Not At All As Planned

Wren supposed that to another rabbit the differences between the two would be easy to spot, but to her, the creatures were a pair of tweedy doppelgangers. That is, of course, excepting for the little portal in the side of the one, exposing gears, tubes, and small pilot light inside its chest cavity.

She paused in her work to stroke the paralyzed bunny and offer it a cabbage leaf which it accepted after some mistrustful twitches of its nose. She chatted as it ate “I want you to know that just because the other bunny will be better, what with its being able to walk and all, doesn’t mean I’m going to love you any less. I’m not one of those fickle females who give and take their attentions every time the next best thing comes along. I’m nothing if not loyal, even to the infirm and inferior.”

“Why, my friend Stewart had a limp and I always liked him just as well as any of my properly walking friends. Well, except for when we were picking teams to play ball. Nobody wanted Stewart on their team ‘cause he was a lousy runner. That’s why he didn’t stand a chance of getting out of the way of that runaway team of horses. Boy that was messy. He was smooshed right in the middle. A newspaper man came along and talked to me for the paper, ‘cause I was right there and saw it happen and I told him all about Stewart’s lame leg. “ She finally took a breath after her stream of consciousness monologue and stared a moment at the bunny, who had by then finished the cabbage leaf. “I’m going to call you Stewart.” She bit her lip, perched her chin on the table in front of her floppy pet, and smiled as she stroked its head with the back of her fingers “Hello Stew.”

After reassuring the pet of her uncompromising love, despite his obvious insufficiencies, she set to work on his replacement.

It could hardly be called easy going. Reanimation is not a task for hobbyists, but her work with Stew had given her some practice and the job on the second rabbit was a much tidier affair. It also helped that her father had given her another dose of the serum, returning the feeling to her little fingertips. She’d even managed to avoid answering awkward questions about her progress over dinner, though she hadn’t worked out how she could ask for more of the reanimation serum without raising suspicion. So it was that with the mechanical heart placed in the new rabbit’s body, and its little pilot light lit and ready, Wren resorted to stabbing a large needle into her slender arm to draw a small amount of serum from her own vein as she’d seen her father do for her.

Lest the gentle reader think this was a nonchalant task for a nine year old, one should understand the difficulty of trying to aim a large syringe into a tiny, rolling vein. Even an experienced adult would have difficulty, and though the rabbits had given her some practice in dealing with such things, it was a different matter all together to introduce the needle into her own flesh. By the third try, little Wren was weeping from the sting of her near misses, by the fourth, she was sobbing with self-pity, and by the fifth, she was fully prepared to admit defeat and tell The Scientist she’d failed. But on the sixth… on the sixth jab of her bruising inner elbow, she managed to hit a vein and draw out the precious serum which had given her back her life.
She took a moment to wipe her tear blurred eyes and savor her victory. With a sniff and a swipe of her nose with the back of her sleeve, she aimed the needle into the small creature’s chest.
For three full seconds which seemed to last three hours, nothing happened. Then, with a twitch of its ear, the bunny was alive. It’s black eye rolled toward her and with a kick, it leapt from the work table. Wren had barely time to be surprised before it had made its way across the room, nails scratching for purchase on the hardwood floor, and hid under the floor length drapes.
Wren approached slowly, easing toward the frightened thing. She stopped five feet away and crouched. Speaking in as soothing a voice as she could manage, she tried to reassure the bunny.
That was when she smelled the smoke. Cowering behind the drapes, the reanimated rabbit had the window to its mechanical heart open, the pilot light burning steadily. In a flash the heavy drapes were smoldering, then blazing.

Wren panicked and raced toward the door as the bunny raced away from the now burning drapes. She paused in the doorway, then turned back to scoop up Stew in her arms. The second rabbit was by now hiding under the worktable, its cotton tail burning like a candle and charring the wood which would soon be alight.

She was a pathetic sight as she emerged onto the street, calling for help and clutching her limp pet. A passing couple, out for a brisk winter’s stroll heard her cries and came to help, he with a long cloak to swat at the flames, and she with a crate by the side of the building, filled with snow. The fire which had so quickly sprung to life was also quickly dealt with and within a quarter of an hour the bedroom laboratory was safe, albeit somewhat worse for wear.

Alone again in the lab after many reassurances of her well being for the kind strangers, she looked down at the singed and suffering rabbit. With sigh, she carried him outside, leaving Stew in his drawer. She collected a palm sized rock for the second time that day and took aim for the burned bunny’s head.


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About Me

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I have a mechanical heart and green reanimation serun for blood. I have glowing eyes that look like The Scientist's, but they're not his, they just look the same. I don't like swimming on account of I think my pilot light might go out.