A few months ago I had a friend who I went to visit. He lived in an old colonial house, just like a lot of people in New England, but something about his house seemed... off. I couldn't quite put my finger on it until at some point I saw one of the rabbits.
They were everywhere. Every mantle, every table, every dresser, every windowsill. The rabbits were so ubiquitous they just blended into everything, but once your eyes caught one it was inevitable that you would notice that they were everywhere.
I asked him, as politely as possible, "Hey, what's up with all the... you know... what's up with all the rabbits?"
"Oh yeah," he said, "When I was like five or six years old my grandmother asked me what I wanted for my birthday, what I liked. I told her I liked rabbits, so she got me a stuffed rabbit. I liked it and she was so happy to have actually given a gift that was liked. You know, to actually get something right for someone who she really didn't know the likes or the dislikes of... So, she started giving me them.
"For every birthday.
"Every Easter was pretty rabbit applicable, too. Sometimes I would just get rabbits in the mail for no apparent reason at all. Funny thing was, a lot of these rabbits came in really, really old packages; they were always dirty and stained. Most of the ones in the mail had no return address."
He figured that since his grandmother was, as you'd expect, incredibly old, she was just forgetful and probably clumsy. Getting weird old packages from a weird old lady was something he didn't think much about.
I told him, "Wow, that's really weird."
Then, I asked him, "Why don't you just get rid of 'em? Or at least pack them up and store them away somewhere."
He said that he'd tried that, but every time he did, before he knew it, they were back.
He said, "I mean, I'm sure that my mom or someone brought them up from the basement if she knew that my grandmother would be visiting. So it wouldn't hurt her feelings or anything like that."
I asked him how many times he'd done this. It was weird, actually, he honestly couldn't remember. Eventually, I stopped asking him questions when it became clear that he didn't want to talk about the rabbits anymore.
Finally, he just cut me off and said that, "Listen, when it's your own house you just don't even notice something like that."
A short while after that, he said he wasn't feeling very well, so I excused myself and drove home.
A few nights later I started having... nightmares, about the rabbits. There were all different kinds of rabbits. Some of them from my friend's house, some that I had never seen before. There was always something a bit off about them. The nightmares became more intense as they became more frequent, and as the weeks turned into months I finally decided to call my friend and talk with him about it.
I felt silly, but I felt that if I just told him, someone who knew where the rabbits were from, maybe we'd both have a good laugh and I could stop thinking about them so much.
When I called his cellphone, it had been disconnected. Called his home, and an elderly lady picked up and said that my friend had, "been very sick and that things didn't look that good for him."
I asked her, "what happened to him, what did he have?"
She said that, "he'd been in the hospital for about two months", which was about as long as it had been since the last time I had gone to visit him. I was, as expected, concerned. I had no idea anything bad had happened.
Then, when I asked her if she was my friend's grandmother, she just hung up.
A few days later, I found a package on my door. No labels on it. Looked like it had been sealed up in an attic for years. Tried to convince myself that I should just throw it away or just open it, I mean, even if there's a rabbit inside that wouldn't mean... I mean, it's not like if I threw it away it would show up on my door again. Even thinking that's so... ridiculous.
My friend hasn't gone back to school this semester and every time I've tried to call either his cellphone or his house, there's no answer. Every time I drive by his place there's no car, no lights on either. I mean, even thinking about if I open the box that he might not... I mean, if something were to ha-happen, but honestly who-who would ever even think that.
I've never been a superstitious person, but I'll leave it at this. If you ever find yourself in someone's home that has a whole collection of something they never asked for, that they can't manage to throw away, I wouldn't stick around too long.