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Miss Cuzzle

Childhood, it’s a short period in your life that everyone does go through, whether it be bad or good. Childhood is supposed to include family, beginner friends, tons of toys, and all the happy moments that should be stuck inside of your head forever. Just as it is told, I do have memories of my own childhood stuck inside of my brain, like it had been mushed together with a layer of glue and left to dry. I suppose I’m fortunate to even have such memories of a childhood with me. Though, my memories aren’t exactly the best, “I got this, and I got that, my childhood is amazing..” type stuff, if anything, my parents were always busy, far too busy to even speak with me. It was all work with them, all stress. My friends, who were always outside, would commonly make me the last wheel in all of their activities. It did bother me to the point that I would just quit playing and do my own activities.

So, when she appeared and asked to be my friend, I did say yes. I remember her the most out of all of my memories, especially since I was only six. I couldn’t forget her, I still cannot forget her, no matter how much that I desire to. Her small brown form, her baby blue buttons for eyes, and the bow on her head is still inside of my brain. She had been a part of my childhood, one which ultimately haunts me to this day. It was nighttime, and the only thing which bothered to greet my body was the moon. My window, which was partly cracked, allowed air to softly come through. The echo of crickets and frogs seemed to ricochet from wall, to wall. The curtains, which swayed as the air softly blew through, made flapping noises as they went back and forth.

Under the blankets, my small form laid. My head, which I was always scared to have visible, remained tucked under my white blanket. Like most kids my age, I had a fear of monsters in the dark, almost as if I was expecting to be grabbed up and devoured like a Happy Meal by some savage beast. It was almost like a protective shield in my young eyes, to be covered up like that. I could feel a shiver go up my spine as the cold breeze touched me lightly, making me tuck into a protected ball.

Being so frightened at the time, I could only continue to repeat the same phrase, “Monsters don’t exist, monsters don’t exist.” I would whisper. Almost every single night as I fell asleep, I thought it would protect me from anything out of the ordinary. It did work, at least in my little mind, I was safe from them all. I was protected underneath of my thin blanket, as if it would make me invisible.

As minutes turned to hours, I would drift off into nothingness, going silent, asleep. It was one of the best feelings that I could get, and the only moment where I didn’t feel terrified. I would sleep for hours on end, at least until a random sound would make me snap awake. A red ball, which I had on my desk, smacked against the ground due to the air blowing through. It, according to what I woke up to, landed on a firetruck I had, setting it off to make a loud siren noise. I remember my eyes snapping open, and I bolted out of my bed as fast as I could. My first instinct, especially when something happened, was to run to my parents. Frantically, I pounded on their door, which made a groan emit from inside. “Mommy! Daddy!” I remember crying, looking like a soggy mess with tired eyes. It was a mistake that I did then. As the door opened, my father stood there, looking down at me with his tired eyes.

“What is it?” he would ask, commonly making me want to dive back into my room. His husky beard, and his deep, dark eyes seemed to catch my attention.

“I have work tomorrow Eugene, you know this.” he would continue. My contorted, sobbing face could only stare up at him as I continued to shake endlessly. His deep eyes only started to get more upset.

“Did you wake me up because of some childish reason? I don’t have time for this.” he spoke, “Get back to your room, and rest. Let me sleep.” his voice, which managed to rise in tone, made me sob harder. It was a major mistake to wake up my parents, especially after they had work. Everything was work for them, and getting them frustrated after such a long, restless day, only seemed to be more trouble than it was worth.

“Get to your room, you're okay.” He had told me, just trying to calm me down. He moved to close the door. I was scared, so very scared, but I turned around and made my way back down that hallway and back into my room. I hesitated along the way, moving my head from around the corner of my door to look in, just to see the fire truck. Its siren was still blaring loudly, and I gave a soft sigh of relief. It was only that, and I had realized it. I walked inside and grabbed it from my shagged carpet, turning it off with a press of a black button. After I sat it down, I moved back under the protective covers of my bed, falling asleep for the night.

The next morning, I carried myself down the stairs in a tired daze. The sun seemed to glare at me from the windows, making my eyes close shut for a minute. I could hear my father’s voice from the kitchen.

“You need to take more action with our son.” he said, “He doesn’t have any friends. He’s always waking up at night, waking us up in return-”

“Listen to me, he is only six. He’s obviously nervous to go out and play with the other kids too. I see them always leaving him out.” My mom would reply.

I could hear the frustration in the both of them, especially as dad walked out the door for work. I then walked into the kitchen just to see my mom typing away on her computer. Her eyes looked just as tired as my dad’s, they always were. Unlike dad, she did most of her work online at home, she was always typing away on her laptop without rest. She moved to grab her coffee, looking away from her laptop for a single second, before looking back.

