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Recap #144: Graveyard School #23: The Easter Egg Haunt by Tom B. Stone

Title: Graveyard School #23 – The Easter Egg Haunt, a.k.a. “Here Comes Peter Cottontail, Hoping Down The MUUUUUUUURDER Trail”

Author: Tom B. Stone, a.k.a. Nola Thacker, a.k.a. D.E. Athkins

Cover Artist: Mark Nagata

Summary: How Do You Like Your Easter Eggs? Fried, Scrambled, Or… Screaming?

It’s time for Easter and the annual Grove Hill Easter Egg Hunt. David Pike is taking his younger brother, weird Richie. Richie is excited, but for David it’s usually one big yawn.

But then David finds out that the egg hide-and-seek will be held at Graveyard School. An Easter egg hunt near a graveyard? This year, Easter will be more egg-citing than it’s cracked up to be!

Initial Thoughts

We’re having another short break from the chronological order again, but for a good reason!

Because I felt like that.

This month, as most of you might know, Easter and April Fool’s Day fell on the same day. If anyone remembers the list of Graveyard School books, there was also an entry called “April Ghoul’s Day.” Between this and that, I chose “The Easter Egg Haunt,” and I will not be saving “April Ghoul’s Day” for next year. That one’s going up in September as part of the chronological order. I do NOT celebrate April Fool’s Day anymore, for reasons I’m going to shed light on this month in my other recaps.

Guys seriously though, this isn’t a joke if you expect to click the read more link and it takes you to a jump scare or gag post or something.

Moving on…

This month we’re seeing the triumphant return of David and Richie Pike from “Revenge of the Dinosaurs,” and yes Richie has exactly the same capacity for self-preservation as he did in his previous appearance. The Easter imagery as juxtaposed with the usual Graveyard School setting is hilarious, and we further catch a glimpse of how committed Polly Hannah is towards her pink, yellow, and blue theme.

Recap

It was another fine spring day at Graveyard School, and Vice Principal Hannibal Lucre had called a special assembly for all the young childrens. Of course the kids only settle down once Dr. Morthouse calls for them to give Mr. Lucre his undivided attention… except for that one first grader who started wailing in terror. A quick glance and possible glimmer of the good doctor’s silver fang quickly put a stop to that. David Pike and his best friend Raul Ortiz (editing error; Raul’s last name was Perez last time he appeared) figured that kid was gonna need life support.

As Mr. Lucre begins his presentation, any snarky comments made by the sixth graders were immediately silenced by the slightest movement in Dr. Morthouse’s gaze. David’s attention turned towards the view of Graveyard Hill outside the auditorium, assuring himself that all his survival needed was a healthy distance from what may or may not have been the source of the Grove Hill Horror. Oh if only it were that simple, David. Raul comments the wave of tombstones looked like an ocean of stone rabbit ears, but Dr. M’s death ray glare was quickly upon the two boys. It turns out Mr. Lucre has an announcement more terrifying than anything Dr. Morthouse could unleash. It’s…

THE FIRST ANNUAL GROVE HILL SCHOOL SPRING EGG HUNT.

“This year, we at Graveyard School (Jude: YES HE ACTUALLY CALLS IT THAT; what’s with the editing in this book?) are going to hold our very own Easter egg hunt, or spring egg hunt, if you like. Not only will we hunt for Easter eggs, we’ll have a special Easter bonnet contest, an Easter costume contest, a best decorated egg contest, and many other fun activities and prizes.”

Again he paused.

Something that sound suspiciously like a sob came from the front rows.

Dr. Morthouse leaned forward, her lips parted in a wolflike snarl.

Lucre finishes the assembly explaining the rules for participation, with the teachers handing out flyers and information sheets the kids can bring home to their parents.

Only two people are excited about the egg hunt, the first being puke perfect Polly Hannah, and the second David’s little brother Richie. In Polly’s case, that made sense. I mean, the girl practically dresses up like some twisted Easter bunny every day of the week and she’s the only kid who LIKED going to school. Richie the dino-head was excited about all the fun stuff to do at the hunt and was hoping to win one of the many fahbulous prizes. Raul warns for Richie’s sake he should learn what the prize is first, knowing what this school’s like. Richie gets the sense his brother and Raul are making fun of him, and promises they’ll be sorry. Raul does wonder what the worst possible thing to happen would be at the egg hunt. Maybe they break a couple of eggs, big deal. David thinks that’s an “Eggs-cellent idea.”

