Horla Dark Humour, November 2019

 

STUFFED WITH MADNESS

by MICHAEL D. DAVIS

FOR as long as I’ve lived in this God-forsaken town, and I was born, raised and plan on dying here, it has always had a black cloud that stretched from one end to the other hovering overhead. When I was but a boy there were older teddy bears that said Veltville was something to see a real nice place long ago, but I’ve come to doubt that. I think its always been this way, and always will be. 

I was the sheriff for twenty-some years, mayor for some time after that. Now, I’m just an old busted down teddy bear waiting for death, but the damn town still comes to me with every little problem. My body has so many patches the only thing reminding me of my original color is my name. when I pulled up alongside the cop cars outside a little white house the current sheriff came right up to me and reminded me of the color that’s long faded out of my fur.

“Mr. Blue,” he said, “thank you for coming.”

“Yeah, yeah,” I said and got out of the car. The current sheriff was named Rhoads he was big with blonde fur and his uniform stretched tight over his chest. I frankly thought he was an idiot, but that was neither here nor there.

I leaned heavily on my cane as he told me what was happening. “A single mother name of Norma Dunn lives here with her five-year-old boy. The little teddy bear earlier today went insane. He has killed so far four men and women all twice his age, one teddy bear being a good five-six times his size.”

“How? He use a knife? Gun?”

“That’s it, Mr. Blue he didn’t use any weapon.”

“How’s that possible?”

“We don’t know. The kids been sick for sometime reportedly…until today. His mothers in the house with him, still alive…we think.”

 Just as Rhoades finished talking a head came catapulting out of a front window, stuffing and blood flying. It landed and rolled in front of a short green teddy bear that was the pastor of a local church. The pastor started to wretch.

As people started to scramble, I said to Rhoades, “Why’s the padre here?”

“We don’t know what we’re dealing with here, okay.”

“Uh, huh, I’m going in to see the kid. What’s his name?”

“Donny, here’s a gun, Blue.” He tried to force a revolver in my hand.

“Get the hell away from me,” I said then started up into the house.

The door was open and blackness filled the rooms. A chill went up my back, but I continued inside. In the living room, light came in through the broken window landing on the corpse of a middle-aged teddy bear. I couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman the body had been too disfigured. Next to the body the stuffing and the blood were scratch marks deep in the wooden floor. They looked like they were made by a wild animal, no teddy bear could have made those marks.

Stepping over the corpse of the late Mr. or Mrs. I made my way into the next room. It was more of the same. Blood and stuffing had been spattered everywhere with claw marks not just on the floor but up the wall, even where I couldn’t reach. Faintly, like a whisper, I heard whimpering; someone was crying. In the corner of the room hiding in the shadows was who I assumed to be Norma Dunn. She was fairly young with white fur that had been dyed pink and spoiled red as she sat in a pool of blood. It didn’t appear to be her own.

I walked up to her stopping just shy of stepping in the blood and said, “Miss Dunn are you hurt?”

She jerked about and looked up at me with wide confused eyes saying, “I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine.”

“Miss Dunn.”

“I’m fine,” she snapped at me with a sharp tone. Then suddenly melting said, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” and started to cry.

“That’s okay Miss Dunn, just tell me what’s wrong with Donny.”

“I don’t know,” she said wiping her face, “I don’t know. He got sick, really sick. He wasn’t able to go out and play or even get out of bed at all. I took him to the doctor and they said they didn’t know what’s wrong with him. They just figured it was a virus or something. They prescribed some sort of medicine and told us that he should get lots of rest. But he just got worse. He lost more stuffing day after day till he weighed less than a feather, he was nothing but fur and eyes. And then today…”

She started crying again she pulled her hands up to her eyes and I saw a fresh patch sewn into her arm. “What happened their Miss Dunn?”

She started to rub the patch saying, “Oh, nothing just an accident.”

“Does it have anything to do with the claw marks everywhere?”

She shoved her hands back over her eyes, “He didn’t mean it.”

“What are you talking about Miss Dunn?”

“Donny, its Donny, when he got real bad sick he started growing these things out of his hands and feet. They started out small then got real big and sharp like spikes. He didn’t mean to hurt me none, he didn’t.”

“How is this possible?”

“I don’t know, I don’t know,” she cried.

As I stood there something moved in the darkness behind me. I could hear the sound of scratching and the deep rasp of breathing, but I saw nothing. I felt the wall for a switch and flooded the room with light. With more than just the brief illumination of the window, I could see I was in the kitchen. Miss Dunn sat next to what I could now see was the corpse of an elderly teddy bear that had been torn to shreds. I turned about the room looking for Donny but saw nothing. Then something flashed before my face and the overhead lightbulb shattered raining glass and returning the room to darkness.

“Donny,” I called out into the shadows, “is that you?”

The only response I got was the sound of scratching.

“Donny, I’m here to help.”

I could tell he was moving around the room.

“Are you hurt? Or in pain, boy?”

I heard him behind me again. He’d somehow circled me in the darkened room. I put my back to the wall and listened. That’s when I saw him. Donny passed under the stream of light from the window for no more than a second, but I saw him. His eyes were big and black, his mouth was covered in blood and drool, his little teddy bear overalls had been ripped, spoiled…then the claws; five on each hand and foot protruded out grotesquely long. Donny now walked on all fours not like a cute little teddy bear but like some sort of vicious animal or other horrid beast.

I needed to get out of the kitchen, out of the house. There was no saving the boy he was feral like a dog goes rabid. I started towards the door Donny came out of the darkness slashed my leg open and disappeared. I dropped to my knees with a grunt.

“Stop this, Donny,” I said, looking around for him. “What you’re doing is wrong. But If you come outside, we can help you, get you feeling better again.”

He came out of the shadows with a growl, I made a grab for him but he got my arm with his claws. My own blood and stuffing was getting mixed with everyone else’s. I leaned on my cane and tried to get up I didn’t want to be the next victim of this little killer.

“Don’t hurt him,” whimpered Miss Dunn. I thought she was talking to her son, but then she said, “he’s only a boy, a sick, sick boy.”

I didn’t know what to say back to her.

“Please, his father went mad too.”

“What?”

“Donny’s father got real, real sick then one day went mad. So, you see its not Donny’s fault. Please don’t hurt him.”

Donny came out of the blackness teeth bared and I hit him with my cane. It threw him back a ways, but he didn’t seem to feel it. Quickly he was on my leg ripping chunks of stuffing out. I dropped my cane and stumbled to the kitchen table the boy still clinging to my leg. I grabbed a knife and slashed at him. The first few cuts didn’t seem to do a damn thing then I got one deep enough that he yelped and scampered away.

I limped as fast as I could towards the living room until something tripped me. After I hit the floor I saw it was Miss Dunn. She was hovering over me with anger in her eyes yelling, “I said don’t hurt my boy.” She started hitting me and I slashed at her with the knife. I cut her right across the chest causing stuffing and blood to pour out over her shirt.

I tried to get to my feet when Donny jumped on me. He started ripping and biting at my stomach as I stabbed at him. Then he went for my throat his claws tore my neck open with ease. My blood and stuffing went everywhere as he continued to rip me to shreds at a fevered pace. My old patched blue body was being torn apart as I stared into the big black eyes of little Donny, they weren’t the eyes of a teddy bear any more.

 

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Michael D. Davis was born and raised in a small town in the heart of Iowa, USA. Having written over fifty short stories, ranging in genre from comedy to horror from flash fiction to novella he continues what he calls ‘his accursed pursuit of a career in the written word’.