Imaginary Friends | By: Yolanda Jackson | | Category: Short Story - Horror Bookmark and Share

Imaginary Friends





Chapter One

Everyone had or has imaginary friends; what do yours tell you to do? Well, I’ll tell you about my friends. Back in the 1980's, I was living the worthless life of an abused child, one that society doesn’t care about. I was what they called poor white trash; my father was nowhere around and my mother was a whore and drug addict. Every night she would bring different men into the house, hoping to score enough money for a hit, and most of the time she would sell me to them. I was raped, beaten and molested, but she didn’t care; my innocence was making her rich. Instead of the men asking for her, they’d asked for me. Yes, I tried to fight back, but the men were too strong for me. I called out for my mother, but she ignored my pleas; she sat in the room and smoked her cocaine as the men had their way with me. She never came to check on me; she didn’t know if I was alive or dead before she set up another john. I begged her not to sell me anymore, but she didn’t care, that cocaine was more important to her than I was.

While the men were having their way with me; I began to blackout and go into a world that I called my own. I had to step out of reality in order to keep the little bit of life I had left in me. When my mother saw that selling me was a great idea, the best thing that had ever happened to her, she continued to do it more and more. I tried to run away, but was always caught. My mother began to lock me in the old cellar; it was damp and creepy, there was no light, no windows and every day was the same as night. I was afraid, I began to scream; the dark frightened me so terribly that I would wet my pants. No matter how often I wanted to stop from going to the bathroom on myself, I couldn’t. The fear was so deep; I could feel it in my bones. I begged my mother that I would do whatever she wanted, that I would be a good girl, but she never answered me; she left me in the basement for days, weeks, months.

The men would come down with a kerosene lamp and do their business with me. I got so sick of the abuse and the rapes that I began to talk to myself. I was trying to convince myself that it would be okay, that one day my mother would love me and make everything all right, but that day never came. I waited patiently; I closed my eyes and prayed for a miracle, and yet the miracle never came, it was always ‘in the works’.

I sat in the corner of the dark, damp cold cellar, crying my eyes out, wanting to be set free, wanting to be back upstairs with my mother. I was so afraid that I began to make up imaginary friends, a group of people that would love and protect me, a group of friends that would never let anything happen to me. As I sat there, the first friend I created was Johnny. He was a white guy with really blonde hair; dressed like a cowboy and always toted a gun in each of his holsters. Johnny was a cool cat that always told jokes, very sarcastic ones, and smoked the hell out of some cigarettes; he loved Marlboros. Even though it was dark, I could still see the creation of my friend in my mind, and I would stare into his blue eyes, like a damsel in distress, and hope that Johnny would save me.

Then my little fantasy would be over, and I’d come back to reality. But, when the memories of the rapes and abuse got to be too much for me to handle, I’d make Johnny appear in my mind to help me, and then he’d disappear. Until one day, or night, I never could tell because I was locked in the fucking cold dark cellar, sitting there fully awake, I began to smell cigarette smoke! At first I thought I was still in my fantasy world, but I wasn’t; I remembered waking myself from my fantasy. Then I got scared; could Johnny really be alive? Could I have the power to raise my thoughts from the dead? Could my fantasy come to life?

Well, it did! While sitting in the corner, I could feel the soft clouds of smoke grace my face, and from a distance I could see a red light in the background. I was afraid and began to move around in the dark, trying to make my imaginary friend go away. I covered my eyes with my hands; when suddenly I felt a soft touch pull my hair. I was so afraid to turn around; I kept my eyes closed and counted to ten, hoping that whatever I had created would go away. But it didn’t; it came closer and closer, until I was forced to open my eyes.

I screamed as I saw this figment of my imagination come to life. I screamed and screamed, but no one could hear me; there was a party going on upstairs and the music was too loud. I screamed so much that I lost my voice, and Johnny just stood in the corner, smoking his cigarettes, laughing at me.

"Dude, chill out," he said.

