Big Bad Bear by Jack Bristow

February 2, 2012 Comments Off on Big Bad Bear by Jack Bristow

Debbie lay in the bed next to me, her head nestled against my chest, purring like a kitten. That was the nickname I had given her: Kitten. She was so proud of the nickname, and she would do anything and everything just to hold on to it.

Every morning, she would prove to herself and to me that my nickname for her was still valid.

“Do you like it that I am your Kitten and that you are my master?”

I said nothing.

“Do you like it when I rub my back against your strong, muscular legs just so you will pay attention to me?”

I said nothing.

“Do you like it when I lick your arms?”

Debbie was licking my forearms. This was an innocent enough gesture. Like a cat in love. Then she stopped and started licking her own fingers, the way a cat would its paws after eating.

“Since you’ve made me your kitten, what animal should I make you of mine?” she asked.

Stumped, I grabbed the pack of cigarettes from off the nightstand, shook one out, lit it, and then I said after one long, contemplative sigh, “I’ll be your…uh…Bear.”

“Bear?” she exclaimed, energetically, happily. “Why Bear?”

“I don’t know. Because a bear is always masculine,” I explained. “It knows what it wants, and it always gets it.” I wrapped my hands around Debbie, gave her a bear-hug, and then I kissed her on the lips.

Debbie, content to have been kissed on the mouth so aggressively, asked if I wanted a certain thing done for me.

“Not now, Kitten.” I stopped her. “Later, tonight maybe.” Then I went on to explain to her that I had to be at work within the hour.

“Oh Bear! My horrible frightening big bad Bear.” Debbie stood up on the bed and started jumping up and down. “Better go in and get your shower over with, Bear…” she cautioned me in mid air as she jumped off the bed. “Because your breakfast will be ready soon.” She sprinted to the kitchen, and then I could hear the pots and pans rustling against one another over her purring little voice. “A big, masculine bear like you needs a big, masculine breakfast with two eggs, ham, two pieces of toast, two French toast, some sausage, a half a grapefruit, and a side of bacon.”

I got out of the bed and then walked slowly, drowsily into the bathroom.

I stepped into the shower and pulled the switch all the way to the left so the water would come out as hot as possible, as any true big bad bear would have it, but the heat was too much for me.

Unbearable.

Standing there, my eyes clamped tightly shut, I fumbled for the dial helplessly, blindly. Invisible tears streaking down my cheek and face along with the boiling hot water.

© 2011 Jack Bristow

Jack Bristow is a short story writer living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is also a part-time bassist. Follow him, @RealJackBristow

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