Teddy knew he didn’t have much time left. He was hemorrhaging his blue fluff and stringy stuff all over the ground, and even giant magical stuffed bears could only take so much. It was two in the morning, anyway, and the only twenty-four-hour seamstress was all the way on the other side of town, on Tennessee. Teddy was going to die.
He held his paw to the split on his side as he stumbled down the alley. He’d found himself at the wrong end of an X-Acto knife plenty of times before, but his skills with a wiffle bat had gotten him out of the corner every time. Tonight, Rex had caught him unarmed and unaware.
Teddy collapsed onto the cracked concrete of the alley. He brought himself to his knees, taking rapid, shallow breaths. Teddy heard the rhythmic tapping of clawed, plastic feet on concrete: Rex.
“You shoulda never crossed Pennybags!” Rex shouted as he approached, his gruff voice echoing off the narrow walls of the alley.
Teddy turned on his knees to face his assassin. “I didn’t have...huff...a choice, Rex. This game ain’t for me...cough...anymore.”
Rex stopped a foot short of Teddy, looming over the dying plushy. “Theodore, Pennybags owns this town from Baltic to Boardwalk and you know it. You thought you’d just sneak quietly out of town with a briefcase full of orange bills and no one would notice? There’s no out of the game, Theodore.”
Teddy’s snout drooped to the floor. “I had to try. Had to roll the...ahh...dice one last time.”
“Yeah, I guess you did.”
“Rex. I’m hurtin’ bad. End it already will ya? All we been through, all the times we passed Go together, the least you could do for me is give me a quick death.”
“Yeah, Theodore.” Rex leaned over, the X-Acto still clutched in the claw at the end of his vestigial arm. With his empty claw, he cradled Teddy’s head, pulling the fuzzy bear’s ear to his lips “Don’t worry, pal. You won’t have to worry about those rental fees where you’re going. It’s all free parking up there.” With that, he jammed the X-Acto into Teddy’s neck, spilling blue string onto the wet concrete. A few seconds later, Teddy fell to the ground, lifeless.
Rex pocketed the X-Acto and pulled his Fisher Price Chatter phone from his breast pocket, dialed a number and brought it to his face. “Theodore sleeps with the Let’s Go Fishin’.”