What sound does a rabbit make? (a short horror story)

Chapter 1

I Can Do Wahtever I Want To It

Sound was the topic of today: the teacher made sure that each of the children received a sheet of paper with a list of animals and sounds; they were instructed to criss-cross which goes with which with a pencil.

A cow says moo.

A hen says caw- no. A hen says cocka-doodle-doo.

A duck says quack.

"What sound does a rabbit make?" asked a little boy in the front row of the classroom.

The teacher smiled at him, made a sympathetic twitch of her face, and said, "I don't know."

...

A rabbit makes a soft mewing noise when its happy; it sounds like a barking squirel when its angry.

What sound does a rabbit make when it screams?

It is later the same day when Fred came home from school, that he decides to figure it out.

...

It sounds like a child with a sock in his mouth, screaming as a cigarette lighter burns into his cheek: It sounds like a baby who is lit on fire: its sounds like a puppy being kicked against a tree.

He brings the fork into the ear and twists slowly.

"Eeeaahhh! Eaaarraahh!"

He pulls back, then returns with a knife, but he waits for the creature to quiet down: save its voice for the next beautiful song.

The rabbit lays on his back, its limbs broken , its head twisted as it trashes its mid-section in an effort to escape. The eyes are wide, showing more white than black. It's white fur has changed from the "fresh snow-fall" look to a "kitchen towel that was used to stop a bloody nose."

He wonders if the rabbit will make the same squeals if he digs the screw-driver into its side as it did when he puts the knife in its shoulder.

Sucking the rabbit blood off of his fingers, the boy named Fred brings the knife back to the rabbit's warm belly. The chest rises and falls so rapidly; Fred stares, in a trance, picturing the tiny heart under the stained fur, under the leathery skin, under the quarts of blood.

He wonders how long it would take for the heart to stop beating if he cuts open the chest.

He is squating over the rabbit who lays in a red mess among bits of dirt and grass that was carried into the empty hen-house when the boy walked in. The small rabbit cage that came with the rabbit sits to one side, cold, yet welcoming in its vivid pink color.

Fred glances at the cage, and recalls the day his mother bought him the creature for his 10th birthday.

...

Young Fred pointed. "Why is it pink?" he asked immediately when he saw the pink cage.

His mother sat down on the arm of the couch, watching her son. "Well, the rabbit's a girl." said his mother. "They had the boys and girls sepperated by colored-cages." She cast an anxious glance at the cage. The rabbit had been in the cage for two hours now, the mother having waited for her son to wake up. "Go on, open it!" she told Fred.

Fred set the cage in the floor and opened it, and the white rabbit crawled out slowly, its nose twitching.

"Awww," said his mother. "Isnt that so cute, Freddy?"

"What do I do with it?" asked the boy. He had never had a pet before; from his knowledge on tv about wildlife, he thought animals belonged to themself, and not to people.

"It's a girl, sweetheart. And you can do whatever you want with her."

Fred brushed away his locks of yellow hair, and picked up the rabbit by the neck-fur as he had seen mother rabbits do to their young.

His mother made a move to get up, to take the rabbit away, or shout, "No, you'll hurt her!" But then her son brought the rabbit to his chest and cuddled it, supporting the creature under its bottom. "I think she likes you." said his mother.

"So its mine, and no one elses?" asked Fred, making sure.

"Yes..." his mother said uncertainly. It is his first pet... Let him learn. She smiled and said gently, "You can dress her up, put pretty bows in her hair, teach her tricks-"

"She's my rabbit. I can do whatever I want to her." Fred said, breaking her off.

"Y-yes." said his mother.

...

And ten days later, Fred is doing whatever he wants to the rabbit.

He changes his mind about the knife and grabs the screw-driver; he brings it towards the neck of the rabbit as it starts to thrash.

Then his mother comes into the empty hen house. "Fred! Fred, what are you doing!" She runs over to him, and Fred backs away, allowing his mother to see his work of art.

"Look, Mommy," he tells her, pointing with the bloodied screw-driver to the ruined, broken creature as blood ran down its nose. "See what I did?"

"M-my God Freddrick!" she stammered "How could you-...?" she is bending next to the rabbit, her mouth open in a look of horror, her face showing off all of her wrinkles. She looks to her smiling son in anguish, seeking answers. "Why did you...?"

"Guess what sound a rabbit makes when it screams!" Fred says excitedly, grinning ear-to-ear. Without waiting for an answer, he bends his head to an odd angle and widens his eyes; he opens his mouth and lets his jaw slacken: from his near-drooling expression, he lets out a chilling cry. "Eeeaaarrraahhhh!"

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