Charles in Charge, and Debt!
By Mike Stevens
A Charles Placard Tale
“Freddy watched in frightened awe as his blue eyes saw movement on his dresser. He pulled his blankets up even higher on his face, and stared at the unbelievable scene he was beholding, for there, on his dresser, two teddy bears where having an argument. Not your average fight; we’re talking a gouge-out-the-eyes, go-for-the-throat, fur-shredding, fight-to-the-death; winner lives, loser dies, screaming-in-pain kind of fight. Tuffs of fur filled the air, and teddy bear blood was everywhere. It soaked the blanket covering the top of the dresser, and dripped to the floor, where it soaked into the carped in an ever-widening puddle. Little Freddy didn’t know what to do.He started screaming,and was shaken awake by his mother.
“Sweetie, you were having a nightmare; it’s okay, you’re safe. Mommy’s here!”
His sleep-filled eyes saw his mother sitting on his bed, by the light drifting in his dark room from the light of the hallway.
Relief surged through his veins; it had only been a dream! “I’m okay now Mom, and I’m sorry!”
“It’s okay Son; I’m glad it was just a nightmare. Now go back to sleep and dream only happy dreams; good night Freddy!”
Then his mom was gone, closing the door behind her.
Morning sunlight streamed in the window, waking a groggy Freddy. He stretched, and lazily, slowly, came awake. In the haze of half-remembered thoughts, he remembered the nightmare he’d had. Boy, what a doozie! Imagine, his teddy bears not only coming to life, but having a vicious fight on his dress--his eyes looked at the dresser top. Jimbo the Bear was laying there eviscerated, with his stuffing laying in great crimson heaps! A trail of bloody footprints lead from his dresser to the window, which was open to the summer heat.”
Charles Placard laid down his pen. He was done! After thinking he had it made using all kinds of styles, who would have guessed that writing children’s stories would prove to be his niche? Certainly not himself, but maybe still thinking like a kid led him to this style? Daydreaming like a little boy had unlocked the key to his imagination; and was why he found it so easy to write. All he had to do was let his imagination take over, and the story damn near wrote itself!
Today he was meeting with Minuet Dawson, the owner and publisher of ‘Little Bow Peep Books’. He had set up this meeting, after finishing “Die, Little Teddy”, although he was saving the title to close the deal. After reading the book, once he told her why he though he had stumbled upon an untapped market, and had the perfect title, he was sure he’d be offered a book deal!
“But did you read it yet?” Charles whined.
“Yes, I read it, and frankly, it sickened me; how you could think this would be appropriate fare for a child is beyond me!”
“But the little b******s need to be made aware that there’s bad s**t out there, and the sooner they come to that realization, the better! I have looked at so-called ‘children’s books’, and all I saw was fantasy-land stuff, with adorable animals making friends with the child. Well, sweetheart, that’s about as far from reality as you can get! They need to be made aware of the fact a cute and cuddly might be just as apt to rip your throat out, as look at you. I see a need for more realistic writing.”
“And a couple of murderous teddy bears is realistic?”
“Well, it’s certainly more realistic than a talking candy cane, or something!”
“I’m sure once you’ve had a chance to think about what I’ve said, you---”
“Get out now!”
Charles Placard was a beaten man; could he help it if everyone else was a fricking moron? He couldn’t pay his bills, through no fault of his own!