Monday, October 4, 2010

Teddy Tantrum

   This isn't exactly my cup of tea, telling people the story of how I killed my best friend for a stuffed animal and all, but I can see how it is warranted. This friend of mine, Minimal, has always been a pack rat. I'd go over to his house every once in a while to find whole rooms filled, to the cubic inch, with stuff. He would go to all of the thrift stores in the area every Monday and blow at least three hundred dollars. Can you imagine it? There was everything to behold in the world sitting in his two-bedroom bungalow. He even had a breakfast nook dedicated to I Love Lucy memorabilia.

   Now, I tried to warn him. I deserve at least that much credit. The man had a problem.
   The day the bear came to us, I was sitting on his couch, watching a bit of the old brain-drainer. He came in drenched with sweat, and I could see that the look in his eyes was frantic. He looked like he was about to have a heart attack. "Blist! You have got to see this, man, I can't believe I found it! It's like a little slice of heaven!" I turned my head sluggishly, already thinking of how insignificant the thing he was holding in his hand was going to be.

   Okay, okay. So it turned out I was wrong. Just keep listening to the story. You'll soon find out what he meant. The bear was actually quite valuable indeed.

   Minimal spoke so loud that he was practically screaming. "I was at People's Old Crap for like four hours, looking for the perfect teddy to add to my collection, so I was digging through the shuffle bin. I kept finding a ton of bears, but they were all ripped up or stained with unsavory fluids. I thought I wouldn't find a single thing. I even gave up looking for it, but dude, I think fate smiled on me today-" I was already getting tired of his spiel. It was given every time he came back from the store. "Look man, it's a freakin' teddy bear! Quit talking about it." I said, exasperated. "No, but you don't understand. This isn't just another one of my bullshit bounties! This thing is far out man! I was walking out of the store, feeling awful, when this guy in a trench coat walked up to me.

   "He was all, 'Hello, what seems to be the problem?' and I looked up at him all embarrassed, because I was crying a little bit. I said 'Oh, nothing, just a little disappointed.' And this guy, let me just tell you, had a freaking scary smile. His teeth were, like, government cheese yellow, and his eyes were sunken in. He looked like a walking carcass. He said, 'What's wrong, couldn't find what you were looking for?', and I said 'Yeah'. Before I even told him what I had been there for, he pulled this bear out of his coat. His smile was wider than ever once he saw how perfect I realized it was. He must've seen it in my eyes.

   "So anyway, he chuckled for a long while, and I just couldn't say anything because I was dazed that he had known exactly what I was looking for. I remember thinking that this guy must have followed me around the whole store, taking peaks at me over shelves. Creepy, but after his little self-indulgent moment, he said, 'I guarantee you, this is precisely what you needed. Here.' And the dude just handed this thing to me. I started to ask him how much he wanted, but he cut me off saying, 'Not to worry, friend. It's all yours... free of charge.' And then he busted out laughing again. I have to admit, I was a little freaked out. This guy was afflicted to say the least, but he had it. He had the golden ticket to my collection's completeness! So I took it, and as I was leaving, thanking him profusely as I backed away, he cut me off again. Dude had a real funny look on his face at that point. He didn't seem so care-free and giving anymore. His tone of voice had changed, it almost seemed like he was pissed off. He said, 'You know, that's a special bear you have there. It even has a special perfume infused with the hairs. Just smell it, it's irresistible after a while.' So I did, and screw me Sally, this thing smells like heaven!" He held it up to my nose and gestured for me to give it a sniff. I did, just to appease him. It was a grave mistake.

   The scent was indescribable, but it made me feel like the king of the world! I was so energized by it. I felt like hopping up and down, screaming like a mad man. It was like I had powers, and I almost believed  for a second that, if I wished, I could shoot off into outer space. Just fly off into the wild blue yonder, like Superman. I was everywhere at once, tripping over my feet almost constantly, in a complete state of euphoria. I didn't even stop to consider how illogical it was for me to behave the way I was. It didn't matter. I was in heaven.

    The spastic parade through Minimal's shitty little house went on for a few hours, but eventually we calmed down. The whole time, both of our eyes were completely devoted to the bear. We didn't know what exactly had gone on, but we liked it. The feeling was so alien, but it was pure emotion, and at the same time it made us feel like robots. As if we weren't even close to being human. The first day was only the beginning, though. It got very bad after that.

   In the following days, Minimal refused to put the bear down. He took it everywhere he went, and he was starting to get a little protective of it. At the time, I was torn within. One part of me saw how ridiculous the whole thing was, and wanted to help my friend out. His eyes had been getting really dark circles towards the end, and he had a constant cough. But another part of me... a much darker part, and one that I had no idea of, was getting a pretty hefty pull on me as well. It was the voice in the back of my head that reminded me how, I too, had wanted the bear the first time I laid eyes on it. I wanted to experience that pure joy. I needed to. The only problem was that I knew he would never give it up.

