Glow | Teen Ink


June 15, 2021
By kbc1980, New York, New York
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kbc1980, New York, New York
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Author's note:

This piece was great for me and my imagination! I had such a fun time writing it, as it took reaching into my creative side and pulling out things I never knew I had in me!

“Flo hopped through the forest with her cute little bunny butt and fluffy tail! She--”

“Oh shut up Marcy! Get away from me! All your stupid narrating is giving me a headache.”

“But--” she said, surprised.

“Shush! Now shoo! Shoo!!”

“Fine!” Marcy said with a scowl.

Alright. Now that we’ve got that out of the way… Hi! I am Flo. And.. well, I’ll just come out and say it. I am a bunny. Yup. That’s right. A bunny rabbit. Shocking, is it not?'s true! I am a bunny. And I am a live one. In case you think I am one of those silly stuffed ones that sit on your bed all day, just hoping to be loved.

Our story begins when I hopped out of bed one fateful morning (And no, I did not LITERALLY hop), grabbed the basket I had woven with grass, slung it over my body, and opened and closed the door quietly so I wouldn’t wake my sister. I SEMI-hopped down the path outside my hollowed-out mushroom and started the long journey to my friend Dottie’s pasture.

“Hey, Flo!” Dottie said as I finally walked up to her and the other cows around her. 

“What's up, girl?” I asked in a playful voice.

“Eh, nothing much… OH! I slept standing up last night!” she replied.

“Woah! Cool!” I said as we danced around. It was Dottie’s third time doing that, but even then, there is still room for celebration.

The farmer who took care of Dottie and her family came over to the pasture with his bright-eyed sheepdog and buckets full of cow food. He brought some baby carrots and a bowl of milk for me. Y’know, the usual. 

We ate our food and I licked the milk in the small china bowl, making little ripples in it as I went. We talked, laughed, danced and sang, and eventually, I left. I had to make carrot cake, celery soup (with other things, but mainly celery), broccoli casserole (with cheese!), pumpkin pie, and sweet potato ice-cream for a solemn anniversary my sister and I honor every year. My mother left us when we were little, so we take a day to kind of grieve about that every year. My sister is younger than me, so it's a little more traumatic for her. That's why I cook her a nice homemade meal every year on that day. It’s kind of a message to her that there is still someone here to support and care for her.

I got out my giant acorn bowl and a rock and started smushing carrots until my paws turned orange! My sister had left already and gone out with her friends, so the house was quiet. One of her friends is a frog and one is a duck. They are all very cute. It is fun to watch them grow up. Anyway, my sister said that they would hit the market while they were out and get some celery and corn for the soup and casserole. 

My sister has white fur and dark, black-ish brown-ish spots randomly placed on her fur. She also has a pink stripe on her ear from some hot pink flowers she found in the woods, turned into some paste, and used to dye her fur. She has the biggest fluff-ball of a tail I have ever seen (besides mine) and big, adorable eyes. My mother once found this human treat called an oreo among some trash cans and she said it was the best thing she had EVER tasted, besides my literal mud pie I made when I was 4. When my sister was born and her fur grew, my mother thought she looked like that cool treat. So there you have it. My sister's name is Oreo. My sister somehow still loves our mother even after she left us all alone in the world, so she cherishes the name she gave her. 

I have white fur like my sister, but I have little spots that glow in the dark, instead of brown ones. It covers my whole tail, my nose, and a spot on my ear and back. That’s my name. Fluorescence. But you can call me Flo for short. 

I finished making the mini-feast for my sister and I and poured some strawberry puree in some small acorn cups. Don’t worry, I chiseled the bottoms a long time ago so they would stay flat. I set out all the food, put chiseled sticks next to my grandma’s lily-pad plates and waited for my sister to get home, and she walked in with her friends. We asked them if they wanted to stay for dinner and they did. We had a very nice evening that night… Well, the first part of it at least.

“So how are your parents, girls?” I asked them.

