The Boy in the Bear

Oriole remained in a protractive state of girl until the day she died.
Hailing from a line of old and mad aristocracy from which sparks of an unusual closeness between third generation siblings, and a local festival of fireworks and drink collaboratively seduced the pair of fraternal lovers into a series of unnatural passions, which saw to the birth of a set of twins, one boy and one girl. From this beginning it seems only natural that at the age of eight Oriole entered into a state of mental arrest through which she would learn to interpret the world of adults, though she would never understand it. At times when her eyes would flood, her nose pour out that thick salted jelly and her cheeks became two burning roses Oriole would act without thought of consequence.

After one of these episodes Oriole could not remember having pushed Thom down the stairs. In fact she had forgotten about him entirely, lying at the bottom of the narrow stair case leading to the attic until days later when, tip-toeing, as she always did through the servants passage, she found herself creeping into the pungent odor of Thom’s excrement.
Due to the nature of the fall Thom had, as far as modern science can assume, landed in a fashion which caused a fracture to his thoracic lumbar; leaving him motionless from the waist down and waiting to be found.

That Oriole chooses to tip-toe through the servants passage bears no relevance to the thickness of the walls, nor how effectively sound travels through these hidden parts of the house; for Thom had cried out for the first day solid yet not a sound escaped through the thick blue stone. And so once found, dehydrated and soiled, the nursemaid dragged Thom down two flights of stairs, into his room where he was cleaned, clothed and remained for the rest of his days. From almost every point in the market place, directly below the house, Thom could be seen, his chest rising up and down, above and below the window frame as constant and measured as a heart beat.

Had a proper physician been called in sooner, rather than one of the boys Oriole used to play an erotic version of doctors with at a startling age, considering the experimentation undertaken under Oriole’s crisp white nurses hem, Thom may have come to sustain a more pleasant bed ridden life. However this was not to be, and so he was placed and remained in the thick leather cuff Oriole came to lovingly call the bear, on account of its grip.
The house remains, a tomb among flowers now in the care of the government. A gimmick. One of the many attractions of Britain’s constellation of the upper class and insane; when Thom passed on the board of tourism optioned to place a small hydraulic pump, dressed in the same leather torso cuff, which continues to endlessly reach up and down, above and below that window frame.

The Boy in the Bear

Hayley  Singer

Joined January 2008

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