A short story in the Cat in Rabbit's Fur saga.
Someone claiming the name of White Rabbit leaves suspicious notes warning Khailani to not proceed with tomorrow's heist. She and other members of the Kamua Vigilante Group stress over who White Rabbit is and if they'll follow through with their threat.
Content Warning - Graphic Violence; Animal Cruelty
Khailani ditched the strategy meeting in a huff. Practically sliding down the stairs, she strode to her dark blue mini cooper damaged from front and rear end collisions. Graffiti had been scrubbed off but not well. Like her mental state, the car was ugly and needed help, yet she couldn’t afford a new one.
The latest drug bust would’ve been enough to finally upgrade her ride, but her recent gun purchase placed her back a few thousand dollars.
The young woman shoved her cellphone and the threatening letters she accumulated over the past several days into her purse and tried opening the car door. Locked. Of course.
Groaning, she searched her purse for the keys and shuddered. She scanned the half-full parking lot for whomever may be stalking her.
A few heist members were reviewing the final details of tomorrow’s drug raid, but they weren’t the type to pull pranks. Yes, they insisted the notes from the supposed “White Rabbit” were empty threats, yet they assured her they’d come to her aid if the White Rabbit acted upon them.
Khailani’s breathing became heavier as she recalled the message she found tucked in the cracks of her apartment door:
Stop at the drop-off. Continue and
you’ll meet your end.
She couldn’t go to the police.
How would she explain that White Rabbit intended to kill her if she continued to steal and sell drugs with her group? That was a two-for-one deal for them. A lose-lose situation for her.
Exasperated, the woman touched the cold metal at the bottom of her purse. It was one of two “monster-killing” guns that arrived from Zcar days ago.
Khailani had her doubts that such a thing existed, but Dean wouldn’t have sent her three counties over to an obscure city called Renagasor with literal monsters as its residents if it was a ruse. Zcar, the black-market shop keep, was a dragon, and she recalled not too fondly the rows of sharp teeth he hid behind his face mask.
In her encounter with the White Rabbit, she had suspected him to be something inhuman by the way he carried himself and the intensity in his eyes. Knowing he was sending her death threats made her nervous.
Khailani thought she saw a suspicious shadow dive behind the brick building. She stumbled closer to the car. The gun was in her hands, and crinkled letters were on the pavement.
No one peaked out.
Come out, damn it! she thought.
Swallowing hard, she ran her fingers through her tangled, dark brown hair and found it hard to continue due to the unkept knots. She dropped down to collect the letters.
No one is there. It’s all in your head. Khailani exchanged the gun for her car keys and stepped into her vehicle.
Slamming the door shut, she locked the door and sighed loudly. Half-expecting something to crash against her window like in a cheap horror flick, she was relieved reality wasn’t so cruel.
Khailani started her car, looked over her left shoulder and then her right, and saw a small, caged white rabbit munching on a celery stick.
In dried red paint, “This is your last chance” marked the cage’s side.
If the letter wasn’t signed “White Rabbit,” “W.R.”, with a paw print, or sticker of a rabbit, her stalker would grace her with a living rabbit. Where was he getting them?
“I can’t do this.” Khailani grabbed the rabbit cage and exited the car. Seeing a person in a white rabbit mask dart through the parking lot nearly made her drop the cage. She recovered the gun from her purse and aimed it to where he disappeared.
Three seconds and no movement.
Pressing her lips together, the young woman backed up and frantically searched the parking lot for signs of the man. She felt her way back to the office building and nearly tripped backwards over the raised sidewalk. That was her cue to scurry to safety.
She stumbled up the stairs and checked the parking lot for the stalker. Crashing into a locked door elicited a curse.
Khailani banged her fist against the door. They were taking too long to answer. She was scared to see if White Rabbit revealed himself to take advantage of the moment.
Calm down, she thought with a laugh as she rapidly slammed her hand against the door in a desperate cry for help.
© 2021: Operation: UGAWTS || The Cat in Rabbit's Fur || Short Story ||