Neither of them noticed two tombstones, shaped like rabbit ears, high on Graveyard Hill, quiver for just a moment.

On their way to pick up his brother from Little League practice, David lets out the sighiest of sighs when his mom asks him to find Richie while she talks to the coach. David’s uneasy at the idea the parents are actually letting their kids practice baseball so close to Graveyard Hill when he notices Richie is staring at something in the grass. Richie picks up something with his catcher’s mitt and shoves it in David’s face. It appears to be a rainbow-colored egg. David can’t find any birds nest near the baseball nest and is sure a normal bird didn’t lay that egg. But now Richie is determined to make it hatch. Wow and this is page 12 Stone did not waste time.

The following Saturday, Richie is on pins and needles as he pleads with David he needs to go to the library NOW. David is begging his mom not to make him take Richie to the library since he’s supposed to playing soccer with Raul in the park. Mrs. Pike can’t take Richie until the afternoon, and since he’s practically hopping on foot at this point, their mom figures David and Raul can play soccer AFTER they take Richie to the library. The boys reluctantly give Richie an hour at the local library to get what he needs. Raul expects Richie is working on some other dino project with his Cretaceous Dinotank. David adds Richie’s now into eggs; Raul asks if Richie’s into eggs fried, scrambled, or boiled, earning a reproachful look from the younger Pike. Raul comments someone definitely downloaded Richie from www.Weird.com.

David looks around the library, noticing the front display decorated for spring and Easter. He sees a copy of “Bunnicula,” the book about a rabbit who may or may not be a vampire that drained vegetables and figures to kill some time reading this old classic. David gets comfortable in the back of the library when a short while later he hears something. A thumping noise. Which would either be the librarians having sex… or the giant brown rabbit that’s hopping down the aisle towards David. Or both, I mean, we never get confirmation the librarians AREN’T having sex, so…

David figures he has to be asleep, but the brown rabbit shakes its head. The rabbit seems to speak to David even though its mouth isn’t moving, but David can’t figure out what the rabbit is telling him. At first, it sounds like “Mpatoy rrt opt.” But soon the rabbit’s words become much clearer.

“Destroy the egg. Or you will die.”

Honestly, this is an improvement because otherwise it sounded like David was gonna be dealing with Doodlebob.

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David asks the rabbit for more info when Raul calls out David’s name. David turns around and when he looks back, the brown rabbit’s gone.

Raul doesn’t believe David as he talks about how he saya rabbit, I tell you, a giant rabbit! Raul reasons David was reading a book about a monster bunny and probably had a nightmare, but David doesn’t buy that even though there’s no place the rabbit could’ve hidden in so quickly. David deduces the rabbit was definitely talking about that egg Richie found, although Raul points out if Richie doesn’t murder him for breaking his egg, their parents will. Of course, the Pikes will definitely buy the whole “Harvey the Rabbit told me to” excuse. David concedes that Raul might be right…

But still sneaks into Richie’s room with a sewing needle to stick in the egg. All he needed was to put a tiny hole in the egg, small enough to not be noticeable but big enough to ensure the egg will never hatch. Richie gets the drop on David and he quickly pockets the needle, stabbing his palm in the process. Richie informs David it doesn’t count as sneaking up on someone when it’s HIS room. David deflects the conversation by mentioning Richie moved his dinotank. In the middle of Richie’s desk now stood a smaller glass tank, an incubator, containing the rainbow egg. Richie’s been pouring through a huge stack of books in an effort to figure out what kind of egg it is, but so far it doesn’t appear to be avian or mammalian. The latter’s especially unlikely since the platypus is the one mammal to lay eggs and they aren’t native in this part of the world. David stops for a moment and smells something nasty, kind of like… rotten eggs. Richie is offended David would imply his egg is rotten and orders him to leave. David tells his brother not to get disappointed if the egg doesn’t hatch, yet Richie stubbornly insists it will. David vows in his mind that won’t happen.

Neither noticed the egg slightly rocking back and forth in the tank.

As if it was laughing.

