RABBITS IN THE GARDEN is FREE Today-Friday the 13th on Kindle!! Please download and spread the word!! Also, enjoy a selection from "Rabbits in the Garden" below, but be warned: this is a big selection from the book, in terms of length and plot.
As she filled up the watering can, her eyes rolled over the garden. It was noticeably thirsty from her neglect, but as she was crossing over the cabbage patch, she saw the leaves shaking wildly. Two rabbits burst out from the plants, batting at each other, rolling and tumbling across the garden, but their play quickly turned into much more. She gasped at the rabbits’ behavior and tried to pry the orange rabbit off of the blue with her foot, but before she could, Avery noticed two more rabbits rubbing against each other brazenly. She spied a third couple behind them, then a fourth and fifth. Before long, the garden was bustling with bad rabbits: red with yellow, pink with blue. A great rage built inside Avery that felt like a twisting ball of nausea and grief, and it spread throughout her body until she began to shake uncontrollably. She thought her clenched teeth might grind into jagged shards that would spear her gums. She exploded with an animalistic cry that broke the quiet of the garden and when she threw the watering can to the ground, burgundy liquid poured out and seeped into the soil.
She screamed as she fell to her knees and tried to dig the water out of the ground, and all the while, the rabbits kept doing their filthy deeds, coupling and switching and poisoning the garden with their lust. She swatted at them with her hands open at first, but they quickly clenched. Like balls of iron, her fists mercilessly pummeled the bad rabbits, wriggling and shrieking under her knuckles until they were no more than furry bags of mashed flesh and shattered bone. She sat panting in shock as she stared at the carnage around her, and when she lifted her hands, rivers of blood dripped down her arms and into the sleeves of her dress. The smell of death forced its way into her brain, and her head began to spin until she couldn’t hold on any longer. She surrendered to hot, choking heaves of sickness that splashed across the blood soaked patches of raspberries. As she wiped off her mouth, her eyes fearfully turned to the window, expecting to see her mother’s horrified expression, but she wasn’t there: a small mercy.
She had to hide what she’d done. As she gathered the corpses into a pile, her mind began rattling off justifications that her heart combated. The rabbits were poisoned, after all, so they were doomed whether she’d killed them or not. On the other hand, it was her fault that they’d been poisoned. She’d brought in the bad water. She’d doomed them to death long before her fists ever touched them. She gathered up the rabbits into her arms, but the matted fur tickled her nose, and when she sneezed, one of the rabbits fell with a smack onto the stone walkway. She bent down to pick it up, but she could only get hold of its ear between two fingers. She hurried around to the cellar door before any more dropped, hooked her foot under one of the door handles, and lifted it open. When the door fell, it bounced heavily with a loud clang that caused Avery to flinch and drop the rabbit hanging between her fingers. Her eyes shot to the window again, but thankfully, it still remained empty. She kicked the limp bunny down the stairs, and it rolled with soft thumps and clicks of bone against the steps. She hurried downstairs to where the rabbit lay twisted, staring up at her with its bulging eyes speckled by broken blood vessels. It looked like it was smiling, but when she picked it up again, the top of its head flipped back and the rabbit lost all expression. The bloody fur had twisted into hard, red knots that poked her arms more than they tickled, and as she darted around the cellar, looking for a place to hide them, her tears rewetted the dried blood.
The storage closet hadn’t been opened in years, mostly because it held all of the things her father had left behind. Neither Faye nor her daughters were too eager to delve back into the sad memories of his abandonment. Avery turned the lock with her pinkie finger and pulled the door open, and after yanking on the pull string and illuminating the closet, she was confronted by pillars of boxes with her father's name written all over them. The closet had a definite smell: musty but slightly sour. As she wove between the pillars, the sour smell grew stronger, and she also realized how big the storage closet actually was; it was more like a storage room. She was aching from the dead weight in her arms and the dust was irritating her eyes, but worst of all was the pain that shot through her foot when she tripped over a bump in the floor. Several of the corpses went flying as Avery fell forward and skidded across the concrete floor. She dusted herself off and started to collect the rabbits. It was then that she realized the bump she'd tripped over was actually some sort of latch. She crouched down and saw the outline of a small door in the floor. She dug her fingernail underneath the latch and it creaked as she flipped it open. She pulled up the door and the sour smell intensified so dramatically that her body spasmed with revulsion, causing her to drop several of the rabbits down into the darkness. Avery's mind was so frenzied that she couldn't discern the most logical course of action, and it didn't help that she was under a time constraint. It wouldn't be long before her mother would return to the window, see that Avery was gone, and start searching the house for her. A sudden clanging sound from the dark room below seized her with panic, and when she dipped her hand into her pocket, she found it regrettably empty.
“The brass ring,” she gasped in horror as she peered down into the darkness.
She couldn't bear the thought of going down to retrieve it, but even more she couldn't bear the thought of losing the ring Paul had given her. She sat on the edge of the abyss with the sour stench and fear bringing tears to her eyes, but she forced herself to reach down and find the cold iron ladder that would lead her into the staggering darkness. Rung by rung, she descended with her body quaking, forcefully breathing in and out of her mouth to avoid smelling the increasingly putrid odor. When she finally hit the floor, she felt a twang of satisfaction, but the urgency of finding the brass ring overcame it, and she got down on all fours to start the blind search. She felt the squishy, matted bodies of the rabbits she'd dropped, but after several minutes of digging around her, she had no success in finding the ring. In frustration, she stood up and began searching for a light switch, a pull string, anything that would bring more light to her search. When she swung her arms around, she hit several large objects that seemed to be hanging around her. Some were wet, some were rough, and some were very soft, but she paid them no mind. When her hand knocked against something small and metallic attached to a string, she shrieked in joy, grabbed on, and pulled it with a triumphant grin.
When the light blasted forth, Avery shrank to the floor with a choking scream. They were spinning in the light and casting ghastly shadows across Avery and her rabbits were dozens of people skewered through their midsections by large black hooks. They were swaying back and forth, smacking against each other, but when she pushed the bare bodies away, they only swung at her with more force. She closed her eyes, but she could still see the horrors in her mind: sheared bone between soggy chunks of flesh, tufts of thin hair scattered across dry scalps, and gaping mouths stretched in fright. Avery's senses waged war on her mind. Every disgusting perception bombarded her brain and she couldn't handle it. Her legs buckled and she collapsed, and although her cheek was planted firmly against the blood stained floor, the room continued to spin with gruesome imagery. In the last moments before her vision cut out, Avery saw a glint of comfort lying on the floor next to her. She reached out for the brass ring, but before her fingers could find it, her mind shut down and the world cut to black.