been playing so far. On the 11th hole, I sliced one into the woods. I didn’t expect things to improve any, so I figured it was going to take me a while to find my ball. I grabbed my water bottle off the cart, waved at the other members of my foursome, who made a shooing motion at me, and headed toward the woods. The shade of the old maple trees blinded me for a moment as I stepped out of the bright sunlight, and this reminded me to take off my dark glasses.
    As I glanced around trying to decide where to start looking, a white rabbit with greasy ears, paws and face stepped out from behind a tree and waved a front paw as he said, “Follow me!” Then dropping on all fours he bounced a couple of strides farther into the maple woods.
    “Eustace, I thought you were going to wait in the car,” I said, sternly, looking back at the long stretch of open green between us and the parking area.
    Eustace laid his long white ears back and looked away while he said, sheepishly, “I had to pee. But I saw where your ball went!” he added brightly, sitting up and wiggling his nose.
    “I don’t want you to think I am not grateful,” I said, “but you know the sun is bad for albinos.”
    “I put on sun screen,” he pouted. He didn’t like to be reminded of his condition.
    “Yeah, I can see that,” I smiled. “Well, let’s make it quick so you can get back under cover.”
    I followed him down a faint trail to where the May Apple grew thickly.
    “Here it is!” Eustace reached under the big umbrella-like leaves eagerly.
    “Wait! No, Eustace!” I had spotted something – a slender white hand with an unusual emerald ring on the middle finger, laying limply on the ground a couple of feet from my ball. Eustace spotted it then. Tthe pink color drained out of his nose and ears and he involuntarily thumped a hind foot on the ground.
    “Is it?” he quivered.
    “Yes, Eustace, I recognize her ring. I believe it is Mercuria Strill, the Chairman of the activist group, Not All Albinos Are White. The question is, why was she here at the fundraiser for Albino Gene Therapy, and who killed her?!”

    1. rob akers

      Cathy,

      It is a simple process. You throw your story out there and others will read and hopefully comment. It seems that most people will read and comment on your work, if you comment on theirs as well.

      I will look for your post, welcome aboard. The water is warm so please jump in.

      rob

    2. Ishmael

      Yeah…there are so many talents on the board, it’s tough to read and get to them all. If your name is seen often and regularly, people will take notice. Helping to edit/revise others’ works enables us to better self-edit, but be sure to add what appeals to you about a story!

  27. fbxwriter

    GOLFING AWAY THE GROTESQUE
    (499 words. First draft was 786. I think I kept the essence of the story. Had to kill a few darlings.)

    “Follow me,” said the white rabbit, turning to walk deeper into the woods.

    “Just fine!” I said. “I must be nuts!”

    Grumbling, I followed the young rabbit. The last 10 holes had been lousy, but at least I had avoided the woods.

    “I must be nuts to play this stupid game,” I mumbled. I took a few more steps then stopped.

    “I’m giving up on the ball,” I said.

    The rabbit looked at me, tears in his eyes.

    “Please! Here!”

    He pointed toward the base of a tree, where a form lay covered by a blanket.

    “Petey. Sick.” The rabbit trembled so badly he could barely speak.

    Horrified, I knelt and pulled back one corner of the blanket. Unable to stop, I yanked back the whole blanket revealing a grotesque shivering form. I heard the young rabbit scream. He turned, and collapsed onto all fours, retching. I forced the bile down in my own stomach.

    The first thing I noticed was the ears, or near lack of them. The one I could see was a shriveled pink thing stuck on the side of the poor creature’s head. The horror didn’t end there. Hairless pink skin covered the body except for a mat of black fur atop the head.

    The limbs were long scrawny things. The hind legs ended in something that could almost be called paws, but the front legs ended in disgusting deformities. In place of decent toes were long spindly digits.

    Shuddering, I quickly covered the form with the blanket. I walked over to my caddy, who was still on his knees.

    “I’m sorry you had to see that, Roger. What happened?”

    “He had been sick for a while,” Roger said. “When he came to work today, he looked horrible but didn’t want to miss the tournament. We were checking the greens when he began to tire. He came here to lie down and made me promise not to tell. I thought he just needed rest, but when I checked on him he…he….”

    I held my ears straight and strong above my head and grabbed the young rabbit by the shoulders.

    “That’s why we’re here, isn’t it? We’re trying to prevent things like this from happening. I’ll take care of Petey. We’ll find him a good home in a nice zoo where you can visit him. But for now you go out there and be the best damn caddy you can be. And if we all work hard enough we’ll raise enough money to find a cure for the Pink Skin Disease so that what happened to Petey doesn’t happen to other rabbits.”

    Roger stood. He trembled but held his ears high. He nodded and headed toward the green.

    Only when he disappeared in the greenery did I let my ears sag. As I turned to look at Petey, I wondered how long we would have to fill our zoos and sanctuaries with these poor disgusting human creatures before we finally found a cure for the Pink Skin Disease.

    ###

  28. GMichael

    At this point, I don’t have time for white rabbits, pink rabbits, or anything else. The course was full after a shotgun start and after five minutes looking for a wayward drive on 10, the group in front of us were hitting their aproaches to the 12 green. The heat and the two chugged lagers and a G and T at the turn were just doing what they were supposed to do anyway. I got out a good belly laugh just before I found my Slazenger. Wrong club, no time to get another, here goes… ” I can make that happen for you”… Now, I’m not one to be shook up by a little back swing conversation, but the same voice, twice on the same hole. I took a look. Wouldn’t you? Yep. Confirmed. There he stood.. “I can make that shot happen for you. Lets put it in the frog hair on the left side of the green and then you follow me”. With a six iron? “Close the face”. Fine.. Swing and smoked ! Low trajectory, pure, front left. As I follow, I hear sporadic WTF’s from the group in front of us and from one of the guys I am playing with. And ladies and gentlemen, that is when and where we discovered that a certain Bolete mushroon is Kryptonite to Prostate Cancer. And you know the rest. The fact that I shot 3 under on the back after a 6 on 10, and a 49 on the front, is proof of the fact. Please give generously to the White Rabbit Foundation, and thank you for your time.

  29. lilx21

    “Follow me,” said the rabbit, looking directly at me.
    “Curiouser, and curiouser,” I thought to myself. It had seemed I had been playing golf one moment and transported into Wonderland the next, for what stood before me was a talking rabbit. A simple explanation could explain this; I must’ve been struck in the head by a golf ball while I was out on the green. Yes, that must’ve been it. Nothing else logical could explain the phenomenon that was happening right before my very own eyes. I simply could only stand there gawking at the rabbit. It must’ve sensed my hesitation for it spoke again.
    “Follow me,” it spoke once more. “I am no figment of your imagination. I stand before you here, just as you stand before me, both of us just as real as the other.”
    “If that is true, why should I follow you anyways?” I asked the rabbit.
    “I know that of which you seek. Follow me and all your hopes and dreams shall become reality,” it replied.
    “But where will we go?”
    “Where else, but down the rabbit hole silly,” it told me. “Now follow me and please do try and keep up. We are late.”
    “Late for what?” I tried asking, but I was too slow. The rabbit had already started to hop off in the direction of the neighboring forest. I threw down my nine iron and raced off in the direction of the rabbit. Rabbits sure are quick little fellas. If the hare in “The Tortoise and the Hare” hadn’t worn itself out before the big race it would’ve most definitely won. I had a hard time keeping up with him. The entire time I was a good lengths behind him. The rabbit darted past trees, hopped over tree trunks, and dodged past thickets of brush till we finally reached a clearing. It abruptly stopped midway into the clearing and I almost ran over the poor little guy not realizing the immediate halt in our journey.
    “We’re here,” it told me.
    “There’s nothing here though, just a field of grass,” I said, confusion filling my voice.
    “All you have to do it look a little harder. Not all that is really there is visible to the eye, “ the rabbit said as it pushed back a patch of overgrown grass to reveal a large hole in the ground. “Down you must go, and then all shall be revealed.” The rabbit then looked down at its wrist to where a watch was displayed. “Oh no, no, no, no. I’m late. I’m late,” it said anxiously. “I really must be going, so many people to visit. I have to stay on schedule.” The rabbit looked at me, then down at the hole, and back up at me again. “Will you be going?” it asked. What did I have to lose. My life was going nowhere; I had nothing to live for here. Maybe what I really did seek was just on the other side of the hole. It was easy; all I had to do was muster the courage and walk through the entrance of the hole. Wherever my destination was, I knew it had to be better than here.
    “Wonderland, or not, I’m ready to go.” I looked down at the rabbit. “Thank you.” With that said, I turned my back on the rabbit, my life as I knew it, and made my way through the hole. “Once you go down the rabbit hole, there is no turning back,” I thought, and I was somehow comforted by that fact.

  30. aikawah

    Dwayne James squinted into the sunlight from where he was squatting next to the 7th tee. He was tired from his flight yesterday, his armpits were sweaty, the subject, codename rabbit, hadn’t made contact yet, and to make it all worse, he was losing. His opponent was sweating even worse but he seemed used to it. He was fat; his belly bulging in the yellow t-shirt he was wearing. One would imagine his swing would be at least a bit off with a belly like that but the man swung like a pro. And it was fitting; he was both a sports minister and the owner of this golf course, the only one in Somalia.

    Dwayne stood to line up the shot. He turned to the caddy, a short Kenyan with dark lips and surprising strength for someone his size. Picking out his driver, he returned to the tee scanning the grounds as he did. He was looking for someone, anyone who might be the subject. Not familiar with African intelligence procedure, he didn’t know what to expect, how the subject would initiate contact. All he knew is that he had to play this game against the minister, the ambassador had set it up himself. Dwayne bent, adjusting his grip carefully then he struck. The ball sailed towards the sun, making him wish he had carried his sunglasses but he hadn’t wanted to look like a spook. The minister crooned something in Arabic, squinting right at the ball’s sun-bound trajectory.

    ‘Nice one Mr. James’ he said, ‘you hit that one very nice.’

    ‘I wish it was nice enough to catch up with you’ replied Dwayne.

    ‘Ah but you threw away the game when we started, thinking maybe Somali not so good. I make sure you never repeat that mistake’ and the minister threw back his head and laughed. The caddy came up to his elbow and Dwayne handed him the club silently, nodding as he did. The caddy put the club in the bag and handed Dwayne his bottle of cold water.

    They were walking down the fairway when the minister’s phone rang. Dwayne noticed the change in his demeanor, his body stiffening as he waved a hand for silence. He listened mostly, grunting a few times in agreement with someone on the other end of the line, and then he hung up, turning to them. His face was serious.

    ‘My apologies Mr. James, but that was the president. I must abandon our little game but we will complete it some time inshallah.’ Not waiting for an answer, he walked off in the direction of the clubhouse.

    Dwayne looked all around again, hoping to see a sign. There was nothing in all directions, nobody else but him and the caddy who moved to stand closer. Dwayne handed him the water bottle and took off his gloves.

    ‘Well that’s the end of that then’ he said beginning to walk. The caddy fell in step just behind him, the clubs shuffling as he walked.

    ‘Were you expecting someone sir?’ asked the caddy in perfect English.

    ‘No’ Dwayne lied.

    ‘He who sets out to hunt the antelope sometimes misses a rabbit hiding at his feet’ said the caddy.

    Dwayne turned, paying attention to the caddy for the first time since morning. He was smiling as he set down the clubs and reached into his back pocket for a white handkerchief with which he slowly and deliberately wiped his sweaty brow. It was the signal. He put back the handkerchief and stretched out a hand to Dwayne in greeting.

    Sorry I didn’t tell you earlier, but that phone call the minister received means our decoy worked and the government won’t be interested in you the rest of today. I’m the rabbit, please follow me.

    1. Ishmael

      Aikawah. Nice. Pleasant read throughout, and I liked the whole spy thing going on. And I always enjoy your Kenyan slant. Was the last paragraph a quote?

      1. Ishmael

        I don’t know NBA too well, so I missed that. I had to add…this was my favorite sentence: “…a short Kenyan with dark lips and surprising strength for someone his size.” A simple sentence that says quite a lot! Thirteen words that created a definite picture in my mind. Kudos.

        And I thought it was a quote. I mentally inserted the marks as I read.

  31. rob akers

    A Major Jimmy Everest Story

    16 October 1999

    Major Everest led his gunner into the operations center as the sun rose over Fort Bragg. Tired and happy, these two men had a full day off to enjoy the perfect autumn North Carolina day. The last eight hours were spent on the gun range, driving their Apache gunship through a full complement of night maneuvers. Jimmy was stopped at the duty desk before turning in his Night Vision Goggles.

    “Major, you have mail.” The duty officer said.

    Jimmy took the letter while his gunner started laughing. “Divorce papers, boss?”

    “I’m not that lucky. I’ve only served three months of a lifetime sentence,” Jimmy replied.

    “Why did you do it, boss?”

    “Someone told me it would help to get command.”

    “Her daddy?”

    Jimmy laughed. “No, but could it hurt to have a general as a father-in-law?”

    “If he hates you? It might.”

    “How can he hate the father of his first grandchild?” Jimmy smiled, already knowing the answer as he read the letter. “Don’t bother on saving me a spot at the FUBAR Inn. I have a tee time.”

    Jimmy entered the clubhouse at Pinehurst Golf Course. He was greeted at the door by a leggy blond who spoke with a Southern drawl and asked him if he was here for the fundraiser to defeat Alzheimers. Jimmy replied with a wink, “Darling, you could make me forget my wife and kid.”

    He signed in and left his number with the hostess and walked to the clubhouse. Finding his caddy and his playing partners, he went to the practice range. Jimmy graduated Arizona on a golf scholarship and spent two years trying to get his tour card before joining the Army to fly helicopters. This was as close to Heaven as he would ever get.

    Walking up to the 11th tee, Jimmy was one under while the others in his group were struggling with double bogies. He reminded himself to hook it into the woods. Following the shot and enduring the teasing from his three fat doctor partners, Jimmy walked into the woods to find his ball and this so-called white rabbit.
    It didn’t take long to find a man with a puppet on his hand. The rabbit was on his arm and held Jimmy’s golf ball in its mouth. The caddy stood guard while the man introduced himself.

    “I am Neo and this is my friend Morpheus. We have been watching you and we want to know if you want a job?”

    “With who?”

    “The Company of course.”

    “Hell yes, I want in. When can I start?”

    “You already have. We will set up an account in the Caymans and start the direct deposit. You will be paid as a GS-6 until we are ready for you. Then we will give you a raise. We need you to learn to fly fixed wing aircraft, preferably C-130s.”

    “Okay, anything else?”

    “Yes, tip your caddy well. I will be watching.” Tossing the ball to the caddy, Neo walked out of the woods.

    1. MCKEVIN

      July 13, 2012

      Dear Major Everest:

      Recently I attended a writers forum and after the meeting, I found a brief case that was full of letters. I read several letters hoping to find the rightful owner of brief case. The letters were beautifully written and were quite insiteful. I noticed the letters all have a similar military theme and collectively could serve as a diairy of sorts. I am writing this letter to accomplish several things. 1) To let the writer know I enjoy reading his installments and to suggest to him to publish them as a book. He could call the book “The Diaires of Major Everest”. He like several members attending the forum have developed a consistent style of writing with a recurring theme and he should do something with it. Obviously he has both a military and government background because he knows his subject area well. 2) I going to suggest to the forum administrators to reveiw their submissions and challenge them to come with a prompt that will be based on one of those submissions. I think it will fun to see how other writers expand on previous submissions from other forum writers. 3) If a “long leggy blonde with a southern drawl can make you forget about your wife and kid, can you imagine what a tall, drop dead handsome bisexual military man from Chicago Illinois with roots from North Carolina could make you forget?

      I will be forwarding this letter to a Mr. Rob Ackers with well wishes in your future endeavors. See you at the forum. Love your work.

      Sincerely,

      Tracy E. Warren
      Forum Writer Conspirator

      1. MCKEVIN

        PS. The clerk at the Post Office knows your work also. She told me to correct the spelling of your last name from “Ackers” to Akers. Sorry about that.

          1. MCKEVIN

            It was just a joke where I used your writings as a prompt. If I offended you, I apologize. Peace.

          2. rob akers

            Never offended by anything. Just missed it thats all, but now I got it. I like your creativity and there is no telling what the bad Major will get into…thanks again for the compliments, you are very kind and one of the writters I look forward to reading each week.