Richie’s so protective of his egg he freaks out when his dad tries to make some scrambled eggs. Richie’s shouting causes his father to drop the carton and makes a yolky mess on the floor. Richie demands to know what, exactly, was in that carton.

“Eggs were in the carton, Richie. That’s what eggs come in-egg cartons.”

David deadpans Richie’s egg wasn’t in the fridge, but Richie still runs back to his room in order to double check. As Richie leaves, David asks his parents (probably not for the first time) if Richie’s an alien. Mr. Pike replies it’s probably likely, somewhere out in the cosmos, an alien has asked if its sibling, or nestmate, might be an earthling. Considering how “Revenge of the Dinosaurs” ended…

Richie comes back into the kitchen apologizing and assuring he didn’t really believe his dad was trying to eat his egg, but David notices the new expression on Richie’s face. Now he looks a little excited about something. Like, maybe someone on the brink of a new discovery. David puts on his false sympathy face and comforts his little sibling that he and/or their dad would be more than happy to take a look at his egg if he needs help. Richie gets super defensive and screams no, he doesn’t need help. Richie flings himself in front of David and their dad asking if Mr. Pike broke all the eggs or if they need more for the spring egg hunt. David manages to break away while Richie’s lost in meaningless conversation, but is disappointed to learn Richie looked his bedroom door. But there’s something on the other side that smells like a mixture of the most offensive odors imaginable. Something that might be dead.

David sneaks into Richie’s room later that night, armed with his sewing needle while everyone else was asleep. David didn’t want to think about what his parents would do to him for cracking the egg. Hell, he didn’t want to think about what Richie would do to him. But David remembered what the brown rabbit told him, and he knew that egg had to die before whatever was inside it got loose. At first, David’s worried because the incubator isn’t on the desk like before, but then it dawns on him Richie stashed the egg inside his closet as David smells a familiar smell. Richie even stuffed towels under the cracks in the door so the light would be hidden. Of course, David crowns himself “Smarty Smartenheimer O’Shaughnessy” at how much more intelligent he is than his little brother and opens the door.

The door falls down on top of him.

At this point, the Pike parents sink to “Goosebumps” level of infuriating stupidity. Richie unscrewed his closet door from the hinges in anticipation that David would sneak in, and now their parents are awake and lecturing David. David tries to reason with his parents by telling them something’s wrong with that egg. Have they even looked at it? The fucking thing is getting bigger! The Pikes don’t give a shit, telling David there’s no way the egg could be growing and neither of them smells the foul odor coming from it as well. The issue they’re concerned with is he deliberately tried to mess with his brother’s belongings. AND that he pulled Richie’s closet door off, even though Richie had been the one who unscrewed it off in the first place.

David gives Raul all the deets the next morning at school. David’s been grounded for a month which means no TV or phone calls, he’s only allowed to attend soccer practice after school, and he has to pay for Richie’s door repairs out of his allowance. Oh and he’s also not allowed to attend the egg hunt; he tried not to cry over that. Raul’s as sympathetic as he can be, but knowing this is over Richie’s egg he reasons David might’ve taken things too far. It’s just an egg, after all. And you wonder why you’re a satellite character, Raul. The boys notice the horrifyingly deceptive display for the egg hunt on the hallway bulletin board, with a sign-up sheet for volunteers and a raffle for a brand new mountain bike. However, the kids must be present at the hunt if they expect to win the bike. Raul scoffs at such a desperate ploy on Dr. Morthouse’s part to entice kids to school on their day off, but David’s lost his heart to that mountain bike. David covertly tries to sign up as a volunteer (the signs mention they get an extra chance to win the bike) like it’s no big deal, but Raul, and passersby Stacey Carter and Maria Medina, think David’s gone nuts and try to stop him. Too bad for them Mr. Lucre is nearby and commends David for being such a good little citizen. And naturally, all his little friends will want to sign up as well. David attempts to spare Raul and the girls by claiming they’re too busy, but Lucre’s eagerly waiting for them to jot their names down with no room for escape.

He looked at Raul. He looked at Stacey and Maria. His expression was expectant-but somehow, threatening.

