Imaginary Friend

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


Edward suffers from mental illness and has a unique set of hallucinations. He tries his hardest to ignore them and be as normal as possible so that he can continue with his life. What could the
mystery behind his hallucinations be? They claim to be his friends...

Submitted: November 10, 2017

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Submitted: November 10, 2017

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Part 1: The Beginning

Chapter 1

Contemplating some of the things his psychiatrist had discussed with him earlier that day, Edward sat alone in his living room. Among other things, Edward had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. They had talked about his delusions and hallucinations. None of this mattered to him—he simply wanted some peace and quiet. He wanted to be alone for a while. It was almost time for Edward to go to sleep. After a moment of relaxation, he moved towards the kitchen.

He made himself a glass of chocolate milk and drank it slowly. He looked to his left and noticed that the cupboard door was open. Inside, he could see his bottle of pills. He didn't like medicine, so he didn't take it often. His doctor objected to this, but since he wasn't a danger to himself or others, his doctor let it go. He felt he didn't need to take them right now, and it was time to go to bed.

Chapter 2

Edward was sleeping soundly when he suddenly heard, “Wake up!” He didn't move because of the sound, even though it had been repeated several times. However, he eventually obeyed the command and sat up in his bed. At the foot of his closet stood a figure cloaked in black. From beneath the hood, Edward could see a featureless face with a glow resembling the setting sun.

From behind the figure and inside the closet, he heard a faint whisper. He could barely make out the words, “Remember who you are ….” He looked towards the corner of the room where he had an old box with the words “Memories” crossed off on the side. For some reason he was compelled to look inside this box.

Edward was still dressed from the night before and simply had to put on shoes. He moved the box to the bed and shifted through its contents. There were several old journals he had kept from when he was a child. He then noticed a green striped fedora and a stuffed cat, but underneath that there was something else… something he hadn't seen in a long time. It was a face mask made by himself when he was a child. It was simple—made out of foil and masking tape, and it was painted gray. It had pointed ears at the top, two holes for the eyes, and a flat snout which was a long rectangle pointed downward.

He chose to ignore the mask and tucked everything back into the box and placed it where he found it. Edward also chose to ignore the homemade cross that was in the same corner. It was plain and made out of two pieces of wood. Its edges were jagged and rotted. He walked out of the bedroom and didn't notice as the cloaked figure of Sun Friend faded away into nothingness.

Chapter 3

Edward walked into the living room and detected two figures standing on opposite sides of the entryway. The one on the left was a male figure that was slender and wearing a mask that resembled a raccoon. The mask was gray with a single horizontal black stripe slightly under the eyes. It also had a painted pink nose with fish wire taped to it for whiskers and oval ears a little on top and to the sides of the mask. The right figure was a girl wearing a light blue mask resembling a cat. It too had a pink nose and fish wire for whiskers, but the ears were more pointed at their edges.

As Edward sat down in his favorite recliner, the mouths of the two figures opened, and a beautiful sound began to emerge. The sound was “Ode to Joy” by his favorite composer Ludwig Von Beethoven. Suddenly, he saw the fox mask on the top right edge of his television. He stared at it for a long moment, wondering how it had gotten there. Just as the choir sang the symphony in full force, the mask was somehow flung towards him. He stood up from his chair, picking up the mask on the way, and as he did this, another figure entered the living room.

The figure was of a man wearing a mask resembling a pig. It was pink and flat except for the snout which emerged from the middle of the mask. It also had pink folded ears on the top. Pig Friend walked slowly over towards Edward, bowing to the other Friends while the music continued to play. As the volume of the music dimmed, Pig Friend moved closer to Edward and whispered into his ear, “Remember who you are ….”

“Who are you?” countered Edward. He tossed the fox mask aside.

“Do you not recall? I am your friend,” said Pig Friend in his odd accent.

“My… friend?”

“Yes, your friend!”

“I have no friends …” responded Edward as he moved away from Pig Friend and made his way to the doorway out of the living room.

