Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 6, Part 2.15

Posted by harmony0stars on August 11, 2010

Glory hadn’t seen her teddy bear in… over a decade. She’d been very upset when he’d gone missing, though she wasn‘t exactly sure how old she‘d been any more. Their father had given both his girls one after he returned from some trip. For the longest time, she’d suspected her sister of taking him to replace her own identical bear. It had gone flying off into traffic during a family trip thanks to Lori‘s habit of hanging it out the window to ‘wave’ to passing cars. As she’d gotten older, Glory had decided their mother had removed it to keep her identical twins identical and to stop Lori’s whining.

Feeling unsteady, she dropped into her chair and stared at the bear lying propped up among her books. She’d forgotten about her father. It boggled her mind. How could she have done that? For years she’d maintained she had no memory of him at all, but the bear brought it back in ways her grandmother’s story had failed to do.

Unlike her mother, her father had always known the difference between her and her sister, and had never mistakenly called her Lori no matter how their mother dressed them. Her memories came in pieces, a pair of long fingered hands which would lift her up high, her father’s ready smile when she‘d bring him a leaf or rock or book. It didn’t jive with her grandmother’s story. There’d been nothing sinister about him. What she didn’t remember, was her parents fighting or anything that might explain why her father had left them.

The bigger mystery however, was where Mr Burr had been up until he appeared in her room.

Isn’t it obvious? Phoenix spat. Your grandmother said he hunts children. This is a threat to yours.

But where did he find my bear? How would he even know about Mr Burr? She stared at the bear with a mix of loathing and longing. Finally she picked it up and gave it an experimental squeeze. It was just a normal teddy bear.

A coincidence, he said dismissively, even as she poked a finger in the hole where Mr Burr’s right eye used to be. Her sister had pulled it out on one of the many occasions she had stolen the bear. Such toys are common among human children, even missing an eye. He could have found one anywhere. She didn’t quite believe it, but it wasn’t impossible. Mr Burr’s fur was just as soft as she remembered though, and he still smelled like Cheerios. That could have been a coincidence too…

Tucking the bear under one arm, she started to gather the scattered books but stopped with a muttered curse. The little black book with its pristine white pages was missing. She looked on the floor just in case it had fallen, but it was well and truly gone. What kind of monster leaves teddy bears and steals books? With a hiss of irritation, she dropped the bear onto the bed and gathered the remaining books. She should have examined them in the vault in the first place. She was getting lazy.

***               ***               ***

Glory did not tell anyone about the attack in the night. It would have been senseless to worry them about something she had averted. If the Slender Man was as persistent as her grandmother had said, then Robert would need all the confidence he could muster that the protections would work. On the other hand, it was past time to tell them about Lori, especially if she was back in town.

She set out three plates. “Did… Scott say anything about my sister at all when you were still at Miskatonic?” she asked as she divvied up the sausage and scrambled eggs.

“Not really. I mean, I overheard him talking about you, and he mentioned her…”

Glory nodded, not looking anyone in the eye. Robert knew about her sister, but she hadn‘t told him the whole story. “My sister is… we’re twins, and she’s been completely psycho our entire lives. I think our mom made it worse by trying to make us dress alike and giving us matching names… you know, the twin thing.” She waved her hand as if to dismiss old errors. “I guess the best way to describe her is… pathologically jealous.”

It was hard to get started. She wanted to warn them about Lori without making them feel sorry for her. She skimmed over the details of their childhood, focusing more on what Lori had done to their mother before she fell into telling them about Aaron and then Phoenix.

Ironically, when all was said and done, they were more concerned about Phoenix than some psycho twin who’d been missing for over a year. “But how does that work, exactly?” Ann asked. “I get how it can burn things to get energy. That’s basically what we do when we eat. We burn calories. But what stops it from burning you up, and how does it feeding off of you allow it to sustain you. It doesn’t make sense.”

“That’s what I thought when she told me,” Robert added with an air of vindication. She hadn’t been oblivious to the look on his face when hadn‘t served herself any breakfast.

“I honestly don’t know. There are things about him that worry me more than my lack of appetite. He’s very mercenary, and most of the time, I don’t think he tells me everything he knows. I don’t trust him, and I want him out, but the only way to get rid of him would be to pass him on to someone else, and I’m not going to do that. Whoever I gave him to wouldn’t even realize he was pulling their strings, let alone have any clue about preventing it.” If Phoenix cared about her description, he didn’t let on.

“But… isn’t he listening to everything we say?” Ann asked suddenly. She sat up straight and eyed Glory as if she might sprout a second head at any moment.

“Can’t get around that,” she said. “But he only has as much control as I give him, which is to say, none at all. I just felt you should know about him. You don’t really have to worry about him, but I do. He’s dulled all my senses so I’m not even tempted to eat, and when I do he whines about it… incessantly. So you‘ll forgive me not joining you unless we have company.”

“But you cooked for us,” Ann said. “And you can’t even eat it?”

“That I don‘t mind. I’m going to figure out how to get rid of him eventually,” Glory said with a shrug and a shy smile. “But so long as you live in my house, you’re as good as family, and I don’t mind taking care of my family at all.”

to Book 6, part 2, page 16

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4 Responses to “Tattoo Book 6, Part 2.15”

  1. here2read said

    spooky teddy… can’t believe she just left it in her room!!!

  2. Fiona said

    Well, I did not expect the cliffhanger surprise to be a teddy bear!
    I think I have a good idea who put it there…

    • Hehehe, I am evil. If it was a cliffhanger you expected, it wouldn’t be much of a cliffhanger. Still, a teddy bear she hasn’t seen since she was small is pretty creepy.

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