Ryan sat on the nursery floor with Teddy balanced on his folded legs. As he stared into the deep black bead eyes, Ryan wondered why Teddy had stopped talking. Rubbing the soft and waning fur, he turned Teddy around and studied him everywhere. There was nothing unusually about the light brown coat which covered a body stuffed with wool and metal clockwork. Nor was there anything out of place with his joints or long rounded face.
Ryan’s fingers stumbled over the small hole at the base of Teddy. Frowning and looking closer, Ryan saw that it was the broken keyhole for the music box buried somewhere in Teddy’s inwards. He had never heard the music as Teddy had been broken when Ryan had received him from Grandpa on his first birthday.
Parting the fur, Ryan looked at the circler metal ring and tried to put his fingernail inside the ring. Maybe that would get Teddy talking again? However, it didn’t fit or work. Placing Teddy down, Ryan stood up and looked around the old nursery. The walls were painted blue and half covered in peeling wallpaper with an animal circus pattern, which a younger Ryan had always been fascinated with. He had his back to the door, so the wall to his left was mostly taken up by a bookcase, cupboards and other shelves, which held a number of books, soft toys and other toys. The right wall was empty, but two old wooden chests were pushed up against it and they also held a wealth of playthings. The wall before him was mostly taken up by a high row of window, which let in sun all throughout the daytime. Beneath them sat one of the most oldest and wonderful things in the room; an early Victorian rocking horse.
Ryan went to the cupboard and searched through it till he found a sharpened pencil. This he then tried to place inside the metal ring. The point fitted, but nothing happened. Crossing his legs again, he shook Teddy and tried to jab the pencil in more. Still, Teddy didn’t come to life. Sighing, Ryan placed Teddy onto the saddle of the rocking horse, where he had found him when he had entered the room. Casting his eyes around, he went to the door and reached out of the knob just as it was turning.
The door opened and his Nanny stood in the fame, her dull coloured eyes landing on his puzzled and bored face. Her plain black dress reached to floor and was covered with a long pinafore, her hair was neatly tied in a bun and she looked just like she always did, only now she was older.
‘Sir? Is something wrong?’ she asked in a whispery voice.
Ryan shook his head, ‘No. I was just trying to get Teddy to work.’
‘Teddy, Sir? That one of the rocking horse? Why, he used to be your favourite.’
‘I know,’ Ryan replied.
Nanny shuffled into the room and picked up Teddy, she inspected him closely with her fading sight then placed him back down again.
‘He seems fine to me, Sir.’
‘I know, but, something is different now. Did he…talk? For some reason, I remember him talking and we use to have such conversations,’ Ryan explained as he moved to the windows and looked outside. Below him he could see gardeners and builders working tirelessly to restore his childhood home.
‘Why, I believe he did! Sir,’ Nanny cried.
Ryan whipped around to her and found the old woman smiling. She picked up Teddy again and turned him towards Ryan.
‘You two were always together and forever chatting. You use to tell me all the time about the adventures you had been on and Teddy’s thoughts on important matters. You treated him little a younger brother and made me do so too. I only did it because it made you happy, Sir, and it was my job to keep you out of the way and quiet.’
‘I see, Nanny,’ Ryan said softly. He held out his hand and took Teddy from her. He turned back to the window and placed Teddy on the sill to look at the window, as he had often done as a child. He felt sadness fill him and a small voice whispering into his mind that he had found yet another lie amongst all the others that he was now uncovering from his dead parents and the surviving servants.