“Oh, good! They are planning a trip for us to take across the pond!” Fern, my sister’s frog friend said.

“Woah that's cool, Fern! My parents just sit home and eat bread all the time” Nicki said. That one’s the duck. 

Once my sister’s friends left, we cleaned up in the kitchen and she got into bed. I hugged and kissed her goodnight, telling her I will always be there for her. 

Boy was that a mistake.

A few hours after my sister went to bed, I decided to bring some leftovers from our meal to Dottie. I thought she would enjoy the soup, some pie, and some strawberry puree! (I feel so fancy that I made strawberry puree!!!)

I was about to open the small door attached to our mushroom that was made out of the top of a pumpkin. My paw wrapped around the rusty nail we used for a doorknob, when suddenly, out of the blue, my mushroom was pulled OUT OF THE GROUND! Not kidding! Just rooted out of the ground like some sort of flimsy weed! I went from seeing the beige wallpaper inside my mushroom to a brown, disgusting, dirty… boot. I was so scared I was shaking. I could feel my heartbeat pounding throughout my whole body. It was getting to be nighttime. That made me even more scared. I slowly looked up from the boot and saw a scary man with an appallingly scary face. He was smiling but he wasn’t REALLY smiling. It was one of those dark and twisted smiles. One of the evil ones. I guess my sister hadn’t woken up, because I could still see her in her bed, snoring away.

 Next thing I knew, The world was going sideways and my eyes were slowly but surely, drifting close.

I woke up...but did I really? I was somewhere pitch dark. I closed my eyes and opened them again. No difference. Was I going crazy? 

All of a sudden, a tiny door I didn’t even know was there opened abruptly. Bright light shined in, hurting my eyes. While squinting, I saw a different man than before. He looked kind, which is weird since he worked in such a terrible facility. The man had dark brown curly hair, brown skin, hazel eyes, and obviously, a kind smile. 

There was only a limited amount of time that I could pay attention to him, because I had to figure out where I was. 

From what I could tell, I was in a metal cage in this really big room. Much bigger than my mushroom. It was all a shiny metal color. From the walls, to the floor, to the ceiling, to the tables, to the knives...Yes. Knives. There were tiny little knives in that room. Knives. Knives didn’t even seem like a word anymore, but could only mean so many things… Yet all I could think about was my sister. She was alone. Abandoned. And so was I.

Those weird bunny-nappers left me in that disgusting cage for FIVE HOURS! I ate something in there that was salty and a little sour, and I don’t have a clue what it was. 

The moment they opened that slidey-door thingy, I immediately jumped out, trying to aim at an angle so I wouldn’t land in Kind guy’s arms, but he caught me anyway. He held me by my waist and was petting me on my head, bending my long ears, which made them feel weird. I was rolling my eyes so hard. This guy was keeping me from escaping!

He put me in another cage, but one that's more humane. It's one of those carrier cages where humans transport their prisoner animals to that other human who is supposed to cure them… What's it called… A ved? A vek? A fufu pear? I don’t know!!! I have only heard about it in urban legends. Anyway, I was able to watch him take me through this bright hallway, until we turned and POOF: A DOOR! Through the door was a VERY dark room. I thought I had just upgraded from the cage I had before, because this looked exactly like it. Then the Kind Guy turned again, and I saw light from a specific place. I started looking around and I saw a ton of critters just like me, lined up inside the wall, in separate boxes of space, covered by glass. They had some pieces of forest in there with them, but it wasn’t the same. They looked unnatural...fake. The animals looked miserable, and the light in their glass prisons wasn’t from the sky, it was from this rectangular shape stuck to the ceiling like it was its best friend. You couldn’t look at it for too long or it hurt your eyes. Honestly, it sounds like all the light in this wretched place.

