Today is Easter, for those celebrating–congrats. (Do you say congrats for this? Idk.) For those who don’t celebrate, you probably knows this better as the time with the remarkable, truly remarkable, reese’s peanut butter shaped-eggs. They are remarkable (if you hadn’t gotten that from the first two remarkable, the third one will have to drive the point home).
Now, since we have a Haunted Houses theme this month, I want to share with you a creepy fable with bunnies, because it seems fitting. Haunted House. Bunnies. Stuff. Now, onward to the story.
The Haunted House on Oak Hollow Drive
Part One, Krissy’s Miserable Mishap
KRISSY Kempton lived in a dreary old house on Oak Hollow Drive, though her family had moved in during the summer when the house had looked decidedly less dreary. There were whispers throughout the town of Oak Hollow about her home’s history: missing children, parents driven mad by the search, but it was all just that to Krissy, history. History that had happened over five decades ago. For someone who was only twelve, the thought of 50 years seemed as far away as the moon.
No one tried to think much about the fact the home had sat mostly empty for those 50 years, and the few times it had occupants it was just people without children.
Krissy and her little annoying sister Katie were the first children to live there in a long, long time.
The house had almost forgotten what it was like to have children. What it meant. After all the quiet years without, the house had fallen into a deep, deep slumber.
It took it a few months to awaken, for Krissy’s laughter and Katie’s cries to stir it back to life.
KATIE was only a baby, always crying with snot hanging from her nose, always trotting after Krissy. And if Krissy didn’t want her little sister to play with her, she’d get yelled at by her parents.
Krissy hated it.
They were the ones that decided to have a baby when the family was perfectly fine without one. They should be the ones to deal with the snot monster.
One day, as the season shifted from autumn to winter, when there were no more leaves in the forest that surrounded their house, Krissy had escaped home before either of her parents had awoken, before even snot-nose Katie did. She gathered her coat and boots and ran into the forest, to play the day away by herself.
The house liked this.
The house was oh so happy Krissy had gone alone.
IT wasn’t long before Krissy saw the bunny. But there was something wrong with the bunny. Something that left young Krissy unsettled.
She stilled in the forest, focusing on the creature. She could only see it through the dead trees, between the branches that now hung low, dropping from sadness about the cold that had stripped them of their leaves and color.
The bunny’s head was the first thing she saw, so white and large. After a quick glance, she’d been excited. But then she realized it was too big. Realized it didn’t look right. The way it moved was all wrong.
And then she noticed the rest of it: the black body behind it, like a slithering human body on the ground.
That was the first time fear struck Krissy that day in the forest, but it wouldn’t be the last.
KRISSY sucked in a hard breath and bit back a scream as she turned on her heels, running with all her might. Though the longer Krissy ran, her breath puffing out in little white clouds front of her face, she realized there was something wrong. She hadn’t wandered that far into the forest, had she?
She stopped, almost tripping over her own feet, and glanced around. But through the dead trees, she could only see more dead trees, not even the smallest glimpse of her home.
Where am I? This certainly wasn’t the forest she’d spent so much time in before. It couldn’t be this endless. She couldn’t have gone that far.
“Mom! Dad” She cried out over and over again until her voice was raw. Until tears took the place of screaming.
“Hush now, child, you’ll be juuuuust fine.”
WHEN Krissy turned around to find the voice, she found the source of the voice. There were half a dozen of the bunny-black-creatures standing there. With slithering black bodies and bunny heads, their unblinking, big, black eyes staring holes into her soul.
She shook, from the run, from the cold, from the fear.
“You’ll be fine,” they said collectively. Again, in unison they took a step closer. It was like their feet were an extension of the forest, moving through the dirt as they came closer and closer.
“No,” Krissy shouted as she turned and ran again. She didn’t know what they were, but she didn’t want them to touch her. She knew that very definitely.
She flew through the forest, dodging branches and trees. Left, right, left, right until she was through the worst of it.
Until she finally found her way home.
It looked like the house almost smiled at seeing her again.
IN the window on the third floor, she saw something that made her pause. A person pressed against the window, like they were screaming for help.
With a bunny head.
The figure reminded her of her mother, save for that horrible head.
Krissy didn’t know what to do, until she heard the creak of wood behind her. She glanced back just in time to see the dozen creatures, walking like a rippling wave, right behind her. Her heart pounded faster than a hummingbird as she sprinted into the house.
She locked the door behind her, taking hard breaths in as she stumbled farther and farther back.
Welcome hommmmme, Krissy, a voice echoed out throughout the house. As if the voice came from the walls, from the floor, from the ceiling.
“Dad?” she stuttered, turning around, but realizing now that the house didn’t look right. It was all dark, dreary, black. All the furniture was old, not the bright colors her mother had picked.
She went for the door, but it wouldn’t open.
Now that the house was all awake, it wasn’t about to let her go.
To be continued…