You’re in the woods. You’re holding your neighbour’s rusty shovel, and your ex-girlfriend’s murdered rabbit in a spit-stained pillowcase. You’re hungry. You’re cold. You wonder, for the first time, at least tonight, how your freight-train life capsized off the tracks. Last week you were on land, this morning on the beach and now you’re out over the ocean. Way out over the Pacific. A big old train, upside-down and inside-out, buoyed only by the salty mess in which you’ve got yourself. Idiot. Whimper through your gritted teeth. Sink. Sink. You start to dig.
A lonely truck’s headlights ripple through the trees and you pause. It’s darker than before. You’re hitting clay and those little pebbly rocks. The shovel is chiming like cheap funeral bells and shedding flakes of rust, or congealed sweaty-bloody mud every time you try to penetrate the packed earth. And you think fuck this through the first pinch of tears. A car alarm howls in sympathy. Your stomach howls back. Then silence.
You’re hollow, filled with all this salty water. With tears and sweat and blister juice waiting to spew out and god fucking damn this fucking goddamned rabbit. You toss the pillowcase against the base of a tree and, shovel shouldered, slump towards the street with a monstrous scream bubbling in your guts.
You’re cold. You’re hungry. Ravenous. Dinner is waiting for you at your ex-girlfriend’s house, but that’s not your dinner anymore. You reach your bicycle, the leather seat rotted through by rain. The neon sign overhead makes your hands jump and multiply. Here come the tears. No. It’s the shitty sign. You’re crying.
It’s just the sign. Look up. BUTCHER blazes and blinks red in time with the shrill thrum of its heartbeat socket.
And there’s upside-down and inside-out ducks in the window.
And there are rabbits.
And you’re so hungry.
You stick your head through the door and ask if they’re still open. They are. You ask if they’ll be open in ten minutes. They will be. You ask, with a nod to the window, if it’s rabbit season. Oh, it is.
And you walk back to the woods.
You’ll miss your full-steam-ahead train before you realise you were never on it.