All the small creatures were looking at me with pity in their eyes. I was the newbie. I was so distracted by the other animals and critters that I didn’t even notice when Kind Guy put me in a glass prison of my OWN!!! There were branches, leaves and dirt on the ground, with a big giant branch that sort of dominated the whole space. It felt familiar, maybe a little like home, but at the same time, so different. 

I watched a man in fancy clothes and a big tummy walk in. His hair was shaved on the sides and it was brown. It made kind of a rainbow shape at the front of his head, but a smushed rainbow. His hair was also super shiny, and I immediately wanted to know how it beheld such magical powers. He walked up to Kind Guy and shook his hand. They communicated for a little while and then Fat Guy turned his head towards me. I hoped he would reveal to me whatever magical spell he used to make his hair so incredibly glossy...but no. He came over and tapped on the glass a little and then made this disturbing face where he closed his eyes and made fish lips. Then he smacked those disgusting fish lips and it continued on like this for what felt like years. 

Once he finally left, I realized I had gradually backed away from him to the very back of the prison. I noticed that when I stood in a certain spot, air just poured down on me. I couldn’t get a very good look at what it was, but it felt very refreshing! 

That night, I sat in a pile of leaves, some below me and some on top of me, propped up against the big branch that was in my cage. The light in my cage had gone out, same with all the other creature’s cages, and all there was as a nightlight was my glowing spots. I could see the light peeking out from below my leaf blanket from my tail, and light shining on the walls of my cage from my glowing nose and spot on my ear. 

As I was sitting there, lonely in my cage, I realized that I felt the same feeling I felt when my mother left Oreo and me. She left us at the hollowed out tree we lived in back then, saying she was going to the local market across the pond. She told us she would be back in an hour. An hour passed. Then two hours, then three, and then four. After a while, I knew that she wasn’t coming back. And in those moments, I felt so alone. So vulnerable. And most of all, I felt confused. Why had she left? Did she not love us? Could she not handle us? Were we annoying? Were we burdens? Who was going to take care of us? How were we supposed to cook food by ourselves...OBTAIN food by ourselves? Take showers, bathe ourselves? How were we supposed to just live in general? Was I supposed to take over now since I am older? Could I cry on the outside just like I was on the inside or do I have to look strong for Oreo? Had Oreo realized what our mom has just done? 

It was one of the scariest moments of my life. And even though now I was a young adult and I was all grown up now, I still felt like that scared little teen in the dark all those years ago. Except this time, I didn’t have anyone to stay strong for.

That made it even worse.

The next morning, I was greeted by the horrible shriek of a small human infant, squirming and kicking in a weird contraption. Thump, thump, thump. It reminded me of when I was on a camping trip with my sister and we had to sleep in tortillas we found next to a dumpster one night. I tried to go back to bed but then a slightly older and taller infant came up and tapped on the glass like she was trying to pierce through it with her tiny, infectious fingernail.

All sorts of mini humans and their parents were in what I call the “critter room” and it was so chaotic. Tapping on glass, screaming, whining, having tantrums. It was exhausting. It was like this for half of the day! I think I looked really tired and annoyed, because all the other critters were looking at me like I was being dramatic or something. If you guys are reading this, I AM NEW, OKAY? GIVE ME A BREAK!

At night, Kind Guy and another dude came in and gave us food.

“Hewo, li’l bunny! Do you want some food?” he said in a high pitched voice.

I made an upset face, but I don’t know if he noticed. He just focused on spooning orange/green mush into a tiny bowl. Okay, it may have looked disgusting, but it was actually pretty good! It reminded me of the squash soup my mom would make for dinner long ago.

After I ate, I settled down on my uncomfortable dirt floor with my scratchy leaf blanket, My ears, tail and nose starting to glow and I started to think. I had to get out of here, whatever “here” is. I had to start developing a plan, and I had to get back to my sister.

And nothing was going to stand in my way.

In the morning, a guy came up to my glass prison and picked me up by my waist. It felt uncomfortable and abrupt. I have to admit, I am getting so used to being picked up uncomfortably that it has become pretty normal by now.

