A Little Bunny's Doctor

sylvie 01/12/2020 (Sun) 15:11:23 #34260094

When I was younger, I frequently spent time in the hospital due to my undeveloped immune system. Some kind of disease or something, just meant I'd get sick much easier. My parents worked late hours to pay for it, so I was usually alone, nine-year-old me, coughing and sneezing and suffering in a hospital bed.

It didn't upset me too much. I suppose we grew a bit distanced, but what can you do? They had to work to keep me healthy, and I knew that, but it still hurt, of course. But I'd always get so bored, so sometimes I'd slump out of the bed, grab onto my IV stand, and walk through the hospital. I'd see other kids, some crying, while others sat in their beds, stoic. I waved to a boy once, and he didn't even blink.

I would never manage to get very far before a nurse would find me and herd me back into my room, and I'd huff and lie down, frustrated. Sometimes they'd feel bad for me, and bring me a toy or a book. I'd always end up coming home with a lot of stuffed animals, and that would make me happy enough.

Once, though, I was discovered walking through the halls by an older doctor. He was bald, with a short, scraggly beard. And the first thing I said to him was "your head looks like a square."

The previously worried expression on his face contorted into a smile, and then a laugh. "Well, you look like a little bunny!"

I didn't understand that one. A lot of the bunnies I'd seen at the petting zoo could hop very high, and I couldn't, so I told him just that.

His laugh subsided to a quiet smirk, and he cocked his head. "I suppose so," he said, walking past me. But then he froze, slowly turning around, his smile faded. "Actually… why aren't you in your room?"

"I was going for a walk."

"Alone?" He questioned, approaching me.

"Nobody would take me."

"Well, I could take you outside, if you'd like."

I thought for a moment and then grinned, excited. I'd been in that particular hospital for almost a week without seeing sunlight, I was aching to just leave already.

For some reason, though, he looked more thrilled than me. He took my IV out, placed me into a wheelchair, and then pushed me outside.

It was about noon and the sun, while initially blinding, felt nice against my skin, especially when combined with the chilly breeze.

"I wish I could go outside every day."

"You'll be able to. I promise," he replied. "I have a gift for you." He gently latched a silver necklace around my neck. At the end of the chain was a brown, furry lump. "Do you know what this is?"

I shook my head.

"It's a rabbit's foot. Some people say they bring good luck. And this one came from a rabbit that was completely healthy its whole life. Sadly, in the wild, rabbits only live for a year or two, but a year of perfect health is better than nothing, isn't it?"

I simply nodded and looked back upwards, closing my eyes. At some point, as my senses drifted in the tranquility of nature, I fell into unconsciousness.

sylvie 01/12/2020 (Sun) 15:24:11 #34261290

I woke from my dreamless slumber to a familiar ceiling, that of my hospital room. Rising from my pillow, I realized how easy it was to move. The nurses eventually came around to find me jumping on the bed with my newfound energy. Eventually, my family came and took me home. My immune system had miraculously grown stronger, and everything was okay. They didn't even notice the necklace, and after a while, I almost forgot it was there.

But then, a year later, the chain grew heavy. Every step left me out of breath. My energy was completely gone, and back to the hospital I went.

As my parents and a nurse were talking, glancing at me every now and then with the same look of pity on their faces that I hated so much, I burrowed myself under the covers of my bed and eventually fell asleep.

When I woke up, the room was empty.

Then, the same man who had taken me outside came storming through the door, clearly rushed and furious at something, but when he saw that I was awake, his demeanor quickly changed back to that fake grin. "Are you doing well?"

"No," I replied, nervously shifting in my bed.

"Well, then what's wrong? Is your… is your gift not working?"

"I feel sick. Like when I was here before."

That set something off, I realized, as his face instantly contorted into a scornful expression. But not at me. He slapped his head with his palm forcefully, ranting on and on about how "it only lasts a year."

Meanwhile, I sat there, terrified.

"It's alright, I just forgot!" The man finally exclaimed, approaching me. "I can fix this for you! I can fix you!"

As he got closer, I opened my mouth, yearning to protest, to scream. But nothing came out.

sylvie 01/12/2020 (Sun) 15:36:54 #34262153

I woke up buckled into the passenger's seat of my mom's car. She smiled, looking at me through the rear-view mirror. "Hey there sleepyhead. You feeling better?"

"I think…" I said, looking down. My necklace was different, with a white rabbit's foot at the end of the chain rather than the brown one from before.

"The nurse said you were ready to leave."

"Do I have to go back?"

"Only if you get sick again."

I gripped the furry amulet in my hand, then glanced out of the window at the dark forest nearby. "I won't get sick."

"That's what we're hoping for," my mom said, and we drove home in silence.

On my 364th day away from that hospital, I went to bed. In the middle of the night, in a half-awake state, my eyes opened to the blurry sight of my window creaking open. As my head slumped downwards, I heard something crawl inside, then slowly step next to my bed. It fidgeted with my necklace, its cold, rough hands brushing against my chin, and then left. When I awoke the next morning, I could barely remember it happening, I almost thought it was a dream. That is, until I realized the rabbit's foot was black.

Now, ten years later, the thing keeps coming. Even when I lock my doors and my windows, it finds a way inside. I tried to take off the necklace, but the moment I removed it, my body felt heavy, and I had to put it back on. It feels like I'm supposed to be dead. Like these visits are the only thing keeping me alive.

It's coming tonight.

I think I'm going to leave my door open.

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