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Part 1

(Originally Posted 10/13/2017)

Hello, people on the interwebs! I work at what used to be called an insane asylum. Nowadays, we just call them Mental Health Centers or Psychiatric Hospitals.  I won’t tell you which one, ‘cause I don’t want my ass getting canned. Anyways, I found something when helping maintenance clean up Chuckles’ room a year ago. ‘Chuckles’ is a nickname we gave one of the residents, and we’ll leave it at that. He left behind a notebook one of the therapists gave him. I took it home after we were done cleaning his room. Just recently, I cracked it open and started reading, because I don’t have a lot to do at home, and porn does get boring after a while. Even for a schizophrenic, though, there is some wild shit in here that someone else needs to see. And believe me, it’s not just his dreams and delusions. So, I’ll just post it here and let you take a look. I know, sounds like a terrible thing to do, but I think he wanted someone to see it. Lucky you! Just pretend it’s all fictional if anybody asks. I like my job, after all. I’ve made this as readable as possible while transcribing. Fancy word, isn’t it? Oh, the names of staff and patients have been removed.

Without further ado, here it goes:

Entry 1

I am not a human being. Human beings aren’t shoved away into comfortable prisons without having committed a crime. I have done nothing to hurt anyone. It’s just that the transmissions won’t stop. I don’t care about the state of man, how women, or boys who have not completed any trials of manhood are usurping man’s role in the world. They just won’t stop, droning on, and on about the State of the World. These corrupt doctors watch me through the vent shafts, making me hurt when I find a way to ignore the transmissions. I am but a cog in someone else’s machine, a subhuman cog. I don’t deserve to be human. I am only a tool of others and I can’t break out. I deserve this fate, but I have done nothing.

Dr. [redacted] gave me this stupid notebook to write in. They know about the transmissions, and that is why they are watching me! It’s all part of the game I am forced to play with them. Most of them tell me that I should not focus so much on what they call hallucinations. If I were hallucinating, the voices would be talking to me, but instead it’s like a man on the radio just talking. They think I talk too much. God forbid anyone tell staff we are being treated like animals or that the side-effects of the medications are unbearable. A serious voice in the halls of madness might be too much for them, or so I gather from being told to “lighten up” all the damn time. They want me to be as quiet as [Patient J], who is too scared to make a peep. That’s the only reason for giving me something to write with in a hospital like this. I wish they would just own up to it.

So I am stuck. No one will read this.

Entry 2

Was I asleep the whole night? No. Couldn’t be. Nurse [redacted] took me out of my room and screamed at me in one of the offices. She told me if I would listen to broadcast more carefully I would know how to live outside these walls; how to be a man. An orderly came and knocked on her door, I think to see what the ruckus was. When he came in she pulled a gun from a desk drawer and shot him right in the head. I could do nothing but freeze, my eyes open and jaw dropped. The sound of it rang in my ears, as wet, sticky blood and brain splattered and dripped from the wall behind him.

She said: “That boy could never be a man, always sucking from the welfare teat and not trying to get a real goddamned job!”

I got up and ran for the door, pulling on the handle but it would not budge.

I woke up in my bed. The covers are wet with cold sweat and I am writing this to catch my breath.

Entry 3

I could not help but cringe when [Nurse Redacted] walked past my room earlier today. She stopped at my door and put on such a face of concern I nearly believed it.

“What’s wrong baby,” she asked and came halfway in my room.

“You know what you did,” I said, my hand shaking as I spoke. “He did not deserve to die, no matter how inadequate you think he is.”

“Who are you are talking about, hon?”

“The orderly you shot.”
“When did this happen?” she asked as she walked into my room and leaned back against the wall.

“Last night,” I stood up straighter in my chair and tried to summon some bravery into my voice.

“I wasn’t here last night, hon,” she sighed. “We have talked about this. Give the meds some time. You were dreaming again.”

“I don’t have dreams.”

“Yes, you do. I promise you, I have not shot anyone here at work. When do you get to see the psychiatrist again? Maybe they need to try something a little different.”

“I think next month,” I said, my whole body deflating. “He needs to see his patients more regularly.”

“I know, baby. But there are a lot of folks here, and he’s only one person. I’ll see if there is anything I can do to help.”

“I’m sure,” the words left my mouth flatly.

“We’re not out to get you,” she said and straightened up. Taking a step to leave the room she looked back to me. “You spend a lot of time in here, maybe you should try making some friends. I don’t think you’ll be here forever, and getting used to being around others might help.”

“I don’t think they want to talk to me,” I said and looked away.

“No, they just think you are too serious all the time.”
“This is a serious place.”

“Ok,” she said and stepped out of my room, finally. “Fine. Just give it a think, and let me know if you need anything.”

The pills she wants me to take slow my thoughts and make me want to eat more than I should. This is why I am fat. This seems to be what they want.