I put my hands together, “Mommy?” I asked, just wanting her attention for once. I heard her grunt in response, giving me that look she always did.

“Hey sweetie, I’m sorry, but I’m really busy right now.” She told me, continuing to type away while sipping from her cup. I could feel the hurt go through me, yet again, it was the same response as always. But unlike dad, she did have a much calmer response towards me. “Why don’t you go and play outside? Your friends are out there.”

Remembering what she said, I tried to speak, “Mommy, you know they are mean to me.”

She gave me a look, followed by a deep sigh, “Please, Eugene, go out and play. At least go outside.”

Without anymore questions, I did what she said. I didn’t wish to make her more frustrated than she was. Her eyes remained locked on her laptop as I grabbed my sweatshirt from the wall, making my way out of our brick home.

Once I arrived outside, I could see my friends on their bicycles, each laughing at each other as they cycled around. I gave a soft sigh and ran out of my yard, right into the road to greet them. Once they saw me, they seemed to pause. They always did pause and suddenly go quiet when they saw me coming. I bet they even wished for me to go away. No matter how much I tried to greet them, they would act very funny.

“Hey guys!” I would attempt to greet them, just to hear the oldest of the group snicker.

“Hey Miles, you don’t have a bike still?” He asked, soon getting the others to snicker too.

With a frown, I could only lower my head. Even though my family worked, they still never got me the bike that I desired. I could understand, however, life did have downfalls. One of my other so-called friends, smirked.

“Hey, if you can catch us, you can play with us.” He laughed, the others quickly started to follow.

“Yeah! Try to catch us!” The oldest boy said, starting to peddle away with the others following behind.

Being my small self, this was an immediate sign of rejection. I didn’t even bother to chase them as they peddled out of my sight, it was too common of an occurrence. I only lowered my gaze and walked away, not wanting to pester anyone anymore. I moved to my porch and crawled underneath into the muddy surface. Under the porch was my secret spot, it was where I would go to just avoid the sight of everyone. Avoiding the sight of even my own family, friends, it was very calming. Though, I could feel a burning sensation go through my eyes, causing me to tuck my face into my legs. With a hiccup, I started to cry, all of my emotions caved in at once with no remorse.

I desired attention from my family, I desired to have good friends, I just desired to have a good day for once, like before my parents got so wound up in their careers. I just wanted someone to talk to, just for a single second. So, I started to speak.

“I wish that I could have a good friend!” I sobbed, my words sounding like a cracked mess, “I want to not be pushed away!” I continued, my face remaining stuck on my knees.

I couldn’t continue, everything I was saying slowly became unrecognized as words. My muddy jeans slowly became soaked in my tears, it was a horrible feeling. For hours I remained under that porch, crying to myself, venting about all of the stuff which had occurred, all alone. By the time my mom took notice of my crying, I was already out from under the porch. Once her eyes caught sight of my muddy self, her face seemed to twist.

“Eugene?! What in the world!?”

I could feel her eyes stare me down, from head to toe. I felt my body tense up as she walked down the porch stairs, grabbing me by my shoulders.

“What is this? Who did this?!” She asked with a serious tone in her voice, “Get inside.” She ordered, pointing to the door, “Take those shoes off too, please.” She continued to tell me. I knew that my mother was mad, after all, I was covered head to toe in mud. Deep, thick, stinky mud.

I slipped my shoes off. With the want to not be confronted leading my mind, I made my way quickly inside. Big globs of mud fell from my pants, landing on the soft carpet as I went up the stairs. As expected, my mom did take notice of the mess that I had made. I could hear her heavy footsteps.

“Eugene!” She opened up my bedroom door as I slowly removed my muddy clothes.

“Eugene, have you been under the porch?” She asked. “I told you to not go under there anymore!” She explained, beginning to lecture. She opened up my dresser and placed down some new clothes for me. “God..” She would groan while picking up my muddy clothes, “Change into those new clothes, please Eugene.”

With that final sentence, she left me, vanishing back down the stairs. I could only stand there, looking at my new clothes in silence. I threw the shirt onto the bed and slid the new pair of jeans on. Everything was quiet now, except for the loud slam of the washer being closed from downstairs. As time continued, the air started to move my curtain again and I could feel the breeze against my skin, giving me goosebumps in return. I walked over towards the open window, going to shut it just to see my so-called friends, each of them was in the road once more. They laughed, smiled, each of them were so very happy that I wasn’t around.

