's 2017 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by The Bee Keeper

It's Saturday. Do you think we should take Bonbon out with us tomorrow or would that be too much for her? The younger kids always love it when there's a bunny at the park egg hunt. I'm just not sure Bonbon will want that many little hands on her all day, though. I don't want her to stress out. But it would make the kids so happy. What do you think?

My mother looked at me practically cross-eyed. What are you going on about, Nate? What's this thing, you're calling a bunny? And who's Bonbon?

Uh, nice joke Mom. You know, my pet rabbit, of course.

She looked at me again with that puzzled expression. Rabbit? What's a rabbit? Did you get an exotic pet, without my permission. I'm having no more scaly things in this house, Nate! You remember when you got that baby beaded dragon and it got out and I found it on my bed. It nearly did me in with fright! I told you. You can't be spending your allowance on critters from that shop down the street. No pets, without MY permission!

Mom. Mom no. It was just a little bearded dragon. And I haven't got anything without your permission! I'm talking about Bonbon. You know, floppy ears, fluffy, likes alfalfa and carrots. She's been apart of our family for THREE years!

My mother set to work on the dirty dishes and sighed. We'll talk about this later, Nate.

I went up to my bedroom in a huff. I couldn't figure out what any of that was about. I looked at the hutch by the window seat and... No Bonbon. My rabbit wasn't in the hutch. She wasn't in the bunny play pen. She wasn't in my room at all. And after frantically turning the house upside down, pulling open every drawer and cabinet and shoving the couch and loveseats over... nothing. No Bonbon anywhere.

Could she have gotten out? Like outside? I began combing every inch of the yard.

There! I saw a furry brown lump half buried in tall grass and it was breathing.

I ran towards Bonbon. But then stopped. This wasn't Bonbon. It did look like her. It was a rabbit... I think? But it didn't have a head. There was a black candle there instead and wax drippings all over its back. The whick was burnt and for some reason this filled me with an overwhelming melancholy.

I cradled this "rabbit" in my arms gently. Its soft fur moved with each heave of its chest. But it was so stiff, completely unable to move its legs.

I lowered it onto a blanket in my room. It still couldn't get up.

I took a match and swiped it against the box. Then I took my tiny flame and tried to rekindle the candle on this creature's body. The little beast stood up, like a bunny sniffing the air with its twitching nose. Only this one didn't even have a face. I touch the flame. It was warm like a soothing bath and didn't burn at all.

I picked up the bunny and carried it to where I found it. This time, it gave me a little trouble, but not much. Rabbits don't like being up high, so they squirm around a bit. I put it down and it hopped away into the woods. Easter went exactly as I had planned. When I woke up, Bonbon was there with those big black eyes that turned your heart into mush. She got to eat a bunch of peeled carrots at the egg hunt. And I think we both had a great time.

The day after, well that didn't go exactly the way I'd have expected. There was a man standing in the yard. He wasn't dressed and he didn't have a head. Black wax practically gushed from between his shoulders and pooled over all the grass in the back yard. He was just standing there with his hands to his sides. But his tiny flickering candle flame seemed to stare right through me.

I tried to tell my parents. But they couldn't see him. I threw a pinecone at him and it bounced off. So this candle man was definitely here in the flesh or whatever he was made of. Days went by and all he did was stand there and flood our yard with wax. Each day, there must have been another six inches of wax. And each day his crackling flame burned lower. But the end of the week, it was at mere smoky embers.

I couldn't stand it anymore. This nightmare, boogeyman, interdimensional alien! I didn't care anymore what that man, that thing was. I hadn't slept. People thought I was crazy. And it, this horrid monster was driving me insane!

I filled a water balloon and launched it from my window. The man's flame went out with a plume of awful smelling smoke. Then the skies filled with smoke. Everywhere, even those who went underground said the smoke was there.

And then there was nothing but smoke.