A Bunny for Brady - by Vriendelijks
‘I hear babies cry, I watch them grow, They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know, And I think to myself what a wonderful world, Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.’
‘Brady? Brady? BRADY!’ an seemly angry voice shouted out.
Trudy tossed back her long purple hair and stormed up the staircase with her best mommy’s mad face going to confront her daughter knowing full well what she was into right now.
‘Brady, if you don’t…’ she began storming into the room and stopping at the sight of Brady sitting the bed watching her little sister sleeping in the crib.
The blonde girl turned to her mother and put a finger to her mouth, ‘shh Mommy you’ll wake the baby,’ she replied mimicking Trudy’s previous actions when it came to Brady’s outbursts.
Trudy froze place torn between anger and amusement. Not sure which she really wanted to express she took a leisure moment to study her six year old. The twenty one year old mother of two decided to finally submit to her amusement and laughed at the joy of this moment.
‘Honey, why are you standing over your sister when she’s sleeping? I told you to leave her be,’ Trudy reminded her with a soft tone.
‘She was making noises so I thought she would want my stuffed unicorn,’ Brady explained in a childish voice before motioning to the unicorn that Brianna was sleeping on, ‘It worked, she stopped making noises.’
Trudy blinked in surprise that Brady even thought to do that. Kids these days seemed a hundred times smarter than they were. It must be that someone the survival scenario had built them with a natural intelligence to survive, and sense when things were off. Trudy didn’t even have any idea that Brianna had been crying let alone that Brady had heard.
‘Well that’s very sweet but let Brianna sleep okay. Besides Christmas is six days away and you haven’t told me what you want,’ she insisted pulling Brady out of the room.
As they headed for the exit, Brady gave her sister a fleeting look with a wave causing Trudy to grin a bit. Brady really liked being a big sister, and it was the best thing she could have asked for once she had found out she was pregnant.
‘So what do you want?’ Trudy asked once they were earshot distance.
‘Mommy I want a bunny for Christmas,’ Brady declared with a big partial toothless grin. Her wild curly hair getting stuck on her only remaining big tooth as she stated this.
‘A bunny? Like a stuffed animal bunny right?’ Trudy said in a high voice panic filling her at the idea that she might really want a bunny.
‘Noooo silly. I want a BUNNY,’ Brady declared laughing happily not noticing her mother’s panicked face.
‘A bunny? Like a white thing that hops around and eats carrots?’ Trudy said meekly.
Brady nodded happily with a smile, ‘I want one named Mr. Cotton tail.’
‘So you want a male bunny? oh boy’ she muttered, ‘Okay honey, mummy and daddy will get you a bunny?’ she said and then silently added, ‘No idea how of course but we’ll worry about that later.’
Brady giggled wildly as small thin black haired boy when jetting past them.
‘Alex!’ she shrieked happily.
Trudy gave her a forced smile, ‘Sweetie, why don’t you go after Alex? Go play. Mommy needs to find Daddy and have a word with him alone?’
Alex continued to bolt down the hall without looking backwards.
‘Oh? you mean like the last time when you guys went to the stork and got Bree?’ she asked.
‘Yes! Exactly like that.’
‘Okay! Bye!’ She cried happily before running off, Trudy letting out a sigh the second she bolted away.
‘Jack!’ Trudy yelled racing down the stairs towards his shoppe.
Upon arrival she didn’t even both knocking and raced in. Noticing right away he was doing she let out a shriek, ‘Jack!’
Jack immediately dropped the gift with the red bow that he was trying to discreetly open. He let out a cringe and turned to face his angry wife, ‘Trudy! I didn’t see you coming?’
‘Maybe that’s because you were too busy TRYING TO OPEN MY GIFT TO YOU,’ she hissed.
Jack paled a bit, oh he was dead.
‘Oh you mean THAT gift? Trudy, that’s not the same gift. This one is for Brady. You just think they look the same?’
