When Rabbit Howls by Truddi Chase

When Rabbit Howls by Truddi Chase

Author:Truddi Chase
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Published: 1990-03-31T16:00:00+00:00


DAWN came into the loft bedroom. The woman untangled herself from the sodden and rumpled sheets. Wet stone walls and a swaying motion . . . she hung onto the bathroom door for support. She brushed her teeth with two kinds of toothpaste and gargled with Listerine, but the taste of well water remained.

Dazed, she dressed in whatever lay at the foot of the bed, but the bright blue blouse and the white slit skirt were not what had been laid out the night before. Exhausted but still in the grip of last night’s raging fear and the coldness that had settled into her bones, she drove to the university.

She walked into the session that morning and spent a half-hour telling Stanley that the second well did not exist. Stanley watched her; he couldn’t envision anything to do with a well that might have torn her apart this way. He kept pressing because if she didn’t unload and face it, the fear would grow, and possibly explode outside a session. She was unshakable, her face frozen and blank. During her fourth or fifth disavowal, the adult voice grew tiny and tears rolled down over what were no longer high cheekbones but the smooth and rounded face of a child.

In the dead essence of Olivia II’s six-year-old mind as she surfaced and began to speak, things were as they had been on the day of her “death.” As she sat playing in the field at the second farmhouse, there came the call of a far-off bird, his song heavy with summer’s inertia. The sun beat down on the hedgerow that surrounded her on four sides like tall green fortress walls. The leaves were silent in the windless heat, and perspiration matted the pale curls framing her face. A giant daddy longlegs crept up a blade of grass near her bare toes. She watched his spindle legs, bent in the slow-motion, stop-and-go walk that took him precisely wherever he wanted. The actions mesmerised her, claimed the attention she had been giving to the shards of coloured glass in her lap. They had been lovingly collected. One was a deep, navy blue that had once been a whole drinking glass, the other was ruby-red, a fragment from a heavy service bowl. She had more, pried up from the soil in the area where the stepfather burned the trash from the house.

Regardless of the treasured glass and over a strong sense of apprehension, her eyes were riveted on the spider. Her mind soared for a moment, then focused. Unaware of what she was doing, the future course it would take, she memorised the spider’s motions, refined them. She was, in effect, “giving birth” to the seed that would eventually become Grace, the Zombie. The Zombie, not the child, would walk out of this field today.

The child didn’t know that and yet she was suddenly doubly afraid, as if a chill wind had sprung up. The daddy longlegs’s motions had carried him up the blade of grass to where its tender green tip lay against the rock rim of the old well.


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