Rabbit by Colin Winnette

Editor Matty Byloos, Fiction, June 26th, 2012

"We didn’t brain any geeks. We made a joke with a dead rabbit."


The rabbit was a prop, that’s all. A dead thing. And we made a joke out of it. Took the chocolates out of Kenny’s fundraiser box and shoved the thing in. I’ll tell you right now I’d probably do it again, if I were in the same situation. Not that I ever could be, but if I was. Because there was no harm in what we did when we did it. The police came looking for faults, but it was nobody’s fault, not really, because we had no idea what Kenny would do and we could never have guessed no matter how much we thought about what Kenny might do that Kenny would do what Kenny did do. The rabbit was Roy’s. You know that much. The idea was mine, to hide it in Kenny’s bag, as a joke. Then it was Roy who said to take out the chocolates and put it in the fund-raiser box. We kept the chocolates, yeah, and spent the afternoon eating them and thinking about what we’d done and what we’d seen, Kenny just losing it and hitting that poor geek with the cymbal and all the blood that sprayed up and out like a tire slicing a rain puddle. But there’s no why to how Kenny acted, right? We ran because we knew we would get pinned with it, and I was a little scared, I guess, and then we sat under that cement thing over by the creek and ate the chocolates and talked about the whole thing and Roy made a good point that we didn’t swing any cymbals. We didn’t brain any geeks. We made a joke with a dead rabbit. Roy’s dad, he’s one of those jokey magicians.  He makes a living off jokes with dead rabbits and birds, pulling them out of hats and back pockets. His whole thing is that something goes wrong and something winds up dead or mutilated. Everything’s a mess. But do you think he would be the one to blame if some nut in the audience stormed the stage because he pretended to kill his assistant? Roy and I sat under the cement thing and Roy said how it wasn’t our fault, what Kenny did, not really, and it made sense because we didn’t hurt anybody. We made a joke in bad taste, maybe, but we hadn’t hurt anybody, it was Kenny who’d hurt somebody, so Roy and I just ate chocolates under the bridge and threw garbage into the clear water and talked about, I don’t know, girls, I guess, until Roy had to go somewhere he wouldn’t tell me. He’s always going. He doesn’t know I’m talking to you, but he could make sense of it, I think, if he really thought about it. Where I’m coming from. Roy’s smart and makes sense of me. He’s crazy too, and I love him and we’re best friends. So you can do what you want, I guess, suspend us, expel us, because, truth is, I already know this isn’t all there is, it doesn’t end here, not now, not unless someone brains you with a cymbal; and I’ll bet whatever that when my time comes, there’ll be nothing in my power to stop it anyway, no matter how many dead rabbits we let alone.

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colin winnetteColin Winnette is the author of five books. He was a Finalist for the 1913 First Book Award. This story is from Animal Collection (forthcoming from Spork Press in September 2012). He lives in San Francisco.

More information and links to more work can be found at www.colinwinnette.com.



Matty Byloos

Matty Byloos is Co-Publisher and a Contributing Editor for NAILED. He was born 7 days after his older twin brother, Kevin Byloos. He is the author of 2 books, including the novel in stories, ROPE ('14 SDP), and the collection of short stories, Don't Smell the Floss ('09 Write Bloody Books).