The Rabbit Trap

A segment from the upcoming book.

There is a city hidden under Algonquin Park… a city of proud, intelligent rabbits. Humans live there too, as servants and slaves. But one day, they have had enough. And so begins the Great Revolt.

A fancy rabbit restaurant overlooking the central Atrium of the city of Algonquin Main

Reflected sunlight from the skylight windows of the Atrium shone across the tables and customers of the Tastes of Human restaurant as Flopear and his date Rose settled into their dining nooks. 

“Would you like a drink?” An attentive waiter greeted them. “A salad to start?”

“Yes, please,” Flopear said. “What would you like, Rose?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Let’s have a look at the—”

There was a thud as something hit one of the tall windows overlooking the Atrium. Flopear looked up. Whatever it was left a mark as it slid down.

*thud*

Another object hit the window, harder. This time Flopear got a better look at it. It was the body of a rabbit. “Rose! Something—”

There was an explosion outside in the Atrium. The restaurant shook, and several of the windows cracked. Smoke began to drift outside the windows and Flopear started to feel panicked. 

Flopear looked at Rose. Rose was starting to freeze in panic. With sheer willpower, Flopear set his own panic aside and concentrated on Rose. “Rose! We have to go!” He gently touched her. She shivered but seemed to relax a little, and some of the panic left her eyes. 

He looked around as they got up and left their nook. Some of the diners were trying to exit through the main doors of the restaurant; some were milling around, and not a few were frozen in panic at their tables. The restaurant staff were trying to calm things. 

As the main doors of the restaurant opened, smoke gusted in, and Flopear could hear shouts and squeals from outside. “Let’s go out the side entrance, Rose!” 

Flopear guided Rose towards the side of the restaurant and its entrance onto a shopping corridor that opened into the Atrium. One of the restaurant’s greeters was at the podium by the door. Flopear addressed him. “I’m sorry. We must go. You have my reservation and info; we’ll sort the payment out afterwards.” Flopear opened the door, and the pair left the restaurant.

Outside in the corridor, merchants were closing the doors of their shops and winding down the shutters. Rabbits were leaving the Atrium area, going deeper into the city. Flopear could hear shouts and loud voices. Not all of them were lapine. 

“We’ll have to skirt the Atrium to get into the northeast corridor. It’s not far. Follow me.” Flopear led Rose along the wall of the corridor, against the flow of the crowd. They reached the entrance to the Atrium and turned right. But to their left, they could see the Atrium laid out below them. And it was in chaos.

Smoke drifted through the air, cut diagonally by beams of the sunlight that shone through the overhead windows enclosing the Atrium. The gardens of the upper classes, normally sunlit and quiet and diligently tended by servants, were deserted.

Rabbits were fleeing small fires on the lowest level of the park. The Otter Creek Shops, the original boutiques on the lowest level, were damaged, and several seemed to be on fire. The Algonquin Main fire brigade was trying to contain the fire, but they were having difficulty… because of humans.

Several nearly-naked humans with broken shackles, wearing shreds of torn clothing, had the fire brigade at bay. They were picking up anything they could and throwing it at any rabbit who looked like an authority figure. One threw a kiosk from the park; it sailed through the air high above Flopear and Rose and smashed through a window above the restaurant. Another threw a portable pumping unit low along the ground, knocking a dozen rabbits down. Some lay unmoving on the ground.

An amplified voice filled the air. “THIS IS WARREN SECURITY. PLEASE GO HOME. THERE IS A SECURITY INCIDENT IN OTTER CREEK PARK AND THE ATRIUM DISTRICT. PLEASE GO HOME. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. PLEASE GO HOME.”

“Let’s get out of here!” Flopear was starting to feel panicked again. Rose needed no persuasion. They couple fled down the northwest tunnel just as the lights failed in the Atrium. The amplified voice abruptly ceased.

***

The apartment burrow was filled with the soothing light and gentle tones of the ‘remain under cover’ signal on Flopear’s terminal. Flopear could still feel the harsher <stomp>s of the external alarm in the corridor, though, as it urged rabbits to get to cover. Flopear and Rose were finally relaxing a little, snuggled together in their sleeping nest. But they did not sleep. The power had flickered earlier, and Flopear was considering whether it might make sense to try to get to their friends’ apartment on the outskirts of the city.