    2. jincomt

      I look forward to my weekly readings of your stories, Rob! I needed more information about the white rabbit puppet– I got confused. But I love how you build the characters in these stories. I always read them wanting the next installment!

      1. rob akers

        Thanks jincomt. I was trying to stay on the plot. That was one of my goals this week. When I read the prompt, I thought about the white rabit from the movie “The Matrix.” Hence, Neo and Morhpius characters.

        The puppet was what Neo was holding to identify himself as the contact. But in the 500 word cutdown, the enhanced description got lost. Sorry and thanks for the comments. I appreciate everyone reading and giving feedback.

  32. cathymcdowell

    I slowly turned to see if someone was watching, this has to be a trick I thought. When I didn’t see anyone, I nodded and followed. As he hopped and I walked quickly to keep up, he kept turning around and saying “come on, come on, we’re almost there.”

    “Almost there? almost where?” I asked. “You’ll see, you’ll see” said the rabbit.

    At last the rabbit stopped and pointed. “Look there, look there” he told me. I got closer and peered into the hole he was pointing at and with a big whoosh, he pushed me in.

    “Hey, what’s going on?” I yelled to him. I could hear him laughing and finally his beady eyes and wiggling nose were in view. “I knew you would do it, I knew you would” said the rabbit. “Do what?” what is it you knew I’d do?” I asked.
    The rabbit squealed “I knew you would follow, I knew you would”

    “You silly rabbit, of course I followed, you told me to and I have never seen a talking rabbit before. What else was I to do?” I asked.
    The rabbit scratched his head with his hind paw and with a sudden movement, he too was in the hole. “Now look what you’ve done” I told the rabbit. “We’ll never get out of here I said”

    The rabbit again began to laugh. “Of course we’ll get out, of course we will” he said. “I’m a rabbit and digging a hole is what I do, it’s what I do” he told me.
    “Oh yes, you are so right, so dig already, dig” I told him realizing I was sounding like him.

    The rabbit wiggled his little nose at me and he dug and dug and dug. Before long I was being buried by the dirt his little paws were throwing.
    Just when I thought I’d suffocate a splash of water hit my face.

    I woke up with my fellow golfers all standing over me.
    Apparently I had been hit in the head by a golf ball and was knocked unconscious.
    I vowed at that point to never drink tequila while golfing again.
    I looked to my left, then to my right. When my vision cleared I could see a while rabbit motioning me with his paw to come, follow me.

    1. rob akers

      Nice job Cathy. I like how you described the rabit’s nose. I could see him. I love the line “You silly rabit” Made me laugh. I was waiting for you to throw in “Twix are for kids.”

      Welcome to the prompts, I look forward to reading your works.

    2. Bridee0809

      Really nice story. Nice descriptions, characters and good flow. A couple dialogue tags were not there but that comes with practice, I think so anyway.

      I look forward to reading future stories from you Cathy!

        1. Bridee0809

          You have commas missing. Just a couple examples…

          “You’ll see, you’ll see” should be “You’ll see, you’ll see,”
          “Look there, look there” should be “Look there, look there,”

          Unless I’m mistaken on how dialogue tags work, which is possible. Anyone care to chime in?

          1. jincomt

            Bridee– I think you’re correct. I referred to my very marked-up edition of the Elements of Style, pages 36, 37 (ah yes, our “bible”), and it confirmed your use of commas within the quotation. It seems like something I constantly need to review and relearn.

          2. Ishmael

            Yes, commas were needed within those quotes…and a few spots were missing periods, as well. :)

    3. jincomt

      Great story! Funny double-twist at the end (there really was a rabbit!). I loved how you showed the rabbit’s personality through the dialogue and how he spoke. I could really picture him with the almost nervous repetitive speech pattern.

  33. Naomi

    Dappled shadows sifted through the overhead tree branches. I used my golf club to probe low-lying shrubs, searching for my lost golf ball. A twig snapped a few feet to my right. Startled, I quickly turned towards the sound. A white rabbit, about four feet tall, wearing a gray tracksuit, stood in front of me.

    “Follow me,” the rabbit said.

    “Alan,” I said, “I’m in the middle of a golf charity event. What are you doing here?”

    Fifty ago, human scientists genetically tickled a virus. The virus laughed, and mutated into a cross-species contaminant that heightened the intelligence of non-humans. In the aftermath of the “Dr. Doolittle” virus humans could talk to the animals, and they talked back.

    “Quincy, don’t call me that,” Alan said. “I asked you to call me BMW.”

    “That stands for what, Bunny, Mainly White?” I asked. Alan’s current phase involved being a pseudo-gangster rapper. I began to miss his Goth phase.

    “BMW is a cool name.” He said, shifting his weight from side to side. “Quince, you gotta go get some cash from the bank.”

    “Why?” I asked.

    “See, I got an offer to record a demo. As ‘BMW, the Rapping Rabbit.’ ”

    “Uh-huh,” I said. Alan loves schemes. Since we’ve been friends, no scheme ever ended in Alan making money.

    “I had to borrow money to cut the demo.”

    I leaned against the trunk of a tree, feeling the rough bark through my shirt. The late morning air was still, stuffy as the day’s temperature rose. I felt tired. “And?” I prompted.

    Alan fussed with the over-sized zipper pull on his jacket, before crossing his arms over his chest. “And, I borrowed the money from Sammy the Fish.”

    “You borrowed money from a fish?”

    “No, Sammy’s a human. Anyways, the studio deal was bogus — that punk stole my money! So, I couldn’t pay Sammy back.”

    “You want to borrow money from me to pay Sammy back?”

    “Nah,” Alan said. “To get Sammy off my back, I told Sammy’s biggest enemy –Jimmy the Bull — that Sammy said something about Jimmy’s mother, something not said in polite company.”

    “You set two men up in order to get out of a debt?”

    “Jimmy’s not a man,” Alan said. “He’s an actual bull. Anyways, Jimmy shot up Sammy’s place real bad.”

    “Jesus, Alan!”

    “Sammy wasn’t hurt, but a bystander got hit. A police officer was nearby, and ran up on the scene. Folks thought that the police shot the bystander, and a riot sort of broke out.”

    I closed my eyes, and questioned my taste in friends. “Why go to the bank since you don’t want to borrow money from me?” I asked.

    “What with the fires started during the riot, a lot of the city is burning. So it’s best you have cash, for a while anyways,” Alan said. His whiskers twitching, he continued, “But, if you want to loan me money, there’s a floating poker game in the next county over …”

  34. MCKEVIN

    Grand Ma-ma’s last words were “Don’t live dying, die living and Follow The White Rabbit.” I saw the color leave her skin when she took her last breath. Her death was a peaceful goodbye with instructions for living. The funeral was held June thirtieth, a hot Saturday. Throughout the services I wondered what her words of wisdom meant for me. I watched as the silver coffin was lowered. Mourners tossed multi colored flowers on the mirrored box reflecting life and burying death. My last tears were shed as I stepped over concrete addresses. Exactly one year later, I was looking for a golf ball on the greens and a white rabbit sprung out of nowhere …
    “Follow me.” Startled that it could even speak, I backed up slowly.
    “Don’t be afraid, Nelson. I’m Clarice and It’s nice to meet you.”
    I followed as she binkied to a rabbit warren where golf balls were used as address markers and carrot tops used as landscaping.
    “This will be address plate fifty four.” She said blinking blue and brown eyes.
    Many kits were playing in the area and were uniquely identified by various shades of colored fur. There were blacks, whites and many shades of browns. There was a contagious joy about the place. I couldn’t help but smile although I didn’t understand why I was there.
    “You have many questions about your life and what does this all mean.”
    She read my mind.
    “She wants you to be happy and to flourish abundantly.” It sounded like she was reading a telegram.
    “Now what?” I asked.
    “Pick six addresses, three even and three odd.”
    “Thirty, six, fifty four, one, twenty three, forty nine and nineteen.” I said just to amuse her.
    “Thirty symbolizes the Circle. Completion.
    Six symbolizes the physical world. Creation.
    Fifty four symbolizes Trust and Intuition. Guidance.
    Twenty three symbolizes Purpose. Manifestation.
    Forty nine symbolizes Lessons Learned. Achievement.
    Nineteen symbolizes Energy. Goal.”
    I stood with my mouth open trying to process the information. I realized they were Angel Numbers and that Rabbits represent abundance. I can achieve abundance through guidance, creation, manifestation, completion and accomplish any goal I set my mind to. Grand Ma-ma was still teaching me from the other side. I remembered her gray hair, wrinkled face and the joy I felt in her presence. I told her I was gay and she made me feel special when the world said I didn’t have a right to be. When life knocked me down, she offered her hands to help me get up. She wiped away salty tears with the magic of love and told me I could when I thought I couldn’t. She completed when I thought I wasn’t whole. I thanked Clarice for the vision and did two things. I played the numbers in the lottery and pondered my most pressing goal, to finish my novel. I’m crazy not stupid.
    I won and financially secure.
    “Chosen One” the novel?
    “It is done!”
    Thanks for looking out Grand Ma-ma.

    1. JR MacBeth

      Good for you, going serious with this prompt, when most went humorous. Didn’t get the ending though. Maybe you hit “post comment” before the final revisions?

      1. MCKEVIN

        Thanks JR for taking the time to read my writing. I hope you liked it and no I didn’t hit “post comment” before revisions. I try to stick to the instructions when responding to the prompts. I think it challenges those who called ourselves writers. So far, I have stayed withing the limitations. This time I couldn’t end it quite as I wanted. I tried to say, the character Nelson played and won the lottery and is financially secured. Also, “Chose One” is the name of the fictious novel in the story. “It is done.” meant the novel is now complete. Perhaps,if i said “I won and I am financially secure.” it would have a better flow and make more sense. Again, thanks for the critique. The implied suggestion will be incorparated in future submissions. Sincerely, McKevin

      2. MCKEVIN

        Also, the character “Nelson” picked 7 numbers instead of 6 as the rabbit instructed. Note: The rabbit didn’t explain the number “1”. The novel’s title “Chosen One” was a play on that word and to see if the reader actually read the passage thoroughly.

        1. jincomt

          I like to read the explanations, if needed and given. Using such a limited word count, it’s hard to convey all the reasons for what we write in these prompts. Interesting thought process!

          1. MCKEVIN

            Hi jincomt, thanks for stopping by and viewing my story. I appreciate any and all comments. I am really curious what you thought before the explanation. A 500 word limitation is no excuse for not producing a entertaining and complete story. I am so working on it! Lol.I get so excited when I write and hope that the reader is just as excited. I got the best compliment from another writer here this week. He doesn’t know it, but he made my day. So what did you think before the explanation? And Thanks again,

            McKevin

          2. jincomt

            I think it’s just me, mckevin. I don’t always “get” hidden meanings. I just didn’t follow all the number implications and book title connection. It was very good!

    2. Ishmael

      McKevin – I like coming by and reading your work. I chuckled at “binkied.” It reminded me of a baby’s pacifier. This one had the potential to be real poignant with the Grand Ma-ma character, but never quite took me there, although a lot of the essential elements were present (unconditional love, acceptance, helping hands, messenger rabbit, angel numbers, successful book, address plates?, etc.). The whole thing felt like data overload. I liked your knowledge of a rabbit warren, but even that needs better definition within the context for the reader.

      Honestly, I think you had too much going on in this story. Too much symbolism to decipher and work for the reader to do on a short story, and no room in the 500 limit to delicately take it where you wanted to go – try as you might. Seriously…bless you for trying to get so much in. But the sentences never seemed to get a rhythm to them. I fought short, choppy waves of description to get through the first paragraph.

      I admire your overall effort and message, and think another thousand words could create the image I think you wanted to convey. Write on!

      :)

  35. Nia

    I wasn’t winning the money, it was for “To Write Love on Her Arms”, that give strength and self-esteem to women who have lost most of their confidence through depression and abuse.

    I never thought it would be between London and I. The 11th hole and they weren’t stroking above par. I was steady with my wood to the ball, my eyes drawing lines to the green. Took a deep breath and relaxed. Slowly I pulled back increasing leverage.

    A still breath and I let go.

    I heard a loud screech as I brought down my stroke to a 45o angle. At that very moment, my body twitched a bit and it threw my stroke wide left into the woods.

    Dammit

    The ball rolled out of the suns’ light making it easy to throw the ball closer to the hole. Then a scurry of light appears at the edge of my vision.

    “Hello”.

    I look around hesitantly and right in front of me was a fluffy white rabbit with big glimming orange eyes illuminating the darkness that I couldn’t resist. Awwww. As I got closer, its eyes became angled with furry red and the woods suddenly darkened. In a deep menacing voice it said,

    “Follow me”.

    Pulled into its aural grasp, I followed. As it hopped left and right I thought where could it be taking me and the competition was far from my mind. “Exsc…Excuse me. Where are we going?” But it continued to leap further into the dark stricken woods and getting lost was the least of my thoughts and then he was gone. I stopped, looked around, and took a few steps into a lake opening in the woods. It was peacefully beautiful.

    “Shoot, the golf tournament,” I said aloud but as I turned to go back, I saw the fluffy white rabbit summoning me to this odd shaped willow with a hole in its side where a belly would be on a human but sorta downward. Its trunk swerved back a few feet off the ground then forward as it got taller as if when it was younger it was a punching bag of some insecure soul. I should have choose the “Hug a Tree Foundation”—the abuse nature goes through. It had to be around 173 years old. Its leaves, though, were gloriously rich of vibrant rainbow shades as the sun sparkled upon it revealing its stringy twisted sugar brown bark. I was in a gaze stunned by its beauty.

    Uncontrollably, my legs were walking and my mind was drifting back to the tournament. My body was unresponsive to my mind. I was just a few feet away from the tree and the rabbit.

    “Look”.

    I stared at the fluffy white rabbit before looking and the tree and getting closer. The fluffy white rabbit eyes reddened again, viciously smiling because I was sunk into its evil plot.

    I was sucked into the tree’s darkness.

  36. Pdomoniq

    This game wasn’t for me, I decided as I watched my golf ball sail through the open sky over the fairway and into the woods for the eleventh time this round.

    Rachael had successful devised a plan to get me out of the doldrums of the labs. Maple Wood Country Club was hosting the Tee Up for Diabetes fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She had assured me that it would be eighteen holes of fun and sun. My gaze returned to the Carolina blue sky. At least the weather was nice, but the fun had disappeared by the eighth hole.

    “I think the wind played a little bit in that shot,” Steve said. He’d been patiently coaching me the entire game, even stopping his play to help me find my ball.

    “Hang in there,” Rachael offered. My face grew warm when, her boyfriend Jack and the group behind us gave me a round of encouraging claps.

    I smiled and headed towards the woods with my club. “No, I got it,” I told Steve as he started to walk with me. I entered the trees but didn’t immediately see my ball. Walking a little further, I saw it. More disappointed than excited, I entered the clearing, and stopped when I saw the small white rabbit.

    “Follow me,” he told me hopping a few feet. Had that rabbit just spoken to me? When I didn’t follow he paused and stood up on his hind paws. “Well aren’t you coming?” It was hot maybe I was hallucinating. “How rude,” he said and then darted off. I couldn’t help myself then. My disappointment forgotten, I ran after the bunny. However, after a few feet, I didn’t see him. I tripped on a root of a tree and crashed to the ground hard.

    “Are you alright?”

    I rolled onto my stomach and found myself looking into the eyes of a young girl of about eight.

    “Fine.” I got to my feet.

    “Good.” She started to laugh.

    “I suppose it was funny.” I brushed myself off. Thoughts of the rabbit were pushed away. I suppose I imagined it.

    “Are you at the fundraiser with your parents?” She just looked at me. “ Let me help you find them.”

    “I’m not a kid,” she recoiled.

    “Well can you help me out?”

    “I can do that,” she gave a toothy grin.

    “Do you have diabetes?” she asked.

    Surprised by her directness, “ My grandmother does.”

    “I did have it.”

    “In my time diabetes is curable.”

    “Your time?” I asked as we neared the clearing.

    “By a scientist named Gabrielle Mission.”

    “That’s my name.”

    “I was sent to tell you not to give up.”

    “Gabby?” Steve called me.

    “And don’t give up on golf.” She turned, leaving me to my shock.

    “And one more thing Gabrielle Mission is my mother.”

    “What?” But she ran back into the woods

    “You had me—I mean us—worried,” Steve said.