Raul and the girls have no choice but to sign up, but they certainly don’t make it easy on themselves. Raul foists his pencil on Stacey as she tries to blend into the crowd, while Stacey keeps a clamp on Maria so she can’t leave. If one of them’s going down, they’re gonna drag the others with them. Lucre leaves incredibly satisfied with himself, with David surrounded by three incredibly pissed off classmates.

MEANWHILE

William, the cranky cat who was living in the Pike household before they moved in, has been watching Richie’s egg. William recognizes another predator and does not appreciate having something encroaching in his territory. William can smell the same horrible odor as David, and the cat not only sees the egg move, but sees it EXPAND. William instinctively scratches the glass, causing the egg to recoil in fear. William’s decided this egg has got to go and tries to swipe the book off the top of the incubator before Richie stops him. Fucking humans, right? There should be a law.

Humans were weak and contemptible. He wished they were all mouse-sized. He’d show them.

David catches Richie as he chases after William. David congratulates William on such a smart move when Richie jerks away from his brother to return to his beloved egg. Richie leaves his door open and David is horrified to see the egg is twice the size it was when Richie found it. And there’s a crack in the side. Yeah,  this thing is definitely gonna hatch.

Richie:

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David:

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The night before the big egg hunt, the Pikes are dyeing eggs in their kitchen. David is not looking forward to all these future egg burps. And he’s conflicted about the egg hunt; he wants that bike, but knows his parents know he’s not happy volunteering. Richie aims a smug remark at David about how fun egg dyeing is. David snarks back, not worried about his parents at this point. After all, what can they do, ground him? David’s dyed his egg so much it looks a pukey brown.

Richie said, “Your egg looks like it’s made of mud.”

“I like it that way-it’s art,” said David, holding up the egg in question. “It’s subtle, yet complex. It doesn’t speak to everybody. You have to have inner vision to appreciate it.”

David was mocking the educational television programs his parents sometimes watched. He saw his mother’s eyebrows go up and his father’s mouth twitch.

Future hipster, right here.

Mr. Pike mentions his egg looks kind of like the moon, which Richie finds cool. David realizes he’s an earthling in a family of aliens when suddenly, his dyed egg twists around in his hand. David tries to keep hold of the egg when it flies out of his hand and EXPLODES in midair. David’s covered in egg gunk and his senses are overwhelmed by the same awful stench coming from Richie’s egg. David runs outside to breathe fresh air before he passes out. His parents chide him for playing with his egg, but even Richie can tell it looked like the egg exploded. Mr. and Mrs. Pike assume the egg that blew up simply wasn’t boiled like the rest, or maybe it was rotten. David already knows where the REAL rotten egg is, though.

That night, David has a nightmare about Richie telling him his egg’s hatched and is awoken by the real Richie screaming bloody murder. David’s the first one into his brother’s room, followed by their parents, and it looks like a war zone. The incubator’s been annihilated, bits of glass and egg shell everywhere. The screen on Richie’s window has been torn apart, like something kicked through it. Richie’s totally distraught as he exclaims William murdered and ate his egg. David inspects the window screen, and finds a small clump of coarse, white fur. William slinks out from under Richie’s bed, and it looks like he was in a fight and lost. William’s whiskers are bent, his nose and ears are scratched, and he’s missing patches of fur. Richie doesn’t want to be anywhere near this supposed murderer and yells at his parents not to console the cat. David heads back to bed, hiding the fur in his pocket. It feels like his hand’s being stabbed with needles as he clutches the fur.

Some time later, David sneaks back into Richie’s room. Richie’s still awake, and knows what David wants to discuss. David shows Richie the fur; Richie found a lot more while his parents helped clean up his room. Richie gets excited as he talks about how he figured whatever it was inside the egg was getting bigger, until it was too big for William to kill. William tried though, but it got away. David demands to know WHAT got away, but he already knows.

“My rabbit,” Richie said patiently, as if it were the most logical thing in the world. “My egg was an Easter egg, and I hatched an Easter Rabbit.”

David immediately tries to convince Richie whatever was in that egg, it was not this:

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It was THIS:

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Spoiler alert: the kids all die in that story.

