Bunny: a courtroom thriller

Not long ago in a village not far from here, there lived a nice young man named Bunny, Bunny Hopper. Bunny had recently passed the New Jersey bar and was just beginning an exciting career as a courtroom attorney. While we all know that lawyers do countless good things in this world, from safeguarding boys and girls from deadbeat Dads to protecting the intellectual property rights of Walt Disney for the next millennium and after, Bunny didn't always receive the respect he deserved. Once an opposing attorney egged his car.

Bunny's work in the courtroom was unparalleled. His hair was always perfectly groomed, his suits shinier and better pressed than the suits of all the other lawyers. Even the local stenographers loved Bunny's courtly manners. In their spare time, they would watch his deliberations, gathering in the back in long-legged gaggles ripe with giggles. Bunny's future was so filled with promise that he often wore a face lotion containing SPF 15. One day as Bunny strolled along the tree-lined esplanade adjacent to his new waterfront condominium, a giant rabbit on a moped pulled up alongside him and without a word offered an oversized crack pipe, packed and ready. Bunny had never seen an actual crack pipe. It glowed with an inner life, sunlight glinting off the white residue caked within the once clear glass. Never one to be rude, Bunny nodded and took a toke.

The rabbit took a toke of his own then steered his moped around and around the nearest oak tree, dizzying Bunny standing still. After looping the bases of a few more trees, the rabbit pulled up next to Bunny and proffered the pipe again. Bunny hadn't felt anything from his first little toke, just a dull pain in his lungs, but this time his brain frizzled until he wanted to run up the nearest oak tree and back down again, perhaps followed by some looping at the base.

For hours Bunny and the rabbit sat in the shade of one of those old oak trees, passing the pipe back and forth, chatting like old war buddies. Apparently the rabbit had gone to law school as well.

Late in the afternoon, a one-armed man on a dirt bike pedaled by them, a pigtailed girl perched on the seat behind him. "Filthy stupid fucking drug addict scum," the little girl chanted as she hocked up a luggie and sprayed it on the two of them. As Bunny's new friend wiped the spittle from his matted fur, Bunny realized that he wasn't an overlarge rabbit after all, just a man in a cheap rabbit suit.

As Bunny walked home that evening, the sun setting in pastel shades over the Jersey coast, he lamented the fact that he didn't have any animal costumes of his own: perhaps that of a small goat or a little boy suit.

After that day Bunny often went down by the river to met the rabbit, who didn't always wear a ratty old rabbit suit and whose name was actually Sam. They lolled away many a pleasant afternoon smoking the rock.

Like Bunny, Sam's work in his chosen profession was unrivaled. No crack head was as dedicated to the pipe as Sam was. Bunny and Sam often discussed the pressures of being at the top of their respective fields, but despite the stress, neither would have changed a thing. Their work was their life. No one had ever understood Bunny like Sam did, and Sam felt the same way about Bunny.

Then Bunny started to slip. He couldn't get enough of the glass pipe and sought out Sam's company down by the river on more than the occasional afternoon. His work was affected by his hobby. He missed important court dates, too high to go back to his condo to change into one of his many shiny suits, no longer as perfectly pressed as they'd once been. Even the attention of his dedicated stenographer fans began to wane.

There came a day when everything changed for Bunny. The case before the court that day was a dispute over the land surrounding a local quarry, a rock quarry. Every time Bunny or one of the other lawyers or witnesses uttered the word "rock," Bunny giggled just a little inside. He loved the word "rock"; it made him feel all warm inside. But as it turned out, Bunny wasn't just laughing a little on the inside. Unaware of his own actions, Bunny repeatedly cackled aloud, urging his colleagues to join in. Bunny laughed so loud that several officers of the court had to be brought in to restrain Bunny.

Waking up in a hospital days later, Bunny wished he'd stayed with Sam down by the river on that regretful morning. Bunny knew it was time for a career change. It was time to give Sam a little friendly competition.

About the author:

Sarah M. Balcomb's is a writer of fiction. She is also known for her virtuosity at the oboe.