The game continues.

Entry 4

One of the female orderlies gave me a teddy bear. It is kind of big and heavy. I have seen larger teddy bears. I think maybe it’s two feet head to toe. Normally they don’t give us gifts, but she said she is quitting soon, and doesn’t want to see it again. Tears were rolling down her face. I took it so she wouldn’t cry. Maybe she has no stomach for the game anymore.

The broadcasts say America should be running the world, not cowering from friends and enemies alike. Macho bullshit. The world is too complicated to be strong-armed like that. But it drones on, wanting the country to be the tough guy.

Entry 5

The broadcast was quieter than usual today. Normally it seems to echo against my skull as the boisterous voice rants and raves. Now it’s using an inside voice. The bear has been here for two nights. I also did not feel like stuffing so much food into my face. The nurses say I am being quieter, more cooperative. One even said I am beating out [Patient J] as her favorite. The others say they are not sure if this is a good sign.

Entry 6

An honest to God dream! I can’t believe how long it’s been. Humans dream, all the time. Every night, they tell me. I have not had one in so long that I can barely believe it. I guess I am not deserving of it being a good one, though.

I was stuck to my bed as I felt a rush of warmth come over me, and then I was being held down by black strands of almost nothing. This is how I knew it was a dream, because at night when they take me or lecture me, I see everything so clearly. This was different. The bed and the room seemed to be in my parent’s home for a moment, and once again it was the hospital room. A deep, rough voice called to me by name. I could not move. Soon, I was in some sort of playground being stared down by a massive teddy bear that looked like the one in my room. It said something, and all I could make out was “Not enough” or something like that. I think I also heard it say “Cut them open” but I am not entirely sure. Weird thing is, I felt better, like I was safe there. Definitely a dream. It was not a very pleasant dream, being looked at by a teddy bear like I am in some sort of sick fairy-tale, but not a nightmare.

Anyway, when I woke up I gave the bear a good looking at. Just a brown teddy bear, same as before, but a bit lighter. There’s a scarlet thread on the back of it, like someone stitched up an old war wound. Nothing too strange, I guess.

The broadcast has become whispers at times, now. Anytime they start to irritate me, I feel a wash of calm and then the voice quiets. Did not eat too much today. Nurse [redacted] says I am doing better, and we had a bit of a chat. Nothing important, just something about the weather. The other inmates are laughing at me, though.  I see them hiding their smirks when I get out of my room. I’m not as paranoid as you might think reading this. They mock [Patient C] because they think he drones on too long, and pull pranks on [Patient J] because he jumps at everything. I only see this in the TV and games room, and it can be relentless. I think they saw the damn bear while walking past my room. Best to keep it hidden. I don’t feel like being laughed at.

Entry 7

I had a very odd dream last night. Maybe that is not saying much after the one a few nights ago. So strange even having dreams now. The one the night before I heard children singing Red Rover, and I did not see any kids. It was something about a childhood crush telling me I was a crazy person. I got the sense that she hated me for it. But that’s not important. Before waking up, I swear I could feel those black strands of almost nothing holding onto me, and these kids were chanting the old Red Rover, Red Rover. And last night I saw them. Two young girls and teenage boy running around on some nightmarish playground dreamt of in Hell. The merry-go-round had what looked like razor blades on the outside, and there was a slide that was as tall as an office building. They were playing hop-scotch over hot coals. It seemed like only the outlined squares were safe and they kept pushing each other onto the hot coals and laughing. The little girls screamed when they touched the coals, but they ran over to me without injury. The older girl with red hair and freckles kept yelling “No Rules!” as she skipped around me and the smaller one with black hair and golden skin just laughed. The redhead could not be over twelve, and the other looked maybe ten. The teen, I’d say fourteenish, just rested against some monkey bars and smirked at me. When I was a kid, I used to flick my ear when I thought I was dreaming. It would either wake me up or not feel as painful in the dream. I tried it, and knew I was dreaming. The boy laughed and walked over to me, waving at the two girls to move away. They ran off to play tether-ball with what looked like a medieval spiked ball on a chain.

“Hey!” I remember yelling at them. I don’t much care for kids, but I could not let them get hurt.

“Don’t sweat it, old man,” the boy said. “They ain’t gonna get hurt. Nothing here hurts.”

“And why is that, boy?”

To this he laughed and told me: “’Cause there ain’t no meat here, old man. That’s why he’s got you. The big bad bear don’t understand meat.”

“What are you---” I started to say, but behind the boy I saw it again; a gigantic teddy bear, sitting behind him with its head down.

“No worries,” the boy said and laughed. “He’s asleep.”

“Who…?” I tried to ask, taking a step back.

“I’m Jesse. Over there we got Theresa, and the ginger girl is Beth. I named the Bear Captain Cuddles. He’s still It, I think.”


