“Goodnight then, chick,” Davey’s mother pecked his forehead. She tucked him in tight. “You and that old Teddy. I don’t know; I thought you were a big boy.”
Davey didn’t reply. He hugged his toy bear tight and scowled. I’m a big boy now – Mum and Dad were always saying so – but why they wouldn’t let him stay up to watch the film, he couldn’t understand. If he truly was a big boy, then no stupid film was going to scare him.
Mum closed his door but left the landing light on. Davey heard her go downstairs and the sound of the television grow louder and then softer as she opened and closed the living room door.
“Don’t worry, Teddy,” said Davey. “I won’t let them take you away.”
Teddy’s plastic eyes – orange with black dots – stared impassively. His mouth had been stitched crooked, giving the bear a perpetual smirk.
“If I could show them I’m not scared…If I could show them how grown up I am…” Davey’s mind struggled to come up with a solution. He sat his teddy bear on the bedside table. It was a start. He drifted into disgruntled sleep.
He woke a couple of hours later, needing the toilet. Mum usually came in to carry him to the bathroom but tonight there was no sign. Huh, probably watching that film, Davey thought crossly. Eh, Teddy?
But Teddy was not there.
Davey climbed out of bed. Teddy was not on the floor or under the bed.
Davey padded out onto the landing. The blaring of the TV filled the hall. Flickers of light played on the walls. Through Daddy’s expensive sound-surround system, someone screamed.
Davey swallowed. It sounded like the film was really scary after all.
And there was Teddy, standing in the living room doorway, looking up at Davey and smirking that lopsided smirk.
Teddy was drenched. In blood.
He stumped toward the foot of the stairs and began to climb. It would have been cute were it not for the trail of red he left behind and the kitchen knife he carried in his rudimentary paw.
“No, Teddy!” Davey backed away. His bladder let go.
“Not scared are you, Davey?” chuckled Teddy as he reached the landing. “And I thought you were a big boy now.”