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At the Kamau residence, Annice was in the kitchen-dining room watching a romantic tragedy and packing lunches for her three kids. Her wife, Ritsa was in the room next door dominating in a racing game. Khailani had played a few rounds with her before deciding she was too distracted to focus. She remained an observer before exhaustion lured her into the guest room.

Pictures of Annice and her family vacationing at one of the seaside resorts decorated the sea green walls. A miniature ship near the window became the object of fascination as the lure of sleep replaced thoughts of White Rabbit hunting her.

Shuddering, Khailani looked up to notice someone holding a couple rabbits across the street. They weren’t masked. They wore a grey blindfold and covered their face with a spotted scarf. When they locked eyes with her, they set the rabbits down and bolted down the street.

Engrossed by their retreat, Khailani yelped when another figure, this time masked with the white rabbit theme, popped up into her view.

Breathing out slowly, she set down the bottled ship and stumbled away. She observed him tape a paper to the window:

Come at midnight and you should fall. If you don’t heed the warning, you’ll expire like the rabbits.

- White Rabbit

A gunshot.

Rabbit innards marked the grass. The other fled.

A second note obscured her view. It read:

Another one?

Khailani slowly shook her head. Her heart drummed to her ears. Was she at the end of her line?

“What was that?” Annice asked, rushing into the room. “RITSA!” She ran out.

Armed neighbors stepped out of their houses to investigate the noise.

Khailani collapsed to the floor. Her chest heaved as tears dropped onto the plush carpet. She forced her trembling hands to hold herself as neighbors yelled and barked orders outside the window. More tears left hot trails down her cheeks.

“Sister Ni?”

Khailani inhaled.

She hadn’t noticed one of Annice’s girls offering a hug. Biting a quivering lip, the older woman extended her arms and held the small girl tightly.

“Thank you,” Khailani whispered.



© 2021: Operation: UGAWTS || The Cat in Rabbit's Fur || Short Story ||