“There you go, Sparkle,” Brian said, lifting the white dwarf rabbit into the black silk hat. The young man at the secondhand shop had been right — this hat was made to pull rabbits out of. “This is a class act — not that fake cardboard thing anymore. And you look gorgeous in it.”
Sparkle snuggled down and Brian slipped the false bottom he’d made over her. It fit perfectly. A little practice and he’d be ready for tonight’s show..
“Abra — cadabra!” he said. He slid the false bottom aside and scooped Sparkle out, cradling her in his hand. The false bottom slid gently down into the hat.
“Bippity-boppity — boo!” Flicking the false bottom back over Sparkle took too long. Well, a few more times and he’d have it.
“Abra — cadabra!” Rabbit out of the hat.
“Bippity-boppity — boo!” Rabbit into the hat.
“Abra- cadabra!” Out.
“Bippity-boppity — boo!” In.
Half a dozen repeats later, Sparkle was getting restless, and Brian put her back in her hutch. She nosed at her hay and began to eat.
Now what was that word the guy at the secondhand shop had told him?
“A magic word. Goes with the hat,” he’d said. Brian had smiled politely. Everyone wanted to be part of something special.
Well, maybe he’d try it out. Something distinctive was always good for the act.
Brian put the hat on his head, then popped it off and rolled it down his arm into his left hand. Waving his right over it he exclaimed in his best stage-magician voice, “Fibonacci!”
A rabbit jumped out of the hat.
This wasn’t Sparkle. This was a big white buck with black eye rings and black spots. He hopped over to Sparkle’s cage and sniffed at her. Brian blinked twice and shook his head. He looked into the hat.
Another rabbit hit him in the face. It was just as big as the other, but brown.
Rubbing his nose, Brian put the hat on the table and backed away.
Two more rabbits jumped out. A minute later three rabbits of different sizes bounded out and all seven began chasing each other around the house.
He called the secondhand shop. By the time the proprietor answered the phone, five more rabbits had jumped out of the hat. Before he’d explained the problem, rabbits were flying out like popcorn — five, six, seven, eight.
“Isn’t there a magic word to shut this damn thing off?” Brian shouted into the phone.
“I’m sorry, sir, no. It’s not a real magic word. It was a joke — the Fibonacci series. One, one, two, three, five, and so on. Add the last two together to get the next. Must be the hat, sir. Sorry, sir. ”
“Okay, I’m bringing the hat back right now!” Rabbits bouncing off the walls, racing around the floor.
“Oh, I’m sorry, sir. It’s stamped on your receipt. All sales final.”
Elizabeth Creith draws on her knowledge of myth, folklore and history to write her fiction and poetry. Her flash “Dark Chocolate” took first place in the 2010 Northwestern Ontario Writers’ Workshop writing contest. Her work has appeared in Thema, NewMyths, Silver Blade and Flash Fiction Online, among other publications. She lives, writes and commits art in Wharncliffe, Northern Ontario, occasionally distracted by her husband, dog and cat.