Strange Guy plopped me in one of their cages and we were off. He carried me through the hall outside of the dark room with all the glass cages. We went right, left, straight, up some stairs, left, right, left and then through a door. Through the door was a platform (what we were standing on) and a bunch of seats facing it. Something I heard these weirdos call a stage? Carrier dude turns to the side of the stage where I see these long furry pieces of cloth hanging from the ceiling. Then I see a ton of cages just like mine with all the critters from my dark room and some from the other side of it that I have only gotten a few glimpses of. I was stacked on top of some other animal’s cages, and I was very high up. I felt really unstable, like I was about to come crashing down. 

We waited awhile in our cages, until I heard a noise.

“Psst!” I didn’t know what that was. I thought it was just some snake letting off steam. 

“PSSSTT!!!” I heard again, but louder this time. 

“Who is that?” I asked.

“Is that you, Fluffy? The bunny gal?” The mysterious voice replied.

“Yeah… Why?” 

“You’re new. I wanted to meet ya’.”

“Oh.. uh..Cool?” 

We sat in silence for a minute. They brought in a few more animals in that time.

“Hey… I have some questions I was hoping I could ask you.” I finally said.

“Oh yeah. Lay ‘em down on me, partner!” he replied.

“Well for starters, who are you?” 

“I am an iguana. The name’s Chuck.” 

“Hi, I am Flo, short for Fluorescence!”

I thought I heard a small gasp after that, but maybe someone was just inhaling deeply

“Flo.. that’s an interesting name. Who named you that?” A new voice said.

“My mom. I have Fluorescent spots so she thought it made sense.”

“Yeah.. it does...” The new voice trailed off. I thought it was weird, but there are plenty of weirdos and I wasn’t about to get hung up on this one.

“Anyway, Nice to meet ya’!” Chuck said. “Got any other questions?”

“Oh yeah, I-I do. What is this place?”
“Y’know, I don’t really know that after all the months I have lived here so far. But from what I have gathered, this place is called a “mews-zee-um” and it is where they take animals and special things for people to look at.”

“Huh. Sounds kind of sick, but I guess they have their reasons.”

We waited a few more minutes (in silence) before a ton of commotion started in the room. We could hear the creaking of the doors, and some higher creaking. 

“What is that?” I asked anyone who could answer.

“Oh, is this the new one?” another new voice said.

“Yup” Chuck said plainly.

“Hi. I’m Apricot, a goldfish. I’m from the marine section. Long story short, we animals have to take part in this stupid event where tiny and big people sit in those chairs and we get held up for all to see.” Apricot paused. “Sometimes, if you are really unlucky, you have to be held by the tiny ones!! I am a fish, so that isn’t really something I have to deal with, but they sprinkle food into my cage sometimes and they make it all oily with their hands and such.

I was immediately dreading this. Next thing I knew animals were getting taken onto the stage. After about 13 animals, they took me up on the stage. This time, it was a woman transporting me somewhere. There was a man right next to her though, waving his hands near me. He pointed his weird, crooked fingers at my glowing spots. That’s when I heard him say, “Who wants to hold her?”

I immediately saw a ton of children raise their hands. I was shaking. The woman must’ve felt it, because she held me in a more comfortable position and pet me on my back. 

“Shh… Don’t worry. I’ll be right here. It's okay.” She whispered. That calmed me down a little. 

The first girl to hold me was weird. She had brown-ish/blonde-ish hair and she was very skinny and bony. She struck me as a popular girl who was very full of herself. I knew a handful of those in critter school when I was little. She wasn’t really paying attention to me, but paying more attention to the lollipop she was sucking on and a boy in the audience laughing along with her about the reckless ways she was holding me. I prayed for the moment this would be over.

The second girl had very soft skin and had dark brown hair. I looked up at her and she was smiling. I could feel happiness radiating off of her to be holding me. It felt nice to be loved. She started petting me on my back and then right behind my ears. It was like a mini massage!!! 

