Fan Fiction

A Case For the Christmas Bunny
by Hmpf MacSlow

"Sandra..."

"Mom..."

"No, let me finish."

"Mom."

"Let. Me. Finish. You talk to me on the phone but you tell me nothing. You disappear for months on end, leaving Jack to explain your absence with threadbare excuses, and when you come back you still don't tell me anything. I don't know what's happening in your life anymore, Sandra. I've waited for you to talk to me, but you never did. So, I've decided to do something about it. I'm coming to Miscellaneous for Christmas. I already bought the ticket."

"WHAT?"

***

"What?!" said Jack.

"You heard me. My mom is visiting us for Christmas," Sandra replied.

Jack often tried for an impression of dignity and competence these days, but despite his undeniable abilities he still failed to look like anything but a slacker most of the time. Sandra studied his face as he was making the journey from bafflement to panic and then to a semblance of calm.

"We can't let her see you," he declared eventually.

"I agree." Expecting something of Jack despite herself, she stared at him. He stared back, displaying undisguised cluelessness.

"What do we do?" he finally asked.

"What you did for Crystal on Halloween... temporarily turning her into a fox... can you do that for me? Turn me into myself for a little while? You're a powerful wizard. You banished that Harold kid to God knows where."

Jack sighed. The clueless look on his face turned into a kind of sober bitterness, and immediately she regretted her words.

"There's a difference between being powerful and knowing how to do things, Sandra. My power is mostly unrealised until I learn... a whole lot more." And there he was, disconcerting as usual, because he always emerged unexpectedly: Jack the Plaid. Sandra always had to remind herself that her slovenly roommate spent a significant part of his life on a plane not even a demon could follow him to. Jack was all calm competence now, gaining dignity by not trying. "Tomie has no information about turning demons into humans, even temporarily. If I could do what you asked me to do, I would be significantly closer to finding a way of transforming you back permanently." He closed his eyes, waiting for the eruption, steeling himself for the flames. Honest regret rarely saved him from his demon housemate's wrath.

The kitchen door opened.

"Morning. Mm, flambe Jack for breakfast?" Sam, the household's resident anthropomorphic rabbit, entered the kitchen and headed straight for the fridge, then decided to postpone his breakfast. He leaned against the counter to watch his housemates at the table.

Sam's arrival barely registered with Sandra. The hair on Jack's lower arms caught fire and burned like the candles on a birthday cake in a time-lapse film. A singed smell rose.

"Is this just the usual demonic rage or is there a particular reason today?" Sam's question parted the atmosphere of dense rage like a knife. The small and scattered flames that had started to spring up in Jack's gravity resistant hair snuffed out.

Sandra let out a frustrated breath. She grabbed her coffee mug, at once furious and grateful for the interruption. She tried to concentrate on the gratefulness.

*I don't want to hurt Jack. Sam stopped me. I'm grateful to Sam.*

Jack exhaled, relieved. He leaned back in his chair and examined his newly hairless arms.

"Pyro-epilation. Neat. Crystal would dig this."

"So?" Sam insisted.

"My mom's coming for Christmas," Sandra growled into her coffee mug.

"So?" the rabbit repeated.

"You don't see how that could be a problem?" Sandra snapped. For an instant, she entertained the thought of torching Sam for a change. It was a pleasant thought. Something deep within her, something which hadn't been part of her before she had been turned into a demon, relished the thought of inflicting pain and reveled in the screams of her victims. She hated that part of herself, more than she hated her horns, her tail, or her hooves, and certainly more than her third eye and her wings. She'd secretly begun to think she would rather miss the latter if - when - she became human again.

"No, I don't see how that is a problem," Sam said, calmly.

Sandra stared at her alter ego as if he had started to speak in tongues.

"Sam... her mother is going to have a heart attack if she sees her like this," Jack came to her help.

"Yeah," said Sandra. "Look at me. I'm the biggest freak that ever lived. It'll kill her."

Sam studied her for a moment, and like always she felt that he saw right through her. She couldn't bear his gaze and looked down at her coffee, seeing three purple eyes reflected in the dark liquid. She closed her eyes.

"Does your mother have a bad heart?"

"No."

"Has any of your friends had a heart attack due to you?

"My friends are all freaks. They don't count."

"Why, thank you very much for the lovely compliment!" Jack sketched a sitting bow towards her.

"What are you really afraid of?"

"Having to share my soul with a giant rabbit from another dimension."

"8/10 for witty repartee, 1/10 for honesty."

"One thing's certain, my mom and you will get along just fine, once she gets over the shock," said the sullen, coffee-slurping demon.

"One more reason to let her come and stay with us."

Sandra groaned.

"Okay, okay... all right. Here's what I'm afraid of. I'm afraid she'll be horrified when she sees me. I'm afraid she'll never want to see me again. I'm afraid it'll kill *me*."

"She's your mother. Of course she'll want to see you again."

"How do you know? This is so far outside of any human experience, *I* don't feel able to predict what my mom will do, and I've known her for more than two decades. How do you know what she will do?"

"You're right, I don't know. And you don't know. And this may well turn out to be a painful experience. But if it does, don't you think it would be better to get it over with? Your mom won't take excuses on the phone forever."

"He's right, you know," Jack piped in. "I don't know how long it will take me to find a wayyyyyyyyyeeeeeeaaaaaaarrrrgh!!!!!!"

"There goes a perfectly fine kitchen chair," Sam observed sadly as Jack went up in flames. Sandra hissed, her demonic side finally getting the better of her. Jack had jumped up and had thrown himself on the floor, rolling to stop the flames. Sam got the fire blanket and covered the burning chair. Just as the flames that were enveloping the unfortunate wizard were dying down, the door opened again and the last two residents of the strangest house on Miscellaneous Street entered the kitchen.

"Good morning!.... Oh no! Is that a kitchen chair I smell? You know we don't have the money for new furniture." Crystal's bright mood, the result of a leisurely lovemaking with her werewolf boyfriend Wally, was visibly dented. "Oh, hi Jack," she said when she noticed her burned brother writhing on the floor, then headed for the fridge. Wally leaned in the door, reluctant to go near the enraged demon. He was the newest addition and still a bit wary of his housemates. Especially the pyrokinetic one. Crystal threw him an apple.

"So, anything new?" she addressed the assembled.

Sandra lifted the fire blanket and revealed the sorry wreck of the chair beneath. She sighed.

"We should get *two* new chairs," she said. "The Christmas Bunny says we're going to have a guest for Christmas."

***

[That's all, folks!]


German version: http://www.allabouthmpf.com/zebragirl.htm - Yes, the title is longer in German. I shortened it for the English version because I felt it sounded clumsy in English.