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It was early morning on Easter Sunday in the field behind a local Lutheran church nestled at the edge of the suburbs. Young children, both those who regularly attended, and their friends who just thought it would be so much fun, were scurrying around the trees and bushes looking for colorful eggs with which to fill their baskets. Some were of the poultry type while others were chocolate and filled with yummy caramel.
All seemed well. The air still held a crisp chill but excitement and sweaters kept the cherubs warm. Their parents and grandparents watched from a distance, smiling at this idyllic scene, and anticipating the most Holy Day when they would worship their risen Lord.
Then, from the opposite end of the field, they came, the Armies of Ishtar. Legend had it that over all the Earth, they attacked one church on Easter morning, disgracing the Christian tradition of the Easter Bunny with their much older fertility traditions.
Dressed in hideous, giant bunny costumes, fur burned and unkempt, ears bent, cute bunny teeth replaced with six-inch fangs, and red, bloodshot eyes scanning the scene, they rushed forward. Their cries were ghastly, terrifying the children. But the bunnies were far too fast for the kids to be able to escape.
Armed with their own baskets, Ishtar’s Army dug deep into them for their own eggs. They clasped them and threw. At this range, they all missed, but that was only temporary. Some exploded with a foul smelling gas, others splattered disgusting goo, and a few actually burst into balls of flame. In moments, the scattering children would be targeted and there would be casualties.
The church adults were totally unprepared for this assault but started to run to defend their innocents. They would be too late.
Then, from the parking lot, the doors of scores of dark sedans burst open and canvas-robed men launched themselves outward, navigating between the rabbits and the children. They didn’t bother with swords or shields, and instead, the Servants of the Lord leveled sub-machine guns at the Minions of Ishtar and began to fire.
Six bunnies dropped to the grass as one, twitching in pools of expanding blood.
“Retreat!” commanded the head thrall of Ishtar who always led from the rear. Desperate bunnies turned and hopped speedily back the way they came, pursued by quasi-Biblically attired defenders of the faith. Semi-automatic rifles clattered, littering the grass with spent shell casings.
Children dashed into the waiting arms of their parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. The Pastoral staff stood stunned at the mad display, its actors now receeding into a housing tract in the distance.
Somewhere from far away but drawing closer was the sound of sirens. After the police would come the reporters. The Sunday afternoon newscasts and the Monday morning headlines would be ablaze with the bizarre news of the annual battle between the Easter Bunnies and the Jesus Freaks.
Only a few arrests were made. Enough of the combatting armies survived and escaped, so that next year, another Easter egg hunt could be terrorized. However they were becoming fewer among the Churches of the Lord. It just wasn’t worth the drama.
I wrote this for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Easter Bunny and Easter Eggs writing challenge. The idea was to use the theme of Easter both in its modern or ancient incarnations to write a story or poem.
There’s no “Mr. Linky” to post to, so look in the comments section of the link I posted just above to read other stories based on the prompt.
I wrote this really tongue-in-cheek since at least in some churches, the Easter Bunny seems to be in competition with the meaning of the resurrection of Jesus. Some churches I’ve attended have banned Easter Egg hunts, but the church I currently take my elderly Mom to still embraces them.
It’s all in fun and I’m not making sport of anyone. Enjoy your Easter however you do or don’t observe it.
To read another of my fictional works consider my novelette Ice:
In eons past, the armies of Surtur the fire goddess and Ymir the frost giant waged an unceasing battle for dominance over the Earth. For all those ages, they maintained an uneasy but enduring balance. Then humanity rose from the mud, and with the passage of time, came to fear fire more than ice, devoting their own meager forces to the conflict. Not to be denied, Surtur beat back both mortals and giants, consigning the planet to unrelenting heat and the ice lords to seeming oblivion. Before leaving the material realm, in jest she gave humanity the gift of magic and the curse of the return of dragons.
For thousands of years thereafter, the race of people knew nothing but a world without ice. Spanning the globe in sailing ships, the humans continued to thrive and remembered not the distant past. Then Captain Ki-Moon Yong of the Oceanic Trading Company vessel the Star of Jindo is assigned the task of solving the most profound mystery ever encountered. Another ship has gone missing and her only remaining crewman suddenly commits suicide after visiting the sunken continent of Antarctica. All of the dinosaur species of the south have gone mad, invading the guarded towns and cities on their way north, as if to escape some monstrous terror.
The answers to these enigmas all lie on the continent at the bottom of the world, and Captain Yong must take the Star to a strange research facility to discover them. But once there, he is confronted with a truth so profound and so nightmarish that it will change the very nature of reality. Can the Star of Jindo escape the inevitable in time to warn an unbelieving world of that truth, or will they be consumed in frozen horror? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09MYJ6B1L
2 thoughts on “The Armies of Ishtar vs. The Jesus Freaks”
Horrific, but a very interesting story, James. Your imagination takes you to dark places, but your stories are great because of that.
Thanks. I originally thought of rabbits chasing children in the streets, but why would children be out in the street early on Sunday morning? I settled on an Easter egg hunt.