I felt a tear go down my cheek and I slammed the window shut, closing the curtains so I wouldn’t have to see them. I was hurting so greatly, little did I know, such a feeling would end up making my childhood turn into a movie, a movie from hell. After the window slammed shut, everything went quiet. I couldn’t hear their laughter, I couldn’t hear the typing on mom’s keyboard, it was all peaceful for once. I brought my small form against my bed and sat down in silence.

That’s when I felt something soft underneath of my bed. In surprise, I looked over and saw a fluffy, brown paw. I pulled my hand out from under the bed. The paw flipped around motionless, like a limp body. Many thoughts wandered through my mind as I had my gaze on it. My hand slid back under the bed, grabbing hold of something bigger. Once I pulled it out, my eyes widened, it was an average teddy bear. She had small, blue buttons for eyes, fluffy brown fur which made her have a cute look, a happy smile, and a string on her back with a gold hoop tied to it. I could only stare, I was very confused. I never did get a teddy bear, not even once in my life had I received one as a gift, yet it was in my room.

I gave it a look, and then peered at the golden hoop. I brought my small hand up, and pulled on it, “Hello!” a soft, squeaky voice came from the bear, “I’m Miss Cuzzle! What’s your name?!” She said. She looked so normal, so innocent while I held her. Once the yellow hoop regained its usual position, the bear went quiet.

Out of curiosity, I decided to pull the hoop once more, “I’m Eugene!” I answered, letting go of the hoop.

“Nice to meet you Eugene!” She spoke, catching me off guard. Most of the usual bears I would see in many stores would only say random phrases, but with her, she had appeared to learn my name. “Wanna play?!” She asked, her voice was very cheery. “Miss Cuzzle wanna be friends!” She continued.

“H-How are you speaking like me?” I asked, pulling the hoop once more, “You’re replying to me.”

Miss Cuzzle went silent as the hoop started to move back, before a soft giggle emitted from her, “Miss Cuzzle is an angel! Miss Cuzzle came to make Eugene happy! Miss Cuzzle like Eugene!” She replied. At that moment, I did believe her, if anything, it made me happy to hear her say that.

I held her soft form in my arms, “I’ll be your friend!” I told her, “I don’t have many friends, we can be friends!” I told her, getting excited to hear her words. She went silent once more, and I hugged her tight. That’s when I heard mom, who was walking up the stairs. Quickly, I tucked Miss Cuzzle back under my bed, hearing the door open slowly. Mom poked her head in, squinting her eyes at me.

“Eugene? Is someone else in here?” She questioned, apparently hearing the conversation between Cuzzle and I.

Slowly, I nodded, “I-I found a teddy.” I replied, seeing her eyebrow lift.

“Since when have you had a teddy? Where is it?” She asked me, looking at my eyes. I could tell that she was curious.

I pointed under my bed, “Don’t take her away, mommy.” I said.

Mom’s eyes moved towards the bed, and she got onto her knees. “Under here, hm?” She frowned and grabbed hold of the fabric of my bed, “Let’s see this teddy.” Quickly, she lifted the covers of my bed, but to my surprise, she was gone. The teddy bear, Miss Cuzzle, was gone. Mom’s expression slowly changed from tired, to serious. She turned towards me, “Just tell me the truth next time, Eugene.” She stood back onto her feet then turned to leave the room, “You kids and your wild imagination.” She chuckled softly.

I listened closely as her footsteps vanished into silence. I could feel panic rush through me. I quickly started to look around, “Miss Cuzzle?” I asked, “Miss Cuzzle, where are you?” I continued. I started to lift up all of my covers and other items. I threw my bed sheet, moved over to my toys, and emptied the box, nothing. Not even a sprout of her brown fur was found, and I grabbed my arms. She left, she actually left, so quick in fact. “Miss Cuzzle?” I asked again, hearing nothing but silence. I started to question myself, was she real? Was she fake, just a figment of my imagination? No, she couldn’t be, because I was holding her previously. “It must be because she is an angel.” I thought, in awe.

Day slowly turned into night, and it had been a few good hours since she had vanished. During the time, I was going downstairs for one last snack before bed. Mom was still sitting at the table, dozing off with her hand on her cheek. I brought my hand up, and shook her a bit, “Mommy?”

Her eyes opened halfway, and she slowly looked over at me, “Hm?” She hummed, tiredly, “What is it, sweetie?”

My eyes remained low, “C-Can I have a bedtime snack?” I asked, and received a sigh in return.

“One snack.” she answered, closing her laptop before getting up to get ready for bed. I moved to the refrigerator, opening it for a cup of pudding. As I reached in to grab it, I heard a creaking noise. I quickly grabbed hold of the cup of pudding and looked over at the sound. That’s when I saw something inside of a nearby cabinet. I gasped and held my pudding close, opening the cabinet the rest of the way. Nothing, there was nothing in there, though I could’ve sworn that I saw something. I closed the cabinet, just to hear mom.

