by Robyn Herrington
It’s David’s fault.
If he’d skipped his writer’s retreat in the middle of nowhere, and I hadn’t agreed to pick him up, I wouldn’t have been on the road when the storm hit—and the tree branch wouldn’t have killed my car. But he went, I agreed, and my car was murdered.
The crunch was quite deafening.
I swore at the tree, at my car, reached for my phone and swore again. It was on the coffee table. Damn.
In the distance there was a farmhouse and I headed for it. I was soaked when I got there, and I’d sacrificed one shoe to the great sucking mud god. I knocked. An old man opened the door and I found myself staring at a shotgun.
“Don’t like visitors.”
“A tree killed my car. May I use your phone?”
The door slammed shut. Moments later, it opened again. “Truck’ll be here soon.” His home looked like a Norman Rockwell painting, if Norman Rockwell had been addicted to clutter and beer.
“Can I come in?”
“Told you. Don’t like visitors.”
“But . . .”
“There’s the barn.”
The barn. I looked. Roof caved, ill-fitting door.
“That or nothin’.”
“One thing,” he said. “Mind my rabbits.”
I minded his rabbits as I slipped on wet hay, fell on the cage and watched them escape. One bit me on the big toe.
When the truck arrived, the driver had a phone. I called David, thanked the farmer, then told him about his rabbits.
“I said, you mind them!” he hollered. He raised his gun. “Git!”
Two weeks later. David was at his group and I was watching The Wolfman, in honor of the full moon. My toe was throbbing. I could still see teeth marks, and the damn thing wouldn’t heal.
I opened the kitchen windows to look at the moon. The next morning, I woke up in Gladys McKinley’s veggie patch, stark naked with Gladys yelling. Someone ruined her garden — was it me? I said, Of course not! I couldn’t explain what had happened, but there was lots of fur—I’d obviously chased something away. Yes, while naked. I ran for my house. My clothes were on the floor by the open window.
One month later, my toe began aching. David agreed to skip one meeting. We waited in the kitchen, doors and windows secured, watching for the full moon.
I woke up on the floor, naked. David sat on the counter, a strange look on his face. There was fine white fur everywhere.
“What happened?” I asked.
“You,” he said, “are a were-bunny.”
See? David’s fault. But it was also David’s idea to collect the discarded were-bunny fluff. Weavers and knitters clamor for the stuff, and Hair of the Hare e-commerce was born.
Gladys never said any more about her veggies. She’s quite excited to live next door to an entrepreneur.
Robyn Herrington lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, having moved there from South Australia 21 years ago. She writes science fiction, fantasy and the occasional tale of horror, and has sold almost a dozen short stories to publications like Adventures of Sword and Sorcery, TaleBones, and the Canadian magazine, OnSpec. She works as a graphic designer and editor at the University of Calgary, and this is her web site.