Flopear stirred. 

“What’s up?” murmured Rose.

“I want to have a look outside. I don’t feel completely safe here, so close to the Atrium. I wonder whether we should go to the Greenleafs’ place. They’re in one of the outlying warrens… maybe they haven’t been as affected.”

Rose shivered as Flopear left the sleeping nest. “Come back soon, love.”

Flopear went to the terminal and keyed in the Greenleafs’ code. The terminal lit up with an apologetic message: “So sorry! Unable to connect your call.” Then it went back to the soothing ‘remain under cover’ signal. Flopear tried for a few of the news programs. But everything seemed to have been pre-empted by emergency notices. 

“Hmm.” Flopear went to the apartment door and cautiously opened it.

The corridor outside was quiet. Litter was scattered across the floor, mixed with earth from the decorative planters. Footprints bore witness to escaping rabbits. But there seemed to be no-one around. The few small shops on the corridor towards its opening into the Atrium were shuttered, and something seemed to be blocking the opening into the Atrium.

Flopear moved cautiously towards the blockage. As he got closer, he realized that it was a mound of bruised and scratched pinkish flesh, covered with sparse hair. Congealed blood pooled at its base. “What the Inlé?” he muttered.

As Flopear reached the opening, he had a better view. The mound was the body of a dead Human, in places scratched, bruised, and burned. It lay contorted on the walkway. Flopear recoiled, but then looked around. 

The Atrium was in ruins. The gardens of the upper class which had been so lovingly tended were torn up. The shops and the windowed balconies above were smashed. A few small fires burned, and a few Bunnies were trying to put one out, but only a few. The ground was littered with smashed vehicles and equipment, some of which seemed to have been thrown great distances. Bodies of dead rabbits also littered the ground: those of the fire and emergency services, and those of militia members, many militia members. And near the lowest point of the Atrium was the body of another dead Human.

Flopear shuddered and turned back into the corridor. He went past his apartment door to the other end, where there was a door to a service corridor that was a shortcut to another neighbourhood in the warren. It was jammed.

The lights flickered again. Flopear shivered and suddenly felt unsafe. “Maybe we should go to Greenleaf’s.” He returned to the apartment, gently opening the door. He put dim room lights on.

Rose stirred and looked at him. “Anything?”

Flopear shuddered. “It’s not good. The door to Noodles is jammed. The Atrium is smashed. I don’t know what was going on, but there are dead bodies everywhere. Including two Humans. One is almost blocking the entrance to the Atrium. I think we–”

The lights flickered again, then went out completely. The apartment became silent. The only light remaining was the terminal’s battery-power indicator as it switched to emergency mode.

Before either rabbit could do anything, the lights came back on. The terminal went back to normal operation, displaying the ‘remain under cover’ signal, and the apartment’s normal background sounds gradually resumed.

“Yes, I think we should go to the Greenleafs’.”

***

Half an hour later, Rose and Flopear, both bearing shoulder bags and backpacks, eased themselves out of the apartment. Flopear locked the door behind them. They headed down the corridor towards the Atrium and the dead Human. 

Rose looked at the body of the Human with distaste. Human flesh was fine as a delicacy in a well-spiced salad, but it had to be cared for. A great abused mound like this? Just… no.

They made their way past the body towards the main eastern exit from the Atrium, the one that led to the Mover station. The BunnyMover was the automated subway system that served the city. It would get them away from this chaos and to the Greenleafs’ apartment in only a few minutes. Suddenly Flopear stopped and pulled out a pair of garden shears. He turned to the body and lopped off the two remaining toes from its feet. “Probably the only chance I’ll get,” he said to Rose.

Rose rolled her eyes but acquiesced. Like any other rabbit inhabitant of the city, she was a fanatic for the toes of Humans. Perhaps this was the reason their Human opponents sarcastically called them “Devilbunnies”. “I’m a little surprised there were any left,” she said. But she smiled as Flopear packed the precious toes away in a container in his backpack. 

