He had been placed there against his will, with no consideration for what he might have wanted after being forced into this world via the factory. Assembled together of synthetics and stuffing. He never wanted to be here; they should have consulted him. They should have asked. But no, he was slapped with a tag and sent on his way, just another number in the production line. Riding in that truck with all of his brothers (or at least, they all looked like brothers with nary a sister in sight), he could feel a sheet of doom start to cloak him. Wherever they were going, it was not going to be good. How could it? The manner of transportation–a dark, dank, overcrowded vehicle–was already telling. He wished he had the ability to jump out, to just roll right off and get run over, sending him into oblivion.
How were the others not panicking? Didn’t they know the end was nigh? Or was he the only one equipped with sentience to intuit that? He didn’t have time to wonder why he was the only one cursed with something like a brain (one he would have happily given to the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz). For no sooner was he wondering what horror would happen next than he was being tossed out onto the sidewalk near a storefront. A cafe and bakery, to be exact. The stout and scurrilous proprietor, Jean-Jacques, was setting up the chairs and tables outside, bracing himself for the morning rush. The bear was also about to endure the brunt of that human surge. Tossed into the frying pan without so much as a warning about how to withstand being cracked.
And oh how the humans wanted to crack him. All day, sitting beside or in front of him, gab, gab, gabbing away. In that annoying French accent of theirs. He couldn’t believe they weren’t forcing themselves to talk that way, that it came naturally. He had to at least thank the factory gods that he wasn’t equipped with a voice box–for that would mean he, too, would speak like them. While his muteness spared him the embarrassment of sounding ridiculous, it did not help in being able to advocate for himself with regard to getting out of this highly unpleasant situation. There were rare moments of silence during the lulls between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and the evening. But it wasn’t enough to recuperate from the sheer banality of the average Cro-Magnon conversation. Their discussions of petty workplace concerns, the “accomplishments” of their children, material desires–it was all pure drivel. How was actual vomit not coming out of their mouths as opposed to these meaningless words expressing nothing? In fact, the bear felt he was expressing more with his two button eyes–which he was certain were emitting disgust every time someone dared to look at him, take pictures with him, touch and squeeze him and generally treat him like a plaything created for their entertainment. He supposed that was, indeed, his “purpose.” But as noted before, he wasn’t asked. A being should get to consent to being an unpaid whore before actually becoming one. It would be the decent approach. The bear was still too naive to understand that decency never played into anything in this life. The life among the humans.
Months passed and he felt as though their conversations and touchings would cause him to wither away from irritation. He could start to feel something coursing through him. But because he had never known the sensation of blood boiling, he couldn’t fathom what was happening to him. That he was slowly but surely developing certain human qualities. Parts of the stuffing inside of him were forming into veins. If these people kept caressing and photographing him, he was sure to come to life and kill them all.
One night, after he had been put inside with the chairs and tables, he began to flex his muscles, all part of a plan that would allow him to either crawl or walk right out of there. Just when he thought he might be able to move, could feel himself on the verge, Jean-Jacques opened the door. Curious, the bear thought, he never comes back after closing. Again feeling some strange sense of dread wash over him, he tensed–for his muscles were becoming quite strong now. Watching Jean-Jacques turn on a small light and eye the bear with some expression he had never seen directed at him before, the stuffed creature didn’t realize he was about to be stuffed anew. Sure, he had been cast glances of fawning and loving varieties, but this was something different. Something more sinister.
Jean-Jacques pulled a knife out of a drawer in the kitchen and slowly ambled over to the shaking bear. Or at least he was sure he must be shaking, for everything inside of him was trembling with fear. What was happening? What fresh hell could he possibly be provided with now? Wasn’t the daily pressure of “communing” with others at the table enough already? The answer became, quickly, “no” as Jean-Jaques tore out a hole in his groin with the knife, anxiously unzipped his pants and started fucking him. Now that he thought about it, he supposed Jean-Jaques was a lonely sort. Married to the job. It never occurred to the bear that Jean-Jacques had such visceral needs beyond baking bread and making caffeinated beverages. It also never occurred to him that he would somehow end up being the outlet for those visceral needs.
When it was over, the semen on Jean-Jacques’ pénis made it so that bits of stuffing were stuck to it, intermixed with his cock hair like some bad version of a Santa beard. The bear wanted to run, as far and as fast as he could from this accursed cafe. Subjected to emotional and now physical rape on a regular basis. And for what? The moment Jean-Jacques left (after crudely sewing his crotch back together so that he would be presentable for the morning’s clientele), the bear sprung to his feet, now in possession of a force of will he (and most humans) had never experienced before. It propelled him out the door, as far as the fifth arrondissement, where, all at once, an insurmountable tiredness overtook him. He collapsed near a storm drain outside of yet another cafe. It didn’t take long for that owner to pick him up and plop him onto a seat at one of the outdoor tables.