I started writing this on Thursday, but the story went further than I had thought it would. With the kids and wife needing my attention as well, time was limited. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this Easter short story. Happy Easter to all you who are stuck inside with murderous kids.
The Egg Maker
“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the…”
“Dad, it isn’t Christmas. Eugh.” Dylan and Dyson droned.
“I know boys, but daddy couldn’t find your Easter books.” Their look, one of displeasure.
“Okay, let me have another look.” With a sigh, Justin hopped off of Dylan’s bed and headed towards the lounge room. The big bookshelf held many of his favorite authors; quite often, he would find a random book belonging to the twins. Maybe they hid it in there, he thought.
Moving; down the hall towards the stairs, time was slipping away. There were episodes of his favorite sitcoms to catch up on. Tonight he could relax, his wife at work. The lockdown due to COVID-19 only meant one thing. Binge-watching television. That and keeping an eye on his six-year-old boys, but that wouldn’t be too hard, they had to sleep if they wanted the Easter bunny to come.
Remembering a scene he watched earlier he chuckled, reaching the staircase, Justin accidentally knocked over his wife’s small rounded table that sat in the corner. He had told her many times to move it, but there was no convincing her that it was not the correct placement. The vase holding fresh Oriental Lilies lay shattered on the floor, using the aqua-colored table cloth he lay it over the mess allowing the water to be absorbed. Walking down the steps Justin’s hands reached towards his eyes a slight pain, coming from behind his forehead a gentle massage of the eyelids and a sigh helped to alleviate some of the anxiety of how his wife was going to react when she noticed the vase missing;
The cupboard in the laundry contained the brush and pan, nearby on the dining room table a newspaper lay unopened; a weekly ritual of bringing the paper in to read and not getting to it tonight though it will get some use. Water fell from the floor above, a gentle drip like that of a drain pipe after a rainfall. Placing the flowers to the side, Justin picked up the big pieces of clay. The image of a flower, pink petals and a green stem matched with a blotched pattern of background colors, now in fragments. A gift from her grandmother before her death.
“Daddy!!” The twins screamed in unison. “What is taking so long?”
“I’ll be there in a minute, stay in bed.” The thumping of the bed and platter of footsteps meant they were not doing that. Well, at least they are in their room, he thought. Rushing to grab the next chunk, he felt the slice of skin. A sting ran up the inside of the index finger, shaking his hand as if it would help ease the pain, red blood, vibrant in color leaked down to his fingertip. Justin looked at the droplets of blood that started to mix with the water, swirls forming in the puddles. Wiping his finger with a page from the paper Justin, quickly picked up the rest of the vase pieces, placing them into the newspaper. Using the leftover sheets he threw them over the wet area, this will have to wait; blood continued to ooze from the cut the pulsing added to his pain it felt as if his heart decided to move to his finger and started beating. Lifting the table to its normal position within the hallway a book, slid out from the small shelf that lay beneath the hall side table.
Reaching down to pick up the book, he flipped it around to see the front cover. ‘An Easter Story’ was written in white against a blue backdrop. An illustrated image of a rabbit standing in a room with a basket of eggs took up the majority of the front cover. Blood seeped across the face of the bunny, wiping the cover with his shirt, Justin placed the book on the tabletop. The kitchen cabinet stocked, unused prescriptions and old bandages falling to the ground below, Justin reached in to find the band-aids. Wrapping his finger, he continued back to the room, grabbing the book on the way through.
“Here you, go boys daddy has found a book for you.”
“Yay!” The boys did a final jump, landing next to each other, on the bed ready for the story. Justin sat down, turning to the first page.
“There once was a bunny who loved to dance; his hop was joyful to watch.” Justin turned the page.
“Wherever the bunny went everyone, would join in on his parade.”
With a sigh, he turned the page again, bumping his sore against the hardcover on the way down.
“This bunny was not ordinary, his dark side reigned. Those who didn’t believe in his joyful dance died horribly.”
“What the fuck?!” Justin looked over at his children and back to the book. Blood seeped from the band-aid, a red flowing river followed down his finger, dripping on to the page as he turned it.
“Fuck,” Justin muttered under his breath. He tried wiping away the droplet, but it was gone. Disappearing into the book pages, consumed by the book.
The book started to shake, a voracious vibration. Justin threw the book on to the floor as he curled up against his children. The book flung open, pages turning in rapid motion as if being browsed like a magazine. The pages stopped turning back to where they were, the words ‘His life bound to a book to only be released by the blood of a non-believer.’ A rabbit’s paw reached its way out of the pages, followed by the rest of his body until the main character stood before them in the room. A grin from ear to ear a reminder to Justin of an old film he used to love, Chucky.
“Wh…. who are you?” Justin asked.
“Daddy, it’s the easter bunny.” Dyson piped up.
Justin looked at the rabbit, who stood taller than himself, eyes bloodshot with a sense of hatred stared back at him. He looked at the kids who had started to dance, working their way over to the bunny.
“Dyson, Dylan, what are you doing? Get back over here.”
“Dad, come join us the Easter bunny has promised us a life of joy and plenty of chocolate eggs.”
“No! Kids, this is not the Easter bunny! Stay away from this monster!” He screamed.
Moving towards the kids; he reached out his arms to grab them, the bunny hopped in between the kids and himself.
“Get away from my kids.”
