"Hello?" the little voice said from somewhere on the far side of the desk. "Hello? I'm here to apply for a position."
I looked over the desk and quickly drew back, pretending I hadn't seen the little pink-eared creature on the other side. No, I didn't need another plot bunny — not now, now for a couple years, probably. I would just ignore him.
It didn't help. He knew I'd looked at him. Suddenly he was bouncing up and down, his ears and eyes peering over the far side of the desk.
"Hello writer-person! I'm here to help you out. I'd like a position on your list —"
"I'm all filled up," I said without looking. No, no, no. I wasn't going to be trapped. "I have plenty to write. Thanks. Go on and find someone else to bother."
Sniff. The bouncing stopped at least. "But — but I made this little story idea just for you." Sniff, sniff. "I had hoped you would at least listen to my presentation."
"I don't have time."
Sniff. Sniff. Sigh. I heard the sound of little bunny feet moving slowly away.
There is probably nothing more pathetic than a rejected plot bunny. And you want to know the worst part? They always leave behind that terrible nagging little belief that you probably should have at least listened because this might be the best idea ever.
I sighed and leaned over the desk, looking down at the little thing. "Okay, let's hear it."
He spun and hurried back, jumping up and down and almost clearing the top of the desk. "You really want to hear it? Oh yay! Yay! This is great! I really, really hoped I could get your attention. I so want to belong here and be one of your guys. You know that some people gather plot bunnies and then just let them fade away? How horrible is that? All the work we go into trying to help --"
"The story?" I said.
"Oh right. Yes." A little less boing in the jump this time. "It's about — about — a guy. Or a girl. Or maybe the main character is a dog —"
"Cat?" I offered, hoping to get to the point. I should have known better. Never feed an unwanted plot bunny anything that it can twist into a plot.
"Cat! Cat is good! And the cat goes on and adventure and has all kinds of things happen —"
"Why? Why does he go an adventure?"
"Because he's . . ." The bunny's eyes darted left and right and fixed on the shelf behind my desk. "Because he's going to find a missing teddy bear. The teddy bear is his very best friend ever, but the little bear ran away because he thought he wasn't wanted. It's terrible not to be wanted, you know."
He blinked big brown eyes at me and sniffed again. I glanced at the shelf of teddy bears behind me, just to make certain they were all there. Hey, when you have a talking bunny at your desk, you start realizing anything is possible.
Including a story about a cat looking for his missing teddy bear friend. Terrible things could happen. Rain, snow — dogs! And they could get lost and get befriended by a raccoon who takes them to the land of lost teddy bears who need to find a way home. So the other lost teddy bears and the stray cats —
The plot bunny had won.
I looked down with a bit of a snarl. He stared back at me, blinking those big sweet, brown eyes. Really, I would have preferred a little rougher bunny. This one was way too sweet. I grimaced at the thought of the story I was going to write. At least it would be cute. And short.
"All right, fine," I said with a sigh of my own. He squeaked with delight. "Go get in with the others."
I waved to the containment area already filled with a horde of distracting plot bunnies who all tried to take my attention away from whatever piece I was working on at the moment. I watched the new bunny strut over there, but I also noted there were a few smaller bunnies following right behind him.
"Hold on. What are they doing here?" I demanded.
My new bunny looked at me and grinned. "What? You don't think you'll write sequels?"
"I never said —"
Six tiny plot bunnies turned to look at me. Sniff. Sigh. Little ears went down.
"Fine, fine. I'll write the stories."
They hoped into place.
You just cannot win in the plot bunny battle.