Friday, 9 November 2012

The Magical Teddy Bear


He called round at about 1pm. Tea and scones were on the coffee table, the fire crackled, he sat down on the chair opposite me and the cat was on the sofa purring. Why had he come to see me today, he never came on a Friday. We went to bingo together once and he had told me he was an orphan and had no friends or family. Now I couldn’t get rid of him. I looked him up and down; he was all in tweed and bright red shoes, his hair in a silly quif.
‘So, to what do I owe the pleasure’ I asked. His forehead grew large and his yellow teeth pushed long and straight out of his thin lips as he squirmed in the chair, his arms hanging down to two big, pink, skinny hands clasping his knees, rocking a little back and forth.

‘It’s a terrible situation I am afraid’ he whispered with his lisp. As he said this his face pressed forward and his cheek bones cracked and broke off to the side, then his whole head began to grow upwards, slowly at first but then quickly it grew to the full height of the ceiling. The weight of his head appeared to put some strain on his shoulders and he seemed to struggle a little.
The cat looked up at him and then to me in horror, unperturbed I asked him ‘What situation?’

‘Well I am afraid I have been having a few problems with my health.’ He said this so whispery and so lisperly that I looked to the side in disgust and tutted, I couldn’t abide this level of upper class inbreed, especially on a Friday afternoon. He continued to rock back and forth, his oversized head wobbling all of the time. As he rocked his arms seemed to fall away from his shoulders until his elbows awkwardly bumped into the floor, his hands didn’t move from his knees yet his forearms grew long and pale. His ears too had grown to at least a foot in length.
The cat slowly got up, made his excuses and left the room. ‘Oh I am sorry to hear that’ I said with false concern, ‘What exactly is wrong with you?’

His rib cage had projected out into the room and was now hanging over the coffee table, I tutted again as his drawn-out chest almost knocked the teapot onto the floor. His clothes by now had ripped away from most of his torso and I noticed that he had grown four extra pulsating distended nipples. His legs now splayed out to the sides and his knees had grown up to the height of his ears. His extended, stupid, white, face elongated and obstinate, yellow teeth fought and jostled for position in his great mouth. His lips drooped and sagged and hung all pink to the floor.
‘Well’ he ventured, ‘You may have noticed a few odd peculiarities’.

‘No not at all’ I said, ‘Well I must admit you do look a little under the weather, have you been to see the doctor...”
‘Please’ he said interrupting me, ‘I don’t have much time, you must climb inside and rescue my heart’, he said this with some difficulty as his tongue was growing, as he finished the sentence the tongue exploded out of his mouth to a distance of three or maybe four feet, this time the tea and scones were destroyed. The tongue was a big heavy lump of wet flesh. I stood up and backed into the corner. My living room was absolutely demolished. Broken red shoes, torn clothes, limbs, lips, teeth,  bones, feet, and all different parts of his body were now pretty much filling the room. An undistinguishable mess of human flesh, I was interested to see his hands had splayed onto the floor, so long and thin, they looked like two huge pink spiders maybe 6 feet across.

‘Well how inconvenient’, I said, ‘you really must call in the future for things like this, you have utterly ruined my afternoon, not to mention my finest china, you really can be quite rude, oh well, I suppose I better help you.’ I climbed onto his stomach, which had now expanded to the size of a double bed; it was stretched from the sofa to the mantle peace. As I stood on it it gave and bounced up and down a little. It looked a lot like a big fleshy drum or trampoline. I walked unsteadily across it, holding onto his long nose, which had grown right out across the room and was now actually hanging out of the window. As I made my way across his enormous protracted torso I thought I might fall and tear his flesh, however it held as I managed to get to his colossal head.
I held onto one of his huge ears and climbed up onto one of his vast yellow teeth; his teeth had grown to the size of doorsteps and now wound their way around his immense distorted skull. They stood out like tombstones from his twisted face. His lips had become like gigantic sprawling rubber sausages, one spiraling around his head the other falling off to the floor and out into the hallway. With my hand balancing me I slowly began to climb up his yellow teeth and around to the back of his head, my hand went into an eye, then a cheek, then an ear, then another eye, all horribly oversized and twitching. Finally I made it to the back of his head, which was covered in lank hair. In front of me was a wall of thin hair and flesh. I pulled the hair apart and saw a doorway made of brains, veins and jaw bone, it was maybe 4 feet high and 2 feet wide, I climbed through it. As the hair closed behind me I found myself in a dimly lit fleshy, soggy staircase that ran away steeply into the dark.

‘There’s nothing for it’ I said and began to slowly descend into the depths of his body.  I noticed that the walls were like the inside of a throat: pink, mottled and slightly moist. At one point I stepped over what looked like a set of tonsils and then an Adams apple. I guessed I was climbing down through his neck into his chest and lungs. As I reached the bottom step I turned a sharp corner and found myself in a rather large room. The bones of his ribcage acted like giant arches holding up a ceiling made from lung tissue and the walls and floor were made of grey, pitted, dank meat. Before me I saw a bulky structure maybe a liver or spleen and on its surface stood an enormous glittering diamond.
I quickly grabbed the diamond and turned to run, all around me the walls began to collapse. I sensed that the whole place was shrinking in around me so I darted quickly back the way I came. I just managed to dive head first through the little doorway as his whole body shrank behind me. Lying on the floor I turned, grasping the diamond, to see his body shrink back down to a normal size. I stood up and tutted again wiping myself down, my room was a dreadful mess. I walked over to look at the disfigured body and noticed that it was still shrinking. I watched for a further five minutes or so as his body continued to shrink down to the size of a penny. ‘Oh dear’ I said as it finally vanished into nothingness. He had completely disappeared.

As I began to tidy the room I noticed a teddy bear behind the sofa, it must have fallen out of his guts as he shrank. It had a cord hanging from its neck, I pulled it but nothing happened. Investigating it I found that in its back was a round hole, above the hole was a tag with writing on it, it read:  “Place diamond here”.
I burnt his silly tweed clothes and thought about calling someone but realized I hardly knew him and concluded that nobody would miss him anyway. A few hours later, after I had tidied the room and made a fresh pot of tea, I sat musing at the diamond and teddy bear. The diamond was beautiful. I found myself getting rather attached to it. ‘It’s no good’ I said, ‘these things are not to be trifled with’. So I placed the diamond into the bears back. Nothing happened. I was a little disappointed. Then I pulled the chord. The chord wound back into the bear’s neck and as it did there was a mechanical voice that said: “Today the weather will be clement.” A little puzzled I pulled it again, this time it said “Tomorrow there may be some slight rain” still dissatisfied I pulled it again, it said: “Scattered showers and thunderstorms, especially during the morning” And that was it, I must say that my disillusionment was very great and I felt a little depressed for a few days.

The weeks and months passed. All that bear ever did was give rather bland and ambiguous weather reports, sometimes they were correct be mostly they were wrong. Then one day when I was thoroughly annoyed by the bear I went down to the basement and was just about to put the bear with the other junk when I decided to pull the chord one last time, this time it said: “I love you, please don’t leave me.” As you can imagine I was amazed by this so I took the bear back upstairs, but then when I pulled the chord again all I got was: “High 86F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%.”
After that I simply placed the bear on the mantle peace as an interesting ornament, and if I ever think of throwing it away I just pull the chord and that strange little bear will say: “I love you please don’t leave me.”  Although not entirely satisfying this little magical quirk is enough to convince me that the universe is indeed an enchanted place.

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