One day in the small town of McKinney, two friends sat at a local eatery, conversing about various things. Austin Kirkpatrick and his best friend Bryan sat inside a new Taco Bell, eating lunch together. As they chatted, Bryan's eyes scanned the area warily. Suddenly, something outside caught his eye. 'Damnit, not them, not now!' he thought. "Crap, I just remembered something, gotta go!" he said to Austin. Seconds later he'd exited the restaurant, leaving Austin completely bewildered.
A week later, the two friends met at an arcade, and played games together. "So, how's the job hunting coming?" Bryan asked. "Not good…" Austin replied, "I keep getting good interviews, but they always hire someone better suited for the job…" "You just need to find the job that's right for you." Bryan remarked. Suddenly something caught his eye on the other side of the store. "Um, I'll catch you later, see ya!" he said hurriedly. He then rushed out of the arcade before Austin could reply.
A few days later, Austin met Bryan at a local park. The latter adult was being very vigilant as they chatted, and Austin noticed. "Bryan, what's with all the vigilance and sudden exits?" he asked, "It's kinda weird." Bryan sighed. "That's private." he said. "Come on man, we tell each other everything! If it has to do with a girl, I'll understand." Austin remarked. "Ew, no! It's nothing like that!" Bryan exclaimed. "Alright, sorry…" Austin replied, sweat dropping.
Bryan thought to himself for a moment. 'He's my best friend, and I'm screwed anyway, tonight's Easter… fuck, let's just get it over with!' "Alright, if you really want to know, we have to go somewhere private." he finally said. "Alright, let's go to my place." Austin suggested. "You mean your parents' place." Bryan corrected him. "Whatever…" Austin remarked. The two climbed in Austin's 1999 Toyota Camry (with aftermarket stereo) and drove to the aforementioned location.
Inside Austin's bedroom, Austin again asked his question. "Promise me you'll never speak of this to anyone else." Bryan demanded. "I promise, Scout's honor." Austin said sincerely. "You're not a Boy Scout." Bryan replied. "I used to be; once a scout, always a scout." Austin replied. Bryan face palmed. "Whatever…" he muttered. "Alright, what's the big secret?" Austin asked. Bryan took a deep breath, and then closed his eyes. Suddenly, he began to change rapidly. He shrank, grew fur, and his skeleton completely changed. Soon, Bryan's body was replaced by that of a furry, clothed bunny. The brown furred mammal wore the same Eagle's shirt and jacket as Bryan, but no bottoms.
Austin nearly fell out of his chair at the sight of his friend. "The reason that I keep doing all that is because my father's the Easter Bunny. The title's supposed to be passed on to me this year, but I don't want it." Bryan explained. Austin was dumbstruck. "W-What do you want to do instead?" he finally asked. "I want to build things, like houses, and work with my hands." Bryan answered. Austin absorbed this information, and thought for a moment.
"Do you have a job lined up?" Austin asked. "Yeah, but it's hard to work because of the Blue Berets. They're a bunny task force that my Dad's sent out to bring me home." Bryan answered. "Bryan, I think I have a solution." Austin said. "What is it?" Bryan asked. Austin explained his solution, which Bryan listened to with a straight face. "Well, this borders on crazy, but I'll try anything at this point." he remarked.
Minutes later, Bryan sat on the porch at Austin's (parents') house, gazing aimlessly at the sky. Suddenly, a trio of bunnies clad in blue berets jumped onto the patio and confronted him. "Easy now, I'll come willingly." Bryan said, getting them to lower their weapons. They escorted Bryan to a covered rabbit hole- which functioned as a teleporter- and took him home. Unbeknownst to them, Austin followed close behind.
The Blue Berets were met by Bryan's father when they exited the bunny hole on Easter Island. "Bryan, thank God you're okay!" he exclaimed, hugging his son. Suddenly, Austin came flying out of the hole, landing much more clumsily than the others. "Who is this?" Bryan's Dad demanded. "That's my compromise." Bryan stated tersely. Bryan's Dad eyed his son warily, and had him and his 'compromise' escorted to his office.