    Wow this was a challenging prompt! This 500 word limit is really pushing me. But I finally was within the limit this time yay!

  37. Icabu

    Last night’s party, which was actually still going, had me rather lethargic halfway through the celebrity golf tournament. Another of my foursome pressed a few pills into my hand.

    “Not ones that mother gives you.”

    Grace Slick immediately popped into my mind. Needing the lift to finish the game, continue the party, and perform tonight, I swallowed the pills with a slug of Jack Daniel’s – which the golf cart was fitted with a chilled, square receptacle for.

    Approaching the eleventh tee, my mind was certainly moving kind of slow. The first swing whistled past the tee, a clean miss. I heard ‘strike one’ from the trio of other drummers playing with me. I growled back that it was a practice swing, then plowed a beautiful slice into the woods alongside the fairway.

    The cart dropped me off at the entry point and I set out on safari. How hard could this be, I wondered. Feeling like Lewis and Clark, I headed for the hinterlands. Seeing something white, I headed for it, surprised to see a white rabbit standing on its hind legs, looking straight at me.

    “Follow me.”

    Who was I to argue? I looked around for a hookah smoking caterpillar. What I saw was the White Knight with a really stacked Red Queen. My heart thudded and the earth tilted when I recognized who the White Knight was. Marty – the groupie kid from our garage band days. I’d played this golf tournament for Cystic Fibrosis for thirteen years in his honor. No striving, young band had ever had a more loyal, enthusiastic fan.

    “You’ve done well for yourself,” I said, eyeing his busty companion.

    “Doing all right. You guys, too. Give ‘em hell tonight.”

    Marty never saw us, what he called ‘his band’, make it. At age fifteen, he’d gotten one too many bouts of pneumonia in his compromised lungs. At nineteen, we’d had to bury our fifteen year old friend. He’d always told us to ‘give ‘em hell’ before a gig.

    I must have been in the woods for some time because the next thing I knew I was in the Clubhouse. I asked if we’d won – the Drummer Foursome. I was slapped on the back and told I’d broken triple digits. Cool, I thought.

    Sliding into the limo to leave, one of the others asked when we were going on tonight. Ten, I’d answered.

    “Past my bedtime,” remarked another. “This getting old is the pits.”

    I thought of Marty. “No,” I replied, “it’s a gift.” One I never intended to sit on a shelf and get dusty.

    We gave ‘em plenty of hell that night.

    1. JR MacBeth

      Great job icabu. Invoking Grace Slick was a nice touch. Now, how am I going to get that old song out of my head? Oh I guess I’ll just go ask Alice!

  38. Szramiakje

    I had already spent ten minutes wandering through the trees looking for the errant golf ball I had hit and I knew Mike and Ryan were getting impatient. One more minute, I told myself, and then I would just accept the one stroke penalty. I flipped over a flat rock with the head of my golf club and then out of the corner of my eye, round and white, I saw the golf ball. I breathed a sigh of relief. When I bent down to pick it up, however, the ball wasn’t there. I looked around confused and then found it again, ten yards to my right. I took a couple of cautious steps forward and then realized my mistake. It was not my golf ball but the round tail of a white rabbit. I cursed under my breath.

    Before I could walk away, however, the rabbit turned around and, in a dignified voice suitable only for a British radio announcer, said “Follow me.” I blinked. “Ahem,” the rabbit said clearing its throat. “If you want your golf ball back, follow me,” and it hopped off further into the woods, with me, not sure whether it was to retrieve my golf ball or simply because the rabbit had said anything at all, following as close as I could.

    After a while we came to a clearing in the woods, with a small stream on one side and the trees shaping the rest of the border. Here were gathered deer, owls, foxes, turtles, frogs, monkeys, bears, squirrels, beavers and animals of all other sorts. In front of them stood a flip chart on a wooden easel. My rabbit friend hopped up to it and began to address the crowd as I took a seat on a mossy log next to a rather pretentious looking otter.

    “Friends,” began the rabbit, “we have all fallen on tough times but no one more so than John, who has lost his golf ball.” He was pointing at me. “We will use this to our advantage, however. When John fills out his taxes this year, he will claim that the golf ball was stolen and will file for a tax deduction. He will then take the money he saves from the IRS, and invest it in a company that I will incorporate called Rabbit Holdings, Inc. Bear and Squirrel will then sell shares of this company to two people each. The return for their investment will partially come from John’s golf ball money and in part from the money that we will earn when Deer and Owl sell shares of Rabbit Holdings to two more people…”

    It was dark when I finally made it back to the golf course. I walked back into the clubhouse and found Mike and Ryan having a drink at the bar, waiting for me.

    “So, did you find your golf ball?” said Mike. I shook my head. I didn’t want to tell them that I had almost been hired to take part in a Ponzi scheme run by a rabbit who talked with a British accent. I could think of only one thing more embarrassing.

    “It’s almost better that you didn’t,” Ryan interjected before I could even say anything. “See, Mike and I were sitting here at the bar waiting for you and we met the most amazing fellow. Apparently, if you claim that your golf ball was stolen then you can claim it as a tax deduction. Then all you need to do is invest it in…”

    1. radioPanic

      Ha ha! Great take on the prompt, and it reads really well. Especially like how you leave us guessing if the amazing fellow Mike & Ryan met was human or not. Good ending.

      Only a couple odd things I noticed. In the interest of brevity (a phrase I’ll probably be using a lot on this site) you could probably omit the word ‘golf’ from many instances of ‘golf ball’. Also, I didn’t catch what the ‘only one thing more embarrassing’ toward the end referred to.

      Nice work!

      1. Szramiakje

        Thanks! I was debating whether to include the “only one thing more embarrassing” line. I think the only thing more embarrassing than ALMOST being hired to take part in a Ponzi scheme run by a rabbit is ACTUALLY being hired to take part in a Ponzi scheme run by a rabbit… maybe Mike and Ryan were. I’m not sure haha. Thanks for your comments though!

    1. Naomi

      Because of Gremlinica Italicus. It’s the italics gremlins. :)

      I’ve been on boards where an open italics tag causes every subsequent post to be in italics. I think it’s just an oopsie.

  39. radioPanic

    “What are you, simple?”

    My mouth hung open. I closed it, pursed lips, and still, glaciers left my response in the dust. “…Where?”

    “In the head,” said the rabbit, paw jabbing at its own.

    “No, I mean follow you where?”

    “That way,” it said, pointing.

    My eyes darted to either side. “Umm, maybe some specifics?”

    “You’ll see,” it said, turning, revealing a ruddy scar interrupting the white on its skull.

    I looked back to the fairway, twisting the iron in my fingers.

    “They won’t miss you,” said the little voice. “You’re in the rough. If it was called ‘the smooth,’ you’d’ve been back already.”

    I lifted the iron over my shoulder and followed, wondering how a rabbit knew anything about golf. About anything, for that matter.

    We wound through the woods on what might have resembled a trail, at a distance, through someone else’s glasses. The bunny used a fallen tree to cross the creek. I followed, the log rolling and sending my good golf shoes into the water.

    “Top of the food chain,” muttered the rabbit.

    After scraping through bushes and climbing over, around and under trees, we arrived at the chain link behind which, atop a manicured green hill, stood—

    “The lab.”

    Rabbit turned to its left, saying, “He’s quick, this one.”

    I blinked at the sun glinting off the white walls. “Okay, what do you need me for, exactly.”

    “Here,” said the rabbit, pinching something green between its paws.

    I crouched down.

    Rabbit held a green Bic lighter, and my eyes had adjusted to the panoply of shadow enough to see the end of a thin gray braid that lead through the chain link. Directly toward the lab.

    I stood, backing away a step. “You’re… blowing up the lab?”

    Rabbit tipped its head and held the lighter higher. “All we lack is a thumb.”

    “That’s where—”

    “Where they research a cure for your mate’s brain cancer,” said rabbit. “Where they stand to benefit somehow from that ridiculous game you’re playing back there. We know.”

    I swallowed. “How do you…?”

    Rabbit tipped its head in the other direction, brought a paw behind its ear and flipped it forward, not unlike someone thumbing their tooth. “We hear a lot,” it said. “You’re vegetarian, a former environmental activist, and participated in acts of environmental terrorism as a youth.” Rabbit closed the gap between us. “What we ask is one final act to prevent the suffering of thousands… of us,” it said with a sweep of its paw, at which a dozen, two, five dozen rabbits, rats, and mice emerged from the brush. They surrounded me, heads lowered so I could see every scar.

    Rabbit lifted the Bic and said, “Help those that would follow.”

    I looked around at the animals. Some had clouded eyes, many had listing or twitching limbs. All wore pink scars on their skulls.

    I knelt, took the lighter, and crouched lower. I held it to the fuse and flicked once. It sparked.

    I flicked again.

      1. radioPanic

        Thanks!! The hard part was fitting in all the elements from this prompt, so that someone would know what’s going on without actually reading the prompt.

    1. fbxwriter

      I like the twist of a moral choice. Your protagonist made the choice. Did you consider ending the story with your protagonist still trying to decide?

      Also, I love the fact that the rabbits are stymied by the lack of opposable thumbs!

      1. radioPanic

        Thanks, everyone for the feedback!

        fbx, yeah, that’s one thing that bugs me in retrospect, that he decided too quick and it didn’t feel like much of a tough choice. Leaving him undecided would have made a good ending, too. That’s the thing about word limits – keeping stuff you like can mean leaving out stuff you need!

  40. alaskabound33

    Dazed by his likeness to the rabbit in ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ my childhood flooded my senses and lifted my feet off of the ground. I walked over to him and looked down in to his eyes, noticing his bizarre appearance. He looked quite comical with uneven proportions. Tiny body, huge limbs, big eyes and ears. And the whitest smile I had ever seen. ‘Follow me!’ he repeated.

    And so, I did.

    He started ambling off at a jogging pace, it wasn’t hard to keep up with. We dodged branches and briar bushes, crossed ditches and creeks. Every so often he would turn back to see if I was still there, smiling at me with his oversized grin.

    After awhile, though, I started having trouble keeping up with him. My throat constructed and my chest tightened while I tried to match his pace, which steadily got faster and faster. ‘How much further?’ I yelled up to him, gasping for breath.

    ‘Oh, not far now! Just a few more minutes!’

    I struggled to keep my energy up to par, taking as much as I could out of every labored breath. Unintentionally I started to slow, and the next time he turned to look for me he yelled, ‘No, no! We’re almost there! Keep moving!’

    After a few hundred more yards, his pace began to slow. Relief washed over me as he lopped over to a grassy clearing and sat down, his back to me. I collapsed in exhaustion. My chest heaving and my hands shaking, I lay down in the cool grass, trying to collect myself.

    As soon as I could take a breath without my chest hurting, I opened my eyes. Out of their corners, I could see the rabbit turn, ever so slowly, and stop to look at me. I raised my head to see him, but his face was the last thing I expected.

    The comical, cartoonish creature that had led me into the woods was now a shriveled, emaciated corpse. His hollow eyes were sunken into his skull, and his snowy white fur was falling away in tufts to reveal the transluscent skin beneath. His skin was stretced ever so tightly around his bones, you could clearly see every rib, every tarsel, and every vertebrae. The stench coming from that little body was more than enough to make me vomit. Looking down, it was full of blood.

    Fear encompassed my entire body. I tried to get up and run, but my sheer exhaustion only let me get a few steps before I fell to the ground.

    The rabbit limped over to me, covering me in the shedding white hair and encircling me with the rotten stench. He put his nose right in my face and smiled, What was once an oversized white grin was now a mass of black and brown rotting teeth. With his foul breath, he whispered to me, ‘We’re here.’

    With that final breath, he started to deteriorate. His skin simmered off of his bones, which turned to dust in the breeze. In the puddle of the little creature was my golf ball, covered in blood and hair.

    My vision fadad, and I could feel myself slipping from conciousness. The last thing I remembered was a noise coming from just outside the clearing. It was the gentle cheering of the crowd. My main opponent had just gotten a hole in one, which left me with a stroke.

    1. radioPanic

      The rabbit starts off vaguely creepy, and you accelerate the tension well by showing us the narrator’s physical state while trying to keep up. Then, at the end… wow. Great use of different senses to show the new and improved rabbit, even the short list of bones that are visible .

      Loved the word play of the last line. Might just be me, but it’s kind of jarring for it to follow so close after the visceral horror of everything leading up to it. Sometimes, humor needs a little distance. I interpreted the rabbit as a stroke-induced hallucination, so maybe having the narrator recovering somewhere when you pull the last line out might help.

      Then again I could be wrong. Like to hear what others have to say about this piece. Good work!

      1. alaskabound33

        Thank you very much! This was the first time I have attempted to write a short story from a prompt, so I was very nervous about the feedback. Glad to hear it was successful.

        Thank you for the kind words, and I will take your advice into consideration for the next one I write.

  41. jrohrbaugh

    “Where to,” I ask the rabbit.
    But by that time the rabbit was already hopping in the opposite direction. “Wait up,” I hollered at the rabbit. “Slow down a little bit. Where are we going, and why are you talking?”
    “All the answers will soon be revealed to you,” the rabbit replied.
    So I followed the rabbit through the woods and off the course and then the rabbit stopped. “Do you know why I had you follow me,” the rabbit asks.
    “Because I hit you with my golf ball,” I guessed.
    “NO! That’s not why at all. I had you follow me because you are here for the breast cancer fundraiser, but you are unable to raise enough funds for the research you are trying to support. So, I have decided I would like to make a donation.”
    “What!? Are you serious? How are you going to make a donation to the breast cancer research fund?”
    The rabbit hopped over to a small brush pile and starting digging underneath it. After a few seconds of digging, the rabbit pulled out the largest piece of gold I have ever seen in my life. “This is how,” the rabbit replied.
    “Is that a golden egg,” I ask astonishingly.
    “Sure is. I lay one every morning, and I would like to donate this one to your charity.”
    “So, let me get this straight: you are a talking rabbit that lays golden eggs.”
    “That’s correct. I know this may seem a little far-fetched, but I am as real as the day is long. “
    In awestruck amazement, I am standing there cupping the golden egg rotating my gaze from the egg to the rabbit. “Does anyone else know about you?”
    “No one else knows about me, and no one else can find out about me. Now I have to go. Give that egg to your charity”
    “Wait. Where are you going,” I asked, but it was too late. The rabbit was turned around a starting to dig a hole. As the rabbit was digging, I start to hear a loud, annoying noise. The deeper the rabbit digs, the louder this noise is. I cannot even see the rabbit now, and the noise is so loud and annoying. It sounds like it is right next to my head. Just when I think I cannot take it anymore, I open my eyes and turn off my alarm clock. It was all just a dream.

  42. missypm

    “Good thing this is for a good cause.” I mumbled as I watched my golf ball land among a row of pine trees. Jennie laughed as she placed hers on the tee and steadied her hand preparing for her swing.

    “I don’t want to hear it, you’re here every Sunday playing, this is a once a year event for me.” I said walking away to find my ball.

    “Just get your ball and meet me at the next hole would ya!” She yelled over at me.

    As the owner of the local animal shelter “Paws” I started this fundraising event several years ago thinking golfing would be fun, and a way to promote the organization and animal abuse awareness. “Golf for Buster” was a spin on Buster’s Law, a law that gave stiffer penalties to those who abused animals. While the event got bigger each year, the donations larger and the adoptions increased, her enjoyment for the game of golf only faded.

    Ducking beneath evergreen limbs I headed further into the woods in search of my missing ball, and perhaps my pride.

    “I could have sworn it landed right here.” I said aloud to no one in particular.

    “Follow me.” A voice whispered to my left.

    “Who’s there? Hello?” I asked looking in the general direction I thought the voice came from. Around the tree I saw a white ball of fur scamper on the ground around the roots.

    “Hello?” I again asked, a slight bit of panic rising within me. I loved animals, domesticated ones though, not wild ones. What if whatever this was bit me or attacked me, what if it had rabies? What was it and who else was there?

    At first an ear peeked out, and then a pink nose came from the shadows. A bunny hopped out from behind the large evergreen and sat in front of me, nose twitching, eyes blinking. All I could do was stare, I do not think I even breathed.

    “Follow me.” The bunny said slowly, the words accentuating from his mouth as he stared into my face.
    My mouth locked open with no words coming out. I pinched the skin on my exposed thigh. I knew all of this was happening, my speechlessness and the pain from the pinch but I also knew there was no way this, this rabbit was talking to me.