“Yeah, and he caught me, them girls, and now you! We don’t get a turn to be It anymore.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Bet you don’t. No worries, though. Wakey-Time!” And with that, the boy shoved me, and as I fell in the dream I woke up, once more in a cold sweat.

Entry 8

Nothing makes sense. I just saw the orderly Nurse [redacted] shot in the head. At least, it looked a lot like him. I swear that the bear is staring at me. Sitting on my dresser, his coal black eyes burrowing straight into my soul. The running commentary on the State of the World is diminished again. After I awoke from the dream on the playground, it got louder, but now it is quiet. How can he be staring at me? It’s just a stuffed animal. I see the psychiatrist tomorrow. Maybe I can get him to change my meds. Maybe I am losing it.

Entry 9

They told me I was asleep. They told me I was dreaming. Now I wonder if I am awake when I am not dreaming. The Broadcaster is on full blast now. Writing this is difficult.

I was about to fall asleep when I felt I could not move. The bear suddenly leapt from the dresser onto my chest. My heart beat so hard, I thought it might push him right off. Claws grew from his stuffed paws and he opened his mouth to reveal many rows of pointed razor-sharp teeth. He pulled his arm back and, just before he raked his claws across my face, I felt like I was sinking. Something pulled me into the bed. Into the bed! Soon I was on my ass in the playground of horrors, the giant bear and the children looking at me with dumbstruck faces.

“Man,” the boy said as he laughed, “your dreams are hardcore!”

“What?” I said, suddenly feeling very stupid as they stared at me. “No-no. This is a dream. That...”

“Was also a dream, man,” the boy said before I could finish.

“Teddy bears don’t do things like that,” the red-headed girl chimed in. “That was scary. He’s not scary like that.”

“Seriously,” the boy said and kneeled down closer to me. “It’s ok, old man. Just wait it out here and chill. You woke him up, for a minute. We saw. It was scaring the girls, though.”

“S-Sorry?” I mumbled, my mind racing to sort this out.

Just rest. My eyes shot open as I looked up to the bear. The voice was low and a bit rough, and though his mouth had not moved the sound in my head seemed to come from him. I would not harm you in such a way. Stay here with the children.

“Why would he have dreams like that?” the golden-skinned girl asked, looking back to the bear.

His mind is disordered. It cannot hurt you, but it often confuses him as to what is real.

“Oh,” she replied, and moved her black hair from her face. She then walked over to me and put her hand on my shoulder. The other two kids followed suit, and then once the boy wandered off the two girls sat close to me and talked. I don’t remember quite what they talked about, something about their parents. They prattled on so much, it became more of a background buzz to me, and yet it was oddly soothing. The red-head mentioned something about her mother working in hospital for people who were confused. That’s really all I can remember, as it got hazier and hazier from there.

I woke a few moments ago, once again in a cold sweat. My head is pounding from the damn broadcast. When I see the psychiatrist later today, I might as well ask about pain pills.

A teddy bear is telling me I am crazy. I just don’t know anymore.

Entry 10

The psychiatrist approved me for new meds. I lied and told him I was getting headaches, so they also approved me for some ibuprofen. I managed to hide it under my tongue instead of swallowing it at med time. I think I should save up some of these. I don’t know if they will be able to do the job, but…Look, I don’t know if anyone is reading this and I don’t know what is going on anymore. This bear in my dreams and in my room is dangerous in a way I can’t put into words. I know I should get rid of the stupid thing, but without it the transmissions would come back. When I even think about asking the staff to throw him away, I hear The State of the World on blast. It is so loud I can no longer hear myself think. Also, I am getting used to the occasional relief of being able to ignore them. It is starting to look like there may only be one way out of all this.

I am not strong enough.

Entry 11

I can hear him when I am awake now. Not the broadcaster, but the stupid bear. He’s in my head somehow. I swear this has never happened before. I had just gotten back from the cafeteria. I sat down on my bed and the broadcast was nearly silent. Then all of a sudden I heard him speak. It was like how some of the others describe the voices.

Some of your fellow inmates cannot move. They are locked within their own mind. I want to see it. Bring me to one of their rooms, and show me what their insides look like. I want to see what they are made of. No one will miss them.

All I could do was look up in shock. My eyes went to the dresser I had him hidden in. It was the same, rough sounding voice from the dreams. But I was not asleep. I swear on everything holy that I was definitely awake.

“I-I can’t,” I managed after the minute it took to process what he was telling me to do. “That’s murder.”

They are hardly alive.

“But they still are!” I put my hand over my mouth, hoping others did not hear me shout at a stuffed toy.

You are useless. I need to be with [Patient J]. He walked down the hall the other day. He has more of what I need than you. He would do as I ask.

“You think he would kill for you? No…this isn’t right…”

Give me to him. You do not enjoy the company of the children. Your dreams frighten them too much. This would seem an equitable solution.

