by Ksenia Anske

It's Monday and you're still ALIVE! Wow! How exactly did you manage to do this, I wonder? Because Easter Bunny Apocalypse is killing everything living in its fearsome advance. Don't believe me? Just read Chapter 7 and feel the fur on your neck stand up. (Read how it started here.)

Please welcome our 7th author, Doug Karlson (aka @DEKarlson). Doug is a Cape Cod based journo and mystery writer (not the cozy kind). Addicted to social media but still found time to write his next book, SLEEPER CELL, and is working on sequel to his last book DEVIL'S REEF, which will be called COLD COMFORT. Is the hero, Harry McCoy, his alter ego?  Maaayyybe.

Photo by Marian


Chapter 7 by Doug Karlson

Chip Carpenter took a deep breath while he gathered up his briefing documents. His office was located in the lowest, dampest basement of the outermost ring of the Pentagon, where they stored the old files from the Spanish American War. No one ever called him. No one even knew he existed.

Until today.

Today the phone at the office of Inter-Species Warfare had been ringing off the hook. Suddenly, everyone from the SecDef to POTUS wanted to talk to Captain Chip Carpenter. And they wanted to talk to him now.

Why, of all times, did his…condition have to flare up on a day like this? His doctors called it irritable bowel syndrome, and they said stress played a big role.

If this isn’t stress I don’t know what is, thought Carpenter. But why now, with me due at the White House in fifteen minutes? he asked himself as he stuffed his laptop into his briefcase. Well, even if the President is there, if I have to go, I have to go. There are bathrooms in the White House, he told himself. He took a deep breath, then put his hand on his tummy. Calm down. You’ll be fine.

The Secretary of Defense was waiting for him in the White House when he arrived. They walked together toward the briefing room.

“Just tell him what you told me but leave out all that ancient oracle shit,” said the Secretary.

“Yes, sir.”

When Captain Carpenter entered the small, wood-paneled room two dozen pairs of eyes turned to him. He felt his intestines grumble as he saw a roomful of stars and gold braid and military ribbons—top generals as well as members of the cabinet and officials from the Center for Disease Control.

“Are you Carpenter?”

“Yes, Mr. President.”

“So what the fuck is going on?”

“Sir, as far as I can tell, we’re under attack by,” he paused and swallowed hard. “Rabbits, sir.”

The room went silent. Carpenter felt a sharp pain in his colon. Finally a voice broke the silence, a man in a suit. “Sir, we believe they’ve released a bacterial agent we’re unfamiliar with, not unlike SARS, only more lethal. We’ve also detected a new strain of…catnip, sir.”

“We think they’ve fomented some kind of an animal uprising, sir,” said an Air Force general. “I’ve lost pretty much all my assets west of the Rockies. We don’t have the weapons we need—”

The President cut him off.

“Let me get this straight, you expect me to tell the American people we’re getting our asses kicked by rabbits, and there’s nothing we can do?”

The room suddenly erupted in a sea of angry voices and arguments.

“There is one thing, sir.”

The room fell silent again as the top brass turned to Carpenter.

“I have a colleague in Australia, I met him at a symposium a year ago. He’s a bit of a recluse. See, when he was a kid, his parents had a ranch in Queensland. There was this rabbit explosion, and well, it was pretty bad. But if anyone knows what to do, he does.”

“What’s this guy’s name?” asked the president.

“This is nuts,” said an admiral, “he doesn’t even have security clearance.”

“What’s his name?” repeated the President. He looked straight at Carpenter.

“Donnegan. Bruce Donnegan. Only, whatever you do, sir, don’t use the word ‘rabbit’ when you talk to him.”

“What the hell am I supposed say?”

“Just call them ‘small furry things.’ It’s important. He’s kind of funny that way.”

P.S.: This is the 7th Chapter of EASTER BUNNY APOCALYPSE. Here are other Chapters: Chapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4, Chapter 5, and Chapter 6. Prepare your whiskers! Chapter 8 will be published tomorrow.

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