Grant Matthews was sitting on a stump in the woods, alone, eating a PB&J sandwich. He had eaten off the top crust, and was working down the center of the sandwich, when he heard what sounded like a young girl singing in the distance, deeper into the wood. Although he couldn’t make out any words in particular and could be persuaded into believing it was just the wind, he remarked to himself just how pretty the wind was.
Since Grant had experienced enough trouble for the day and was purposefully alone – as if he had a choice – he sat fast and continued with his sandwich, carefully avoiding the bottom side crust.
His parents had moved into Enchanted Vista just this year and he had not made friends with any of the others that lived there. He simply wasn’t like them. Having lived in Philadelphia for most of his life up to that point, he spoke, dressed and acted differently than the others. In his former school, Lincoln Secondary, Grant enjoyed STEM classes, where he was allocate time to dabble with robotics and computer programming. In his new school, a much smaller rural school, he was no longer afforded such opportunities. Here he was forced to be content with extended time in the library and a surprisingly robust physics program.
He finished the sandwich and listened for the young voice but it had stopped at some point during his meal. Folding up the plastic zip lock bag, and placing it in his jacket pocket, Grant Matthews stood up and starting walking – quite without thought – into the direction from which the young voice had emanated. He finished the sandwich and listened for the young voice but it had stopped at some point during his meal. Folding up the plastic zip lock bag, and placing it in his jacket pocket, Grant Matthews stood up and starting walking – quite without thought – into the direction from which the young voice had emanated.
After digging himself out from his earthen womb, Geoff stood alone, naked and confused. He reached up with his tiny, fingerless paw and scratched his furry ear.
He suddenly stopped.
He retracted his arm and stared dumbly at his paw, and then gasped. He waddled….
“Oh, for the love of darkness,” he thought, “I waddle.”
He waddled to the edge of the pool and peered down at his reflection, not so much in shock, but disgust. He fell back upon his cushioned rump and slapped at the earth. He wasn’t sure who had called upon and forced his spirit into that tiny teddy bear body, but whoever it was had some explaining to do. Nowhere in any of his sacred teachings had he ever asked for, mentioned or even hinted at the prospect, of being raised from his slumber into the form of a teddy bear.
Teddy Bear Geoff searched the immediate area, crawling about the leaves in that wretched little body, eventually stumbling upon a note, scratched hurriedly onto a piece of paper in green ink, that read:
“Be right back. Stupid mother wants me to eat dinner. Don’t go anywhere.
I hate tuna casserole.
The Lord of Darkness crumpled up the note, tossed it to the ground and waddled…
Excuse me. The Lord of Darkness trudged off into the darkness, toward the sound of distant voices.
Tony Young, Jacob Freeze and Darren Allenbaugh were best friends. There was no denying that fact. Always together and usually up to no good, the three were inseparable and they were a force to be wary of. Once you were picked out by one of them, the others would soon follow.
Grant watched them, hidden between the split trunk of a large birch tree. Having been the subject of their hostility since first arriving at Enchanted Visa, he has become all too familiar with how the three can gang up on an outsider, and he wanted nothing more to do with it.
At that moment, their combined angst was focused upon a small figure they had tied to a tree. The tiny brown body of a teddy bear had been lashed to a tree with bailing twine and subjected to various would-be tortures. One of its tiny arms had been removed and Tony, armed with the crossbow he had gotten from his father for Christmas, had fired several bolts into its chubby abdomen.
The crew continued beating upon the stuffed toy for some time, Grant watching from his hiding spot, until finally, Jacob’s phone rang and he was told by his mother to return home for dinner.
“But, Mom.” He attempted to argue but was decisively cut off from doing so.
“Come home now, or no gaming tonight.”
“You can’t.” He looked as if he were ready to cry.
Tony slapped his phone closed and stomped over to the tree. He carelessly yanked his crossbow bolts from the temporary teddy bear body of Geoff, the Lord of Darkness, and he, in return, silently cursed each of the three boys present to painful sores and boils. It would only take a few days for the curse to show itself, and he hoped he could bear witness.
He was left, hanging from the tall oak tree, one string tied to his teddy bear arm and another lashed about his neck. He was helpless and he was ashamed. He was a greater demon after all and there he was, bested by three boys and their crossbow. He was left, hanging from the tall oak tree, one string tied to his teddy bear arm and another lashed about his neck. He was helpless and he was ashamed. He was a greater demon after all and there he was, bested by three boys and their crossbow.