Chapter 10 - All Evil Things Do

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"It might not mean anything." Eirik adjusted the panda on his hip like a squirming sack of potatoes. "I don't decorate with green either. My place is all white, black and taupe." 

The panda squinted, suspiciously. "There's a way to verify. There, on the counter, a cookbook. Yes, that open book there. Turn the pages. The evilness of a beast can be determined by the recipes it keeps." 

Andres, flicking a glance at the hall down which the rabbit had vanished, joined his friend at the counter where Eirik thumbed apart the cookbook's delicate pages. The first recipe was for a classic yellow cake. Hardly incriminating.

The panda eagerly read each title aloud. "Lemon pepper asparagus." Tension tinged its tone. "Liver and onions?" Alarm brightened its eyes. "Lima beans, escargot, BREAD PUDDING?!!"  The cub gasped with epic disgust. "SPICY SAAALSAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!"

Anders scowled, mildly. "These are normal recipes."

The panda hissed like a viper. "SILENCEthisbookis oozing  withEVILcan'tyouSMELLit?!!??!?!?"

Eirik returned the cub's glare, calmly. "No." 

Anders studied their black-and-white compass warily. The cookbook might look normal to us but he seems legitimately scared. He's shaking.

Wearing a befuddled frown, Eirik silently suffered the cub's rambling explanation about how bread pudding, if prepared from that book, would send the Laws of Physics scrambling for the hills, compel Death to flee shrieking into the deepest chasm in the ocean, and make Fear cry for her mommy however, according to the bear, Fear didn't have a "mommy" as humans would understand a mother figure and so she would simply cry and cry and cry, and it would be unbearably pitiful. No one would want that. 

We need the little guy to keep his head. Anders stepped over to a window and peered out. Without him, Eirik and I have no idea what we're doing. There's too much we don't know. 

A sound rustled from the hallway. The rabbit returned with a spring in her step and a freshly combed coat and, for reasons unknown, had doubled in size. 

Her guests stood rigid with unsettled surprise. 

The panda quietly tried to burrow its face into Eirik's chest. 

Anders swallowed. Are we in trouble?  Squeezing fists at his sides, he shifted to squarely face the rabbit. "You have a lovely home, Amanda. Beautiful, rustic."

The door was closed but only a few feet away. Run for it? Making a break for it would be risky since they didn't have any green items. That other evil thing -- the huge one -- "Alfred" or whatever its name was -- it could still be outside.

The thing out there is huge. Anders sized up the rabbit. We can probably take her, right? Or maybe Eirik was right and they were over-reacting. 

Let's find out. Through a clenched jaw, he said evenly, "I don't see anything dyed green in here." 

"Of course not." The rabbit sat up to the height of a 7-year old child. "When it's not in a plant, the color green... Green is unpleasant. Green is gross. The color green. Smells like regurgitated caramelized onions, and I hate it." She smiled, her fluffy cheeks squishing her eyes shut. "All evil things do." 

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