‘Nice try, Mister. Here I was thinking I had to lecture Brady on peaking at gifts, but all this time I should have been lecturing you. Really Jack. It’s embarrassing when your six year old shows restraint and you can’t.’
‘I’m sorry,’ he said quickly handing it over to her half undone, and then turning away in shame. Jack then grabbed some water and downed it.
Trudy rolled her eyes and decided dropping the bombshell now would be easier then later, ‘Brady wants a real live bunny for Christmas,’ she stated flatly disappoint still in her eyes.
Jack promptly spit out his drink all over his counter top and pc causing a loud, ‘WHAT?!’
‘She wants a bunny for Christmas and you’re going to get her one,’ Trudy added with a false putting away her anger temporarily.
Jack paled, ‘Trudy, I haven’t seen one since before the virus? and that was how long ago? Since then I’ve hid in a Mall, met a bunch of strangers, joined a tribe, dated Ellie, broke up with Ellie, been kidnapped not once but twice, married you, and had a child with you. Tell me how I’m going to find a bunny after this time has passed? Who in the right mind had the chance or the food to take care of one? Let alone breed any.’
Trudy rolled her eyes and took a seat on the work bench, ‘Well Kip raised those zoo animals. Surely SOMEONE in this city managed to keep bunnies. Try the Techno’s and if that fails ask around.’
‘The Technos?’ Jack asked skeptically.
‘You work with them,’ she added with a shrug.
‘I don’t think Jay or Mega keep bunnies on foot.’
‘AAAHHHHHH’ a voice ringing through out the Mall.
‘LEX!’ Zandra screamed as they heard a loud thud.
Trudy and Jack immediately moved to get up and run out before they heard a loud, ‘OWW, I’M OKAY. REALLY ZAN STOP IT.’
Both let out a breath they hadn’t been aware they were holding.
Jack snorted a bit the dry cynic living within him coming out, ‘Oh what a merry Christmas it is!’
‘Do you think we should try to help?’ May asked turning to Salene.
Salene shook her head, ‘Oh no, let Zandra handle this. The last thing you need to endure is a round of injured Lex.’
‘Salene, I’m pregnant not an invalid,’ May said looking at her girlfriend defensively, the eight and half month pregnant woman was beyond moody at this point. She was tired of people telling her to lay down and take it easy, and she really wanted this baby out of her now.
It was a nice thing of Mega to offer to help them when they said they wanted a family. After Salene’s miscarriage both were afraid she might not be able to have one, so they decided despite the fact that May was the closest they had to a male influence in their strange family that consisted of Mouse, Sammy, and them that she’d carry it. It worked a little too well and now she was done with being pregnant.
‘It wasn’t because of the baby,’ Salene answered examining the blue shoes on the counter top, ‘Whose do you think these are?’
May shrugged attempting to look indifferent, ‘They look like something Ellie would have wore but Luke and her are long gone. Ask Amber?’
‘Amber never wears heels,’ Salene said after a minute, ‘Too small to be Trudy’s, and too big to be the kids.’
‘Must be. Zandra!’ Salene yelled, ‘Can you spare a minute?’
‘Yea. Lex, hold on,’ the voice said heading towards them.
Zandra ran inside her rainbow hair now shining with Christmas ribbons all over them. As it turned out, Zandra before the virus had been big on the holiday and now that they Techno’s had brought it back it seemed she couldn’t help herself by going all out.
‘What’s up? Is it Alex? Did he do something?’ she asked referring to the five year old Lex and her had.
May shook her head and gave a panicked look motioning over to the shoes that Salene was now angrily holding up.
‘These yours?’ the red head demand with a hint of anger present.
‘Say yes,’ May mouthed in a hurry.
Zandra looked from May to Salene snapping her head in a hurry so that Salene couldn’t make out what they were saying, ‘Yes, they’re mine. I’m sorry I left them on the counter like that… didn’t mean it. Never do it again,’ she said quickly grabbing the shoes from Salene’s grasp.