But, I was in a state of shock; I had just been fucking scared shitless because my imagination had come to life, and this shit was scary. It took hours for me to calm down, but when I did, Johnny was still standing in the corner, only this time he was playing with his gun, twirling and spinning it around his fingers like a toy. He glowed in the dark and I got a better look at his face; he was perfect, just like I had created him, but his blue eyes glowed a faint red and that was disturbing. Nevertheless, I was happy to know that I had a friend to be with me and chase out the bad guys. Johnny pulled out a deck of old cards, I could tell that they had been used before, from the wear on the back of the cards, and in the light of his glow, we played go fish and memory match.

Johnny always let me win; he was the perfect man, he was the father I could only dream of having. He was also a great storyteller; he told me of back in the old days how he used to rob banks and could outrun the sheriff of the town, and of days spent sleeping on the open range and getting run off the land by the owners. These stories, to me, were very comforting and relaxing. For the first time in months, I was able to fall off asleep without a care in the world; for the first time I was not afraid to sleep alone, the cellar never frightened me anymore. Johnny was here to save me and protect me from all the evil men that had hurt me.

I could see him pacing the floor at night, he was talking with someone, but I couldn’t see who that was. I didn’t care, I was happy to have peace of mind and my own bodyguard, but I was concerned that Johnny was talking to someone or something, and whatever it was, it was a heated conversation. All I could see were Johnny’s lips moving and he kept looking back over his shoulder at me. I overlooked his mischievous ways and began to drift off to sleep, for the first time in a long time I could close my eyes without the fear of finding a strange man on top of me. With Johnny there, I was completely safe, nothing could hurt me ever again. Johnny was my hero, he was always there, but seemed occupied, as if something else required his attention. But, I didn’t mind, as long as I got peace and quiet.

Suddenly, I heard footsteps coming down the cellar stairs. A voice shouted out, "You little bitch, where are you? Come and play with daddy."

I quickly ran behind Johnny to protect me and he didn’t let me down.

Out of the darkness, Johnny approached the john and said, "Now, that's no way to treat a young lady."

For a minute, I didn’t think that the two would be able to see each other; after all, Johnny was just my imagination. But, something strange happened, they could both see each other, and the john became very afraid.

"Who the hell are you? I paid for her first," shouted the john at Johnny.

"Well, I’m her new best friend; and your worst nightmare," said Johnny.

The john pushed Johnny out of the way and headed toward me, groping my chest and private parts. Out of the blue, Johnny began to shoot his gun at the john over and over again; it seemed like Johnny was never going to stop. Finally, I went over and prevented him from putting another bullet in the john. At first, I was a little terrified, but it served that john right; I was young enough to be his daughter and he was paying my mother to sell me to him. From the glow off of Johnny, I could see the blood splatters all over the cellar walls, I could see the guy’s head full of bullet holes and his eyes rolled back and facing the heavens.

For once in my life, I felt so powerful and unafraid. Johnny loved it too, he began to kiss and caress his gun; then he took his old handkerchief and wiped the bloodstains off. Johnny wanted to do it again, he wanted to kill, he loved the idea of killing. I told him that we had to get to the top of the stairs and escape, but he seemed reluctant to go up there. I let him know that it would be all right; then he confided in me that when grown ups are around; kids tend to forget about their imaginary friends.

I said, "Oh no, not me I’d never forget about you, I love you!"

Johnny just smiled, giving me a soft peck on the cheek and held my hands; his eyes began to turn red again, and although it frightened me, I pretended it didn’t exist because I wanted him around, the first man in my life that never wanted anything from me. Johnny was the perfect gentleman and I was willing to overlook his faults. My gut was telling me that something was wrong, but for whatever reason, I ignored my gut feeling and began to enjoy the pleasure of revenge.

Before we went upstairs, Johnny told me that we had to get at least four more friends. He let me know that I had the power to conjure up anything I wanted, and in order for me to be totally safe I had to kill all of those evil people upstairs, and all throughout the world. At first it didn’t sound right, especially when his eyes began to glow red again. When Johnny saw me thinking too hard, he reminded me how he had protected me, and how, if I had many more imaginary friends, I could be protected for life. The offer sounded good, and I jumped on board; besides, what could go wrong with just a few more imaginary friends? Not only would I be safe, but I could help other abused children that were in the same situation. So, for about an hour, I conjured up images of the perfect friends that I’d want to save and protect me.

First, I closed my eyes and said, "Samson, come forward."

