Teddy Bears FFF

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Teddy Bears
Friday Fast Fiction

Now they sleep in separate rooms in single beds each tucked in with a monogrammed teddy bear.
He likes to cuddle his, keeping it warm, tucking it carefully under the bedclothes. He calls it Ready Teddy, and his favorite game, especially in summer, is to hold his teddy bear by one back leg and say in a loud voice “Ready, Teddy, GO!”
At the word “GO” he hurls his teddy bear skywards and takes great delight in the fate of a sleeping fly, pinned against the ceiling and squashed. His delight doubles if one of the pointed waves of ceiling paint impales the fly and leaves it squirming there, buzzing impotently. This means target practice and he hurls Ready Teddy, “GO, GO,” skywards again and again until the unfortunate fly, falling like a condemned angel, tumbles back to earth.
She still follows the same ritual as when they were sleeping together in the same bed. First she pummels the pillows, fluffing them up with sideways movements of the hands. Next, she lays them on the bed and beats them flat. Then she picks them up and plays them like a concertina, pushing them together then stretching them out again. As for her teddy bear, she likes to discipline it, to beat it into shape. Once upon a time, it made noises and let out little squeals and squeaks, but the constant violence has silenced its sound box.
When they slept together she often took her teddy and beat it against her husband’s head. He would wake from the deepest dream head a-throb, ears and cheeks stinging, as she flailed him with her teddy and struck him blow after blow. When his headaches grew worse, they decided to sleep apart. He felt it was better and safer that way.
Last night, she sleepwalked into his room, and sat on the side of his bed. She clasped her teddy by the feet, a rabid Rottweiler with a rag doll, and thumped her teddy’s head against her husband’s face again and again.
The sleeping tablets had made him drowsy and slow to wake. His wife kept up the barrage until he finally woke, eased the teddy bear from her grasp, and walked her back to bed
On the way back to his own room, he checked into the bathroom and examined his face in the mirror. Blood seeped from his nostrils. He had bruises under his left eye and his cheeks glowed red where veins had broken near the surface
Next morning, he sat at the breakfast table, his grandfather’s First World War magnifying mirror in his hand, and examined his face. The ice pack had taken effect and he looked less damaged now. He reached for the color correction cream in the packet beside him and read the directions with care. Then he placed a tiny drop of the magic serum onto the paintbrush and worked the correction cream over the marks on his face. He watched them disappear one by one. Now he would be ready to face the world.
He stared into the magnifying mirror gazing deeply into his own eyes. Was that how it had happened? Or had their first child really fallen downstairs, banging her little head on each wooden step at eighteen months old?
The inquest had been inconclusive, his wife held blameless. They had remained childless after the trial.
Was that a blessing or a curse?

24 thoughts on “Teddy Bears FFF

    • I love the ‘morbid little gem’ — Thank you so much. I am never sure about the ‘b’ word. I just wish it were true. The story does give one a different view on Teddy Bears and on sleepwalking. Mind you, I love my teddy: he’s the grey koala in the photo. He needs renewing every so often, poor little thing.

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      • I know that superlatives are too easily dropped, but this really was a gem. I really wasn’t expecting that, with a title like Teddy Bear I was half expecting something unbelievably twee (which I find all too frequently unfortunately) though being acquainted somewhat with your work knew it would be redeemed in some fashion. Instead you turned something cute into a source of terror and accurately portrayed how childhoods little sadisms never really go away in adulthood. So in my humble opinion, brilliant.

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      • Thank you. I have just replied to your e-mail. I accept your compliment with a slight blush, a warm feeling, and very much pleasure. Thank you again. Teddy Bears is part of Bistro, incidentally. I do poetry mainly, but have a collection of short stories, Systematic Deception, another of Flash Fiction, Bistro, and another collection of stories, Nobody’s Child. I am also working on two (maybe three) novels. So: I’m writing full time post-retirement and really enjoying it. I despaired of traditional publishing. Then a friend got me going with CreateSpace and we’ll see what happens.

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      • CreateSpace is the online, self-publishing place where you can set up your books and sell them online. It is run by Amazon.com and the books appear online at Amazon and CreateSpace itself and can also be made available via Kindle. One of my friends came round to the house, showed me / helped me set up the first text and I have been revising and converting my poetry and short stories to online texts and e-texts ever since. I have six up now [ Monkey Temple, Bistro, Though Lovers Be Lost, Sun and Moon, Empress of Ireland, and Obsidian’s Edge ] all available via Amazon (paperback) and / or Kindle (e-text). I was very wary of taking this route at first, but I have become very comfortable with it.

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      • I was tired of reading “nice, but it’ll never sell” or “good work, but the marketing department won’t touch it.” The buts were getting to me. It’s very easy to set up and it’s one way (a) to get published and (b) to get your work out there.

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      • At some stage, like it or not, we have to bite the bullet and come out of our shells.You have some good pieces online. Make a small collection, say 10 stories, about 100 pages. Then float it past Meg and me and see what we say. Then set it free. Let it fly like a kite. The alternative is to wait, hope, submit … I have one friend with two stories out … he has been waiting for six months for a response. I’ve been there, done that, got the tee-shirt … and I am an award winning poet and short story writer … light breaks where no light shines … at least I have something out there … in public … available …

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  1. Hi Roger! (Forgive my cheer.) Social content, social comment. Is persistence the first step towards hope? Or no, of course. This collection of short fictions is growing, growing, and i stand back in admiration of your working schedule. Remarkable. Take care, @

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