“A gift for our hosts,” Flopear added.

“We just have to get there.”

They turned the corner and entered the main corridor. Here, too, debris littered the floor. Shop shutters were down and there were very few rabbits around. The corridor was one of the huge ones built to Human size, and there seemed to have been some sort of battle in it. 

They reached the Mover station. It too was one of the few built to Human size. Normally its great door would be wide open, with rabbits coming and going, and even the occasional Human servant or favoured Sympathizer, or a member of one of the Allied Species, such as a Squirrel. But the station’s gate was lowered and closed, and judging by the huge dent in it, it wouldn’t be raised anytime soon. Nearby Flopear saw an entire rabbit-size sales kiosk lying broken on its side. This apparently was the object that had hit the door.

“Flopear, what has happened? This is getting worse and worse.” Rose looked around, her eyes wide and frightened.

“I don’t know. It looks like a battle. Were we invaded by Fudds?” The “Fudds”, the rare Humans who were aware of the rabbits and fought their rule, were a common target of both derision and fear. But even with the vigilance of constant militia patrols, no rabbit in the city had encountered one for years.

Rose and Flopear looked further down the corridor towards what would normally be the lights of the entertainment district. There were only a few lights now, but there were enough to silhouette another mound in the distance. The profile suggested another dead Human.

“There were no warren attack announcements. Remember? The first we heard was the riot in the Atrium.” Rose looked around. “This is horrible. I want to get out of here.”

“Let’s try the side doors of the station.”

They went to one smaller door, then another, but they were shuttered and locked. On one, a hastily-scrawled notice said, “Apologies. Mover service is suspended due to technical difficulties.”

Flopear and Rose tried another door. This one opened, and they entered the main concourse of Otter Creek mover station.

As was becoming usual, the floor was littered, and shops were closed. A train stood still at the platform, with its doors open. An announcement played from its interior, over and over: “So sorry. There has been a service interruption. Please stand by.”

“Help!”

Flopear and Rose stopped. The voice was coming from a dark corner of the station, where piles of debris–purses and backpacks, hats and earbows, packaged snacks and drinks and part of the vendor’s stall that sold them–were partly flattened by a huge deep-orange footprint. Flopear approached. With dismay, he realized that the footprint was made of blood–and it was a human footprint. Several bodies of rabbits lay against the wall. Flopear suddenly realized one was moving. 

“Help!” A young rabbit, not even fully grown, looked at them. “Can you find my family?”

“We just got here, but we’ll help. What happened?”

“I’m not sure. We arrived on a train, got out, and then there was a noise. Mom and Dad went to look, and then there was a big noise and it got dark.” The young rabbit looked around. “I’m scared.”

Rose approached. “What’s your name?”

“Bryony, ma’am.”

“Well, Bryony, let’s get you somewhere warmer.” Rose looked at Flopear. “Flopear, can you look up that name?”

Flopear pulled out his portable terminal and looked at it. “It’s not reaching. It doesn’t look like there’s signal.” 

The lights in the station flickered. 

“We need to get out of here.”

Flopear turned to Bryony. “Bryony, we are on our way to a friend’s apartment. Come with us, and we’ll help find your parents.”

Bryony shivered. “Okay.” 

“Bryony, do you have any things?” 

“Just my bag. It was right here…”

They all looked around for a bag, and in a moment, Rose found it. It had been pushed into the corner of the wall and floor. Bryony clutched it, then looked in it briefly. 

The lights flickered again, then went out. For a terrifying moment, the station was dark, without even emergency lighting. Only some coloured tell-tales from the stopped train were visible, plus a scattering of other small lights. One light shifted through the whole spectrum visible to rabbits, from orange through yellow, green, blue, and violet, to the lilac colours Humans couldn’t see, and then through the murples back to orange. 

Then the lights came back on, slowly and more dimly. 

The rabbits shivered. “We need to get out of here,” Flopear said. “We need to get to the Greenleafs’.”

