Happy Bunnies
by Ian Smith
forum: Happy Bunnies
speculative fiction for the internet generation.

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Happy Bunnies


       Tills beeped. I stared into the shop window, and inhaled the newness. I pushed open the doors. I bought the first thing that fitted. I had to be part of the scenery. I didn't want to be the odd one out.

       The receipt went in the bag, and I left the shop. Nad was standing outside. He'd shaved his head, so he resembled a post-party balloon, nearly deflated.

       "What is it?"

       I held up the item. He inspected it.

       "Okay. Let's go."

       We headed to The Cavort, a bar in The Orcus shopping centre. We joined a queue. A dancing laser imp moved over the pavement, and over me. I shielded my eyes thinking I was dead, but a large hand was placed on my chest. A man in a suit looked down at me.

       "Smile, sir."

       I obeyed. My lower lip cracked. The earth's atmosphere had dried my skin. I turned it back in my mouth, and sucked it.

       The doorman took his hand away. I walked into The Cavort. Nad was sitting at the bar with tall glasses of what appeared to be fizzy treacle. I sat on a stool next to him. He was studying the label on the bottle.

       "Twelve per cent proof. Made from the ink of the California, Monterey, long-finned squid. Squid-ink beer. Try it, mate."

       I checked the facts. Squid changes colour faster than a chameleon, has three hearts, pumps blue blood, is jet powered, inspires legends, and is thought to be the most intelligent of earth invertebrates.

       I looked round. The people in The Cavort were watching me.

       I didn't fit in. I picked up the bag, and climbed off the stool. It was no big deal. I took the item out of the bag. It was a jacket. I put it on. The people turned away.

       Jacko arrived. He pushed his hair inside thick-rimmed spectacles. He looked at the jacket.


       Nad clapped.

       "Yeah, evil."

       I think they liked it. I lifted the squid ink beer.


       It tasted burnt, and sweet, but Jacko was watching me through the bottom of the glass. He tapped a cigarette on the bar. I put the glass down. Jacko leaned back.

       "You wouldn't want to look out of place, would you?"

       "Of course not, Jacko."

       "Where did you get it?"

       "Why do you want to know?"

       "So I can avoid the shop."

       I walked right into that one. Nad and Jacko laughed as though it was the funniest joke ever. Then they stopped. I'd never seen them act that way before. I think they were jealous. I looked in the neck of the beer bottle.

       "Sorry Jacko, it's not your league."

       "What's that?"

       "I said it's not your league, Jacko."

       "Not my league. What do you mean?"

       "It's a joke. Lighten up. I was only trying not to look out of place."

       "It's a dull jacket. That's what it is."

       "It's just a regular jacket, Jacko."

       "It's crap."

       Jacko's face trembled. His eyes wobbled in their sockets. He was not a happy

       "Siddown Jacko."

       "It's crap. What are you that's so important?"

       "What are you, Jacko, with your hair stuck inside your glasses?"



       But he just wanted to fight. I could have sworn he was crying. He shouted so loudly, all the people in The Cavort looked round, and then the doorman appeared.

       "Is everyone enjoying themselves, sir?"

       Everyone in The Cavort froze, and looked at me. Jacko pointed at me. I was sure I was dead.

       "It's the squid ink beer."

       "I'm fine."

       "He's had too much, and he needs to leave now."


       The doorman stood over me.

       "Why don't you siddown?"

       But it was too late for that.

       The people stared as though they'd seen something new. I stared back. I laughed in their faces. I laughed until I couldn't stop. No one looked twice after that.




copyright 2005 Ian Smith.

Ian Smith:

My background is in poetry, and I hold an MA in Creative Writing from Goldsmith's.

Credits: Silverthought. Stories are due to appears in Bewildering Stories, Eclectica, Prose Toad, Transmission, and Flashshot.