The Boogey Cycle

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Why do you make imaginary friends in the first place? Is it because you needed help facing the boogey man? Where did that boogey man come from in the first place? The answer might surprise you.

Submitted: May 29, 2017

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Submitted: May 29, 2017

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The Boogey Cycle

Timmy and Bobby gave each other high fives when the thing that had been Mr. Patches was no more. Mr. Patches had been terrifying Timmy for months, until Bobby came to Timmy’s aid. Timmy was never so glad to have come up with Bobby as he was at that moment.

Bobby was Timmy’s imaginary friend, and Mr. Patches was the Boogeyman. Mr. Patches didn’t start making himself known to Timmy until Timmy had turned five. The first time Timmy saw him, Mr. Patches was following his father around, screaming at him, but his father didn’t seem to notice. In fact, no one else could see Mr. Patches but Timmy. Mr. Patches looked like an eight year old boy, but had the eyes and attitude of a crazy adult. He wore a suit jacket that was too big for him, and it had patches all over it. Timmy guessed that that was how he got his name.

When Mr. Patches realized that he could be seen, he turned all of his attention to Timmy, and tried to play games with Timmy.

However, all of Mr. Patches’ games were scary, and Timmy didn’t like playing them. There was something wrong with Mr. Patches, but no one else could see him, so how could they help? The answer was that they couldn’t. Timmy had to look elsewhere for help, and that help came in the form of Bobby.

After a particularly scary game of hide and seek with Mr. Patches, Timmy was curled up under his bed crying. He hoped that Mr. Patches couldn’t find him, because he would start screaming at Timmy for being a baby. Instead, a boy that looked about Timmy’s age sat down beside the bed and said that Timmy could come out, that the mean boy had gone away for a while. Timmy was reluctant to come out, since the new boy might make fun of him for crying, as well. But the boy, almost like he could read Timmy’s mind, said that it was okay to cry when you were really afraid. He introduced himself, and Timmy crawled out from under the bed.

Timmy had hoped that having Bobby around would make Mr. Patches go away, but no such luck. If anything, Mr. Patches got worse with two boys to terrorize, instead of just one. He would sneak up behind the boys and pull their ears, or reach around and flick their noses, or pinch them really hard. When Timmy tried to tell his parents about the torment, they would tell him to stop making up stories, and go outside to play.

Whenever Timmy and Bobby refused to play with Mr. Patches, the pinches became punches, and threats of much worse. The more the boys cried out in pain, the more Mr. Patches laughed at them. He would call them babies, and offer to check their diapers for them. He would offer to get them dolls and strollers, if they really wanted to be babies.

It kept getting worse until the night that Timmy woke up to the sight of Mr. Patches choking Bobby. Timmy screamed, and jumped at Mr. Patches, which made him let go of Bobby and laugh. When Timmy’s parents came in, they found Timmy on the floor, crying. When they confirmed that Timmy wasn’t hurt, they sent him back to bed. When Timmy asked them to check on Bobby, they looked in the corner and said that Bobby was just fine. However, Bobby was sitting beside Timmy on the bed, and he was covered in bruises. It was at this point that Timmy and Bobby started making plans to get rid of Mr. Patches.

The boys decided that they couldn’t fight Mr. Patches, because he was much stronger that they were, but that didn’t mean that he didn’t have weaknesses. The only time that they had witnessed Mr. Patches run away from something was when they were out in the garden and Mr. Patches had nearly walked into a big spider web. The spider was in the middle of the web, and nearly got Mr. Patches in the face. As soon as he saw the spider, he screamed and ran out of the garden as fast as he could go.

When Timmy and Bobby saw this, they started laughing, which Mr. Patches didn’t like. He picked up Timmy’s favorite toy car, and Bobby’s hat, and threw them both over the fence before stalking off to go wherever he went when he wasn’t being a pain. Timmy had to beg his mom for nearly an hour to go over and get their things back. Finally, she relented and went around the fence. She brought Timmy’s car, but had forgotten Bobby’s hat. When asked about the hat, she said that she didn’t see it, and said that they should be more careful with their things.

Now that the boys had an idea of what to do, the next day they started searching for spiders. Every time they found one, they would catch it and place it in a jar with a few holes punched in the lid. It took nearly a week, but eventually they had what they agreed was a satisfactory amount. All they had to do was wait for Mr. Patches to come around that night, and they would give him a choice.

