Deadlocked

NB: I wrote this for my Creative Writing class back in 2007. We were tasked to create a twisted fairy tale (I believed we pegged it on Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman. Read that. Shake up your childhood. Go.). I found this in my Multiply page. Oh, it’s still a beauty. *sigh* :) I hid this before, with the fear that it might be stolen. Gaaaaah, now I’m presenting it to the world. Muuuuh.

~*~*~

A raw slice of sunlight filtered into the room and rested upon his eyes rousing him from slumber. The blinds had been drawn but somehow that renegade ray had broken through. He was mindful of his movements as the weight on his arms reminded him that he was not alone. Sleepily his eyes looked for the clock; he knew it was still early but not how early exactly.

6:30, the small digital clock showed in blinking digits. He yawned and decided that it was really much too early for anything. Besides, his conscience declared, he really shouldn’t wake the sleeping form beside him.

His eyes now rested upon her, the woman he shared the night with. She slept soundly, or at least he thought so, she might just have been tired.

Seeming that it had a mind of its own, his finger traced over the length of her back, and she stirred a little in response. Somehow, he thought he’d stumble upon feathers – wings, but found none. And it was almost surprising for him.

He has always thought of her as a sparrow. She ate like one, sweetly twittered like one, and even felt just as warm.

She was just as delicate too – like a little sparrow cupped in his hands. And he feared that he’d grasp too tightly, his fingers crushing her body into his palm.
He never knew himself to be good in handling anything that was delicate.

Again he found himself looking at the clock. Fifteen minutes have just passed, and he decided that it was best if he went back to sleep. A few more hours would do him good. Drawing her closer to him, he kissed her nose and went back to sleep.

 

When he opened his eyes again, he found her staring right into his face. She was smiling, looking like she was highly amused by his face. But now that his eyes were open too and was looking back at her, she couldn’t help but blush.

“Good morning,” she coyly said, averting her gaze a bit. By her action, he found himself becoming shy as she was. After all, this wasn’t the scene they both woke up to everyday. Still, as casually as he could, he greeted her back.

“Did I just look funny?” he asked.

“No, no, nothing of that sort.” she replied as the tint on her cheeks deepened.

“I must have, but at least I amused you a bit.”

As she giggled, again he checked for the time. As much as he was against doing anything at the moment, the fact still remained that they had work to attend.

“We should get ready,” he reminded her, they had just about enough time to get dressed and eat before going.

“Yeah.”

“You go first,” they said in unison. She was going to start on insisting that he should go first so he beat her to it. “You go get ready while I make breakfast.” And to that, she couldn’t argue.

Syn, the detective, processed the interview quickly: My wife said that we got up, made the beds. I said that the breakfast of microwaved porridge was too hot. We all decided to take walk while waiting. It was a leisurely Saturday, I said. Nothing scheduled really. We came home and found the dead girl. She said we didn’t know the girl, since we’re new to the neighborhood. We moved since I was expanding my sales area. It was a better location, we said. More privacy. No trouble with neighbors or business. I mentioned that we’re a happy family. She growled and looked away, but nevertheless agreed with me.

The detective sensed tension.

Baby walked in and asked what happened to this certain “Goldie”. I looked away involuntarily. She told the child hush, adults are talking. She told him to run and play.

The detective sensed panic.

She said that “Goldie” was a sitter from their old neighborhood. I said that this “Goldie” looked like the girl in the house. She shook her head, whispered that the child was confused. A young’un, she said.

The detective nodded, and excused herself.

“Sorry for the inconvenience, Mr. and Mrs. Bear,” Detective Syn said as she pulled up a chair across the table from them. She rotated it and sat down, with her arms across the back. “It’s just that a lot of victims find the appearance of the Crime Scene Witches to be disturbing.”

I just shrugged. What could I do? I knew that they were snatching us up for questioning, but I have to admit it sounded much nicer that way.

Mama growled at me.

“Sometimes it can make you feel violated, knowing they’re going through every inch of your house,” Syn continued. “Finding things you thought you lost. Sometimes coming across things you wouldn’t want just anyone to see.” Mama growled at me again.

“Of course, we sometimes find things on our own as well,” Syn added.

Syn tossed the letter from Goldie Locke onto the table. It was sealed in an evidence sleeve, opened flat, so the text was visible to all.

My eyes grew wide. I heard Mama Bear suck in her breath.

“The letter makes it clear that you knew Goldie Locke, Mr. and Mrs. Bear,” Syn continued. “We know that she was your son’s babysitter back when you lived onFairy Dust Circle.”

