Edmond Carmichael trod through deep snow, making his way up the steep drive to his front door. He’d been away for far too long, and in his eagerness to get inside and out of the cold, he broke his key off in the lock.
“Fuck me,” he snarled. His body shivering from the cold, he gripped the doorknob tightly and turned with all his might. The lock cracked and the knob turned. He swung the door open and stepped inside.
Edmond slammed the door shut and brushed the snow from his clothes. “Genevieve! How is it that you convinced a tropical creature like myself to move to an arctic wasteland again?” He waited for a reply, but none came.
“Genevieve?” he shouted, lowering a small sack onto the floor near the door.
“Just a minute,” a tiny voice called to him.
Something was afoot. Lifting the bag from the floor, Edmond moved quietly up the stairs. He crept across the landing and slowly opened the door to his library. His eyes caught movement in the sheets draped over his chair, and he slowly stepped inside.
He waited a brief moment until a small black rabbit crawled out from beneath the chair. “Edmond!” she shrieked. “I said I’d be right down.”
He eyed her curiously and moved over to take a seat in his chair. “What are you doing in here, Genevieve?”
The rabbit moved away from him with nonchalance, trying to seem as inconspicuous as possible. “I always come through and clean up before you get home. I just didn’t expect you until tomorrow, is all.”
Edmond knew she was lying, but he played along. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be so suspicious.”
Genevieve nodded. “You should be sorry. Now if you’ll excuse me, I was dusting under there.” She hopped back over and squeezed underneath the chair.
“Let me help you with that.” Edmond said, quickly sliding off the chair onto his knees and shoving his arm past the dangling sheets. He quickly recoiled, cradling his pointer finger in his other hand. “Gena, you bit me!”
“I said I’m handling it. Go downstairs and have a snack,” she squeaked.
Edmond reached for a nearby back scratcher, his absolute favorite of human inventions, and stuck it under the chair. He felt resistance and pushed hard, forcing out not only Genevieve but a thick black book as well.
The book was called “The Moonlight Saga.” What she was hiding was worse than he had imagined. It was the book written about him, the very thing he was fighting to protect himself from.
“Genevieve, you promised you wouldn’t read it. You know what—” He didn’t get to finish.
Genevieve hopped onto the chair next to him and stood up on her hind legs, trying to reach his eye level. “Don’t give me that speech again. There’s nothing to do around here while you’re gone for weeks gallivanting and shit. Besides, it’s not like I can go to a store and pick up something else to read.”
Edmond got to his feet, leering down at his furry companion. “But you promised me that you wouldn’t.”
Genevieve’s usually wide, round eyes narrowed as her temper flared. “Yeah, well, too bad. I guess holding to our word isn’t a trait many men care about in the perfect woman. And like it’s so hard for you being the perfect man. The worst thing that happens to you is them turning you into a slobbering mess, devoted to every girl that crosses your path because of a book. A damned nudie magazine comes out and men start thinking of the bunny of the month as the perfect woman and the damn cosmos can’t figure out colloquialism, so I get turned into a rabbit. Although it does beat the fifteen hundred years I spent unable to speak because your brutish, hairy kind liked their women quiet. Forgive me for not having a lot of compassion for you, Edmond, at least you’re still a biped. Stop being such a fucking baby.”
“You know I’ve been around a lot longer than you have—” Edmond was interrupted again.
“Which only means that women figured out they could conjure up the man of their dreams in their imagination before men did. Color me surprised.” Genevieve hopped down from the chair and out the door. “It’s not all about you, Edmond!” she shouted, bounding down the stairs.
Edmond paused a moment and crossed the room to grab his bag. He opened it up and arranged the contents on the nearby bookshelf. One tiny violin, a cheap cigar, a fake diamond tiara, two pirate action figures, and a one-legged doll: his trophies from his successful fanfiction assassinations. He pulled off his hat and mask, placing them on the shelf as well. He plopped down in his chair and let his head fall back as his eyes slid shut. “I don’t know how to help you, Genevieve, but you know I would if I could.”
One arm dangling over the side, he fell asleep from exhaustion. He dreamed of long ago, of his past during a time when man was fighting over holy land.