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Buttercup and the Thing: How Buttercup Came to Be – 2nd Installment

Updated on June 13, 2020
Buttercup - the name given a sweet delicate flower.
Buttercup - the name given a sweet delicate flower. | Source

The Rescue

Betsy Bradford had taken her grandson to her home after removing him from a dangerous situation, then while waiting for her grandson’s father to pick him up Betsy came across an article published on the internet about Toxoplasma gondii by C.E. Clark that made her blood run cold.

When Calvin Landen arrived at his in-laws home his mother-in-law did not mention Ms. Clark's article or the kitty-litter on the baby's mouth, nor did she mention that Buttercup had been diagnosed as being bipolar.


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 Not So Sweet Beginning: thirty-seven years prior

Betsy Bradford could hardly wait for Calvin Landen to pick-up her grandson so she could go back to reading more of the information in the article by Au fait/C.E. Clark and read the symptoms of Toxoplasma Gondi.

As soon as Calvin was out the door Betsy sat down at the computer and opened the article. Every word she read took her further back into the past all the way to when she was pregnant for the fifth time, back to the time when she lied to Conrad, not that she always told him the truth, but this was the big lie.

Conrad and Betsy Bradford married when they were both eighteen and Betts got pregnant and he never let her forget that he would not have married her if she had not gotten pregnant. From their wedding day they fought about everything and there were rumors of domestic abuse, but the authorities were never called at least not to anyone else’s knowledge.

The Lie:

One particular day Conrad worked half a day, which was unusual, but this was one day he came home early, “Betts” he called out walking into the kitchen, but she was not there, she was still in bed.

Conrad yelled “GET UP!” WHAT THE?... ARE YOU PREGNANT AGAIN? … GET RID OF IT! That same day Conrad made the appointment with a doctor and he went with Betsy, then waited outside. Betsy told the receptionist she was there to apply for the job they had advertised and she was given an application … she took her time filling out the application, then walked out of the doctor’s office and got into their car, pretending she was hurting and pretending she was no longer pregnant she kept up the ruse until it was too late and hoped that Conrad would not insist on a late term abortion if he should find out about the lie.

Sweet little Buttercup is born

Conrad was furious, Betsy would have her baby, and a beautiful baby girl was born. Suddenly Conrad was no longer furious, Tamisha (a. k.a. Buttercup) was born, he had thought it would be another boy

The past story continues to play-out in Betsy’s mind as she tries desperately to fight the chills that run up and down her spine as she remembers how he doted on their little Buttercup … Conrad would give Buttercup anything and a new wave of chills hits Betsy full force at the memory of Buttercup at about age three when Conrad brought home a little yellow kitten.


Back to the present! Calvin returns to Betsy and Conrad’s home

Betsy was relieved when the doorbell rang and Calvin was back with the baby, the baby would be safe with her and taking care of him would take her mind off the Toxoplasma Gondi she had been reading about …

Calvin was almost home, then abruptly turned the car around when he realized that he could not help his wife and take care of the baby too. He was relieved that Betsy would take care of the baby while he sought help for his wife.

Overwhelmed Betsy shuts down the computer and returns to the present. She had no idea the lure this particular article was having on her psyche.

The icy chills ran up her spine

With a hold on her spirit entwined

Without rhyme or reason defined

Simply feeling the symptoms that matched every line

— Shyron E Shenko

© 2018 Shyron E Shenko


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    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      5 months ago from North Texas

      Tried to leave a comment on your newest poem -- Jake, The Queen of Hearts. Strange that I haven't seen it before, yet it says it was published 4 weeks ago. I come to your site at least twice weekly and I never noticed it before tonight.

      Haven't played poker (always for pennies, nickels, and dimes) in years. At least 30. Back then someone objected to 'gambling,' and another friend immediately asked the objector, "Where can you go for less, and have as good a time?"

      Excellent poem. I would post it on AH & FB if I could, but for some reason comments aren't allowed, nor re-posting, with Mavis.

      Blessings, dear friend. Hope 2021 will be a great year for you and yours. Be safe!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      6 months ago from North Texas

      Came back to see if you'd added to this story. Going to post it on

      AH & FB just the same.

      Having a harder time every time I try to write a comment on anyone's articles, not just yours, because the people who took this site over are making it more and more impossible to comment. Not sure what to do, because I like to shed light on a few different articles every now and then.