The third, a boy, the one the first girl was goofing off with in the audience, was the first one who actually terrified me. He held me with both hands at my chest, leaving the rest of my body to hang in the air. He started swinging me back and forth which made me unbelievably dizzy. I started clawing at his hands, trying to communicate to someone, anyone, that I did not enjoy this experience.

The woman finally took me out of his arms, petting me and trying to calm me down before this next boy held me. 

This fourth boy immediately made me feel safe and calm. He held me with one hand in the front of my body and one in the back. I felt steady and supported. I started realizing that I hadn’t felt like this in a very long time. My mom would often cuddle my sister and me up until she left. Then the cuddling responsibilities -- let alone all the rest -- fell on me. I didn’t even feel mad at her anymore. I just wanted her back. I just wanted my sister back. I wanted to go home.

After that whole debacle was over, I started devising a plan to get out of this menacing place. I started thinking about secret passages and whatnot. Then I heard a noise. It was those refreshing vents in my glass prison that I like to sit under. I started planning out how I could maybe climb up the big branch structure and open the vents. Then I could crawl through them and blow this popsicle stand. 

I spent all night trying to kick open the vents. Once I finally did that, I had to jump at an angle to actually get in them. I had to do something: hop. The cliche bunny move. I tried again and again, falling off the branch or not landing in the vents and landing in dirt, until I got fed up. I closed my eyes, took a deep breathe, and conjured my hopping mindset. 

1... 2… 3…


I just barely made it. My paws gripped onto the thin metal material. The vents were like a maze. It was kind of interesting though, seeing all the animals through the vents. They were all sleeping, except some that were just resting. I wanted to take them all with me, but they all seemed happy to be there. They were snuggled in their dirt floors, all comfy and cozy. Besides, if they ever wanted to get out, I’m sure they could devise a plan just like I had. If I can do it, so could they! 

I walked along the vent system. As I went along, it got darker and darker because we were getting more and more into the night. It eventually got the point where I couldn’t see a thing, and that’s when I realized I was squinting. 

I plopped my butt down and leaned on the vent. I broke into tears. I couldn’t take it anymore. Why did I get taken? Why are people so cruel? Why was the first feeling of safety and happiness I had felt in 4 years from total strangers who held me for minutes at a time? Where was my mother and why did she leave us? 

That's when I started to think. 

Maybe my mother hadn’t left us. Maybe….she was taken. 

Taken by these people. The same ones that took me. 

I got up, wiped my tears and wiped off some dirt that was on me due to my many falls when attempting to get into the vents. Turns out the dirt was covering my glowing spots, so once I wiped it off, I had some light to go by.

I started running, feeling a weight lifted off my chest. My mother did love us. She didn’t want to leave.. She was probably just taken! I felt the metal material of the vents under my feet as I ran with all my might. 

Then I sat down again.

What if she wasn’t at this museum? And how do I know she was taken? It is totally possible that what I have been thinking happened all these years was true. Then I started thinking again.

I started thinking back to when I was talking to Apricot and Chuck. Right after Chuck introduced himself to me, there was that other voice, who commented on my name. Could that have been… my mom? 

I searched the whole critter room, which was BIG. Like, seriously big. I ran around the vents, my eyes searching all the vents, moving like a racecar on a crazy, winding track. 

After hours of searching, I finally spotted a bunny. My mom. Cuddled up in a cute little rock cave she had in her cage. I banged on the vent, waking her up. 

“Whaaaatt?” She groaned, her eyes still closed. I could see tears rolling down her face. I could imagine her giving up hope of ever seeing her babies again.

“MOM!” I exclaimed. 

She immediately sat up and looked up at me.

“...Flo?” She said, with a gentle, sad voice.

“Mommy! It's me!” 

She was in shock. But it was getting to be morning. I saw some sunlight peeking in some other exhibits (and yes, I ran through all sorts of exhibits just to get to the OTHER side of the critter room.) I noticed a vine in her cage that if she threw up to me, I could hold on to as she climbed up into the vents.