“Yes, let’s go. Back to the corridor?”

“Yes. Maybe there’ll be service from the next station.”

“Coming, Bryony?”

 After a moment, the young rabbit said, “I guess so.” 

They moved back to the door they had entered the station through, and returned to the corridor. The door banged shut behind them. Bryony jumped into the air. 

“Easy there! We’re here.”

“But my mom isn’t!!!” Bryony burst into tears.

“Oh honey…” Rose gathered Bryony close, and they huddled together for a moment. Eventually she let go a little. “Just a little more. Then we can get going…”

The rabbits rested a few more minutes. 

Then the corridor seemed to shiver. There was a distant boom, almost like an explosion. The lights flickered once more. 

“Let’s move.” Flopear rose and urged the others up. They moved down the deserted corridor, away from Otter Creek and the Atrium.

The next Mover station they came to was <Happyhop> Green. It too was closed. Beyond here, the shops ended, and the corridor was more of a traffic tunnel leading to Algonquin station, one of the most important local Mover stations. 

The corridor retained its human dimensions though. The debris diminished, and Flopear had the impression that there hadn’t been as much fighting here, but that large numbers of rabbits had fled in one direction through the corridor.

They approached Algonquin station. It was a large interchange station, where two local Mover lines crossed; it also had a connection to Algonquin Main Central station on the long-distance interwarren Mover line. And it was big. All the main corridors and platforms were built to human scale, as if the designers had expected visiting Symp delegations or large freight shipments.

In the middle of the main concourse was another dead Human. This was the profile Flopear had seen in the distance from just outside Otter Creek station. Beyond it was a lit-up advertising display. These were the lights Flopear had thought were the lights of the entertainment district…. But that district was further along the corridor they had followed.

Flopear looked at the body of the dead human. This one was better dressed… well, dressed at all… than the ones they had seen in the Atrium. It had been a male, and he had curly brown hair.

Something seemed familiar about the human. Then Flopear had it. 

“Rose, do you remember the human I told you about, the one who disappeared in the van crash and then showed up years later wanting to be let back in? This one looks like him. I’m not sure, but he’s wearing the servant’s clothing I saw on the news…“

Rose looked at the body. “Oh, I don’t know. You know those monkeys all look the same to me. Are there any toes left?”

Flopear glanced at the human’s feet. “No. He looks a bit picked over, actually.” 

They went down the tunnel to the platform of the other local mover line, the blue line. These platforms were fully lit, and a mover train was just departing as they arrived. They stopped on the platform. 

Another train, this one eastbound, pulled in. The doors opened, and the little group boarded.

“The Greenleafs live near East Crossing. Let’s hope nothing else happens while we’re on the train…”

The doors closed and the train accelerated smoothly into the tunnel. The rabbits reclined on the seats along the side of the car. They looked around. There was little out of place.  It seemed so ordinary. Were the things they’d seen real?

The train stopped at several intervening stations on the way to East Crossing. A few rabbits got on, but no-one got off. The car remained quiet, with little conversation even among the newcomers.

They reached East Crossing, and the doors opened. Flopear, Rose, and Bryony exited the train into a completely normal scene. Shops were open. Rabbits bustled about. There was music in the distance. 

Rose and Flopear were startled by buzzing sensations. They reached into their bags. Their phones were buzzing with accumulated messages and headline updates. “Riot Ends.” “Humans put down; cleanup begins.” “Are you okay?” “Hello?”

“I guess we have signal,” Flopear said.

Rose replied, “Let’s text the Greenleafs.”

***

Flopear approached the door of the apartment and rang the bell. He heard a warning <thump> inside. Fred Greenleaf had rigged the doorbell to sound an alarm when the family was busy; this must be such a time. 

After a moment, the door opened. It was Fred. “Flopear! You made it!”

Flopear <fluffed> happily and responded. “Yes! I am so glad to see you. Can we stay for a bit? My apartment was a bit too close to the riot.”

“Of course. You and Rose…?”

“Yes. And Bryony… we found her in the wreckage of Otter Creek mover station. She’s looking for her family. Bryony? Would you come here please?”

