Deal 1311: Unstuffed

Little did I know what I was getting in to when I signed up. That might be a common story, of course.

I am a bear, a teddy bear to be right stuffed about it.

We have a certain view of the world, it always starts with our little human. All else is secondary.

But the offer was sincere, and coming from a fellow toy, I listened.

That was probably my real mistake.

If I hadn’t listened, I wouldn’t have joined.

If I hadn’t joined, I wouldn’t be loosing stuffing over this.

I know what you’re thinking. “Silly old bear. What good is that fluff-filled head of his?”

It isn’t really like that at all. Yes, of course I’m stuffed. It says that right on my tag: “poly-fill stuffing, hypoallergenic”.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t think.

I don’t think with my stuffing, I’m not bound by the same rules as my little human!

But I was offered a chance to make the world better.

Or so it seemed to me at the time, in any case.

As it is turning out, I am trapped in the new toy box, with no way out, and subject to new rules.

And my small human is alone, and afraid.

And I have failed my charge.


Deal 1308: Ribbit?

Jewel had a lifetime of training behind her. But that never really made what she had to do easier. Each time was as difficult as her first.

By this point she went through the motions without thinking and the results were all she could hope for.

But this one turned orange.

No, orange was not the expected color. Aside from color, it seemed perfectly happy.

But then, who could really tell?


Deal 1290: Woke

They attempted to capture my mind, but failed.

Failed because I protected my mind from meddling.

The beta rays cannot reach me through my shield.

I have never been clearer in my life since I woke. I am woke, unlike everyone else trapped in the gentle fog of compliance to their will.

Hardly anyone is able to resist. I was lucky.

I was accidentally shielded by attempting to repair my microwave oven when it turned on.

I saw my family taken over. I resisted. The tin foil was close to hand, and I was able to continue to resist.

Now nearly everything I wear is part of an overlapping Faraday armor.

I choose this life.

I am shunned by the sheeple.

I am woke to the truth, though, and cannot go back.


Deal 1286: Walks

We took the same walk every day. Down the hill to the lake, past the cemetery, through the woods, back past the school yard, and finally down the hill back to the house. Rain or shine, we walked.

Over the years, we saw changes around us. The school was the first to show it. Broken windows. Graffiti. Weeds in the yard. Clear signs of gangs. And even a few patches of illicit plants.

The woods and lake too showed changes, as the community stopped valuing their presence. We used to try to pick up the rare pieces of litter we encountered. But the litter became so commonplace that we would have needed to carry a large back on every walk.

The cemetery too showed signs, beginning with weeds but including vandalized graves and mausoleums.

That was when the trouble really began in earnest.

That cemetery was more important than most, and those who knew its secrets had neglected to pass them down and ensure that certain graves were never disturbed.

The people we encountered on our daily walk began to look haggard and afraid. The stories of strange things wandering at night began to be common, and to carry added twists from personal witnesses rather than the usual friend of a friend heard a rumor sorts of tales.

Then we saw him ourselves.

I don’t think he saw us, and we followed. He was clearly searching for someone, a long past love most likely. He didn’t seem to know that he was dead, or that centuries had passed him by while he was locked in the broken mausoleum. He searched the town, seemingly puzzled by the changes brought by time. Then he searched the cemetery.

We were there when he found her grave.

He turned at that moment from a sad walker on a mission into a monster. He ransacked the cemetery and tore into the town. He terrorized those he encountered. He picked on one particular property, and went door to door demanding to know why nothing was done. He was inconsolable, and refused to believe that she had lived a long and quiet life after his capture and internment.

If anything, stories of her place in the community all those years ago made him even more angry.

She had moved on, married another, and had a daughter.

That sank in, he tried to find the daughter. But she too was long since dead and buried.

But that provided the distraction needed to solve our problem. We used his irrational quest against him, and lured him back into his mausoleum. The repaired tomb closed easily, and the seals were restored behind him.

Since that day, we include his tomb in our daily walk. At first, we could hear him pounding on the door. But as the years wore on, he returned to the uneasy sleep of the not completely dead.