“W-wait,” I said in a hushed tone. “What about the broadcast? You make it quieter.”

It is all in your mind. You have dealt with it for years.

“That’s not true. Damn. Even the bear that talks to me prefers [Patient J], huh?” The irony of the situation could not escape me. Despite what the others might say, I do have a sense of humor. I understand why they gave me that damnable nickname, even though I hate it.

Believe what you like. Give me to [Jones]

“No,” I said solemnly after a minute of contemplation. I have no love for [Patient J], but I also do not wish this sort of madness on him. I soon found myself to be correct when a dull pain started in the back of my head, creeping its way over my skull. Before I knew it, it started to squeeze my brain. The pain was enough to bring me to my knees.

Give me to him, the bear repeated, his words causing the pain to throb slowly. I fumbled around a moment before finding the painkillers I had saved up and rammed five of them into my mouth and swallowed as quickly as I could.

“No,” I told him and leaned down, holding my head. We sat in silence for several minutes before the pain gradually subsided. I stood and opened the dresser and looked down at the bear. “I may not be human. I may not be worthy. But, maybe just this one time, I can behave like a man.”
With that, I closed the dresser.

Entry 12

The broadcast is getting louder at the worst times. It is becoming hard to talk with the medical staff. I think doing this is starving him a little, though. He can now only give me the amount of pain I used to get when eating frozen dessert too fast, and it lasts about as long. The pain medication keeps this at bay. I just have to keep him away from [Patient J]. This might get easier though.

I talked with an administrator. She seems to think I am ready to “graduate” from the facility into some kind of group home, pending the approval of the psychiatrist. Asking if [Patient J] would be joining me there would be telling. I still don’t know what sort of monster this bear is, but I have a feeling that keeping him away from the man he wants to be with will avert disaster. If those poor kids are real somehow, maybe I can wrest them away from his hold.

Entry 13

“Never play games you find on the internet,” the teen told me as I waited in the infernal playground to wake up. When I got there they started playing some game of tug of war using me as the rope. When one team would pull me, it was into the hot coals around the hopscotch outline. I was afraid it would hurt, but there were no burns on my feet. The boy gave me his little pearl of knowledge right before they chased each other with scissors. It seems the torment is to continue.

Doesn’t really matter, though. I am out of here tomorrow, and I am taking that stupid bear far away from [Patient J]. I have decided to leave this notebook here. Whoever finds this may think it the ravings of a madman, but then again if this gets out it, may do a little good.

If you are ever given a teddy bear, check its back for a scarlet thread. Be careful what games you decide to play. And most of all, do not let [Patient J] have the bear if you can help it.

(End of Journal)

I should tell you that the orderlies went into his room the following day. All they found was a skeleton wearing Chuckles’ clothes, and it attacked them!

Hehe, no. He was just transferred out to a group home somewhere in town. I am pretty sure he brought the bear with him. Patient J got transferred out too, a few weeks later. When I have a hot minute, I’ll see if I can get my buddy who works there to tell me how they are getting along. Weird shit though, right? Fuck, I have to get to bed soon! Maybe I'll search the instygrams for something cute to help with #sweetdreams and forget about #creepyteddybear.  So that’s all there is for now, interwebs! I’ll let you know if I find out anything else.

Part 2

(Originally Posted April 13th 2018)

Greetings to all of you on the interwebs!

Hey, sorry it’s been forever and a day since I got back to you guys, but, umm, quicksand porn. It changed my life. You think you understand, but you don’t. Whole new levels, yo.

Anyways, a friend of mine who works at a group home for the mentally ill found a journal written by good ole Chuckles. Things did not go well for him, but we’ll touch on that in the end. Poor guy. He really didn’t deserve any of this. The following may well be his last testament, as well as his firm achievement. All names have been redacted to protect the people involved. Except Todd. Because fuck that guy.

Unfortunately, Todd was not involved in this.

Without further ado, here we go.

Entry 1

I am not a human being. Human beings are incapable of tuning into the frequency that hounds my thoughts and confuses my intellect. Human beings are not shut away in cages only to be released into society after being taught how to play house by idiots. They don’t have to remind themselves of who is being nice and fair to them when the transmissions rage at the unclean ethnicity of the person. No, he is not unclean. [C] is just a guy doing his job. He speaks better English than most of his peers sometimes. Stop trying to convince me otherwise!

The transmission is pretty bad today. The man talks and talks about how I am being shown how to do women’s work. At times it is unbearable.

Speaking of bears! Yes. I may not be a human being, but I may be the only one holding back a nightmare from the world. It resides in my dresser, hidden away so the others won’t laugh at me when they see it. So they won’t tease and mock me endlessly. It is a bear, a teddy bear. This thing cannot be let out of my room. I swear it does not belong in this world at all. You may think I am being overly dramatic, but that is only because you do not understand. To torture me, the bear silences the transmission until I get comfortable, and then lets it scream in my skull once more. The children, in what are supposedly dreams, tell me that he sleeps sometimes. If it makes you feel any better, the children and the bear think I am quite mad. Seems crazy to think a teddy bear would ever need sleep, haunted or not. 

