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No More Teddy

by TheresaW 

Posted: 23 March 2007
Word Count: 2490

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No More Teddy

Teddy doesnít growl when I tip him anymore. His stuffing sticks out where his big fat tummy used to be. And his head is loose. It wobbles when I shake him, and when I throw him in the corner he doesnít look at me. His head flops down on his chest. Which used to be round. But now itís flat, because his stuffing is sticking out.
Mommy doesnít cry anymore. She used to sit in the corner and make a lot of noise. She always had a wet tissue in her hand, and lots scattered around her feet. They were the ones she used to wipe my face with, before she started crying. Before she started sitting in the corner. Now she doesnít wipe my face any more.
Mommy sleeps all the time, because of the yellow tablets. They look like sweets, but Daddy said I shouldnít touch them. The house is quiet now. There was a lot of noise before. Daddyís voice would wake me up in the night. The loud bangs would make me hide under my bed and cry. I would hug Teddy close, like Mommy showed me. This was before his eye was lost. Before his fur split. Before his head flopped on his chest. Before his stuffing stuck out of his tummy.
Daddy used to bang the door one last time when it got light. I would hold my breath and listen tightly to hear the sound of his car as it drove away.
A long time ago, he used to take me out in the car with Mommy. He would sit me in my special seat. I would be high enough to look out of the windows. We would play a game. The first to see a blue car. The first to see a tree. The first to see a lorry. I would always beat Daddy at this game, because he had to watch the road for other cars. To make sure they didnít crash into us. Mommy would never play, even through she didnít have to watch the road like Daddy. She never said anything.
Sometimes she would put her hands over her ears and tell me to shut up when I laughed too much with Daddy. Daddy used to tell her to shut up herself.
When Daddy drove away in the mornings and the house was quiet, I would climb into bed with Mommy. I would tell her that Teddy was hungry. I would say it was time for Teddyís breakfast. I would tip Teddy. Teddyís tummy would growl. And my tummy would growl.
It was hard to wake Mommy up. Most times, I would give up. I would leave Teddy on Daddyís pillow and sit on the bed. Sometimes, I would watch the rain through the window, until it got dark. When it was sunny, I would hear the childrenís voices outside. I used to wonder what games they played. I wondered what made them laugh.
Sometimes, I would skip and jump like I saw them do from the window. Very quietly, so as not to wake Mommy. I would pretend to have friends in the room. I would pretend to play with them. We would whisper, whisper, quietly, quietly. So as not to wake Mommy. Then Daddy would come home again.
He would carry me to the kitchen and make toast when he heard Teddyís tummy growl. He would pick me up with one arm and carry me, bump, bump, bump down the stairs. I always cried, if we forgot Teddy. We had to go back upstairs to fetch him. Quietly, quietly, so we didnít disturb Mommy.
When Daddy stopped coming home, it got quieter. There were no more loud noises in the night. Only the sniff, sniff of Mommy. And the growl of Teddy, as I rocked him backwards and forwards.
One day, Granny came to see us. She knocked loudly on the front door for a long time. She shouted Mommyís name through the letterbox. Mommy was sleeping and didnít hear her name being called. I went up to Mommy and hit her with Teddy until she turned over to look at me. I told her Granny was at the door. But she pulled the covers over her head and told me to go away.
Granny kept shouting louder and louder. She kept banging the letterbox. It got louder and louder. She said she wasnít going away. She started calling my name and told me to let her in. Daddy had told me never to open the front door. But this was Granny and she kept calling me. She sounded like Mommy, when she was angry with me.
Me and Teddy didnít know what to do. We were frightened by the noise, so we crept down the stairs and let her in. When she saw me, she was bright and smiley and gave me a big hug. When she heard Teddyís tummy growl, she made him some breakfast. I had some as well.
Granny went upstairs with a cup of tea for Mommy. I told Granny she wouldnít drink it. Granny shut the door of Mommyís room and stayed in there for a long time. I didnít hear any noises. Perhaps she went to sleep, like Mommy.
I sat outside the door, with Teddy. He had a funny face. He had a crooked smile. I was angry that I couldnít go into Mommyís room while Granny was there. It was all Teddyís fault. I told him off for it. I had to punish him for being a naughty bear. I shouted at him, like Mommy shouted at me when I made too much noise. Like Granny shouted through the letterbox.
I had to teach him not to do it again, so I poked his eye. I poked it. I pulled it and picked at it, until it came out. There, now Teddy only had one eye. That would teach him not to be a naughty bear. That would show him not to keep me away from Mommy.
After a long time, Granny came out of Mommyís room and saw what I had done to Teddy. She told me I was naughty. She told me I should love Teddy and be kind to him. She said he couldnít help being a naughty bear. When I started to cry, she gave me a hug.
She told me I had to forgive Teddy. She said that she would forgive me for being cruel to Teddy and that I should forgive Mommy. She was ill, and couldnít help being in bed all day. She told me that Mommy was sorry for it.
Granny told me that Mommy promised to get up soon. She would help me put on a nice clean dress. She would brush my hair and take me to the park. We would feed the ducks and have ice cream, like we used to do, before Daddy started shouting in the night.
I told her that Daddy didnít come home any more. She hugged me again and told me she knew. Mommy had told her. She said I shouldnít cry. I told her I knew where Daddy was but she told me not to be so silly. I threw bad Teddy down the stairs.
Granny got angry with me. She said I should not be cruel to Teddy. Then She kissed me goodbye. She went downstairs and carefully stepped over Teddy. He could not see her properly, because he only had one eye. Granny went out of the front door without saying goodbye to Teddy. I held my breath, so I could hear her car as it drove away.
