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Imaginary Friends

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I guess I could say I had an awesome childhood. I was homeschooled, lived on a small farm and had three sisters and a brother to keep me company. I don’t think I ever spent a day stuck inside my house. Even in the pouring rain I’d be outside. That was until one summer afternoon. I was playing catch with my brother when I fell and broke my arm. I was so upset. My mother kept me in my room and if I did go outside, I’d just have to sit and watch everyone else.

The first week was extremely boring. I was seven at the time and not very good at reading, so books were out of the question (I had finished all the picture books at this stage). My mother noticed me sidling around the house looking sad and offered me a notebook and some markers to draw with. For awhile I drew identical houses and flowers, until, for some reason, I drew this odd looking person. It was a stick figure, drawn in blue marker, with a scribble of black on top of its head. It had big green eyes and a huge red grin. I couldn’t stop drawing it. Soon enough I called it Hedgy and adopted him as my imaginary friend.

After that he stopped being a stick person and looked real. He nearly seemed to be talking himself. Hedgy kept asking me to draw him a friend because he was lonely when I was gone. I drew him this medium sized, orange hedge-hog thing called Bob. Hedgy seemed happy enough with Bob. I must have been talking pretty loudly to the both of them because my mother came into my room asking who I was talking to.

“Hedgy and Bob! They're my new friends,” I said to her. She laughed and walked out. Hedgy didn’t find it funny. He pulled out a knife and cut my cheek. “Don’t you tell anyone about me or you’ll be sorry,” he hissed before walking off with Bob.

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I couldn’t make up an excuse for the cut on my cheek. I just shrugged when my dad asked. My parents were getting worried because I spent so much time with Hedgy and Bob. I didn’t care about going outside. If Hedgy didn’t want to, neither did I. After Hedgy had knifed me, Bob tried to apologize on his behalf. I had to say it was okay. God knows what could have happened if I didn’t.

When my arm was finally healed, my sister, Leah, tried to get me to help her feed the chickens and play with her. It was a beautiful day and I couldn’t refuse. When I came in for my dinner, I could see Hedgy sitting in the living room. He looked furious. Bob was pacing up and down looking worried. When I went upstairs that night, Hedgy cut my upper arm. “How dare you play with someone else!” he yelled at me.

“I-I didn’t really want to play w-w-with her. I-I’m sorry,” I sobbed. He walked off with Bob. I had never known where they went. I decided to follow them.

They just went into my closet. When I opened the door, there was no one inside it. I knew how dangerous Hedgy could be now, but I didn’t know what to do. I played with him and Bob for another year before I finally decided to ignore him.

Hedgy didn’t want to be ignored. He threatened to stab me. I ran outside knowing he wouldn’t be able to follow me. I sat on the grass trying to think of what to do. Then it hit me. He wouldn’t be able to exist if I got rid of the drawings! I ran upstairs, grabbed the notebook from the bottom of my bookshelf, and ran back outside. I tore the drawings up and threw the shreds of paper into a nearby stream.

I lived my life normally again after that. I went back to being my old self. I could hardly remember Hedgy and Bob. Then that awful night came. It was mid October. I was washing the dishes when I saw a figure in the window. It was Hedgy. “Aren’t we still friends?” he asked, his voice high pitched. He seemed… different. His smile was demonic looking and his eyes were twitching. It had been three years since I last saw him. I shook my head. “But we had so much fun!” I tried ignoring him. His face scared me. “Where was Bob?” I kept thinking. As if by magic. Bob appeared. He looked awful too, his eyes bloodshot. He looked like he had been crying.

I ran out of the kitchen to the living room where my family was. Why was I so scared of him now? He had been my best friend. And how did he come back? The drawings had been ripped up. I went to bed with a knife, in the hope I might be able to defend myself if he did try to attack me.

It was strange. Hedgy and Bob didn’t come back. But I still lived in fear. I never slept properly. I kept thinking if I did, he’d kill me. This all went on for the next two years. But what I thought was bad, got worse.

It was my dad’s birthday. We were having a party for him. My dad and uncle were looking at old pictures. They sent me in to get more from the living room. I opened the drawer where the pictures were kept, and one caught my eye. It was me and my brother, Adam, in the kitchen on his tenth birthday. All seemed normal, then I saw it. I saw Hedgy. He looked so scary. It was worse than before. Bob looked dead even though he was still standing. I started sobbing and lit the picture on fire. I then threw it in the fireplace. I found the drawings that I ripped up too. I tried burning them, but they stayed intact.

Last week, I was walking through the woods. I found the picture I thought I had burned. It was different this time. Hedgy was closer to the camera. His smile bigger than ever. His eyes emotionless. I didn’t even bother trying to destroy it this time. I just ran back to my house.

I’ll never get Hedgy’s face out of my head. It’s burned into my mind. I don’t sleep properly still. But what puzzles me to this day is, why am I so scared of his face? How can someone I had made my best friend scare me so much?

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