Bear In The Big Blue House:

The FORBIDDEN LOVE Episode II

            From within the kitchen, Bear heard the door of his big blue house opening and wondered who had the gall to just waltz into his house without even knocking. He dropped the unconscious mouse he had been holding in his fist and headed into the hall to confront his visitor.

Upon seeing that it was his audience, Bear said unwelcomingly, 'Hello there.  Uh…  Oh yeah- what's that I smell?'

The large bear thrust his nose toward the viewer in not so much a playful but forceful gesture. He then straightened up, crossed his arms and leaned back on his heels, having found a decision on what he thought his nose sensed. 'You smell like refried bean-induced gas. Were you just at a Mexican restaurant or something? Are you Mexican? Or do you live by that one place with all th… Never mind.'

Bear began to walk into the kitchen. 'Come over here, I'm going to show you something.' Kicking the little blue mouse's body out of the way, Bear stepped in front of the refrigerator. 'Today is Ojo's birthday so I've got to bake a cake. You're going to watch.'

From the shelf Bear grabbed a large cookbook and laid it on the kitchen table. Muttering the instructions from the book, Bear found all of the ingredients he needed and began to mix up a batter.

'Errr…' he growled, looking up. 'So… What kind of cake would you make?' He waited. 'That's what I thought,' he said matter-of-factly. He didn't say anything for a long time after that and concentrated solely on the task at hand.

After the single-layer cake was done baking Bear left it on the counter to cool and walked into the living room. Treelow was sitting on the couch playing with the cushions. He had set them up to enclose him and within the soft walls he felt protected and safe from the Lumbering Monster. The sound of heavy footsteps outside his fort drew Treelow's attention and he peeked through one of the cracks. A giant belly swung near him and then the brown body turned. Treelow's vision was filled by the enormity of the object poised above him. It came down fast, he began to shout but the pillows around him trapped the sound inside. The Lumbering Monster sat upon the soft fort and the lemur within it was crushed. His head was pressed down into the fabric, it closed in on him and took place of the air he needed. There was a desperate gasp from within the pile of pillows and then one last weak trill before the lemur died.

Feet up on the coffee table, Bear relaxed on the couch. He leaned his head back and shut his eyes. His breath was a little off from walking between rooms. Dragging his ample weight even just a short distance was not easy. The thought of being out of shape never entered his head, though, especially not when a wise moon complimented him every night on what she called 'a most holy body'.

An hour later he caught his breath and returned to the kitchen. On the floor the little blue mouse still lay but now was starting to regain consciousness. Bear crouched down so low his groin brushed the ground and gave the mouse a stare with squinted eyes. Rubbing his head, Tutter waited for his eyesight to focus. When it did and he realized what fearsome thing squatted before him Tutter jumped back and shook in fright.

'I told you I'd be busy baking today,' Bear said in a deeply dangerous voice. 'Why are you still in my kitchen?'

The blue mouse didn't know how to respond if at all, but being the courteous mouse that he was an apology came out first. 'I'm sorry, Bay-er. I'm sooooo sorry.'

There was no change in Bear's expression.

'Get. Out.'

Tutter began to scramble away but lost his footing on the slippery linoleum and collided with a chair. To his horror it toppled over. The sound seemed to be amplified a hundred times and the chair looked much bigger as it lay on its side. Tutter's head jerked in Bear's direction. The tall brown bear was staring at the chair. The only sign on his anger was his furrowed brow. Finally he moved. Bear lifted the chair and inspected the floor.

'The linoleum… is dented.' He looked at Tutter. 'Again.'

He lost hold of himself and began to sob and scream at the same time. A small yellow puddle grew around him. Bear continued to loom over him, silent and with the same barely-angry expression.

Tutter cracked and screamed, 'So sorry… Lino-nol-no-lum-len… dented… but- stop! staring am-me!'

The little blue mouse began hyperventilating until Bear calmly kicked him through the mouse hole.

'Damn good shot,' he praised to himself.

The cake was now cool enough to be frosted and so Bear began doing so. He put all his concentration to it. This was his art.

Breaking through his artistic moment came the ring of the phone.

'Sweet Mother-!' Bear shrieked, slamming down the frosting cup.

Before another ring he had the phone in his had.

'Whoever you are, know that you've just interrupted my cake frosting moment,' Bear growled into the mouthpiece.

'I sure am sorry about that, Bear,' said the voice of Doc Hog. 'I was jus' calling to let you know that I can't make it to little Ojo's birthday party.'

'Well, that's-'

'Too bad. Yes, I know, but I just have too much work to get done.'

'I guess I'll see you-'

'Later? Yes, we'll have to get together another time. Be sure to bring along little Ojo.' The sound of Doc Hog licking his lips could be heard across the line.

'I'm sure she wouldn't-'

'Mind coming down to my office tomorrow? I quite agree. Send her along.'

'Ever want to see you and your masturbator eyes again.'

'What?'

'If you'd stop interrupting for one God damned second-'

'It'd make the conversation much longer? Yes, I know. Good thing I always know what you're going to say. I've got to get going. Goodbye, Bear.'

Shaking his head, Bear hung up the phone and returned to the cake.

An hour later, Bear, after relieving himself, headed for the bathroom sink. His mind on other things, he placed his hands under the faucet and into a deep pool of foggy water. Swearing, he withdrew and shook the filthy water from his hands. He wretched but pulled himself back together quickly. Bear could hear the sound of footsteps approaching the bathroom. Knowing precisely when to, he threw open the door and surprised the two otters on the other side. While they were still in shock, Bear swept them up in his massive arm, carried them into the bathroom, and then dropped them in front of the sink. Pip and Pop stood and gazed up at their oppressor.

