My April Blog hop’s flash fiction piece is once again an Ernie and Pierce story. I couldn’t resist revising this character and the events of last April Fools.
Read my story below, and scroll to the end to find links to continue the blog hop.
Night had settled around Guard Village – Senior Living, leaving the building dark and quiet. Or as quiet as a home with thin walls, and old men who could win contests in snoring ever got.
It was one of the few times that Ernie could sit and read his book uninterrupted, without anyone-
Tap. Tap. Tap.
The sound was faint under the chain-saw-like drone of the snores, coming from his window. But Ernie didn’t care enough to go check.
He was reading his book and no one was-
Tap. Tap. Tap. The rattle on glass came again. “Pisst. I’m looking for Ernie?”
Ernie scowled at the curtain. The smell of wet fur seeped into the room. Did no one respect the privacy of sleep any more? Not that Ernie needed sleep, of course, but still, it was –
Tap. Tap. Tap.
“What-” Ernie hissed as he crossed the room to shove open the curtains. The rest of the words shrivelled up as he took in the… Ernie struggled to give it a name as the creature stood frozen in the light from the window, eyes wide like it was about to bolt.
It stood as tall and straight as a man, with white fur, long floppy ears, a small pink nose, and tiny whiskers that stuck out from each side of its face. At least Ernie knew where the wet fur smell had come from. The creature was soaked through from the spring drizzle. Though that was the least of Ernie’s concern.
“Umm,” it said, taking another step back, so it was half in the shadows. “Hi. I’m Bob.”
“What do you want?” Ernie said at last, lifting the window. Even for him, a Wererabbit outside his window was strange.
“You have to help!” Bob said, hoping a step closer. “Everyone is affected.”
Ernie blinked at it slowly, waiting for more information, but nothing else was provided. It just continued to watch Ernie with its far to enormous eyes.
“Who is affected? By what?” Ernie asked after an uncomfortable moment of silence.
“The Rabid Rabbit! Everyone has changed. You have to come fix it!”
“Who told you I could fix…” Ernie trailed off, giving the damp Wererabbit another once over. Only one person would send something like this out into public. “Pierce?”
Bob nodded his head rapidly, taking another hop closer with his excitement. “Pierce said you could fix it!”
Of course he had.
“And what am I meant to do, exactly?”
Bob’s face fell, tears hovered on the edge of falling.
“Alright!” Ernie said hurriedly before there were full on water works. “I’ll help.”
“Thank you!” Bob said, bouncing on the balls of his feet, like it was ready to dart away that second.
“Wait there,” Ernie said with a sigh as he closed the window. He needed to find Pierce a hobby.
The Rabid Rabbit was a small hole in the wall bar in the centre of town. It was the only non-human bar in the area, and it made the best use of the rather dubious honour.
Ernie stopped in the doorway as he entered. A rather potent scent crawled up Ernie’s nose, making his eyes water. Ernie didn’t look too closely at the floor. The place was filled with… Rabbits. Not all had a human form like Bob, but none of them were the size that a rabbit should have been.
In the centre of it all, one man sat at a table alone. Entirely human in looks and apparently unaffected by whatever magic had spread through the bar. He had a small smile on his face as he watched the chaos. There was something familiar about him.
The smile slipped as he caught sight of Ernie, but he didn’t make a move to leave.
“Ernie!” Pierce’s voice came from the mouth of a grey rabbit near the scarred wooden bar. He was drinking a very orange coloured liquid. “You made it!”
“What are you doing, Pierce?” Ernie said, crossing his arms as he watched Pierce down the rest of his drink. “Transformation magic doesn’t affect you.” Because that was what it was, Ernie was certain. Though the why escaped him.
“I was feeling left out,” Pierce said, smiling, showing two giant bunny teeth.
Ernie shivered and looked away. Pierce had done a good job replicating the image, but that smile just wasn’t natural. Ernie would have preferred to see Pierce’s Draug form. When a skeleton looked better, that said a lot.
“Why didn’t you just call me on the phone?” Ernie asked.
“And what would the fun in that be?” Pierce said, whiskers twitching.
