So To Bed

Entry by: Briergate

1st December 2016
So, to bed

The Commander isn’t back, yet. Instead, it’s just her minion again, the junior soldier aligned to me that expects me to do his bidding. I sometimes chafe at the way he treats me, but part of this life I have been brought into demands full obedience.

My God, though, its tedious here most of the time. I’m not allowed to move, or make comment without permission. Rather than having free will and my own identity, they gave me a new name and imposed their ideals of who I should be upon me.

I knew from watching my siblings leave one by one for their lives of servitude what I could expect, and I was unsurprised when finally, after a cursory inspection to check my health and suitability, I was purchased and brought back to the barracks myself.

I miss my siblings. While I don’t recall my parents, I do have a wealth of happy memories about the time before I was brought here. Shoulder to shoulder I stayed with my brothers and sisters, feeling at peace and secure in their presence. As they departed one by one, I began to feel vulnerable, and then – worse – to doubt that I would even be selected by a Commander. That is the ultimate fear for my race – to be rejected, unwanted, and forever alone.

Life could be worse. It’s warm here, and I am rarely lonely. That said, I sometimes dream of a different life. What lies beyond these walls? Within, it’s cramped. The minion soldier is usually kind, but I occasionally resent his proximity. He snores, sometimes. Not the snuffled soft sounds which people of my race sometimes emit, but a nasal whining exhalation. He’s a light sleeper, too. Sometimes as he flails and twitches in the bed I share with him, he will roll in his slumber until I find myself pinioned by his arm, or even pushed from the mattress altogether.

Sometimes, I climb back in, seeking out his warmth while he sleeps. Sometimes, I simply remain on the floor of our barrack room, and gaze up at the ceiling, or out of the window which the minion likes to keep uncurtained so he can seek out the stars.

The other servants sharing our space are spectacularly dull. The green-clad soldier with roving eyes has no intellectual capacity, I suspect. He is barely worth acknowledging, so riddled with basic ideas and stupidity about the world. The driver, the one who mans the fire truck which the minion calls ‘Sam’ is little better. He’s permanently on the lookout for imagined dangers, not recognising the relative sanctity and safety of our space. The handyman is even worse. ‘Bob’, they call him, putting him to work each day on what seem to be mindless and brutish labouring tasks.

At least the minion favours me above the others. I’m the only one he is willing to share the bed with, leaving his other servants to get as comfortable as they can on the threadbare rug, or jostling for space against the walls or beneath the bedframe.

I know we’re segregated from the female minions and their servants, but sometimes I catch the high-pitched laughter of females, and glimpse the servants as they accompany their minions here and there. Through the door, I once saw a girl servant of such beauty I can often think of little else. Petite, with beautiful eyes which gleamed above a half-smile, she was mesmerising.

It’s so unusual to see others of my race, here. I sometimes dream of a time when I can sneak from the barrack room and seek her out. I think of the tiny red bow sitting at an angle in her curls, the way the colour was reflected in her neat little pinafore. I wonder what she is like, whether she, like me, yearns for company with someone who can understand her background, culture, and origins. I wonder if her minion is kind.

Perhaps I’ll get to see her again. And then perhaps, I could find the courage to speak to her, or even hold her hand.

It’s thoughts such as this which help me pass the time in the minion’s absence, when sleep evades me or the dull boorish chattering of the other servants threatens to numb my mind into a hypnotic stupor. I imagine freedom – the ability to transcend the trappings of my race and become truly my own Commander. The things I would do! Picnics under the stars with that beautiful girl, perhaps? Outings and travel and choosing my own destiny.

For now, I’m quite content with my lot. While I yearn for a close friend who can understand me, that I could whisper my aspirations to and know that she understood, I do have a strong affection for the minion. He’s caring, at least. He is concerned for my wellbeing, and shares his bed and his pillow with me. Sometimes he’ll talk to me, and I prefer his ramblings to the plastic transparency of the other servants. There are far worse minions I could have been assigned to.

Even the Commander isn’t cruel, and will sometimes sew me a new uniform, or take the time to tend to my personal hygiene and welfare. I don’t get beaten, dragged about or persecuted, here.

Beside me the minion stirs and shifts in his sleep. I freeze as the door to the barrack room is opened softly, and the Commander looks in. She smiles down at the minion, tucking a stray curl behind his ear, gently readjusting the bedclothes to ensure the minion is warm and comfortable. Then she shocks me. She looks right at me, and smiles once more.

“Look, Edward Bear – we’ve got you a companion.”

My eyes gleam in the quiet light of the moon, as I absorb her words. She reaches down to me, pulls the duvet back slightly, and places someone next to me in the bed. I stay immobile until she pats my head and retreats from the barrack.

“Hello, I’m Daisy,” a gentle voice, musical and soft, warms my ears. I sit up a little, and I cannot believe my eyes. It is her. My perfect, beautiful and much-longed for companion.

I drink in the perfection of her little red bow, and the pinafore of the same colour. Quietly, nervously, I reach for her tiny paw. She holds it out to me in a gesture of friendship, and I feel my whole universe brighten with a flooding rush of happiness.