The First Course

I’m not really sure how I got here, but I woke up face down on a picnic table in the middle of the woods. I would’ve probably still been out, but the noise was too much to sleep through. When I pulled my drool soaked face from the rough grained table cloth, I was greeted by a few unfamiliar faces. “You’re late. You were scheduled to wake up and join us seven minutes ago.” A talking rabbit stared at me, while pointing at the largest pocket watch I’d ever seen. “We’ve got to keep schedule if we are to keep anything.”

I wiped the drool from my chin and and blinked my eyes a few times, trying to focus them. The rabbit and I weren’t the only ones at the table. There was another rabbit—a larger one, possibly a hare. He dressed like one of those old wealthy hunters from the nineteen-forties. His broom-length whiskers were folded around a squared tea cup. The steam had fogged up his spectacles, but he was clearly staring at me.

There was also a knight in red armor. He was busy studying a cookie with mathematical like focus. A small diamond was embossed in the corner of his breastplate.

I yawned. I guess I wasn’t fully awake, yet.

“That’s quite disgusting, you know,” said a voice to the right of me. “I’m not sure where you are from, but any patchwork childling with an poorlimentary learnication, would know that yawning in company is rude.” I turned toward the voice to see a man in a large ornate hat with matching trousers. He was shirtless, but wearing suspenders. His ears were pierced in multiple places. He also had a large amount of smeared red lipstick haphazardly painted across his mouth reaching toward his ears. I assume he was stylish by his own standards

“Excuse me?”

“Oh, I’d love to, but your penurious manner just can’t be overlooked. Please take your minor ladle and wipe your drool from your mouth. Presuming, the drool around your mouth does, indeed, belong to you.” He pointed one of his heeled shoes towards the silverware in front of me before grabbing his tea cup. “Now, please.”

I picked up the spoon as it was the only thing I could equate to a “minor ladle.” I scraped at the bits of dried drool from the corner of my mouth. Surprisingly, this seemed normal to everyone at the table, including the giant striped cat that sat across from the man in the hat. It was dipping his tail in the tea before pulling it back to his mouth to lick the drippings from it.

I looked around again. “Excuse me,” I asked, hesitantly. “But what’s going…”

“Now to old business,” interrupted the hare. “Last week we spoke of the things that weren’t done the week preceding it.”

“Correct,” said the group.

“So this week we shall discuss the things we won’t be doing, today.”

“Pristine,” answered the man in the hat. He tugged on his suspenders before allowing them to snap back against his chest. “I shall not wear a top today, nor shall I remove my bottoms.”

The hare smiled while tapping his finger against the table. “Write that down. Write that down,” he said.

The knight chimed in. “Today I won’t be named Steven.” He looked around the table. “I refuse the name of Kevin, also.”

The large rabbit, slammed his fist on the table, stood up and huffed. “For Warren’s sake will you write that down, man.”

The cat, sitting on the table, rolled onto his back and spoke. “I for one will not allow a clam to speak to me, any kind of way today. If he is to speak to me at all, he shall speak in sign language.”

At that point the large rabbit looked towards me. His furry paws gripped the table as he took a deep breath. With a forceful puff, he flipped the table over, spilling the cat, tea and broken ceramic shards all over the ground. “Why do you refuse to write? Why are you not taking notes? Why are you not keeping the minutes?”

I looked around at the crowd as they all stared at me. I didn’t have any paper. I didn’t have any pens. I didn’t even know where I was. But I knew one thing. For some reason, everything made complete sense to me. I stood up and wiped the spilled tea from my face and shirt and spoke towards the hare. “Today, I will not take any notes.”

The crowd all applauded chaotically, tossing tea cups and biscuits into the air.

“Good show,” said the hare. “Proper good show.”

“I, for one, didn’t expect anything less from you, mate,” said the knight.

“This is a tea party for the ages,” said the fluffy cat. “I’m glad I came early.”

“Looks like I wore the wrong hat for this,” said the man in the hat as he reach inside his trousers and pulled out a much larger hat to place on top of the one he was already wearing.

The smaller rabbit was still quiet, steadily looking at his pocket watch, counting silently with the seconds. “Okay. It’s time for the second course,” he shouted. Suddenly a large, poorly built table rolled out of the forest clearing and stopped on top of the old broken table settings. “Bring out more tea!”

This is a work of fiction. Copyright @thejaebird (JAMALE A DAVIS) 2021. All them rights are reserved, buddy.

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