    “Follow me; I want to show you something.” It exclaimed. I searched for words, I wanted to laugh, cry or scream. Was this really happening? A rabbit was talking to me. I would have thought I was on something if I did not know better. Did someone slip drugs into my soda?

    “Where do you want me to go? You can talk? Who are you? Is this a sick joke?” I found my voice, but the words came spewing out all at once and my questions blurred together in one jumbled mess.

    “Just follow me and I will show you the knowledge that everyone seeks.”

  43. Autumn

    I stared at the white rabbit wondering if the two Jack and Cokes I had before this hole were messing with my head.

    “Yes, I talk, now come on.”

    I rubbed my head and continued to stare at the white rabbit. Alice in Wonderland had always been my favorite movie, but this was ridiculous.

    “Come on, mate, I don’t have all day.” He snapped.

    This has got to be a joke. I glanced around. No one was anywhere near me and the woods had grown eerily quiet. I stared at the rabbit that turned tail and bounded off. I took a deep breath and followed. He led me deeper and deeper into the woods. All of a sudden we hit a clearing and I could see the rest of the golf course. I stared around puzzled at the sight. I knew this couldn’t be the right place, and then I saw it; a big white flag flapping in the breeze with the number 11 sticking out in red. It was the flag in the hole. I glanced around. The rabbit sat next to me twitching its nose and ears as it pointed to a spot not far from us. There in the midst of the green grass sat my ball. It was only a few feet from the hole.

    “How in the- ” I started to ask the rabbit, but when I looked again, he was gone. I scratched my head, rubbed my eyes, and continued to stare.

    “You alright, Dave?” My buddy, Ira, asked.

    “I think so. Did you see a white rabbit?”

    “A white rabbit? Have you been smoking and not sharing?”

    “Dude, you know I quit that long ago.”

    “Just checking. Are you going to finish this hole so we can get this thing done and over with?”

    “Ira, that’s not a very nice thing to say. This is to help kids with cancer, we shouldn’t rush through this.”

    “I know, but I just want to head back to the bar and drink some more.”

    I laughed. “You do realize that we still have 8 more holes, right?”

    “Man, this is one long a** game.”

    “Yes, but it’s for a good cause.”

    “Yes, a good cause to get drunk.” He slapped me hard across the shoulders. “Let’s finish this.”

    “You got it. “ I glanced around one more time and my eyes fell on the little white rabbit. He tilted his head at me and winked. I blinked and he was gone. I stepped up to the ball, pulled the putter back, hit the ball and watched as it seemed to take forever for the ball to sink into the hole. Only 8 more to go.

  44. Amy

    Memories

    When it comes to the sport of golf, I’m no hacker. I’d entered the day’s tournament for two reasons—to support the fight against Alzheimer’s and to win. It looked like my goals were within reach as I approached the 16th hole.

    I don’t know what happened. The approach called for a worm burner—low and hard. I addressed the ball, knowing I could ace this shot. My backswing was perfect, the follow-through impeccable. The day was calm, not even a breath of wind stirred the trees.

    I watched open-mouthed as the ball became airborne and overshot the green, the fairway and the apron, diving past the rough and into the surrounding woods.

    My face burning with embarrassment, I went to retrieve my ball, my head held high. Now I had no chance of claiming that trophy. As I walked beneath the canopy of trees, the air was noticeably cooler—abnormally so.

    A few yards in, I was greeted by a snow-white rabbit with eyes the blue of a cloudless winter sky. Stopping in my tracks, I perused the creature, afraid of frightening it away.

    “Follow me.”

    I looked around for the source of the voice.

    “Down here. Follow me.” The white rabbit stood on his hind legs, beckoning me.

    ‘Now you’re losing it, Becca,’ I told myself. ‘What are you, Alice in Wonderland?’

    “Forgive me,” I said, brushing my hair back from my suddenly fevered brow. “Did you say something?”

    The rabbit cocked his head to one side and then hopped away, looking over his shoulder.

    I followed.

    The surrounding forest took on familiar characteristics: that oak tree there with its trunk split by lightning; the tumbling creek to my right, making its eternal journey over polished boulders; the weeping willow with my mother’s and father’s artfully carved initials.

    My emotions threatened to choke me. The house was exactly as I remembered it from old, sepia photographs; built of sturdy hewn logs, with a dog-trot separating the living quarters from the kitchen.
    But none of this belonged here. Not here in Ohio, not in this town, not in this era.

    I looked to the rabbit for an explanation.

    “This is your father’s past. It’s yours now. Safeguard it.”

    I couldn’t see how my father’s past had any bearing on his present, on his disease.

    “Your father suffers now, as you agonize for him. It wounds deeply that he no longer recognizes you, his own daughter. It breaks your heart when he calls you by your mother’s name. You are anguished that he lives in the past and not the here-and-now.”

    “What does all of this,” my arm swept in a wide arc, “have to do with my father’s illness? He suffers from Alzheimer’s for God’s sake.”

    “Here, you can become a part of his memories instead of just a spectator. Visit his past in a tangible way and you’ll understand him in the now. Live in his past to embrace your future.”

    With no further explanation, the rabbit disappeared. But not before I beheld its wings and halo.

    1. catbr

      Good story. Alzheimer’s disease is a very devastating disorder as I know from having parent’s that have suffered with it. Sometimes it seems to be more unbearable to the family members than the person suffering with it. Good job.

  45. bparrigon

    Blue Suede Shoes

    Graceland, In Memphis, Tennessee, is one of the most sought after tourist attractions in this country. Every year thousands of tourists swarm through the gates of Graceland to catch a glimpse of what used to be the home of the proclaimed “King of Rock and Roll”.
    I had decided to go on a tour of this well-known tourist attraction and see for myself why so many choose to come. It wasn’t that I was particularly a fan myself but who hasn’t heard of Elvis Presley. But what made this so popular that thousands of people every year came to see a home and gravesite. Was there something magical in the “kingdom”, I wanted to know.
    Upon entering the wrought iron gates we slowly made our way up to the mansion. Entering the doors to the foyer, I was taken in by the never, ending glamour the rooms displayed. To the left a chandelier dangled above with a glistening light, hovering over the table as if guarding the place settings. The rooms continued like a maze through the house.
    I soon felt as if I’d stepped back into the 1970’s. As we were walking room to room I felt as if I was being followed. I would turn around but nobody was there. I continued to follow the guide with some hesitation. Why in the world would someone be following, a group of, tourist. Was I getting caught up in hysteria of the “king”, I heard rumors of sightings but it was hard to believe.
    I felt my blood pressure rising. The hairs on my neck began to stand. After all there were stories that Elvis was still alive. I mean if you choose to believe them. But why did I have this creepy feeling. What was giving me this, eerie sensation of being, watched.
    I continued on with the tour. Watching, as I continued my path into this insanity. As we made our way to the jungle room I was sure I saw a shadow of a male figure exit before we made our way in. I was becoming way to paranoid. This was ridiculous I didn’t believe in ghost. And I certainly didn’t believe Elvis Presley was still alive. Yet, here I was taking a tour and believing that I had seen a ghost. Continuing on my path I soon fell behind the rest of the group. My thoughts deep into what I thought I’d seen. It wasn’t long before I was drifting behind the group.
    I wasn’t paying attention and of course bumped into something. It was a very handsome man, his lip had a curl to it, and with a southern draw said, “ma’am, are you lost?” my heart was racing. He looked like Elvis. I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was wearing a shiny gold jacket and when I looked down, he was wearing non other than a pair of blue suede shoes. I know my mouth had to be hanging open. Lord, please just keep me from drooling on myself. I thought I had lost my mind at this point. My heart was racing and I felt the hairs on my neck standing. I rubbed my eyes in disbelief and when I looked again he was gone.
    I shook my head in astonishment. Was I starting to loose my mind. A chubby lady wearing a shiny gold jacket with a wide brimmed straw hat and buttons with pictures of Elvis all over her hat shook me. She had a curled lip and a southern draw and said, “Honey, are you ok?” I looked down at her feet and there on her feet were blue suede shoes. I must have looked three shades of grey as I stood there in disbelief. I had got caught up in my own crazy thoughts and bumped into this woman. How silly to think I had just ran into Elvis. I really was letting myself get caught in this fantasy world of the “king”.
    Soon the tour was over and we were on the bus heading down the path back to the wrought iron gate. There was a bustling on the bus as we headed back to our destination. It wouldn’t be long before we were back to the hotel and I had my sanity back. I felt a bit silly letting my imagination take over as it had. I glanced back as we left and to my surprise standing at the gate was a man with a curled lip, wearing a shiny gold jacket and blue swede shoes with a big grin on his face just waving goodbye. I rubbed my eyes in disbelief. When I reopened them believing this was my imagination running into high gear he was gone. Honey, are you ok? I turned my head and to my amusement there she sat, with her hat, pins, and her shiny gold jacket and blue suede shoes. I began to laugh as tears ran down my face. Yea I’m ok. I know she had no idea what I was laughing about, but I just couldn’t stop. I laughed all the way back to the hotel. This was one tour I would never forget.

    1. rob akers

      Not sure if it was related to the prmopt but I like it. If you could have worked in BBQ, Memphis State, Beale Street, BB King and the Grizziles then I would have felt like I was at home.

      You did have a couple of lines that were redundant and could be cut.

      “Continuing on my path I soon fell behind the rest of the group. My thoughts deep into what I thought I’d seen. It wasn’t long before I was drifting behind the group.”

      “I felt my blood pressure rising. The hairs on my neck began to stand. After all there were stories that Elvis was still alive. I mean if you choose to believe them. But why did I have this creepy feeling. What was giving me this, eerie sensation of being, watched.”

      Just a little re-writting and you would have found an additional 10-15 words to use elsewhere. Nice job and hope the comments help.

  46. tdogg369

    “A Prelude to Action”

    A gray blanket was cast over the day, clouds threatening to disrupt the tournament. Heat and humidity were but a minor affliction compared to the multiple sclerosis that had indirectly taken Theo Shaw’s sister. The turnout for the tournament was tremendous, and Shaw was grateful for the support given to the research foundation, but he struggled against a guilt as thick as the air he was breathing.

    People were laughing, slapping backs, and congratulating one another on lucky chip shots, but Isabelle was still gone. She became depressed because of her condition. Theo saw the warning signs, saw her slipping away, but could never find the words that might renew her resolve to live.

    Shaking the demons from his head, he cocked his swing and drove the ball from the tee, slicing it over a nearby copse of evergreens. Shaw only shook his head and jogged in the direction he thought it went.

    He tracked nearly fifty feet through the pines when he found a ball. Not mine, but it’ll do, he thought. Turning back toward the fairway, he noticed a ray of sun illuminating a circular clearing nearby. The brilliant light, in stark contrast to the day, shone directly on a white rabbit.

    “Follow me,” a voice whispered, coming from everywhere at once. Both he and the rabbit remained motionless for several seconds. Then the rabbit hopped in the opposite direction. For a moment he considered leaving the creature to its business. Then the whisper spoke again.

    Shaw started forward, trying to keep pace with the rabbit. He could not see it, but he felt himself being pulled in its wake. He was certain it had come this way. After two minutes his certainty was rewarded with a one-room shack encircled with cedars and spruces. On the stoop sat the rabbit. It stared toward the door, seemingly oblivious to Shaw’s pursuit.

    Stepping onto the modest veranda, his feet flanking his escort, he was surprised to see the rabbit had not moved. It only stared at the door. He could not explain why, but he knew the explanation he needed was inside the cabin.

    “Theodore,” said a voice within the shack.

    “Isabelle?!”

    She sat in the far right corner of the room in a worn rocking chair. Shaw saw her, smelled her favorite perfume, and felt her presence, but somehow knew she was still dead.

    Motioning to a small table on which sat a leather-bound journal, she said, “It holds the answers. You’ve always known it wasn’t MS. It was a disease, that much is certain, but not what the doctors claimed it to be.”

    Hands trembling, Shaw thumbed through the first pages.

    “I didn’t want to put any of you at risk. I had already started to change. It had to end before it began. The ones responsible are still out there, Brother. Avenge me.”

    The answer to what really drove his sister to suicide appeared no fewer than a dozen times in the first five pages. Vampires.

    1. Naomi

      Your writing is lush with details, and made the Theodore and Isabelle real for me, and in a remarkably few words. Excellent writing, tdogg369. I love your take on the prompt, smoothly moving from golf and talking rabbits, to vampires.

    2. jincomt

      You write well– the beginning, especially, moved so nicely and was lush with description. The twist at the end, for me, was too much with not enough word allotment left to bring me along with your thought process.

      1. tdogg369

        That seems to be the problem I keep running into. I heard the same comments last week. I need to do a better job of building up to the end instead of just dropping it on the reader’s head like a coconut from a tree. Certainly something I’ll work on. Thanks for the feedback!

  47. Karababy50

    “Follow me.”

    “Ha Ha very funny guys,” I shouted over my shoulder wondering which one of my friends was the ventriloquist. Rubbing my wayward Titleist against the front of my tan Dockers, I eyed the plump rabbit staring at me with a very human-looking smirk on its ‘face.’

    “You’re not real. Well, you’re a real rabbit alright but you did NOT talk,” I mumbled to myself, pointing my driver at the white ball of fur twitching his pink nose at me.

    “See ya later, Peter. My name’s not Alice and I don’t intend to follow you down the rabbit hole or anywhere else.”

    I turned to rejoin my group and caught movement from the corner of my eye. Snapping my head around, I saw the rabbit hopping through the sage grass towards me instead of running away like a normal wild animal.
    I slapped my forehead with the palm of one hand as it dawned on me this must be somebody’s pet. One of my idiot friends must’ve put it here to set me up.

    Squatting down I extended my hand and tried to coax the bunny closer with kissy noises as if it were a cat. I could’ve sworn it rolled its beady eyes at me. When it was just inches away, the animal suddenly launched its velvety body at my chest and knocked me backwards. I emitted one tiny squeal of disbelief before I was abruptly silenced when the rabbit straddled my neck with its hind legs and pushed its paws down hard over my mouth.

    “Shhh, they’ll hear you. Look Buddy, are you going to follow me or not? I’m trying to help you escape.” It whispered while looking apprehensively in the direction of the fairway.

    I don’t know why I didn’t just grab that sucker by the ears; toss it away and then run like hell away from this nightmare. I guess I was too stunned or my brain wasn’t working right from lack of oxygen.

    “Now, if you promise not to scream, I’ll get off you, okay? Better hurry up and decide Pal, you’re turning blue.”
    I nodded in agreement. The rabbit removed his paws and jumped off my chest, watching me warily.

    “Your breath smells like jelly beans,” I giggled and then awkwardly swung the club still clutched in my fist at the rabbit now sitting beside me. But my aim was off and I ended up getting smacked between the eyes, knocking myself unconscious.

    “They found him in the weeds out cold, poor thing. His friends think he found it while looking for his ball.” I heard a feminine voice say as I struggled to raise my heavy eyelids.

    Found what? I wondered, still in a medicated daze as I realized I was in a hospital bed.

    Then I saw it.

    Grinning at me from the foot of the bed was a stuffed, white velveteen rabbit. It winked and put a ‘finger’ up to its pursed lips, “Shhhh.”

  48. penney

    Thumper made the call for the gathering. His foot rapping against the communal log echoing across the Hundred Acre Wood, the tournament was about to begin.

    “We’re going to be late, late I tell you, late.” The White Rabbit looked at his pocket watch panic stricken that the Fundraiser for Rabbit Foots Disease wouldn’t get started in time.

    “The sun god, Lord Firth, is rising in the east and there are eighteen holes to finish.” He was truly in a panic.

    Roger stepped to the podium. “P-P-P-Please we all need to raise funds to help find a cure for this horrible disease. Our feet just keep falling off and the humans keep thinking that they can us them for good luck.”

    All the rabbits started to thump the ground in honor of the gathering. Roger began to slam the gavel to try to gain attention. “P-P-P-Please! The honorary rabbit of the day will ring the bell to start. Oswald the Lucky rabbit, w-w-will you please come forward?”

    Oswald limped forward with the help of a cane; he was one of the oldest talking rabbits and a victim of this horrible disease. The crowd began thumping again.

