Over the past couple years, I've had a lot of fun reading and giving randomness to Stuart Conover's work. I was really excited to see that another short story of Stuart's (say that three times fast! go ahead, i'll wait) had been released. Although this time, it's shockingly not in print, it's in podcast form!
Barry the Basement Bear can be found by clicking the link and is a part of The Wicked Library's podcast series. The podcast runs for 57:21 (complete with funny filler and an interview with the author), so let's settle in for a listen!
Barry is described as a light in the dark keeping the monsters at bay. The protagonist views Barry as a true friend and someone who must always be kept around, must to the chagrin of the protagonist's father. The first time Barry is left behind, something goes horribly wrong.
The protagonist tries to carry on as they always have, but their father becomes angrier with Barry's presence and decides it's time for the protagonist to grow up and be "normal." The father "deals with" Barry, leaving the protagonist to find life has become hellish without Barry's presence. The decision is made to get Barry back in order to restore life with the comfort and security the protagnoist had always known.
This decision makes the protagonist's father go apocalyptic, determining that Barry needs to go permanently and if the protagonist tries to save Barry again, there will be serious consequences. That night, even though Barry is not with them, Barry lets the protagonist know they shouldn't worry. They'll be protected. Always.