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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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