'I think the sink is clogged,' Bear said.

The two otters looked at each other. They had just been swimming in the sink a few minutes ago and it hadn't seemed clogged. If it really was now then it had to be clogged with their purple hair, and if it wasn't then Bear was up to something.

'Get in there and fix what's wrong. Now!'

They scurried up the nearby stool and dove into the water. It really had gotten clogged but neither Pip or Pop could see what was blocking the drain. Shrugging to each other they turned to resurface. Nearing the top they began to see Bear's face. Once they could make out his cruel grin through the murky water it was too late. In a quickness usually unknown to the likes of his species, Bear grabbed both otters and held them just beneath the water's surface so they could still see his delighted expression. Soon they only saw darkness.

First wiping his hands on a towel, Bear left the bathroom and returned to the kitchen. Whistling a merry tune, he set the table for one. Just as he finished he heard someone giggling.

'Hee hee! Stop tickling me, you rascal!' said a familiar female voice. 'Oh, yes, hehe, yes, gimme my sugah…'

'That's shadow,' said Bear. 'Hey, Shadow! Where are you?'

'Over- hehe- here!' In a quieter voice: 'Get outta sight while I do some business with this guy.'

He found her on the refrigerator door, readjusting her shirt. 'So you got a story for us today, Shadow?'

'I sure do, you silly ol' bear! Just you listen to this.'

One day a squirrel, named Charles, had wandered too far from it's home. Hopelessly lost, it approached the first animal it saw to inquire about his whereabouts. This happened to be another squirrel and his name was Greg. Greg explained to Charles that he too was lost so he couldn't help him. They got to talking and eventually fell in love. Finding a cozy tree, they shacked up together in a room below an owl's home. Every night they would have crazy parties but they never invited their upstairs neighbor. One day, Charles discovered a leak in the roof and visited the owl. This owl, who called himself Roshambalah, and Charles fixed a leaky pipe together and then began an affair. Greg found out and jumped from the tree to his death, Charles died of a drug overdose and Roshambalah succeeded in fulfilling his childhood dream of becoming a magic word used in a horror movie, but afterward suffered failure after failure in his pursuit of a meaningful life.

'How did you like that?' asked Shadow once the shadow play was through.

'Are you looking for lawsuits or what?'

'Fine, screw it. Oh hee hee hee, I'll have something much better next time, but you'll have to catch me to get it outta me! HEE HEE!'

The shadow girl disappeared, much to Bear's relief. He was finding it more and more difficult to put up with that creature. If only he knew how to dispose of a shadow.

Shaking his head, Bear walked out into the hall and suddenly shouted Ojo's name. The little red bear didn't appear. Bear shouted again more forcefully and still Ojo was not to be seen. With an angry grunt, Bear stomped up the stairs and threw open the bedroom door so hard that the doorknob broke a hole in the wall. In the corner cowered the little one-legged bear.

As Bear approached her menacingly she screamed, 'No! No! For the love of God! No!' The larger bear ignored her cries and snatched Ojo up by her remaining leg. Held upside down she was dragged down the stairs and then sat at the kitchen table. She tried to get away but Bear forced her back into the seat. Bear then held up a finger in front of her, silently telling her to stay, or else. Full of fright and tearful, the little red bear remained seated and waited for when the Bear's cruel game would finally come to an end.

The cake was dropped in front of her and Bear motioned for her to blow out the candles. Ojo looked around for her friends and wondered why they weren't waiting for them.

'Where is Tut-ter? Pip and Pop? Treelow?' she asked hesitantly.

'Not here,' Bear huffed.

'Wh-why?'

'You wouldn't want a bunch of corpses at your party, would you?'

'How could you?' The little red bear sobbed and shook her head. 'All dead… they're all dead? Dead?!'

'All dead, Ojo.'

Screaming, Ojo pushed the cake off the table and thrashed at the cups and cutlery. Eventually she fell out of her chair and the impact knocked her into stillness. Looming over her, Bear grinned widely with obvious glee over her pain. One-legged Ojo crawled across the floor toward Tutter's mouse hole in hopes that she'd find him there. Upon seeing her pathetic struggle, Bear had to leave the room before he burst out in a boorish laugh. He ran up the stairs, the whole house shook, and then he was in the attic. It was almost time for Luna's visit. Bear stood on the balcony, anxious for the arrival of that untouchable orb of loveliness.

When she arrived he spoke up on a matter that had been bothering him.

'Luna, I've been thinking... I was thinking about how I'm always home, cleaning, baking, doing an occasional cha-cha-cha, taking care of a collection of youngish-type creatures. Doesn't this make me sound a bit… homosexual?'

'Oh bear,' Luna sighed in her husky voice, 'You're definitely not gay, sweet lover child.' She bobbed closer. 'If only I could physically convince you…'

'This is absolute torture!' Bear clutched the flesh over his heart.

'Be calm, Bear. Why don't we sing a little now?'

'Yes.'

Together they sang the goodbye song and once it was finished Luna closed her eyes in ecstasy and drifted off. Bear sighed heavily and went back into the attic.

'What a day this has been! All that follow will be rather boring in comparison. Whatever will I do? What do you think?' He waited, and then said, with that devilish grin, 'Yeah, that's what I thought.'

Bear turned off the light, stood still for a moment, then turned it back on and jumped back around. He jutted out his conical face with an invading stare. 'That's what I thought.' Nodding once, he punched the lamp. It fell over and the bulb broke. In the darkness, there was only the sound of Bear's deep laughter filling the house.

THE END