Fantasticoe -- 2012
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'Cuz You're There For Me Too

Trevor Fechner

“Night, Mommy!”

“Goodnight sweetie. Sleep tight.”

The lights went out in Miranda’s room as her mother closed the door, leaving the little girl alone in the dark. Well, not entirely alone.

Miranda squeezed the cuddly object in her small arms, feeling the plushy fur as she said to it “Now Teddy, I gotta go sleepy, so you gotta make sure the meanie doesn’t hurt me, kay?”

The teddy bear’s answer was the same smile it always wore.

“Mommy and Daddy usually do that, but they’re bye-bye now and have to go sleepy too,” Miranda continued, “Watch out for the meanie, kay? He likes to come out at while I’m going sleepy. That’s why he’s a meanie.”

Miranda smiled. “But I know you’ll make sure he doesn’t do anything mean. Night, Teddy!” At that, the little girl closed her eyes, and slowly fell asleep. For a few minutes, the only movement in the room was the rise and fall of her chest as she breathed peacefully in her sleep.

The pair of black buttons that made up Teddy’s eyes twinkled, and very slowly he began to stir. His small, almost fragile frame quietly inched itself out of Miranda’s arms. When he finally managed to squeeze out of her grip, he looked down at her face, which still had a smile on it. Teddy smiled at the sight and delicately moved a lock of blond hair that fell across her face, moving it back behind her ear. For a while, the bear simply sat there, sometimes adjusting the blankets if she seemed cold.

But eventually, the peace had to end, as Teddy got up with a sigh and jumped off the bed. He calmly but deliberately walked to the toy chest. Teddy dug through the chest until he found what he had come there for: a wooden sword and shield. The sword was as long as Teddy’s arm, and the shield was large enough that it covered most of his chest. Teddy then made his way back to the bed.

Before jumping up to rejoin Miranda, he cast a glare at the darkness underneath the bed, steeling himself for what he had to do. Then, with a pump of his little stubby legs, he was back on the bed. He moved to the pillow and stood right above Miranda’s bed. He clenched his weapons in his paws, his plush body tense with the mission that lay before him. Teddy looked down at Miranda, and upon seeing her still, peaceful form, his eyes shined brilliantly and a warm smile crossed his face. He had all the resolve he needed now.

A low growl echoed from beneath the bed, and Teddy braced himself. From the opposite side of the bed rose a formidable and monstrous figure, far larger than even Daddy. Its body was packed with muscle that seemed to be trying to escape its sickly green skin as it were a prison. Its arms were as long as the bed and ended with claws that glistened with dark purpose in the moonlight. Its face was long, like a pony’s, but the similarity ended there. Its mouth was filled with rows and rows of teeth that were as thick as Miranda’s head, and its eyes were slits, like a reptile’s, that glowed a pale gold. All around it the shadows seemed to grow stronger, spreading out along the walls and ceiling and looming ominously over the bed.

Teddy placed the shield before his chest and pointed his sword at the Beast in challenge. His button eyes still had a gleam to them.

The Beast smirked, an expression that looked downright hideous on its unnatural face, but said nothing. It flexed its fingers, which were triple-jointed as they stretched menacingly toward Miranda.

Teddy swatted the clawed fingers away quicker than the eye could see, the wood smacking audibly against the slick skin. Despite the noise, Miranda did not stir. The Beast, clearly displeased, lunged at Teddy this time, swiping at him with its other hand. Teddy took the blow head-on with his shield, which whipped his arm back with the force and caused it to tear, revealing the white stuffing underneath.

The fight lasted well into the night, with neither side seeming to gain the upper-hand. Soon enough though, it was almost daybreak, and the Beast would have to retreat.

It was considerably worse off than it was when the night had started. Its right arm hung limply at its side, parts of it leaking a nightmarish black gas that dissipated after a few seconds. There were cuts all over its body, with one particularly nasty cut running over its left eye, which was forced shut. A few of its fangs were broken, leaving jagged openings into the Beast’s mouth. It was also breathing heavily, its entire body trying to recover from the immense exertion.

But it still had one last thing to do.

“What…are…you…?” the Beast croaked, its voice wet and thick.

Teddy seemed in even worse condition than the Beast. His left arm was completely gone, tossed aside in a corner of the room. His right button eye was dangling by a thread. His ears were torn, and his stomach was ripped open with stuffing falling out whenever he moved. His shield was in splinters at his worn feet and his sword had been broken in two, but he still clung to the half-weapon in his remaining paw. His entire body was trembling violently.

But when he heard the Beast speak, the trembling stopped and he went deathly still. He stared at the Beast for a long while, considering its question. Finally, as if making his mind about something, he took a deep breath, stiffened his back, and puffed his chest. He pointed the broken sword at the Beast.

“I am Teddy Bear, Miranda’s friend. I make sure that she is safe when Mommy and Daddy aren’t around. I made a promise, and I’m gonna keep that promise no matter what! I will never let you hurt my friend!”

The Beast made a strange gurgling sound, and it took Teddy a moment to realize that it was laughter.

“How…quaint…” The Beast growled as its form slowly retreated back underneath the bed. “But…know this, Teddy Bear…everyone outgrows childish things…eventually…”

Teddy didn’t answer as the Beast disappeared entirely, only sighing as he cast aside his sword onto the floor. Slowly, as light began to spread across the dark sky outside, his body began mending itself. Rips and tears sew themselves back together, and his arm hovered over to him from the corner and reattached itself. His right eye moved back into place.

He cautiously worked his way back into Miranda’s arms, placing himself snug against her warm body. As he looked upon her face, he smiled. The way the light shone in her golden hair made her seem like an angel, surrounding her soft features in the glow of heaven itself.

The sun finally rose, and Miranda opened her eyes.

“Good morning Teddy!”

It was moments like these that made fighting monsters alone in the dark worth living through.