“They belong to me now.” The creature said, pushing Justin to the ground; the smile he wore baring his fangs.
Looking around the room, he spotted the wooden lamp on the floor nearby. He reached towards the object his movement slow and steady once his grip over the wooden stem was firm he waited.
“What is it you want with my boys?” He watched them dancing behind the bunny, oblivious to what was happening.
“They will be my loyal soldiers, continuing to spread the good news about me.” The Easter bunny came closer to him, crouching down and holding him under the chin with his paw.
“They will also lead me to those who defy my existence.”
“And those who defy you?” Justin asked, pushing away the paw and crawling backward.
“Haha.” The bunny laughed, “They will be killed, for their defiance.”
“How will you be able to do that without being found out to be a murderer?”
“Quite simple actually and, I am glad you asked.” The Easter bunny turned towards the children.
Justin took the chance, lifting the lamp he swung with all the might he could muster. The bat looked to him as if it were in slow motion, edging closer to the bunny’s head. The crack of the wood hitting the skull rang out like a home run hit at Yankee stadium.
The body, thumping to the ground, grabbing the kids he raced out the door. Placing the boys, their eyes showing fear.
“Boys, we have to run now!”
“But Da….. Daddy, you killed the Easter bunny.” Dyson said.
“You murderer!” Dylan smacked his father.
“Dylan, Dyson. That is not the Easter bunny, that is a demon from hell. We have to go!”
“No, daddy, you are not going anywhere.”
Justin watched the twins as they tried to take him back into the room. Looking back, he saw the bunny rising off of the ground a paw on his head a scowl upon his face.
“I’m sorry, boys.” He said, pushing them off of him.
Running down the hall as fast as he could, the floor still wet. Causing him to lose his footing. Sliding into the wall, he screamed as he felt the pain in his shoulder, his arm hanging loosely further than before.
Trying to raise himself with one arm, he held onto the stair railing, looking back towards where the kids were; once more they danced. The bunny stood behind the children pure evil emitted from his eyes, scrambling down the stairs his body aching all over, the front door only a few more steps. Freedom, escape from this monster, the only thing running through his mind. The door handle, cold, his hand slipping over the surface while the knob did not turn.
“Come on!!!” he yelled at the door, unlocking the handle.
“There is no point running Justin. I will find you.”
“No, you won’t!” The door opening, as he spoke.
Stepping out of the doorway, the breeze of the night air stinging his face, he started to run down the footpath, his legs hit hard by a wooden object. Falling face-first into, the ground his arm tried to break his fall. The sound of a crack echoed in his head, both arms now rendered useless. He felt the grip around his legs, tight. The wooden lamp he used lay on the ground beside the path, unable to reach for it all he could do was scream.
The sounds reverberated down the street emptiness responded. Televisions, flashing light across windows. No one would dare step outside and risk the virus. Fear filled eyes released tears as his head bounced off the two steps and door frame leading inside. Propped up against the cupboard that hid beneath the stairs, Justin thought of running again. But without the use of his arms, how would he escape through the door? He looked at the bunny who sat on the edge of the sofa’s armrest, the smile had returned.
“Now that you are not going anywhere.” He leaned in.
“You see, while my admiring fans dance, I take those who do not believe in me.” A small chuckle developed.
“I rip them into pieces; it is such a tormenting process… For you. I enjoy it.” The grin widened, baring those fangs once again.
“Your death is slow, just like the wait for me to return for my many followers. You know once a year for Easter eggs is just not fair. But, but it does give me time to create those delicious treats for my loyal ones.” “How?!” Justin said pain coursing through his body. “How do you get time to make chocolate eggs if you are too busy murdering all of us non-believers?”
“Good question Justin.” He said, hopping off of the sofa and moving towards him.
“After I rip you limb to limb, piece to piece, I hide you all over the place. To those who do not believe they will encounter a bloody mess. They will then tell others who may be my foot soldiers who then alert me and, the cycle continues. You see Justin what my followers, see are chocolate eggs. The eyes resemble, those with caramel in them, the feet are the big rabbit-shaped chocolates. The head well, I am sure you can figure that out.”
“You are a sick fuck!” Justin yelled at the rabbit.
“Yes, well you aren’t wrong there Justin, why do you think I was trapped for, so long. Parents’, pretending to be me, it makes me hurl. How dare you all insult my greatness.” He snarled saliva dripping from his fangs.
“Well, if you just rip me apart, what do you get out of it?” Justin said, just staying awake the injuries taking its toll on him.
“Ah, I do get one thing from you. I get to eat your heart, the key to my immortality.” The bunny smiled.
“The time is, getting on now Justin, there are more I must visit. Do not, worry I have sent the children to bed.” Hopping towards where Justin sat.
“No! NO! NOOOOOO!!!” Justin screamed as he tried to wiggle away.
“Oh come on now,” cried the Easter bunny “This won’t hurt much, for me.”
The door swung open, the house quiet. Hmm, everyone must be asleep, Jill thought. The lights in the upstairs hallway remained on, illuminating the staircase. The living room lamp is also on, lighting the room with a dim glow, enough for her to see the shimmering dances of light against the stained glass cabinets. Placing her handbag on the doorway table, she made her way up the stairs. The rounded table; had a new cloth on it, an Easter patterned white. The vase she noticed was missing, in its place, stood a beautiful big purple egg.