A short story, about a teddy who isn't everything he appears to be
|Freddy the Teddy
Freddy was his name. Freddy the Teddy. Well, he wasn't really a teddy. He was like a bear mixed with a bunny. He was grey, with furry ears and tails, red nose, red paw prints on his paws. Freddy was one of my most beloved toys. Was.
Writing this now, at age 25, it's strange. I have and odd feeling of longing for my favorite animal, even though he killed my cat. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning.
Freddy came into my life when I was 5 years old. I was in my family's flat, watching Saturday morning cartoons with my grandmother, while my mother did her weekly grocery shopping. We didn't have much growing up in one of the poorest parts of London, let alone 8 of us crammed into one flat with 1 bathroom, 2 bedrooms, and a kitchen that could barely fit four of us. I was the middle child of 5, as well as the only girl. This being so, what little toys we had were wooden guns, swords, and little cars that our father usually carved. I had a set of crayons and a notepad, as well as a handcrafted yarn doll that my grandmother made when my mum was pregnant with me. We didn't have much, but we were happy.
I was thrilled when mum came home from shopping and showed me Freddy. I was instantly in love with him and tried to figure out if he did anything cool, like the teddies and dolls my best friend Maggie could afford. I was very protective of Freddy and took him everywhere. The toy never left my sight. Sounds totally normal, a 5-year-old little girl loving a toy that she can call her own. However, Freddy soon proved that he wasn't like normal toys.
Three days after getting Freddy, i was snuggled in bed sound asleep and dreaming that Freddy and I were pirates, sailing the Atlantic Ocean in search of mermaids. We were just about to meet the king of the merpeople, when I was awoken by a sharp pain on my foot. I sat bolt upright and began to inspect my foot. Mum was going to be home from work in about an hour and dad had to be up early, so I didn't want to bother him.
My foot was bleeding heavily, so I got out of bed and stumbled through the dark, into the bathroom. Once I took my sock off, I saw that it looked like I had been bitten by something. But what? Coco never bit anyone. There wasn't a mean bone in her body. Maybe one of the rats from in the walls? No. This was much too large to be a rat bite. I thought maybe this was proof that there really were monsters under my bed. I shook the idea out of my head and quickly bandaged my foot, then returned to bed.
When I returned, I was shocked to see Freddy sitting upright on my bed, the corners of his mouth red. I furrowed my brow and climbed into bed, pulling Freddy onto my lap. I inspected the red spot and gently touched it. It was wet, sticky, and smelled strongly of copper.
Suddenly Freddy's head snapped towards my hand and his stitched mouth opened, revealing rows of sharp, pointed teeth. Blood from my foot stained the corners of his wide smile.
I was stunned. I thought I was dreaming. I wasn't an imaginative child, so I know this couldn't be reality. I began to slowly reach towards my toy, but before I could pull my hand back, he lunged at my fingers. His teeth drove into my index finger and I screamed in pain and horror. I could feel everything, as the flesh, muscle, and bone tore away from my hand. Blood flowed from the new bloody stump where my finger had once been.
My screams turned into hysterical crying, and I heard Freddy's deep, scratchy voice growl, "Fingers..."
The last thing I could remember was seeing the bloody stump of my finger, before my world went completely black. When I woke up the following morning, my hand was bandaged, and my mum was sitting on the edge of my bed.
"W-What happened?" I asked, the events from the night a total blur.
My mum looked at me and gently took my unbandaged hand. "Sweetie, you don't remember anything?"
I shook my head.
"Thomas came screaming into our room, shortly after I got home from work. He said you screamed, and all the commotion woke him. I went to your room." She paused and a look of concern flashed across her face. "You were holding a pair of scissors, covered in blood, and holding your finger. Darling, you weren't screaming, you were laughing."
My eyes went wide, and my gaze drifted to Freddy, who was snow propped up in my rocking chair, my blood still stained his wide toothy smile. I opened my mouth to protest, but who would believe a little girl's teddy bear ate her finger? I would be sent to asylum! I simply sighed.
"I want you to stay in bed for the day. You're stressed and need to rest," my concerned mother continued.
"Yes mama," I replied softly, continuing to look at Freddy out of the corner of my eye.
For the rest of the day, I laid in bed, coloring, reading, staring at the ceiling, and watching Freddy, trying to figure out if last night had really happened like I thought. I shook my head, not wanting to think about the pain and horror anymore. For the rest of the day, I tried to keep calm and avoid looking at my hand, where my finger had once been. Thankfully, I had my brown tabby cat, coco, to keep my company while my brothers were at school.
