Saturday, January 11, 2020

Goldilocks & The Clickbait Article

This family was only gone a few minutes! You won’t BELIEVE what they saw when they came home!

You’ve probably had moments in your life where you thought, “Something doesn’t feel quite right,” but you couldn't quite put your finger on why. 

All you knew was that something was off. Maybe one of your co-workers had been using your desk? Perhaps someone moved your flower pot half an inch? Maybe your boss put something in your coffee?

Paranoid? That’s what your friends and co-workers may have laughingly called you. But YOU knew better. You just KNEW that someone had been messing with you. 

But who? And why?

The Bear Family of Everdale, North Dakota, may know a thing or two about this phenomenon. 

The Bears had lived quiet, carefree lives... until recently... when their serene lives unraveled into CHAOS! Scroll down to read more.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT


Just Your Typical, All-American Family

The Bears are your typical small, middle-class family unit. Mama and Papa Bear have one child, who they affectionately refer to as “Baby," as he is very small. The Bears live in a modest cottage, surrounded by trees, grass, bushes, flowers, ferns, rocks, and even a small stream. Their homestead is cozy in winter, comfortable in summer, and just an all-around great place to raise a child.

“We’d been lucky... so far,” says Papa Bear.

But unbeknownst to Papa, that sense of security was all about to change.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT


Serene environment? That's how it seemed. Many would give their right arms to live in a woods as lovely as the Bears'. 

Yes, life for the Bears had always been peaceful and quiet. They have few nearby neighbors. No one ever bothered them… at least, no one ever USED to.

But all that was about to change.

UP NEXT: A WAKING NIGHTMARE!

ADVERTISEMENT


A Waking Nightmare

Isn’t it funny how, in the blink of an eye, life can change? One minute, everything is blissful and wonderful, and the next, it’s the stuff of nightmares?

What was about to happen was DEFINITELY a nightmare for the Bear family!

ADVERTISEMENT


The Day Everything Changed

Everything changed one morning in May, 2018.

A morning the Bears will never forget.

The morning started out normally enough – probably not unlike a morning you might experience. The family woke, climbed out of bed, washed, and went downstairs for breakfast.

ADVERTISEMENT


The breakfast meal was a simple one: Porridge. Porridge is made by crushing oats or other grains and boiling them in water or milk. This creates a warm cereal that can be enjoyed with embellishments such as honey, berries, or syrup. This was a typical breakfast for the Bears, as it was one meal they could all agree upon as tasting great.

Another thing the family agreed on that morning: Their porridge was way too hot.

“I take the blame for that,” says Papa. “It was my turn to make the porridge. I shouldn’t have left it on the burner so long. Mama’s much better at preparing food than I am. But I do like to help out when I can.”

ADVERTISEMENT



The Calm Before The Storm

All of us make mistakes sometimes. Especially those of us with aspirations in the art of cooking. Sometimes our culinary concoctions will look beautiful and taste delicious. Other times, all our dreams will fall, much like a grandmother’s carefully-made cake.

So it was with great humility (on that fateful morning) that Papa Bear suggested the family take a short turn about the woods to enjoy the morning air while waiting for their porridge to cool. The other family members agreed to this plan, and they set off together.

If only they could have predicted what would happen next!!!

ADVERTISEMENT

The Fateful Walk

It is so easy to be carefree when one has never had a reason not to be. And so, on this fateful morning, without a care on their minds (other than timing their walk perfectly so as not to return when the porridge was too cold), the Bears headed out on their walk.

 The sun was out, the birds were chirping... everything seemed perfect. If only the Bears could have predicted what they would return home to!

ADVERTISEMENT

As they walked along the path near their home, Mama Bear recalls having one of those nagging feelings. “Something just didn’t feel right,” she admits. “I thought I was just being paranoid, so I didn’t say anything. Also, I didn’t want to worry Baby. So I just pretended everything was fine.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The air was glorious that morning. The weather was a dream. Chipmunks chattered in trees. The nearby stream gurgled happily.

As the Bears approached their humble abode after their short walk, however, their tranquility quickly transitioned into ever-rising alarm.

