Hug Me, a short story by Karina Kantas

Venice just got home after finishing a double shift at the café. Christmas time was always busy. It wasn’t a job she enjoyed or was proud of but it was means to an end.

Tired and ready for sleep, Venice turned on her laptop to check her socials before turning in.
A message popped up immediately.

TeddyBear: hi
Smiling she typed back –
LonelyGirl: hi, how r u?
For the next two hours, the strangers became friends. Venice’s couldn’t keep her eyes open, so she typed her goodbye promising to chat the next day.
The next morning after she’d turned on her laptop, she jumped back when her wallpaper appeared. It had been changed to a large orange coloured teddy bear. He was smiling and had bright blue eyes. He’s certainly cute.
Venice assumed the guy had hacked into her computer and after all his username was Teddy Bear. Too much of a coincidence.
She asked him about it and he immediately replied as though he was waiting for her message.
TeddyBear: Nope, it wasn’t me. If I knew ur addy I’d send u a real teddy so u could cuddle onto at night.

Venice went to work and tried not to think about the image of the bear. She was excited to continue the flirting banter she had going with her online teddy bear.
A week went by and their online friendship continued. It was a Saturday before Christmas when Venice decided it was time to take their friendship to the next level.
As though he heard her thoughts he messaged her.
TeddyBear: I think it’s time we met up. What do u think?
LonelyGirl: Yes, I’d luv 2
She quickly replied.
Wouldn’t it be romantic to meet up on New Year’s Eve? She imagined how handsome Teddy Bear was and what a romantic time they would have, walking around looking at the Christmas lights, and maybe they could skate on the ice.
TeddyBear: Say the words “I want u 2 hug me.”
Venice paused before he started typing again.
TeddyBear: Humour me. Say the words “I want u 2 hug me.” then I’ll no ur serious about us meeting.
Venice typed.
LonelyGirl: I want u 2 hug me.
TeddyBear NO! DON’T TYPE THEM say them out LOUD.
Venice laughed.
LonelyGirl: but how will u hear me?
TeddyBear didn’t reply.
She shrugged and said to the empty room “I want you to hug me.”

The screen goes black before a growling is heard, then her wallpaper appears. The head of the teddy bear turns as its arms stretch out towards her. Venice screams but before she can run, the bear’s claws come out of the screen and dig into her shoulders, grabbing her with such force her head and then her chest are pulled in. Her legs are the last part of her body that disappear.
The screen goes black and the laptop switches off.

Hug Me was written as a 500 word story challenge.

Karina is a prolific author of 14 fiction novels. She’s also a podcaster, radio host, BookTuber and a multi-award-winning filmmaker.
You can find all her links and online presence on LinkTree.

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