Rather than tell Jack and Peter Rabbit what their real job is, Bruce simply takes off running.
Jack and Peter Rabbit are stunned for a moment. They trade looks with each other. Then the rabbit and the turkey take off after their friend, unable to do anything more than hope they don’t get spotted.
Something’s on their side, either Luck or the Room herself, because the halls are strangely empty. Bruce leads them down one hall and into another, before barging into the doors of a different room.
Tail wagging so hard it must be painful, Bruce launches himself under one of the desks.
Jack asks, “Bruce?”
“I’ve got it! I know what I’m supposed to be doing! Hang on, hang on, I’ve got this! I’ve got this!” Bruce thumps and thunks around on the inside of the desk, and then he comes back out, proud as can be, with a pink stuffed bunny in his mouth.
Jack tilts his head to the side, feathers ruffled. “Is that what you were – “
The rabbit toy falls out of Bruce’s mouth.
His tail slows down. Then stops wagging completely. And then lowers down between his hind legs.
Jack asks, “what’s wrong?”
Bruce says, “did Peter Rabbit not come with you?”
“Of course he came with me,” says Jack. “He’s right here!”
But when he turns to look, Peter Rabbit is gone.
Jack and Bruce crowd under the desk together, to make sure they don’t get scene. Bruce brings the stuffed rabbit toy with them.
Jack says, “I don’t understand! He was right behind me!”
Bruce whines, “I shouldn’t have taken off like that. I just knew what I was supposed to be doing, and didn’t want to forget again.”
“He must have gone into a different door,” says Jack. “It shouldn’t be hard. We’ll find him, and give him the toy, and then we should be able to leave.”
Even as Jack says it, his feathers fluff up in unease. He can’t shake the feeling that there’s something very odd going on here; that there’s something not correct.
Bruce must feel the same way. The fur along his spine is raised. He can’t stop whining. “I think this is…finding the toy was important, right?”
“You didn’t mess up,” says Jack, honestly. “Whatever’s going on was meant to go on. But! It’s okay. We just need to find Peter Rabbit. And with that nose of yours, I’m sure that we can do it fast.”
Katelynn E Koontz – Author