“I’d give him back if I were you,” the little girl said calmly, glancing up from her nearly completed sand castle. She was clearly annoyed at being interrupted at such a crucial stage of construction. The older boy just laughed as he dangled the stuffed pink rabbit well above her head.
“Higher, Garth,” another boy shouted from the edge of the playground. “Let’s see how high she can jump!” Garth glanced back at his friends and grinned, revealing a set of teeth that were as neglected as the rest of his appearance.
“You know, I think you should leave us alone. Pinky really doesn’t like that.” Susie paused and stared at the older boy. “And I am quite sure that Pinky doesn’t like you.”
Garth laughed, although the animal part of his limited intellect was beginning to sense that something was not quite right. However, he did have an audience and he hated to disappoint. Shrugging off his sense of unease, he looked down at Susie and suddenly flipped the rabbit high into the air.
“Oh, I know he doesn’t like that,” the little girl said, shaking her head slowly and frowning. The rabbit paused in mid-air then begin its descent back to the ground. Stepping forward, Garth reached up and caught the rabbit just above Susie’s head. He grabbed the paws of the small pink bunny and pulled its arms wide apart.
“What do you think would happen if I pulled really hard?” Garth said with a smirk, looking down at Susie.
The little girl leaned back casually, resting comfortably with her palms dug into the sand. “Well,” she said with a smile, “why don’t you just pull and find out?”
The smirk on the older boy’s face began to falter. This was definitely not the reaction he had expected.
“Hey, Garth,” came a shout once more from the edge of the playground. “Make a wish!” Obviously impressed with his own wit, the boy began to laugh loudly. He was soon joined by the rest of the group.
Garth tipped his head back and laughed, feeling better. His smirk returned to his face and once again he looked down at Susie. “Okay, time to make a wish”, he declared loudly.
“That’s a great idea,” Susie replied, continuing to stare at Garth. “I wish you and your stupid friends would leave this playground.”
Garth abruptly stopped laughing. He heard a short bark of laughter from the group of boys behind him. Grasping the rabbit’s paws tightly, the boy stared at Susie. “Stupid?” he repeated, eyebrows raised. “Maybe your stupid stuffie doesn’t need his arms anymore,” Garth said with a cruel smile.
“Oh, I think Pinky likes his arms,” Susie said, beginning to smile.
“Too bad for Pinky,” Garth said with a shrug and pulled viciously on Pinky’s arms. He was facing away from the other children so only Susie saw that Pinky’s arms stayed firmly attached to his body.
Only Susie saw the look on Garth’s face when the ends of Pinky’s soft white paws shredded open to reveal razor sharp claws that poked into Garth’s palms.
And only Garth saw Pinky’s stitched lips pull back in a snarl to reveal a double row of very thin, very sharp teeth.
“No, I don’t think Pinky likes you at all,” Susie said quietly. “I think you should say sorry.”
Garth’s lips trembled as Pinky’s claws started to dig into his palms.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered as his eyes filled with tears. “Please make it stop.”
Susie shook her head slowly. “I don’t think your friends heard you. Say you’re sorry and Pinky is the best bunny in the whole world.”
Pinky slowly turned his head up to stare at Garth. The color drained from Garth’s face as Pinky’s small black eyes turned deep red and began to glow. Pinky growled softly and dug his claws deeper into Garth’s palms.
“I’m sorry and you’re the best bunny in the whole world!” Garth shouted, his voice rising hysterically. He could feel blood dripping down his palms, and his legs were shaking. Pinky grinned to reveal all of his teeth and winked at Garth.
The playground was suddenly quiet as other children turned towards Garth and Susie. Two of Garth’s friends laughed uncertainly, but the rest of the group simply stared.
“That’s better,” Susie said with a nod. “Now give him BACK!”
Garth yelped as Pinky’s claws suddenly retracted. The glowing red eyes turned back into small glass beads, and the rows of sharp teeth disappeared into a smile of pink stitching. Susie reached forward and gently removed Pinky from Garth’s trembling arms.
“Oh Pinky,” Susie said happily, giving the stuffed rabbit a big hug. “I’m so glad he didn’t hurt you.”
Holding Pinky at arms length, she looked at Garth and smiled mischievously.
“Boo!” she shouted suddenly, thrusting Pinky into Garth’s face. Garth screamed and bolted away from the playground.
With a satisfied nod, Susie watched Garth run away. The rest of his friends glanced over at Susie, then ran after Garth. The playground was quiet for a few moments and then the rest of the children went back to their play.
“Garth wasn’t a very nice boy,” Susie said as she placed the stuffed rabbit next to her sand castle. “Neither was that creepy man on the bus that tried to sit too close to us. He sure got off the bus fast, didn’t he Pinky?” she said, as she carefully placed small sticks along the wall of the castle.
Suddenly, the side of the sandcastle collapsed under the weight of a filthy bare foot. The owner of the foot, pleased with her effort, looked down at Susie and sneered.
“Oops,” the older girl said with a high-pitched voice. “Looks like you’re going to have to start all over again.”
Susie sighed and placed a stick carefully to the side. She looked up at the girl. “Pinky doesn’t like it when people are mean to me,” she said with a smile.
Patrick Perkins writes in British Columbia, Canada.
This story is sponsored by
the psychic archaeologists at The Morpheus Initiative — Check out author David Sakmyster’s first two books in a trilogy about remote-viewers, ancient mysteries, lost tombs, and exciting adventure! At Amazon.com or visit www.sakmyster.com.