It was dark outside, and Gassan was still at his desk studying. It was no way to spend the summer break, but his grades at the end of the year had been just good enough to get him into medical college without needing to take a remedial course. He didn't want to just barely scrape by.
There was another thing. Jake had called and asked if he wanted to come over to David's place, and Gassan had turned it down. They were going to be talking about Daniel's disappearance, maybe spreading out in the area and searching. Daniel's parents had got him on the missing persons list, of course, but that was the only news they'd heard. Maybe it was cowardice, but Gassan wanted to avoid thinking about it as much as possible, as if some sort of contagion had stuck to their group. Daniel would never have vanished willingly, not without leaving a message.
A message. He got his cellphone out of his pocket again and stared at the text he hadn't deleted.
Follow the white rabbit.
The number was nothing he'd seen before, definitely not Daniel's. When he'd tried getting back to them, no-one had answered.
Gassan put the cellphone back, carefully as if the message made it fragile, and returned to the biology book, but he was barely focused enough to read the words. He'd barely read a column when there was a clear knock on the window.
His window faced out on the garden, just shapeless blackness now. Gassan hesitated only a moment before turning around, but that moment was long enough for him to realise that he was afraid.
At first he couldn't see anything, just the tiny bead of a distant lamppost. Then he heard the rustle of movement. A pale human form stood upright on the other side of the glass. It was a girl, about his age, slender, but not human. What he had thought was white body-paint was short, neat white fur covering everything he saw, and that was most of her: she wore only panties, a bra, and silk stockings that were almost as long as pants. All her clothing was white, and difficult to distinguish against the pallor of her fur. Long white rabbit ears stuck up from her glossy black hair, and her face was pretty, human-shaped around a little pink animal snout. Her crystalline eyes were wide, but he didn't know if it was with fear or if that was something common to whatever creature she was. She was still there, a slender clawed hand raised to the window-glass.
Gassan unlatched the window and opened it, slowly so as not to startle her. Even then, the girl-creature tensed and looked like she was about to bolt. It felt as if he'd seen her before.
Her lower lip trembled when she looked at him. Her white silk top was so tight, it pressed her breasts up. Gassan forced his gaze up to her eyes. They trembled too, but he didn't know whether it was tears that made them so large and liquid.
“Please...” she whispered in English.
Her voice – breathy and choked – sounded almost familiar too, but maybe not as if he'd heard it for real, maybe like something from TV or a game.
“I'm not gonna harm you!” Gassan whispered and held out his palms in an “I come in peace” gesture.
“Please...” the girl said again. “Follow me...”
She turned from the window and ran. Gassan lost his balance and stumbled off the window-sill in his rush to keep up. She was almost lost at the end of the garden, it was only thanks to her blinding whiteness that he could still see her. Head throbbing, barely feeling the ground under his feet, he ran.
Written by on 31 May 2019