Sign of the times

“There’s was an actual bear sighted around here.”

Jacque and her mother Jolene were folding clothes while watching a mid-day news report about dumpsters at local businesses being vandalized, and the extensive damage being blamed on displaced black bears. To date, however; that theory had not been proven.

“Where’d ya hear that?” Jolene held the edge of a bath towel under her chin as she tri-folded it longwise.

“Becky was talking about it.” Jacque was working through a pile of socks matching stray mates. “I think she said she read it in the Daily Reporter or something.”

“Becky shouldn’t believe everything she reads, or you believe everything she says,” Jolene stacked another finished towel in an ever-growing, and precariously teetering pile. “Just because someone says they saw it, or read about it, doesn’t make it true.”

Jacque stopped mid-pairing, a grungy, once-white crew sock in each hand, her mouth agape.

“Why would Becky lie about something like that?”

“Attention,” Jolene muttered, snapping the creases out of another towel. “This bear everyone is so freaked out about has never been photographed, no video exists. It’s single witness accounts, nothing and no one to corroborate claims. It’s like crying Big Foot every time some drunk guy hears an opossum scrounging through a garbage can.”

“What do you know?” Jacque wadded the innocent socks into a tight knot. “Becky says the reason no one can get a picture of him is because he’s a vampire.”

Jolene closed her eyes, her towel temporarily forgotten. She once again questioned the friendship between omniscient Becky and her daughter.

“A vampire bear?” Jolene finally asked, her head wobbling with barely contained incredulity.

“Or a zombie, I can’t remember which, but for sure one of the undead,” Jacque said without a trace of skepticism, faith in her friend’s revelation absolute. “So, no reflection, no image on a photograph or video.”

Speechless, Jolene scrunched up the towel she was holding and buried her face in it, screaming out her frustrations.

“Of course,” Jacque began matter-of-factly, “we can protect ourselves with talismans, like silver necklaces or crosses, and lots of garlic.”

“That’s okay for vampire bears,” Jolene said, waving her towel in surrender. “But, what about zombie bears?”

“Becky said we’ll be okay if we just stay inside, and keep the doors and windows locked at night,” Jacque said, picking out another matched pair of socks. “I have my softball bat too. Do we have a machete or katana?”

“I think dad has a sledgehammer and an ax out in the shed,” Jolene offered.

“That would work,” Jacque tossed the last of the socks into a full basket. “A chain saw would be better though.”

“I’ll ask dad about that later,” Jolene said, her load of folding done too. “How about some lunch?”

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Inspiration: Ring Leader
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Inspiration: Bear Crossing

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