Little Boy Lost

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
I changed my brother's name. I also changed who I was hanging out with at night - I think. I couldn't remember hour to hour what people's names were, so it's a possibility that Allen and Andrea were accurate. Other than that, I didn't change anything. For the sake of word count, I started after we were in our third house in Maine, the sixth in total. I was probably about... I dunno, eight? But in my head I was sixteen, as were my nighttime friends.

Submitted: July 30, 2016

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Submitted: July 30, 2016

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[Daytime] His parents loved him. His parents taught him a variety of things, from knifemaking to costumery, and animal care to cooking. Ethan, his older, half brother, told him stories - usually fanfictions - and taught him to draw. His parents were pushy, though. They wanted him to be the smartest kid in class. Whose parents don't want good things for their children? But he just wanted to be normal. School was hell for him. Half the students nearly worshipped him for how smart he was, the other half made fun of him. Same with the teachers, though with them it was more thinly veiled disdain than outright bullying. The fact that every time he felt he could finally trust his friends, his family would move, didn't help. By the time he was eightteen, they'd lived in eight houses and more than twenty hotels. Seven schools. Three just to finish first grade. And half a year of homeschooling. So his people skills weren't great already. His alternate life, his night life, didn't help. [Night time] (New House) "Goodnight!" The house fell into silence. Vincent hesitated, shivering slightly as he looked around his new room. The attic had no lights, just two outlets per room for lamps. Clouds covered the moon. He bit his lip, eyes wide. It was dark, too dark. A shadow in front of the tiny closet caught his eye. In his head, he knew it was just the two or three black trashbags holding some of his belongings. But he was hearing something - a crinkling noise that set his overactive imagination awhirl. He felt himself start to panic. It was still August in Maine, but he was sweating. He gulped for air. "Help..." His voice came out as a cracked whisper. "Please don't hurt me..." A quiet meow, and Beelzebub - 'Bub' for short - came out from where he'd been sniffing. The black cat shot Vincent a look of disdain, hissed quietly, and padded out to explore elsewhere. The boy sighed in relief and lay back on the cot, pulling the thin, pink and white striped blanket up to his chin. Recalling the quilt in one of the bags, he dug it out. But not before solidly kicking each of the bags... Just to be sure. It was cold. Now that his fear had calmed somewhat, he realised it must've been only forty degrees at most in the room. (Accustomed to the Room, Four Months Later) "Goodnight!" Vincent yawned. He hated the new house. It was so old and weird. The attic floor boards were uneven and had nails that stuck up even if they had just been hammered back in. It was cold. His brother was aloof, now posessing both a lamp and a heater and hogging both of them, never mind that he'd been told to share. Their dad - rather, Vincent's dad and Ethan's stepfather - had yelled at the elder boy the first night the heater had gone upstairs, and after what felt like half the night shivering in the closet, Vincent had been allowed into his brother's warm, brightly lit room. He didn't care about the warmth. Not really. The cold was a nuisance, but it was the dark he really wanted to be away from. Scratching sounds came from the eaves. Vincent froze, turning toward the three foot square door in the wall. The smiley-face nightlight glowed a cheery yellow next to it. Licking his lips nervously, he stumbled over and ripped the light from the wall. Darkness was bad enough, but that light gave him flashbacks to 'It'. Blood on the walls, a clown, and the words "It's back" scrawling in a dying man's blood on the wall of the shower. He shuddered, listening to the scratching, the howling of the wind, and the downstairs neighbor's puppy, Hershey, barking. It was unbelievably warm for winter, especially with the snow outside, frosting up his window to the point that he was worried the cheap glass would crack. Sratch scratch scratch. Scratch scratch. Vincent wondered briefly about his things, as they were stored in the eaves. Licking his lips, he took a deep breath. "Hey. You okay?" He turned, glaring at the open air behind himself until he saw the large man crouching down with a concerned expression. The man chuckled, spreading his hands. "Okay. Sorry. Need a hand up?" Vincent shook his head. "I'm fine, Allen. Leave me alone." As he stood, ducking his head to avoid the low ceiling, the room changed. The grass was soft under his bare feet. Overhead, the sun shone brightly, Andrea was sitting at the picnic table, her eyes on the book she was reading. She glanced over at him, then back to her book, barely seeming to notice. Allen tossed the ball up in the air, catching it easily. "Think you can catch a spiral today?" Vince rolled his eyes. "I only dropped it last time 'cause I tripped." The larger man smirked. "Uh hunh. Right. Start running, I wanna see how far I can throw it." Vincent grinned, pushing his short black hair back. "You better throw first. Your arm sucks." "Hey!" Allen protested. Andrea smothered a giggle. Hours of catch later, Vincent yawned, pulling off his shirt. "Let's go home, I want food." Allen nodded. "I could eat." Andrea tucked her book away and hopped off the table. "Let's go." Next morning... Vincent yawned, climbing out of bed in response to his mother's call. His shirt was at the other end of the room. Pulling it back on, he ran a hand through his elbow length blonde hair, gave his room a sweeping look, and sighed. No sign Allen, Andrea, the park, or the house in his mind had ever existed. He shrugged. "Bye, guys. See ya tonight." No response. He'd expected as much. This had happened a thousand times over the course of his short life. It would happen a thousand more. He created interesting stories each night, acting them out with people who didn't exist. Or at least, he thought they were interesting. His teachers did, too, when he wrote one down for an assignment. It took ten years (age three to thirteen) of this for him to start writing the majority of his stories down. By that point, he was so withdrawn, he could barely remember how to laugh. Being around real people frightened him. He had isolated himself nearly completely. When he thought about reality, it made him anxious. Even once he started writing, he kept up the fantasy world. Outside of it, he was shy. Without it - and he had tried to quit before - he was unpleasant. Arrogant. Resentful. A bully. After a very disagreeable month, he'd gone back to the fantasy world. To be frank, it sucked less. The irony is, it could have been avoided. His parents, while very huggy during the day, used logic to counter his fear. "It's just the bag of your stuff. Nothing to be scared of." And then they'd trudge back off to bed. A quick hug would have helped more, and taken less time. He might have turned out closer to normal. As it is... Well, there's a fine line between genius and madness anyway, right?


© Copyright 2017 Aldwin Jerrell. All rights reserved.

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