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Thin Skinned: a short story of a woman’s revenge in the West
By Patrick Dorn
In the barren, unforgiving desert outside Las Cruces, New Mexico, a sadistic Irish immigrant exacts gruesome revenge on the English lord who wronged her family. This is a western horror short story, approximately 2,250 words. NOT APPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN.
Here’s a free fable for your enjoyment:
THE BUNNY AND THE BIG BLACK DOG
(Based on an actual event, as refined through theological reflection)
By Patrick Dorn
Early one cloudy morning, a big black dog trotted along a narrow dirt path, sniffing the air and enjoying the freedom that comes with a retractable leash.
Without warning, a bunny dashed up the path, directly toward him!
“Good morning, Bunny,” Frankie (for that was the big black dog’s name) said. “Would you like to play chase?”
The bunny did not reply, so Frankie lolled his tongue and grinned a toothy, winning smile.
He repeated the invitation. “Chase?”
The bunny continued straight toward him. A collision seemed imminent.
The big black dog was taken aback. Typically, the bunnies he saw on his daily walks ran AWAY from him. But here was this bunny with pert ears and a bouncy stride coming straight at him, and not slowing down.
Frankie braced for impact, hoping the bunny wouldn’t be injured when it bounced off his big black body.
With an agile grace that Frankie could only admire, and secretly covet, the bunny performed an abrupt left turn, sprinted across a lush patch of grass, and under a bush.
“I guess he changed his mind,” Frankie said to himself. “But why was he in such a hurry?”
The big black dog looked up and saw, only a few yards above, a falcon, its angry beak gaping, notched wings outstretched against the clouds.
The falcon tucked away its talons, spun and circled upward, perching on the jagged top branches of a long-dead tree.
Frankie glanced at the bush where the bunny crouched and shivered. The poor creature was hunched into a ball, making himself look very small indeed.
“By golly, if I hadn’t happened along, you might have become a tasty morsel for that falcon,” Frankie said. He tried to sound amiable, to calm the agitated bunny.
The bunny twitched its nose.
“You may have saved my life,” the bunny said. “But that doesn’t make us friends.”
The bunny turned, and in a flash of fluffy cottontail, disappeared into the dense undergrowth.
Frankie felt sad as he continued his walk. But he knew the bunny was right. It was a wild bunny after all, running loose in a world of falcons.
It had never known the kind of reassuring freedom that comes with a retractable leash.
SYMBOLISM ALERT: If you like to figure things out for yourself, READ NO FURTHER. However, if you’d like a hint to aid in deeper reflection, consider this: who is the implied character on the other end of the leash? That’s right. The Master. Now you take it from there.