sweetie. Sleep tight.”
went out in Miranda’s room as her mother closed
the door, leaving the little girl alone in the
dark. Well, not entirely alone.
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?”
bear’s answer was the same smile it always wore.
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.”
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
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.
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.
placed the shield before his chest and pointed his
sword at the Beast in challenge. His button eyes
still had a gleam to them.
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.
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
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.
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.
still had one last thing to do.
the Beast croaked, its voice wet and thick.
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
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!”
made a strange gurgling sound, and it took Teddy a
moment to realize that it was laughter.
The Beast growled as its form slowly retreated
back underneath the bed. “But…know this, Teddy
Bear…everyone outgrows childish
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
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.
finally rose, and Miranda opened her eyes.
moments like these that made fighting monsters
alone in the dark worth living through.