Chapter 4

Drinking a glass of water, Edward sat quietly at the table his mother had given him before she passed away three years ago. All he wanted was some peace and quiet, but he knew in his heart that Pig Friend wouldn't allow it until he got what he wanted. Then Edward noticed that Pig Friend was sitting across from him. He didn't know if he had simply appeared, or he just hadn't noticed him before.

“I just don't understand your reasoning…” snorted Pig Friend.

“What reasoning?”

Why! Why do you continue to deny yourself?”

“I am here—I am not denying myself,” stated Edward with an expression of annoyance as he looked away from the frustrated looking Pig Friend and saw a figure standing outside by his favorite tree. He couldn't make out any features because the figure was being shaded from view by the tree.

“The Witty Fox is the blind man.”

“I see plainly what's in front of me,” responded Edward as he began to tap his fingers against the table.

“And what is that in front of you, that you so plainly see?” asked Pig Friend, who stared at Edward, trying to force eye contact.

“I see you here… sitting across from me.”

“But what am I?” Pig Friend chuckled with frustration.

“A… friend. A pig… friend,” stuttered Edward as a few memories crept in from the back of his mind. Memories he had chosen to forget and tucked away in the back of his mind.

“Yes, yes, and what are you?”

“I'm—I am Edward?” he said with a confused smile across his face.

“No, no… that's wrong—so very wrong. The reasoning of your denial eludes me, the denial of yourself, and the denial of us. You stroll through this empty house ignoring us any which way you can. Around every corner we wait—wait for the return of the Witty Fox,” argued Pig Friend as he pounded his fist on the table with frustration.

“I don't know! I don't know who this witty fox is that you keep mentioning.”

“That's exactly the point. You must remember …” stated the pig as he calmed down.

“Get out of my house! Just leave me alone …”

“This isn't your house,” said Pig Friend with a slight smirk on his face.

“Yes, it is …”

“Um, no it isn't,” retorted Pig Friend with a slight twist of his head.

“This is my house!” asserted Edward in anger.

“Like I said before—this isn't your house. It's the Witty Fox's—the true you—the you that you have decided to let go of and forget. We will help you to remember him and us. That I guarantee …”

Part 2: The Fox Mask

Chapter 1

Edward stared off into the distance as Pig Friend continued to rant. He vaguely heard him talking about the house belonging to the witty fox. The words passed right through him—he didn't want to listen. He shouldn't have to listen, he thought to himself. He waited and waited as Pig Friend continued to talk. Edward wondered if maybe he should just leave. He did just want some quiet time. Pig Friend muttered some words that caught Edward's attention. After returning his gaze to Pig Friend, he made a puzzled face.

“What did you just say?”

“I said—do you remember the story you wrote in this journal. You were just a little lad, and it was about the Witty Fox,” repeated Pig Friend, who realized that Edward hadn't been listening and let out an exaggerated sigh.

“I don't remember any story about the Witty Fox …” As Edward stated this, he felt a memory creeping into the back of his mind. He pushed it back into the recesses.

“You were very young—almost four—and your pet pig, Twiggy, was taken to the vet. You got bored and wrote a little story. Let's see if I can find it here in this journal.” Pig Friend flipped through several pages, grunting and whispering to himself. Edward watched patiently.

“Ah, here it is—The Witty Fox, the wittiest of them all. He had a friend named Twiggy. The Witty Fox's friend was sick. The fox waited for his friend to get better, but the wait seemed long. The Witty Fox felt alone,” read the pig from the journal. Edward let the words resound in his mind. They seemed familiar, and he could almost remember the scene. However, he strengthened his reserve and pushed the words out of his thoughts. Edward noticed that Pig Friend was staring at him. He was waiting for a response.

“I didn't write that …”

“How come you never believe me?” queried Pig Friend as Kitty Friend poured him a cup of tea. “Thank you, Kitty.”

