Unbearable

by Tom Williams

A girl, one year old, has a small plastic bear, which has a small plastic button. When she presses the button, the bear says things like "Can you find my leg," or "Do you see my tummy?" Should the child press the corresponding part, the bear says "Leg," or "Tummy," or "Ear," and so on. The baby, however, is unconcerned with finding appropriate body parts, but is quite interested in pushing the lively red button and does so repeatedly without letting the bear finish his questions. For weeks, the bear repeats "Can you see my, where is my, can you, can you," and starts to sound annoyed. In his sleep, he begins to grind his small but sharp claws, grit his teeth, and snarl "Can you help me find my head?"

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Tom Williams is the editor of Motel 58. He is also the author of faceOff and Bombing the House of God.