“Be sure to finish up that pudding and go to bed.” She told me.

I shut my eyes and opened the lid of the pudding, quickly finishing it off. As I threw the cup away, mom bent to open the cabinet, looking around. She looked back at me and I quickly ran up the stairs. My small form shivered as I entered my room, and I closed my door. I sat there for awhile, pondering on what that was. I didn’t get a good enough look, so it was making me feel odd. I slowly moved away from the door, and got on my kneecaps, glancing under my bed. Once again, she wasn’t there. I frowned and decided to move under the bed more, just to hear the creak of a door. More specifically, it was my closet door, one which I had locked previously. I jolted up to my feet, turning around slowly to stare at it.

It was then when I saw that fluffy, brown arm dangle from the corner. It was her, Miss Cuzzle, but why was she hiding? That was one question that bothered me.

“Miss Cuzzle?” I questioned, walking closer to the closet. I grabbed the handle slowly, pulling it the rest of the way open. Her form fell from my closet, and laid on my shagged carpet in silence. One of her buttoned eyes were missing, I picked her up, pulling that hoop. “Miss Cuzzle, where were you?” I asked.

A pause arrived, then an answer came, “Miss Cuzzle was playing Hide and Go Seek!” She replied with her broken speech. “Miss Cuzzle loves to play that game!”

“Hide and Go Seek?” I lifted a brow, “I didn’t know we were playing a game.”

Miss Cuzzle suddenly fell silent, then I heard mom coming up the stairs. “Eugene? Are you still awake?” She asked.

“Y-Yeah mommy! I’m going to bed!” I shouted back, hearing her move to her own room, the door shutting as she entered. I heard the sound of breathing, and I looked at Miss Cuzzle.

“Miss Cuzzle don’t like your mommy.” She whispered. “Miss Cuzzle don’t like your daddy either.” She continued, her voice sounding less squeaky.

I will admit, after that, I did feel unsettled, “W-What do you mean Miss Cuzzle?” I asked, pulling the hoop.

“Miss Cuzzle formed because of how they are to Eugene.” Her voice sounded almost saddened, “Miss Cuzzle desires to protect Eugene, and keep Eugene happy.” She went silent.

“Eugene!” Mom’s voice rang through the hall, “For the last time, go to bed, please!” She repeated. I could hear her shuffling around in her room, possibly trying to get comfortable. It was in that moment that I saw something change in Miss Cuzzle.

“Miss Cuzzle will make mean mommy quiet.” She told me, her voice changing from cute, to crackly, “Miss Cuzzle will protect Eugene.”

I shook my head, “I’m okay, Miss Cuzzle. Mom is just tired, she works all the time. This is my bedtime too.” I tried to explain, moving onto to my bed. I lifted up my covers and slipped underneath, placing Miss Cuzzle at the bottom of my bed. She flopped over on her back, motionless, like a dead animal. I didn’t see her comments as a true threat, not even once. She was a teddy bear, an angel sent from heaven to protect me. Even so, I couldn’t keep her too close to me as I slept, I just felt somewhat uncomfortable.

As I leaned up and turned off my light switch, I looked at her still form once more. “Goodnight Miss Cuzzle.” I then shut my eyes, putting the blanket over my head once again, like all the nights before. I couldn’t feel a single shuffle, not even a single movement from her, which did assure me somewhat. Slowly, I drifted off to sleep, that’s when things started to change. The next morning, I woke up to nothing but silence. Miss Cuzzle remained on my bed, which did shock me overall. I was glad that she had remained, I didn’t want to “play” another game with her again. I didn’t really find the silence too odd, if anything, it felt like a relief. I leaned up and grabbed Miss Cuzzle in my arms, pulling the hoop, “Morning Miss Cuzzle!” I smiled, waiting for a reply.

She replied to me, “Miss Cuzzle glad to see Eugene awake!” She giggled, “Eugene have good rest?” She continued. I gave a nod and moved from my bed, all the way over to my door. I noticed something off very quickly, it was cracked open. “Miss Cuzzle, did mommy come in?” I asked, pulling her hoop.

“Miss Cuzzle don’t know! Miss Cuzzle was sleeping.”