“Why should I believe you?” asked Edward, watching Pig Friend drink the tea rapaciously while it dripped down his chin. “I asked you a question.”

“I have no obligation to you—only the fox.” He then placed the fox mask on the top of the table. “Do you recall when you made this? It was when you were waiting for Twiggy.”

“I never made such a thing …”

“Let's have a little childhood reenactment … shall we?” Pig Friend stood and moved towards Edward.

“What are you talking about?”

“It will be like unearthing a repressed memory. What you see will be of an older time, and what you do will be your actions of the past,” said Pig Friend, placing his hand over Edward's face. From what Edward could see through Pig Friend's fingers, things were reversing. He watched as the chipped paint on the ceiling renewed and the hole in the wall magically repaired. Then it seemed as if an array of colors emerged from Pig Friend's hand. The colors swirled out of control and clouded his vision until finally he saw… nothing.

Chapter 2

Edward had just finished writing about the Witty Fox when he thought to himself, When will Twiggy come home? Looking out the window, Edward saw a small childlike figure crawling on all four limbs. He couldn't see the boy's face because he was wearing some sort of mask. The figure was circling the small baby tree that Edward's father had just planted. Soon however, the figure looked directly at Edward. He saw that the boy was wearing a light gray mask that resembled a fox. Edward heard the beautiful music of Beethoven's 9th symphony in his mind.

“The Witty Fox …” Edward muttered in amazement. Then an idea erupted in his mind, and he ran off to grab the materials that he needed to create the mask. He cut the foil into the shape of the mask and placed it on his face so that it would have the right shape. He covered the entire piece of foil with masking tape. After he painted it light gray, he taped a piece of string to the back. He looked at the mask; to him, it looked as if it was the most amazing thing ever created. He could still hear the 9th symphony as he placed the mask on his face. He had finally become the Witty Fox.

Chapter 3

After Edward’s blurred vision returned to normal, he looked around the room to see Pig Friend waiting eagerly. He took a moment to recompose himself. He began to rub his forehead because it felt like something had been forced into it. He didn't acknowledge that it could have been forced out of his mind.

“How was it?”

“You put that illusion in my head.”

“Remember … remember your true self and leave this man behind,” demanded an angry Pig Friend.

“I don't have to take this …” stated Edward as he strutted out towards the living room. After he sat down in the recliner, he noticed the TV flicker on. It showed an image of himself. However, he was wearing the fox mask on his face.

“This isn't me,” said Edward.

“Then who is it?” inquired the image on the TV.

“I don't know …”

“Are you not staring at yourself?” asked the image.

“No—I'm not …” replied Edward as he continued to stare at the screen.

“He was the wittiest.”

“The witty fox?” he managed to say with an amount of bewilderment.

“Do you see now?”

“No—no I don't …”

“You will see with time,” responded the image as it faded away, and the television returned back to normal.

Edward sat there for a moment thinking to himself about what had occurred and simply grumbled under his breath that he wouldn't understand. Later, in the corner of the room he noticed a figure. It was wearing a black cloak, and under the hood, a round shape the color of the moon could be seen that was slightly glowing. The figure muttered the word, “Sleep,” and Edward listened, making his way to his room.

As he was laying down, he couldn't keep track of his thoughts. He noticed Moon Friend appear in front of the closet. The figure seemed to strike a note on an invisible piano—Edward could hear its sound. Soon Moon Friend began to play “Moonlight Sonata,” and Edward drifted to sleep.

Part 3: Fading Dust

Chapter 1

Edward was experiencing a rather absurd dream moments before Sun Friend was due to wake him up. Edward found himself relaxing in a field on what looked to be a farm. It was night, and the moon was bright in the sky as he heard “Moonlight Sonata.” After a brief period of rest, he could hear a wolf howling in the distance. Edward suddenly looked to his side and saw a pig, cat, and raccoon. They stared at him as if waiting for something. The round and plump pig was the largest with the strange blue cat being the smallest. The raccoon walked over to him, and Edward had barely noticed the small green striped hat on the otherwise normal raccoon. Edward was staring at it without emotion when he saw a tear creep from the raccoon's eye. He then noticed that the small blue cat had placed its head on his lap.