It seemed like forever until my mother returned to my room. "Alright love, time for bed," she said, taking the book I was reading from my hands.
I felt my heart start to race. Bed? Bed meant sleep. Sleep meant nightmares. Nightmares meant Freddy.
I reluctantly climbed under the covers, my mother tucked me in, kissed my forehead, and left the room, turning off the lights as she went.
I laid in my bed, the covers pulled up to my chin, just awaiting the nightmare to begin. An hour passed, and just as I was beginning to drift into slumber, I heard my rocking chair creak and that familiar haunting growl.
It went on for the following week. I would cut off a finger or toe to appease Freddy. he would hungrily eat it up and go back to my rocking chair, watching me silently for the rest of the night. I hardly slept, out of fear of my toy that I had loved so dearly. I had no idea how all this was happening.
After a week of owning Freddy, my mother called me into the kitchen one day. I walked out, carrying Freddy with me. I was surprised to see a very business-like looking man standing in our small, rugged kitchen.
"You must be Mira. It's nice to meet you. My name is Mr Johnson. Your mother here was just telling me about your... unique situation. I was wondering if you'd be willing to come to the hospital with me, so that we can talk more with you?"
I looked from the man to my mother, then down at Freddy. I knew Freddy wouldn't be happy with this. He doesn't like to be watched, especially by adults, and he really wouldn't be happy if I left. Maybe if I take him with me, it would be okay? I looked back at the man. "Okay, as long as Freddy can come too."
Mr. Johnson smiled. "Of course, Freddy can come too. Might be nice to have a friend along."
"Go pack honey," my mother said, putting a hand on my shoulder.
I nodded again, going off to pack. I didn't want this, but maybe it would prove that I wasn't crazy... or maybe it would prove that I was. I shoved a few days’ worth of clothes into my tiny suitcase. I glanced over at Freddy, who I had simply tossed on my bed. He was sitting upright now, watching me closely. I slammed my suitcase closed and grabbed Freddy by the arm.
I met my mother by the front door, and we drove to the small local hospital, where Mr. Johnson had already arranged for my room to be ready. Once I had unpacked, mum and I were taken into a room where Mr. Johnson was waiting.
"Mrs. Mevens, we need you to wait here," Mr. Johnson said, leading me back another l and into a small room. In the room was a wooden table and two chairs. On the table was a weird recording thing. I was instructed to sit in one of the chairs, while Mr. Johnson sat in the other.
"Alright Mira, do you know why I brought you here? To the hospital?"
I looked at him. "Because mama is worried about me and my fingers."
He gave a nod. "Yes sweetie, your mother is very worried about what is going on. You know it's not normal for children to remove appendages by choice, correct?"
I nodded. "Yes sir."
"So, may I ask why you do it?" he inquired, genuinely curious. My guess is he had never seen a child do something like this before.
I looked him dead in the eyes. "You wouldn't believe me."
"I would still like to know why. Please, tell me."
I crossed my arms. "My teddy told me to."
He gave me a look as a shock flashed across his face for a half second, then disappeared. "I see." He folded his hands on the table. "May I ask what your teddy's name is?"
"Freddy," I said simply.
"A good name for a teddy. Tell me, what does Freddy do with your fingers?"
"He eats them. He says they taste sweet and juicy. He told me they taste like innocence." I could tell by this point that Mr. Johnson was thoroughly disturbed.
"I see. When did Freddy start doing this?"
"About three days after I got him. He's been taking my fingers and toes for almost a week," I explained. I do believe he was shocked with how calmly I explained the situation.
He studied me for a second. "Is Freddy the one you brought with you?"
I nodded. "He doesn't like when I leave him. He would have been even angrier." I could see the gears turning in Mr. Johnson's head. Things were starting to click.
"Okay sweetie, I don't have any more questions for you right now. I do have someone else that wants to talk to you. She's a bit eccentric, but she's very nice. she won't be here until tomorrow, so we will get you set up in your room for you to rest." He paused. "Do you want us to move Freddy to a different room?"
"That won't help. I've tried everything."
He nodded. "Alright. Let's get you settled in."
The next morning, I woke up from having the best night of sleep in a long time. I wasn't missing anymore fingers or toes, and I didn't have any nightmares!
Half an hour later, a nurse brought me a breakfast of eggs, toast, hash browns, and tea. She let me watch cartoons while I ate in bed, then helped me re-wrap and clean my wounds. She was very nice, and I liked her a lot. Her name was Amy.
After I had breakfast, I could shower. That was nice, since I didn't have to fight with my brothers over it. About mid-morning, Mr. Johnson brought in a woman with crazy grey hair and a nice skirt and blouse. He name-tag read "Lila Collins". I liked her right away.
