Sunday Stories: “The Silent And The Taxidermist”


The Silent And The Taxidermist
by Ryan Harbert

Two rabbits tangoed on a miniature dance floor. Their glass eyes reflected a single, naked light bulb burning like a make-believe asteroid overhead. Wires straightened the rabbits’ spines, locking them upright in human posture. Stuffing filled the hollow cavities of their bodies. They embraced each other on a movie-set diorama made of plastic and Styrofoam, saturated with the smell of wet paint. An orchestra of tuxedo-wearing mice played in silent 4/4 time just behind the dance floor. Sparrows in flat caps and bowties framed the dancing rabbits in toy cameras. Their movie set rested on a workbench in a basement with blackout curtains over all the windows. A girl named Lexis sat at the bench, brushing a coat of gloss onto a bullfrog. She talked to herself, listening to her words twist alongside the animals stuck in eternal freeze-frame.

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