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Flash Fiction Friday: Vampbunny Stalks the Bible Salad Troopers

by David W. Barbee

The ship sailed through a fog as thick as soup. He was a pirate now, on another magical adventure spreading the lord’s good word.

The life of a Bible Salad Trooper was one of constant adventure, preaching the good news of Christianity in jungles and deserts, through time and space, as medieval knights and secret agents. Captain Cucumber was their leader. He’d tracked down the elusive Bigfoot and had him baptized. He’d learned the true meaning of the Lazarus parable in a hilarious romp alongside Dr. Frankenstein. He was the lord’s greatest adventurer.

Captain Cucumber stood on the pirate ship’s stern, wearing a huge hat, eye patch, and a bright sash with a cardboard cutlass tucked into it. He stared through the fog, unable to see anything but the empty deck of the ship.

He didn’t much enjoy being a pirate. Out of all the adventures he’d had, Captain Cucumber liked being a detective the most. Those were the adventures where he got to wear a deerstalker and carry a magnifying glass. It wasn’t that he hated the other adventures, but if he had to preach God’s word with his vegetable pals, Captain Cucumber much preferred to solve a mystery in the process. He liked to think that he had a talent for it.

Only one of the detective adventures didn’t go so well. The Bible Troopers were trying to help a pair of pets—a dog and cat—but they never got a chance to solve the mystery. Things went terribly wrong, and one of the Troopers had an awful accident. It was Tomato Joe; they found him with his juicy red innards sucked out of his face.

God swept the Troopers away to their next adventure, as if nothing had happened.  And the Troopers were happy to play along.

But from that day, something had been following them. Wherever the lord placed them, the beast crept close behind. It had harassed and terrified the dog and cat, but when the Bible Salad Troopers arrived, it became fixated on them.

The beast clung to the shadows, never seen. It followed them to the city of Atlantis and to the surface of Neptune. Captain Cucumber never got a good look at the beast, as it always struck when his back was turned.

But he saw its work in the mangled bodies of his fellow Troopers. Doctor Broccoli was torn limb from limb on a circus adventure. Posh Squash was ripped apart during the racecar adventure. Ricochet Radish had been performing illusions onstage and preaching the psalms when he was taken. Then came the worst blow to the Troopers. Jesus Jalapeno was shredded to pieces and the juicy strips of his flesh were left in Captain Cucumber’s bunk. They’d been on a World War II adventure.

Captain Cucumber felt the lord leave him then. The beast was stalking them like prey. The Bible Salad Troopers were some sort of irresistible delicacy to it.

And by the time he found himself staring into the fog as a pirate, Captain Cucumber knew he was next. He was the last of the Bible Salad Troopers.

He’d never been alone before. As far back as he could remember, he’d been part of the lord’s little family of vegetable people. He began to wonder where he came from.  He prayed to God for guidance and understanding, but only heard the wind. He prayed for the lord to reveal his purpose; to tell Captain Cucumber why he was sent on all these strange adventures. Was he being watched? Were these travels part of some experiment?

Or worse, were these adventures—and therefore his entire existence—simply some perverse form of entertainment?

As Captain Cucumber pondered the question, a shadow appeared in the fog. It was twice his size, gliding around the ship’s sails on giant bat wings. The beast landed on the deck, its soft fur dripping moisture. Upon his first real look at the monster, Captain Cucumber noted its resemblance to a bunny. He’d preached the word to many bunnies in his adventures for the lord, but never a bunny like this.

The beast stared at Captain Cucumber with glowing red eyes. Sizzling venom dripped from the pair of fangs at the front of its mouth. Its long ears flicked to and fro, as if measuring its prey with some sort of devilish radar. It folded its bat wings across its back and padded across the deck towards its next meal.

Captain Cucumber gasped as the beast leapt onto the stern, stepping closer and closer. He drew his cardboard cutlass, useless as it was, and took a brave stance. The beast sprang forth and tackled him to the deck.

Its teeth sank through the thick green shell of his chest and chewed a hole with ferocious abandon. Captain Cucumber screamed as the giant vampire bunny chomped and gorged itself on his mushy green flesh.

He looked into the misty sky as the bunny ate him. He waited for God to take him away to the next adventure, to some place where vegetables never worried about being eaten, and bunnies weren’t the unholy spawn of hell.

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