“Dumb Bunny” by Lee Lynch from Best Lesbian Romance 2012 (Cleis Press). Edited by Radcylffe.

After I read this story I felt offended by the title, on behalf of the character of Bunny. I understand perfectly well why the author titled the piece the way she did, but still.

Pensioner Frenchy has decided to briefly come out of retirement as a favor to her former boss; and also because the extra money will help her buy a condo in Florida near her brother and his wife; and, finally, because it feels good to feel needed, and they begged.

She used to train employees for a national grocery chain. She was the best trainer around. Even she, though, has reservations when she learns that the difficult-to-train employee she’s signed on to turn around is the grocery chain owner’s fifty-three year old daughter, Muriel, who goes by the nickname Bunny. Not that Frenchy, whose real name is Genevieve, knows a thing about Muriel/Bunny. It’s the father, Dom Sausilito, who has her worried. If she doesn’t deliver, could he make her new lifestyle as a retiree go up in smoke? Things only get worse when she actually meets Bunny, who is a nervous wreck, probably stemming from the fact that she is unbelievably inexperienced at practically everything and naïve to boot. Yet, Frenchy also finds her endearing. She’s drawn to this childlike woman, and determined to see her succeed.

Kudos to the author for giving the spotlight to characters who are no longer young or even middle aged but also aren’t yet extinct.