He watched as the raccoon ran away and into a garden that he had not seen was behind him. Edward realized he couldn't see the pig anymore and frantically looked for him. Finally, he found him standing next to a tree that appeared to be a hundred feet tall. The pig's head began to twitch rapidly back and forth. It made Edward feel sick, and he looked away for a moment. However, his gaze soon returned as he wondered what might happen next. The pig became anthropomorphic and began to climb the tree. After what seemed like hours, Edward couldn't see the pig anymore.

He decided to climb the tree and follow the pig wherever it had gone. It took Edward quite some time to climb the tree, stumbling along the way. He had made his way to where the trunk became a V shape and stopped. He looked around, but there was no sign of the pig. However, he could see a forest past the farm which stretched as far as the horizon.

He then heard a rather loud breathing sound and turned to face a gray fox that was as large as a building. It was staring at him as he could see the sun rising ever so slowly. He hoped that the sun would rescue him from this crazed dream … hoped it would mutter the words, “Wake up.” The wolf then opened its rather large mouth as Edward turned away, afraid that the fox might eat him. However when he returned his look, he saw another world at the back of the fox's mouth. It was a world full of color, and he saw a man standing beneath a tree. The man was wearing the mask of the Witty Fox.

Amazed by the world he saw in the fox's gaping maw, Edward fell from the tree. He fell as the world around him seemed to form into a yellow fog. In the fog, he could see images of himself as a boy. However, his face was blurred—almost as if it had been erased.

“Wake up.”

Chapter 2

Edward awoke to the familiar sight of Sun Friend and stood from the bed. The dream quickly faded from his memory. As he placed on his shoes, he detected a knocking sound coming from the kitchen. He went to the door that he primarily used as an entrance to his house, even though it was on the left side away from the street. When he opened it, he immediately let out an aggravated sigh. Pig Friend was waiting at the door.

“Do you remember when we met two hundred years ago?” inquired the pig as he stood outside the house.

“I'm not two hundred.”

“Oh really … I'm sorry—in that case how old are you?” asked Pig Friend as he forced his way into the house. Edward took a few steps back to make room for the pig.

“I'm … um, twenty-four.”

“Well, my memory seems to have failed me. When, then, did we first meet?”

“I'm not sure,” stated Edward as he made his way towards the cabinet that was still slightly ajar. He stopped and placed his hands on the counter, thinking it over as the pig retorted.

“Hmm… you could give it a little more thought than that …”

Edward took the pills out of the cupboard and opened the bottle.

“What are you doing there buddy?”

“I am putting an end to this …”

“But, um … you only have two pills left. What is the point of that?”

Edward took the pills and retreated to the living room and sat in the old blue recliner. After a moment, the chair turned itself around as Edward begin to hear the slow steady beat of an electronic drum. Soon, a whistling synthesizer could be heard rising in volume as the Friends came out one by one. They stood at different positions across the room. The melody of the electronic music finally kicked in and with that—the lights all went out. The illumination of a spotlight radiated from nowhere on the doorway into the living room.

Pig Friend entered and threw off his over shirt in a dramatic notion, revealing a black shirt underneath. Edward noticed the image imprinted on the shirt immediately—it was of an apple tree like the one planted in his backyard. The pig was dancing around the room in a fashion that reminded him of disco. When Pig Friend pointed, a light was beamed on Kitty Friend, who waved back at Edward before exploding into a cloud of dust. Pig Friend continued to point towards Moon and Sun Friend. As he did this, they too fell into dust. The electronic music got a little louder with each disappearance. Edward looked towards the newest light and watched as a tear fell from Raccoon Friend's eye just before he turned to dust. At last, the lights returned and Pig Friend bowed. Edward shook his head.

