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Fluff

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Oh how I love fluff! I love the sight of fluff. Ever since I was little the sight of fluff has been the most beautiful thing in the world to me. From the way it looks to the way it feels, fluff was truly a miracle of God. My dad would give me strange looks, saying little boys shouldn’t be doing such inappropriate things, but I didn’t care. The fluff was just too beautiful.

People are constantly wondering what they were made for. They ask to the heavens trying to figure out what their part in God’s grand plan is. To those people I say keep searching, because when you do find it you will never want to forgo your role. It’s like you’ve been wandering through the dark your entire life and only just found the light. The only time I ever feel like I matter to Him, like I have a place in this world, is when I am holding fluff in my hand. The thought of going back to the dark frightens me right now. It frightens me because I know that’s not what God wanted for me. Why would he ever want one of His children to be lost in the dark alone and scared?

The answer is that he doesn’t.

Because God is kind, always trying to push us in the right direction.

I remember the first time I saw fluff. It was in one of my sister’s teddy bears. I never knew my sister well, but my dad loved her. That much I know for sure. When he and mom left for the hospital, leaving me alone in that house, I made my way to what would be her room.

It was nice. The wallpaper was a really pretty pink, and in the middle was a white crib my dad made. He didn’t want some store bought crib so he made one himself. He put so much work into it; it took him over a week to do. When I tried to help I messed up. I broke one of the legs he spent so long sanding to a smooth. I remember the broken end rolling on the floor like I remember the bruises afterwards.

Hitting wasn’t a new thing to neither my mom, nor me but I think that time I deserved it. Mom always said that this baby was going to change dad. That he wouldn’t be so angry and drunk anymore. She said that this baby would be the saving grace of this family. Dad would hit me for a lot of reasons I just didn’t understand, but that time I did understand. He was busy loving my sister and I got in the way. She deserved love that I tried to steal by breaking that leg.

I deserved to be hit like my mom.

And dad deserved the knife like me.

At the time I was young so I didn’t fully comprehend my own faults. I was angry, and in my anger I wanted retribution. I found one of the many stuffed bears that would be bestowed upon my unborn sister, and I brought it downstairs. Then I climbed up the counter and grabbed one of the knives mom would swing around when she was acting crazy. Then I sat there alone with the bear.

I had no idea what I was supposed to do back then. I thought maybe I should poke out its eye, so I rubbed the tip of the blade against the plastic dot. After a bit of time passed I decided to do what my mom always said and just stabbed it in there over and over. My first stab was weak, barley piercing the fur, but my second was better, and so was my third, and before I knew it I was on the path God wanted me. The sight still keeps me up in excitement: of the fluff flying through the air as I chopped my way through the bear.

How it gently floated to the ground.

How it was so light, and would fly back up with just a little push upward.

How clean and pure it was.

Oh God the fluff was so beautiful. I thought it would never stop, but the bear ran out leaving a thin furry clothe behind. There was only so much fluff that could be contained in that little body. I tried playing with the fluff that already came out, but it was dirty now. It had lost all of its original purity, so I acted rather mature for my age and cleaned up. God knows what dad would do to me if he found out. I was thinking of going up and getting another teddy bear, but then dad came back. He brought my little sister up to her crib and ignored me when I asked about mom. He just kept saying “Sweet Isabel. Beautiful Isabel,” and I figured out mom wasn’t coming back.

Most times dad would ignore me and just take care of Isabel, which I wouldn’t have minded so much if it wasn’t for the fact it made getting another one of her bears impossible. Yet eventually I found it and I got to see the fluff again.

But dad caught me and hit me calling me a sick freak and a monster for doing that to one of my sisters toys. He said I was just as crazy as my psycho mother.