She quickly raced from the room nearly running into Ebony as her and Jay walked inside. Salene then plastered a smile on her face, ‘Ebony! Jay! How are you both?’
Ebony looked at Salene cautiously as if to check that she wasn’t an impostor, ‘Fine?’
‘Is there something you needed help with?’ She said in a strong false cheery voice.
Salene’s new motto had been be nice to everyone even if it hurt, and in this case, it hurt a lot.
‘We only need to speak to Amber,’ Ebony said looking at her oddly.
‘City leader business,’ Jay offered up with a shrug.
Jay and Ebony lived at the Techno base now and that thrilled some members of the tribe to no end.
‘Bray and her went for a walk last I checked,’ May told them.
‘Oh?’ Ebony said in a painful silence, ‘Can we wait?’
‘Uh sure, have a seat.’
‘Ein Schrei wird zum Himmel fahren, Schneidet sich durch Engelsscharen, Vom Wolkendach fallt Federfleisch, auf meine Kindheit mit Gekreisch’
‘Lex! What are you listening to?’ Zandra demanded walking into their room holding the Christmas angel for on top of the tree.
‘Nothing,’ he said quickly turning it off.
‘Lex, our son does not need to be hearing that loud noise you call music. If I ever hear that again?’
‘All right Zan- chill,’ Lex retorted defensively before kicking something discreetly under the bed, ‘I thought you went with Amber to put flowers on the graves of Dal, Pride, Ryan, and Tai-san?’
Tai-san had been the first member in the tribe to die at Eagle Mountain where they had made the gravest mistake to date in the tribe. Ryan had fell during the Chosen rein, as had Dal, and Pride sadly perishing in the battle against Ram. They had lost four very important members to the tribe along with Ned, the twins, Patsy, KC, Ellie, Luke, and Alice. It was now a great deal smaller and every year at Christmas time they would honor their memories.
‘That was hours ago Lex, where have you been? Oh that’s right you went out without telling me where you were,’ she huffed.
‘I had something to do?’ he said trailing off.
Zandra’s eyes narrowed at this announcement. There was something he was hiding, she was sure of it, ‘That’s it?’
‘You weren’t at the Hotel hassling the techno’s again were you?’ Zandra questioned, she remembered the last time he did that. Mega had returned him with a bloody nose and informed Amber that Lex was never welcomed back to the Hotel ever. No matter how bad an emergency it was.
‘Absolutely not! Don’t see any blood anywhere this time do ya?’
‘No?’ she conceded trying to think of what else he’d try to hide and then it hit her, ‘You’ve been drinking!’
‘I haven’t!’ Lex protested right away. God did that woman always think the worst of him? Of course she did, this WAS Zandra after all.
‘I HAVE NOT BEEN DRINKING, ZAN. I have not been out doing something ‘dodgy’, I have not been out threatening to beat up that computer geek no matter how much he deserves it, I have not been mocking Bray, and I have not been trying to get any other woman including Siva into bed,’ he declared, ‘I just went out. That’s all!’
Zandra gave him one final look over and sighed. Okay, so maybe THIS time he really was just out but he was far too protective right now.
‘So? do you want to help decorate then?’
‘Are you kidding?! I’m going to get something to eat provided those brats haven?t finished the last of the rations again?’ he said stalking off just as May waddled into the room.
Zandra smiled at her, ‘Hey, I assume you’re here for those shoes right?’
May nodded as Zandra picked them up off the floor for her and handed them to her.
‘Thanks, so close that was. I appreciate it,’ May said holding them in hand.
‘You’re not going to try and wear them are you? I mean no offense or anything but you can’t even SEE your feet?’
‘Oh they’re not for me, they’re for Salene. She said she wanted no clothes for Christmas because its so hard to get anything good at the trading market. So, I went out found a high class dealer and got her some shoes, dresses, and tribal make-up,’ May explained in a hurry obviously ready to get off her feet now.