Dreams. Humans dream. I have talks with children at a playground of nightmares when I sleep, or find myself back in my bed after horrifying experiences. The staff at the asylum told me those experiences were dreams, so now I play along.

Now they have sent me to a group home. I am housed with insane individuals learning to play house so that they may be released into the wild someday. I envy them at times. So free in their fanciful delusions, and so joyous to mock and laugh at whom they call the serious one. Me. Always serious because this is no longer a game. There may be forces at work that the crazies nor the staff here could comprehend. But, once again they want me to journal. Not the staff here, they couldn’t care less. No, one of the oh-so-nice counselors at the rehab school they make me attend thinks it could be relaxing. So, with pen and paper in hand, I write. I doubt anyone will read these words, or the journal I left behind at the asylum.

Maybe this is truly all I can really do.

Entry 2

Not even a month in this place and already that damned bear is trying to ruin things. Trying to learn this supposed women’s work the staff tells me I should know. Not women’s work. Just housework. Damn the transmissions! Sorry, it is very loud. The bear is unhappy with me. Anyway, [C] was showing me how to properly chop some vegetables for a soup we are going to make tomorrow. He said it was better to go with fresh and seems to love these slow cookers. I think my mom called them crock-pots. Anyway, I digress. The cutlery is kept in the office and staff has to watch us when we are using them.  Good thing too. As soon as [C] handed me the knife I could feel that bear speaking to me.

Cut him, the voice said, sounding harsh and deep in my mind. No one is there with you. He trusts you. I need to see what is underneath that skin…

I gripped the knife harder and clenched my teeth. It was all I could do to focus on cutting the damn carrots. Thin slices mostly, as I waited for all eternity for the bear to leave my thoughts alone. The stuffed animal was somehow able to call to me from all the way in my room, secured in the dresser, droning on and on about slicing [C]’s throat. My breathing was slow and measured, trying some trick they taught me at the “school” about breathing out more and more. It was just barely helping. Thankfully, [C] took the knife out of my hand after what must have been the most grueling few minutes of my life.

“Man you are really intense,” [C] told me, and smiled. “I see why they all think you are so serious. Don’t worry, though. Sometimes it is good to be serious. And you did an awesome job! This is gonna be some great soup when we get it all put together.”

Simple praise from a simple…no. No, stop it. God Damn you bear, just turn it down a little! I don’t care what the station man thinks about [C]!

Ok, had to take a breather. You see the point I am making right? It wants me to hurt people. It has some sort of nightmare inducing desire to see more of the flesh. This is not first time this bear called on me to hurt someone, and it won’t be the last. I must endure. I may not rightly be a person, but I must endure to keep everyone safe. In the hands of anyone else here, that could have easily been a bloodbath.

Entry 3

Sleep provides no respite from this madness. I know you think you are reading the words of a crazy man, but please consider the insanity around me. Think on the fact that once your head hits your soft pillow you can close your eyes and take a break from your reality. In my world, the strange world around me has seeped into my so-called dreams.

For so many years I did not dream. Now that I do, I am not even sure it is worth it. Take the other night, when after my eyes closed in slumber I found myself back in that infernal playground. I found myself sitting up next to the young teen who resided there named Jesse. The two girls, one with red hair and freckles, the other with black hair and a golden complexion, skipped around playing some sort of game. Jesse smirked when he saw me and then looked off into the distance. He was watching a large black bird croaking in the middle of a plain of rust brown gravel and dirt. Though the bird looked around and cocked its head about, it made no move towards us.

“I don’t know what his deal is,” Jesse said after a few moments. “I don’t think he can see us.”

“Why do you suppose that is,” I asked, scratching my head.

“No idea. Well, it’s a bird. No clue why it’s here though.”

“Why not ask the Bear?” As I posed this question, I looked to the center of the playground only to see the large teddy bear sitting there motionless. His eyes seemed devoid of life.

“He’s asleep,” Jesse answered and got up. “I’ll ask him when he comes to. Pretty sure ole Cuddles is still It, bird or no bird though. It occurs to me that since the girls got here, I never thought to just walk on off. You know, just head to the horizon and see what is out there.”

“I get it, you had to keep an eye on the girls, just like I feel the need to keep an eye on you all now.”
“Yeah, maybe. Things are pretty safe here, though. Maybe after I ask the bear about the bird I’ll try taking a walk.”