Richie doesn’t care, stubbornly insisting he done hatched him an Easter bunny. The fur they’ve found is definitely rabbit fur, but David doesn’t feel like arguing how Richie knows what rabbit fur feels like. As David explains Richie should not be expecting to find a friendly bunny hopping around leaving jelly beans and chocolate eggs for kids, Richie gets dressed and creates a makeshift collar. Why? Because he’s bringing his Easter Bunny to the Easter egg hunt. David stops Richie long enough so he can get dressed, and then off they go to hunt for Easter bunnies.

Outside the Pike house, the brothers can see a number of shrubs, bushes, flowers, and trees have been mutilated. Fed upon. Richie is ecstatic at his baby’s appetite while David finds a foot print the size of a football helmet. David has Richie fill him in on rabbits as they search. Richie explains they have claws, but not like cats or bears because they aren’t predators. Well, they aren’t USUALLY predators. The damage escalates the further they go. Small trees uprooted, branches snapped off, a mailbox that David remembered had yellow flowers painted on it is gone. Richie adds rabbits do fight among themselves, and tend to bite and kick with their hind legs. Seeing the mailbox, Richie starts to argue his rabbit wouldn’t do that. He can’t be THAT big, and he certainly wouldn’t have eaten William. After all, William attacked first. The rabbit was just defending itself!

Richie for God’s sake did you learn NOTHING from what happened with Trex and Cyril? Like the fucking teacher who died in front of you?

David knows Richie’s wrong.

They had just entered a bad new world. A bunny-eat-cat world.

A bunny-eat-mailbox world.

A bunny-eat-human world?

David’s fears receive further validation when they came across a car with a dented fender. Or rather, a fender that’s been chewed on. Richie still insists his rabbit’s good, but his beliefs have begun to waiver. The further down the carnage trail the boys go, they realize where the rabbit’s going.

Home.

A.K.A. Graveyard School.

As soon as they reach the school David can tell, even in the early morning gloom, there’s something moving on Graveyard Hill. And bitch it is biiiiiiiiiig. David has to stop Richie from going through with his plan to try and leash the fucking thing and bring it home.

“Give it up, Richie. Whatever you hatched isn’t people-friendly. I don’t think it’s life friendly.”

The thing on Graveyard Hill seems to be sucking up the light and darkness around it as it moves.

Vacuuming up light and everything else in its path, the Hoover carpet cleaner rabbit of doom.

David asks Richie if the rabbit can see them if they move, like the dinosaurs in “Jurassic Park.” Richie rambles on about how scientists aren’t sure that’s true, reasoning it’s likely the Tyrannosaurus Rex could see perfectly fine. And confirms rabbits definitely can see fine. At that moment the mutant rabbit becomes visible for the first time. Its eyes blazed pink and evil, and its whiskers were as sharp and deadly as swords. Richie is thrown through a loop; how did it get so big? David grabs Richie and runs into the nearby woods and through a watery ditch, hoping the rabbit won’t smell them in the water. It’s not working. The boys get a glimpse of the rabbit’s razor teeth as it gains on them. They attempt to hide in a nearby cement drainage tunnel, and it’s here the boys are treated to the Easter version of “Jurassic Park” when they see the rabbit’s head at the end of the tunnel. Its pink eyes blazes at them before David tosses a rock and it disappears.

David didn’t want this, to know a rabbit could actually eat him. Rabbits were supposed to hop in fields and eat vegetables and shit everywhere, and on certain days they screw with asshole opera singers by posing as famous composer Leopold Stokowski.

Image result for leopold stokowski bugs bunny

And sometimes they wear high heels because THEY LIKE THE HEIGHT IT GIVES THEM AND YOU JUST NEED TO GET THE FUCK OVER YOURSELF

And they usually don’t have claws.

A rabbit paw with five curved claws, like a saber toothed tiger, reaches into the tunnel to grab the boys. The claw’s so sharp it’s able to scrap off chunks of concrete. The boys try to make it out the other end of the tunnel, only to see the OTHER paw reaching. HOW FUCKING BIG IS THIS THING? Or how small is that tunnel? David is forced to think fast, and tells Richie to get ready to use his makeshift lasso to tie the rabbit’s paws together. David takes one end and Richie takes the other, somehow managing to get them around the rabbit’s wrists without getting torn apart. Unfortunately, they have to squeeze through the rabbit’s fur to get out of the tunnel. Once they’re free from the drainage pipe, the boys look back once to see the rabbit’s PISSED OFF. As they continue running they hear a scream of inhuman rage. David looks back again. The rabbit’s gone.

