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Buttercup and the Thing: Beginning of the End - Chapter


Tamisha Bradford-Landen was the fifth child and only daughter of Conrad and Betsy “Betts” Bradford. Tamisha Dubbed Buttercup by her parents the day she was born, now in her late thirties married to Calvin Landen and the mother of one baby and expecting her second.



The situation that inspired this work of fiction does not reflect the actual incidents, guilt or innocence of any person living or dead. Characters, events, locales and incidents are used in a fictitious manner and the products of the author’s imagination. Resemblance to any person, place or any situation is purely coincidental.

The Beginning of the End

Calvin Landen awoke with a start, if he didn’t hurry he would be late for work, he had been working ten to twelve hour days, to satisfy the financial cravings of Tamisha, his wife, and he was both physically and mentally tired, and having no desire for a confrontation with her about how lazy he is, he left for work without waking her.

Tamisha awoke agitated that Calvin had not cleaned the litter-box before leaving for work Buttercup began cleaning the litter-box herself, it was full of cat excrement, the baby was wailing; the thing (as she refers to her husband in her mind) had gone to work leaving her alone to clean this mess. In her haste to get the litter-box cleaned and in her agitated state Buttercup could not find the poop scoop and began picking out the clumps of excrement with her bare hands.

The baby’s wails had risen to a fever pitch, Buttercup wiped her hands on her skirt ran upstairs to the crib and placed her hand over the baby’s mouth screaming “shut-up, shut-up, shut-up.” She had not heard the front door open or the footsteps cross the foyer or on the stairs, she did not realize she was not alone with the thing’s progeny until she was pushed aside and the gasping baby was taken from her grasp, out of the crib, out the door and down the stairs.

Buttercup sank to the floor and began to sob.

As Betsy Bradford retrieved the baby’s bottle from the refrigerator and warmed it she thinks back to when Buttercup was sixteen and had to be institutionalized and the lump of ice in her stomach froze her insides, and she shivered to think what might have happened had she not come by to check on her daughter Tamisha a.k.a. Buttercup?

As she started to give the baby his bottle Betsy wondered what was on the baby’s mouth, it looked like kitty litter, but how would kitty litter get on the baby’s mouth? She cleaned him and gave him a warm bottle of milk and within minutes he had drifted off to sleep. Betsy laid her grandson on the sofa and made her way back to the baby’s room to find her precious little Buttercup huddled in the corner of the room with her knees pulled up under her chin.

Buttercup had not bargained for this. Her mother had always told her if she would get married and have children she would be happy, but she was not happy.

“Pull yourself together, soon you will have another baby to take care of and you have to get you head straight” Betsy told her daughter which made Buttercup weep uncontrollably. Betsy Bradford knelt beside Buttercup and wrapped her arms around her sobbing daughter and said “you have to pull yourself together you don’t want to go back to the institution do you? “ “What happened, did he hit you?”

Seeds of destruction are planted

The seeds of destruction were planted and the devious ideas began to sprout “Did he hit you?” Those words ignited Buttercup’s stick-it-to-him-mentality and she began to imagine what it would be like if the Thing had hit her, she could have him thrown out of his own house which he had before he ever met her, file for divorce and all he had ever worked for would be hers and hers alone.

Betsy’s attempts to help her daughter up off the floor left her exasperated, she finally left her sitting there in the same position and headed downstairs where the baby was still sleeping.

Buttercup barely heard Betsy say “I’m leaving now and I am taking the baby with me, maybe you could go back to bed for a while and you will feel better!” Plans began to formulate in Buttercup’s mind. How long she sat on the floor in that position was anyone’s guess.

As soon as Betsy reached home she frantically called Calvin her son-in-law at his workplace to report the strange condition of his wife. Calvin was so concerned he left work early heading to Betsy and Conrad’s house, Calvin finally realized that his wife’s erratic behavior was indicative of some kind on neurosis.


Betsy sat down to surf the internet while waiting for Calvin her son-in-law to pick up the baby. She was startled when an article by C. E. Clark on Hub-Pages caught her eye, maybe it was the picture or the intro, but the story caused the hair on the back of her neck to stand up as she thought about the kitty litter on the baby’s mouth and again felt the icy lump in the pit of her stomach and she is filled with a strong sense of foreboding when she read that the parasites described in C. E. Clark’s article often come from cat feces, she thought of the kitty litter she had washed from the baby’s mouth. The ringing of the doorbell cut into her thoughts and she shut down the computer.

Betsy invited Calvin into the kitchen to talk about her daughter Buttercup, Calvin’s wife Temisha. Betsy told Calvin about the time when Buttercup was 16, her attempted suicide and how she and Conrad had to have their daughter Temisha committed to a sanatorium to get her the psychiatric help she needed, but she neglected to tell Calvin that Temisha had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.



© 2018 Shyron E Shenko

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