Title: Child Bear
**Author’s note: It’s hard to write a single-page story that covers all the essential short story elements. I don’t know that I succeeded here, but it was fun to write.**
Fur. Fur everywhere. Fur in the mouth.
Brian scooped and parted hay, scooped some more. The ring must be here somewhere.
The baby bear grunted and shook. More fur. More shit.
The mother bear was still inside, eating. If the baby bear made a noise of complaint, momma would be out here and on Brian before he could move. He had seen her strides, long and purposeful.
But the ring. He would not leave it.
“Part One is where you love me,” she had said, and slid the ring on his finger. They had fucked then, all arms and legs and sweat and the sweet, glorious stench of it.
And that grin. Brian now matched it with a grimace as he plunged his hand knuckle-deep into a mound of bear shit. “Part Two is the heist.”
The ring came from the heist. Brian thought Part One should be the heist and Part Two the ring, since the latter blossomed from the first. But she was quirky, and she had insisted. Part One is the ring. Brian happily let it be so.
But then, this morning, the beast had swallowed the ring with the milk that still swirled around in its young mouth, and now the ring was gone – or it was somewhere among the child bear’s shit.
“Finally,” Brian said, finger grazing the ring among the thick feces. “Part Three is the shit.”