After that, the children began playing with that damn spiked tether-ball. They wanted to play on teams of two, but with only three of them they’d need me to join. I turned them down. Having an adult would only give one team an unfair advantage. This was one of the more calm nights I have spent with the same children in each dream. Every night, I see the same evil playground, with the same children. This may seem a minor thing, but the fact that it never changes alarms me greatly. And now we have some mysterious bird in the distance that I am left to wonder about. 

Entry 4

We got a new staff member today. Her name is [ S ], and she is thin, blonde and has hungry green eyes. It was my turn again to help with making dinner. I am starting to think that the others have figured out that if they are less helpful, I will pick up the slack. That’s fine. Distractions are a godsend. Besides, all we had to do was put the food  in the oven and wait. Some sort of casserole that was pre-made. Really, only [C] seems to really know anything useful about cooking. Though I really do think all the cretins I live with could manage is just putting something in an oven anyways.

Rumors abound lately. Some say we are getting a new resident soon. One of the other residents mentioned something about him being skittish. Residents seem to come and go around here. Also, I am hearing muffled giggles once again about me keeping a teddy bear. Someone must have seen it as they passed by my room. I swear that my thoughts must be leaking out of my head somehow.

Let them laugh. Let them enjoy what they can in their insane little lives. Only I have some idea as to what I am holding at bay.

Entry 5

The staff has turned against me here as well! The broadcasts! The people! And that Goddamned Bear!

I can’t believe this. Soon after falling asleep the new staff person, [ S ], knocked on my door and told me I had to wake up. As I walked into the office, she had all the knives that were usually locked up in a cabinet arranged on her desk. When she saw my wide-eyed expression she merely laughed and then stared deeply into my eyes.

“What’s the matter?” she asked and licked the inside of her cheek. “Can’t handle a few knives? Hell, if you were a real man, you would at least have a gun on you. You are so good at bitch work. Maybe you are just a bitch. Who else would cuddle with a teddy bear at night?”

“How do you know-” I started, interrupted by her cackling laughter.

“We all know!” she told me. “Staff meetings are a riot here with all the talk of Poor Wittle Chuckles and his bear!”

She continued to laugh as she picked up one of the steak knives. Smiling, she pressed it into her skin just below her wrist and pulled down, the blade slicing into her fair skin. The dark red blood welled up at the initial cut, and then flowed down her arm as her eyes rolled up into her head and she moaned softly.

“You should try it, Big Boy,” she said as she opened her eyes. “Feels sooo good. And the taste is just delish.”

She put the tip of he tongue to her arm and slowly moved it up, gathering the blood onto it before pulling it into her mouth. I could only stand there, frozen in shock as she extended her arm to me, pushing the knife towards my chest. I think I tried to reach out to push the knife away, because I remember feeling the blade slowly bite into my hand. In the long run, nothing I did mattered.

The next thing I knew, I was back in my bed. I opened my eyes as I felt something heavy on my chest. My vision cleared soon to reveal the teddy bear I always keep hidden in my dresser sitting there, staring into my eyes. My mouth slowly opened, wishing to scream, and yet I was too terrified to make even the slightest sound.

Just a dream, I could hear in my mind, the bear’s same deep and rough words once again. Rest now.

And then just like that I must have been out again. I woke up in the morning to my alarm and checked the dresser, surprised to see the bear there. Now that I write this, I cannot be entirely sure he is the same way I left him, but nonetheless he is there. I don’t know what to think. Surely [ S ] will deny this. Tell me my memories are but dreams, some sort of symptom of a made-up illness. I need to go to the psycho-social rehab school now.

I don’t know what I am going to do.

Entry 6

I think Jesse and the bear had an argument. He would not so much as look at me and the girls seem to be trying to cheer him up by pretending to accidently stab each other with scissors. There's no blood, and they tell me it doesn't hurt.

Seriously, though. There is something wrong with them or my subconscious.

Entry 7

[This entry was crossed out and then scribbled over, so I guess he did not want us reading it.]

Entry 8

What is real? What is it like to live in space you can easily call reality and rest assured that your sleep takes you on flights of imagination only to deposit you back into the real world in the morning? I would really like to know.

The playground…may be different forever. The night before last, I found myself waking up there after falling asleep as per usual. Jesse was talking to the two girls. It sounded like he was reassuring them, but I could not make out the words. He then looked to me, and as the black haired girl let out a sniffle he ran out past the playground and into the empty field of rusted dirt. I couldn’t think of what to do until I saw that large black bird in the direction where he ran. Slowly I got myself to my feet only to find the two girls holding my hands.

“Don’t do it,” the red headed Beth told me as they both pulled on my arms. “He said he just had to know.”

