5:31

5:31

Rabbits are always late

I’m late, I’m late
Late getting started
Out the gate

No time, it’s fine
Just write something funny
That will rhyme

With hares, and snares
Trapping rabbits et al.
A tale most fair

Beavers bouncing
Closed crates also jouncing
Uncomfortable fling

If words might fail
Baffle them all with lies
About the whale o’ a tale

 

5:30

5:30

In the other room Caroline’s cellphone began to ring. She paused in her scrubbings for just a moment, then bent her head and renewed her efforts with even more vigour.

The phone buzzed insistently, but she continued to ignore it. “Why the fuck did I ever agree to this? What was I thinking?” she muttered almost incoherently. In her ears the sound of the phone seemed to grow louder and louder, but she focused on the sound of the water and the sharpness of the cleansing pain as she worked the rough stone over her violently red hands. “This isn’t right. Dirty animals. This just isn’t right!” she spat out, trying to drown out the insistent noise of the phone.

“I have no time for you!” she screamed at last and the phone fell silent. “I have no time for you,” she repeated in a soft whimpering tone. “I have no time.” She slowly stopped scrubbing her now bleeding hands and watched the blood and water mix into a pink foam as it poured down the drain in front of her.

Caroline looked up into the bathroom mirror and her face started to collapse. Tears slowly leaked from her eyes although she knew she wasn’t crying. She didn’t cry; she hadn’t since she had left home. The mixture of fear and rage that had fueled her since she left the park was gone and all that was left was pain. And right now, right at this moment, pain was not enough.

“Not fair,” she told the mirror as she slowly slipped down to the bathroom floor. “Not fair.”

 

5:29

5:29

Caroline washed her hands again. They were already raw from related scrubbings with her pumice, but she just couldn’t seem to get them clean.

Whatever had possessed her to get involved in this? She’d actually had to touch that disgusting pair of wild animals. Carrying them across the field had been like holding onto dead flesh. They had flopped and rolled in the most unsettling manner and the drool rolling off the putrid pink tongue of that rabbit had dribbled down her arm, almost making her throw up. After dumping them in the crate she had literally run for her car and been trying to wash the stench off ever since.

Caroline looked up into the mirror. What she saw was a haggard-looking woman stripped down to her bra. She stood with bright-red hands and forearms and a look of desperation wrapped her features like an opaque veil.

“Why did I ever get involved in this?” she asked the desperate woman. “I will never be clean again…” She received no answer and resumed scrubbing her hands, wringing them desperately and slathering on even more antibacterial soap from the pump dispenser.

5:28

5:28

Gareth checked his Facebook before he was really awake. He’d grabbed his phone and seen a little red 1 beside the Facebook icon, so he’d pushed it to see whether it was anything interesting. The first thing to pop up was a link from Shayne, an old high school bud, about a new Greek restaurant called Spiros. Unusually for him, he hit the link.

Gareth really wasn’t a social network kind of guy. The noise to signal ratio was too big these days and he couldn’t be bothered sorting through the crap. But he still kept up enough to see how the family was doing and check on the few friends he cared to keep up with. He almost never clicked on anything.

Spiros’ web page popped up with a big advertisement promising good times, a great atmosphere and delicious food. Apparently the special tonight was Stifado, a spiced rabbit stew.

“Maybe Rowan is interested in some Hasenpfeffer,” he murmured to himself sleepily. “Gotta remember to ask.” He dropped the phone on the bed and rolled to his feet. A few seconds of rubbing his eyes and stretching his back and he popped up and headed for the bathroom.

“Time to start the day,” he informed the picture of John Lennon on the wall in the hallway. John, as usual, didn’t have much to say to that. Gareth figured it was because John just wasn’t as much of a morning person as he was.

He started up the shower and smiled into the dirty mirror. “Wascally wabbit!” He push aside the shower curtain climbed over the side of the tub. “Figaro… Figaro, Figaro, Figaro, Figaroooo …”

 

5:27

5:27

High up in the tower room, a soft light glowed a steady green and then flashed orange twice before resuming its steady emerald tone. In the dark room the orange flashes lit up the room like erratic lighting, but there was no one there to see.

A thin film of dust had begun to collect on the surfaces of various objects in the room. There was no indication that anyone had occupied the room in several weeks, and the door was slightly ajar, occasionally gliding gently back and forth in response to the slight breeze from the high windows. A bottle with dark amber liquid lay on its side on the side table. A dirty glass sat beside it.

The light flashed bright orange again twice, but there was still no one to see.

 

5:25

5:25

Zzzzzzzzzzzwhat! I … huh? Whatever … ? Well, now, what in heaven’s name is going on here? Let me see. Page, ummmmmm, 423, 424 …

Oh, for goodness sake, can a narrator not take a nap now and then without a plot going to the dogs? Never work with kids and animals, they told me, but did I listen?

Now let’s just set this to rights. First things first: Form 427b. Let see, name, address, case number… Yes, yes, yes. Incident report attached? Ah, Form 65: Incident Report: Non-Binding. Then I shall just file this to …. ? My goodness, this is an old address; it’s such a bother when they change ministries so often. I’ll just requisition a new form … Yes, Form 97b(rev.) and like so …

Ah, that is so satisfying. I do love a well-run office: everything in its place and a place for everything. Step by step I will drag this morass of chaos into linearity and order. None of this sideways nonsense anymore.

So, now we wait. Shan’t be more a than a few days, a week at most, to get the new forms. Then we will fill those out, submit them to the governance department for disposition, wait to see under whose authority this little incident will be adjudicated and be back on track before the new month has barely started.

And all’s well that ends well, I say.

But while we wait, let’s just review… Grilled beaver tail, eh? Hmmmm, I do feel … a bit … peckish …

 

5:24

5:24

Edward looked back at the beaver and his eyes twitched down to stare at the beaver’s tail. “I know what you mean,” he replied. Then he shook his head violently, ears flapping back and forth. “Eew. That’s disgusting!”

He rolled his eyes back then glared at the ceiling and continued: “And you, please cease and desist. It’s beneath you and certainly an indication of your innate laziness. Please spare us the delaying tactics and just get on with it.”

The beaver just stared at Edward. “Ummm, yah… whatever.” He turned back to the freshly gnawed hole in the floor of the crate.

 

5:23

5:23


BBQ Beaver Tail

(from http://www.beaversaretasty.com)

Prepare the day before for best flavour.

1-2 beaver tails, skin on
1 cup of marinade (below)
Your favorite BBQ sauce

Marinade
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 tsp salt
Black pepper
2 whole cloves

  • Place tails on a very hot grill.
  • Reduce heat to medium; cook until skin blisters and separates from meat.
  • Remove and let cool.
  • Once cool, remove skin and discard. Place meat in ziplock bag with marinade and refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove meat from marinade and place on a hot grill.
  • Baste with BBQ sauce and cook over medium heat. Baste often.

Serve when heated through.

Enjoy!