The Nightmare Plague: A Caged Mind

The workshop, as always, existed in a state of disarray, with the exception of an area around the center.  It appeared as though someone just cannot be bothered to tidy up past a certain point and dwelt in a microcosm in the center of chaos.  Fantastic creations stood in the corners, caked with dust, while the little sphere of order bristled with raw materials.  Carefully arranged bins of bolts, a few small stacks of wood waiting to be shaped, and jars of fresh paint were all in there, although the latter were showing some dust, as though the owner forgot they existed.

Teddy walked to a corner where a small device caught his eye.  At first glance it appeared to be a metal disc, something akin to an over-large pocket watch.  As he looked closer, it was a series of hoops, nestled within one another, and at the center a small, polished stone of some sort.  He began to wipe away the dust, curious at wonderful craftsmanship.  As the dust came away, he realized that the hoops were wood, finely inlaid with a dull, yet iridescent, metal.  His touch did something to the device, causing the hoops to begin turning, picking up speed quickly.  The movements were too quick to be certain, but he suspected they were frequently reversing directions and some of the hoops seemed to move through one another.

The bear stared intently, but the movement was too erratic to focus on for long.  After a short interval, the lines of the hoops disappeared and seemed to coalesce into something like a mirror.  Teddy began to smile at the image that developed on the curious surface, showing him a happier time.  As suddenly as it appeared, though, another image bled through, drawing an immediate growl from the bear, who turned and smashed the thing against against a nearby cabinet.  A weak, hollow voice in the center of the room began to chuckle, stopping to wheeze at times from the effort.

“What’s the matter, squinting little bear?  Did you not like that little toy?  I devised it to remind its owner of humility by a juxtaposition of the viewer’s happiest moment before being opposed by the worst of their actions.  Humility has never been your forte, though.”

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