Bright red blood grew pregnant on the giant white rabbit’s fangs. It growled deeply with every hot breath. It stared down at the girl. Eyes of a dark red iris encircled in pink.
Kayla stared back.
She had to run.
She knew she had to run, but something in her didn’t want to let her body take flight. Fear tensed every muscle. Her feet kicked at the ground crawling her back away from the beast, the earth lifted her shirt up and scratched her back. Grey eyes watched the pregnant bubble of red engorge itself on the end of the fangs. It was as if she couldn’t move until something happened. She stared at the blood and held her breath.
The blood dropped.
It disappeared into the fur of the rabbit’s belly staining it all pink.
Kayla was off.
* * *
Leigh rolled onto her front.
The family dog opened one eye to check on what she was doing. Its paws stretched out from where they had been scratching Leigh’s back. It closed its eye again and went back to snoring.
* * *
The girl ran and ran as fast as she could. Arms pumped at her sides. With every step Kayla felt twenty pounds heavier. Her chest hurt. Her heart pounded in her ears. She looked back over her shoulder at the white rabbit following her. She was only ten.
There was tall grass and overgrown walkways. Trees were taking it back. There were waves. Light in the distance behind trees and blackness.
* * *
Leigh knew this area, she had been there before.
* * *
But Kayla never had. Where was it?
Her legs couldn’t go much longer. No matter how hard she ran the rabbit was getting closer. It was like in a scary movie. No matter how fast she ran the walking bad guy, boogie man, was getting closer.
More blood dripped from his fangs. The pink of its chest was brightening to a brilliant red.
* * *
Leigh completely twisted around as she tried to get comfortable in her sleep. Her face went next to the dog’s getting the animal’s hot breath against her nose and eyes. The blankets bound up under her thigh.
* * *
Her body flew through the air, hands stretched out like a super hero reject. Her thigh hit something hard. Pain shot through her leg. Her body was instantly chilled from the wet ground. Auburn hair matted to her forehead. There was no other emotion inside of her except fear. It was overtaking her. She heard something behind her.
It was the rabbit.
It was there. She didn’t want to roll over but had to. She had to.
Kayla rolled onto her back. The giant rabbit was there. The blood had run and stained it a red bib beneath its chin.
Where was the blood from? Who’s blood was it? Was it her blood?
The rabbit bent at the waist and breathed its hot breath into the girl’s face. She closed her eyes from the snorting air. It smelled like a mixture of earth and meat. She wanted to scream, but nothing would come out. She had to scream.
She had to scream.
The rabbit opened its mouth, “little girl.”
* * *
Leigh’s brown eyes opened wide.
For one second she laid in bed staring straight up at the splash of light sprayed across the ceiling from somewhere outside.
She sat up.
She looked first at the window then at the picture on her wall beside the window. The street lamp light glinted off the glass covering the picture of a red coated Mountie on a large black horse. Her father and Handcuf. She realized she wasn’t breathing and started up the rhythmic act that usually didn’t require thought. Frix laid beside her. The old Springer Spaniel’s sleep was barely interrupted by her sudden rise. Her nightlight lit up the space in the room between her bed and the door. She was eleven, too old for a nightlight, but two years ago a man, a killer had been in her room. He had been in the entire house. He was the reason for the state of the art security system and the bars on their windows. Her hand pushed her long brown hair from her face.
Why was she suddenly awake? A dream? She couldn’t remember what it had been about. Someone had been running. Something had been chasing. There was screaming.