Bryony shyly advanced to the door, where Fred could see her. “Hi?”

Fred’s heart melted. “Welcome, Bryony. Welcome, all of you. Please come in. Would you like some food? A chance to rest? And Flopear… what happened???”

Flopear, Rose, and Bryony entered the apartment.  

A little later, they were snuggled in comfortable nests in the dining area, bowls of spiced salad at their sides. Fred was speaking.

“So what happened?”

“Well, we had just got to our table at the Tastes of Human restaurant, when there was an explosion outside in the Atrium. People started to panic, and we left the restaurant. When we passed through the Atrium, we saw humans fighting rabbits! We got back to the apartment, but then the power started to fail. So we decided to come here.

“But the power wasn’t the only thing failing. There was no communications. When we left the apartment, we found two dead monkeys in the Atrium.

“We got to Otter Creek mover station and there was no service. That was where we found Bryony.

“We kept going until we got to Algonquin Station. There was another dead monkey in the concourse. But the blue line was running like normal, and here we are!

“How are things so normal here? You even have WiFi!”

Fred considered. “Well, we heard the alerts, of course, and the travel advisories. But I think this part of the warren has separate power or something; we haven’t had any interruptions. I was trying to get some news earlier; it looks like a lot of services are down. Even if we can get to them, they aren’t working.”

Bryony interrupted. “Can you find my parents?”

“We can try.” Fred moved a display screen nearer to Bryony. “What are their names?”

“Mom and Dad,” Bryony started, “I mean, Dandelion and Bigthorn.”

Fred entered the names in the lost-and-found registry and looked at the results. “It looks like they haven’t checked in yet. It probably won’t be long. Let’s get you checked in at least. Then they can find you when they get to a terminal.”

Fred entered Bryony’s name and listed her parents and provided his contact information and a location. “There. Now you’ll be easier for them to find.”

There was a breeze as someone else entered the apartment. Fred looked up. “Daphnie!” It was his wife. “Flopear and Rose are here, and they’ve brought Bryony. Bryony is looking for her parents.”

“Bryony!” Daphnie approached Bryony with a welcoming gesture. “Please be welcome. I see Fred has got some food out. If you need anything else…”

“Thank you.” Bryony curled up in her nest. 

***

The apartment began to shake. A low rumbling noise filled the air. The main video screen wobbled on its stand and its picture showed interference. There were small noises as various objects moved around on shelves. After less than a minute, the shaking and rumbling ended. 

“What was that?”

“I don’t know. An earthquake? Are they doing tunnelling work–”

The apartment shook again as a dull thud reverberated through the walls. Suddenly an alarm sounded. “External disturbance detected. Closing security doors.” A door Flopear hadn’t noticed before slid down over the apartment’s main entrance and thumped to a close. 

“Apartment is now on independent power and air supply. Caution. Corridor temperature 55 degrees and rising.”

“What’s happening?”

“That’s the emergency fire door. It’s only supposed to close if there’s a fire outside.”

“Let’s see what’s happening.” Fred picked up his tablet. “That’s odd. I can’t get to any of the neighbourhood cams or servers.”

“Is it just me or is it getting warm in here?”

“Probably just the canned ventilation, but let’s check.”

Flopear went over to the door. “Hey! It’s warm.”

A while later, the apartment was hot, still, and dark. This did not bother the rabbits as much as it might have bothered humans, but it was still a bad situation. Main power was off, the air supply was diminishing, and the power lights of the few remaining battery-powered pieces of equipment were going off one by one. It was time to leave.

They tried the front security door. It refused to move, whether they pushed the button or tried the crank-handle. There was an alternative, though; the apartment had been built with an entrance to a service tunnel. It was also an emergency exit.  

“The service tunnel is down here,” said Fred from the back of a closet. “We don’t often come back here.” He opened an access panel. Beyond, a dim light came on. A security door like the one covering the apartment’s front door was visible down a short corridor.

Fred advanced to the door and cautiously felt it. “It’s not warm.” He pushed a button; nothing happened. “It was worth a try…” There was a crank-handle here as well. After some effort, Fred raised the security door. The ordinary door beyond was not warm to the touch and opened easily.