"Mira, this is Mrs. Collins. She has some questions she wants to ask, is that okay?"
"Wonderful," he smiled, leaving the room and closing the door behind him.
Lila smiled at me. "So, you're Mira? I've heard a lot about you." She sat on the edge of the bed and took one of my bandaged hands. "May I?"
I nodded and sat very still as she undid the wrappings, revealing my finger stubs that were stitched up and in the process of healing.
"You said your teddy bear did this to you?" she asked, turning and inspecting my hand.
She looked over to the corner of the room. "Is that him?"
I nodded. "I put him there before Miss Amy came in. He doesn't like adults, especially adult men, so he always gets mad when Amy comes in talking about her fiancé."
She gave an understanding nod. "Where did you get him?"
"Mama got him for me. She found him at the thrift market."
Mrs. Collins got up and picked up Freddy, inspecting him closely. She grabbed his manufacturing tag and looked it over. After a moment, she put him back in the corner. "Thank you dear. I don't have any more questions." She re-wrapped and laid it gently in my lap. "I will let you get some rest, and I hope you feel better."
I smiled. "Thank you, ma’am."
She nodded and left the room.
Mrs. Collins left Mira's room and went to talk to Mr. Johnson. "Pete, that toy needs destroyed."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean it needs to be completely destroyed! Do you remember the case of the killer cannibal, about five years ago?"
"Of course, who wouldn't remember that bastard? He killed six little girls and ate their..." he paused.
"One bear for each girl. He poured his spirit into each bear he made for his victims. I thought all of them had been destroyed but somehow this one survived. It's going to keep hurting that little girl until she dies." She looked at him. "We have to destroy that bear, and soon."
That afternoon, my mother came to visit me, and she brought Coco! She had talked to Mr. Johnson about bringing my beloved pet to keep me company when she wasn't there. For the remainder of the afternoon, I talked with my mum about Amy and Mrs. Collins.
Before long, my mother had to go home to take care of my brothers and left me to rest. Coco was curled up by my feet as I drifted off into sleep. However, tonight wouldn't be as nice as last. It was about 3 am when I was woken by a terrible screeching sound. I sat bolt upright and turned on the lamp beside my bed. I screamed when I saw the sight in front of me. Coco was laying on the floor in a pool of blood, skinned, decapitated, and disemboweled. Freddy was on the floor, lapping up her blood like a starving dog.
Amy must have heard my screams, because before I knew it, she burst into the room. She never had a chance... Freddy lunged at her neck and attached with his sharp teeth. With a swift flick of his head, he tore her throat out. Amy fell to her knees, gasping before collapsing and bleeding out.
I frantically pressed the call help button beside my bed and Freddy looked up, directing his gaze towards me. I screamed, and just as he was about to lunge towards me, Mrs. Collins threw the door open, turning Freddy's gaze to her.
"You sick bastard! You leave her alone!" she yelled. Without hesitation, Freddy attacked. Mrs. Collins was quick thought and caught Freddy by the back of the neck. She pulled a lighter out of her pocket and set the bear on fire. He let out a scream of agony as she dropped him to the floor.
Mrs. Collins grabbed me off the bed, running past Amy as she took her last breath. I clung tightly to Mrs. Collins as she rushed out of the hospital. She just ran and ran and ran, until we arrived at her small flat in a nicer part of town. She set me on the couch and made me a cup of hot chocolate.
I was still so confused at what had happened, still not believing that this was my reality. I sipped at my hot chocolate, as I listened to Mrs. Collins make several phones calls in the kitchen. I looked around the flat from where I sat, when suddenly something brushed against my leg. It was a small, grey kitten with a blue eye, but her other one was missing. Two other cats soon followed it, one black and the other a tabby like Coco.
"Mira, your mother is on her way," Mrs. Collins said from the kitchen. She stepped out, as I was sitting on the floor playing with the kittens. She smiled and walked over and sat on the couch behind me. "You like kittens, huh?"
I nodded. "Mama got me Coco for my birthday. She never left my side..."
She gently ran her hand over my hair. "I've been looking for a new home for the kitten. Would you like her?"
I looked up at her. "Really? You mean it?"
"Absolutely. She could use a good home, with someone to play with her. I work too much and she always wants to play when I try to sleep. She'd be perfect with you."
I grinned. "What's her name?"
"Pigeon," Mrs. Collins smiled. "She’s two months old."
I grinned from ear to ear and picked up the kitten, holding her close. "Mrs. Collins?"
"Am I safe now? No more nightmares?"
"No more nightmares."
"And no more Freddy?"
"No, no more Freddy."