    When you get a pack of rabbits together it’s no telling what will happen. Although it was a serious cause, it made sense that the Trix Rabbit would start at hole one. By the time they reached hole three, everything delayed because Brier Rabbit hooked the ball into the brier patch. Roger and Harvey argued in the sandpit at the ninth. But all hell broke loose when Peter at the tenth was about to make the best hole so far. Everyone was hushed as Peter looked back at his siblings, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail. Cotton bounced forward and handed him the putter and winked an eye in support. If he made this, he’d be two under par.

    At that moment Little Nutbrown Hare came up to Bugs Bunny and said, “Follow me.”

    Bugs looked at him, one ear perked up higher then the other, “What’s up?”

    Nutbrown cocked his head to one side. “There’s a problem at Slims. Were-rabbit is causing a ruckus. We need your help.”

    The band at Jack Rabbit Slims, the bar at the golf course, just kept playing “At the Hop” featuring the Energizer Bunny. In the back corner they could just make out Were-Rabbit. Bugs couldn’t believe what he saw. Strung around Were’s neck was a nasty cluster of rabbits feet, some still dripping with blood.

    Bugs turned to the bar, lifted his foot and slowly began to thump, a methodical stone cold kind of thump. The Pink Berets, and Frank at the bar began to thump too, and for the first time the Energizer Bunny stopped banging and began to thump.

    Were turned, a little twitch in his eye. “What mate, there for luck? Ah, come on, you’re all a bunch of wankers!” At that moment they all pounced on him.

    1. Ishmael

      Very inventive! I loved the idea of using the famous rabbits – character development wasn’t a real necessity since they were already established. I liked how you remained true to them. I could see Roger stuttering his answers. I loved the idea of the Pink Berets.

      The mixed tenses in the first two sentences didn’t come across well, though. And I think you meant Rabbit’s Foot Disease.

      Nice little romp through the woods! :)

      1. penney

        Okay R’sFD I get but I am totally brainfarting on the mix of tenses you reference, I’m sure it’s right in front of me but please would you show me how you would write it or where the change should be.thank you

  49. Kae Lee

    I left BJ mingling with her guests at the fundraiser she was holding today for cancer and headed out with a group of old people to play some golf. I was absolutely clueless when it came to this game and ended up getting tossed from their little party on the 11th hole when I hit the ball so hard that it shot like a bullet into the surrounding woods.

    “Fuck.” I mumbled to myself as I went to find the ball. I felt Isis stir inside me again for the second time since lunch. I didn’t need this today. BJ had asked for one day of normalcy, the least I could do was try.
    For the past three weeks I had been able to suppress Isis who had piggybacked my soul into my new body but every day she was becoming harder to hold back. She wanted Anubis dead. Now.

    Just as my eyes caught sight of the golf ball I was searching for, a white rabbit hopped into view. I instinctively stopped moving. It came closer to me and I held my breath. Then without warning it fell on its back laughing uncontrollably.

    “If only you could see your face right now!” He managed to say between the fits of laughter.

    “Fuck off Thumper.” I said officially pissed off. “Who the hell are you anyways?” Isis tried again to break the wall I had mentally built to keep her silent but it held against her efforts. Thank God was all that came to mind. I couldn’t bare to listen to her ramble right now and watch this fat overstuffed rabbit laugh at me.

    The laughing stopped and he became suddenly serious. “Not many escape the Underworld with intentions on killing the very ruler of such a place without anyone finding out. News has reached Mt. Olympus dear. I am Pan and you should probably follow me.” He said attempting to leave.

    When I didn’t follow he added, “Now!” and darted off as fast as his legs would take him. By the time I caught up with him at the edge of the woods, he was staring off towards a recently developed subdivision of look-alike houses. “You can find Anubis here. You must hurry and return him to the Underworld before “things” escape. Only He can contain them.”

    Without a warning, the barrier broke and Isis was able to speak to me again. “I fear all hope is lost, for Leviathan has found a way through. Once his strength is regained, all will perish until he is reunited with his mate.”

    “Who’s Leviathan?” I asked curiously out loud. I never knew a rabbit’s eyes could get as big as Pan’s did but then he started visibly shaking and before I could ask what was wrong, he bolted without an explanation. He left me feeling confused, scared, and actually WANTING/NEEDING more conversation with Isis.

    My life had gone from complicated, to extremely complicated, to downright fuckin insane in less than a year. Tomorrow the search for Anubis would continue but now another danger was lurking. My plate was definitely beginning to overflow.

    1. Bridee0809

      I’m not sure I get it. Use of grammar was good but the story seemed a bit confusing but I don’t know a lot about Isis, Anubis or Pan. I have to say I kept getting stuck on certain words. Please take this as my opinion only but words like ‘officially’ in ‘officially pissed off’ doesn’t serve to elevate the story and the all caps are not needed. No hurt intended.

  50. cbulice

    “Why should I follow you?!” I said totally surprised.
    “How many reasons do you need? I’m a white rabbit in the woods where you usually see only brown, wild rabbits ~ like brown, wild rice only different. Second, I’m talking to you, which should stir serious curiosity. And, lastly, I know where your ball is.”
    I replied, “Good points. I thought too many beers caused the talking rabbit illusion. Since that proved false, I
    would like to get my ball back and save a few strokes.”
    We went from the rough into the out-of-bounds area as fast as a rabbit could hop. As I was pondering how to explain a talking white rabbit, the one in front of me said, “Listen, I appreciate what you are doing to stop this disease. Some of my friends have Cottontail Rabbit Papillomavirus and they have a hard time eating anything. I know some of you humans think the Jackalope is cool, but most rabbits with CRPV get the hard warts around their mouths, which prevents them from eating. So, they starve to death ~ so sad.”
    As we entered the grove of trees, I said, “Wow! I never knew. I simply thought it would be good to save a few rabbits rather than kill all the ones with warts. And it would be a quirky reason for a golf tournament. You realize, of course, that only a few of us humans care. Most think life will be no worse if a few more rabbits die.”
    “Yeah, Yeah, I know. But you should know and you must communicate that ticks and mosquitoes are the carriers of the virus. Therefore, humans can be infected, too. Those bugs do still bit you, right?”
    As we kicked through dried, decomposing leaves I wondered how many ticks would be crawling towards lunch on my hairy legs; how many mosquitoes will invade my arms like Kamikaze pilots?
    The white rabbit startled me by saying, “Here’s your ball. Now, when you get back in the game show your friends how many mosquitoes bit you and ask them how to get that tick off your leg. Then tell them how preventing the growth of the bug population is the best cure for this disease. You don’t have to tell them you saw a white rabbit in the wild.”
    As he quietly hopped farther into the forest, I shouted, “Do you know a girl named Alice?” I didn’t know rabbits could make that sign with a paw.
    My golf buddies didn’t know that CRPV was transmitted by ticks. Now they aren’t coming around until the doctor swears I am not contagious.

    1. Dean Kutzler

      The problem with the italics HTML is this eg.

      It should be word to be used
      It should not be word to be used

      I did this one week and then discovered my err. I thought it was a computer glitch.

      Great story BTW!! :)

          1. cbulice

            Thank you so very much. I did not see all the italics until I had posted. You are very helpful.

  51. Dean Kutzler

    It was a lazy not so hazy day on the green. Feathery balls of cotton slowly morph into dreamy shapes, ever changing against a sky five shades shy of the hope diamond. Not too hot, for a golf tournament fundraiser for Pro-choice, just right. The crowd waited for the doctor to take his swing.

    Todd licked his finger and held it up in the air, a slight westerly—nothing his trusty nine-iron couldn’t handle. Both spectators and players were silent. Eying the eleventh hole off in the distance, Todd pulls back with both hands on the nine. He takes a deep breath and swings as he exhales. “FORE!”

    The ball soared high in the air, destined for it’s mark until the westerly took a sharp easterly and sent it deep into the woods. “Damn!” Todd shouted. “Just my luck! Go on ahead guys. I’ll catch up in a minute.”

    The woods were dark, dank and earthy smelling, mocking the beautiful day on the golf course. Todd searched through leaf and thicket to no avail until he heard a loud crackle from behind. He’d travelled too far for too long into the woods; the players must be looking for him.

    “Okay okay—I give up!” he said, throwing his hands up, turning around. “But that was my last ba—” No one stood behind him in the coppice. “Hmph. Must’ve been an animal.” Todd said to himself. He looked around and realized that he truly had wandered off too far. He could no longer see the green. He turned about to try and retrace his steps when he felt a sudden shiver. Standing in front of him was the largest, starkest white rabbit he’d ever seen standing on its hind legs. Dead blue eyes locked his stare.

    “Follow me.” The rabbit said in a sullen voice. “There is something you must see.”

    Before Todd could remember if he’d eaten any mushrooms during his search through the woods, the rabbit hopped off down a trail that he couldn’t remember being there before. In for a penny, in for a pound he thought, trailing after the bunny.

    The odd creature led him down the wooded path, which slowly turned to cobble. “Can I ask where were going?” Todd called out to the furry oddity.

    “Adhay Hill, a place long forgotten. Few bipeds have travelled this path with great concern. The ways of man are cold, unjust. Empathy has been replaced with apathy and greed. Your lack of consideration must be atoned.”

    The cobble path grew thick with nightshade as they approached an old wrought iron gate. The air grew thin and cold as a breeze blew back Todd’s hair. Daytime was nonexistent as he looked up to find a sky full of darkened gray remorse.

    “What the—” Across the hill, beyond the gates, stood thousands of tiny crosses made from little bones. Todd didn’t understand, few ever did.

    “Take from us no more.” The rabbit said as he turned and walked away.

      1. Dean Kutzler

        Jincomt, I had this whole ‘killing bunnies for science is wrong’ thing going until I researched the topic and discovered that they no longer need to kill rabbits to determine pregnancy. So that threw a huge monkey wrench into my idea. I should have just written it anyway b/c most people probably don’t know that, but I just couldn’t do it, so it screwed my entire story up.. :( But I found the misconception that the bunny dies if the woman is prego very interesting. The poor rabbit died either way b/c the process is to see if the rabbits ovaries had swollen in order to determine if the woman is pregnant. So, in either case, the doctor had to operate to see this, but it was more cost/time effective to just toss the poor rabbit out instead of closing it back up so that it could live. I had this horror story all worked up in my head until I discovered they don’t do this anymore. (I’m very happy for the bunnies, but unhappy for blowing my idea)

        1. Ishmael

          I just now read this. I think the animal testing moral came across splendidly, even if they no longer do that particular test. It makes a valid, and fantastically dark, statement of what happened and what still happens.

    1. Ishmael

      Dean – FANTASTIC imagery! Nice tone to the story, and great phrasing! I really enjoy your work, so I wanted to offer up where, as a reader, I tripped up. Just one sentence didn’t make sense to me. I loved the ghostly way the rabbit spoke, but, “Few bipeds have traveled this path with great concern.” Few have traveled with concern? Or they are concerned that few have traveled the path?

      The direction of the plot indicates this is an invitation-only magical entrance to a mythical land. It seems realistic that anyone traveling would have concern, but if the rabbits are concerned that they’re only able to invite few, that makes sense. It’s a bit ambiguous, as is. I mean, look where my mind is taking it. You don’t need an interruption like that in the reading.

      The other two instances were from a writer’s perspective. The line about the mushrooms seemed like the author’s indulgence. Realistically, the character would know if he ate them. It took me out of the story and into your writing space. We were two buddies sitting there having a chuckle over that line…but it didn’t do the story any justice and instead, detracted from it by pulling me out of the fantasy.

      And, although the cliché is “lazy, hazy day,” your “lazy, not so hazy” start had a cliché ring to it. It felt a little sophomoric while the rest of the story had such an appealing darkness to it. Of course, just my thoughts… :)

      1. Dean Kutzler

        Ishmael… Thank you for the in depth critique. I agree with everything you said and appreciate the critique. It helps me to grow and to see things as a writer of the piece that are invisible to me.

        As for the biped line, I was trying to say few people are concerned with any life other than their own. I have a very high appreciation for all life large and small. When I researched the thing about the bunnies, I found it horrifically horrendous what they used to do without conscious.

        Thank you for taking the time to read my stories. I hope you truly enjoy them.

        1. Ishmael

          Yes, that’s what I was thinking, except from the rabbit’s perspective. I was thinking that the rabbits were concerned about how few the bipeds (people) are who are privileged enough – by their empathy for the rabbit’s plight – to spy the rabbit and go down the mysterious path that came from out of nowhere. I was thinking that the rabbit, by letting itself be known, ‘invites’ those who are worthy to follow and view to cemetery, then go tell others. Inviting advocates for the cause.

          And yes, I truly enjoy your work. I appreciate the statement you made in this one.

  52. mgb

    “Just one more stroke to prevent strokes!”

    The four women clad in stylish Ralph Lauren golf apparel groaned in unison.

    “Allison, if you par on this hole, you could win the Victory Over Strokes Cup,” said Bethany.

    Allison saw herself listen to her friends and saw her body swing the club.

    “How can I be on the brink of winning a charity golf tournament when neither my friends nor I have ever touched a golf club?”

    Her high arcing ball disappeared in the clouds before dropping into the woods.

    “You can still win!”

    The words faded as Allison headed into the shade of the woods. When she grabbed the ball, she gasped. The white puff turned out to be the paw of a monocled, red-vest-wearing white rabbit who said, “Follow me! Hurry, before we’re too late!”

    These fantastic events were beyond comprehension, so Allison quit trying and followed her anxious guide.

    The duo ran over gnarly brown roots and under verdant tree canopies. Finally, they came upon a clearing. Bright yellow sunlight bounced off a brilliant red heart, momentarily blinding them both.

    “Your majesty,” said the white rabbit as he bowed.

    “Don’t say it, Allison! You thought I was a fairy tale! That’s what I get for being nice to Lewis–forever typecast from that darn Alice story. Oh, never mind. Be assured: The Queen of Hearts is always watching over all kinds of hearts in all kinds of ways.”

    Allison nodded and curtsied ever so slightly. The white rabbit bowed again.

    The Queen drew close to Allison–their faces only inches apart—and stared so intensely that Allison could look nowhere but in those eyes.

    “Your heart is in danger of loss because someone you love is at risk.”

    The Queen then turned to prune her rose bush. A thorny branch fell to the ground.

    “Now be off with you both! Before you’re too late!”

    The white rabbit grabbed Allison’s hand, and the two dashed back the way they came. At the golf course edge, the white rabbit reached in his vest pocket, pulled out the golf ball, placed it in Allison’s hand, and closed her fingers around it.

    “The Victory Over Stroke Cup is yours,” he said before disappearing.

    Allison opened her fingers to see the tiny red heart on the golf ball. She flew across the green, ignoring her friends. She did not realize she had run off the side of a cliff until she saw the rocky shore approaching too quickly.

    The shock jolted Allison straight up in bed, her pounding heart vibrating her entire body.

    “Must see Mom!”

    Barbara was curious as she opened the front door. Allison never expressed interest, yet her daughter wants to go to quilting group today. Lacking the energy to probe for more details, she decided to just enjoy her daughter’s company.Barbara picked up a small canvas bag of fabric remnants and immediately dropped it.

    “Is that heavy, Mom? Do you want me to get it?”

    “Horses prance banana wood lordy! Pickled chickens runs for jousting. . .”

    “Mom! Are you ok? Look at me!”

    Barbara’s face sagged slightly on the right, and her eyes were wild with fear or pain or something. Allison immediately called 911.

    Still stunned, Allison stared at the wall of the Stroke ICU waiting room. Her Mom was going to be ok. With several deep breaths, she slumped down in the chair and knocked a magazine off the table. It was a recent issue of Golf Digest.

  53. Heart2Heart

    Cheers went up as I hit the ball with my new driver off the 11th tee. Cheers turned to sighs in unison as my ball sliced towards the woods away from the green.
    “Pssst…..come here”. Glancing around, the sound seemed to be coming from a rather large smiling rabbit with rather large feet and the pinkest ears I had ever seen on an animal of the furry kind. Hands curled together, I rubbed my wide eyes, blinked and looked ahead to make sure I wasn’t seeing a mirage. It was then he turned to show me his cotton tail to confirm it was indeed a rabbit holding the Titleist embossed with my initials.
    Sensing my discomfort, he introduced himself with a British accent. “Peter here, glad to make your acquaintance”.
    “Same, I’m Phil”, my face the portrait of shock after seeing and hearing the rabbit of fairytales
    “So, Phil, this is indeed a shame. You trying to raise money for your charity and all, and tied for first place.”
    “Yeah, sometimes stuff happens.”
    “Well, to tell you the truth, I picked the ball up so you could see me and I could meet you in person, you being so famous and all.”
    “My daughters won’t believe I met you.” Next thing I knew he handed me a bright pink rabbit’s foot for each of the girls with a picture of him on the chain, signed Love, Peter.
    Next thing I knew, my nose was twitching and I awoke to my daughters calling my name with “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” folded on my lap and the pink lampshade glowing.

