Outside, last night’s snow covered half of the video game studio’s windows. Ice had consumed the window’s other half and left ornate paisley patterns on the glass. Inside, John, the manager of the studio, put on a sweater and stood up like a massive concrete pillar: no one was going to move him with words or deeds. “Fuzzy,” said John, “make sure your team finishes those trees today. I told you three weeks ago that they’re going in the first level. Come on now!”
John swung around on his left foot and started walking away, his flip flops clicking and clacking, before Fuzzy could reply. Fuzzy jumped out of his chair, high into the air and landed softer than a feather. His face was just visible above his computer monitor. “What happened to you, John? You used to be beautiful. All you care about now is making a profit!”
The other bears’ clicking, typing and munching of pizza ceased. If one had entered the studio at that moment and judged the environment solely based on sound, one could be forgiven for thinking it was a ghost town. The bears’ mouths dropped open in unison, and their heads — as if magnetically attracted to conflict — turned toward Fuzzy and John.
John tensed up, his left eye started to twitch and he shook before he swung around fast enough to drop his briefcase. A flood of papers consumed the floor. His eyes turned a fiery red. John managed to calm down enough to scoop up some of the crumpled documents, held them over his head and started shaking them. “I suppose you think these are going to pay themselves. “Maybe,” he said as he ran towards the roaring fireplace, “I should just burn them and put this place out of its misery.” John threw some of the papers in the fire and cackled as he watched them turn into a cinder. He reached to pick up more papers; instead, he picked up a bottle of Jack Daniels on the mantelpiece, and he took a swig.
Fuzzy stared straight ahead at John and had not flinched or blinked yet. Fuzzy’s eyes narrowed, his eyebrows became diagonal and his voice was unwavering, “And we haven’t been on a picnic for a year!”
John took another swig and threw the Jack into the fire. The flames leaped out further than normal, singeing the hairs of a stuffed animal in front of the fireplace. John paid the fire no attention, but his eyes mirrored the raging inferno next to him. All the bears except Fuzzy hid under their desks and covered their ears.
“I told you there’s not enough money in the piggy bank for you guys to go on picnics whenever you feel like it,” said John. “Johnny,” Fuzzy said, “I know you’re still the same old guy who used to play ball and eat ham sandwiches with us in the park. I know you.” John swung around again so he could be alone and stared at the ground. A hot tear fell down his cold cheek. He started to whimper but bit his lip and pivoted on his right foot to face Fuzzy.
John looked up at the bear, a smile started appearing on his face, and he said, “O—Ok, you guys can go for a picnic.” “Woohoo!”, the bears screamed with delight. Fuzzy gave John a pat on the back, and the two old friends defused their tense standoff with a shared smile.
The bears all ran out the front door. Some carried wicker baskets while others did cartwheels, danced, skipped and jumped through the thick snow. They kept doing this until they all fell face first into a snow bank. The delicate white powder covered their furry faces and snouts.
“Uh, are you guys ok?” asked John. “Yeah!” they all yelled together. And off they ran during a cold winter’s day to have their picnic. The cold did not bother them, for they were warm and fuzzy teddy bears.