‘That’s so sweet,’ Zandra said before frowning seeing May’s discomfort, ‘Is anything else wrong?’
‘Uh no? not at all.’
‘Uh? I don’t want to get out bed?’ a voice said half asleep, half awake.
‘Oh come on Salene,’ May said shaking her as much as possible trying to be careful knowing her stomach could only take so much fast movement.
Salene groggily woke up and looked around frantically for a clock with time, ‘May, it’s one in the morning?’
‘I know?’ May said desperately swaying back and forth some.
‘May, what’s wrong? May?’
‘Oh I love you so much Salene,’ she said quickly with no explanation yet to be displayed.
‘I love you too?’ Salene answered fear evident in her voice, ‘But I don’t like the way you’re talking? what’s wrong?’
‘I uh… I… um?’
‘I think my water broke last night but I’m not sure you know. I’ve done a lot of reading and apparently I’m close enough to having this thing that maybe we should? I don’t know find our over to the hotel and make those so called doctors do something?’ she said in a small voice.
Salene nodded pushing herself up, ‘Guess we’re going to miss Christmas morning after all.’
‘Did you find out?’ Trudy hissed around five in the morning when she saw Jack sneak back into the room.
Jack nodded slightly,‘Except?’
‘Except what Jack?’ She demanded anger lightly filling her voice. He did not screw this up for Brady not on Christmas…?
‘We might need to explain to Brady that Mr. Cotton Tail will need to be Mrs. Cotton Tail,’ he answered causing Trudy to laugh.
‘Just think soon this place with have five children running around it,’ she said sighing.
‘Don’t remind me, I was getting used to sleeping again.’
‘Has anyone seen May or Salene?’ Amber asked looking around that morning holding Bray jr. as he played with his stocking.
‘No?’ Bray answered carefully, ‘Anyone else?’
‘I heard footsteps last night,’ Zandra offered out.
‘You mean you can hear over Lex’s snoring?’ Trudy said incredulously causing Mouse and Sammy to laugh.
‘Funny,’ he hissed grabbing a toy car from his son, ‘Hey!’ the boy protested in response.
‘Mommy can we open our presents now?’ Brady interjected looking at her mother.
‘I don’t know sweetie, we might have to find May and Salene first?’
‘No need,’ a voice said from the side door.
Jack came running in holding Brianna with a smile on his face, ‘They’re at the hotel?’
‘Why?’ Mouse asked him, ‘Why did Salene and May leave us?’
‘Because May went out to pick you up your new sister,’ he said happily.
‘Really?’ Sammy exclaimed.
Jack nodded, ‘They said to start without us that they would be back later when May doesn’t hurt. Besides I think they wanted to thank Mega in private’
Amber snorted but said nothing and turned to everyone else, ‘Well then… Lex… start handing things out.’
A short joke and few laughs later Lex finished up handing everything out. Right off the kids went tearing into their gifts. Brady letting out a squeal when she saw her rabbit, ‘Mr. Cotton Tail!..’ she exclaimed with joy.
‘Uh sweetie, that would be Mrs…’ Trudy began as Brianna played with her stuffed rabbit.
Everyone seemed content opening the gifts, listening to Christmas music, and talking at first but as the day progressed so did the needs. Everyone wanting to do other things started to race off.
Alex had gotten toy cars and raced off to entertain himself dragging little Bray with him who got a set of his own. Lex had insisted that Zandra and him try out his gift upstairs causing them to dash off. Amber and Bray went off to the kitchen to eat after they finished. Leaving Trudy and Jack by themselves after Sammy offered to take Brianna off their hands with Mouse in tow.
‘Well I guess we’ve dumped,’ Jack said with a sigh.
Trudy smiled leaning in to kiss him, ‘Great isn’t it?’ she replied after pulling apart.
‘Yeah? brilliant!’ he answered as they shared a kiss under the mistletoe and smiled this year was a great Christmas for more reasons then either cared to admit.