A Halloween lesson

Vishakha Choudhary
commons editor

When I was a kid, I had an active imagination. I had four imaginary friends with eccentric personalities and colorful hair. I didn’t do anything without them, I had them follow me everywhere, but someone else would tag along too.

He would only hang out with us when it was dark out, or when mom and dad were away. He didn’t like any of my other friends and didn’t like it when I looked directly at him. He was tall, he would have to hunch over to fit through the door. He had small wispy hairs lined up on his scalp, his skin was pale and flaky with deep seated eyes. So deep that his pupils were hard to distinguish. His nails were long and always looked like they were caked in mud or something else.

I didn’t like being around him, he always asked if I would “be his new Lily” and asked me to call him Joe. Joe Mamma. I never told him to leave because his teeth were gross and I avoided insinuating conversations, so I’d let him play with me. As a kid I didn’t see anything wrong with him but when I got rid of all my imaginary friends and couldn’t get rid of him, I started to worry.

“Hey mom.” I shut the door quickly before the cold October wind could follow me in.

“Don’t shut the door that hard, the wood is old,” she replied with no real interest. I rolled my eyes and walked up the beige carpeted stairs to my room.

“Welcome home honey.” Joe said.

I had genuine hatred in my heart for Joe, not just because he was ugly but also because he was clingy. I figured if I just started ignoring him he’d go away like my imaginary friends did. I sat on my bed not sure of what to do since Joe was still trying to get my attention. He stopped his rambling and came and sat in front of me with hardly enough space between us for me to not feel the cold radiating off his body.

As I kept my eyes cast down my chest began to feel heavy. His hand lifted off the bed and began traveling to my face. The closer his hand got to touching me, the sweatier my palms got. He had never done anything to hurt me but his appearance made sure I never got to close to him. His hand rested on my cheek now, he pushed my face up to be leveled with his and that’s when I saw it. His sockets went all the way to the back of his skull with nothing in them. My heart sank and I felt frozen.

“Do you know who Lily was?” I was shaking now. I drew a breath in and my brain formed a response. “Would you get mad if I told you I didn’t care?”

And then he killed me.

Think before you speak.

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