In between the cracks of narrative causality, there is a hidden universe where literary characters take refuge between the vagaries of their authors' whims. Here, King Caspian peacefully reigns over Narnia, Captain Carrot patrols the streets of Ankh-Morpork, and it is just time for A Little Something in the Hundred-Akre Wood. Closer to the borders of what we laughingly refer to as reality, Mr. Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson relax between cases in the sitting-room of 221B Baker Street, trying to make the best of the rather unpredictable life afforded fictional creations everywhere.]
I looked doubtfully at the small furry creature peacefully inhabiting the wire cage; it certainly did not look like a danger to the fabric of reality.
"What did you say it was?" I asked, watching as it chewed unconcernedly on a leaf of lettuce.
"A plot-bunny," Holmes answered, not looking up from his task of rifling through his files. "And don't get too close, Watson; there's no telling what it could do."
"Surely you are exaggerating, Holmes," I replied, chuckling. "The little fellow doesn't look as if he could change more than a minor plot detail."
"Honestly, Watson, I despair of you. Surely you must realize that the size and appearance of the animal has little to do with its destructive power –"
"Why must you see every reality shift as a bad thing, Holmes? I seem to remember you quite enjoying last week's incident with the feather fan. And I know how you look forward to our sojourns in the slutverse."
Holmes coloured slightly, coughing only a little. "That may be true, but what of the more bothersome distortions? You certainly were not so fond of last week's hurt/comfort challenge. Seven bullet wounds, five broken limbs, and two cases of poisoning –"
"Well, at least we didn't have to deal with your brother in bondage gear," I shuddered. "That one still gives me nightmares."
"What about the times when one or the other of us is female?"
"That I don't mind so much. At least it gives one a chance to stay abreast of things."
He sighed wearily. "Of course *you* don't mind," he muttered, sipping at his coffee. "You, at least, make an attractive female –"
"I say, how did you do that?"
"How did I pick up my coffee? Judicious placement of the fingers –"
"Don't mess about, Holmes. I meant how did you manage to insert asterisks into your speech?"
"Wouldn't *you* like to know," he smiled.
I shook my head and returned my attention to the cage, where the animal had finished the leaf of lettuce and sat up on its haunches, looking hopefully at me with big, soft brown eyes.
And then, it sneezed, and the world changed …
"Oh, no," Holmes groaned. "Not furries again."
"I think you make a handsome squirrel," I chuckled.
"I should prefer something a little higher upon the food chain, thank you. And have you ever noticed that we always have waistcoats but seldom any trousers?"
"Rather a boon, I should think," I smirked, then noticed the look on Holmes' face. The fact that he was currently a six-foot high rodent with pale mauve fur could not disguise the fact that he was trying desperately not to laugh.
I put my paws on my hips and glared at him. "What the devil are you on about, man?" No sooner had the words escaped my mouth, however, when a caught a look at myself in the mirror upon the mantel. "Oh, no –"
"Well, the stripe *is* rather fetching on you, I must say."
"But the skunk is an American species," I protested. "It doesn't make any sense."
"Watson, we are currently two quadrupeds in waistcoats. Must you quibble over reality – that's it!"
"That's what?" I asked.
"We're in a reality where animals talk. We can simply ask the plot- bunny –"
"Sorry, Mr. Holmes," the animal said, and sneezed again.
"Well, that wasn't all that bad," I said, looking around our familiar sitting-room. I took another leaf of lettuce from my salad and pushed it through the bars of the cage.
"Yes, we seem to be back in what passes for – Watson, what in the devil are you doing? DON'T FEED THE PLOT-BUNNY!!!"
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