That’s when I figured out I couldn’t get my fluff from the house anymore. I had to get creative, so I would go out and scour the neighborhood for what I could find. Dad, beside that one time he caught me, couldn’t care less about me. It wasn’t easy but I’d find things: sometimes in the trash, sometimes in the forest. I would find them and cut them open and just marvel at how the fluff spilled out. I learned there were different kinds of fluff. Some was super light, and would get caught in the air and just fly away. Then again there was fluff that was heavy, that would drop down to the ground with a wet flop. But the most important thing was that I didn’t get caught and hit again.

One day I saw dad sitting by an empty crib. Apparently he took Isabel to the hospital and didn’t come back with her, like the time he didn’t come back with mom. He hung his head downward, perpetually rocking it back and forth like a pendulum counting down.

I didn’t care.

The only thing I cared about was finding more and more fluff.

But one day God spoke to me. He proposed to me a question that would completely change my life.

Does everything have fluff?

Yes God! Everything is filled with fluff, and that’s part of what makes it so amazing!

Does everything have fluff?

Yes God! But I already gave you the answer didn’t I?

Does everything have fluff?

I didn’t know how to answer that time, but then it struck me. Everything was filled with fluff! Which means so was Dad! Dad was filled with fluff too!

After the hospital Dad would just stay in bed when he wasn’t depressingly looming over the crib like it’s shadow. So I made my way up to his room. He was sleeping, or at least I think he was sleeping. The room reeked of the strong and overwhelming smell of alcohol and there was an empty white bottle in his hand.

I think he was sleeping.

He didn’t move when I opened him up.

It was like that time with the bear and me again, so uncertain of what to do with the knife. I poked him a bit and he didn’t move. He just kept sleeping there as still as the bear. His skin was much tougher than the others, so I had to lean my weight to get a bit of fluff to leak out. There was something special about those few small specks. It wasn’t like the others; it glistened in the way I imagined gems would. With the knife I stabbed into his belly determined to see more. It was like plunging into a heavy water balloon that didn’t pop. I lifted the knife forward, cutting upwards as more and more fluff spilled out.

The fluff was beautiful.

Dad’s fluff was the most beautiful I had ever seen!

It sparkled and shined like nothing ever seen before. I would take handfuls of it and toss it up in the air, where upon it separated and would flop down on top of me. It was so warm against my skin. This must be the touch of God! Dad’s fluff was so beautiful! I just kept playing and playing and playing until there was no fluff left in him.

But something was wrong.

Something was very wrong.

Dad’s fluff wouldn’t come off.

I tried rubbing it against the sheets, against the towels, against the carpet, but the fluff wouldn’t come off my hands. I panicked because this never happened before. I put my hands through the hottest water I could stand and rubbed.

I rubbed.

And I rubbed.

And I rubbed.

And I rubbed.

And I rubbed.

And I rubbed.

And I rubbed until I saw it.

I had fluff too!

I had the same beautiful fluff that Dad had!

This was what God was really trying to tell me!

That’s why the fluff wouldn’t come off, because God was trying to show me that I had fluff too. How could I have been so stupid this entire time!

With mom’s knife in my hand, the first knife I ever used, I plunged it into my stomach like I did with Dad and the bear. It hurt. It hurt so much and that was how I know it was working. It was the same pain Dad would give me; that God would give me. It was the pain that let me know this was the right thing to do!

I watched as the fluff poured out of me. It was amazing! I don’t even know how to describe it. It would be like trying to describe the beauty of song to the deaf. Oh how beautiful it was. How it shined and the floor and twinkled against the light. God was truly wonderful to gift something this beautiful inside me. Oh how beautiful the fluff was. My only regret was that I couldn’t see Mom’s fluff, I bet it would have been beautiful just like mine. I wondered if she would have also loved to see Dad’s fluff. Oh how I love fluff! It was the one thing in my life that made sense.

 

Joshua Flowers lives in Maine and after his first publication has become a much more serious and stoic man. He primarily deals with the art of horror and is currently working on multiple projects including NaNoWriMo and several short stories. Keep an eye out for the name Joshua Flowers

 

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