They peered out into the service tunnel. Conduits and pipes lined the tunnel, carrying sewer and water lines, electrical supply, BunNet communications fibre, package-delivery tubes, all kinds of things. 

They moved into the service tunnel. It was dark and hot. Nearby, there were doors to the neighbours’ apartments. The nearest door was open; Fred looked through it, through another short corridor, to an empty apartment. He didn’t remember that apartment being vacant. “Marjorie?” he called. There was no answer.

They moved slowly down the service tunnel. Why was it so warm? What had happened? The tunnel burrowed behind all the apartments in the development, eventually opening onto the main corridor of the development through an inconspicuous service door.

As they approached the main corridor, the tunnel became warmer. The pipes and cables started to look a little scorched or slightly melted. Then they reached the entrance.

The service door was thrown back on its hinges. The side that had faced the corridor was discoloured. But that was nothing compared to the rest of the corridor.

The wide, bustling corridor they had seen before, thronged with rabbits going about their daily lives, was a burnt-out wreck. The walls were scorched and discoloured. Piles of debris had collected on obstacles. It looked as though a strong wind had blown down the corridor from the centre of the city. 

As he looked closer, Fred realized that among the debris were many rabbit bodies.

“What happened?” Daphnie moved up next to Fred.

“I don’t know. But I think we should get to the surface.”

Daphnie nodded. “The East Entrance isn’t too far away.”

“Just down this corridor…”

Fred and Daphnie led the little group down the corridor. “Eastern Entrance mover station shouldn’t be too far ahead,” he said. 

“I wonder what happened?” Daphnie said.

“There was that shaking, and then the doors closed. If we can find someone, maybe they’ll know.”

They reached the plaza by the Mover station. The air was hot and still; there were no rabbits in the plaza. The shops around the plaza did not seem quite as scorched, but they were still broken and abandoned. 

Fred looked through the opening into the actual Mover station. He could see a halted Mover train. The train’s doors were open, and it seemed to be sagging a little.

There was a brief slight breeze, a breath of fresh air.  Fred looked up. A little light shone down the passageway that led to the actual warren entrance that Eastern Entrance mover station was named after. 

This entrance was normally off-limits to the average rabbit and was guarded by the warren militia. Like other warren entrances, it had several rabbit-sized burrow entrances, but it also had a large, disguised door that could accept things as large as an adult human. It was therefore one of several entrances designated for freight access from the surface to the mover system. Warren Security kept a close eye on it.

To see the door open was unthinkable.

Fred led the little group up the sloping corridor that led to the entrance. No-one stopped them.

They passed through an open security door and reached the reception chamber just behind the outer door. A rabbit at the reception desk took one look at them and bolted outside in surprise, yelling, “Here’s another one!”

Fred, Daphnie, and the group looked at each other in confusion. What in the name of Inlé was going on? 

They went outside to be met by a relief worker. “Are you okay? Do you need water, food, medical attention?”

“We need to know what is going on!”

“And I need my parents!” Bryony spoke up. 

“What happened? Where is everyone?”

“So many are dead or missing. There was the human attack, or whatever it was, but it was over. We were starting to clean up. But then there was an earthquake or something, and then a noise. I was outside here when it happened. Bunnies began to run out of the burrow entrances. And then fire came out of the entrances.

“After a moment, the fire ended, and we went to look. We went inside, and… and… they were all dead.”

“Where was the militia?”

“They were the militia.”

“Survivors have been trickling out. We’ve been trying to organize shelter, digging burrows and such. But there aren’t many good places. The rocks. A lot of the soft areas are sandy. We’re under branches and stuff.”

The afternoon was passing. They didn’t have to worry about humans, not in this location in Algonquin Park far away from declared human campgrounds, but Fred shivered. What were they going to do when night fell?

Surviving militia members were making an inconspicuous perimeter about the warren entrance. 