Her voice sounded serious once again, “Really? Well, I guess I should go and eat.” I made my way down those stairs and smiled as I entered the kitchen. I quickly paused, on the counter was food, along with a note. I frowned, mom was nowhere to be seen, if anything, I was alone with Miss Cuzzle. As I touched the note, I read over it sloppily. Being six, I couldn’t read that well, “Gone.. to store.. made food.” I read off. Her handwriting appeared sloppy, almost unreadable, plus mom left her laptop clear open. I heard Miss Cuzzle giggle, and then peered at the laptop screen. I grabbed my pancakes, shutting the lid for mom, just so it wouldn’t run out of battery. I sat down on the chair, starting to eat my pancakes with a nervous stare. Miss Cuzzle remained in my arms, as silent as can be.

I moved over and sat her down next to me. That’s when I heard the slam of a car door, it was dad, he was home from work. I could feel my nervousness grow as I heard the jingle of keys move into the door. Dad walked in and sighed loudly, dark bags were under his eyes from the long day of work. Suddenly, I heard shuffling, and when I looked over, Miss Cuzzle was gone. Yet again, the bear, when she saw someone else, vanished. I was shocked, but when dad walked up, he grabbed the note and frowned.

“Did your mom tell you about this?” He grumbled, “She left you alone, no surprise.” He sighed, crumpling the note up in his hand. He threw it into the trash before walking out of the kitchen to the bathroom.

I began to glance around once more, “Miss Cuzzle? I don’t want to play a game.” I told her, noticing the cabinet cracked open once again. I stood and walked over to the door, opening it up. Miss Cuzzle laid inside, I no longer questioned it, but I knew that she must’ve been afraid of being found out. I noticed her behavior when my parents came around. She would quickly vanish, like the time in the bedroom, or when she was in the cabinet. Why would she hide like that?

“Miss Cuzzle, why did you hide?” I asked, wanting an answer. I went to pull the hoop, and then felt something wet on her back. I quickly turned her and noticed that her back had been cut by the cabinet drawer. Some stuffing was hanging out, but that wasn’t what got me. Where my hand had touched, there was sticky, red liquid coming from her.

My eyes widened, all I could do was stare. It was blood. I knew that it was blood, very sticky, disgusting blood. I pulled her hoop, and she made a deep, gurgling sound. “Are you okay Miss Cuzzle?” I asked, feeling frightened.

She continued to make the sound, before her voice returned, “Miss Cuzzle hurt..” She said, “Miss Cuzzle hurt bad.” She continued, huskily. I frowned and quickly took her outside by going through the back door. I grabbed her drenched stuffing, and pressed it back into the gaping tear.

“What happened?!” I asked, pulling the hoop.

She replied, “Miss Cuzzle got caught on cabinet.”

I brought my hand back as I finished pushing the stuffing back into her, it was covered in the red fluid. I ran to the side of my house to clean my hands off, sitting Miss Cuzzle down on a nearby trash can lid as I became focused on the task at hand. I brought my hand towards the hose, turning it on. I felt a type of relief once the red liquid slowly disappeared from my hands. I leaned down and wiped my wet hands on my shirt. Miss Cuzzle remained in her spot, not budging, not even when my friends rode by on their bikes. I leaned down and picked her form up into my arms. I turned around and walked out into the open, looking at the porch. Mom’s words echoed in my mind and I sighed, just to hear the ring of a bicycle go off.

“Look! Miles has a doll!” The oldest boy laughed, “His parents can’t get him a bike, but they sure can get him a doll!”

I could feel embarrassment build up inside of me, so I quickly ran up the stairs of the porch.

“Aw! Little baby, Miles!” A second boy said while laughing, “Where did you get it Miles? The garbage?!”

I could feel myself stop in place, I finally had enough. I turned around quickly, “She is an angel sent from heaven!” I cried out, not knowing what else to say, “Don’t be mean to me! She’ll-”

Before I could finish, the group started to bust into laughter, “He’s crazy!” One said.

“An angel?! Wow! That’s new!” Another laughed, all seeming to make fun of me as I stood on the porch in silence. I shook my head, then clutched Cuzzle tight.

“Shut up..” I whispered, shaking, “Shut up!” I started to cry, some tears did land on Cuzzle’s furry form.

Laughter continued to come, I could feel anger build up inside of me. I pulled my arm back and tossed Miss Cuzzle towards them. “Take her then! She’ll teach you!” I cried, running back inside. That, that right there was one of the biggest mistakes I could have ever made. I was upstairs for the rest of the day, only eating occasionally when I needed to. Of course, my dad was asleep and I could feel guilt build up inside of me. It wasn’t Miss Cuzzle’s fault, would she return to me or did I screw up my chance to have her again? As I pondered, I decided to crawl back into my bed. The best thing to do in this situation was to rest off the negative emotions. I say it was about an hour of turning before I had fallen asleep.