And, he did. I could hear his huge footsteps in the background. I slowly opened my eyes, and saw my imagination come to live. Samson was a huge black gorilla, at least nine feet tall and over a ton. He had the biggest brown eyes, and his coat was so soft; I just ran up and hugged him tightly. At first, he didn’t move or make any loving motions toward me, but then Johnny spoke up.

"Yo, Samson, you big ape, give the little girl a hug."

Suddenly Samson warmed up and hugged me with his huge paw-like hands. That was the softest coat I had ever felt. But, as I was excited to meet another one of my imaginary friends, Johnny was pushing me to make more.

He kept on telling me, "We need at least two more."

So, then I conjured up Emily. She was very spooky, her skin was a pale ashen color, and she looked as if she’d been dead for years! She was really skinny and limber, the same age as I was, but she was a little shy; her long black hair covered one side of her face. I finally built up enough nerve to approach her.

I called out, "Emily!"

She just stood there like a zombie, slowly moving in an awkward fashion. Her legs and arms looked as if they were broken, but that was just the way she moved and walked; like an animal on all fours. Finally, when I called to her again, she answered with saliva coming out of her mouth. I went over and hugged her, but I could feel the evil coming from inside her. Something just wasn’t right, but I wanted to be free so bad that I once again overlooked all of the common sense that Jesus had given me.

And, last but not least, I created an old man named Walter. I liked to call him Sir Walter; he was nicely dressed, always in a white tux, and with dark shades on. He was at least seventy years old and carried an old wooden cane. I loved Walter’s silver hair and I made him to help me keep the others in line. But, what was disturbing about Walter was that he had no eyes, and worms lived in the socket. These worms were Walter’s friend; he wouldn’t let me take them out, he loved those worms like pets.

Once I had all of my friends together in one room, they began to whisper to each other, as if they had known one another for years. I told them to stop it; I didn’t like being left out. They all apologized in sneaky voices, but I was just glad that they had; for once someone said that they were sorry for something they’d done to me. Now it was time to take revenge on my mother and all of her friends. We walked up the cellar steps like a big bad gang.

After Samson tore down the locked door, for the first time in my life, I had all the confidence I needed. Once I made it to the top, I could hear the loud music, and I could smell the drugs in the air. Anyone who wasn’t having sex was snorting cocaine.

"Lil girl, go back in your cave," shouted one of my mother's friends.

I became very angry and told Emily to scare the daylights out of her. I watched as Emily crawled on top of her. As the girl began to scream, Emily put her entire hand down the girl’s throat and ripped out her vocal cords. Blood went everywhere. The music was so loud that no one could hear her. Even though it was a bit gross, I loved it. I began to enjoy someone else’s pain, the same way they had enjoyed mine.

Now it was payback time. I ordered Samson to go through the house and smash anything he wanted, kill as many as he saw fit. He was happy; a big smile came over his face. He began to pound his chest and bellowed with a loud roar, I had to cover my ears because it was so loud. Off Samson went, smashing everything in the house, putting huge holes in the walls. I could hear the people screaming and falling over each other, most of them thought they had a buzz from the cocaine, but little did they know that it was real. Many of them began to run, but Samson threw them against the walls like rag dolls. I could see people flying through the air; everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. I was guarded by my four friends, I was untouchable.

Samson went through the house like a whirlwind, ripping electric cords out of sockets, tearing down ceiling fans, and knocking over television sets. No one was safe in the house, and that was the way I liked it; because I was never safe in my own home, no one else should be either. I saw Samson pick up one man and break him in two, his body’s top half went one way and the bottom the other. I watched as Samson pulled out his spine and threw it against the wall.

Then, as one man tried to escape, Walter tripped him with his cane so Samson could catch him. The more the people screamed, the more pleasure I got from watching their deaths. For the first time in my life, I was in control; no one would be able to hurt me again. While Samson was destroying the house, and Emily scared people, I sent Johnny to execute as many people as he wanted. His eyes lit up, and before I could say go, Johnny was gone. I could hear the gunshots in the air, the sounds of dead bodies plunging to the floor and the wicked laugh of Johnny. I didn’t care; I wanted to let him have all the fun he wanted.