David is terrified wondering if the rabbit’s still following them as they get home. They don’t even have time for sleep because both their parents are awake and starting their morning routines. Mr. and Mrs. Pike assume their sons are up and early to get ready for the big egg hunt. David claims he and Richie want to get to the school bright and early, but their parents make them sit down for breakfast.

Eggs, to be precise.

The moment the boys return to Graveyard School their besieged by a monster rabbit, only this time it’s none other than Mr. Lucre. Lucre’s decked out in a full body bunny costume with pink fur, lime green pants, a yellow coat, and baby blue bow tie. Lisa Frank would be turning in her grave. Lucre happily announces he got costumes for all the other volunteers, but unfortunately, to Richie’s disappointment, they’re too big for him. Having completely forgotten about the eldritch lepus somewhere in the vicinity, Richie gets excited at the prospect of having his face painted. David is brought into the school so he might adorn his bunny costume. His, at least, was plain white. Raul’s got a brown-and-white spotted costume, while Stacey’s is white with an obnoxious pink bow attached to the ears. Stacey is not in the mood for jokes, but mention of the word “pink” makes David remember the mutant rabbit. What would it do to the kids if it saw them dressed as rabbits?

Outside, David finds people setting up refreshment tables and activity booths. Polly’s mom is trying to set up a table for snacks while Polly holds a sign declaring all proceeds go to the school improvement fund. David figures unless Mrs. Hannah’s buying gas tanks and flame throwers, there’s no way she could sell enough food to improve the school. Polly, meanwhile, has managed to outdo herself and is wearing a hat that could only be described as a bicycle wheel covered in flowers and ribbons

Over by the playground, David catches sight of none other than Dr. Morthouse stooping down and… hiding chocolate eggs in the grass. David shuddered in his costume. The sight of the mountain bike near the raffle stand does nothing to calm David’s heart like it might have done before. A gust of wind skews David’s mask, and as he tries to straighten himself up he was sure he saw something move on Graveyard Hill. One of the tombstones looks rather strange, but before David can investigate he’s stopped by Mr. Lucre. Lucre wants David to get into the spirit of things.

“Remember, we rabbits don’t walk all the time. Sometimes we hop.” Mr. Lucre demonstrated.

“Right,” said David.

Mr. Lucre waited. David waited.

Finally David gave a little hop.

Mr. Lucre nodded so hard, his ears seemed to spin on his head.

Lucre urges David to help Dr. Morthouse with hiding the Easter eggs, since that’s what Easter bunnies do of course. David sees Richie currently getting his face painted by the school’s art teacher, and discovers another rabbit that has to be Maria. David has no choice but to hop towards the dreaded principal on Lucre’s insistence. Dr. Morthouse is able to tell right off she’s talking to David Pike, and instructs him to hide the eggs along the graveyard fence. She does not seem at all happy to be doing this, and feels the sooner it’s done the less likely she is to finally murder someone. David figures she might be trying to scrooge the egg hunt, figuring no kid is gonna be dumb enough to look for eggs in the graveyard.

“Hop to it,” said Dr. Morthouse. She didn’t smile.

David hopped to it.

As David sets about hiding the eggs, he’s startled by a number of normal bunnies and rabbits who are disappearing out of the graveyard. David notices the same odd tombstone from before, and then sees the identical tombstone next to it. Or rather, the large bunny ears doing a good impression of tombstones. Another regular bunny scampers away and frightens David. Dr. Morthouse asks if he’s really afraid of a harmless little bunny…

David tries to keep a grip on things and not excite the mutant rabbit. Below, he sees the parents all lined up with cameras and the younger kids with the freshly painted faces ready to search for eggs. Oh, and Polly Hannah fighting her way to the front of the crowd of kids. The other older kids snark Polly obviously doesn’t know the egg hunt’s for the younger kids, when Lucre announces the hunt is about to begin. Dr. Morthouse, meanwhile, looks like she’s in pain from all this FUN. Lucre literally hops towards Dr. M, a sight that’s painful for David to watch, when Lucre says this:

“Attention, boys and girls. Time for the First Annual Grove Hill School Spring Egg Haunt!”