Inside the Easter Bunny's office, Bryan, Austin and Bryan's Dad conversed. "I will admit, it was wrong of me to tell you to throw away your dreams." the latter said, regarding an incident that occurred the day Bryan ran away, "I'm also interested to hear this compromise you've come up with." "Well Dad, it's quite simple. I already have a job, but can't work it because of this whole Easter Bunny business and the Blue Berets. Austin here has been looking for a job for over a year with no luck. Trust me, it's not his fault. I propose a compromise that would solve both our problems: make Austin the Easter Bunny." Bryan said.
Bryan's Dad was taken aback by the statement. "Are you serious son?" he asked. "Yes Dad, I am. I've been friends with Austin for a while now, and I know a lot about him. He's the oldest in his family, and often has to take care of his younger siblings. He's a great leader, and very attentive to detail. I'm sure he'll do a great job around here." Bryan said. His Dad was silent for a moment. Austin nervously maintained a straight face. "Alright, I'll do it on one condition." Bryan's Dad said sternly. Bryan cocked his head, waiting for said condition. "You have to come back and visit us some time." his father finished, grinning. Bryan sighed in relief, and then hugged his father. They then headed off for the big ceremony to name the new Easter Bunny.
The ceremony to crown the Easter Bunny occurs in a giant altar shaped like an egg. The altar is painted in bright purple, pink, green, blue and yellow, like a giant Easter egg. Inside it's painted gold, to symbolize its importance. In the center of the egg sits a circular platform, below a circular hole in the ceiling. The altar is also decked out with various jewels and other trimmings to make it look truly grand. Austin's jaw dropped in awe when he first saw it.
Inside the ceremonial altar, the light of the Easter moon- the moon that shines on the night before Easter- shone down from the ceiling. Austin stood in the middle of the moonlit circle, surrounded by all the chicks and bunnies that helped make Easter possible. Bryan's Dad set his golden staff, a relic passed down from Easter Bunny to Easter Bunny, in a stand in front of him. Suddenly, the crystal egg on the top began to glow and sparkle.
Austin soon began to do the same, and then he started to float a few inches above the ground. As he floated, he began to change rapidly, just as Bryan had in back in his bedroom. Soon, Austin was no longer a floating human, but a floating bunny, a bit taller and thinner than Bryan. He wore the same blue long sleeve tee under a black cotton jacket. His fur was a dark tan, not quite brown. His blue eyes were now large and babyish, and, along with his floppy ears, gave him a very cute appearance.
The glow and sparkles died away, and Austin landed gently on the ground. "Introducing the new Easter Bunny!" Bryan's Dad exclaimed. Austin picked up the staff, and raised it in the air. Fireworks shot out of the crystal egg, though the top of the altar, and into the sky. The crowd cheered happily as they exploded brightly, illuminating the night. Bryan's Dad interrupted the celebration. "We can celebrate later, we have deliveries to make!" he exclaimed. "Right, let's move!" Austin added, speaking with a slight British accent due to his new form.
Everyone made their way to the Easter Bunny's workshop, and the busy night began. "Anything important I should know before I start?" Austin asked. "Two things: One, I'll be helping you this time so you can get used to things. Two, stay out of China." Bryan's Dad replied. Bryan burst into laughter. "What?" Austin asked. "N-Nothing, ignore me." Bryan replied, continuing to laugh. Secretly, a flashback of his Dad being chased by a Chinese woman played in Bryan's head. Without further ado, Austin's first night on the job began.
The next morning, Austin-now human again- made his way drowsily to breakfast. "Good morning son, I heard you finally got a job." his father said pensively. Austin's three sisters and Mother watched nervously. "Yeah… *YAWN* I did." Austin replied. He sat down in the empty chair at the end of the table, and began to eat.