Walter stayed constantly by my side, nagging me about how we had to clean up and get rid of the bodies. He was more the mother hen, making sure we all did what we were suppose to. Blood was everywhere; one wall looked as if someone had painted it red from all of the blood splatters. Then, as Walter was giving me my chore list, I heard my mother's voice, she was begging for her life. She was in the kitchen on her knees asking Johnny to forgive her, begging and pleading for her worthless life. She turned and looked at me, as if I was supposed to help her; after all she had done to me, she wanted me to save her.

"You have to be kidding," I said.

But she continued to beg. I then had the brightest idea; I called for Samson to come into the kitchen. When he showed up, I told him to make a hole in the wall and stick my mother in it. Johnny tied her hands and legs, and then I called Emily to tear out her voice. Emily came quickly, stuffed her hand into my mother's throat and ripped out her vocal cords. I could see my mother tremble as she held onto her throat, blood beginning to fill her airways, and I watched her slowly die, but that was not the end to her torture. I had the walls of the house sealed up.

All through the night, the five of us placed the dead bodies in the walls, and to make sure they didn’t stink, we wrapped them in sheets with sweet smelling incense. For two days, we cleaned the house and hid the bodies in the walls, until the house was like new. There were no signs of there ever being any killings or even someone living there. I was very proud of what I had done, the world was now a safer place with my mother and her friends gone, but there was lots more to do; there were many more children like me to saved.

I felt like an agent of revenge, making all the wrongs right. Not one day went by that I was regretful, I wasn’t sorry that my mother was dead, she deserved everything she got. She left me to suffer at the hands of her friends, now I hoped she was in hell suffering too. As days and weeks went by, I was having a blast with my imaginary friends. Walter would cook and Samson would eat most of the food. We sat at the table like a family; I even took them outside to play. Johnny loved the rural outdoors; he said it reminded him of his old west days.

I’d play with my friends, and children would laugh and call me a freak as they passed by; it seemed no one could see my friends but me. The children would run away from me or walk on the other side of the street. I didn’t care, I loved the world I was in; somehow my mind didn’t conform to reality, I was always in a dream. One day, the children were coming home from school and Samson and I were playing in the front yard.

One kid yelled out, "You fucking freak!"

Something inside of me just snapped. I told Samson to go and get that kid. He wasted no time charging after the kid like a wild animal. Finally, I could see the fear on the kid's face; the boy turned pure white. I laughed hysterically, I couldn’t stop; it seemed so funny to me, even when Samson bit off his head with one chop. Blood spurted everywhere, and because we were in a rural town, there was no one around. I watched as Samson swallowed the boy's head and then regurgitate it back up, that was so cool to me. The boy's body kept walking on its own, and I let it walk for hours in the back yard. As the blood drained from the neck we even played ring around the neck to see who could get three of their rings around it as the body walked without a head. Of course, Johnny won, followed by Emily. We had a blast, until there was a knock on the door. Samson grabbed the child and placed his body in the cellar and put its head in the outdoor septic tank.

I let Walter answer the door, because he was the only one suitable, most of us had blood all over our clothes and hands. At the door stood the sheriff; he asked questions about a missing boy. Walter played it smooth, he denied everything, he’d never seen a child, and told the officer that no children stopped at this house because of his sick daughter, that every child in the area was afraid of her.

The officer agreed and said, "How true you are."

Walter gave him a fake smile and the officer went on his way; he was one of those dumb officers that never paid attention to his surroundings. Because, if he had, he would have noticed the bloody handprints on the side of the house where he was standing, less than a foot away from him. I began to laugh, law enforcement was a joke, and we could go on killing for years without anyone ever noticing anything. As the police officer pulled away, I suddenly saw him stop the car, as if he was going to turn around. I began to get a little worried; then he got out of the car to shut the trunk, he had accidentally left it open and it was flapping in the wind.

I smiled and said to myself, What a stupid cop. Then I went on my way, cleaning the blood from the side of the house, and then retrieved the boy's body from the cellar.

Suddenly, Johnny said, "What is your name, and what shall we call you?"

