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Flash Fiction

The Man inside the Bunny

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Arms outstretched in white Easter Bunny costume, I feign cheer, hopping through the neighborhoods, namely the upper-crust ones rife with parents driving BMWs. I release candy with methodical, but energetic release. Children smile, children with so much happiness, too young still to know loss. To have people take things, lovers and wives, and livelihood. They hug me, try to hold onto me, but on I bounce down the old fucking bunny trail.

I haven’t felt an intimate touch in years. Not since she left. I can’t think of such things. I can’t let the kids catch me. They’ll just let go, like everyone else anyway.

I spread candy throughout the neighborhood, bouncing about. Every Easter, year after year. Parents smile, thank me, call me altruistic, even though it’s bullshit. Even though I’m paid by them to spread this cheer. In a bunny costume, it’s all too easy to nod, to conceal the disgust, the impulse to give the parents the truth of things, bellowing with bunny-like righteousness.

Paid cheer, truly sick. Sad. I’d tell them to shove the money, but I must accept some realities. The world needs its monkey fed. Credit card companies, landlords who look like Santa’s cynical brother. So forth.

Sometimes, I imagine telling the truth of things, spreading the truth to the children. Explaining a world where people must pretend to be things, where one’s loved ones expect such things, and leave when you don’t live up to expectations. They leave when you’re a writer, holding onto metaphors like a mother holds a child, in spite of the chorus, that rises like a tidal swell. Be realistic, Nick. Find a different position, Nick. You’re crippling our lives together, Nick.

I’d explain that people change, transform into the darkest of things. Loved ones give into the pretense, the bullshit. They leave their radical creeds, their absolute sense of not giving a fuck behind, and give into the man. They withdraw from you. I’d explain all this, but I cannot see the children’s smiles, so young, annoying, and wonderful dissolve.

They keep on coming. They hug, say they love me. Say things that put me in a fucking bad mood and make me want to thank them, all in one.

“Happy Easter!” I proclaim, looking like I’m smiling. They don’t know otherwise.

I can give them this.

Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri

Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His work has been published or is forthcoming in journals such as Drunken Pen Writing, Terror House Magazine, Unstamatic, and Ariel Chart. He lives in Garden Valley, Idaho, United States.

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