ADVERTISEMENT



A Parents' Worst Nightmare

“The door was ajar,” Mama remembers. “And I knew that I had closed it.”

An ajar door can mean a lot of things: The wind has blown it open… the latch is 
faulty… or (even more alarming)… someone or something has entered the house!

“I remember saying, ‘That’s strange!’ as we approached the door,” says Mama. “But I tried to keep my voice cheery so as not to worry my family.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Mama, like many mothers, had often, in the past, taken great pains to let no harm -- or even any hint of harm -- befall her family. She felt it was her duty. But now... would harm indeed befall them?

The Bears cautiously stepped inside their house and looked around. They didn’t see or hear anything unusual, so they initially relaxed.

“Let’s eat,” said Papa, heading toward the kitchen.

As they entered the kitchen, however, the Bears saw that something was... off. Wrong. Not okay.

Papa Bear’s spoon, which had been lying on the table next to his porridge bowl, was now IN his bowl. 

“Someone’s been eating my porridge!” Papa Bear decided, as he leaned in for a closer look. There, he saw an indentation in the porridge, a sure sign that someone – or something – had taken a bite.


ADVERTISEMENT

Meanwhile, Mama had noticed the same ominous signs surrounding her own bowl. “Yes,” said Mama. “It appears someone has been eating my Porridge as well.”

This was nothing, however, compared to the damage done to Baby Bear’s porridge. 


Tears Of A Child

It was terrible. Awful. Horrific!!!

The porridge was completely gone!!! Nothing. Not one speck left.

“Someone DID eat my porridge!” cried Baby Bear. “And they ate it all up!”

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Now, of course Mama and Papa would have gladly shared their own porridge with their child. This was not a case of letting a poor baby go hungry. However, at that moment, it seemed that the more pressing matter was to find out who or what had entered their home. Who was it... and, more importantly, were they still in the house!?!

“Who's been here?” wondered Mama aloud as the bears moved into the living room. There, the parents saw that something was deadly wrong with their favorite chairs….

ADVERTISEMENT



A Living Room... Of Destruction

Now, none of us likes it when people touch our beloved belongings. The Bear family is no different. That’s why Papa Bear got an angry look on his face when he saw that his large, comfortable, green-and-white striped recliner had a small indentation in the seat.
“Someone’s been sitting in my chair!” said Papa.

Mama Bear’s medium-sized, blue-and-grey polyester-blend armchair also appeared indented. “Someone’s been sitting in my chair, too!” cried Mama.

Once again, the truest of tragedies, however, had befallen the youngest member of the family. Baby Bear’s beloved rocking chair, made from scratch by Papa from the branches of a nearby fallen oak, was in ruins on the living room floor.

“Someone’s been sitting in my chair, TOO!” wailed Baby Bear. “And they BROKE IT!”

ADVERTISEMENT

Now, perhaps you can sympathize with the parental Bears. Their beloved child had just witnessed the leftover remains of a dear possession. If you've ever been a parent, you know the pain of watching your child being sad over something. Mama and Papa felt the same.

“I can fix it,” Papa assured Baby. And he could. He was always good with wood and tools. He had studied carpentry at Kodiak University. It was in those years that he had begun corresponding with Mama. Their courtship lasted five years before they were married in a memorable woodland ceremony surrounded by family and friends.

“I think I hear something upstairs,” Mama said suddenly. A feeling of uncertainty and dread had begun to spread from her head to her toes. Was something upstairs? Was it a predator? A prowler? A force of darkness too horrible to even look upon?

ADVERTISEMENT


"I think I hear something upstairs."

We’ve all been in situations in which we’ve been faced with an unknown fear. What’s lurking behind that corner? Is there someone hiding behind the shower curtain? That’s the fear Mama Bear felt at that moment. But Mama was and is a strong woman, deep down. And she knew she could not let her fears overwhelm her. Not now. Not ever.

The Bears proceeded up the stairs. When they reached the landing at the top, their hearts dropped. There, they saw the unthinkable...

ADVERTISEMENT

Papa’s king-sized four-poster with its red bedspread was ill-made.

“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed,” declared Papa Bear.

But that wasn't all...