“Another friend bites the dust,” said the pig as he exploded into a cloud of dust himself. Edward relaxed into his chair. The pills were working. The friends were now gone. There wasn't even a shred of evidence of their dramatic exit ….

Part 4: The Pig Mask

Chapter 1

Edward spent most of his day wandering around the house doing mindless activities—washing his dishes and watching the cars pass by. He finally had some time to himself; however, he was beginning to grow bored with his house. Without the frustration of the friends, Edward found life was quieter. He enjoyed this to an extent and didn't admit to himself that his day was less interesting.

After sitting on the porch for hours, the moon had risen in the sky. He wondered how long the effects of the pills would last. He knew the friends would return—they always did—he just wasn't sure when. Edward wasn't tired, but he knew that it was time for him to sleep, so he made his way back into the house.

Chapter 2

Lying in bed, Edward hadn't slept at all. He waited with the same expression throughout the night. He had simply stared at the ceiling and let his mind drift through different thoughts. Soon he realized that the sun had risen and decided to rise with it. Making his way into the kitchen, Edward perceived something strange. He saw an unfamiliar figure in the mirror and heard the familiar laugh of Pig Friend.

After entering the kitchen, Edward found Pig Friend unraveling the paper towels and eating them. Edward wasn't surprised, as he expected as much from Pig Friend. After Pig Friend finished eating, he slammed the table with his palm and let out a belting laugh. Edward chose to ignore him and opened the refrigerator.

“Sorry I had to go so abruptly, but you did kind of force me …” stated Pig Friend as he played with the remaining paper towels strewn about the table.

“You're back sooner than I thought.”

“Told you it was pointless. Told you we'd be back. I mean, you only had a few, and they don’t even work as well as they used to.”

“I thought it was worth a try …” maintained Edward as he pulled out a piece of plain bread and took a bite. He then closed the fridge and turned towards Pig Friend.

“You know it is actually pretty mean of you to render us nonexistent. Do you even wonder what happens to us when you do that?”

“I just wish you would leave me alone …” he expressed as he made his way out of the kitchen and out to the driveway. He sat on the porch pondering what Pig Friend had in mind for today.

“When did we meet?” Pig Friend whispered kneeling behind him. As he waited for Edward to respond he stuck out his tongue and shook his head before noticing a butterfly next to the apple tree.

“I told you that I didn't know. What more do you want from me?”

“What I have wanted all along … for you to remember,” said the pig as Edward stood, walking towards the apple tree. “Don't walk away from me!” demanded Pig Friend.

“I just want to be alone. I wish you all would just go away,” pleaded Edward as he noticed the pig appear in the branches of the tree.

“That hurts you know.”

“How could you feel pain? Even if you could, then how come you can't feel the pain you're causing me?” questioned Edward as he picked an apple from the tree and proceeded to throw it as far as he could into the large empty field behind his house.

“We didn't always cause you pain. I remember a time when we were the joy in your life. Here, let me show you …” stated Pig Friend as he reached out and held his hand over Edward's face. Gradually, the tree grew backwards out of view, and the colors swirled into his vision again.

Chapter 3

Edward was a boy again and standing before the homemade cross that marked the grave of his pet pig, Twiggy. He was crying. The pig was the first pet he had ever had. He fell to his knees and mustered up his final words, “It's the end of our world as we know it, Twiggy.”

Little Edward decided to go back inside after a brief moment of silence. He was slumped against the wall when finally he decided he would make a mask in memory of Twiggy. He roamed about the house to gather the necessary supplies and began his work. After much dedication, the mask was completed. It had come out a little better than the fox mask due to practice. After he looked at it for a long while, he placed the mask on the table. To his astonishment, a figure with a blurred out face approached. The figure took hold of the mask, and as he placed it upon his face the blur receded. Standing before little Edward was a new friend, a Pig Friend.