"So, tell be about this supposed 'job'. Does it pay well? Is there the potential for promotion in the future?" Austin's father asked. "Well Dad, it does pay well, but I won't be getting promoted." Austin replied. "Really?" Mr. Kirkpatrick responded. "Yeah, I'm already the top dog." Austin replied. Austin's father raised an eyebrow at his son, who stuffed another mouthful of food in his mouth.
"This is coming off as next to impossible son. You better have a good explanation for this strange job of yours." Mr. K said as Austin downed an energy drink. Austin woke up a bit as he spoke again. "I certainly do, but you have to promise not to tell anyone what you see." he said. "Whyyy?" Austin's teenage sister asked. Mr. K glared at her. "We all promise, now spill it." Mr. K said, glancing at the others to ensure cooperation.
"Alright then." Austin said, closing his eyes, "here we go." He suddenly began to change right in his seat. Before long, he was a furry, clothed bunny. He then pulled out a gold pen, and clicked it. The pen grew in size, and became a small bunny-sized staff with a red crystal egg on the end. "I'm the Easter Bunny." Austin finished. His father fainted. "Congrats honey." Mrs. K remarked. "Thanks Mom." Austin replied. "That accent is sexy." His teenage sister said. "O…kay…" Austin remarked, taken aback.
"You did a great job of hiding eggs last night big bro!" Austin's two youngest sisters said. He hopped over to them on the table. "Thanks, I do my best." he said as they petted him. "So, you go all around the world in a single night?" his eldest sister asked again. "Yeah, except for China. Still haven't cracked them yet." Austin replied. "That's Communism for you." Mrs. K replied.
"Hey, does anyone have the time?" Austin asked. "8:30." his teenage sister replied, glancing at the top of her iPhone. "Thanks sis. Well, duty calls!" Austin said, waving the staff. A magic bunny hole opened up in the ground. "Have a good day!" Mrs. K said. "Thanks Mom!" Austin shouted as he jumped and fell down the hole. Soon he was on Easter Island, ready to do his job.
Back in America, Mr. K woke up. "I just had some sort of sick dream…" he remarked. "Daddy, Austin's the Easter Bunny!" the younger two sisters cried. "Oh God, it's real…" Mr. K said. "Oh, calm down dad, you're acting like Red Forman!" the teenage sister remarked. Mrs. K almost doubled over in laughter. "I suppose I am being a bit hard on him…" Mr. K remarked. Suddenly, a bunny hole opened up in the ground by the table again.
Austin hopped out, and headed for the back door. "Forgot my bags, I have to move into my new room today!" he remarked. He hopped inside, and returned with a suitcase and a duffel bag. "Son, wait a minute." Mr. K said. Austin stopped. "Come over here." Mr. K said. Austin dropped his bags and walked over to his father, hopping up into his lap. "Yes Dad?" he asks.
"Son, I was a bit harsh on you earlier. I'm sorry for that." Mr. K said. "That's okay Dad, to be honest I expected it." Austin replied. Mr. K was happy that his son wasn't mad, but he wasn't through. "I'm proud of you son." he added. Austin shed tears and hugged his father. Mr. K had said many things to him during his childhood, ranging from a casual "Good job." to an impressed "Excellent work!" However, he'd never said he was truly proud of his son.
"Thank you Dad…" Austin said, "You have no idea how much that means to me." "I think I do son." Mr. K said, winking. He knew those five words were what Austin had strived to hear for so long. Mr. K and Austin separated, tears still in Austin's eyes. "Go get em' son." Mr. K said. Austin smiled and gave his Dad a thumbs up. "Will do Dad." he replied. He then hopped back down to the ground, grabbed his bags, and stepped over to the hole. "I'll see you guys around." he said.
"Bye Austin!" his younger sisters said. They climbed out of their chairs, ran over, and hugged him. "Bye girls." he said, hugging them back. "Hey, don't forget me!" his teenage sister said. "You don't seriously think I would did you?" Austin asked. How could he forget her? She was only a couple years younger, and the two had grown up with each other, learning everything at the same time. "Maybe…" his sister replied. "Well I didn't, did I?" he responded, hopping up and hugging her. "No, you certainly didn't… big brother." she replied.