“Mom, throw me that vine!” I told her. Once I had the vine, I held it down with my whole body and she climbed up.

“Honey!” She said as she threw her paws around me. “Oh, I missed you SO much!”

It felt like everything had fallen into place. I finally had my mom back. Four, long years of loneliness and responsibility. 

“I am so sorry” My mom said, in tears. “I am SO sorry”

We just stood there, hugging for like, ten minutes. Then I realized we needed to get going. 

Just when I started to pull away, she fell all the way back down into her cage. That's when I noticed humans starting to come into the critter room. 

“MOM! CLIMB BACK UP! HURRY” I shouted, shaking.

“No! Honey, go, GO! ESCAPE!” 

“NOT WITHOUT YOU! PLEASE, MOMMY!” I said through a sob. I couldn’t lose her again.

“Hey!” A human said as he rushed towards my mom’s cage. I was terrified.

“Hurry, mama!!” I whisper-shouted. She climbed up and we ran through the vents together. We heard things from the open vent. And we stopped so we could hear. We heard beeping and alarms. They knew.

We ran as fast as we could and finally we reached the roof of the museum. We hugged in celebration.


“I KNOW, SWEETHEART!!” We jumped up and down.

We slid down a pipe on the side of the building and ran into the forest. My mom knew where to go because unlike me, she wasn’t tranquilized when she was captured. I guess they hadn’t come up with that idea yet.

It took hours and hours but we finally made it home. She didn’t know we lived in the mushroom house now, so she was surprised to see the home I had made for Oreo and me. 

“This is so cute! It's so sweet and pretty.” She said as we walked in. To my surprise, the mushroom had been put back into the ground. Weeds had been sewed through the ground and back through the mushroom, acting as a seam. Thats when we discovered Oreo wasn’t at the house. I was exhausted, and I am sure that my mother was too. We gave each other a look, and we took off. 

I led the way to Dottie’s pasture to see if maybe she had answers. Then I stopped dead in my tracks, with my mother right behind me. I saw Dottie, Oreo, and Dottie’s mom hanging out on the grass. Dottie’s mom was laying next to Oreo, letting her lay on her giant, snuggly, cow body. She was licking the top of her head. Oreo had a frown on her face and a tear rolling down her cheek. That frown soon turned into a smile once Dottie started jumping around and acting goofy to cheer her up. Oreo and some of Dottie’s cousins laughed.

` I walked up to the pasture first, my mom staying where she was. Once Oreo noticed me, her smile grew bigger and she showed her cute two front teeth and her eyes opened up wide. She ran towards me and hugged me. I lifted her up and spun her around. 

Then she saw mom.

“MOMMY?!?!?” She screamed (and right in my ear, may I add).

She ran and jumped into a hug, knocking my mom down. My mom smothered her in kisses and they held that hug for a long time. 

“Oh sweetie I missed you!!!” My mom said with happy tears. 

I joined in on their hug and motioned at Dottie to come over. We all joined together in a group hug. 

That afternoon, my sister’s friends came to Dottie’s pasture, where we had just been hanging out with some of my leftover strawberry puree from our feast. We had all caught up as a family. We told my mom about the feast and my mom told my sister what happened and how she never meant to leave us. She had been taken by those horrid people, and when she discovered that I was in here too, she figured it would be too painful for me to reveal herself since we couldn’t even hug. My sister and her friends celebrated that we were back and hugged my mom, as did their parents. My sister’s friends had come to give Oreo some homemade food. 

I don’t think I ever realized the support system my sister and I had. Even if my mom hadn’t come home, I would’ve always had Dottie, her family, my sisters friends and their families. Even though it might make you sad or lonely to not have a biological family, family are the people you meet along the way, not necessarily the ones who are blood-related to you. This whole time, I had had everything I needed, and it was all right in front of me.


~The End~

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