  54. JR MacBeth

    “It was the eleventh hole.  Like I’ve been saying, the elevens never stop hammering me.”

    A man with his shrink; a conversation today just like yesterday, and the day before that.  The meds still weren’t working.

    “‘Come on Roy, it’s only a game!’  Yep.  Fat-fuck Jensen was loving it, but I refused to give him the satisfaction.  I gave him the big Whatever and went down to get my ball.”  He put his middle finger up to demonstrate the gesture.

    “And then what happened Roy?  What exactly happened?”

    “Well, I went down to where it was supposed to be, but it must have gone in further.  It was then that I realized what was up.” He laughted nervously.  “I looked at my watch.  There it was!  11:11.  Eleven fucking eleven!”

    “It’s OK Roy, but let’s look at this a minute.  I know that you have been seeing elevens ever since the towers fell, but what made you look at your watch at that exact minute?”

    “Hell if I know!  That’s what you’re going to tell me, right?”

    “Right.  Well, we’ll come back to this, but go on now.  What happened next?”

    “That’s when it happened.  A rabbit, a real one — I’m not changing my story — it says to me, ‘Follow me!’, and of course, I don’t do it, because then I know I’m fucking bonkers, and well, who the fuck knows where I would end up anyway?”

    “Good decision.  You do make some good decisions Roy.  Like trying to raise money for the Schizophrenia Foundation.  A very good thing to do.”

    “That’s what I thought! And I also thought maybe I needed a little break, you know, get relaxed?  But who knew Jensen would be right there to fuck it all up for me?”

    “And that’s why you hit him with your club?”

    “No!  I mean, yes!  Listen, I got back up there, and I don’t recall what I said, but I was still in shock from the goddamn rabbit, you know? I mean, what the hell would you think if that shit happened to you?”

    “Excellent point. Go on.”

    “And there’s fat-fuck, laughing his enormous ass off.  At me!”

    “You’re sure he was laughing at you?”

    “I’m positive!  The mother-fucker!  I wish now that I would have killed the son-of-a-bitch!”

    “Calm down Roy…Calm.  It’s OK. Just relax.”

    “So, do you think they’ll let me out pretty soon Doc?”

    “As the late Ronald Reagan used to say, ‘uh..well’…Let’s just say we’re out of time for today.  We’ll talk tomorrow.”

    The patient got up to go.  As he exited the office, the orderly was there to take him back to his room.

    “What time is it Brian?”

    “You know what time it is, clocks all over the place. Why you always ask me that?”

    “Haven’t you noticed that it’s always the same damn time, 11:11?”

    The orderly looked at his watch. “My watch says ten-after. Hey. Why you looking at me all crazy-like…?”

    1. Cassiew630

      I like how you changed up the setting of the story to be in an office and not out on the golf course. I also liked the main character. He’s all over the place with the 11:11, rabbit and hitting the guy with a club. Seems like he’s where he belongs…in the hosipital.

    2. Ishmael

      GREAT story, JR. A lot of mental slants on this prompt, and your riveting dialogue gave yours a great luster that sparkled! It truly felt like I was watching a man ramble on with his shrink. The whole story was nice and realistic, but I will be honest…the ending was just a little weak for me. Robust story with moving dialogue that fizzled (only a little bit) at the end. At least for me. Just the last two lines (lines, not sentences). If it were mine, I’d revise it to give it a POP! befitting the drive of the story. :)

  55. Persephone1

    When she was younger Theresa used golf as a way to please her father, he wanted her to be an athlete and having failed at everything from basketball to swimming, golf seemed easy enough to push through so that she could spend time with her father and not destroy herself physically. Now she was twenty-two and though she rarely played the game. The current match, however, would be different. She had volunteered to play with her boyfriend in a tournament dedicated to the curing of breast cancer. Amazingly enough it would seem that golf would not only bring Theresa closer to her father, but closer to her mother’s spirit who had died of the cancer two years ago.

    The only problem was that Theresa enjoyed playing nine holes and by the tenth she was terribly tired.

    Walking up to the Eleventh Tee Box, she rested her pink ball against the ground and looked down the narrow fairway. The crowd around her silenced themselves as she concentrated on the ball, looking at its texture, how the color glittered in the sun and then she swung. However, her attempt of not concentrating on the swing in order to shoot better backfired and Theresa watched the ball launch off left into the woods.

    “Dammit it all.”

    “I’m sure you’ll be able to find it,” said her boyfriend, “It didn’t look like it traveled that deep. Do you want help?”

    “No,” Theresa waved him off as she started walking towards the woods. “I’ll be fine.” She didn’t want him to follow her, she liked her space.

    Stepping into the shade of sparse trees Theresa saw the glittering pink ball resting gently on a pile of dead leaves, but just as she reached down for the ball an echo of the rustling of leaves rushed into her ears. She looked up to see a white rabbit looking up at her, the animal’s red eyes making her uncomfortable as if it could see all her deepest thoughts and hurtful feelings. But her curiosity reached a pinnacle when the animal opened its mouth and the words, “Follow me,” poured out.

    Theresa froze, her fingers still resting on the ball; refusing to believe that she had actually heard the rabbit speak.

    The rabbit’s mouth opened again, “Theresa, follow me.”

    She wanted to run off in terror, but she was captivated by his eyes and she found herself opening her mouth to argue back. After all, it was improper to simply follow a stranger without acquiring some information, even if that stranger was a rabbit. “You’re a talking rabbit, why on earth should I follow you.”

    “How much would you want your mother back?”

    “More than anything else in the world,” said Theresa rising to her feet.

    “Then follow me,” said the rabbit and turned as the woods began to whine, the branches withering and the leaves falling dead to the ground; a barren world opened in front of the golfer.

    1. Naomi

      I like the way your story ends in mystery, how I’m not sure if Theresa is having a hallucination, or experiencing a fantastical event.

      The story details some history between Theresa and her father. However, my impression is that her father is not a factor beyond why Theresa golfs.

  56. tmsather

    I grumbled an expletive as I watched the ball I just putted careen off of the green and into the dense woods. “Never fails,” I whispered to myself as I followed the ball. I was desperately vying to win the grand prize – $100,000 to the charity of your choice. My charity was the Disabled American Veterans, something I truly believed in. I just couldn’t leave empty-handed.

    As I reached the edge of the woods, I noticed a little white rabbit, adorably fluffy and headed toward me. I glanced at it curiously as it stopped right in front of me.

    “You’re Tiara, correct?” The sweet little voice told me this bunny was a she. I blinked a few times before realizing that this rabbit had actually spoke to me.

    I let out a sharp breath and stared at the rabbit at my feet. I prayed I wasn’t going insane.

    “Yes, I am…who are you?” I whispered almost inaudibly.

    She stood on her hind legs and looked up at me. “I am Bunni McCarrott,” she said a bit haughtily. “I have come here in need of your assistance.”

    “What do you need from me?” I asked, still unable to register that I was talking to a rabbit.

    She hesitated for a moment and said, “There is a rattlesnake that has been lurking around my borough and I just birthed a litter. I need you scare it away.”

    I placed my hand on my hip. “How do you expect me to do that? Humans are scared of them too!”

    “Well, I made a mongoose costume and I was hoping you or someone would put it on and fool it into fleeing,” she replied, voice faltering. I could tell she was starting to lose faith in me.

    I sighed. No turning back now, I thought. If I’m really going insane, what’s one more mental action before I get shipped to the nut house? “Okay, I’ll do it,” I murmured.

    I looked down at Bunni. She was smiling at me. “Thank you so much Miss Tiara! Follow me!” She scurried into the woods. I trailed after her.

    A few moments later, we came to a thicket. She ran into her little home and a minute later, fought to pull out the costume out of the rabbit hole. I quickly put it on and as soon I put the mask over my head, there came the rattlesnake! I got down on all fours, hissing and howling as aggressively as I could. I crawled as I fast as I could at it, and it slithered quickly away.

    Proud of myself, I shrugged the costume off and smiled at Bunni. “Thank you, from the bottom of my heart,” she said. She climbed onto my shoulder and whispered in my ear, “And by the way, you ARE going insane.” She laughed maniacally and the scenery faded away…

    I woke up, in a straitjacket and in a padded cell. Horrified, I shrieked.

    The End

  57. destinyalready

    “Sígame,” said the Rabbit in a hypnotizing voice with a Spanish accent. I rubbed my eyes and opened them again for I could not believe that the rabbit spoke. It was white and looked astonishingly familiar. At the age of nine I made a wish upon a star that my stuffed rabbit would come alive and so it did. Except when it came alive it acted as if it did not know who I was anymore and ran away. That was the last time I ever saw my rabbit, Reggie.

    “Reggie?” I questioned, “Is that you?” The rabbit nodded in agreement and I could see a look of regret in his eyes. What was I to do? I did has it commanded and followed it away from the golf course. When I was nine years old, I really liked that rabbit. I told my parents that my rabbit Reggie came alive then ran away and my parents told me that I had a vivid imagination. I constantly repeated the story to my parents for as much as I could, throughout the years up until age thirteen. They eventually got fed up, sat me down one day and convinced me that the rabbit was misplaced by me and that there was no such thing as a stuffed animal coming alive. Until now…

    I was so hypnotized by rabbit Reggie that I continued to follow it deep into the woods and into a desolate forest away from the golf course. There it led me towards a small cabin, stopped in its track and looked at me in anticipation. The rabbit lead me inside the cabin and I could see numerous other rabbits. There were gray, brown, black and white rabbits, jumping in every direction possible and I started to feel a bit dizzy. There was a kitchen, a bathroom and two small beds that rabbits also occupied. On one of the walls of the cabin hung numerous pictures of faces of people embedded one after the other, filling the wall to the absolute corners. Just then Reggie slowly transformed into a woman, about thirty years old. I felt as if I had been dropped into a fairytale or an enchanted world of which I did not know existed.
    “Yes I am your rabbit Reggie but I am also your guardian, I have been sent to protect you immediately after the star went by the night sky,” Reggie said matter-of-factly, “You are a wizard.”
    Suddenly all the other rabbits stopped in their tracks and looked at me with mesmerizing eyes.
    “I don’t understand,” I said faintly, “I’m a wizard?”
    “In this cabin are also other rabbits that are guardians of other humans, we have been sent to protect all the wizards and witches that you see on this wall.” The 30 year old women glanced at the wall that was entrenched with numerous faces, and then continued. “ For a decade I have been watching you in my rabbit-form, taking special care not to be seen as you went about your life, but now is where your real life in wizardry begins. “
    I fainted.

  58. Cassiew630

    “Stupid, idiot, crap! Sh%t!”

    My boyfriend’s golf ball sailed off into the thick cluster of trees lining the plush, green fairway. He spat out a few more cuss words and slammed the 5-iron club on the ground not once, but several times. I rolled my eyes. Yet again, behold another infamous tantrum from Florida’s most eligible bachelor. If only his mother and her country club friends who gave him that title, knew him like I did.

    “Roger,” I said. “Please, calm down. This is a charity tournament for homeless bunnies. Let’s keep the day fun.” I reached out to give him a chilled bottle of carrot juice, but he swatted it away and it tumbled to the ground.

    “Shut it, Molly. Make yourself worth something and go find my ball.”

    “Excuse me?”

    “Did I stutter? Ball. Now,” he said. If my eyes could create laser beams, and believe me, at times I wish they could, Roger would have holes straight through that fat head and those big ears of his.

    He stomped over to the golf cart and racked his head as he got into it. I chuckled under my breath and left him to throw another fit by himself. I didn’t want to fetch his stupid ball, but it got me away from him. Hallelujah!

    I made my way into the woods and felt better the further away I walked. I couldn’t wait to dump Roger and get back at him for all of those times he treated me like dirt. However, I needed a few things to fall into place first.

    “Psst,” said a deep voice from behind a tree.

    I jumped, not expecting to have company in the woods, but knowing who it was before laying eyes on him.

    “Follow me,” he said in a whisper. He moved directly behind me and I could feel his breath against my ear. I turned to face him. He was handsome for an older rabbit. His white coat was well maintained and he had a fit structure. He smiled. His two front teeth were straight and big. “Runaway with me, Molly.”

    “Richard, you don’t mean that,” I said and pushed him away.

    “I’m serious. Everything’s in order.”

    “You’d leave it all behind for me? Your wife? Your son?”

    “Yes.” He lifted his paw and stroked the side of my face. “You have the most beautiful eyes. And your black fur coat is so desirable. Don’t make me go another day without you.”

    I smiled and batted those eyes of mine he liked so much. “We’ll runaway tonight.”

    He kissed me, and then disappeared into the woods and back to the club house he had just come from.

    I returned to the fairway, unable to conceal my smirk. Before I reached Roger, who was hacking another golf ball into the trees, I decided I would leave him a farewell note tonight and wondered what Roger’s face would look like when he read that I’ve runaway with his father and his inheritance.

    Plan complete. Payback is glorious.

    1. MCKEVIN

      I love stories that don’t always have sappy endings. When a writer can show me the horrific things a character goes through to find himself/herself and gets revenge in the end, I will buy those books every time. I love it when real art imitates real life. You did a good job of doing so. Well done!

  59. massagemom84

    “What the fuck!” I rub my eyes, and wiggle my fingers in my ears. I even go as far as some compulsive blinking, but this did not move the furry demanding bunny.
    “And where would we be going?” I ask after a quick look around, making sure that nobody was behind me. I wasn’t really in the mood to be hauled off to the loony bin, it was just to pretty of a day.
    “I know I am cute in my golf outfit my wife suited me in today, but I can assure you, I am not Alice, and I am in no need to see the red queen.”
    He looks exasperated, his little face twitching in a spastic rhythm.
    “Believe me old man.” He starts “You could never be mistaken for Alice, you are way too pudgy, and you will find out where we are going, if you would just follow me, and stop with the sarcasm. Now come on Alice.” He retorts, then turns his white rump toward me, and looks over his shoulder with his penetrating red eyes. The question in his eyes reflect my thoughts, will I go?
    He takes one tentative hop, and waits, this time not looking back. His ears are trembling, giving away his apprehension. I take a small significant step; this seemed to be all he needed, as he starts hopping further into the piney outcropping. I start following him, trying to figure out what the hell I am doing, following a rabbit into the unknown.
    We walk at a steady pace, and I am happy that I am able to keep up without keeling over. I guess all the stupid walks my wife forces me to do are paying off. Damn, I hate it when she is right.
    He suddenly stops, in front of a heavily populated area, full of pine trees. He looks back, his beady red eyes almost glowing in the dimness created by the trees.
    “It is through here, you need to go in alone.” His face is almost melancholy, and that makes me nervous.
    “What, is through there?” I ask
    “Go on Alice; don’t chicken out on me now.” He says with a hitch in his voice.
    Can bunnies cry? I wonder
    I stop by the pine trees, with one more glance at my furry delivery rabbit, but he is already gone.
    Neither hide nor hare of him, I laugh at my stupid joke.
    I stand up taller, and walk through the trees to where he directed me to go, wishing he was here. For some reason in our short time hopping through the forest, he seemed so sure of our destination, I felt reassured. Now I was alone, and although only a short distance from my fellow golfing buddies I was empty. I stepped through the trees, and smiled. It all made since now, I step further into the cropping of trees to meet my destiny.