Austin resisted the urge to cry again; his sister had always teased him for being older but less mature. She called him 'little brother' most of the time, so he felt great pride in finally being accepted. "Bye 'Little Sister'." He replied. The two finally separated. Austin then turned towards the last member of his family. "That leaves one last person." he said. He hopped onto the table, and over to his Mom.
Hopping up, he hugged her tightly. "I'll miss you Mom." he said. His Mom started to cry as she held him close. "I'll miss you too Austin." she replied. "I can't thank you enough for what you've done for me in my life; I might not be here if it weren't for you. I love you Mom." Austin added. Both of them were in tears at that point. "I love you too Austin." Mrs. K replied. She seemed unable to let him go, but finally managed to do so. Austin grabbed his bags, and stepped back up to the edge of the hole. "See you all next year!" he said, cracking a smile. As his family waved a final goodbye, he jumped into the bunny hole.
- (1 year later)
Austin sat in his office, in front of a computer. A phone was up to his ear, and he was typing something into a laptop. "Ah, Mr. Clause, I trust you're doing well? Yes, I need the latest updates to the naughty list. Much appreciated. Alright, have a nice day." he said. He hung up the phone, and closed the laptop. Picking up the Cisco Cius tablet from the dock on the back, he walked out of his office and down towards a special station in the workshop.
Walking up to a pedestal at the station, he plugged his tablet into a dock on top of it. Tapping the screen a few times in a few different places, he caused a loading bar to appear on the tablet. Seconds later, a computerized voice said "Naughty List updated". Austin disconnected the tablet, and turned around. Standing in front of him was Bryan's Dad. "Good Morning Mr. Smith, how are you today?" Austin asked. "Good, things look to be in tip top shape down here." Mr. Smith remarked. "That they are; I just updated the Naughty list." Austin replied. Mr. Smith raised an eyebrow. "Let's see who's been moved." he remarked.
Austin touched the screen a few times, and then showed it to Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith let out an absent "Hmm…" as he scanned the names. "Looks good. Keep up the good work Austin." he finally said. The elder bunny made his way back from whence he'd come, while Austin continued working. Easter was a week away, and he had to keep things running smoothly.
- (1 Week Later)
It was the night before Easter, and most houses on Earth had already been visited by the legendary Easter Bunny. However, one special house was just now being visited. While other bunnies busily finished hiding eggs around the house, Austin went to place Easter baskets by the back door. However, as he sat them down, something caught his eye. Lying at the back door was a note. He hopped over to it, picked it up, and read it.
"Austin, I'm sorry to bother you while you're so busy, but this is important. K.K. really misses you; she keeps crying at night and wishes you were here. If there's any way you can cheer her up, please do. Thanks, Mom"
A lone tear slid down Austin's face as he read the note. Quickly, he folded it up and pocketed it. Then, with a little Easter magic, he left a note of his own, along with a little surprise. Finished, he continued on his way to the next house.
The next morning, Austin's youngest sister was excited to find a note from him at the back door, in the paws of a stuffed bunny that resembled him quite closely. She held into the bunny for the rest of the day, eventually going to bed with him squeezed in her arms. Then, something magical happened. The doll glowed, sparkled, and caught its owner by surprise.
Suddenly, the eyes blinked, and the doll came to life. "How's my youngest sister feeling tonight?" came a familiar voice. "Austin!" his sister cried, hugging him. Austin chuckled, and returned the hug. "So, how have things been going around here?" Austin asked. "Good, but I've missed you big brother." his sister replied. "Heh, I've missed you too little sis." Austin replied, "Just because I'm halfway around the world, doesn't mean I've forgotten about you." His sister smiled. "I love you big brother." she said. "I love you too." he replied.
Austin stayed with his sister until she fell asleep, which was around 10:00, an hour past her bed time. After kissing her on the forehead, Austin closed his eyes. The doll became lifeless once more, and Austin awoke in his room back on Easter Island. Satisfied with his handiwork, he climbed into his own bed, and also went to sleep.