It was only September 25th, and the local punks were already engaging in Halloween pranks. But decapitated rabbits? Tommy could never quite figure out why that was the chosen symbol for beezlebub’s once a year lollapalooza. He just shook his head and placed the still leaking rabbit into a hollowed out pumpkin sitting on the nearest porch.
Tommy burst through the front door, excited. This was rather fortuitous timing. The babysitter was taking Lamarr for her 1:30 stroll through the park. Both parents were trapped in their jobs, loving every second of it. Meanwhile, Tommy had the space all to himself. Yippee. First thing he did was grab the controller for his extremely low maintenance pet, Rover. It had many wheels and seemed to look up at him loyally.
“C’mon, Rover, let’s go take a shower,” Tommy said, and headed toward the bathroom. “Wait! Forgot the most important thing!” he turned around and opened the fridge door. A bright red can of Coke stared back, flirting with him a bit. He opened it and savored the first few sips. “Ahh!” he said.
Rover whirred, but didn’t quite understand what was happening. “You’re not old enough to see this,” Tommy quipped, and started walking to the bathroom again. Once there, he fished out a clean towel from the cabinet. Everything had its proper place in the shower caddy: soap, shampoo, conditioner. Tommy never used conditioner, though. It seemed a little too luxurious. Before stepping into the shower, he placed Rover on patrol mode, just in case. Didn’t want to be caught nekkid.
Tommy spent the next half hour with scalding water tenderizing his loins and any neighboring regions while thinking about that headless rabbit. The thing haunted him until he turned off the water. After drying himself off, he decided to plop into the recliner and watch some Bill Clinton. He was promising some good stuff. “Putting people first” was his motto. Tommy liked that. It sounded good. So he drifted off in dad’s bathrobe. When he awoke, he found a note tucked into the neck of his shirt.
“Tommy, we’ve gone out for chicken. We’ll bring some home. Dream of pandas or other pleasant things.”
Tommy smiled to himself. Today was an odd day. First vomiting a bit in biology class less than a foot away from a dead man’s chest, some sweet alone time, followed by waking up to an empty house and a note about pandas & chicken. All this introvert time was making everything seem surreal. Was Tommy an introvert? He was never really sure. What he was sure about was that he needed to replace his flat Coke with a fresh, fizzy one. As he opened the fridge door, a decapitated rabbit did its best to stare back at him. Tommy screamed and dropped his flat Coke. Nothing was sacred anymore. And the worst part was that he now associated a revered beverage with beheaded rabbits. November 1st couldn’t come quickly enough.