  60. DMelde

    This story is a variation of a short story by Loren Eiseley titled “The Dance of the Frogs”. ####################

    He was an old man when I met him, bent over and crippled, with thin white hair and vanquished eyes. He walked with a shuffle, right step forward, and then he’d drag his left leg. Earlier in life, he had used his money to support a variety of causes.
    Driven with curiosity from an overheard rumor, I came one day to ask him about a charity event he had attended many years ago. He greeted my request with silence, and I was certain he was going to turn me away. When he suggested we have lunch together, I jumped at the chance. We sat alone at the restaurant’s corner table, and he told me his story with a faraway look in his eyes.
    “It was at the eleventh hole of the New Hope golf event. The course had been carved out of some dense woods surrounding a lake, and my ball sliced wide into the woods. I took my wedge to hack at the thick underbrush, and went in to look for my ball. After ten feet, the air was hot, with no breeze. As I looked for my ball, I came across a faint game trail. Sitting on the trail, regarding me with a twitch to its nose, was a chalk white rabbit. We stared at each other for a moment, and then I heard a loud thought enter my mind, “Follow me”. Maybe the rabbit had said it, but that would be crazy. I took a step forward, and the rabbit took a step, and then looked back at me. One step led to another and I dropped my golf club to the ground, and I followed the rabbit along the game trail. The farther we moved, the quicker our pace became. I soon ran with alarm, as I felt something pull at me from inside. My mind seemed no longer my own as my gait turned into hops, long hops, like the long jump at a track meet. My legs ached, my lungs burned, and I was drenched with sweat. My arms were bleeding from dozens of small brush scratches. We hopped into a glade and I noticed, hopping alongside of me, hundreds of rabbits, matching me hop for hop. I looked up, and ahead of me I saw the glade disappear over a ridge. Terror gripped me as I felt my body changing. Somehow I knew if I went over the ridge, then I would be lost forever. Using my terror as strength, I tore away from the trail, and away from the rabbits. Six hours later someone found me wandering along a highway, eight miles from the golf course.”
    After his story ended, I looked at the old man. He must have seen the disbelief in my eyes, because he bent over and removed his left shoe and sock, and showed me where his ankle bone had fused to his left foot, and both foot and ankle was covered in thick, chalk white rabbit fur.

    1. JR MacBeth

      I still love this concept DMelde, taking a story, and changing it up, trying to keep the style-tone, etc. It’s probably not as easy as you make it look! I want to try doing it too.

    2. mgb

      I am not familiar with “The Dance with the Frogs” but am now intrigued. Your description of the old man’s transformation is so effective. Springing from an established work is a clever idea.

      1. DMelde

        Thank you mgb. I think I should have said this story is inspired by “The Dance of the Frogs” instead of a variation of it. Eiseley’s story is about a confrontation between the physical and the spiritual and is kind of an internal dialogue where the old man and the narrator are the same person (scientist). Much more complex than my little story, so I think inspired is a better word choice. :)

    3. MCKEVIN

      I prayed that neither one of them turned into a vampire rabbit although that would have been an interesting take also. I too wish the word limit was expanded with your story because I am curious what happened next. That is a sign of good writing and you did it well. High 5! McKevin

    4. Naomi

      Your writing is very nuanced, and enjoyable, DMelde. My eyes could not leave the narrative. I’m still thinking about many aspects of your tale. Very well done!

  61. Jean_R

    “Follow me.”

    Roger looked around to see who spoke. The pine trees were thick off the 11th fairway and he thought he was alone. “Who said that?”

    “Me. Down here. Bill Murray is in your foursome, right?” The voice seemed to be coming from a large white rabbit crouching among the pine needles.

    “Wow, shouldn’t have had that last Long Island Ice Tea”, Roger thought. But celebrity charity golf events always had an open bar. “Yeah, I’m playing with Bill, why?” Roger looked sideways at the rabbit which seemed to understand.

    “Well, after seeing that movie ‘Caddyshack’, my buddies, the gophers, have a real problem with Bill Murray and we need your help.”

    Roger blinked at the rabbit. It seemed to have developed a menacing look in its eye. Roger, not wanting to be intimidated by a bunny said, “What’s in it for me?”

    “The gophers found this lost diamond ring on the course. It’s yours to donate to the charity. All you have to do is replace Bill’s ball with this one.” The rabbit indicated a Titleist ProV buried partially under the brush.
    Roger examined the ring. It had to be at least 2 karats. “What’s special about the ball?” He looked suspiciously at the rabbit.

    “It’s C4. Payback for what he did to our fellow animals of the golf course.”

    Roger laughed. “You know that was just a movie. No gophers were actually harmed. Bill Murray is really a nice guy. Donating a bunch of money to this charity.”

    “And you will be too, with that ring. Take the ball.” The rabbit scampered off into the brush. Roger shook his head, trying to rationalize what just happened. “Must be the booze,” he thought as he pocketed the ring and picked up the ball. No use letting a good Titleist lay there.

    “What took you so long, Roger?” Bill Murray called from the golf cart. “Communing with nature?”

    “Nah, I think the heat is getting to me. I thought I saw a talking… nevermind. I’ll have to take a penalty on this hole.” Roger looked at his hand. “I did find a nice Titleist, though.”

    “Is that the new ProV? I’ve heard about those. Mind if I try it?” Bill grabbed the ball and replaced his own on the fairway. “What do you think? 4 iron?” He scanned the green in the distance.

    As Bill lined up his shot, Roger got a replacement ball from his bag. As he looked back to watch Bill’s swing, he thrust his hands in his pockets and felt the diamond ring. “No! Wait Bill! Stop!!”

  62. Rebecca

    “Follow me. Come on.” He coaxed.

    The mammoth rabbit that stood before me held out my golf ball like he was trying to sweet-talk a wild animal to eat from his hand. The irony of a talking rabbit trying to persuade me had yet to hit as I was still in stupefied shock, afraid to move.

    “Come on. I won’t hurt you I promise.” He cajoled in a sing song voice, holding the ball just out of my reach. As the rabbit towered over me he lapsed into a quiet hum that seemed to vibrate deep in my chest, soothing away the rough edges of fear.

    Within seconds I was deep in the woods, following the rabbit’s humming tune that held me enthralled with its numbing melody. My mind was steadily sounding out alarm after alarm as the unreality of encounter settled in, blowing me away with the possibility that this could be real but still I followed unhindered by their cries. Soon I found myself standing on the edge of what could only be called a Rabbitropolis, a bustling city of nothing but massive rabbits that loomed over me, dwarfing me with enormity of just how small I really was in comparison.

    “I have to hide you from here.” He said as he swooped down and picked me up, placing me between his ears.

    “Lay down.” He ordered.

    As I lay down on top of his head a giggle burst from my mouth. This was some dream, I thought.

    “Be quiet.” He said as he folded his ears over me overlapping them and hiding me from view. I couldn’t help but giggle again at the thought of me being smuggled into a city in the ears of a colossal rabbit.

    “Whitten? What do you have?” a voice called out.

    “Nothing, Mama.” My white rabbit answered, so he must be Whitten.

    “I heard it and I can smell it. So come on now. Out with it.” Mama rabbit ordered.

    “But mama! Please may I keep it? Please! I promise I will take care of it.” Whitten pleaded as he unfolded his ears and revealed my presence.

    “Oh what is that dreadful nasty thing?! Why on earth would you want to keep such a hairless and ugly creature?” Mama Rabbit exclaimed as she wrinkled her nose at me. Another giggle escaped as the feeling of a stray animal descended on me. Were they really discussing me like this?

    “Please Mama. I will love him. I will hug him. And I will call him George.” Whitten continued to wheedle, scooping me off his head and smashing me to his chest in effort to show his devotion to his mama. As he swayed back in forth he began to hum, lulling me to sleep in his arms. And as my eyelids drooped lower and lower I made a promise to myself. I would never again play a golf tournament or attend the after party that was hosted by the Legalize Mary Jane Organization.

  63. Justinmarquese

    “The Guide”

    My body went still. There was no dialogue in my head. I was completely void of thought. The only thing present was the intense level of fear, gripping the core of my body. I was frozen. Crippled by my own disconnect from reality.

    “Follow”, he repeated, holding the same monotone delivery from the first line he spoke to me. My brain started to fire-up again. What was I to do? I was stricken with fear but also plagued with curiosity. Fight or flight kicked in but, I had no time to consider any consequences. I picked. I stepped towards the creature.

    It didn’t rise to meet me like they do in the movies. It stayed on its level, knowing what for, and how its anatomy was built to function. It wasn’t afflicted by any human qualities. It was simply a rabbit. Or was it? Logic, and years of collective human knowledge told me, rabbit’s don’t talk but here it was–speaking. Its small frame was wrapped in white fur. There was nothing special about its appearance but there was a presence; a presence so apparent that it seemed to demand my submission.

    He turned to hop away. I followed him, or maybe her. It wobbled trying to keep an appropriate pace for a human being like myself. Under and over brush we went. I took in the spaces around me. They screamed, squirmed, sat; full of life. The wildness of the environment didn’t seem to be indigenous to the small suburban town from which I sauntered from but…there was something familiar about it.
    Maybe this is all in my head. Maybe I didn’t escape the history of mental-illness that has haunted my family for decades. No, that can’t be true. This is real. This is as real as it gets. I know it to be true. There is no question.

    “This is how it all starts” I said out loud but quiet enough not to disturb my guide.
    He, or she, hadn’t said another word since upon meeting. I was beginning to believe I made it all up and I was simply intrigued by the whimsical rabbit, but the sight in front of me ripped–no, shattered that notion.

    Before my scrawny frame stood something I couldn’t possibly, intellectually describe. It was larger than life yet as coy and meek as the rodent I followed here. It was a light; warm and familiar as the bosom of a busty woman to a crying baby.

    I knew this place, I knew this feeling. It was overwhelmingly peaceful. I was flooded with joy; the kind of joy where you can’t help but to be taken over by laughter.

    I casually walked towards, whatever it was. A loud buzzing-noise surrounded me. It spoke. “Welcome home silly. What took you so long?” “I don’t know”, I replied with a smile.

    1. slayerdan

      I am replying as you requested feedback. This was confusing to me. I am not sure fitst person was best for what you were trying to go for. The descriptive language seemed…..mechanical. It didnt flow well—to me anyway. I think maybe there was over description–sometimes less is more, especially when dealing with stuff that needs interpretation–forces the reader to come up with their own perceptions of some things.
      I hope this is somewhat helpful, although amorphous in content. You obviously have a decent vocab and aware of basic grammar and syntax, so no you should write write write, focusing on conveying the picture you want to come across. Luck.

    2. MCKEVIN

      How about….
      So the speaker was just as much male/female as the rabbit? I kind of like to know who is telling the story. It doesn’t matter if it’s a man or woman. The rabbit voice was it male or female? And finally, Your second to last sentence says “It spoke.” I am not sure what “It” was. Family member who answered the doorbell maybe? I like your story but if I was trying to promote it, I couldn’t say who it was about and who else was in it other than the rabbit. Usually, a reader wants someone to root for or someone to hate. I thought something bad was going to happen until the very end. Good writing skills though. Is home a mental institution?

    1. Imaginalchemy

      Oooh, I like how you literally inserted the prompt into this and told the story in second person. And the tension here is good…I got the feeling there was the underlying maliciousness about the “rabbit” even before he produced the snake. And no worries about grammar mishaps, we all do it. :)

      1. creativemetaphor

        It’s certainly a perceived maliciousness from the character’s POV. Glad you liked it, sometimes I find my muse wants to use the prompt *exactly* as it was written rather than altering perspective or narrative. This time the story just flowed out! :)

  64. creativemetaphor

    You’re on a golf course taking part in a fundraiser to cure a disease that’s near and dear to your heart. On the 11th hole, you hit a ball into the woods. While searching for that ball, you see a white rabbit that stops, looks you right in the eye and says, “Follow me.”

    You don’t follow, of course, because you are a sane, rational human being who knows that rabbits can’t speak. You turn around, intent on marching yourself right back out of those woods – the golf ball be damned – but no matter which way you turn, you can see nothing but forest stretching out around you.

    Just a trick of the woods, you tell yourself. You know the green is just a few paces behind you – no, in front of you, you’ve turned around. Now you’re disoriented, unable to tell quite which way it was you had come.

    “Follow. Me,” the rabbit says again, voice more harsh now. It reaches for you, hands closing around your arm. Forgetting why this should not be possible, you run, bumping into trees here and there in your panic. The sound of your shouts seems foreign to your ears, echoed back at inconstant intervals.

    The underbrush becomes denser, harder to push through. Soon you are forced to stop all together, the forest offering no way forward. The rabbit is right behind you, it pushes you down and you fight to escape, but the roots of the trees have curled around your wrists and ankles, hold you.

    Looming over you now, the rabbit produces a small, snake. Its body is clear, and it has a silver tongue. The rabbit pushes it against your arm and the snake bites you. You can feel the venom seeping into your veins, up your arm, and just before you fall asleep, you recognize the nurse in the white coat from the psychiatric ward standing over you with the needle.

    1. Cassiew630

      The snake had a clear body and silver tongue! I didn’t catch the similarities of the snake and a syringe at first. Also, when I read those three first sentences in the last paragraph I was like, “Why is the rabbit doing that!” Then came the last sentence. I enjoyed your story.

    1. morty

      To be honest, I’m not sure myself either. I thought it was, at first, but then it seems Mr. Wacky Wabbit disagrees, at least as far as God’s existence goes. I suppose I need to write a longer version of this story, eventually, so we’ll find out :)

  65. morty

    Jack knew it was going to slice straight away. He knew it from the sickening clack of a ball hitting a fraction of an inch off the sweet spot. He knew it from the slight vibration that rippled through the club, and into his fingers.

    “Aww, goddamnit,” he hissed, as his ball curved towards the thicket that lined the dogleg.

    “You better watch it, Jack,” Terry said. “These religious types don’t take kindly to people taking the Lord’s name in vain. Their purse strings tend to pull tighter than their sphincters when they get upset.”

    “Fuck the old farts. That was a brand new Dixon! And these types? If they had their way, they’d send everyone to the great doc in the sky. ‘Prayer a day keeps doctor away, screw modern science’.”

    “Well, they’re here now, willing to loosen up their purse strings, even if it is just a publicity stunt. This ain’t one of those fashionable causes, Jack. You should know.”

    Jack’s shoulders slumped, as the prospect of seven more holes with the holy high-rollers sank in.

    “Tell ‘em I’ll catch up with them later. I’m just gonna get that ball first.”

    Sure, the cause was as near to him as his own skin. But God? God could go and light a fart, as far as he was concerned. He whacked his way in the thicket, using his seven iron as a makeshift machete, all the while cursing the ‘big doc in the sky’ he didn’t even believe in. He finally cleared the worst bushes, and emerged next to an old pine. A white rabbit in a tie-dye vest came towards him and stopped.

    “Follow me,” the rabbit said. Jack’s jaw unhinged. “No man, it’s cool, I know where your ball is. Come on.” The rabbit took a couple not-entirely-steady steps, and looked back at Jack.

    “No. Fucking. Way,” Jack said.

    “Aww, man, don’t be like that. Lemme tell you, here, wait a little, relax.” The rabbit pulled a nice, fat doobie from his vest and lit it, taking a few puffs before offering it to Jack. His pink eyes turned a shade deeper.

    “No, thanks. I don’t…,” Jack trailed off.

    “I knew you was square, man. Anyhow, let’s get your balls, man!” The rabbit burst out in manic laughter and waddled towards a small juniper bush. Jack followed, while trying to remember whether hallucinations were par for the course for his ‘problem’. The rabbit rustled in the bush and came out holding a golf ball in his outstretched paws.

    “Here, man.”

    “That can’t be mine. Mine was a white signature Dixon.” The ball Jack was staring at was shining like polished chrome. A strange, undulating ripple seemed to circle the surface of the ball.

    “Sure it is yours, you lost it. The big doc in the sky says so.”

    “What, God?”

    “No such thing, Amos, no such thing.”

    “What, then?”

    The rabbit looked Jack in the eye. His pink eyes flashed with manic glee.

      1. morty

        Thank you :) When I have a decent bunch of these shorts, I’m planning to take them and expand them beyond the 500 words allowed here. So we’ll see where this one goes, as it sure seems to have something more to tell us.

