Bunny and The Kid
I could hear The Kid’s maniacal laughter from outside his bunker, like a tent peg in a lawnmower. It didn’t so much send shivers up my spine as it grated against my soul, or it would have if that particular part of me hadn’t eroded away long ago. I stood for a moment in the half-light of the corridor to steel my nerves, then took a sharp breath and pushed open the door, squinting against the brightness inside.
The scene which revealed itself as my eyes adjusted dropped me cold. I’d suspected for some time The Kid was operating out of warranty, but this was something else, this was the sort of defect that could bring down a manufacturer. Bunny was strapped to a workbench, a circular saw lapping against his jugular, and The Kid was so excited he was shaking. His eyes snapped up as he noticed my presence, they were wide as satellite dishes and I swear he was salivating.
I was out of my depth and we both knew it. I thought of Kitty and how she’d be running a bath about now, her silky pale arm testing the temperature, steam rising into her curls. I cursed myself for not bringing her along, for the arrogance of thinking I could do this on my own. Sure, I could handle myself physically, but her calm head and gut instincts were what was really needed if we were gonna get through this cleanly. Besides, if it all went wrong, I wanted her beautiful face to be the last thing I saw, not the horrorshow laid out in front of me now.
I needed to act if Bunny was gonna make it, so I swallowed my fear and stepped forward. One step, two, three. Easy, like I was trying not to spook a viper. The Kid stopped laughing but he did not stop grinning, just stared at me as though I were some curiosity, a new toy to play with. Man, that shit was creepy.
Slowly I moved in, closer and closer. His left hand twitched toward the saw and I had no choice but to go for it. Dropping to my knees, I struck out with my right arm to grab Bunny while at the same time landing my free hand gently on The Kid’s shoulder. He looked first to Bunny, then to me, before sitting back as if to say ‘OK, what happens now?’. A line of snot trickled from his nostrils.
‘Bathtime, son,’ I said, looking him deep in the eyes as I did. ‘Shall we put all this away first?’
He looked at me quizzically for a moment, then nodded, or at least seemed to, it was hard to tell. I reached out and grabbed the plastic box which served as a toy-tidy, before loading in the Fisher-Price tools and stuffed rabbit.
‘You guys ready?’ came the voice of Kat from outside.
I shouted an affirmative towards the bathroom and picked up The Kid, thanking my lucky stars for getting me through another scrape.