Rudy | “I am NOT a duck, mermaid or naked emperor!””

Author’s note. Rudy | The Unofficial Novella is comprised of notes found stuffed in a stainless steel shoe box that floated up from what used to be frozen tundra. There will be 25 posts. This is #11. They are not in order, but will be when pigs fly.


The Hans Christian Anderson storybook was planted on the bottom shelf of the bookcase in his room. Rudy would wake up at 3 am, startled by the chartreuse glow pulsating from the tome’s spine, not by the red light on his snout.

Whenever his mother caught wind of a bullying incident, she would have Rudy pull the book off the shelf, so that she could read an inspiring story from its pages.

Mr. Anderson was a prolific writer. The thing weighed 20 pounds.

“Twenty pounds of inspirational stories should be enough to make him accept himself.” His mother’s guilt hung throughout the house like the aroma of truffles. What would have happened if she had not been dancing so close to the cranberry bog when she was six months pregnant, and slipped?

Would Rudy feel better knowing about a girl fish, the naked emperor, a princess with the sensitive skin, the singing bird, girl with matched, or the switched-at-birth swan? Rudy pretended to listen, playing a La-La-La-La mantra inside his head while his mother read to him.

One day, he found a little book someone had dropped on the path to the ice pond. It was all about rabbits that were different. One told of a rabbit with HUGE feet. Uncomfortable childhood and all that, until it came time to escape from the lone wolf ghost. Another was about a rabbit with a shamrock embossed on the bottom of his paw. He could never get away with a prank, as his prints gave him away.

Until his prints led the way to a pot of gold. From then on, they called him “Lucky.”

Rudy placed the slim book under his pillow.

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