NOTE: This piece is considerably darker than those I have previously posted.
The knobbly, wooden hands bent as twisted as though they were flesh. Weilding a small pair of shears, they precisely began to snip at the stitching. Sharp intakes of breath accompanied the work, eventually turning to a whimper as stuffing began to be removed, one small tuft at a time. The hands continued to snip and unstuff slowly, almost gently, as the whimpering became sobs. One arm hung limply, emptied of all its contents. The hands moved to the other arm, then to the legs, saving the torso for last. The process took time, and brought a smile to the tormentors face.
Through quivering lips, the bear found her voice.
“Why are you doing this? I don’t even hunt your kind.”
Please, give me back my stuffing.
These words were in her head; she no longer had strength to voice them.
Time passed before the bear was emptied, saving only the head. She awaited the worst, but the thing put the shears aside. It stood back, turning its head this way and that, inspecting the work that had taken so much time.
End it, she thought. Don’t leave me like this.
It took her down from the strings that supported her through the ordeal and began to walk after folding her across his arm. She hung there, swaying with each stride, as though it were carrying a light jacket.
It was some time before he stopped. She looked around at the world, inverted from her position. Through blurry eyes, she saw them: Dozens of bears and other animals hung in the trees, across bushes, and all with only the stuffing in their heads remaining. Realization dawned on her. She would join these trapped souls for all time.
The creature tied string about her arms again, looped them over a tree limb, and left her to sway in the wind, trapped in her own body, for all time.