It was a rather usual night, the curtains no longer moved, and the window remained cracked. As I was asleep, I woke up to the sounds of a siren. My body leaned up.

“12:40AM?” I read off from the clock, the sound was starting to become overwhelming for my young ears. I sat up, standing to my feet. “Must be that fire truck.” I thought and I went to find the truck next to my closet. Instead, when I saw it, it was off. There wasn’t a siren, there was just absolute silence from it. That’s when realization struck me, especially as flashing red and blue colors shined through my window. I quickly ran towards it and glanced outside just to see about four police cars and an ambulance, all at my so-called friend’s house. The officers knocked on the door, seeming to wait for a minute just to knock again. Soon enough, one of them signaled to knock down the door.

With a loud, crushing sound, the door fell down in a rush. All of the officers had their guns pointed and ran inside of the home. Curiosity seemed to fill my body, it was a bad idea to go outside, especially during the current events, but I had to know what was going on. I then, quietly, ran down my stairs. As I arrived at the door, I unlocked it and then moved outdoors, trying to listen to the officers the best I could.

“This is the second one this month.” An officer sighed, walking out of the house with a body bag. My eyes widened, I could see the small outline of a human body inside, “No way an animal could’ve done this, twice.” He mumbled.

Two more officers came out with the mother of my so-called friend. Her eyes were huge and her body was stiff, as if she was paralyzed from head to toe. The officers slowly placed her on a board, picking her up to take her into the ambulance. Her mouth appeared to move, like she was trying to say something but no words were coming out. Nearby, standing outside, all the rest of the neighbors watched, each looking very horrified.

"A murder?!” One lady questioned. Another seemed to shake.

“H-He was so young.”

I slowly started to walk backwards into the house, fear coursed through my entire body. It couldn’t have been Miss Cuzzle, right? I threw her at him and told him off. If she did do this, then it would be my fault, all of it would be. I lowered my head and quickly ran back inside, my hands shaking as I closed the door. I stumbled up the stairs and bolted straight into my room. The lights continued to make my room flash red and blue, continuing to remind me of the body bag. It was my fault, all of it was, I didn’t have control of my voice and now he’s dead. All because I told him, “She’ll show you.”

I crawled under my covers, trying to shield myself from the flashing lights. Those lights continued to light up my room for a good half an hour or more, before my room slowly went dark once again. The sirens went off as they drove away, keeping me engulfed in the darkness of my room. It was at this moment that things started to come together. As I laid there, pondering on the situation, I thought about mom. Mom never returned from the store, and now one of my so-called friends are dead? Oh god, did they commit terrible sins? Did they get punished by Miss Cuzzle for doing such?

Mother was mean at times, and my so-called friend were continuously mean. Did they truly deserve their punishment? Was Miss Cuzzle really an angel at all?! Several thoughts continued to go through my brain, especially as I tucked more into my blankets. That’s when I heard it, a loud scream from my dad’s room, one which made my eyes nearly pop from my skull.

“No! Stay back!” I heard him shout, the sounds of a struggle echoed from his room to my own. I tightened the blankets around me. The blanket was my safety, I refused to move from it. I heard another scream, along with a loud slam against my door, followed by more slams as it seemed to go down the hallway. It echoed through my home, and then silence arrived. There wasn’t anymore yelling, anymore loud bangs, just ominous silence. My heart pounded in my chest, it felt as if it was trying to rip its way out. I thought that I would be invisible from the monsters if I just remained still. Sweat traveled down my face quickly, then I heard the door.

A loud creak arrived as it started to open, followed by small, short thumps. I tensed up, not wanting to budge even one bit.

“Miss Cuzzle know Eugene is there.” A deep voice said, sounding scratchy. I swallowed, refusing to move, she was probably just saying that to get me to respond.

“Miss Cuzzle know Eugene is there.” She repeated. I could see her upper half through the blankets, she moved closer. Droplets of liquid landed on my sheets, bleeding through to make dark splotches on the surface. She emitted horrible, loud sounds, almost as if someone was snapping their limbs apart and growling.

“Miss Cuzzle need a response!”

I started to scream as something sharp slammed through the blanket, pulling me off of the bed with a thud. I opened my eyes, and then emitted a loud shriek of terror. All around me was blood, all of the blood was soaked into my carpet to be a mushy, stinky mess. I looked around and Miss Cuzzle was gone. I heard things getting knocked over around me, followed by loud snarling as the fire truck started its siren. I stood to my feet and quickly started running from my room, heading to the kitchen without a second to spare. I could hear her following, picture frames started to fall and break on the floor as she came closer.

“Why is Eugene running?” She asked. A picture was sent flying by me, shattering against the wall into hundreds of pieces.