For a second, I paused and realized that my mother never took the time to teach me my name; I was always called "hey you", "asshole" or "bitch". I had no answer for Johnny. I was so sad to realize that I didn’t have a name. I quickly ran into my mother's bedroom and began to search for anything about who I was, where I was born, or who I really belonged to. I found nothing, not even a baby picture, no diaries; nothing related to my birth, until I went to the back of her closet and pulled out a yellow envelope. On it was written "my worst nightmare". I opened it, and inside were pictures all tore up into tiny little pieces, with a note saying that she’d never wanted me, she wanted to kill me, but her heart wouldn’t let her do it. So, to take revenge on her heart, she’d abuse me until the pain she felt from being raped by her father was gone.

My mother was raped by her own father and I was the product of that! I guessed that's what led her to prostitution and drugs. The letter went on to say that she tried many times to kill me, whether it was holding my head underwater or kicking me down the stairs when I was younger, but for some reason I wouldn’t die. I was like a black omen to my mother; she hated every fiber of my being. One thing she mentioned that was strange was that every time she tried to kill me, a bright white light would appear. I asked Walter what that meant, and he told me it was them trying to protect me. They needed me alive so they could stay alive. He said that every abused or neglected child was so badly damaged mentally that they formed imaginary friends like him, Johnny, Emily and Samson. Without an abused child, or a mentally disturbed person, they would also die. Well, I promised Walter that I wouldn’t let them die, I would never leave them.

Emily crawled on the bed next to me. "How about we name you baby doll?"

"I like it," I said to Emily.

She smiled and crawled back off of the bed. I ran to the stove and burned all of my mother's papers; I was upset and angry that she hadn’t cared enough for me to even take the time to give me a name. But, who cared, I had my imaginary friends and that’s all that mattered. I was something to them, and they were something to me. Then Johnny came into the kitchen with excitement on his face, even as I finished burning the letters.

"Men are at the door with a few women, and they are calling out for your mother."

I quickly ran to the window and took a peak; they were nothing more than my mother's crack friends and her johns. I told Walter to get the door, and then move so that they couldn’t see him. He did so and then vanished through the walls. I could still see his outline; I knew that he was there watching and protecting me. My mother's crack friends came in, they smelled like booze and their clothing was filthy; all of them gave off a terrible odor. They came in, stumbling and making themselves at home.

"Where’s that sweet young thing of yours?" shouted one of the johns.

He was talking about me. I had watched as this man raped me over and over, while my mother stood and watched. I told Emily to go and scare the shit out of him. She crawled toward him with her cripple-like body. I watched as she caressed his penis. He loved it; he never looked down to see who was doing it.

"You like that, baby?" said Emily.

"Oh, yes I do!" said the john.

When he finally looked down, he saw Emily's ghost-like appearance and he began to scream, he screamed so hard that his vocal cords burst in his throat and he began to drown in his own blood. Then Emily ripped his penis out and took it to the bathroom to flush it down the toilet. The john shivered in pain, he couldn’t talk; he felt what I was feeling back when he was raping me and I couldn’t scream or I would be beaten or raped even harder.

I ordered Samson to place the body in the walls of the house. He wasted no time picking up the john, who was still alive, and pushed him into the opening in the walls. I saw the john screaming, begging for my help; it felt good not being the powerless one, it felt good to see someone else beg me for mercy. Finally, I was getting my revenge; I couldn’t wait any longer on the Lord, I had to take matters into my own hands.

Then I ordered Emily into the next bedroom, where some more of my mother’s girl friends were having a ball smoking a line of crack. I sat by the door in the hallway thinking, do I really want to kill them or not? I saw the way they wasted their lives, smoking balls of crack one after the other. I came to the decision that I would let them go, but when I came into the room and asked them to leave, they laughed at me over and over again. The laughter was so wicked that it pierced my heart, for some reason I just couldn’t take the laughter any more, and it hit my emotions so hard that I began to sweat. Beads of sweat ran down my face, the palms of my hands became wet; soon I had the urge to kill them both. I ordered Johnny to kill them, he loved shooting his gun, and he loved killing, this was a piece of cake for him.

