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MOODBOARD: “White Rabbit” Short Story

March 24, 2020 in Moodboard, Patreon, Writing - 1 Comment - 5 min read

In light of this global pandemic, allow me to provide a distraction with my new Patreon-exclusive story, “White Rabbit”. I wrote this post before things got crazy. It feels weird posting about it now. Nevertheless, we still have Easter coming up and “White Rabbit” is a feminist Easter horror story that I hope you’ll love.

A part of my short story mission this year was to cater to holidays. I’m a big sucker for holidays. I look forward to them, though I won’t like that I did drop the ball with March’s story. Honestly, I did brainstorm ideas for a St. Patrick’s Day horror story but I just couldn’t cement a concept that I liked. There’s always next year, right?

The Failed “Pete Buttigieg is a Serial Killer” Story

FLASHBACK TIME! So, before the Democratic party combined all the candidates into keeping Joe Biden afloat, we were all hating on Pete Buttigieg pretty hard. At least, I was. Numerous folks on lefitist Youtube joked about him sounding like Patrick Bateman and potentially being a serial killer.

Image of a tweet from @ImHolesome, featuing a picture of Pete Buttigieg in a rain parka with the caption: "The last thing you see before you're shoved into a trunk."

Now, is this criticism fair or warranted? Definitely not. But it was fun and inspired me to consider writing a short story about a Buttigieg-like presidential candidate who actually was a serial killer. I started writing, but then I came into problems trying to figure how a presidential candidate would find the time to kill people between rallies and debates and television appearances.

So I thought about writing the story of my hypothetical presidential candidate back when he was still a mayor of a college town, BUT I don’t know a whole lot about college town dynamics and I didn’t want to slip too far int the real-life racial dynamics that affected Pete’s campaign. Long story short, I didn’t want to write about real life or America.

Quote graphic for my WHITE RABBIT short story, featuring a suburb neighbourhood at night and the quote: "Nothing out there. Nothing should be. I have nothing to be afraid of."

Making it Canadian

Because I was watching so much curling at the time, I was exposed to a TON of farming equipment ads. And I don’t know about you, but when I watch enough ads portraying a lifestyle I’ve never lived, I felt inspired. I understood the struggle and I wanted to write about a struggling small town in Alberta, dammit.

I ended up picking High River, a town of around 14,000 which was entirely evacuated during the Alberta floods of 2013. I did a little research about the flood and its effects on the town. Then I wrote a damn good first scene. But, once I delved into the politics surrounding the flood’s aftermath, I really took issue with killing fictional citizens.

Things got political. I just wanted to write about Alberta without getting political. Much of my ambition came from the recent trip I took to Lethbridge in back November for my cousins’s wedding.

A Note on Canadian Fiction:

As a writer, I do have a devotion to telling neo-noir stories set in Canada. I feel like Canadian fiction has this weird stereotype of being boring and lame. Like The Painted Door” by Sinclair Ross, which is a very good story, but is also the longest and most agonizing read of all time for Canadian 10th grade English students. Spoilers: It’s about an affair but doesn’t contain any sex and the husband dies in a snowstorm.

It’s Canadian AF.

Urban Exploration Returns!

My binge through urbex videos back in February may have tamed but my love has not died. Turns out that High River’s got its own urbex videos from Beachwood Estates. Built on a floodplain, the upscale on the development was purchased by the Alberta government after the flood. Properties were auctioned off at nearly a quarter of their value on the premise that they would to be relocated.

Note: I want to state that the explorer who filmed this video didn’t didn’t entirely get the High River story 100% correct. This link shares some extra details on Beachwood Estates. I included this footage because it’s the most extensive of the location and did inspire “White Rabbit” quite a bit. Of specific note is the graffiti on the sidewalk at the 15:25 mark.

Creating Some Characters

The only character I manged to salvage from the “Pete Buttigieg is a Serial Killer” story was the final girl, or rather, the final victim who got shoved into a trunk. I dusted her off and made her younger, just a collegiate small town good girl who revisits her small home town during Easter Break.

In “White Rabbit”, she became Ashlynn, who OF COURSE visits the decayed remains of the suburb she grew up in, only to confront a troubling aspect of her past. There’s slut-shaming and masklophobia and some graffiti and small town diner talk. It’s teenage feminist horror at its best.

Quote graphic for my WHITE RABBIT short story, featuring a suburb neighbourhood at night and the quote: "My heart pounded so hard in my chest that it beat me into thinking it was love."

Easter Influences

So yes. The bunny stuff.

My obsession with bunny mascots originates from the “Bunnyman” urban legend. I’ve been obsessed with it since high school. I’ve wanted to write my own “bunnyman” short story for YEARS, and have tried and failed on a few different occasions. Now, in “White Rabbit”, I FINALLY GOT MY CHANCE!

The bunny costume part isn’t a major aspect of this story, but the influence is significant. It’s there. I’m really proud of this one. It’s like my VILE MEN stuff blended perfectly with my new horror-based stuff.

Quote graphic for my WHITE RABBIT short story, featuring a suburb neighbourhood at night and the quote: "Remember when everyone thought you were a goody goody good girl?"

Everyone Needs some Easter Feminist Horror

Want your fill? Join my Patreon at the $5 tier and you will have access to my latest horror, “White Rabbit” in April. This tier also grants you access to exclusive Patron-only blogs such as my A LOOK BACK feature and my CANDID UPDATE posts, which get a little more personal than usual.

I want to keep writing. I want to stay up late, to write until the early hours, to make these graphics and amazing playlists, to tear myself apart and put words on pages. Your support would mean the dang world to me.

Quote graphic for my WHITE RABBIT short story, featuring a suburb neighbourhood at night and the quote: "Why do people keep calling you a slut?"

IMAGE CREDITS

Bunny Head / Alberta Highway / Girls / Empty Pool / House / Kissing Couple / Easter Eggs / Flood

Like this post? With your support, I will have the opportunity to write more fiction, plus more creative blogs like this one. Support my work on Patreon and get yourself some nifty perks.
Rebecca

Rebecca is a neo-noir author from Kamloops, British Columbia. Her first collection of gritty short fiction, Vile Men was published by Dark House Press in 2015. She also writes about her writer lifestyle on her blog at rebeccajoneshowe.com.

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1 Comment

  • Emily Slaney March 25, 2020 at 2:31 am

    Can’t wait for this one! 😁

  • Leave a Reply

    I'm Rebecca Jones-Howe, a neo-noir writer and author of the short story collection, VILE MEN. My work has been featured in [PANK], Pulp Modern and Punchnel's, among other magazines. This site houses my writing profile and my blog, which features posts on writing, fashion, lifestyle + more. Want more?

    - RJH

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