Bob scowled at Pierce. Or at least Ernie thought it was a scowl. It was difficult to tell under the fur. “You said I had to go in person. What if a human believed I was a Wererabbit?”
“Don’t be such a worry wart. No one would ever have been able to prove it on April Fool’s day,” Pierce said, laughing as he slapped the man on his fur covered back.
Ernie rolled his eyes as he grabbed the angry Wererabbit by his arm.
“Tell me what happened?” Ernie asked, deciding to distract Bob before things turned nasty
“Him!” Bob said, pointing to the human shaped man in the centre of the room.
“The Werewolf?” Ernie asked, eying up the man. This magic wasn’t in their wheelhouse. But Ernie had finally remembered where he’d seen the man before. Last april the werewolf had changed into a Wererabbit a lot like Bob.
“Does he look familiar to you?” Pierce said, scooting back over the bar to accept another glass of orange liquid that the bartender gave him.
“Turn them back,” Ernie said, shaking his head. The bar grew quiet as they watched the exchange. Waiting to see what was going to happen.
The Werewolf scowled at Pierce. “They deserved it.”
“I’m sure I’ve seen him somewhere before?” Pierce said, squinting at the man as he nudged Ernie.
“Maybe if I spun your head around the other way, it would jog your memory?” The Werewolf said.
“You could try. Though I don’t know how it would help. I wouldn’t be able to see you any more?”
Ernie rolled his eyes, elbowing Pierce in the side to shut him up. “I don’t care if they deserved it. Turn them back now,” Ernie said.
“Why should I? They enjoyed this joke so much last year, after all?”
“Last year I didn’t have rabbit shit all over my floor,” the bartender piped up. He had also taken on the shape of a rabbit, through a suspiciously petite one that allowed him to fit behind the bar. There was a lot of silence, and people shuffling their feet to that declaration.
Pierce tapped his finger on his lips. “You were at the Christmas party, right? That’s where I know you from?”
The werewolf snarled and pushed to his feet.
“Think carefully about how this ended for you last time,” Ernie said, crossing his arms. He might not have looked impressive in his old man form, but the Werewolf remembered Ernie well enough. Last time he’d taken a swing, Ernie had broken his wrist.
The Werewolf turned away.
“Good choice,” Ernie said. “Now turn them back.”
“The curse will wear off at dawn,” the Werewolf muttered.
All but Bob cheered, making the Werewolf jump.
“This is Awesome!”
“Best April Fools EVER,” one of them said.
The Werewolf looked taken aback as another slapped him on the back. “This is great. Way better than last year.”
“Great? How is this great?” Bob said, scowling. “My wife will kill me if I drag fur over her house.”
“Sounds like a great excuse to keep drinking to me,” Pierce said, taking another swig of his drink. Someone had refilled it.
The bar patrons cheered again, calling for a round of drinks, pulling Bob and the Werewolf deeper into the chaos. They seemed confused, but pleased to be dragged into the group of very happy rabbits.
“Are you going to buy me one of those?” Ernie said to Pierce, giving him a sideways look.
“Only if you tell me where I know him from,” Pierce said, voice holding a whiny pitch. “It’s really annoying me.”
Ernie rolled his eyes.
“What do you remember about last April Fools?” Ernie said, smiling as he slapped Pierce’s shoulder. This was going to be fun.
Did you like Ernie? Here are some freebies to enjoy!
In the Cards is free on Amazon – https://books2read.com/u/3JXO8K
Finding Deaths Scythe is free if you sign up to me newsletters –https://www.jemmaweir-com.preview-domain.com/newsletter
Find more Ernie in this grumpy anthology – Grandad Swap made it into an Anthology, Grumpy Gods V5.
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Grumpy-Old-Trickster-Gods-Anthology-ebook/dp/B09WXB2HGS/
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Grumpy-Old-Trickster-Gods-Anthology-ebook/dp/B09WXB2HGS/
Keep reading April’s blog hop by following the links below.
Coming Out by Katharina Gerlach
Rabid Rabbits Revenge by Jemma Weir <– You are here
The Ballad of Jamie Stewart by Vanessa Wells
Moon Flower by Melanie J. Drake