I often save writing prompts that catch my interest and stash them away for months before pulling one out and taking it for a spin. We Write Dragons posted this creative writing prompt over the summer, and I’ve looked at it from time to time over the last few months. Today feels like the day to write it.
Two teddy bears are sitting at a bar getting drunk, discussing the hazards of the job.We Write Dragons
Two Stuffies Walk into a Bar
It had taken my little human twice as long as usual to fall asleep after the excitement–and sugar buzz–of the birthday party. I finally escaped from my drooling friend and made my way to the local stuffie’s bar. I signaled the barkeep for a beer and plopped down in the seat beside my friend.
“You won’t believe the day I’ve had.”
He laughed a harsh, barking laugh. “The day you’ve had? Wait until I tell you about the day I’ve had.” Raising his glass, he signaled the barkeep to bring him another. He was already getting a little loud.
“Alright, alright. Settle down now.” The waitress set down two mugs and smiled at my rumpled friend.
She was an older bunny–well-loved with her stuffing all lumpy. It was obvious she’d been dragged around the playground in her day. Her little human was long since grown and nobody was looking for her anymore.
I paid her and returned her smile along with a handsome tip. I promised not to get nearly as drunk as my friend likely would. She laughed, and it was melodic and soothing. My friend relaxed beside me, and I took a long sip of cool beer.
“Alright,” I said when he remained quiet and brooding. “Why don’t you go first?”
“Nah. You had ‘a day’. Why don’t you go first?” He took a slug of beer.
“Richy had a birthday party today. His first sleepover.”
“That was your first sleepover too, wasn’t it?”
“Yes. How come you never told me about them?”
“Something you had to experience for yourself, friend.”
“Experience it, I did.”
“Sounds like maybe you did have quite the day.” He settled back in his seat, more relaxed now, and sipped his beer.
“At first Richy clung to me like he always has when he’s scared. He clung to my foot and carried me through the door with my head bouncing off of his leg. His backpack was slung over his shoulder, and it weighed him down. It gave him a lean, and he dragged my ear along the floor. He followed his friend into a big room full of boys. It was noisy, and everyone was screaming and shouting. It seemed like everyone had brought their stuffie, and it was going to be a fun old time. I was feeding off the excitement and ready to make new friends.”
“It’s always good to make friends with your fellow hostages.”
I choked on the swig of beer I’d just taken, unable to suppress my laughter at being called a hostage. I wish somebody had thought to negotiate my release.
“Yes, well, about those fellow hostages. By the time I’d arrived, everybody was already getting crabby. One particular penguin was feeling especially mean-spirited. I saw him shove a unicorn into the couch.”
He looked at me like I was lying.
“I see that look on your face. You don’t believe me. But I saw him shove that unicorn down into the couch, behind the cushions. And the birthday boy’s little sister cried and cried because she couldn’t find her missing ‘uneecrone’, and she swore that somebody had stolen it. When they finally pulled her up, she was barely breathing. I told her if she made her way up here I’d buy her a drink, but the poor thing will likely be recovering for days.”
“Well, I’ll be. I ain’t never seen a stuffie try to commit stuffiecide at a party before. Did the penguin belong to the birthday boy? Was there a sibling-type rivalry between them?’
“No! The penguin was there with a guest. And he wasn’t acting like a guest should act at all.”
“Did he belong to a rotten child?”
“No again! The boy he came with was a shy, quiet kind of boy. I got the impression that the penguin wasn’t his usual stuffie and maybe it wasn’t used to being out of the house.”
“Well, that can be enough to make any stuffie misbehave. Do you remember your first time out?”
“I had it easy. I went to the grocery store. Sat in the cart with Richy the whole time.”
“I went to the park. Matilda dragged me through the sandbox. Then, she buried me in it. I had to go straight to the wash when we got home. Tildy cried and cried all night for me.”
He sipped his beer, and I thought I saw a tear trickle down his cheek.
“Well get on with it then. Tell me your story,” he said.
“Richy kept me in hand as he ran and jumped and screamed with his friends. They played all kinds of wild games. Then, they decided to have a stuffie fight.”
“Oh no! They didn’t.” I heard somebody gasp from behind me.
