the rabbit

We have to leave the cabin today, which is a god damn tragedy. Cabin life has been treating me so damn good. I got up early yesterday. Not because some yeti (Julian) was dragging me out of a stale-cigarette scented motel room and I had to, but because the SUN was RISING over a MOUNTAIN and I WANTED TO SEE IT.

Picture it: I’m huddled in a porch chair, watching the sun start to shine on the lake, wrapped in a blanket. Julian brings me a cup of coffee. There are birds just starting to cause a ruckus. A thin mist rising off the water.

Beautiful. The definition of serenity.

I definitely haven’t been wallowing in guilt for having abandoned my mom ever since Mulligan mentioned her on that phone call last week. I’m definitely not thinking about Tilly and Georgia and how furious they inevitably are with me. Definitely not, everything is fine.

Just me, a cup of coffee, the sunrise. The illusion of time having stopped.

Eventually Neal came out too, crunching toast and not even remotely respecting my whole MOMENT. He said, “car today?”

And then Julian said, “Yup.”

And just like that time was back. UGH.

“But won’t they have towed it by now?” I said.

Neal looked at me with all the scorn in the world. “Please,” he said. “Our little rabbit? Nah.”

To which I said, “Neal the rabbit can’t just DECIDE not to get towed,” because OBVIOUSLY the FBI would have taken that car apart piece by piece searching for evidence about all our imagined crimes by now.

(Oh, the rabbit is the car. I thought that was their cute nickname for it because they’re dorks, but it turns out that’s just what the model is called.)

Julian finally explained: “The car is cursed. I’m sure they’re trying to tow us, but they’re not gonna be able to.”

THE CAR IS CURSED?!?!?!!???

“Like… what kind of cursed?” I said, as we loaded up into the rental car.

“Nothing you need to worry about,” Julian said. “It won’t let anyone drive it who hasn’t driven it before with our express permission. All the parts are magically enforced, so it won’t wear down. It’s extra gas efficient.” And then, almost as an afterthought: “If we crash it, everything inside the car freezes until the car goes still again. It’s very unsettling but it WILL save your life.”

It took a second to process, but as Julian backed us out of our little cabin driveway, I realized: “THE RABBIT’S DEATH PROOF?”

“Hey, yeah you two have that in common, huh?” Neal said.

As we were pulling back into the city, I asked how exactly they came into possession of a cursed car, and the answer turned out to be fairly obvious.

“Celeste,” Neal said.

“The whole Flynn Coven,” Julian corrected. “We did a job for them a couple years back. They insisted on paying us, and cursing the car is how they did it.”

“Hell of a job,” I said.

Neal shrugged. “Celeste kinda liked me.”

And to think, I hated that car. On the other had, it seems like if you’re going to go through all the trouble of having the car death-proofed, you might decide on a car from this century. Maybe with a little more interior space. But whatever.

We circled in on the blood bank parking lot slowly, expecting there to be a whole entourage we’d have to figure out how to dodge. But there was no one there. The parking lot had only the expected spattering of cars.

It took us a second to figure it out.

“It’s not there,” Neal realized.

We pulled right into the parking lot, up next to the spot the car should have been. There was no sign of it there, but spray painted onto the pavement was a rabbit.

“Cara,” Julian sighed.

Neal kicked a chip bag that was on the ground and agreed through his teeth: “CARA.”

They didn’t tell me who Cara is, but now we’re back in the rental and everyone’s REALLY MAD.

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