Chuck Tells the Grittiest, Manliest, Most Testorone-Filled Bedtime Story to His Niece

"I'm about to make you an endangered species, too."

Nothing says “children’s bedtime story” quite like heavily armed bears.

“What happens next?” Sarah says, her Disney Princess blanket pulled up to just beneath her nose, emerald green eyes locked upon Chuck.

“Well,” Chuck says, leaning back against the cedar chair beside her bed, “Dave doesn’t take too kindly to bears in his home, especially not after he’d just finished killing so many machete-wielding zombies. So he goes into his kitchen and sees what kind of weapons he can find. Obviously there’s a bunch of knives. As a lumberjack and a hobbyist butcher, he has quite a selection.”

“What’s a Butcher?” Sarah interrupts, pulling on her long, brown hair and letting it fall back onto the pink pillow behind her head.

“Someone who—“ Chuck pauses, tilting his head slightly and staring down at his niece. He realizes that it might not be the right time to explain to her what a butcher does, considering she’s under six and has a nearly unhealthy love for animals. “A butcher is someone who butches. Anyway, Dave doesn’t want to use knives quite yet. That would be too easy, too simple for our man Dave. He isn’t about to take the easy way out. Instead, he spots two boxing gloves sitting at the end of his kitchen table.”

“Are they pink?” Sarah says, glancing up at Chuck and lowering her blanket slightly.

“Yes, they’re pink.” Chuck clears his throat. “So, Dave walks over and puts the gloves on—”

“The pink gloves,” Sarah interrupts.

“Right, the pink gloves. He puts on the pink gloves and goes back to the front door, ready to kick some bear-butt. He just hopes its still there, considering how long it took them to fight off the hordes of zombies just before.”

“The SpongeBob zombies,” Sarah interrupts again.

“Yes, the reanimated corpses of various SpongeBob SquarePants characters. Anyway, it turns out that the bear is still standing there, waiting right outside. He roars, his massive mouth hanging open as he watches Dave approach. The bear is also carrying a machine gun and like six grenades.”

“Does the bear speak?”

“No,” Chuck says, “the bear doesn’t speak. He’s a bear.” He pauses. “Anyway, Dave walks up to the front door and, without a second thought, pulls it open. The bear stares at him for half an instant before grabbing his machine gun and wrapping his big, brown paws around the trigger. He pulls back, the weapon exploding to life as he fires blindly. He’s a bear, though, and doesn’t have good aim. Dave manages to dodge the bullets, time slowing down as the rounds fly past his head. He then throws a lightning fast right hook directly into the side of the bear’s snout.”

“Wait,” Sarah says, leaning up out of the bed slightly, “he hits the bear?”

“Right in the face,” Chuck says, standing up and holding his fists in front of him as if he were a boxer. “A quick left-right, then another right into the nose,” he says, punching the air. “The bear falls forward, dead.”

“What?” Sarah screams. “He’s dead? The bear is dead?”

“No,” Chuck says, glancing at Sarah and sitting back down in the chair. “The bear turns out to just be asleep.”

“Oh, okay,” Sarah says, smiling again.

“But,” Chuck continues, “that’s when Dave realizes that the bear isn’t just a regular bear. He’s a zombie bear, his skin all necrotic and melting. And he’s carrying a lightsaber.”

“What’s a light saver?” Sarah says, pulling the blankets back up to just beneath her emerald green eyes.

“A light saber is the coolest sword in the universe,” Chuck says, shaking his head slightly. He thought he’d raised her better than this. “It can cut through anything and is made from light. And sabers.”

“Cool,” Sarah says. “It’s pink, right?”

“Right,” Chuck says. “So there’s Dave, standing in front of a zombie bear that is wielding a pink lightsaber. All he has is his boxing gloves. But he’s not afraid, not Dave. Instead, he looks up into the sky, places his fingers into his mouth, and then whistles. A giant bald eagle swoops down, its feet wrapped in knives, and lands beside him. It has an American flag bandana wrapped around its forehead.”

“Can he also have a kitty?” Sarah says.

“Yeah, sure. He also has a kitty named Chairman Meow. No, actually it’s named Catt Damon. And Catt Damon has knives instead of fur.” Chuck, pauses, nodding slowly. “So there he is, a knife-haired kitty and bladed bald eagle by his side, zombie bear with a pink lightsaber ahead of him. He knows he might die, but he’s ready. He’s lived a Christian good life, done the best job as a lumberjack that he could. He stares right at the zombie bear and says, ‘come get some’ in an incredibly deep voice.”

“Can the kitty also speak?”

“No,” Chuck says, sighing. “Catt Damon is a kitty with a thirst for blood, all he can do is kill. Anyway, Dave lunges forward and begins dodging the lightsaber’s swings, the patriotic eagle screeching and dive bombing the bear with its knife-feet. Catt Damon meows and gently rubs its knife-covered back against the bear’s shins, purring slightly.”

“I like kitties,” Sarah laughs, leaning forward.

“The bear is trying his best to fight back,” Chuck continues, ignoring Sarah, “but he’s simply overpowered. He can’t even reach his machine gun, which he dropped the first time he died—err—fell asleep. Finally, though, he gives up and scampers back to the forest. Dave and his animal pals celebrate their victory with a few shots of whiskey and a heavy metal concert. Iron Maiden is the headliner.”

“Can they also watch Frozen together?” Sarah says, leaning back against her pillow and yawning.

“Sure,” Chuck says, pushing himself up and out of the wooden chair. “Whatever, they watch like ten hours of it. In the back of their minds, though, they know the bear will be back. He’ll have his revenge someday, but they will be ready. They’ll be waiting.” Chuck turns toward her door and flips the light off. “Goodnight,” he says.

“Goodnight,” Sarah says from the darkened room.

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