The Rabbit’s Foot

Prompt Day #286: Begin a piece by describing an object that a character refuses to throw away.

From now on until I finish these prompts, I am going to try using them to write scenes or pieces for my novel. Probably a lot will get cut or rewritten but I think it will put my brain on the right track come July when I start writing it in earnest. Meanwhile, you will have to deal with the fact that there won’t always be stories and I do apologize but you get little glimpses into parts of a novel length piece so think of it as previews! Here, you’ll get a little background on my main character, Kenzie Brooks and what her life is like.

The Rabbit’s Foot

                Kenzi held the rabbit’s foot her father gave her in her hand. She couldn’t remember much about the man. He’d left when she was five or six. In the periphery of her mind, she could see his face, but much like a floater in her eye, when she tried to focus on his features, everything blurred. Even when he and her mother were still together, he wasn’t around. As a trucker, there were long stretches of time when he was absent and it was just Kenzi and Mama.

Now, Mama was gone too, at least mentally. Always strung out on the couch, high with whatever drug she could get her hands on, her dry, brittle hair matted or caked with dried vomit, Marilyn Brooks was just another one of Kenzi’s responsibilities. Kenzi stared at her, watching for the tell-tale signs of life. Her mama’s chest was rising and falling. Good, that was good. She hated to leave her but if rent was going to be paid, she would need to pick up the meth from the drop off and hustle it off tonight.

The key to the train station locker where the drop offs always occurred hung on the lucky rabbit’s foot keychain. She rubbed the foot, like she always did. The thing was pretty much hairless at this point. If she had seen the foot as is, she wouldn’t even consider touching it. It was hideous. Dry, wrinkled grey skin draped over thin tendons stretched taught with time. Only one claw was still intact, the rest had worn down or had been broken off over years of dropped or thrown keys. Sometimes, when feeling worthless, Kenzi would trace the single sharp claw across her wrist over and over. At the top, where the foot met a bronze cap attaching the beaded chain, there was still some grey-white hair.

“You know, that’s not just any old rabbit’s foot, Kenz. This foot right here is the real deal.” She remembered him sitting her on his lap and pulling it out of a little bag. “You see this card? Can you read what it says?” He handed the card to her.

“T-tak-k-en, Taken. F-r-rom, from” Little Kenzi tried to read.

“Taken from the left hind foot of a cemetery rabbit shot by a cross-eyed gypsy at midnight on Friday the 13th under the light of a full moon.” he read. “You know what that means? It means this is the real deal. This is some major hoo-doo, right here, Kenzie girl” He shook the foot back and forth as if hypnotizing her. She reached out and took it, stroking the soft hair hiding the truth beneath. The stark, ugliness of death just below the thick fluffy fur. “This foot here, is a strong talisman, warding off any kind of evil. You keep this safe, now, ok? As long as you have it, nothing bad will ever happen to you.”

Now here it was, kept close all these years yet, look at her life. That foot was the last thing her father ever gave her, not long after that, he was gone from their lives. Her mother was a drug addict, she was selling what drugs she could manage to keep away from her mother just to pay the rent and truly, soon that wouldn’t be enough, soon she would have nothing more to sell but herself. If this life was lucky, she hated to think of the alternative. Maybe she ought to throw it away. She looked down at the beastly thing; a shriveled up mummified claw, and thought of a story she’d once read called The Monkey’s Paw.

She thought about making some wishes but decided it would likely backfire on her just like in the story. Instead, she put it back in her pocket, grabbed her duffle bag and headed to the train station.