Pelt the Rabbit in his Big White Face!

“There’s this big rabbit and he’s huge, he’s like 6 foot, right, and he’s got this massive face and, I mean, it doesn’t matter where you are, right, you could be wherever, could be by a windmill, it doesn’t matter…” Vince teaches Howard how to play Pelt the Rabbit in his Big White Face.

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Pelt the Rabbit in his Big White Face! by Amy Wolf

“There you are,” Howard said. “About time. Do you know how late you are?”

Vince shrugged. “No idea.” He was barefoot, Howard saw, and wearing the same clothes from the night before.

“Four hours late! It’s noon! I’ve had to cover for you all morning. Let’s hear it, then.” He looked Vince up and down and pulled out the notebook. “This should be good.”

“I was playing, ‘Pelt the rabbit in his big white face,’ and I didn’t have any pockets.”

Howard’s pen froze in place. “Excuse me?”

“You know how it is with jumpsuits. Pockets just spoil the lines! Leroy was supposed to have money for the cab home, but he ran off right away. I won, but I couldn’t find him afterwards. So I had to walk home, barefoot, from Soho.” Vince looked at the stairs. “If it’s noon, does that mean I have time to pop upstairs and change? I’d rather not accidentally start the ‘just like last night, but barefoot’ trend.”

Howard nodded. “Fine. Go. Try not to pelt any rabbits while you’re up there.”

“If the rabbit comes, you’ve got to pelt him.” Vince gave Howard a serious look. “Trust me on that.” He dashed up the stairs.

Howard sighed and scribbled in his notebook. Pelt the rabbit in his big white face! What would Vince think of next?

“Come on, come on.” Howard drummed his fingers on the steering wheel. “Where are you?”

Outside the van, various trendy types streamed into the club, occasionally stopping to give Howard a funny look.

One rapped on the window.

Howard rolled it down. “I’m not a delivery man, thank you! I’m waiting for a friend!”

“Is this your girlfriend?” the man asked. He dragged Vince up to the window.

Vince grinned, rather drunkenly. “Hey, that’s Howard! Have I told you about Howard? He’s great!”

“You said.” The man sighed. “Several times. Now go home with him, love, before you meet someone who isn’t as nice as me.”

Vince shook his head. “No, it’s okay. Everyone I meet is nice. Everyone likes me. That’s just how I am. It’s why they bought me so many drinks.”

Howard leant over and opened the passenger door. “Get in!”

“Right.” Vince turned and gave the strange man a kiss on the cheek. “Cheers, Steve. Thanks a lot.”

“Sam,” the man corrected. He looked at Howard. “If I had a girl like this, I wouldn’t be letting her out of my sight.” He turned and slipped back into the crowd.

“Who was that?” Howard asked, helping Vince into the van.

“Steve? Met him tonight. He’s great.” Vince slid into the seat. “I think he fancies me. Got my number.”

“Then he called me to come and pick you up, you berk! He wasn’t flirting, he was just being… decent!”

“That’s where you’re wrong.” Vince held up a finger. “See, if a bloke really likes you, if he fancies you absolutely rotten, he’ll be all nice and noble. Look after you. Help you out when you need it.”

“Is that right?” Howard asked, fastening Vince’s seatbelt.

“Yeah. Because he’s not just trying to get in your trousers that way. He’s really into you, and cares what you think about him. Tries to be all heroic. That means he’s in love.” Vince slumped back in the seat, and squinted at the clock. “Why’s it say, ‘Eoo’?”

“That’s three, you idiot! As in three am.” Howard sighed, and pulled away.

“Perfect.” Howard pulled over to the side of the road. “We’re out of petrol.”

Vince jerked his head up, and blinked. “What?”

“We’re out of petrol. That means we have to get out and walk.” Howard undid his seatbelt and opened the door. “Come on, I spotted a station about a mile back.”

Vince stepped out, looking around. “Do you have pockets?”

“Of course!” Howard always had pockets. Pockets increased the utility of an outfit. At the moment, he had twenty-seven pockets, not counting his socks. “Why do you want to know if I have pockets or not?” He grabbed the empty petrol canister.

“In case we have to play ‘Pelt the rabbit in his big white face.’ These are new boots.”

Howard gave Vince a look. “Is that the sort of game that’s likely to break out spontaneously by the side of the road?”

Vince nodded. “Yeah. That’s the genius bit; it can happen anywhere!”

“We’ll we’re not playing any stupid game with a rabbit.”

“No, you don’t want to do that.” Vince shook his head. “If the rabbit comes, you have to play.”

“What kind of game is this, anyway?” Howard kicked a pebble by the side of the road.

“That’s not really a game, is it? It’s more like a series of events. A series of horrific events… cumulating in a rape.”

Vince shook his head. “It’s a terrific bunny bumming! Anyways, it’s loads of fun if you win.”

“Your idea of fun is to narrowly escape being sodomized by a giant rabbit?” Howard shook his head. He glanced over at the countryside. “That’s funny. I didn’t know they had windmills around here.”

Vince didn’t say anything.

“Didn’t you say something about windmills and that… rabbit-thing?” Howard gave a worried squint into the distance.

“No, it’s not windmills you got to watch out for. That’s only sometimes. What you really have to look out for is the music.”

“What music?”

Off in the distance, a song started to play.

Pelt the rabbit in his big white face! Pelt him! Pelt him!

Howard dropped the canister in terror.

“That music,” Vince said. “Run!”

“Howard!” Vince’s hand slipped from Howard’s grasp.

Howard turned. Vince had fallen down, and was clutching his ankle.

He could hear the rabbit thundering through the underbrush.

“This is what happens when you wear those stupid Cuban heels! They’re completely impractical, I told you! You should wear nice, sensible hiking boots at all times.” Howard reached down to pull Vince up. “Come on, let’s get going.”

Vince took a step, then moaned in pain. “I think I sprained it.” He took another hopping little hobble.

It was true, Howard realized. Vince could hardly walk. And the rabbit was getting closer.

He lowered Vince to the ground, gently. “Well, it’s ‘Pelt the rabbit in his big white face!’ yeah? Here’s as good of a spot as any to pelt him from.” He began rummaging through his pockets.

“You know, you could get away.”

Howard shook his head. “It doesn’t work like that, little man. We stand together.” He had eleven euros in change, a compass, a torch, his keys, a ball of string, and his juju beads. He didn’t want to think about how little impact that would make on a six-foot rabbit.

“You’d face a bunny-bumming for me?”

“Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.” Howard squared his shoulders, and listened for the rabbit.

It charged straight out in front of him, six feet of fluffy white fury.

He tossed the compass at it. And missed.

He tried with the torch. Missed again.

The coins jingled to the ground in a pathetic heap, about a foot shy of the rabbit. So did the keys.

The string just came unraveled when he tried to throw it.

There was only one thing for it.

“Don’t kill me!” he cried. “I have so much to give!”

“Howard!” Vince shouted.

Howard glanced over, and caught the boot Vince had just tossed him.

And nailed the rabbit with it. Right in the middle of his big white face.

The rabbit froze. Then, whimpering, it turned and dashed off into the night.

“You did it!” Vince shouted. “We won! We won!”

“I have to admit,” Howard said, “that was pretty fun.”

“Told you.” Vince grinned. “Now what?” His smile gleamed rather fetchingly in the moonlight, Howard noticed.

Howard looked away. “Now we play a new game. It’s called, “Help Howard find his keys.”