      Relieved with the election results in our real lives, and just hope things will now turn around and get better for everyone. It's been like living in a nightmare for seemingly forever. Who knew 4 years could last so long?

      Hope you are well and continuing to take precautions to remain healthy even though it's all getting old. Hopefully things will get better soon for everyone. Blessings, dear friend. Stay safe . . .

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      9 months ago from North Texas

      Time for another installment I think. This is such a good story that I'm betting no one wanted to put it down, so to speak. Going to post this on AH & FB.

      The weather seems to be cooling down a little. Low and mid 90s for the foreseeable future. Of course the weather is probably the least of most people's concerns with everything else that's going on. Hope you and Walter are continuing to take precautions against the virus and staying safe. Blessings, dear friend . . .

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      16 months ago from Texas

      Peggy, thank you so much for the comment. I do hope you enjoy the other installments.

      Blessings my friend.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      18 months ago from Houston, Texas

      After reading this, I realized that I must have missed reading what came before this installment. Will remedy that now.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      18 months ago from Texas

      Thank you Au fait, for the comments and all.

      Take care of yourself and many Blessings.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      19 months ago from North Texas

      Posting this second installment to your excellent story on AH & FB also. Hopefully lots of people will read both.

      Blessings, dear friend. Take care, and stay inside where it's warm.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Au fait/Cee my dear friend, thank you for the comment and compliments. I really appreciate you.

      I hope to publish a new chapter soon.

      Blessing my dear friend.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Genna, thank you so for the comment, I really appreciate you.

      Blessings always.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Flourish, thank you for the comments. I too find it repulsive to think of a child or even an adult getting exposed to cat excrement making them also exposed to Toxoplasma Gondi and I needed to explain a way that the child could be exposed.

      Blessings my friend.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Larry, Buttercup is pretty poison, if only we could see into the soul of others.

      I thank you for the comment Larry, Blessings my friend.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Frank Atanacio, thank you so much for the comment and I appreciate the correction, I do not mind corrections at all.

      I really though that I replied to your comment, but cannot see it.

      Blessings my friend

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Brett! I am so happy to see you {:^)), I will check out you travel guides when I get myself back together. Please start writing again, I look forward to reading your hubs.

      I do thank you for the comment.

      Things have not been good of late, nothing will ever be the same without my love.

      Blessings always

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett C 

      3 years ago from Asia

      Hi Shyron, just saw your comment lol (sorry, very slow I know!).

      I didn't give up writing entirely, just got sidetracked by other projects.

      A couple of years back I became the writer for Nehow ltd, a Chinese travel company and got to write all of the travel guides etc. It was pretty cool as experiences go, but after crafting around 15 city guides and cultural guides, some of which are over 20,000 words each, I took a break from writing :-p. You can download the guides in their app if you are interested, just search 'China travel guide' in the app store, I think they are still top.

      I really should start writing for fun again though ;)

      How are things with you? What's been happening?

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Everyone has a story - this installment is enlightening.

      I'm excited to see where you go with this, dear Shyron.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      3 years ago from North Texas

      You're doing what I think is the hardest thing, creating characters with depth, and plots within plots, and doing it so well. I wonder if you realize just how good you are? When I watch X-Factor I sometimes here the judges say this to contestants, but I think it applies to writers and anyone who designs or creates things, not just singers, etc. The technical side of writing can be learned, but the ability to create complicated stories within stories is a natural talent that one has or doesn't have. I'm not sure it can be learned.

      Anyway, I also appreciate that youpre building this story around an article I wrote, among other issues (mental illness, etc.). I'm looking forward to the next chapter as I'm sure all of your readers are.

      I hope you and John are enjoying the cooler weather while it last, and that all everything is the best it can be for you both. Blessings and hugs dear friend.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Oh my goodness, Shyron,...this continues to be quite a story, and Cat's song is the perfect accompaniment.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      3 years ago from USA

      The thought of gross things in that child's mouth is so nasty. They're not exactly a healthy extended family, mentally or physically.

    • Larry Fish profile image

      Larry W Fish 

      3 years ago from Raleigh

      An interesting story, Shyron. I fell in love with Buttercup myself then with the little kitten that Conrad brought home.

    • profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      3 years ago

      Shyron.. yeah.. you held my interest and I really enjoyed this read.. one minor thing though hope you don't mind.. but is this right? (… or so she though ) ...

      The lie was gripping... and the story read without a hiccup... in other words I enjoyed Buttercup and the thing..


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