Johnny jumped on the bed and began to pump the ladies’ bodies with bullets. I watched as they tried to leave and were blocked at the doorway by Emily and Walter, they loved to see death themselves, but the bullet noise was too much for my ears, I had to leave the room. From the kitchen, I could hear the ladies screaming and calling out for help, but there was no one to help them, they were way out in the country where houses were far apart. This was hillbilly country. I could hear Samson cracking the bodies of the ladies, getting them ready to be put into the walls.

Walter and I had a ritual; we would bathe the dead bodies, and embalm them like the Egyptians did their dead. To me, this was funny and exciting at the same time. One by one, Samson crushed the bones until they couldn’t be crushed anymore, and then handed the dead over to Walter and me. We prepared a special bath, Emily cleaned up the blood; sometimes I would catch her licking the walls that were covered with blood, and I would have to spank her like a little child. But, we were a family, I was the head of the household and in charge; we ate as a family, we laughed as a family, but most importantly we lived happily like a family.

After the house was clean from all of the killings, I noticed that we were running out of food. Feeding four people and Samson was starting to be a strain, but ultimately, I didn’t mind; they were my protectors and I was in charge of taking care of them. So, I told them we would go to the store and shop. First of all, I had a little money that my mother had left behind, and the store was just a small corner market that operated on credit. Walter drove the raggedy old pickup trunk that one of the johns had left behind, and off we went. For the first time in months, I was leaving the house; the sun looked so bright and the sky was so clear. I felt relaxed and happy; I had everything a girl could want, all the way to the store I kept my head out the window like a dog, wanting to see everything.

My life finally seemed to make a little sense, I was happy and so were my imaginary friends, but the more I kept them around, the more they became real. I noticed this when Walter stopped for gas; it seemed as if people could see him, but not the others.

When I asked why that was, all Walter could say was, "One at a time."

So I accepted that and thought to myself, I’ll have a real family in a few more months, every one of my friends will be alive and live among the living.

Well, we made it to the store and we began to pick out our favorite foods. Emily loved jelly; I got her every kind imaginable. We got tons of bread and meat for Samson, noodles and pancakes for Johnny and all Walter liked was tea and soups. I was like a kid in a candy store; I got everything that I ever wanted, candies and all.

"Not too much, you’ll get a bellyache," said Walter.

Suddenly, the owner came over and said, "Who are you talking too?"

I said, "None of your damn business!"

The owner grabbed me by my shirt collar, and suddenly Emily and Samson attacked him. Samson broke his neck while Emily pulled out his heart and stuffed him into a freezer. I thought it was hilarious, but it was time to go before someone saw us. We quickly filled up the truck with all the food we could fit; we had at least five shopping carts of food.

"Wheeeeeeeee, that was a rush," proclaimed Johnny.

He was happy, and so was everyone else; it was as if we had just robbed a bank. Samson wanted to take the body home, but it was too much baggage. I told him that next time we would. Then Samson smiled and was happy again. I reached into a shopping bag and pulled out a carton of milk. As I was drinking from it, I noticed that a reward was posted for the missing child that we’d killed. I just laughed and showed it to everyone. After everyone got a sip of the milk, we threw the carton out the window, not caring about what we’d done. Why should we care when no one ever cared about us?

Once we were almost home, we saw a massive search party looking for the same child that we’d killed. Searchers were handing out flyers and newspaper clipping with pictures and a reward. We took the flyer like we cared and once down the road we balled it up and threw it out the window. I began to laugh hysterically, for some reason this shit was funny to me. That boy would have been an evil person and I’d saved society from his reign.

As soon as we got home, we unloaded our loot. We were like wild dogs, we wanted to eat everything first, until Walter, who I called ‘mother hen’, told us only to eat a little so we wouldn’t get a bellyache. We all pretended to listen, and as soon as he turned his back, we were pigging out. Emily took a whole jar of strawberry jelly and ran off to her hiding spot. I was glad to see her happy, she was like the sister I’d never had. Samson ate the raw meat, which was totally gross and disgusting, but I just loved him, so no matter how gross or strange it was, I overlooked most of what he and my other three friends did, because I was once considered strange and unlovable.

And yet, they all loved me. All that night we pigged out and had a blast; we ate ice cream and watched cartoons. It was like having a day that everything went well. My life was perfect, I didn’t care about anything anymore; I was my own person.

Click Here for more stories by Yolanda Jackson