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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


Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on June 18, 2020:

Thank you Au fait for the comments. I have a couple more chapters, but I think my computer swallowed them and they have to be re-written.

Hope all is well with you also and you are practicing social distances.

Blessings Dear friend.

C E Clark from North Texas on June 13, 2020:

Still a great story, and I think it could handle another chapter or two. Posting it again on FB and AH.

Hope all is well with you. Coronavirus is picking up again, so I hope you are still being cautious. Stay safe.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on January 20, 2020:

Peggy, sorry it took me so long to answer your comment which I really appreciate.

Thank you for the comments and your visit.

Blessings my friend.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 02, 2019:

Buttercup, a.k.a. Tamisha, sounds like a really disturbed person. Hopefully she will get the help she needs before she destroys not only her life, but others around her including her baby.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on November 23, 2019:

Au fait, thank you for the comments. I hope to soon get more chapters written.

Hope you are also surviving the wicked weather.

Blessings to my dear friend.

C E Clark from North Texas on October 31, 2019:

Came back to post this excellent story on AH & FB.

Hope you're surviving this new wicked weather and keeping warm. Blessings, dear friend.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on January 04, 2019:

Cee, I have the next chapter written, however a lot of things got in the way of publishing it. I appreciate you offer to help put the ad together. You have always been a great help to me with everything.

Blessings dear friend, hope all is well with you also.

C E Clark from North Texas on December 10, 2018:

This is such a great story, I hoped you would write more, maybe a chapter a week and publish it one chapter at a time. Then advertise it on Pinterest. A lot of things are marketed on Pinterest anymore. I think you might be able to initiate a fair amount of traffic from Pinterest by offering a free novel. I'm willing to help put the ad together and list it everywhere I can for you and I think many other people here who have Pinterest accounts would list it on one of their boards and FB pages too.

Hope all is well with you. Blessings dear friend . . .

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on June 11, 2018:

Jo, thank you for the visit.

We will see, but I doubt it.

Blessings my friend.

Jo Miller from Tennessee on April 11, 2018:

I hope things get better for this family.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on March 24, 2018:

Thank you DDE for the comments.

Blessings my friend

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on March 14, 2018:

Frank, I am so happy you found this entertaining and crazy good. From you that is a great compliment. I appreciate you.

Thank you and Blessings always.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on March 14, 2018:

Devika, thank you for the visit and comment. You are right about washing hands before touching baby, but with mental illness people do things unconsciously without thinking of anything or anyone.

Blessings to you my dear friend.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on March 14, 2018:

Shyron, since I see nothing new.. I have to admit.. this Buttercup.. story is crazy good.. I enjoyed it the 2nd time... It is so entertaining and I hate to keep using that word.. but fiction is fiction and it's designed to entertain...:)

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on March 14, 2018:

Maria, my sweet beautiful friend. Thank you so very much for the comments.

I have seen mental illness and sadness like this and was tempted to write about it before, but life gets in the way.

Blessings my dear friend.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on March 14, 2018:

Chitrangada, thank you so very much for the comment, I really appreciate you.

Blessings always my friend.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on March 14, 2018:

Dear Peg, thank you for the comments, sorry it has taken so long to answer them. Yes thank goodness Buttercup’s mother arrived in time, or did she?

Blessings my dear friend.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on March 14, 2018:

Genna, thank you for the comments, you are appreciated. Yes there will be other installments, but hubby health and wellbeing comes first … please forgive the delay in answering your comment.

Blessings always dear friend

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on March 13, 2018:

Dear Shyron,

Such an interesting story line on subjects that are often untouched or grossly distorted.

I look forward to seeing where this story takes us - always so good to see writing from your corner.

Thinking of you and sending hugs, Maria

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on March 10, 2018:

Au fait, thank you as usual for the comment.

Yes I agree that people need to wash their hands, even if Buttercup had been wearing gloves she should have washed, but maybe had she been in her right mind she would have or not used her bare hands for poop scooping.

I have more chapters of Buttercup, but they will have to wait till hubby get better, if he does.

Blessings my dear friend.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on March 10, 2018:

Sounds like a good and absorbing story, and makes the reader curious about what next.

Thank You for sharing!

DDE on March 05, 2018:

A unique write and I look forward to your next one. Your style is interesting and makes me wonder of how can one fail to wash their hands before touching anything or the baby.

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on March 04, 2018:

Incredible start to this tale that leaves intriguing hints at things to come. Thank goodness Buttercup's mother showed up when she did or who knows? I'll be hoping the baby will be alright after her mother's thoughtlessness. Looking forward to more.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on March 04, 2018:

This is an intriguing story that captures the reader, and can go in a number of different directions. Buttercup has definite problems, and belongs in therapy -- in the hands of professionals -- and away from that baby. I hope there is a next installment, Shy.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on March 02, 2018:

Hello Mike, thank you for the comment, I will be back soon, I hope.

Blessings as always

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on March 02, 2018:

Flourish, thank you for the comment, I hope to be able to write more soon.

Blessings always.

C E Clark from North Texas on March 01, 2018:

People need to wash their hands more often. Horrible that she touched her baby anywhere, let alone on his mouth, with her filthy cat poopy hands. I know people actually do these things and it's so disgusting and not too healthful. Hope the baby doesn't end up with toxoplasma gondii. (I know, it's just fiction.)

Thank you for including my article about toxoplasma gondii in your story. Having experience with bipolar people, it will be interesting to see how your story unfolds. You have a great start and I think it will keep people reading to see what's next.

Blessings dear friend.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on February 27, 2018:

Hello Shy - Very entertaining. Glad you had time to sit and create.

FlourishAnyway from USA on February 25, 2018:

I love the way you rhyme your comments. Even they are entertaining, Shyron. I can't wait for the next installment.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on February 25, 2018:

Frank, thank you for you kind words,

I am so glad you were entertained.

Blessings always my friend

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on February 25, 2018:

Shannon, thank you for the comment, I really appreciate you.

Blessings always my friend

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on February 25, 2018:

Bill, have no fear for the adorable Puddy Tat

This tale is not about the kitty

I didn’t even think of that

It was just an incident that came to mind

Thank you for reading and for the comment

Blessings always.

Shyron E Shenko (author) from Texas on February 25, 2018:

Flourish, the kitty will not get the blame

Because Buttercup is insane!

Thank you so very much for the comment.

Blessings my friend.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on February 25, 2018:

I haven't been so entertained reading a quick fiction in such a long time.. Love the style the format ... and the story-line!!!!!

Shannon Henry from Texas on February 25, 2018:

Sounds like quite a harrowing tale is about to unfold. I hope the baby doesn't get sick!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 25, 2018:

Oh my! Let's hope the kitty comes out of this all right...sooo adorable!

FlourishAnyway from USA on February 25, 2018:

Buttercup is a real gem. I hope the kitty doesn’t get blamed for her bad behavior.

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