The Teddy Bear II

I felt strange. Out of all the things that had happened since I awoke, this was by far the most peculiar. It was strange, I had come out of that box and had woken as a child with brown hair and rosy cheeks, small hands chubby and cute. I felt urge to explore and play. I smelt summer scent in the air inhaling it through my small button nose. A warm breeze, one that was just right. I waited in anticipation as I watched the varied mix of people being flung up and down on these colourful, odd shaped contraptions. Exerting magic and wonder into every turn. But this wasn’t a normal day I thought? Where were those four glass walls ceiling and floor which contained me? Where had the pain that plagued me? Where was the loneliness that consumed me? Walking on, surrounded by people as tall as trees, bustling and talking, all getting where they wanted to go, all of them ignoring me as I looked up in awe.

Excitement was swelling withing me. The familiar sense of a “sugar rush” flowing through my veins making me want to run and jump around, up and down. I could do anything. Maybe it was the light, the loud music and the whizzing rides that were affecting me in this way, or maybe it was the large ice cream that I was holding in my child hands. I didn’t care really; I was having the time of my life, ignorant to the worries of the world. On cloud nine. That was until I dropped my ice cream and it started to melt in the mud. An explosion of raw uncontrolled emotion entering my small figure, like the one I had in the box before I came here, except this was different. A single tear fell from my eye. Then another. For all it was only an ice cream, but it felt as though it were something more. But it was my ice cream. Mine.

I was amongst a group of people that I reckoned were my family, I could feel it in the deepest recess of my heart, an invisible thread that held all individual families together in some way. This was a typical family made up of a man, a prominent woman and a girl. The man without doubt must be my father, a reflection of myself of what I saw in the box. Tall, with a sharp but inviting face, piercing blue eyes, masculine and rugged, his shiny black shoes treading the ground below him. The woman, by the look of her face she looked like she was permanently tired, her lifeless blond hair and template expression were definitely evidence of the fact that she had worked hard to get to this point in her life. Her clothing was fairly simple, wearing a simple white cotton turtle neck jumper and plain jeans. The girl of the family was happily skipping, clutching Daddy’s hand; I had the feeling that she was a few years older than me. They made a wall in front of me, making slow but sure progress yet somehow managing to walk faster than I could run; my small paces only a fraction to theirs.

We were approaching a bright Ferris wheel, I was attracted by the spinning movement I ran forward tugging on my mother’s hand that grasped tightly around mine only to receive a warning about running away. A warning not to get lost among the forest of people. My vigilance still stood though. Holding my head, we had reached the giant multi-coloured wheel. There were readily erected posts, that represented the rough guideline for where the unorganised jumble of people were supposed to queue, in-between these posts was black tape, helping to keep order. I don’t know why but a sudden urge washed over me, I really wanted to swing on the black tape. It was just so enchanting, for reasons I did not know. Joining the disobedient line of youths we waited, for me this queue was just never ending almost not moving at all, as if time had almost stopped only going by at a fraction of its real pace which felt rather familiar. We continued to move at a slow progress past the corridor of posts and their attractive tape, still shuffling onwards. To a child time is slow unless it is fun, standing there in the mud staring down at my small brown shoes, wasn’t fun at all.

We arrived at the paying booth where a large fat man, round and bloated like a ballooned frog stood. His scrubby beard looking like a furry animal perched on his lower face. He took our money and showed us to our pearly carriage on the Ferris wheel platform. He had to lift me as I wasn’t nearly tall enough; placing me in the carriage was an obvious effort for the fat ball of a man. Straining, huffing and puffing. His breath blowing in my little cherub face. Smelling distinctively of strong beer and fish. Pulling a face, suddenly forgetting the experience as the Ferris wheel churned, heading for the open blue sky.

I looked down, the hectic world below me. All that madness, gone. For I was high soaring through the sky like a bird, free of the troubles of life. The girl opposite me in the carriage was clearly enjoying it to. She was the same girl with Mother and Daddy. Her long flowing hair blew back in the wind as she leaned over the banister. Mother gave the girl a forceful nudge back and in doing so shouted “ Emily stop it! Do you know the risks?” I took notice to Daddy, who was leaning over the banister just as the girl Emily had done. That wasn’t fair; he didn’t get punished as she had. I chose. Then, risking it all, to lean over the banister and take in fully the view from where I was.

I saw children on the carousel laughing with enjoyment; smiles were on their faces as they travelled round on magical horses. I saw the games stands offering toys and other colourful objects in return for a seemingly pointless task being completed. Money exchanging hands for the chance to win one of these mysterious prizes. And then I saw it, a balloon rising up. Towards me. It was purple and just so irresistible. If I reached a bit further then maybe that balloon could be all mine. So with that thought I reached over. Just a little bit further. Nearly. I can do it. Thud!!! I jerked backwards as did the rest of the carriage. My heart was beating like never before. I looked up and saw my balloon floating away, into the sunset. The purple of the balloon against the blue of the sky, a small dot eventually disappearing completely. I started to cry. A lot.

After a while recovering and after being sat on Daddy’s lap, I took another look down to see if anymore balloons would be floating up. It was then when I noticed a crowd; they were gazing in fascination and sheer joy. They were all gathered around one man who stood dead centre of the crowd. The most terrifying man I have ever seen. A man that comes from under the bed when you’re sleeping and takes you away. With whites and blues brushed across his face, a crooked smile painted near his mouth. He took a look up at me and I shied away like a naughty dog. The carriage again started moving until finally it was time for us to exit, leaving the safe sanctuary behind stepping back into the world. We then continued on through the mud and the summer air, straight up to a crowd to see what the commotion was about. A crowd which seemed similar to that which was gathered around the monster man. A parting within the crown confirmed my suspicions.

Those eyes reminded my child like self of pure madness, those eyes that looked straight into mine. Fear escalated around me. I bolted, ripping from my mothers tight grasp on my hand, my father shouting after me. I ran past the monster, it couldn’t catch me now and take me to its lair of naughty boys who hadn’t behaved. The sea of legs swallowed me up, the terror pumping pure courage into my veins, making me run faster still. I just kept running making random progress using turns here and there leaving horror of my mind behind. Only stopping out of exhaustion, needing to for rest. I scampered behind a coconut shy darting past the man who owned it, not taking notice of me because of my height. He looked similar to the man who ran the Ferris wheel, they could have been related. I sat on an unopened sack of coconuts, their sweet odour drifting up my nose. I remembered why I ran, remembering the evil I saw. Memories of the make-up monster resurfacing in my head. Tears again rolling down my face. I saw there for a while sobbing into the darkness alone, listening to the music of the night. Feeling the emptiness once again. The exact feelings that I had felt in the box. The box. It was all coming back. It was easy to forget the loneliness for just a moment when you have company, while not so easy to forget uncertainty. I mean what the hell was I doing? I was still taking this all in my stride. Even though normality had flew out of the window the moment that I awoke in the box. I began to draw up conclusions. I was definitely a child. I might have been in the past. I could be dreaming or this could be real. I was just so unsure, it seemed so real. All I knew was this wasn’t the most comfortable of situations to be flung into. I glanced down to my left hand where a strange tingly sensation shot up my arm alarming me. There was a beast of eight legs and infinite eyes, working its way up my sleeve. I screamed. No one heard. The beast then dissolved into the bleak darkness. The ever consuming dark. That scared me so much more than the monster man or the beast. There could be anything in the dark, anything I would imagine could suddenly become real. Waiting to take me away.

The End

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