For the Vulture’s Prompt
Mark came home to find the lights on in his apartment, the smell of fresh-baked food in the air and boxes from his closet strewn on the floor.
Either he had been burgled by the most domestic thieves ever, or his mother had actually remembered his birthday. Mark was betting on the thieves.
“I know judo,” he called out; it was even true. “Hello?”
“In here, Mark.” It wasn’t his mom. Indeed, the voice… well, it bore similarities to his mom faking a deep bearlike voice, as she once had when he was five or six. “It’s your birthday.”
“This is too weird.” He followed the voice into the kitchen, wondering if his mother had finally gone around the bend.
“It’s your birthday,” the voice repeated. Sitting in his favorite chair, paws liberally dusted with flour, in front of a monstrosity of a seven-tier cake… was his old teddy bear, from childhood. “And you forgot me.”
“I… you’re talking.”
“And I baked you a cake. Which are you going to be more surprised by?”
“Uh… considering my kitchen, the cake. Ted… you’re talking.”
“Always could. You just forgot. Forgot a lot, didn’t you, when you ‘grew up?'”
“I….” he sank into his chair. “You climbed out of your box and baked me a cake.”
“Well, someone had to, didn’t they?” He still sounded like Mark’s mom doing a Ted voice, but… well, Mom couldn’t cook, for one. “and besides…. you never really forgot, did you?”
Mark stole a fingerful of frosting, and thought about moving that box, with Ted in place of honour at the top, from apartment to apartment for the last decade. “I guess I never did. Happy Birthday, Ted.”
“Happy Birthday, Mark.”
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