He never liked Easter. Not the eggs. Not the bunny. Not anything about it. Maybe it was just a hunch; but he, nor anybody in his family, really liked Easter. He didn’t know why, but it just seemed too out of place. I mean, who wouldn’t think that the Easter bunny and its magical wishy washy abilities to somehow fart out chocolate eggs was a bunch of nonsensical rubbish?
He let out what seemed like a sigh. It was that time of the year again. Where Mr. Grouchy kicks in. He fell back onto the couch, turning on the television. Another news report. There have been a lot of those recently. Unexplained disappearances, that is. The local police were unsure of where they had went. It was as if the 5 or so people had just never been there in the beginning.
He flipped the screen off, the colors fading to a black gulf.
“Dad..?” his son looked up to him. “Errm.. Did you see my socks anywhere? I think they’ve gone missing.” He crossed his arms.
“Haven’t seen them anywhere. Did you check the dog?” The father asked. The son averted his gaze, and rolled his eyes. Without wishing a good night, he left the room.
The next day arrived rather quickly and the boy had lost another item. And another.
“Are you done hiding them yet?!”
“It wasn’t me, I swear!”
A few days had passed, and their dog had disappeared. How? It didn’t occur to the father how the son could have hidden a dog. He concluded that it merely ran away. They put up posters about a missing dog, but that was all there was to it.
It was Easter now, and the father was skeptical. Carefully, the son approached his dad. “Errm.. Dad, can I go egg hunting with my friends today?”
“Absolutely not,”came the response.. The son knew that his father’s words were absolute and there was no use fighting against them. His shoulders slouched, and his body seemed to concave. He had felt bad. It was weird though. His son was, by far, the only one to be interested in “Easter” in the family.
“Wait,” the father sighed. “You can go.”
The child was elated although his back didn’t show it. He was not going to show his father his face, red and smiling. His light footsteps told the father just what was necessary.
Later that day, they drove down to the park. The boy put his head against the interior of the car. He listened to the rattling of the engine, hyped about the hunt. It was his first and probably his last. His father would more than likely forbid him to go again after what he was about to do.
He had made him believe that he was going with a group of friends. Well, it wasn’t that far off from the truth. Well, maybe. They had decided to split off, and meet up later on to count the number of eggs they found.
The boy, eyes glinting in the sunlight, beamed to himself and got out the car. As soon as he did, he bolted off before his father could get a word out.
How could he be so stupid? It left the father thinking. He shouldn’t have entrusted him with this. Especially not Easter. Why couldn’t there be a snowman hunt or something?
This time, it was his turn to roll his eyes. He sat back on one of park benches and fell asleep. By the time he awoke, it was six.
He had not come back yet.
Quite a long time had passed and the father was beyond worrying. He searched around the perimeters of the park, only to stumble back to where he had stood before; right in front of the forest. He had previously thought that it was unnecessary for himself to worry about the child. After all, the town had a clean history for not having a single crime, though recent news flashes said otherwise.
He should have been jumpy, maybe even anxious. Instead, he had ignored all previous flashes of warning. With a simple misstep he was already in a six-foot threshold beneath the ground from which he could not escape – a grave he had dug for his own blood.
He shook his head, throwing his thoughts alongside with it. He had to look for his son now before he did something irrationally stupid. Without a moment’s hesitation, he dashed into the forest.
The change centered the scenery. A couple of seconds ago the light still shone through the sky. Now the sun had completely vanished into the black of night. Though that didn’t really make sense to the man. How could the sun, which had been in the sky, set in less than a blink?
The placid forest was silent except for the shrieking of multiple crows, and the wind brushed against leaves. The difference in atmosphere was very subtle, despite the whole ordeal which he regarded cynically.
Through the darkness he looked for any sign of movement made by the child. Anything to prove he was out here.
What seemed like hours passed by, and he still could not find a hint of anything leading to the boy. He looked for the bright colors of his shirt: the cyan shirt he had been wearing or the boy’s pale, almost white, translucent hair.
Agitated, the man turned backwards and left another jellybean; something he used as a marker for the way back. As he got back up, he scanned his eyes past the trail of colors, but to his disdain, there were none past the second last one he had placed down.