I picked up Teddy from the floor and hugged him. I rocked him until he growled. I then climbed back upstairs to Mommyís room. I told her it was time to get up. It was time to go to the park. Teddy had a sore eye. He wanted a treat. Ice cream would make it better.
She turned over in bed so I could only see her back. She told me that we were not going to the park. She had only said it to get rid of Granny. Her head was buried in the pillow and her voice was strange. She told me not to answer the door again. I was not to let anybody into the house. And she told me not to answer the phone if it rang. I was not to talk to strangers.
She said the only person allowed in the house was Daddy. And if he came back, he would let himself in. I told Mommy that Daddy was not coming back. She told me not to be so silly, like Granny had done. She said he had left the car on the drive, so of course he would be coming back. But I knew Daddy would not come back.
It went dark and then it went light again. The telephone rang and rang. It woke Mommy but she did not answer it. She said it was Granny. She wanted to know if we had fun at the park yesterday. She said I must not speak to her. I must not tell her that we didnít go to the park. If I told her this, she would come round again. She would be angry and shout at Mommy. She would shout at Teddy as well.
Teddyís tummy started to growl again. I told mummy. I jumped on her until she answered me. She said she was tired. She said I should go to the kitchen and find something to feed Teddy.
Teddy and me went bump, bump, bump down the stairs, the way we used to when Daddy carried us. The kitchen floor was cold on my bare feet, so I tiptoed across the tiles.
I could reach the bread that Granny had left by the cooker and I knew where the big knife was kept. I had seen Daddy use it to cut the bread, and I had reached for it before, when his back was turned and he could not see me.
I took the jam from the cupboard and spread it on the bread. The loaf fell into slices, so I didnít have to cut it, even though I had a big knife. The strawberries spread, thick across the bread. The red smeared across my face and hands. I did not give any to Teddy. It would make his fur sticky.
I wiped my hands before picking Teddy up again. He growled to tell me he was still hungry. I threw him across the room. Bad Teddy. Bad Teddy to make so much noise when Mommy was sleeping.
I picked up the big knife and went to the corner where Teddy was sitting. Just like Mommy used to when she had lots of tissues around her. He had been a bad Teddy. He had to be punished. Just as Mommy punished me for being bad.
So I picked him up by his arm. And I cut his neck. I cut through his fur, like I had seen Daddy cut the bread. I cut and cut until his one eye could not look at me. I cut and cut until his head flopped forward and rested on his chest. Then I threw him on the floor.
Then I stabbed his tummy. Bad Teddy, bad Teddy. He would not growl any more. I forced the knife in, like I had seen Daddy put it in the jam jar. I stabbed and stabbed until his stuffing came out.
I dropped the knife and picked up Teddy. His head nodded as I took him from the floor. He didnít look at me. I hugged him and rocked him, but he didnít growl. Bad Teddy. But I was sorry for Teddy. Poor Teddy.
The phone rang and rang but I didnít answer it. There was more knocking at the door. Granny shouted through the letterbox, but I didnít go to the door. Mommy had told me not to. Mommy was sleeping and didnít hear the noise.
It went dark and got light again. Teddyís tummy didnít growl, so I didnít ask Mommy for breakfast. I sat on the edge of her bed. Teddy slumped beside me. He didnít want to play.
Mummy didnít move. I could hear the children playing outside. They shouted and laughed. Then Mummy turned over. She lay on her back. She groaned in her sleep. It was like the sound that Teddy used to make when he was hungry. I went downstairs to the kitchen to get the bread. I would give Mommy some breakfast.
I took a slice of bread upstairs to Mommy. I couldnít carry the jar of jam as well. So I went back downstairs. Carefully, Carefully, I carried the pot of jam upstairs. Slowly, I took each step, with the big knife in my hand.
But Mommy would not wake up. Granny started knocking at the front door again. She shouted my name. She shouted at me to let her in. But Mommy didnít wake up. She didnít want the jam. She didnít want the bread. Naughty Mommy. Naughty Teddy.
Teddy would not look at me. His one eye stared at his chest. Mommy would not open her eyes. She would not look at me. Naughty Mommy.
Mommy had to be punished like Teddy, so I took the big knife and jumped on sleeping Mommy. I pulled back her hair and I cut. I cut her neck. I cut and cut until her head rolled like Teddyís. Then I stabbed her tummy. I stabbed and stabbed. She would not growl again. Like Teddy.
The jam spilled all over me. Red and sticky. It covered Mommy and the bed. It was warm on my hands and face. I dropped the big knife and picked up Teddy from the bottom of the bed. His fur was all wet and sticky. He did not look at me.
The sound of the knocking got louder and louder. But Mommy didnít wake up. I shouted at her. I told her I could hear Grannyís voice outside. I told her she was angry. The jam was all over me. It was all over Mommy, but she did not move. She did not wake up.
There was a big crash. I hugged Teddy closer. Then I heard Grannyís voice. It was louder. I heard her footsteps on the stairs. She was coming up to Mommyís room. I warned Mommy that Granny was angry, but she didnít move. She lay on her back, covered in jam. I rocked Teddy in my arms, but he didnít growl. Granny would be angry when she saw the mess. And she would be angry with Mommy for not taking me to the park. Bad Mommy. I looked at Teddy, but he would not look at me. Bad Teddy.

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Comments by other Members

joolsk at 18:35 on 23 March 2007  Report this post
Hi Theresa,

This is a brutally sad story and you've written it in a way that kept me interested until the end.

Two things didn't seem credible to me - firstly that a child would be able to cut off (or nearly cut off) and adult's head and secondly that the grandmother would leave the child alone after seeing the state of the mother.

This is very tightly written and I'll look forward to seeing the next draft of it.


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