   So weeks passed. The rift in my mind became more divided, and Minimal had completely stopped leaving his room. It got to the point where I was so desperate to see the bear that I cooked him three meals a day, just so I could get in and catch a slight glimpse. It seemed to be the only thing that made me happy. I would walk by his door in the hall and stop to listen in on him, hoping that I would gain some purchase in the bear's lifeless existence. Some sort of leverage to force my way in. However, there was nothing to be heard. I imagined him just laying there, stroking its mottled fur. Staring up at the ceiling and completely devoid of anything except his livid desire. The jealousy in me simply grew.

   It had been three months since the last time I had seen Mini, and I had been plotting every single day. I actually filled whole notebooks with sinister plans to kill him. Ideas for how to maim him while holding his bear ever so tightly, in the same fashion that kids tease each other when one has something that the other wants. It was insane really... the whole thing. It wasn't any kind of way to live at all. I wonder how I even managed to stay in the house for that long.

   Up to this point, the hunger for what was not mine was manageable by unhealthy standards, but eventually, the levy of murderous rage broke. For days, I had been bashing his door with baseball bats. Stabbing it with his odd collection of kitchen knives. Every few hours, I would press my face gently onto the door and slowly whisper every excruciating moment I would make him experience when I got to him. I was no longer me. I was something beyond monstrous, and I had to taste his blood.

   It finally happened on a Friday evening, after the whole mess had been going on for nearly half a year. I dug through what had once been the living room, looking for something that would get through his barricade of clutter. The bear would finally be mine. I just knew it. Soon, I came upon an old chainsaw. I wasn't sure if it would work, but willing to explore every option, I shook it a bit to discover it contained gas. Three pulls later, and the beast roared to life, ready to consume anything and everything in its path. My eyes went wide with an emotion that I am afraid to name now.

   I had to scream over the ripping sound of metal teeth on wood. "Hey, Minimal! I'm tired of all of this waiting! I'm coming in now, and you're going to give me that pretty little bear of yours. You will! Oh yes!" The    
 door gave way almost immediately, and the blade of the chainsaw was consuming layer after layer of thrift store debris. Once through, I was stunned for a moment by what I saw. The thing that was once my best friend looked like a living skeleton. Minimal was an understatement. I couldn't see anything that wasn't smeared in his blood. It looked like he had been painting his room with it for months. But the bear was clean. No... the bear was pristine and sitting on a pedestal above everything else in the room. \

   He saw me and immediately rushed for the bear. The whole time, the chainsaw had been idling, but still very much alive and I intercepted him at the neck with it. Watching the blade make its slow progress through his muscle and bone, I screamed. His head had been on the floor, along with his lifeless body, long before I realized it. Finally, the bear was mine.

   I brought it down from where it sat, so perfect in its shrine. The scent of it permeated me in every way, and I was in the bright lights of bliss, walking slowly through the gruesome thing that used to be my friend's house. As I got to the front door it exploded inwards, and tons of S.W.A.T operatives came swarming in. They took the bear from me and slammed me face-first onto the floor so they could 'cuff me. I don't remember much after that until the holding cell, when a detective came in to tell me that the bear had been doused in PCP. I couldn't believe it. My friend was dead, and I had gone completely insane. We were on a half-year angel dust bender... The thought made my blood run cold. Then, I thought of the man that had given the bear to Minimal.

   Who had he been? What was his purpose for doing what he did? The questions came relentlessly, and never ceased for a second. I couldn't sleep at all, and sometimes when I looked in the mirror, I imagined seeing him on the other side. Well... haha... as it turns out...

   Oh, don't worry. I came to peace with the fact that he actually was me. It turns out that I had been farming PCP in a safe house down on Monte Carlo since two years before, when I first met Minimal. And wouldn't you know it? The dude, my "best friend", he isn't dead. I still see him around! How could that happen? I'm sure you're wondering. He's really my brother. I'd never kill the guy... I later discovered that I had actually been locked in with an old woman who used to stock up on thrift store junk for that six months. I had approached her with the bear, after lacing it with PCP to get her high, and then I made her take me back to her house and... well... needless to say, we had a fun time. Hee Hee!.... You want to know what happened to my brother? His part in all of this? Are you really that confused? Well, he's not even real. I'm just fucking with you.... I'm crazy? You're the one that took the bear from me. You must be dumb as hell...

   What's it to you? Who cares why I'm doing this?... Haha, what? Is it really so hard to grasp? I just felt like killin' some folks, that's all.... Who's coming up behind you? Well... not that it's any of your business, but Minimal was a bit bored, so I told him that he could do the honors.

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