Grumbling, I quickly shrugged them off and ran after the delusional boy. It is hard to explain, but no matter how much I ran, the teenaged boy seemed to not get any closer Even after he stopped running and stood by it. Once again, I could not make out the words but I could tell he was yelling at the bird, speaking not only with his voice but with grand motions of his arms. Just as my mind started to realize that I was neither tiring out from the running nor getting any closer, my vision faded to black rather quickly. I had to stop and hold my head to regain my balance, and when I opened my eyes, the black veil slowly opened, letting me see the young man being carried by the shoulders off into the sky by the bird. Now the black-feathered beast was much larger, dwarfing the child in size as it carried him off beyond the horizon. I stood there in shock for several moments before making my way back to the playground slowly. The two girls were looking to the giant bear as he slowly roused himself awake.

“Where did he go?” Theresa asked, her voice quivering. Now, I have never been particularly good with kids, but I put a hand on the girls’ shoulders to offer what comfort I could.

To Death, came the reply from the bear. Both girls immediately turned to me and collapsed into sobs. I kneeled and did my best to hold them, looking up angrily at the bear for the needlessly caustic reply.

Never approach The Raven. He will take you only to Death. And you must not believe His lies.

I did my best to comfort them. I let them cry, held them, and did everything I could think of to make them feel better. The next night, I was surprised to find that Jesse was still not there. I tried to lead the girls in games, tell them stories, and even a few jokes from my younger days. I know. Me telling jokes does not seem likely, but I did my best to keep them in good cheer as Jesse did. He meant the world to them, and now I am finally starting to understand this. In a way, losing him seems like the most real thing that has happened since I was given this damn bear. And this is what I see when I go to bed, not in the waking world. This makes no sense to me. So again, I ask…what is real?

Entry 9

[Patient J] from the asylum is coming. I overheard this from [C], when he was talking to the staff members. This is bad. I have no way of knowing if anyone will ever read this, and even less faith that anyone would be able to read both this journal and the last one. Suffice it to say, the evil behind the bear’s voice wants me to give the bear to [Patient J]. So far, since Jesse was taken, the bear has been pretty silent, so that is good. The broadcasts have been coming in louder…and yet right now they are more easily ignored. The children say the bear needs to sleep more, and I find myself more inclined to believe them lately. To be honest I have been feeling really down now that Jesse is gone. Maybe I should talk to the psychiatrist about this. Not about Jesse, obviously, but maybe about my moods. He seems rather eager at times to give me more drugs sometimes, and I should try to hold it together for the girls.

Anyways, I have to be extra careful to keep this teddy bear away from [Patient J].

Entry 10

[Patient J] is here. He is just as nervous as he was at the asylum. Oddly enough, the bear is not calling for me to give him to [Patient J] so far.

Entry 11

The trips to the playground as I close my eyes have become rather depressing. Only the girls are there of course, but that is obviously not the reason. They don’t seem to appreciate the new card games I teach them and instead they usually run off to chase each other with sharp implements. Sometimes they try to entice me onto the nightmare of a merry-go-round, but I would prefer to not vomit in my sleep. Sometimes Beth will leave her playmate to sit at the edge of the playground and stare off into space. I try to tell Theresa not to worry when she does this, and at least she appreciates some of the stories I try to remember from my youth. Old yarns the grown-ups would tell me, you know. But even then I half expect to see Jesse walking back to the playground.

The other night while the girls were playing their own games, I spotted the large black bird standing out in the endless field beyond. After telling myself over and over this is all still just some odd dream, I walked out of the playground and towards the bird. Behind me, I could hear the giant Captain Cuddles rise to his feet and the sounds of the little girls scampering towards him. I kept walking though. I had to have some answers, even if I knew they would probably only make sense in this strange world my brain had conjured up.

After what seemed an impossible distance I was a good stone’s throw away from the critter when it hopped up closer to me, no longer the giant winged beast, but merely the size of a large black bird. It cocked its head to the side as I looked it over, and then emitted a low raspy laugh from its beak that sent chills down my spine.

You seem perplexed by all of this, I heard its voice in my mind, smooth and cultured. It had an accent to it that I could not place, yet I understood its words perfectly. I can see that your mind does not readily understand the difference between reality and the wild flights of your brain chemistry, so I shall forgo the usual game.

“T-the usual game,” I asked angrily. “What the hell are you? And what is this game? And where the hell is Jesse? Did he fail your little test?”

The game only allows for three questions. Jesse was wise enough to only ask three, and thus, no, he did not lose. I am simply known as The Raven, and yet I am much more than that. You could consider me the ruler of this realm, that giant plush toy back there one of my subjects, though a rather disobedient one. And Jesse woke up from this world, back in his bed, being fawned over by his concerned parents.

“Seems like you expect me to believe that,” I grumbled, now careful not to ask questions. This is just what I needed, another critter coming along and saying I’m “confused.” Just a nice way to say that it too thinks I’m crazy. I considered for a moment playing into this obvious ruse when I looked back to the playground and saw only what looked like the shimmering of distant heat in the air. As I looked back to the bird it hopped closer and looked up at me.