I turned around to find a silver-furred beauty sitting on the edge of her seat listening to my tale. Her golden eyes searched mine, begging for me to continue.
“They did. They grabbed us by whatever body parts they could wrap their little fingers around, and they swung us at each other with all their might. Like we were weapons in some crazy war.”
“My Samantha would never do that to me.” The silver beauty swore, but her voice quivered.
“My Richy swung me on his friend so hard that I knocked him to the ground. Then he put me up and let me take the blow that came from somebody swinging a horse at his head. And, before I’d even had time to recuperate, he swung me back ’round on the birthday boy who deflected the blow with his own rather large teddy bear.”
“Did you win the battle?”
“I didn’t win anything. I was flung out of Richy’s hands and slid across the floor spinning round and round until I slammed into the wall and lay there in a crumpled heap on the floor.”
“Oh, you poor thing,” Silver said as she stood and sauntered over to our table.
“That ain’t nothing,” my drunken friend shouted a bit belligerently. “Nothin’ at all compared to the day I’ve had.” He slammed the rest of his beer and rudely demanded another.
Silver slid a hand down my furry cheek. The touch felt good. I leaned into it. I didn’t usually hook up at the bar, but I’d had a long night.
“Alright. Enough. Tell me what the hell’s wrong with you,” I said.
“Matilda moved out.”
“What do you mean ‘moved out’?”
“I mean she’s gone to live somewhere else and left me behind sitting on the bed.”
“But Tildy would never do that. She loves you.”
“Apparently not as much as she loves Brian.” He said the name like it tasted disgusting.
“Oh, Buddy. She’ll remember how much she needs you and come back to find you before you know it.”
“You really think so?” He sniffled.
“Of course I do.”
His dark brown fur was matted in places and bare in others. Matilda had loved him. She’d taken him everywhere with her–even to college. I wondered how she could have left him behind so easily now.
“Why don’t you finish telling us about that birthday party,” he said sounding a little more at ease again.
“I lay there, discarded, until bedtime. Then Richy snatched me up in his sticky hands–nobody had made him wash or brush his teeth–and settled down into his sleeping bag. He pulled me snugly up against his face where I could catch all the sugary drool and cake crumbs. As soon as I was certain he was sound asleep, I extracted myself from his grip and came up here for a cold draft.”
“And I’m so glad you did.” Silver cooed at me as she leaned in closer.
“I’m flattered, really, I am.” I lied. She’d lost her appeal. “But my friend here needs me tonight. So, I’m going to have to ask that you find somewhere else to hang.” I removed her paws from around me.
She pouted but wasted no time arguing. She found a green fox at the bar and started putting the moves on him.
“Aw, now, you didn’t have to go and do a thing like that. I’ll be just fine with my beer. You should go do something crazy with that silver-furred beauty before you’ve let your whole life pass you by without ever really taking a chance and doing something crazy that might make a little girl cry when she can’t find you before the school bus comes.”
“Don’t talk like that. I’ve seen you do plenty of crazy things right here in this very bar including a certain purple gorilla that couldn’t get enough of you.”
He smiled at the memory. “See. You need memories like that, too.”
“Not with her.” I rolled my eyes.
“Fine. Just promise me you’ll make your own wild memories with a stuffie that can’t get enough of you one day, too.”
“Sun’s coming up soon. Time to return to the human world. Off ya go now,” the barkeep shouted.
“Don’t worry,” he said as we stood up from our table. “Your little human won’t be awake for hours. Sugar buzzes come with sugar crashes. That’s the drooling mess you left little Richy as. He’ll feel kinda crappy when he wakes up and likely wanna snuggle you closer. He might even take a nap when he gets home.”
“I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks.”
“Oh and.” He sniffed the air. “His mom’s likely gonna wanna give you a wash.”
“Yeah. I figured as much.”
“See you next time.”
“Yeah, you too. And Tildy’s gonna come back for you. Just you watch and see.”
“Or maybe she’ll leave Brian and come back to me.”
“Maybe she will.” I smiled at him. “Bye.”
I turned and walked back to the slumber party and the arms of the sleeping boy I loved so much.
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