OK…since I’m in the middle of the original play, I figured I’d post one of my two Oedipus Rex stories. “Teddy Bear Rex” was originally published in Eureka Literary Magazine (Volume 13, NO. 2) and by mentioning this…I believe I fulfill any copyright obligations to them…
Teddy Bear Rex
©Joshua Alan Doetsch
Joanna owned a proud looking Teddy-Bear named Oedipus. He made a fine replacement to Laius, her purple pony, who went missing during a field trip. Oedipus had two large, shiny brass-button eyes. When the light caught them right, they gleamed, and in that gleam Joanna imagined Oedipus could solve any mystery – with those two lustrous eyes.
Where Joanna went, so too went Oedipus.
He defended her from the Sphinx monster hiding under her bed. Oedipus braved the blackness below, forever silencing the nightmare-laced whispers that emanated beneath pillow and sheet and mattress, by beating the creature at its own game – riddles in the dark.
He kept Joanna company while she cleaned her room which her mother called a “blight.” His keen eyes helped Joanna find the object that polluted the otherwise fragrant air, a forgotten peanut butter and jelly sandwich behind a bookshelf.
Oedipus accompanied Joanna on the journey to her best friend Delphi’s house for a slumber party. There the girls and the bear crouched under a tent of blankets, past bedtime, daring only to use a single flashlight to illuminate their fabric fortress. Between giggles they consulted Delphi’s Magic Eight-Ball for answers to various questions. They made queries as to whether or not this boy or that boy had cooties. They asked if Santa Claus was real and, if so, what offerings could be made to the jolly demigod to insure the choicest gifts and favor. With the ambiguous help of the little black ball, they settled on carrots, cookies, and milk.
Oedipus, being a curious bear, grew bold and incited a new mystery.
Was he real?
Joanna said it was a silly question and told Oedipus that he should not ask it. Curiosity bested Oedipus and he implored Joanna to voice the question. Reluctantly, she asked the Magic Eight-Ball. The answer cut Joanna with disappointment and she hung her head, ignoring it, hiding it away in the back of her mind, in that cracked chest where we all hide unpleasant things.
Joanna grew up, as children are in the habit of doing these days. She opened that bleak chest. One day, Joanna removed those beautiful brass button eyes for a coat she was mending. Eyeless, Oedipus was banished to the dark closet. Sightless, he sat, and somewhere, a Sphinx monster chuckled under a bed.
Blackness and silence and memories of what was lost – they were so good, his button eyes. Perhaps it was all for the best. Without the evidence of sight, Oedipus went on dreaming he was real, in that darkened place.