|Period 55: Beloved Plush Toy|
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Tired of being taken advantage of, Kurumi unwinds by beating up her stuffed animals. Then one day, she realizes that no matter what, one of them isn't getting ruined like the others. But then bad things begin occuring around home...
In a sweet room, Yomi introduces the Readers to several, adorable plush toys surrounding her and she asks if they feel at ease looking at them.
A trio of friends admire the cute plush souvenirs one of them brought back from a theme park recently. However, they note that one is different, and they're unsure of which of them should get it. In hopes of settling it, Kurumi offers to take the chicken plush and let her other friends have the ghosts, saying she doesn't mind. They are very happy she was willing to offer, saying this is expected of her by now and they squeal over how cute they are and how they match, going to put them on their school bags. Kurumi is happy for them, as the narration introduces her as a nice and agreeable girl.
One friend approaches Kurumi and asks if its alright that she copy her homework, and she offers to let her copy hers next time in exchange, but their other friend points out she never does her homework. The girl doesn't think its too big a deal because of how nice Kurumi is to help her out, and the other agrees.
As soon as she reaches home Kurumi's non-fading smile is replaced by a resentful frown as she walks past her mother. Her mother has noticed that every day she returns home in a foul mood and asks if its because of school, but Kurumi says nothing and heads upstairs. As much as she wants to be honest, she can't because she is sure her friends wouldn't like her anymore.
Kurumi throws herself onto bed and lets out a big sigh, then she notices a somewhat messy and silly-looking sheep plush on her pillow. She pokes it and complains over how they won't hold back anytime soon, they use any chance they can to take advantage of others. She angrily squeezes the plush, only to pause upon noticing how beaten up it is- this is only natural, given that she uses them to take out her stress. Kurumi takes it to her mother, who chastises her for being too violent with her plush again, and she refuses to buy her anymore.
It's then Kurumi spots a bear in perfect condition sitting on the shelf nearby, and she wonders how long as she dealt with this as she thinks back to her childhood realizing its the only one left now. Back then she had no concerns, and every day she would play with her many plush toys. As she observes teddy bear, she pulls on its cheeks still in a foul mood, until her mom scolds her again and she quickly puts it down. Kurumi doesn't understand why she can't use them to vent a little now and then.
It's better than taking it out on people.
The next day at school, Kurumi's friends and the rest of those in their group presentation realize they forgot to finish their parts of the work and they all rush to Kurumi to beg that she helps them out. She is completely astonished by this large task, but she can't imagine turning everyone against her just because of her refusing, so she hesitantly agrees and puts on a smile. Everyone is delighted to hear this, but when she overhears the boys in their group laughing at her expense she becomes enraged.
The second she gets home she pummels teddy bear with all of her might. She angrily beats it up until she's lost all of her energy and she lays down to unwind. However, she notices that despite her rough treatment of it, it seems okay.
Over the next few days Kurumi begins to abuse the teddy bear from things that anger her- like a Teacher who chewed her out one day, or friends asking for her help.
Then one day, something surprising happens. Kurumi's friends note that her face seems to be much more relaxed as of late, and it looks refreshed. She thinks it over as she makes her way home, and she realizes that thanks to Teddy, she's not been in such a bad mood when she comes home now, and she hasn't been moping either.
Arriving home, Kurumi is alarmed when she discovers her mother suffered an injury. She explains how she missed a stair earlier, but because she didn't break her ankle she should be fine soon enough. Kurumi heads up the stairs while thinking about the danger behind this, and she wonders if she spaced out. But as she reaches the top step she notices Teddy Bear outside of her room and she picks him up to take him back in.
That night, as Kurumi is sleeping there is something scratching within the Nuiyama household. The next morning, Kurumi awakens to her mothers yelling, and she asks Kurumi to hurry up and come down. In doing so she notices Teddy Bear has gone missing, and upon arrival her mother is holding her dad, who looks very sick. She explains to Kurumi that she will be taking him to the hospital right away. As Kurumi expresses concern over her hurt ankle, she insists its nothing and heads out, telling Kurumi to get to school in time.
Kurumi turns to see Teddy Bear, along with a bottle of soap next to the soup her mother made. She stares at it in alarm and begins to wonder how the stuffed toy got here; as if it was moving on its own. As Kurumi thinks about everything that happened this past day, she quickly rationlizes that there is no way the Teddy Bear could be responsible. She laughs it off while throwing it into a box and putting tape over it, then she puts the box aside. She tries to convince herself she's worrying over nothing, but now that its occured to her, she can't get it off of her mind.
At school Kurumi worriedly informs the girls of what happened, and she continues to worry about him as she recalls how much pain he was in. One of them suggests that Kurumi left them handle cleaning today so that she can get home quicker. Kurumi is surprised by their sudden kindness, and the girls confess that lately she has been much too kind to them, and they would understand if she was getting upset over it. So they want to be Kurumi's strength right now, and they assure her that they really mean it. As the girls convince their male classmates to lend a hand, Kurumi is so delighted that she nearly cries.
Arriving home, Kurumi sees nobody is there yet. She sees her mother has left a message, explaining that her dad is still undergoing some health checks and they wont be home until later, so for dinner she will have to eat leftovers. But she is unable to focus on this as she sees the box she threw Teddy Bear in has been torn open. She can't understand how when nobody was in there to begin with, and she sees the shadow of it looming up behind her.
Kurumi smacks the Teddy Bear and it goes flying into the cabinet, then it falls to the floor. She stares in disbelief as it makes a strange sound and raises itself up again. Realizing her theories that it hurt her parents are correct, Kurumi grabs a pair of scissors and cuts it in half; stuffing spewing everywhere.
As she attempts to get up and contemplate who she can tell, she is suddenly assaulted by several ceremic cups and saucers from a nearby shelf. Within this, she also finds the several stuffed animals from her past that she destroyed from her various tantrums, and she wonders why they are still here.
Shouldn't her mom have thrown them away?
Kurumi is frightened as the torn apart Teddy Bear slowly drags itself over to her, and it begins to speak. Seeing it in such poor shape, she begins to remember the times she spent with her stuffed animals, and how she loved all of them so much. She begins to cry as it occurs to her that maybe Teddy Bear isn't evil, it just wanted to be played with.
Unfortunately, when Kurumi snaps out of her daze to see all of them have risen and are wielding mallets, knives, and scissors. The last thing she sees is the knife wielded by Teddy Bear coming in her direction.
A while later, a little girl named Uka arrives home holding a Teddy Bear she found outside. Her mother chastises her for picking up such trash but Uka refuses, saying he is her friend. Unknown to Uka, the Teddy Bear slowly grasps her sleeve.
Watching as Uka's mother agrees to let her keep Teddy Bear, Yomi is very happy for it to have found a new home. She warns Readers to treat their plush toys well, because otherwise they might end up Kurumi -with Yomi showing the blood covered objects- as she surrounds herself with stuffed animals.
- Kurumi Nuiyama
- Mrs. Nuiyama
- Mr. Nuiyama
- Kurumi's Friends
- Teddy Bear
- The series is referenced when one girl mentions visiting "Zekkyou Land".