David can’t believe his ears. What did Lucre say?! No one else noticed though. It’s those rabbit ears in the graveyard, they’d make anyone tense enough to hear things. David searches through the crowd and realizes Richie’s not with the rest of the little kids. Richie’s already started his hunt, and is trying to sneak up on the rabbit ears on Graveyard Hill.

AND ONE OF THE EARS TURNED IN RICHIE’S DIRECTION.

David makes his way through the crowd to get to his brother, darting between tombstones. At that moment, the rabbit’s head began to rise, its eyes two pink nightmare suns. David catches up to Richie demanding to know what is wrong with him. Richie now fully believes the rabbit is evil and wants to eat everyone, when the rabbit launches itself in the air and knocks a tombstone loose. David grabs his brother before they both get flattened. The rabbit’s clawed feet dig into the earth and uproot a grave; David can see a bony hand waving at them as the rabbit jumps again. Is that you Ben?

Bones are scattered across the graveyard as the rabbit hops once more, screaming in rage before it notices the happy kids searching for eggs in the playground. David bravely tries to get the rabbit’s attention away from the kids, throwing rocks at the monster and teasing it. Richie gets into the swing of things and likewise taunts the rabbit. The brothers split up to keep taunting the rabbit. David beans the beast in the head with a rock when it turns all its attention on him. The rabbit manages to claw off David’s rabbit mask, neatly slicing away one of the ears. Things go ballistic as David’s thrown through the air before the rabbit grabs hold of him. It’s about to sink its teeth into David’s body when it suddenly lets go. David is dropped on the rabbit’s foot, instinctively thinking of a lucky’s rabbit foot, before finding himself submersed in a tidal wave of bodies. Richie yanks David free so the rabbit doesn’t fall on top of them. The boys make it into the playground but David knows they have to stop the rabbit from doing a King Kong on the school. Everyone else had fled Graveyard School, the booths and display upended and wrecked, smashed eggs and chocolate everywhere. It was then David saw why the rabbit had dropped him.

The mutant rabbit was being assaulted by a veritable army of rabbits and bunnies. They came scampering out of the forest and swarmed all over their mutant cousin, like flies on a dead body. The mutant rabbit tried to swat them away, but there was no end to the onslaught. And in the background, David could see the brown rabbit from the library, rallying the true bunnies and rabbits against this abominable imitation.

The killer rabbit lifted one ponderous leg and then the other. It took several mighty hops up the hill, and the earth trembled. Then it disappeared over the horizon with hundreds and hundreds of bad-news bunnies in pursuit.

A moment later they heard an earthquake-sized crash.

“Timber,” said David softly, and began to run back up the hill.

By the time they reach the other side of the hill, all that’s left of the evil rabbit were tufts of fur and the same rotten odor.

The following week at school, everyone was fed a cover story that the incident at the egg hunt was caused by some malfunctioning parade float. Naturally, Lucre was the fall guy, although the kids all knew what really happened. But Dr. Morthouse has some good news for once. They’re continuing with the raffle, and the winner of the mountain bike is none other than David Pike! No one cheered louder than Richie, and David couldn’t help but appreciate the little weirdo as he went on stage to get the mountain bike of his dreams.

If only the little white rabbit’s foot key chain on the handle bar didn’t freak him out so much.

And then, just for a moment, he thought he saw a familiar brown rabbit high on top of Graveyard Hill.

Final Thoughts

RICHIE SERIOUSLY I WILL BE AMAZED IF YOU MANAGE TO SURVIVE TO THE SIXTH GRADE BY THIS POINT.

I’m betting Wing enjoyed more dinosaur references in this one even though the threat was a mammalian one, but can you just imagine the idea of Dr. Morthouse with a basket of chocolate eggs, looking like she’s about to burn the school down. Oh, the indignities she must endure.

So listen, the reason I got weird at the beginning regarding April 1st is because my best friend died on this day two years ago. I haven’t wanted anything to do with April Fool’s Day as a result. I’ll be discussing it more in my recaps for this month.

Trivia:

Activities Section: How to dye your own eggs.

Polly Hannah’s Wardrobe:

  • Pink and yellow outfit, matching pink shoes
  • Obnoxious hat decorated in fake flowers and ribbons

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Categories: Graveyard School recaps
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