  66. Imaginalchemy

    “Insanity Infection”

    I supposed I should have thought it a bit strange to see a rabbit on the G.O.L.F. course, given that rabbits have been extinct for nearly 50 years.
    Then again, a lot of strange things have happened since the Hypnos Virus hit. People become detached from reality when infected; they hallucinate wild things, they even swear that they see both the past and future. But eventually, they all drown in their contaminated minds, until all their other bodily functions shut down one by one. They slip away entirely. That’s what the doctor said when my mother and father both got infected. Father slipped away months ago, and Mother is down to her breathing function…but the monitors read that her mind is in silent overdrive.
    So I wanted to volunteer my help with the Galactic Olympics Lifesaving Fundraiser (G.O.L.F.)—an interstellar event since the Hypnos Virus had affected other planetary regions as well. During one anti-gravity event at the 11th wormhole, I sliced the hover-ball out of bounds and went to retrieve it.
    There it was, a tiny white rabbit with my hover-ball in its mouth.
    I had never seen a living rabbit before, just the stuffed ones in museums. “Hey there. How’s about dropping my ball?” I coaxed.
    The rabbit spit the ball out into its paw, and replied, “Follow me.”
    Funny, I didn’t recall anything in historical biology records stating that rabbits could talk, but then again, the records never said that they couldn’t. So, with a quick glance over my shoulder—no one seemed to notice that I was missing—I pursued the rabbit into the brush.
    I began to realize the brush was morphing around me. Rather than the fabricated foliage custom-designed for the property, it began to look more feral, more organic—as far as I could determine what organic would look like, based on holographic records.
    And then I found the rabbit—being eaten by a man-sized lizard in a purple tuxedo.
    “What are you doing??” I gasped as I saw the lizard munch away.
    The lizard shot me an irked glance. “What? It’s just coconut.”
    I realized then that the rabbit wasn’t bleeding, and in fact was still alive. “He does this all the time,” the rabbit replied.
    The lizard wiped a few flakes of coconut from its muzzle. “So, are you ready to wake up yet?”
    I tilted my head. “Wake up?”
    “You’d be surprised how many people say no,” the rabbit said.
    The lizard shrugged. “What can we say? It’s more fun on this side.”
    My sense of logic had been smothered by curiosity. “Is it?”
    “Oh, yes,” the lizard said, as I started to hear faint music on the breeze, and flowers and fruits of neon colors blossomed all around me. “It’s as fun as your imagination can take you.”
    “Imagination? Is that, like, insanity?”
    “Depends how far you want to go.”
    The lizard extended a scaly hand towards me. Around me, the music sang and whispered, Come, come…Come with us…

    1. Nix

      That was all really well done. The concept and you sticking as close tot he guidline without going away from it was awesome. That was a real cool story!

    2. Ishmael

      I often have the sense of having been other-worldly after reading your submissions. Whether it be futuristic, fantasy, or folklore, you have the unique ability of bringing it to life. You are quite the Fenoglio! I have thoroughly appreciated all your works.

  67. Turtled

    I looked around and wondered who might have spiked the last couple of drinks. Maybe a beer a hole was a bit much for the 95 degree weather. “Are you talkin’ to me?” I said in my best Taxi Driver impersonation.
    “Since everyone else in your foursome hit the fairway, I guess it must be you.”
    Great! Just what I needed after shooting 15 over on the front nine…a sarcastic talking bunny. “Ok so the driver is a little erratic, but it wasn’t that bad a shot….and what do you mean, it must be me?”
    The rabbit leaned into my leg and whispered, “I have the cure.”
    “The cure?”
    “Dang. You are a lousy golfer and a bad listener. Yeah I got the cure. Isn’t that why you’re here?”
    My best friend had died of cancer seven years ago, almost to the day. Since then I have done the Race for the Cure, Walk for the Cure, Play Hockey for the Cure. If there was anything to do for the cure I had done it. Does he mean that cure or he just got around to buying “Wish”? The lyrics, or at least the refrain to “Friday, I’m in Love” seeped into my muddled brain.
    “Focus man!”
    I had successfully made a rabbit exasperated, who knew that was possible. For some reason the song in my head switched to Tom Petty’s “Don’t Come Around Here No More” took over. Oh man I am in 80’s rock hell!
    As if reading my mind, the rabbit rolled his eyes and said curtly, “I’m not that white rabbit.”
    “Too bad, I could have worked my way back to the Jefferson Airplane…”
    He shook his head in disgust and mumbled under his breath, “Too bad I’m not the rabbit from Monty Python.” He hesitated as if trying to rally his enthusiasm, “Do you want the cure, or not?”
    Still trying to shake the cobwebs around my mind, and trying desperately to get Grace Slick’s voice out of my head, “You’re a bunny! How could you possibly have the cure?”
    He hopped down the trail scowling, “I escaped from the research lab. They infected me with cancer and then gave me the antidote. But they didn’t know if it was going to work. They didn’t care about me. They would have put me down and moved on to the next one…”
    I was trying to pay attention when my foot caught on a root and I went down. When I turned over my head was aching and there was a trail of blood down my face.
    “Are you OK?” I looked up to see Tim standing over me not certain whether to laugh or call an ambulance. “You smacked your head pretty hard on that rock.”
    “The white rabbit?” I mumbled. “Where did he go?”
    “White rabbit?” Tim and his playing partner started laughing. “You mean the white hare?”
    “Yeah, do you see it?”
    “Sure I do.” I was just saying to Mike, “Wow, Pat has a lot of white hair! Hey look, there’s your ball!”

    1. Imaginalchemy

      I like the music video and Monty Python references (having lived part of my life in the 80s, it made me smile). Good work…maybe you can develop more on the rabbit’s story of escaping from the lab sometime.

    2. Nix

      I have those moments all the time when I can’t shake a song out of my head when someone is talking to me. Especially if it’s a really boring conversation!

      Well done, my friend. Thanks for writing this!

  68. Anita

    I don’t know why I was so surprised to see that a white rabbit would have long black eyelashes, but she winked at me, long and slow, and I couldn’t resist laughing out loud.

    “Come on, Dan,” the rabbit coaxed. “The others are still back there hunting for Jason’s putter. He threw it so far this time that it’ll take them half an hour to find it, and it’s hot in here. I could use a drink.”

    “Emma, is that you? How in the world did you let yourself get talked into wearing that silly suit?”

    I heard a little sigh as two big fuzzy paws reached up to lift off the rabbit’s head. My friend Emma’s dark curls appeared, damp with perspiration. “It’s the same old story. I just can’t seem to resist when you-know-who comes around asking for help. Of course, back in March when I agreed to do this, it wasn’t 95 degrees in the shade. Ah, well, it’s for a good cause.”

    We headed for the clubhouse and a cool drink. I took a quick look back for the rest of my foursome, but they were all out of sight among the trees. I figured the results of Jason’s temper tantrum would give us at least a few minutes before the group joined us. Playing with Jason was never dull; we never finished a game when he was with us, but it was never dull.

    “So are you done for the day?” I asked my friend after she had peeled the rest of the costume and found a seat in the lounge. “I think we were the last group to play.”

    “Oh, yeah,” she smiled. “It’s supposed to be a random draw, but the starters know Jason. If he didn’t donate so nicely, they’d probably try to keep him from playing at all. We’d finish a whole lot sooner! You guys never seem to mind starting last, anyway. The guys who draw the earliest tee time have a long day waiting for awards. I’ve been in that suit for hours!”

    ‘You do make a pretty cute rabbit. I think you should wear the suit to the dance this evening.”

    She gave me a big grin. “Yeah, right! I think I’ll pass, thank you. I do what I can to help the cause, but there are limits.” She tilted her head slightly to the left, and when she spoke again the smile was barely there. “You all take it just as a fun day out, but it’s more than that. The money we raise is essential.” Her voice caught, and I suddenly remembered her sister, who had died too young.

    I stood up to give her a hug. “Yeah, I know, and you always work hard to do your fair share. But,” I added, “for the summer tournament next year, wouldn’t it be easier if you just learned to play golf like the rest of us?”

    1. Nix

      Very cool take on the story. I like that it was a charity and the the subtle nod to the fact that they were doing this in memory of a fallen sibling.

      That was very well done. Great job.

  69. catbr

    Golf was never George’s forte. By the 11th hole he was 32 strokes over par. “Maybe this time I’ll get it right.”
    he said, chuckling to his neighbor, Wally. Lining up the shot George swung the club as smooth as he could. “Son of a Bitch.” George wasn’t chuckling anymore. The golf ball went sailing nicely right over to the far side of the course to the woods.

    “I should have just donated some money for cancer instead of this pain in the ass tournament.” George muttered to himself walking over to the woods to retrieve his ball. After some 10 minutes of searching, he was sweating, angry and getting dirty looking for the golf ball in the 90 degree weather.

    “Ahem, are you looking for this?” a voice from nowhere said.

    “Who is that?” George said. He couldn’t see where the weird sounding voice was coming from.

    “I’m over here.” Spinning around George saw a large white rabbit and didn’t think much of it until it got up on it’s hind legs and held the ball up for him to see. “I seen the golf ball come flying at me. You almost hit me with the dam thing. You probably can’t believe that I’m really speaking. But I am. Look at my mouth. See how it moves when I talk.” The rabbit laughed.

    “This has to be a prank.”

    “No prank. Just me. I have a favour to ask you. I’d like you to follow me and I’ll show you.”

    George was dumbfounded but started going along with the rabbit into the woods. He felt a little wacky following the rabbit but wanted to see what this was all about.

    “George, are you alright? After you went to look for your ball some other ball smashed right into your forehead and knocked you out. That’s some goose egg you got there.” Wally said pointing at George’s head.

    “Where’s the rabbit? I was supposed to help him with something?” His head was throbbing. George weakly put his hand up and felt the massive lump. Wally gave him a curious look of concern, thinking the blow to the head might have affected George’s brain.

    “Take it easy George. We’ll get you to the doctor. I think you should have that lump looked at. Just lay here in the shade. I’ll get help.” But George didn’t care about the lump, he wanted to know what the rabbit wanted. A rustling in the leaves nearby grabbed his attention. There, to his surprise was the same white rabbit.

    “Yeah, about that blow to the head…that was my older brother. Us rabbits out here are getting really sick and tired of being hit by stray golf balls all the time. We like to teach people a lesson once in a while. Practice George, that’s the other lesson, then maybe your dam ball might stay on course and leave us out here in the woods alone.”

    1. Nix

      ha! Understandable that the Woodland creatures would get a little tired of stray golf balls and random people stomping all up and down their living quarters. Well done my friend!

    2. catbr

      Just want to say thankyou to everybody for your considerate comments. I sincerely appreciate it. I was going to end the story with George just having imagined the rabbit talking after getting hit in the head but then I got the other idea of the rabbit’s revenge. I thought it made it a little more interesting and funny.

  70. slayerdan

    “ Come with me if you want to live”, the rabbit had said. A few moments passed. My mind raced, but my feet held fast, rooted it seemed in the tangled wood around me.

    “Did you hear me Steve? We have to go NOW!” it repeated forcefully. I must be more insane than I thought.

    “Why?” I found myself replying mechanically, still incredulous that a rabbit was talking to me. My pulse quickened and I could feel sweat beading on my brow. The urge to yell for the others to come see suppressed. Looking over my shoulder to the green, the others were focused on their own games.

    “Don’t look at them,” the rabbit said to me as I turned back to his voice,” they are here for you. I am your only hope and you must follow me, follow me deep into the wood,” he continued, a deep sense of foreboding in his voice. His voice boomed like that of a giant, yet no one else seemed to hear. I looked back again to the group I had been playing with, to see Carl and Terry talking to each other, looking my way. Terry motioned to me and turned to Carl and said something I could not hear. But the words on his lips were very clear.

    “We need to kill him now”.

    The woods began to spin and I dropped my iron. My heart was pounding. Tripping over tangled roots, I fell to the ground then quickly rolled to my stomach, peering at Carl and Terry through lower underbrush.
    The sky was darkening over the course. I could see Carl and Terry now moving toward me, clearly intent on killing me. Alive with fear, my skin pulsated and screamed. I would die here and no one would know.

    Why would they kill me? How would they kill me? Terry had a shady past. He probably figured I knew about something illegal he had done.

    “ So whats the deal buddy?” the rabbit asked, his booming voice breaking the attention I had on Carl and Terry. I turned to him again and as crazy as it seemed, he was my only way out of this. Carl and Terry were close now. So close. Maybe I could kill them first? I could choke them and leave them in the brush. I could crush their heads with my iron. Terry was big, so big.

    “Help me, save me,” I whispered to the rabbit,” get me out of here before they kill me”. I was frantic and he was my only hope. Wide eyed, sweating, and enveloped in fear, I jumped up and ran as my benefactor took to deeper to the wood.
    I could hear Terry and Carl yelling as I ran, the rabbit just in front, seemingly aware of my steps before I took them.
    _______________________________________________________________________________
    Terry and Carl stopped at the edge of the wood. “What the hell is he doing?” Terry asked.

    “He must be having trouble with his meds again,” Carl replied dryly, reaching for his cellphone.

    1. Nix

      Very well done sir! I’m excited to see the use of a mental illness take root to all of it. You triggered the fear and paranoid very very well.

      Thanks man!

      1. massagemom84

        I was thinking of doing the same thing with this story. Making it the disease they are doing the fund raiser for his affliction, and have him on a new treatment gone bad. I love it, good job.

    2. slayerdan

      I do appreciate the feedback for every story. I do have to say that my goal when i write is to not have a twist……I wrote this little piece from the POV of a person w a psychotic disorder as I have dealt with 1000s of these folk. I in no way feel I did it justice in 500 words but did ok overall. I have said it before that i really enjoy the stories that flow, vs the ones that write to the twist….I have read some good stories with a twist, but I feel people would have better stories if they would write and see where it goes, vs “the twist”.

      1. rob akers

        Slayerdan I disagree when you say “I in no way feel I did it justice in 500 words but did ok overall.”

        I think you did great and justice prevails. You have a tallent and a great understanding of the human condition.

    3. slayerdan

      Thanks to all once again. Even the stories I submit I am usually never 100% happy with…..not a perfectionist, just always see options for change.

  71. Nix

    I looked at the lit cigarette I held, checking its authenticity. The Rabbit walked on its hind legs towards me, spreading its arms out as it spoke.

    “Look”, a deep voice signified it was a he, “most of us can talk, but few of us bother because of that stupid Chipmunk movie. The hell are we going to do with a record deal?” There was a hint of an accent when he spoke and he closed distance, now standing directly in front of me.

    “Point is, we need your help! I’ll explain when we get there, now come on!” With that, he was off in a dead sprint leaving me with a quick decision to make: Go or stay. Curiosity getting the best of me, I dropped my 9 iron and chased after him.

    Man could that Rabbit move! Over fallen trees, around boulders, and across the river so fast it was nearly impossible for me to keep pace with him. I’d eventually see a white blur and switch my direction chasing after him, not taking care to notice that the golf course was long behind us and the wooded area kept growing denser.

    Catching my breath, I bent over and placed both hands on my knees. Sweating and gasping for air I shut my eyes to take everything in. I figured I was either crazy or that someone had slipped something into my drink. Then from somewhere behind me I heard leafs rustling and a giant baby rattle.

    The hissing noise gave way to the fact that this was no musical instrument. Slowly I turned to witness the biggest snake I’d ever seen. As thick as a tree I stood next to and so long I couldn’t see the end of it, I found myself hypnotized by the deep orange color of the tennis ball sized eyes as they gazed at me. Slithering ever so close to me, I felt paralyzed by fear and couldn’t will myself to run.

    My ears throbbed as the snake’s tail rattled so hard I couldn’t hear anything else. Opening its mouth to show giant sword sized fangs, I took a deep breath hoping the bite would kill me fast so I wouldn’t feel myself getting digested. As the snake reared back ready to strike, the ground gave way sending me twisting and screaming before slamming into a cave floor with a thud.

    Dirt and sticks rained upon me and I could almost hear the sounds of the snake cursing me from above. Pushing myself to my knees, I looked up to see the Rabbit walking towards me with a smile on its face, holding a rag.

    “That wont due, the Queen’s gotta eat and it’s better you than us” He chuckled, holding the rag over my face. My eyes burned before passing out.

    I woke in a giant nest of dirt, fur and bones, jumping in shock as I looked to see the Snake slithering towards me.

    She smiled, hissing as she struck my neck.

    1. Imaginalchemy

      Creeeeeeeepy….so the rabbit’s made a deal with the Queen (the Snake) to lure in victims for her so she’ll stop eating rabbits, as I understand it (judging from the fur and bones in her nest)? How sinister…love it!

      1. Nix

        Thanks for the comment and for reading!

        If I had more space I might have tried to save the guy, but when you’re passing your 400th word,you gotta start aiming. I thought it was a cool twist that the Rabbit was working for the Snake to save his people from being snack food. Made sense to me. A snake of that size would eat rabbits like they were skittles.

      1. Nix

        Thanks! With limited space you gotta fix what to focus on. I figured you all could project your image of the character, rabbit, and cave. But I wanted to focus a bit on the size of the snake.

        I appreciate the comments!

COMMENT