 ADVERTISEMENT

Mama’s ornate canopy bed with its lace pillows was also in disarray. “Someone’s been sleeping in MY bed!” agreed Mama.

It only got worse from there.

“Someone’s been sleeping in MY BED, too!” howled Baby Bear. “AND SHE’S STILL THERE!”

ADVERTISEMENT
 

Still there? Yes, it was true. Horrorstruck -- as you probably would be, too -- the elder Bears turned to look at the small, crib-like bed belonging to Baby. To their great surprise, they saw a small creature with blond curls lying in the bed.

IN THE BED.

The bears had never seen this creature before. Questions blazed through their minds. Who was she? Was she lost? Where had she come from? And why had she seen it fit to enter their house, eat their porridge, break their furniture, and make use of their beds?

ADVERTISEMENT

To be fair, a small girl is not generally a threat. But her suddenly appearance was so surprising; the circumstances of her arrival so unsettling; the whole incident so befuddling, that at that moment, the Bear Family was properly terrified.

ADVERTISEMENT


But they were not the only ones.

ADVERTISEMENT


Terror For Everyone

The young girl’s eyes had suddenly opened. And when she saw the three Bears looking down at her, she shrieked, jumped out of the bed, and took off running. A minute later, the bears heard the front door slam.

The family looked at one another, astonished. What had just happened? Who was that girl? Why had she come into their house? And, more importantly, would she be back?

These questions remained on the family’s minds and lips for many weeks afterward. They recalled how vulnerable they’d felt when they’d realized their house had had an unwanted visitor. It had been awful. They knew that their priority was to make sure it never happened again.

“Papa suggested we not take any more morning walks,” recalls Mama. “But that seemed a bit much. We live for those walks. They calm our spirits and our minds. I told him, ‘We can still take walks. Let’s just start remembering to lock our doors.’”

They could do that... but would it be enough?

ADVERTISEMENT

In the months since the incident, the Bears have not seen the young girl who made herself at home in their house. “It’s almost like it was a dream,” says Baby. “But Mama and Papa saw her, too. And my bed still kinda smells like her. So I KNOW it really happened.”

The stress of the incident, Mama fears, may weigh on Baby Bear for a long time to come. “We’ve been taking him to a therapist once a week,” she says. “He has a long way to go, but we’ll get there. I know we’ll get there. We must.”


ADVERTISEMENT

One thing that CAN be fixed? Baby Bear’s rocking chair. The very day after the “incident,” Papa gathered the pieces of his beloved child’s chair, took them to his woodshop, and put the chair back together.

“I made some improvements to it,” he says. “It’s stronger than ever now.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Strong. Like the Bear Family. Like any family who has faced adversity and come out victorious.

The Bear Family: Strong. Strong, like a rocking chair. Strong like Baby Bear’s improved rocking chair. A rocking chair bonded with wood glue, like the bonds that hold families tight all over this world. Yours. Mine. And presumably the little girl’s… wherever she is.


* * *

So... about this.

A while back, after being conned into reading my 4,111th "clickbait" article (and being sorely sorry I'd clicked in the first place), I began to wonder... are clickbait article writers... shall we say... talented? Does it take actual writing prowess to be able to come up with 3,000-word drivel that'll compel people to click "next" 67 times in order to make it to the friggin' point? Really, how difficult IS it to turn what SHOULD be a 500-word piece into something that reads like a dime store novella? 

Well, I decided to try and  find out. I began with a simple story that I'd heard so many times in childhood that I'd memorized: Goldilocks & The Three Bears. I typed out my version of the story. Then I went forth and began embellishing the heck out of it.

Result: A version of Goldilocks & The Three Bears that contains nearly four times as many words as the original.

And how was the writing process? At times, it was kind of fun. But mostly it was awful. Adding words when none were necessary went against everything that I know, everything that I've been taught, everything that is good and right and pure. (And yet, this is what we did a lot of on college essays... trying to stretch out our point in order to meet a page count quota. So in a way, it felt... familiar?)

In the end, I think this long version of The Three Bears is super ridiculous. But I hope it provided you with some amusement.

May clickbait die a slow and painful death.

-Molly