Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Turn Around - by Lynne Phillips (Flash Fiction 2021)

 Lynne Phillips’ stories have been published by Zombie Pirate Publishing, Black Hare Press, Fantasia Divinity Publishing, Our Wonderful Anthology, and in various online magazines. She enjoys exploring the craft of writing stories and the challenge it presents. Her passions are reading, writing and keeping fit. Connect with her on https://www.facebook.com.lynne phillips.505

 

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Turn Around


by Lynne Phillips

 

The caretaker’s gnarled fingers turned the brass key and pushed the heavy door open.

“The old house has been empty for decades. Albert left after the unfortunate accident with his wife and son.”

Henry followed him through the door, staring up at the high entrance and sweeping staircase. “Is that where the accident happened?”

“Yes, most unfortunate it was. The boy was climbing on the stair rail and fell. His mother tried to stop him falling and fell too. Both died the minute they hit the tiles below. Albert was never the same again. He locked up the place and left us as caretakers. We’ve done our best to look after it.”

A shiver ran down Henry’s spine. His mother would say someone walked over his grave. He tried to shake off the thought; he was lucky to inherit such a grand house.

“You know, you look a lot like your uncle.” The caretaker’s voice echoed in the entrance hall.

“I’ve been told that before, but I never met him. He was always travelling abroad.”

“There’s a portrait over there, check for yourself.”

Henry looked at the stern man whose eyes stared back.

“I hope I don’t look as scary, but I can see the similarity.”

 “I’ll leave you to look around. The wife has cleaned everything except the attic. There’s food in the fridge and a generous wine cellar.”

The old house held many treasures. Henry explored every room. The attic was locked, and he couldn’t find the key. He wandered over to the caretaker’s cottage. Maisie, the caretaker’s wife, wiped her hands on her apron.

“Albert locked it after the accident and gave me the key. He said evil was locked away, so I never opened it.” She handed Henry a heavy brass key.

 The attic was empty except for a teddy bear covered with dust.

“I had one like this as a child. I wonder if this belonged to my cousin.” Henry dusted it off and pulled the cord in the bear’s tummy.

“Teddy bear, teddy bear turn around, teddy bear, teddy bear touch the ground........”

The jingle made Henry laugh. “Come on old chap, you don’t want to be locked away here on your own.”

Henry placed the bear beside his bed and went to the pub for dinner, coming home late. His head spun.

 “I think I drank too much.”

He fumbled around in the dark and fell onto the bed fully clothed.

I saw you push him.” Henry woke with a start.

“I saw you push them”

The room had an eerie red glow. Henry realised it was the bear’s eyes.

“Albert, I saw you push them both down the stairs.”

“No, you’re mistaken. I’m Henry, not Albert.”

The bear floated towards Henry. “I saw you. He loved me.”

 In his drunken stupor, Henry backed away from the bear’s baleful glare. He stumbled out the door and fell backward down the stairs, his neck broken.

“Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around....,” the bear chanted.

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