Shortlisted flash story Isolation theme: War of the Rabbits

Practically no traffic.  Hedgehogs unsquashed.  Frogs unflattened.  Squirrels scamper across tarmac.  Birdsong the only sound.

             Few deliveries.  No social comings or goings.  Neither catch nor contaminate.  Books, garden, chocolate.  Alone, not lonely.

            Inception:  One here, unheeded.  One there, unheeded.  Easily scared off.  Early morning or late evening. 

            Infiltration:  Trickle swells to stream.  Cool shadows of morning, bunnies in the bushes.  Evening twilight, lapins on the lawn. 

            Invasion:  Coneys under conifer.   Family picnics in veg patch.  Frolics in the ferns.  In midday sun. 

            Infestation:  Rabbits everywhere.  Edible shoots destroyed.  Plants nibbled to root. 

            Defence inventory low.  Strategic deployment of limited netting, cloches.  Supply chain weak.  Garden centres shut.  Only weapon garlic granules.  Useless.  Frequent forays to disperse.

            Zero tolerance.  No time to read.  No time for coffee and chocolate.  Run rabbit, run.      Rabbits rereat.  Reconnoitre.  Sneak back at dusk.  Dig trenches at dead of night.

            Operation, ‘Furry Foe’.   Destroy opposing army’s trenches.  Intensify attacks.  Run rabbit, run.  Battle won.  Suspension of hostilities.  Apparent victory.

            Ill-planned manoeuvre.  Strawberries nearing end of active service.  Tough and tangled veterans discharged, root and stem.  Plantlings recruited to new bed.  Tender young leaves.  Dawn foray.  Massacre.  End of amnesty.

            Counter-attack 07.00 hours.  Pre-breakfast rampage.  Enemy dispersed.  Campaign escalated.  Twilight patrols.  No-go area extended.  Lunatic missions.  Midnight raids in dressing gown.  Shadows with long ears routed.  Ceasefire restored.  Days free of incident.  Quiet nights.

 Ceasefire holds.  

            Renegade rabbit.  Working alone.  Underground resistance?  Obtuse?  Hero?  Blind?  Deaf?  Run bunny, run.  Monday, run.  Tuesday, run.  Wednesday, run.  Thursday – capitulation. 

            Territory purged.   Lawn empty.  Shrubs vacated.  Strawberries in intensive care.  Likely to live.  Other survivors leafless, but budding.  New days.  New shoots.   Fruits of victory.  Chocolate.  Wine.  Book. 

            Supply chain breakthrough.  Limitless netting.  Cloches galore.  Position of strength. 

            Chocolate.  Book.  Coffee.  Book.  Bored.  Lonely.  Mowing of lawn.  Dessicated droppings.  Uncanny stillness.  Emptiness.  Futility. 

            Operation, Olive Branch.  Veg patch heavily defended.  Online shop.  Carrots.   Cabbage.

            Distrust of peace offering.  Exploratory missions.  Scouts unharmed.  Incursion.  Cover of darkness. Cabbage eaten.  Carrots consumed.  Truce.

Amity established.  No-go area maintained.  Neutral zone instituted.  Carrot stocks replenished.  Fraternisation.  Lovely things, rabbits.

Isabel Miles

About Isabel Miles

Isabel Miles is a retired scientist turned writer, living on the North Yorkshire Moors. She has had poems published in Grey Sparrow Journal, Shooter, The Emma Press Anthology of Aunts, StepAway, The Caterpillar and The Eildon Tree. She has had short stories published in What The Dickens, The View From Here, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Shooter, Toasted Cheese, Northwords Now, Anomaly, Fairy Tales and Folklore Re-imagined and East of the Web.

Isabel Miles is a retired scientist turned writer, living on the North Yorkshire Moors. She has had poems published in Grey Sparrow Journal, Shooter, The Emma Press Anthology of Aunts, StepAway, The Caterpillar and The Eildon Tree. She has had short stories published in What The Dickens, The View From Here, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Shooter, Toasted Cheese, Northwords Now, Anomaly, Fairy Tales and Folklore Re-imagined and East of the Web.

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