Quickly, he looked around him. There had been not the slightest movement in the forest from what he saw. How could the jellybeans have disappeared? He was certain he had came that way, so why? Well, at least that wouldn’t matter as much.
Who wouldn’t love technology and its wonders: maps, a GPS, a credit card, everything put into one. He slowly dug through his pockets, feeling the curves of his pocket. His breath hitched.. His phone wasn’t there.
Where..? Where? WHERE? WHERE?! WHERE?! WHERE?!
Could it be..?
Their dog had gone missing. His son’s ‘treasures’ had disappeared. Objects from his home had gone missing….His son himself had disappeared….Was he going to disappear, too? The thought alone made his skin crawl, chinning his spine and heart to the core.
Maybe.. Just maybe it was his tu- No. He refused to accept that. Maybe his son had gone home? Or maybe to a friend’s house?
Yes! That was probably it!
The man smiled. Of course that would be the case. All he had to do was go home, call his son’s friend, eat some chocolate and maybe even a tub of ice cream. He would wait in bed for the usual knock on the door and the sound of his son’s voice, muffled by the door.
Yes, that ought to be it!
As he attempted removed himself from his crouch, he spotted a slightly large silhouette. Surprised, he fell back, only to get back up and look around. Was he seriously seeing things?
I must be going crazy. I probably over-exhausted myself, he thought. Despite this, he still had an itch in the back of his mind. The sirens played their fanfare warning, flashing red signals. He quickly dismissed it, continuing to walk in whichever direction his mind set him off to.
As he paced on, he could see the yellow of the sundown corrupting the sky with color. He quickened his pace, but abruptly stopped. Why? He had no idea.
His mind signaled him to turn. As he slowly turned to his right, he saw a faint pastel yellow color. He slowly approached the mysterious object on the ground.
When he got close enough, just to make out what it was, he let out a small gasp. It was his son’s basket!
He probably dropped it while coming back, yes? Well, might as well take it back with me. As he gripped the handles of the basket, a cyan colored egg cascaded down the basket and jounced on the dirt surface.
What’s this? He picked up the egg, twirling it around. As he stopped twirling, he noticed a face painted on the egg. With further inspection, he could make out who it was- his son.
Normally, he would have found it creepy. Instead, he laughed it off. They really stepped up their game this year! was what he thought. Through his fit, he noticed a slight swishing within the egg. Water? Might as well find out. As his frame stopped shaking, he looked at the egg once more.
He carelessly let the egg drop on the floor. The shell shattered with cracks that echoed through the forest. A putrid, thick dark red liquid leaked from the previously barren shape. The man scrunched up his nose. Without a second thought, he left the broken object for nature to take.
It was now dark, and the light that had shown him the way was long stolen from his eyes. He had spent too much time here. Now where was he supposed to go?
He let out another loose sigh before composing himself.
Before he could take another step, his body froze. Rustle. Rustle. Vrrrr. Silence. The person had stopped behind him.
He slowly turned his back, his form fear struck. Before he was able to fully face the being, he was knocked out. All he saw was a white, large, towering creature.
“Too bad. He was a good boy, but you had to do it. You killed your own blood. Quite ironic if you ask me. I’ll take you in his stead,” said a mischievous, shrill voice.
….What day is it? What was I doing again? I don’t…. I can’t….What was it?
No, it was something! I-I just can’t remember..
It’s nothing. Sleep now.. You will wake later.
Meanwhile, an inordinately large rabbit sipped his tea, a wistful look etched on his face.
“All we need to do now is wait. Time is key, after all,” said the creature, his beady red eyes scanning over the multiple eggs he had been cultivating.
“Soon one will come out, and my time will soon be over.” He flashed a sardonic grin and finished his cup.
The rabbit left the blackened room, leaving the eggs to hatch. To be born anew.
Moments later, a crack formed on an egg. Which one? I can’t figure. The ear comes first. Then the eye.
Happy Birthday, my dear Easter.
Moral of the story
Don’t run off.
Be a good child.
And don’t let the rabbit bite.