Don’t be too concerned. You are not connected to the bear like the children are. You will wake up on your own, no harm done, yet. It seems he is hiding from you too now, so sadly this is not the time that I find his little playground. I will though. As for you, your part to play in all this is coming to an end. Again, there’s no need for you to worry. You will not be the hero of this story. So I advise you try to relax.

With that this Raven flew off, without so much as a “Nevermore.”  I could not find the playground to return to that night, but the next night I woke up there again. The girls asked me what the beast and I talked about, but I felt it was best to not tell them. The bear could be right, he could just be a liar. And I could just be a loon in the end anyways. It’s too bad I have had to use up the extra pain pills to keep the bear at bay, from forcing my cooperation with headaches. It might be nice to put an end to all this.

Entry 12

The bear is gone! He is no longer in my dresser. I know what you are thinking but I did not just misplace him. Sure I thought it was oddly cold the other night, but that was because someone opened my window, probably from the outside. The doctors, the staff here, maybe even [Patient J] think they are so clever. They think I don’t know that this is all some sort of game they are playing. The truth of the matter is that I am well aware of what they are doing!

Last night, when they thought I was asleep, all of the staff came into my room. They watched me. Yep, that’s it, they watched me. All of them staring intently down at my bed and all I could do was try to close my eyes and pretend. Pretend to not see their true faces! Black, colorless eyes staring down at me! I know I am not a human, I am a thing they don’t understand. But at the very least they could let me rest. Let me take the smallest of breaks from the constant transmissions that have finally found me.

Oh yes, that’s a new thing. The man that my skull somehow resonates with is now talking directly to me. He’s all too eager to explain to me how weak I am, and how I am learning to do a bitch’s work in the cooking and cleaning. And he keeps droning on and on about how I might be able to make it in this world if it weren’t for all the illegal immigrants who keep flooding into the country! Just like [C]. No, [C] is just a guy. He was born here. Whoever his parents are don’t fucking matter you son of a bitch! Stop it right now the people need to know what sort of evil this bear might bring upon the whole freaking world!

It is an Evil Thing that was never meant to be in this world!! If you find it you must burn it to cinders and then spread them far and wide!

Entry 13

[C] is such a great guy. Assuming he did not hide the bear. You see, it stopped asking to be with [Patient J], so I figured it had gotten smart. I asked [C] to take a look around his room. He did not find anything. So I took a look. The morning staff were so busy getting some of the residents in the home to go out to the school that I was able to walk right in. He is one messy son of a bitch, but I managed to do a thorough search. Nothing. No bear. Not even a stuffed rabbit.

I checked under the bed, in his dresser and closet. Hell, I made sure it was not in the damn bathroom. The transmissions tell me they probably search my room when I am not around. That’s no bother. He does not have the bear. It is gone. Furthermore, I have not seen the children since it’s been gone. I may never know what the Raven thing was on about, but the more I think about it, the more I realize He might be the only hope in all of this. No, I am not looking for some Hero to come save me! I am not some Mexican Harlot Gypsy hoping to be saved by Mr. Fucking Moneybags! Damn could you just tone it down for a few minutes!

I can’t think anymore, sorry. It took me a few minutes to get back to writing this. The transmissions are screaming their garbage into my mind now. The man knows my name. The bear is loose. Stuffed animals can’t open windows. Can they? If you find it, destroy it. With prejudice. It cannot be allowed to wrangle in more children. In the hands of a weaker person, it could make the streets red with human blood.

I hope you find this journal. I hope my words get out before it is too late.

End of Journal

It is very important that you keep reading.

Keep your eyes focused on the screen. The bear has escaped from Chuckles. And now…it is right behind you. Don’t look, just keep looking at the screen. Unless, the bear is now you!

LOL, just kidding. I have no idea what happened to the stuffed critter. Yeah, I have had a few weird dreams after transcribing all of this, but that is to be expected. Couldn’t get the weird bits in the margins and all into a text document, you know. I’ll see if I can find some pictures to keep you all on the lookout. Like Chuckles said, this thing is apparently not of our world and all. Oh, yeah, nearly forgot to tell you about him. You are probably wondering why my buddy is sending me the journal and all. Well, apparently some time after he stopped writing in the journal, he became even more of a fucking recluse. I mean, I would get depressed too if I had a teddy bear wander off on me. So, he gets real quiet, still being the model citizen there, and then one day he calmly walks into the kitchen and puts his hand down in a pot of boiling oil. Staff must have been making French fries or something. Obviously not planning on having fried Chuckles. He was sent to the ER and I guess will be sent to another mental hospital. Maybe back to the one I work at, yay! I’ll update you on him when I can.

I don’t know what to think of this Raven. I have read a few Rituals about this bird, but the mythology is all over the place, if you believe that stuff. Anyways, if anything comes up, I’ll keep you posted. Happy dreams!

Nightmares are the worst, right?