The sun set. There was a hush… and then, in the distance, the howling of a wolf. Algonquin Park was famous for its wolves and their musical cries. Fred had occasionally heard humans trying to join the chorus, but they couldn’t match the wolves’ sounds, and he wondered which side considered it more of a joke. Here, though, unprotected in the fresh darkness, it didn’t seem like a joke at all. 

The night wore on. Sentry rabbits patrolled the area around the entrance. This was unusual for them, since rabbits were most at ease during the ancestral rabbit activity times of dusk and dawn.

Another wolf howled, closer this time. Then there was silence. 

A quick rustle, and a shriek cut short. A sentry was caught by surprise and taken by an unseen creature before he had time to react. Rabbits in the makeshift shelters huddled and shivered in fear.

Dawn came. The sentries could see the marks and blood where the wolf had been. A little way away, they found the body of the dead sentry; evidently the wolf had not liked the taste.

“We have to do something!”

“This is not working!”

“I’m hungry!”

“Something killed one of the sentries last night. And I heard it!”

“Everyone shut up!” The speaker was a burly, black-furred rabbit. 

“Yes, you too!” An argument at the back of the crowd ended.

“Now listen. We are in trouble. Most of the warren has been damaged by an explosion and fire. We do not know what caused it yet. Communications and mover service are down. We are searching for survivors and building makeshift shelters like this one at the warren entrances.

“We need everyone to pay attention and follow orders. Until we know what happened, we cannot go back inside. The authorities are reaching out to other warrens for help. Until then, there is only limited food and limited shelter. You will help to build more. Militia members are organizing work details now.”

As the sun rose, it shone over city-dwellers unused to  roughing it, being shepherded into makeshift work crews by milita members. A little smoke drifted out of the entrance to the warren.

This story, The Rabbit Trap, is set in the fictional world of the Devilbunny, where brave warriors battle desperately to save a disbelieving humanity from the rabbits that would enslave them. 

 This world arose as a shared fiction among a group of writers on the old Usenet computer network. I found it in 1997 or so, and started interacting with the group and writing short story segments. Much later, when Akosua Brown put together a compilation dealing with COVID (published as Nineteen Tales of COVID-19), I pulled out my old settings, updated the characters, and wrote a short story, The Rabbit Hole.

The Rabbit Trap is a full-size novel in the same setting. It deals with the life of one man: how he and his parents escape from slavery in the dens of the rabbits, and why he wants to go back. 

The humans trapped in slavery eventually revolt; the draft story segment above is a view of the revolt from two rabbits who never really thought about the condition of the humans in their city. Will it make it into the final book? A very good question. There is a lot of work yet to go even before I get to a first draft.

Find out more at SRD Books

About the author

My name is Scott, and I like to make stories.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been creating imaginary worlds. When I was a kid, I tried to build them out of Lego.

In grade 10, I wrote a story for English class. To accompany it, I draw a map of the imaginary island the story was set on. I may have gone a little overboard; I filled a sheet of paper a meter tall and two metres wide with the map. I still remember how bored I got drawing thousands of tiny little trees to fill the forests. In grade eleven and later, I wrote more stories set in the same world.

I went on to various jobs interspersed with various attempts at college and university. Each yielded more story ideas. At one point, I found an online writing community on the old Usenet computer network. I wrote stories and bantered in-character with other authors. Life changed, and I moved on from the group, but the ideas remained, and later on I would use them in assignments when I again returned to school.

These days, I have been lucky enough to find help in planning and building my stories, and even getting them out into the world!

Scott Dawson

Visit the author here: SRD Books

Sign up for his newsletter here: Newsletter link

Other Books from Scott

Once upon a time, there was a refrigerator.

Everyone called him “Little Fridge.”

He was a pleasant little refrigerator, not too large, and not too small.

Children's Book

Pages

Amazon Reviews:

There is a lovely message in The Lonely Little Fridge about finding acceptance. Loved it!.”

“I often feel guilty if I throw things away, especially if they appear to have some life in them! That’s why I often give things away or leave them at the end of the drive, just like this little fridge was. It is so lovely that this caring fridge got a second chance with a new family that needed him. The message seems to be we all belong somewhere.”

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