He’s almost stitched up! The head was stuffed with cotton to reveal his plastered smile. Mommy said she would make his body more huggable for me, so she shoved feathers along the cotton for the plush.
I gave him a squeeze once he was finished. Pouring all my love, compassion, and kindness into this toy. He’s more than just a toy to me. He’s my best friend. One who I will cherish forever. His buttons for eyes gave me comfort and reassurance. Finally, a friend who I can genuinely trust. I thought to myself, gesticulating his limbs for a hug. I love you, Teddy Bear.
I love Teddy and all, but he’s been acting strange recently. I haven’t said anything to mommy yet because his behavior is just…weird. He’s fine during the day while playing and when mommy is around, but as soon as it’s just the two of us, his personality flips.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been finding old photos of me crumbled up and torn. At first, I didn’t think much of it since old things tend to get more fragile over time. It’s probably nothing. Maybe I’m not keeping the pictures in a safe place? I know my friend would never do that. On top of that, Teddy has been talking in his sleep. I didn’t pay much attention to it thinking it was just mumbo jumbo.
He’d growl in his sleep and mutter, “Blood. Fresh blood. Spill it. Kill.” Teddy would say more things related to death or murder before snoring again. I think he’s just having weird dreams, like as a detective or something. The previous two nights, I’ve found knives tucked under my pillow. He held one in a hug with his plush arms when I awoke today.
Bizarre. I thought to myself. I probably shouldn’t be too worried or scared. Maybe he just finds the sharp objects fascinating? I know mommy told me that I was intrigued by such a thing when I first started walking. The photos, knives, and rambling are probably nowhere near related. Just a coincidence, I guess…
I woke up this morning with scratches all over my arms and legs. I cried for hours because I didn’t know where they came from. I hugged Teddy for comfort, only to find a needle hidden in his leg. I widened my eyes when I saw it, switching my attention back to his button eyes. His smile felt like it grew since the first day, and his stare became more sinister.
“Did you do this, Teddy?” I furrowed my brows and gestured towards the red marks on my limbs. Silence. The bear’s face grew more and more unsettling to look at, leaving me in despair. “Should I be scared?” I asked. The bear did nothing, again, his malicious grin paralyzing me.
Mommy was at work, so I decided to get rid of the bear. I held him by his foot and threw him out in the garbage. The last thing I saw of him was his nefarious stare and malevolent smile. I slammed the lid shut and ran back inside. It broke my heart to let Teddy go like that, but I knew it was for the best. Although I still haven’t outgrown him, I just didn’t know him anymore. He hurt me and could hurt mommy next. Sorry, Teddy.
“I have to hit the bank. Will you be okay by yourself?” Mommy checked her watch for the time before meeting my gaze again.
“Yes, I’ll be fine,” I said, nodding to emphasize. She smiled and kissed thetop of my head.
“Good girl. I’ll be back soon, love you!” She waved while stepping out the door. I waved back and awaited the eerie silence. I sighed and went to my room for a tea party. I placed all my stuffed animals in a circle with one empty seat next to me. I frowned every time it was in view. I started to pour tea for all my guests and myself.
“More tea, Sparkleberry?” I asked the plush cupcake covered in glitter. I smiled and nodded before pouring him another cup. Once I placed the teapot down, a faint ring came from the kitchen. I raised a brow and stood up. “I’ll be back, everyone,” I said, looking around the table at my guests. I made my way downstairs to the phone on the counter. I stood on my tippy toes to gain some height and grab it. “Hello?”
“Hello? Is anyone there?” I moved it so I could hear better. Heavy breathing came from the other line. It sent chills down my spine. “H-hello?” I tried again with the same result. My hand shook as the breathing grew heavier and louder.
A figure sprinted from the bookcase to behind the couch in the corner of my eye. I snapped my focus towards the family room and gulped. The breathing stopped. Glass shattered over the call to break the silence, but it was also inside the house. I hung up and threw the phone away. The petite silhouette ran from behind the couch to the corner, using the wall to block itself from view. I froze, so unprepared. I’m fucking scared. I think mommy would say something like that about now.
“Die,” the figure whispered. I gasped and trembled. The silhouette revealed itself from around the corner.
“Teddy?” I shouted. His button eyes narrowed onto me, and his embroidered grin grew vile.
“Blood. Fresh blood,” he said, a kitchen knife in his grasp. My heart sank, stomach churned, and knees knocked together.
“Why, Teddy? Why? Everything was so sweet-“
“KILL!” he screamed, launching himself onto me. He stabbed me until his soft exterior was stained with my blood. You were my teddy bear, so comforting and quiet. How did love become so violent?
Grace Bannon is from Royersford, Pennsylvania. She is an arising writer who spends time with her dogs and friends in her free time. She has received an honorable mention in Ramoirs Literary Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @GraceBannon4.