Shreeya Karnik

India

A Perfect Nightmare

April 23, 2020

Chapter 3: Rabbit Alley
I could barely survive that plane crash; it seemed to me some miracle that I was the only one who washed ashore on Corsica (that’s what the sign read). The rest of the crew was nowhere to be seen. I didn’t see other people either, as I probably landed somewhere far off from where the settlements are. I was still resting on my head, looking at the sky. It was somewhere between late dusk and night, and the air was sharp and cold. I bent my neck to look at my legs. They seemed to be tangled in seaweed and some oysters. My legs tried to shake it off, but it was too complicated. I dragged myself along the sandy beach towards a wrecked up boat, to find a broken piece of glass-which I used to severe the weeds. In the effort, I cut through my 50 dollar stockings.
There goes the stocking, I moaned to myself. I had saved up for that stocking skipping meals, just because I wanted this job of an air hostess really bad.
Luckily, my coat and pencil heels hadn't taken much damage. All that was missing from my uniform was my red silk scarf.
Jeez, where is it? Ah! There it is, hanging on a twig. Let me get that.
I didn't realize how bad I had ruptured my skin with the glass, until I started crawling to the twig.
Ouch! The sand agonized the incision even further. But I had to get there. At least I could use the scarf to cover up the wound, and prevent it from getting septic.
As I reached out for my possession, I flung backwards and began sneezing like I was before the plane crash. All I knew was that the spontaneous and unstoppable sneezing was eerie. The first time I sneezed, the flight got postponed; the second time, the plane crashed!
Come on God, I muttered. What can be worse than surviving a sky fall?
Yup. Something even worse happened. I felt a cold tap on my shoulder. I turned to see nothing behind me. Then I recouped from my fall to gather my belongings.
Suddenly, something grabbed me by the shoulder. I dared not to see what held me. I peered over my shoulder to find a skeletal hand holding me. Quickly turning back, I encountered the skeleton of a huge rabbit. I shrieked so short and loud, that I felt my voice being stuck in my throat to scream further.
My heard pounded and I vividly remember that I was sweating heavily. I grabbed some sand to throw it on the 'thing', but my hands trembled so much that I couldn't catch hold of a single grain of sand.
The 'thing' caught a chance and pulled my collar to give me a fearful look. When I examined the 'thing' for a while, I found it was wearing a top hat, and a coat with the initials 'DM' and a bunny outline woven onto it.
That's weird. It's the same symbol woven onto Derek's tuxedo. Am I missing him?
"What do you think you're doing?" It hissed at me. "Wasting your life surviving plane crashes and trying to save up some cheap scarves?"
That's when my alpha mode kicked in. "That scarf's not CHEAP! I saved up for it. And who the hell are you, and why do you need to care what I do?" I gritted my teeth and gave it a stern look. "Get off of me, you rotten rodent!" (I tried some vain karate kicks.)
The rabbit pulled back and gave me a smirk.
"Relax kid. I'm not going to eat you or devour you. Believe it or not, I'm here to help you."
Wow. This guy had a really deep voice and a perfectly shaped moustache. He didn't look like any danger.
"Hand me my scarf, and I'll believe you're here for my good. It's that simple." Yeah, he did reach out and get the scarf. But it wasn't handed over to me as soon.
"You're going to get this scarf, ONLY if you accept this deal." He spoke after observing my empty efforts to grab the scarf.
"Go on." I was furious.
"You give me carrots; I protect you and tell you what you should do next."
"Hey! I don't have enough food to fill my intestines. How am I supposed to get YOU food?"
He simply pointed to the dense undergrowth and the steep slopes clumped with trees.
I sighed. My granny was right. I'm born mad. I'm talking to a dead and rotten hare?
"Anyway, what and who are you?"
"Call me the Scarfenger. I'm a magician." He held out his hand to help me up, and pulled out a card with his details on it.
I reluctantly accepted the card.
He told me to follow him through the woods. Well, asking him any questions never worked. 'Shut up for God's sake'-that's all I heard in reply.
A few hours later we reached a dock. "Ask 'em for a ride to Nice. Here's the money." He popped thirty-one Francs out of nowhere.
While I enquired the fare to Nice, everyone around seemed to be perfectly comfortable with a mortified jackrabbit around. Maybe he is some famous magician around here who knows how to disguise.
The time on the ferry was quite awkward-you need a lot of patience to tolerate a talking hare.
I tugged the rodent’s coat. “Tell me why am I bound to follow you? Why don’t you tell me what you are?! I’m going MAD!”
“Cool with the coat, kid. First of all, you’re not bound to come with me. You just wanted your cheap, yes cheap, scarf. Secondly, you’re going mad out of loneliness. I’ve told you, my name is Scarfenger, and I’m a really lonely bunny. I think if we support each other, your world would be a better place.”
I just looked into his eyes. It didn’t get to my head, but his words made sense to my heart.
 
 
 
 

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