In my mind’s eye I saw Syn call Central to request phone records and made sure the entire house was declared a crime scene. She then would not need a warrant to poke around. I imagined her bent over the desk, pulling out drawers and examining the contents, seeing nothing but the usual collection of bills, business papers and letters. Something suddenly clicked in her head. She knelt down, feeling along the bottom side of the drawer. In my mind, she stood up, holding a pink envelope. It contained a lengthy and explicit note from Goldie. My Goldie.

Mama’s voice reached my consciousness again: “You said it was over. You said once we moved you wouldn’t see her any more.” I felt helpless. I shrugged again.

“The date on the note is recent,” Syn said. “According to the date on the mover’s receipt you received this letter after the move.”

Mama lashed out, striking me. “How could you? After what she did to you? After what she made you do?”

I shrugged for the third time. “What can I say? Once a bear, always a bear.”

Mama stood on her hind legs. “I took you away from all that. Brought you out of that horrible park. My father gave you money to start a business. Helped us get that huge house in a good neighborhood.”

“Maybe I didn’t want to be in that neighborhood,” I roared back. “Maybe I was happy in the park.”

“How could you be happy in a park? Everything’s so artificial!” Mama spit back.

I looked at her defiantly. “You wouldn’t understand,” I said, and my shoulders sagged. “You never could.”

“But she could?” Mama Bear continued. “Little Miss Goldie Locke with her cute little curls and her cute little whip. She could understand?”

“I don’t know,” I snapped. “But, when she watched me in that place, I felt special again. … The way she laughed while I hunted. It reminded me what my life was like before you tried to make me into a human.”

“And what’s wrong with being human?” roared Mama.

“I’m not a human!” I growled. “I never will be, and neither will you. It doesn’t matter how much I sell, or what neighborhood we live in, we will always be bears! At least Goldie accepted that. She accepted it, and even encouraged me.”

“Encouraged you? Is that what you call it? Sneaking into our house, sleeping on our beds, sitting on our chairs, eating our food. She was a stalker! She was some sort of bear-obsessed groupie! I couldn’t stand it! It wasn’t enough that you did tricks for her, but you let her come into our house!”

We both began growling at each other. I was going to raise my paw to strike her when, abruptly, she turned away from me and walked toward the magic mirror.

I felt furious. “This is what I’m talking about!” I roared. “Real bears would fight it out. They’d deal with it. You just walk away, pretending to be human, and acting all high and mighty.”

Mama Bear remained silent.

“Yes, I called her,” I told Mama and Syn. “I’d let her know when we would be gone, so she could come in and immerse herself in the bear lifestyle.”

Syn nodded. She knew about the calls to Goldie Locke. And now, probably, she had some sort of context.

“I knew we’d be out this morning, because we’re almost always out on Saturday morning. You always insist on that microwave porridge on Saturday.”

Mama Bear remained silent.

“Why can’t you just let us have honeycombs?” I continued. “Or something normal bears would eat? But, ‘No,’” I added, switching to a falsetto imitation of Mama Bear, “‘We have to have porridge, and eat at a table like normal people.’” Switching back to my own voice, I glared at her. “Well, we’re not normal. Normal bears don’t live in fancy houses, and they don’t sell jewelry, and they don’t sh-”

Mama Bear wheeled suddenly and lunged at me.

“You ruined it all! It was a fairy tale life and you ruined with your little Goldilocks!”

Yes, Mama. That’s it.

She clawed at me, and beat my chest.

“I’m glad she’s dead!” Mama howled. “I should have killed her long ago.”

Let it loose! I looked at her square in the eyes.

“We moved away, and I thought it was over!” Mama screamed.

Two people, Animal Control it said in their jumpsuits, tried to separate us.

“Then I found the note. And I knew it wasn’t over. I knew you’d call her when we were going out.”

Because…because…

“Mama Bear,” Syn interrupted. “You have the right to remain silent…”

The detective got through the whole thing just before Mama screamed, “So, I poisoned Baby’s porridge because Goldilocks always eats it all up.”

They had us separated, and I stood limp and defeated.

“Did you think I wouldn’t notice?” Mama Bear howled at me. “You thought I wouldn’t find the blonde hairs on my bed? On Baby’s bed? Did you think I was going to let her turn him in some trained park bear, too?”

Then Animal Control dragged her away, roaring and spitting, to a cell in the Maximum Security Fairy Creature Wing.

I stood for a while, staring blankly at the space where she stood. Everything was all too much, all too sudden. My knees gave way.

I think I was weeping for a few moments. I felt arms raising my hairy arms up. I didn’t bother to look up. The detective turned away.

They have all seen the tapes, and read all the letters. All I wanted was to just become a park animal again. I wanted to roam freely again. I needed to be watched by an adoring crowd, even if the crowd consisted of a single teenage girl with an unhealthy bear fixation.

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