I looked around and slid behind a counter quickly, trying to catch my breath. Everything was happening far too fast. The moon glowed through the kitchen window, lighting up the room in a white hue. I could feel her near me.

“W-What are you!? What happened to daddy?!” I cried out, “I thought you were an angel!”

With that comment, laughter came in response, sounding all distorted and horribly messy.

“Miss Cuzzle is a friend of Eugene! Miss Cuzzle wanted to protect Eugene! Miss Cuzzle want to be friends forever!” She replied, pans started to get thrown across the room, landing on the tiled floor mercilessly. I covered my head.

“What happened to my daddy, mommy, and the neighbor boy?!” I wanted answers, at least something from this bear! Silence came, and the whole environment appeared peaceful for only a split second, before something slid across the ground next to me.

My eyes slowly turned towards the event, finding it hard to breathe.

“What happened?!” I screamed, seeing blood flowing from where it was. That’s when I saw her, I could feel myself becoming sickened as I looked directly at her rising form. I could hear snapping and ripping as she continued to grow, her buttons fell from her face to reveal empty sockets. Her soft, cute mouth became shredded and sharp, yellow teeth sprouted through her now open mouth. In the middle of her, as her top and lower half separated, a long spine grew out, lifting her upper half up into the air. Her brown fur had splotches of blood all over, and in her mouth was a large piece of dad’s clothes. I became numb, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her.

“Y-You lied to me!” I gasped, I was barely able to talk. It was then I found out the truth, she wasn’t an angel at all, but a freak of a demonic entity.

Miss Cuzzle’s neck cracked as she tilted her head, emitting a long hiss from her mouth. Blood puddled around her, all a deep shade of red. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t run, I could only just stare.

“Miss Cuzzle want to be friends forever!” She hissed, her jaw started to open like a snake's, all wide and long, just big enough to swallow something whole. I could hear her bones crack as she pulled back, she went into striking position.

“Miss Cuzzle don’t like Eugene’s parents! So Miss Cuzzle got rid of them, and bad bully!” She told me.

“Now, Miss Cuzzle wants Eugene to be her friend, forever!” She then launched towards me without a minute of mercy.

I let out a loud scream and ran to the left, watching her smash against the counters with a loud crash. I quickly moved into the living room, looking around for something to use. I saw the reflection of a lamp through a mirror and I quickly unplugged it from the wall, holding it in my hand like a weapon.

“S-Stay back! I don’t want to be your friend anymore!” I told her, watching her shadow cast onto the carpet. I could see her spine moving around swiftly, knocking things down as she started to climb up the wall.

“No friend?! Eugene don’t like Miss Cuzzle?!” Her voice became very low.

“Miss Cuzzle will make you friend!” She hissed, then dropped back onto the floor. She started to crawl towards me with her claws in the carpet. She was using it to push herself forward. I gasped, then looked around.

“You killed them!” I cried, and as she got close, I slammed the lamp across her head, watching it shatter to bits. She lifted and made a loud, ear shattering screech. Her screech, her angry, saddened screech made me cry hard. I used this moment to run out the back door, trying to make my escape. It was only a matter of seconds before she was right up on me again, chasing me down with her large, vicious form. She snarled, screeched, and cried distorted cries.

“Eugene!” She cried, her voice sounding like mom’s. I covered my ears, she was trying to mess with my head.

“No! No! Get away! I don’t wanna be your friend!” I told her once more. Yet again, she emitted a loud screech.

“Miss Cuzzle was formed from Eugene’s sadness, and anger! Miss Cuzzle took Eugene’s parents, Miss Cuzzle will take Eugene too!” She yelled.

As the cold air of the night touched me, I quickly slammed the door shut, taking off under the porch in a rush. I could feel the wet muck get stuck to my blood stained legs as I pushed my way underneath. The porch seemed like a safe place, it had to be. I covered my ears once more as the door opened from above me. I could hear her claws dig into the wood as she moved her way along.

“Eugene, time for breakfast!” She said, sounding like dad.

“Come out or you’re grounded!” She said, voice shifting to mom’s.

I covered my mouth as I could hear my breathing becoming loud. Red fluid slowly dripped from above me onto the soggy ground as she went along, some landed on my face as I watched her. I held my breath, seeing her two large claws wrap around the corner of the porch. Her two eyeless sockets looked directly at me from the cracks, and she gave a low, gurgle of a hiss. She then started to angrily rip at the wood with her claws and teeth.

I shut my eyes and prepared for the worst. I was so little, so weak. I knew in my head that I couldn’t fight her off, running seemed impossible. She snarled, then started to get inside.

