Most nights I slept well but on this particular one I was having a problem. I constantly returned to Tim Robbins crawling through the legs of Raquel Welsh with his rock hammer in that movie, oh you know the one. Great actor, great movie, great legs . . . Raquel’s I mean, not Tim’s.
The “Tap tap tap” of the little hammer became more and more insistent until I awoke groggily and realised it was actually coming from downstairs.
I glanced at the bedside clock and saw it was 6:10 a.m.
“Who the hell is tapping on my door . . . [expletive . . . etc etc]” I said trundling down the stairs.
Upon throwing open the curtains I saw Horace the hare jump back startled, pipe in hand.
“Jasus Horace . . . sorry . . . are you okay?”
Readjusting his jacket and fur he said “Er . . . yeah Al . . . fine.”
“Well what is it?”
“Well Al, I’m not sure how to put this . . . ”
“Put it Horace, put it anyway you want.” I said somewhat impatiently.
“Okay then, keep your shirt on. I found a fallen angel in my field.”
I looked him up and down before asking, “Are you on something . . . some medication?”
Horace shook his head no.
“Ah! Maybe you ate some of those mushrooms . . . you know the ones . . . the magic variety?”
He put his hands on his hips and looked at me like I was an idiot . . . which at that hour of the morning I probably was.
“Sorry sorry . . . er . . . what does this angel look like?”
He scratched his chin for a second before replying “Let me think. A FECKIN’ ANGEL is what it looks like!” he said turning to leave, disgusted.
“Wait Horace! Let me put on some pants, hold on.”
I caught up with Horace 10 minutes later. He was standing in “his field” scratching his head.
“Well THAT is bizarre. She was right here.” He said thumping his right foot on the ground.
Without yet partaking of caffeine I was unable to explain much about anything.
“Doris! Maurice! Boris!” he shouted.
Now I’d met Boris and Maurice and so presumed Doris was the wife. Once more I was wrong. Too early obviously. Doris was his daughter. The three spread out looking for their father’s imaginary angel. Just then someone appeared from the bushes at the end of the field and walked toward us. Horace banged his back legs on the ground to warn off his children.
“You’re staying?” I asked.
“Why not? You’ll protect me. I don’t see any danger here.” he added.
Horace and I waited as the human approached. The human? I’m beginning to sound a lot like Horace.
It was a girl of maybe 16 or 17 with light olive skin and the most beautiful long red hair. She wore a ripped T shirt and shorts.
“Morning” she said cheerfully.
“Yes, morning, EARLY morning” I said rather grumpily.
“Ignore him, a morning person he is not. I’m Horace the hare and this . . . this is Al, a writer neighbour.”
She leaned forward hand outstretched “I’m Gabriella, my friends call me Gabby.”
We all shook hands.
“So what brings you out so early?” she asked politely.
“Horace will tell you. Go on Horace tell her.”
“Well . . . I er . . . thought . . .”
“Horace woke me to tell me he’d seen a fallen angel, ha, didn’t you Horace?”
“I did, I’m sorry. Maybe I was dreaming . . . sorry Al.”
With that admission I turned, said my goodbyes and trundled back down the path . . . to bed.
“I was so sure . . .”
“What did this ‘angel’ look like Horace?” asked Gabby.
Poor Horace shuffled his feet staring at the ground thinking he was a stupid hare for saying anything.
“Oh . . . it had long, white wings and white hair and was beautiful . . . and . . .”
Horace looked up and was astounded to see the girl had transformed herself into the magnificent ‘angel’ her red hair now white.
“Oh my god . . . oh my god . . . oh . . .”
“Don’t worry Horace it’ll be our little secret okay? And I’m hardly an angel, simply a girl who can fly, okay?”
“How’d you do that?”
“Oh it’s just something I picked up. I’ll tell you about it one day. Gotta fly. Bye Horace nice to meet you and remember not a word to a soul.” Gabby said launching herself skyward once more.
Horace lifted his little arm and waved “Okay, I promise, bye Gabby, be safe.”