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Veronica Abrams

Spite House

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Humanity was nearing extinction and rabbits and voles had virtually taken over. These critters in every city, forest, and prairie all dug themselves deep inside their own perfectly curated holes. A place of solitude, like a fun house mirror- that reflected back to them their own version of reality. Each and every creature was so occupied tinkering around in that darkened space, hiding there, and going in circles deeper and deeper. They never saw the light of day.

Mr. McFigels was one infamous Bank vole, with red-brown fur and some grey patches, who had dug himself in a ditch so deep that he had popped out on the other side. Upon this, his shadow was cast for everyone to view, similar to a Groundhog’s Day prediction, but instead of six more weeks of winter, he guaranteed a future of hell freezing over. Not only had the darkness he cast on the world made him a devilishly powerful rodent, but he did tricks that provided all the animals with a perverse entertainment. This rodeo clown could fool half a prairie, make critical thought and reasoning fade into thin air. He pulled rabbits out of hats and he was a notoriously great tail handler. He was often heard in his burrow making a vile twittering sound, where everyone wondered who’s tail he was pawing at. And as a meadow mouse, playing the field was quite rightly second nature to him.

Both the rabbits and voles of the country went along with their pursuits, digging their heads into the sand and only peeking out occasionally and twittering or bunny whimpering about what Mr. McFigels was up to. One day McFigels sold what little was left of his vole soul in order to become the most powerful Bank vole and have access to the world’s biggest glory hole. It was a lavish place and a spite house. A place he inhabited to annoy others. A great symbol of defiance.

Although, most rabbits didn't like him very much, some of these bunnies had been too busy inhaling weeds and pesticides in the garden all day and weren’t very good at math. They hadn’t added up all the damage he could cause, inaccurately assimilating the information about him into their “bad animal schema,” thinking, four legs + prominent razor sharp teeth = more or less equivalent to any old bad bunny or vole. While there were other rabbits who just sat around whimpering about the harms of non-organic micro-greens at their farm to table corners.


I was only a bunny fetus- still in utero, but I was smart enough to see it. Inside the womb I heard him twittering that he would round up all the female rabbits by Sunday and deport them to Spite House. He was looking for some “female assistance”, but I knew being the polygamous hunting vole that he was, it was really due to the fact that he wasn’t getting enough prey lately. And the very next morning, my mom became one of his victims. She was just playing quietly, digging in the sand, when a bad vole came and grabbed her by her bunny tail, and booted us out of our burrow.

My mom entered Spite House bright eyed and bushy tailed, like an eager beaver. She hadn't been out of her neck of the woods very often, not to mention she worshipped McFigel’s daughter, Volvanna for her keen fur and was highly looking forward to meeting her. My mom was so bedazzled by the elaborate setup, the lush forested grotto with palm trees and a pineapple shaped golden shower fountain that she mistook this place for the Garden of Eden. And she couldn’t see it, he was just a gnarly rodent conquistador who wanted to conquer her and all the bunny’s holes.

But immediately she was locked in the closet on the second floor with an enclave of displaced rabbits. Sexy smelling beauty balms of vanilla and cetearyl alcohol greeted the fur of all the new arrivals. As we were the lab rats. Just their guinea pigs. Primed for animal testing. For all the products Mr. McFigels would soon be franchising.

That first night my mom lay huddled in the corner, without being given any dinner, freezing cold and shivering, as a large fluffy patch of her soft brown fur had been burned off from the shampoo product testing. She didn't mind exposing herself to him though. If he wanted to shave her whole happy trail you know she'd let him. She was starved into submission. She probably didn’t even care if I got fetal alcohol poisoning and died, just as long as McFigel’s had a funeral for my bunny fetus. And even though she smelled like spring breeze, it couldn’t mask the stench of her sitting in her own filth, piled on top of all those other bunnies, yellow footed immersed in piss and pellets.

But what made it that much worse was that all night long we could hear through the floor, the grunting of all the young albino play bunnies hopping with him in the indoor Olympic sized grotto watering hole. However, once the thumping and humping finally died down I heard him let out a raging wild twitter, and everybody knew that when a loud vole noise sounds that it is a warning sign. A threat, a danger. Often indicating an infestation. This time was no different. As through gritted teeth he spat that he was going to bring the disease of the old world back. As he planned to infect all the non-albino rabbits with the Septicemic plague.

Although the voles had originally thought having McFigels in Spite House would be the panacea to all the plagues and suffering, they hadn’t realized that he himself carried the plague. Some facts about voles are 1.) they eat away all the roots and 2.) cause the black death 3.) do a lot of damage to the environment in a short amount of time and 4.) voles can give mammals such as rabbits the plague but they themselves are pretty resilient to it. But no one was quite certain if #4 was true or an alternative fact. The voles had entrusted him enough, that he had been successfully able to cut the plague vaccination from all Common vole habitat fertilizer.

Still unborn I stayed up all night, I couldn’t let this bad vole win at yet another one of his games of mouse and kitten. His next round of wack-a-mole. Why was I the only one that had been able to sniff out his bullshit? I had to save the day. Rescue everyone and help them all hop away. That is if typhus from the squalor didn't get to them first.

And just a few weeks later, fresh out of the womb, barely weaned from my mother, I put the plan I devised into action. My teeth brand new, nowhere near my full hopping speed potential, but the duty was upon me to come to the rescue. It was my time to take down that bad field mouse, I would be as heroic as little bunny fufu herself.

The wooden boards tasted of sweet cedar as I begin to gnaw and chew. Although the floor seemed an impregnable barrier it finally cracked and I fell through. Down I tumbled in a giant whoosh to the Spite House lobby. There it was: the play bunnies in the golden shower, the Bank voles bowing to the golden vole statue. And Mr. McFigels- caught red handed in his grotto licking some raw bloody rabbit meat off one of his deceased precious albino play bunnies. As he had un-intentionally even infected them, because he forgot to wear protection. With the fur still hanging from his palette and his paws bright red everyone would be able to see for themselves that he was a plague carrier. He even had a freshly cut rabbit foot necklace on a chain dangling from around his neck for good luck.

"Now we all know the twuth" I said, my first words through my buck rabbit teeth, "you’re not the real savior, you’re an imposter. You’re a bad vole, Mr. Mcfigels. You hurt little bunnies." I said as the rest of the wood and glass ceiling collapsed and my mother and every bunny came tumbling down. There they could see it with their own little brown beady eyes. It was nothing but a glorified mouse trap. A bunny genocide. But instead of being upset when the ceiling hit the fan and they saw this shit show, the fallen bunnies in their exposed skin, fur burnt off from the product testing, all quickly whipped out their cellphone cameras to shame those still wearing animal fur, totally outraged by the injustice of it. Attacking each other and not him, the real vermin. Praying that others would like and follow them down the rabbit hole. And that it would be their photo that would go even more viral than the plague.

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