White Bunny Slippers

White Bunny Slippers

A Story by bryantvh
"

Hi. Welcome to my story. Have a seat, please. Yes, just over there would be fine. Yes, really fine. Now, listen.

"
Crunch.
Crunch.
Crunch
I turned my back against the annoying yet persistent noise. 
Crunch.
There it was again. Every single morning. "Shut the hell up, would you?"
There was a pause, then it continued. I grunted and sat up. I pushed both my hands against the soft, warm sheets and struggled as I stood up. My shaky limbs are deteriorating despite the occasional physio sessions. I slipped into my bunny slippers and dragged my foot out of the room. On the way out, I glanced to my left and saw him lying there with a plank of wood in his mouth. Oh Barny, I thought. Same old thing everyday, huh? You sonofagun beaver. Barny has been my only roommate for the past 2 years. I have tried my best to tolerate his nonsensical eating habits, but as time passed by, the noise got more and more frequent, and not to mention infuriating. What was it called again? Pica? Poco? Freakin Picasso is what I'll give it.  People say time heals everything. But I can tell you for sure that in this place, time wrecks things most of the time. 

As I paced through the open and stark hallway, the usual scent of Valium and Aspirin filled the air. The background noises were there; the shuffling sounds of feet across the grey linoleum floor; the chitchats of the inmates. Wait, inmates? Are you in a jail, you ask? No, my dear. Not at all. The state penitentiary is a paradise compared to this hellhole. 

Everything was in place, as of always. But something was odd. Something was out of place. Oh, of course! Tommy isn't here yet! Silly me. I smiled. He must have overslept. That silly boy. I shambled across the hall and sat at my usual spot: a wooden bench in a corner. It was more of OUR usual spot really. 

Minutes later, Tommy stepped out from behind the door across the hall and looked at me. He was having that usual goofy-looking smile of his. He ambled his way to where I was sitting and stretched his arms out wide. I grinned and gave him a tight hug. Hnghhh! Tommy giggled. Tommy has been my best friend for almost 7 years now. A nurse told me he was diagnosed with Down Syndrome, which was odd to me because Tommy was never feeling down. He was always laughing and smiling. He has that radiant aura around him which just makes you want to laugh along. Tommy doesn't talk much(except for the occasional grunts and mumbles) but he is a fantastic listener. I have been seeing him for the past 5 years now and every single day I will tell him a story. It was always the same one, and each and every time, Tommy would be filled with enthusiasm. "Are you ready?" I asked Tommy. "Nghhhh!" Tommy answered, clapping his hands. Are YOU ready, my dear listener? Well, here I go then. 

***
September 18th, 1987. It was a fine day, that. The birds chirped and the crickets sang as the mild spring zephyr blew across Oakwood Town. The remnants of winter laid on roofs and fields in puddles. It was a Thursday, I remembered. And it was my birthday. 

You see, I lived in a mediocre family. Well, I guess you could say above average, since my family owns the town butchery. I had a papa and a mama. And also a sister, Jessie. She is a year younger than me. We were  your typical friendly and courteous neighbour (though there were times of bickering and blabbering, don't they all have it). Every year in the beginning of spring, when the first trace of greenery appears from beneath the thinning snow, our family would prepare meat for the business. Papa would start up Mr Rusty, our good 'ol meat grinder. This was no petite meat grinder, as you would probably have imagined it to be. Mr Rusty was humongous. I could lie in there and still fit a puppy next to me. Mayhap even two. Papa would tell us not to go near Mr Rusty, as it was perilous. We would all listen. Except for that day, that was. 

On my birthday that year, mama gave me a pendant. It was beautiful. The intricate carvings were impeccable to say the least. The bright purple surface of it would sometimes sparkle in the dimmest of lights. It was love at first sight. That night I woke up from a nightmare, and found my pendant missing from my night stand  Don't ask me what did I dream of, because no matter how hard I try I just couldn't remember. Perhaps it was because the incident which followed was much more of a nightmare. A much more surreal one. 

I trudged down the staircase as I rub my sleepy eyes. The living room was dark. And then it caught my eyes. A flash of lilac flickered in the dark. I knew it was my pendant. And someone was holding it. "Hey!" I called out and followed the person to the kitchen, where Mr Rusty was. To my utter surprise, and not to mention contempt, the thief was none other than my own sister. She stood there by Mr Rusty and she was sobbing. She said she wanted a pendant too. I told her that she could have one on her birthday, but she shook her head. I approached her and she backed off. I warned her that she was very close to Mr Rusty (and that papa would be very upset) but she wouldn't listen. I reached out to grab her arm but what happened next was unforgettable. It happened in slow motion, reminding me of one of the Cowboy Showdown movies they had on television. Jessie tripped by the mouth of Mr Rusty and fell into it. She managed to hurl the pendant out before tumbling into the gaping orifice of Mr Rusty. Her long, auburn hair went first. It got sucked in by the rotating blades. Then, it was her scalp. It got separated from the skull so quickly that I could hear the sound of it. It sounded like Velcro, or maybe a zipper being closed really hastily. Her eyes were next, staring at me before it got blended into a string of white mesh. I'm scared, I could almost hear her say. The rest went fast as Mr Rusty finished his job. When Jessie's torso went in, streams of blood splattered unto my face. The warm droplets provided a hauntingly warm feeling. The taste and smell of iron was overwhelming. After what seemed to be two hundred years, my senses came back to me. I shuddered as I sat down. I stared at Mr Rusty, with Jessie's white bunny slippers now dangling at the mouth of it. I could only stare. And scream, of course. Nothing beats screaming. I screamed and screamed. I vomited too. The reek of blood and my own vomit made me throw up even more.  And then I passed out. The only sound I could hear before drifting into darkness was the thudding of footsteps descending the staircase. 

I suffer from severe amnesia. The head nurse told me that I was acting hysterical ever since that incident. I would shout and scream and speak in gibberish. I would sometimes have fits, too. According to her, my parents could not bear the sight of their daughter becoming a lunatic, and hence my arrival at this cursed abyss. I never really blamed my parents, although at times I felt like burning every single soul in this place. Apparently I also suffer from schizophrenia. I would see my sister sometimes in my room, next to me. Her arms would always be reaching out to something. Her disfigured complexion would always be frowning. I still miss her, my sister. And I always will. 

Tommy would always hug me when I finished, and I would always wipe the tears off my watery eyes. I tried not to cry, but I just couldn't. And still can't. Although I have amnesia, I would always have this fragment of memory in me which I cannot forget, no matter how hard I try to. Perhaps it is a punishment from God for pushing my sister (I was trying to pull her back, but who would argue). Or perchance it could be a gift. A gift to remind me of who I am. A gift of a sense of identity. 

But no matter what it is, I can only live life the way it is. I got up, gave Tommy a hug and thanked like how I always do. I went back to my room and sat down on my bed. I reached into my pocket and pulled out the purple pendant. I looked out into the broad sky out the window and cried. I miss mama. I really do. 

Thank you, mama. For this wonderful gift.
Thank you, mama. For loving me. 
And thank you, dear listener, for lending an ear.

Thank you. 

© 2014 bryantvh


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Added on February 26, 2014
Last Updated on February 26, 2014
Tags: story, essay, white, bunny, slippers, listen

Author

bryantvh
bryantvh

Puchong Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia



About
A writing and reading enthusiast. Someone who simply enjoys the privilege of having the ability to interpret lines of words into pictures and paintings of masterpieces. A big fan of Stephen King and a.. more..

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