Tabitha M. Powledge
What I Write
She went to summer camp and left her rabbit in our care. We didn’t mind. The rabbit had even become housebroken. It always shit on sheets of newspaper spread on the floor of her room. This was surprising. But welcome.
He bought the newspaper every morning at the corner store while walking the dog. No newspapers were online then. Nothing was online then, and there were lots of newspapers.
The rabbit was conscientious about the newspaper, just as the cats were conscientious about their box. The dog, of course, was not conscientious, which is why it went on the newspaper-buying trip every morning. He walked the dog again at night, and she walked it in the afternoon until she want to camp. He walked it all the time then. I never walked the dog.
It was summer when she went to summer camp, so we let the rabbit roam our tiny fenced yard. It shit among the plants, I suppose. I never paid much attention.
The rabbit always seemed calm. Unlike the cats and dog, it never made a sound. Because the rabbit was so quiet, it was easy to ignore. Even the dog and cats ignored it. That was surprising too. But welcome.
I was reading the newspaper on our small back porch one afternoon, a cat asleep in my lap. It made turning the newspaper pages inconvenient. Irritating, but I was reluctant to evict the cat.
I was considering giving up on the newspaper instead when I heard a tiny scream. Tiny, but a definite scream. Something small had screamed nearby. The cat woke and went to investigate. So did I.
The cat and I found the rabbit sprawled under a bush, stone dead. No predators around. The rabbit had simply screamed, the only sound I ever heard it make, and dropped dead. Probably heart, the vet said.
We didn’t tell her the rabbit had died until she returned from camp. She was enraged. She said we had killed her rabbit deliberately. We told her we hadn’t. We told her the rabbit was happy hopping in the summer sun. We told her the rabbit had died a natural death in natural surroundings, as natural as they get in the city center. We told her the vet said a heart attack. She didn’t believe us.
She wanted to bury the rabbit under the bush where it died. We told her we had no way to save the corpse until she got home. We had put the rabbit in the garbage. She said we could have put it in the freezer. We hadn’t thought of that. Anyway, there was never room in the freezer.
I Zoomed with her tonight and, laughing, recalled the rabbit. She said she had never forgiven us. She still believed we had killed her rabbit.
It would be easier to read with a cat in my lap now, because I read on a small tablet. But I no longer have a cat.
|What I Write||
I was a science/medical journalist for many years. Hundreds of articles, some in periodicals you’ve heard of, and a couple of books (on the brain, on microbiology.) Now I’m trying to write fiction. Concentrating on short stories, often about science. Is that science fiction?
As I said above, as a science journalist hundreds of articles and a couple books.
I haven’t published any fiction yet, but my short story recently won a small contest here in Tucson. The judge called it erotic science fiction, which flabbergasted me. The prize was a reading at Antigone, a fine local bookshop. Cancelled because of coronavirus, of course
My Write-a-thon Goals
Much more writing. Publication of my fiction. Learning. Fellowship with other writers.