After Timmy and Bobby had been tucked in bed, Mr. Patches came out of his hiding spot in the closet. He liked to hide in there, and toss bits of gravel at the boys as they passed by. Tonight, he was wearing a big smile that meant that he had some particularly nasty tricks up his oversized sleeves, but the boys knew that he would be in for a surprise.

As soon as Mr. Patches got close enough, Timmy reached into the drawer of his bedside table and extracted the jar of spiders. When Mr. Patches’ eyes fell on the jar, the smile dropped from his face, to be replaced by a look of pure terror. Seeing this look gave Timmy a moment of doubt, but Bobby urged him on, reminding him about how dangerous Mr. Patches could be.

Timmy gathered up his courage and told Mr. Patches that he could either leave forever, or he would have to face the spiders. To emphasize his point, Timmy started to remove the lid from the jar. Mr. Patches screamed and lunged at Bobby. He said that it was all Bobby’s fault, and it Bobby hadn’t of shown up, he and Timmy could have been happy. Mr. Patches had Bobby pressed against the wall, and Timmy wanted nothing more than to save his friend, so he reached into the jar, scooped out a spider and threw it at Mr. Patches.

Mr. Patches screamed again and ran across the room, swatting at the spider that hadn’t even landed on him. He stood shaking in the corner of the room. Whether he was shaking out of fear or rage, Timmy had no way of knowing, nor did he really care. Mr. Patches really was dangerous, and it had to end tonight. Still, Timmy gave him a final chance to leave, or face the spiders. Mr. Patches said he would never leave, and flung himself at Bobby again.

Timmy didn’t hesitate to empty the jar of spiders in Mr. Patches face. What came out of Mr. Patches’ mouth wasn’t so much a scream as it was a loud bubbling sound. Everywhere that the spiders touched, Mr. Patches seemed to fade and disappear. As more and more of him faded, the bubbling sound got fainter as well. Finally, there was just a dim shape where Mr. Patches had been, and the boys heard his final words: He had never been able to leave. With that, he was gone.

The boys shared a high five, and started dancing around, when his parents came in to see what the ruckus was about. As soon as Timmy’s dad saw the spiders, he screamed and ran out of the room. Timmy’s mom explained that his dad suffered from an extreme fear of spiders, and not to let any more spiders loose in the house. Timmy promised that he wouldn’t, and even said that he would catch all the spiders and let them go outside since they had served their purpose. Timmy’s mom looked a bit confused by the statement, but didn’t bother to ask about it.

