A Proper Rabbit - story snippet
The corn silk stuck to her fingers in persistent strands. There were very few bugs this year; she'd managed to fight off the translucent larvae that destroyed most of her crop during the first 22 months. She had lost three quarters of the entire yield in that time.
She had other things to do, other things to eat, other things to dry out for the next harvest. But the last year had been hard. She had burned her fields, burned out the infestation.
Mineral oil and garlic stopped most of them this time, leaving only the odd larvae to squish between her fingers. She smiled and shucked another cob, placing the husk next to the basket between her knees, scraping off the silk, dropping the corn. It was a good day, a clear day. She arched her back, shifted her middle to the left, felt the crack and pop of a good stretch.
She could not remember how the world ended.
A faint, pale and puckered scar marred her forehead, dotting right down the center, like some bad plastic surgeon had tried to prep her for a nip and tuck and stopped somewhere in the middle for a smoke or a quickie; left her to dry and ruck up on the table. It sometimes itched her; sometimes shot pain through her head, but mostly it slept like a caterpillar beneath her skin, white and still. She didn’t look in the mirror much anymore, anyway.
She plucked silk from her right hand and shook out her left. Most of it fell to the grass, but the rest stuck, obstinate. She wiped her hand on her pants. The mid afternoon sun hung, small and lazy in the sky. The red haze, as always, creating twilight that lasted for hours.
She could recall a time when twilight was a novelty, a few minutes of magic before dusk.
She remembered a flash. Or was it a wave of light?
It had been dark when she woke. Her eyes were glued together with blood. At first, she thought she had been buried alive. Embarrassed, she remembered screaming, running and wiping at her eyes, picking blood like sleep from the corners. By the time she was done, she had pulled out half her lashes.
She had screamed herself hoarse.