First Published In Spellbound: A Magazine for Children, Fall Issue 2002
Where's My Bear?
A new Flash Fiction by Marcia Borell
It must have all started when I got a new bear for my birthday. I added it to my collection and it got the outside edge of the bed. Big Bear was the guardian of the wall, then me, then my Snoopy Dog, then Huggy Bear, and now New Blue Bear. He still had lots of room but he always seemed to end up under my bed every morning. That was not the worst thing... my favorite blankie also was under the bed.
I didn't think much about it until the night I heard the odd sound. I couldn't fall asleep that night. I heard a creaking then sort of a rattling scraping sound. I know I should have been brave and looked under the bed, but I wasn't that brave. Instead I squeezed my eyes shut as tight as I could and covered my head with the sheet, my blankie, and quilt. Nothing can get you if you have your eyes shut and your favorite blankie over your head.
Then came the night that I had blankie folded up under my head, I heard the same sounds but something else, sort of a sad sigh, or whimper. Then New Blue Bear fell or was pulled off the bed. All the hair on my head felt like it was standing up stick straight. Not an easy thing for curly hair. I didn't know what to do so I relied on my old standby, the eyes shut and blankie routine.
Sure enough when I bounced out of bed I could see just the edge of my blanket and New Blue Bear's foot. The rest of them were all the way under my bed and my blanket was stuck. I pulled and tugged and finally saw that part of it was stuck under the floor boards. I gave it another hard tug and the boards lifted up and I fell on my bottom. I got out my flashlight and checked out the boards. They were easy to lift and they creaked. There was something living under my bed.
That night I was prepared. I had on my favorite PJs, my flashlight, and my bike helmet. Mom always said that would keep me safe. I didn't move and kept pinching myself to stay awake. Finally, I heard the creak and the odd crunching sounds. New Blue Bear disappeared over the side of the bed. I jumped up and caught it in action.
It was white and all bones and seemed really afraid of me. All of its bones were shaking and rattling, making enough noise to wake up my Mom and Dad. I put my fingers to my lips and whispered, "Shhhhhhhhh."
I got out my extra blanket and wrapped it around him. I told him that he could have New Blue Bear for his very own. He seemed less afraid. I tucked him in under my bed and wished him pleasant dreams. Even a skeleton can need a friend. Goodnight everyone.