After Timmy and Bobby had once again collected and freed the spiders, they went back to bed. While lying there, they discussed the events of the night. They thought it was odd that both Mr. Patches and Timmy’s dad were so afraid of spiders, but maybe that was a common fear. They agreed that they were glad that they weren’t afraid of spiders, but snakes were a completely different story. They said their goodnights to one another and Timmy fell asleep. Bobby lay awake for a few minutes more, thinking about the last thing Mr. Patches had said. He had never been able to leave. The thought made Bobby shudder, so he put it away and followed Timmy down into dreamland.

~~~

Timmy and Bobby were inseparable for the next few years, but by the time Timmy turned nine, something strange was happening. Bobby was still the same boy that had sat down beside the bed to comfort the child underneath, but Timmy had grown and seemed to have trouble seeing Bobby at times. Timmy was spending less time playing with Bobby, and more time focusing on schoolwork and his other friends. Eventually, Timmy stopped seeing Bobby at all.

Bobby was still there, and he still tried to play with Timmy, but he couldn’t touch him anymore. It was like Timmy had become a ghost. Or maybe Bobby himself had, but that was something Bobby couldn’t agree with, since he himself hadn’t changed. He would try endlessly to engage Timmy in all the old games that they had played. He would toss a ball at Timmy, and instead of catching it, it would go right through him. He would make a tic-tac-toe grid on a frosted window, but Timmy ignored it. He would even sing some of their favorite songs, but would find himself singing alone. Bobby couldn’t figure out what he had done to make Timmy (no, he preferred being called Tim now) hate him so much.

Bobby spent years following Tim around the house, trying to find a way to be part of his life again, but it wasn’t working. He tried to follow him to the park, like they had done when Tim was still Timmy, but now Bobby couldn’t leave the yard surrounding the house. Slowly, Bobby started to understand Mr. Patches. When he had said that he never could leave, this was what he had meant. To be stuck in one small area for life, it was just mean.

Bobby tried to make a life for himself, but all of the games that he knew were designed for two players. All of the stories needed two people to tell them. All the songs were duets. Bobby was stuck with the capacity of a six year old for life. He toyed with the idea of making himself an imaginary friend, but he never could figure out how to do it. He seemed to be lacking something, but had no idea what.

Time passed, and eventually Tim grew up and moved out. Bobby hoped that this meant that he could go, too, but Bobby was still unable to cross from the yard to the sidewalk. Every time he tried, some invisible force stopped him. It was as though he were hitting some sort of invisible wall. This was when Bobby started to become angry.

Years went by, and Tim came around less and less. He was off at some place called college and it sounded incredibly boring to Bobby. When Tim did come home, Bobby was drawn to him out of some desperate hope that Tim would finally see Bobby again, and take him out into the world. Yet, it never worked. The visits after Tim graduated college became harder for Bobby to handle, because Tim started bringing a girl named Billie around.

The first time Tim brought her home and introduced her to his parents, Bobby was shocked. Bobby didn’t like girls, because they had cooties. Timmy had told him that. Had Timmy lied to him? Then Tim said that Billie was the best friend that he had ever had, Bobby became furious. He was Tim’s best friend! He had faced Mr. Patches with a terrified Timmy! He had stopped Mr. Patches from choking Timmy in his sleep! Him! Not her!

Bobby picked up his favorite ball and threw it at Tim’s head, but it passed right through him, like always. Bobby was so mad that he went over and tried to punch Tim, but that had the same effect that the ball had had. The more damage that Bobby tried to cause, the more frustrated he became when nothing seemed to happen.

Tim and Billie left, but returned frequently to discuss their impending wedding. Bobby had never been to a wedding, since the only wedding that Timmy had been to while he still played with Bobby had been a time when Timmy was forbidden to bring Bobby along. Bobby still thought that was unfair, and he decided he didn’t want to go to their stupid old wedding anyway. Bobby spent most of Tim and Billie’s visits sulking in Tim’s old closet, reading the comic books that were left there.

The wedding came and passed, and Tim’s parents surprised the couple with the deed to the house as a wedding present. They were moving out of the city, and wanted the newlyweds to have the house so that they had the space to build a family of their own. Now, Bobby would be faced with Tim ignoring him constantly. Bobby couldn’t take it. He went through the house screaming, and more than once made a run at the invisible wall around the yard, but to no avail.

Nothing Bobby did caused Tim to see him again, and he wanted nothing more than to either have someone to play with, or leave. A year after Tim and Billie moved in, they called Tim’s parents with the news that they were pregnant. Bobby had a dim idea what that actually meant, but he did know that that meant a baby. Maybe he would have someone to play with, after all!

Months later, Tim took Billie to the hospital, and she came back a few days later with a baby that they called Little Timmy. This confused Bobby, since Tim was Timmy, and this baby had no right to that name. But Bobby tried to put that aside and make friends with the baby anyway. However, whenever Bobby got close to Little Timmy, the baby would start crying. Bobby didn’t like it. This baby was supposed to be his new friend, but he couldn’t get close to it.

He decided that he had waited this long, he could wait a little longer until the baby had grown up enough to play with. Bobby waited, he thought, patiently as the baby became an infant, and then a toddler, yet Little Timmy didn’t seem to see Bobby at all. Just like his father. This had to be something that Tim had done. Tim had made it that his son wouldn’t see Bobby. Bobby didn’t know how or why, but that was the only explanation.

Bobby had had enough of waiting. He had been stuck here after Tim stopped playing with him. He had been stuck here as Tim grew up and left. He had been stuck here when Tim came back with a new friend. He had been stuck here while the new baby grew up. He was done being nice. He started yelling at Tim whenever they were in the same room, saying all the bad things that they had been told never to say. Bobby didn’t know why, but it made him feel a little bit better.

One day, Bobby was in the middle of a tirade when he noticed Little Timmy looking at him. Bobby stopped yelling, and turned to Little Timmy and asked if he could be seen. Little Timmy nodded with wide eyes, and Bobby started laughing. It was the laugh of someone that had spent most of their life completely isolated.

~~~

Little Timmy didn’t like that laugh. Nor did he like the games that Bobby made him play. It was like Bobby was so eager to have a playmate, that he ignored the rules of safe play, making the games mean and dangerous. When Timmy complained, Bobby would make fun of him, and call him a baby, echoing Mr. Patches. Timmy decided that if he was going to deal with Bobby, he would need some help.

The End


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