The Man Who Was Twelve Bears (Flash Fic)

2 Sep

The Man Who Was Twelve Bears
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Ray Daley

A man comes to your house, he is wearing a grey suit. He pulls at his tie nervously as he speaks to your mother. She asks his name, “William Gibson” he replies. You later discover that he calls himself Twelve Bears, he is of the Navaho Nation. It is not a traditional name, he has not been named in the traditional First Nation way.

He was not named for the first thing his mother saw after giving birth to him. He jokingly says “Otherwise my name would be Hospital Ceiling.”

There are many other possible reasons why he calls himself this name. He may have seen twelve bears, he may have killed twelve bears. He may have even owned twelve bears at some point in his life.

You will later discover that none of these reasons are the correct one.

“My mother was a good woman,” he tells your mother. He insists on speaking to you in person but you refuse to come down the stairs, he looks very scary, afterwards you can remember telling your mother that. “It doesn’t really matter, there will be another day,” he says to your mother and excuses himself, leaving your home as quickly as he had entered it.

The following week you see on television that he has been arrested by officers of the Oak Ridge Police Department for the crime of murder. He has killed a boy the same age as you, leaving his mother as the only witness that he “had to kill Baby Bear“. He is still being called William Gibson by the news reporters. Only this time he is calling himself Thirteen Bears.

You will remember this forever.

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