I thought I was a goner, I knew that she would get in, so I started to repeat words.

“Leave me alone! I’m not your friend anymore! Leave me alone! I miss mommy! I want daddy! Leave me alone! Leave me alone! I’m not your friend anymore!” I kept repeating. I no longer desired attention from my parents, I no longer desired friends, I just wanted them back. I wanted mom and dad back, I could feel it deep in my heart.

“I want mommy and daddy!” I cried, hearing her move above me, her sickening stench made my face twist.

“Leave me alone!” I told her one last time. That’s when I felt it, something tight wrapped around me. I opened my eyes, then screamed. Her spine was wrapped around me like a snake, her upper half stared down at me, all while her body was squeezing me. I could feel my ability to breathe becoming harder, and harder. She started to lower her upper half, she was starting to take my upper half into her mouth.

“No! Please! I’ll do anything! Leave me alone!”

I could feel myself slowly vanish into her, going past her sharp rows of teeth. This was my fault, my parents were both gone, so were my so-called friends. I then felt her sharp teeth bite into me. It felt like several sharp knives were rapidly rubbing against my skin and shredding me. It was one of the most painful things that I have ever felt.

“I don’t like you Miss Cuzzle! I don’t want to see you ever again!” I shouted, screaming loudly at the pain.

I could feel one of my legs get slowly bitten away, getting torn, shredded in her sharp teeth. The only thing I could do was repeat my previous actions, chanting out those harsh words, I just wanted her to leave me alone.

Then, it happened, after I felt one of my legs get torn off with a sickening snap, she dropped my form onto the ground. She released satisfied noises, then swallowed. There, I laid, in the muck. My right leg was gone from my body, I was unable to run. I couldn't stop crying, I couldn't. She allowed her large tongue to lick away at her mouth, then slowly started to move above me once more. Then, I heard sirens coming, the same sirens from before. I gasped and Miss Cuzzle quickly turned her head towards the sound.

Outside, one of my neighbors stood, having probably heard my screams of pain and the loud banging from inside.

“Eugene?!” She asked, running over as fast as she could. She had her phone in her hand. I could feel a sense of relief wash over my frightened form. Miss Cuzzle looked directly at me, before quickly moving out from under the porch, and out of sight. She fled like a scared puppy, right around the corner of the house.

My vision was slowly becoming blurry and I sniffled.

“H-Help!” I replied, seeing my neighbor look through the big hole Cuzzle made.

“Oh my god, lord be with me.” She gasped as she noticed my missing leg. I could only cry heavily as she crawled inside, softly tugging me out of the muck. The policeman exited his car, then gasped at the sight.

“Jesus Christ-” He said, talking into his walkie-talkie, “We need an ambulance, a kid’s in bad condition.” He said.

“Okay, sending one now.” A voice replied.

I could barely see, my body throbbed with pain. My neighbor quickly sat me down and removed her jacket. She wrapped it around my whole wound.

“What did this, kid?” She asked, frowning at me. I tried to reply, but hiccups came out instead. I felt as if I had a large ball in my throat. I was still very confused about the current events. I only knew a few things; my parents were gone and that Miss Cuzzle was far from an angel. I didn’t feel safe, nor did I believe that Miss Cuzzle was gone. I continued to feel watched, even as the ambulance arrived that night, stopping not far away. I was placed on a stretcher and quickly lifted into the vehicle. Cops rushed into my home, all trying to find any signs of other life, but there wasn’t a single person inside of that house. All that they could find was blood, and lots of it. They even found articles of my dad’s clothes and my mom’s clothes down in the basement. As for myself, I was quickly rushed to the hospital and examined for signs of infection. Of course, I did lose my leg, I also suffered many scratches from Cuzzle’s sharp teeth.

When I was asked about what happened, I couldn’t tell them, as for mentioning it brought me more sadness and fear. I remained at the hospital for a good few months. As I grew up, I decided to join a local church group. It did help me push through such traumatizing events from the past. Though, I cannot forgive myself fully, as it was all my fault for her being formed. I was so negative, so desperate, and I attracted her for that reason. She fed off of the people that bothered me just to become a stronger entity. She ended up stronger the more I cried to her. Even if I’m now in a religious group, I can still feel her eyes on me. Luckily, since I joined the group, her efforts to take me away into the pit of her stomach simply shriveled.

I know that she’s still watching,that she is still around me. Sometimes, I feel like someone is breathing down my neck. Sometimes, I hear her giggle inside of my head, laughing at all of the people that I had lost. Even at this very moment, I can feel her observing me, stalking me, as for a demon never detaches from its prey.

Miss Cuzzle's true form