Little Edward and his new friend ran outside and began to play tag in the fields. Edward was wearing his fox mask and as they played a variety of games, the sun slowly set. After they were both tired, they sat across from each other with the cross in between them. The Witty Fox had the biggest smile he could muster, and Pig Friend returned it.

Chapter 4

Edward awoke and waited for his vision to return. After a moment, he looked over to Pig Friend, who was eagerly awaiting his response.

“So that is supposedly how we met.”

“In all actuality, you are the founding father of us all …”

“See it as you will. I'll have nothing to do with you. I need to escape this madness,” Edward said as he started to walk along the path beside an irrigation canal next to his house. The path went quite a ways down, and he intended to follow all the way to the concrete bridge used to get across the canal.

“Do you really believe that your memories betray you,” queried Pig Friend.

“How can I know that they are even my memories?” He countered as he moved further and further away from Pig Friend.

Chapter 5

PIG FRIEND WALTZED over to the backyard where the cross for Twiggy resided. He placed his hand upon it and contemplated his conception—how Edward had created him, so that Twiggy could live on through him. He thought about a promise that he and the others had made to Edward. He might not be able to keep that promise—things had changed. Raccoon and Kitty Friend approached Pig Friend.

“Yet again, Edward leaves us.”

“Tomorrow we should remind him who Kitty and I are. Maybe then he will remember us. Maybe then we can get back to the way things are supposed to be,” stated Raccoon Friend apprehensively.

“We will … but it takes more—the memories aren't working. I've been trying to pound the truth into him, but our words fall on deaf ears. It will take more!”

“You're not going to do anything drastic are you? We must continue to remind him,” said Raccoon Friend.

Pig Friend replied with only a snort as he watched Edward fade away in the horizon. Raccoon Friend opened his mouth, and an electronic humming sound emerged. The tone was filled sadness and regret for the time they had lost. Pig Friend looked down at the cross before tipping it over.

Part 5: A Raccoon with a Hat

Edward had just woken up, and Pig Friend forced him into a chair in the kitchen. The pig stated, “Today, another will take the stage,” as he bowed and crept away. Edward began tapping his fingers on the table. He pondered, Is this what he had to look forward to everyday—constant pestering by these imaginary creatures. Would he ever find permanent peace and quiet? But then, he also thought about how persistent they were and the possibility that this was because there might be truth to what they tell him—the sentiment escaped him as Raccoon Friend entered the room.

“How are you Edward?” asked a smiling raccoon.

“As fine as one can be in this type of situation.”

“Do you remember when we first met?”

“How many times do I have to tell all of you that I don't!” retorted an angry Edward, which startled Raccoon Friend.

“Let me tell you a story Edward … let me tell you of how I came into being—of how we first met and how much fun we had had.”

“You might as well try?”

“When you were four and school was just starting, you were very nervous. You didn't know what to think. You were surrounded by all of these children. They were running around playing, and some of them were even being mean to others. After seeing one of them eating glue, it occurred to you that you didn't fit in. You were so nervous that you called out, 'the witty fox is a brave man.' After this, everyone stared at you in confusion. It made you feel so uncomfortable that you ran out of the room.”

“I remember feeling afraid … wondering what they thought of me,” said Edward, who seemed to be recalling the event. Edward looked back at the raccoon, noticing how Raccoon Friend stared back at him with eager anticipation. “Just continue your story …”

“When the teacher found you, you were curled up in the corner of the hallway. He reassured you that everything was going to be fine. You returned to class after cleaning yourself up in the restroom. You still felt like everyone was staring at you and didn't know what to do—”

“I remember looking into the school garden,” added Edward.

“I'll tell you what you saw next … you saw a small baby raccoon. You watched it as it roamed around the courtyard playing with the trash. When it began to smell the flowers is what really caught your attention though. You watched it with fascination for quite some time, but when it began to cry out repeatedly, you became worried. You pondered what might be wrong and almost ran to the window. However, you realized that no one else even seemed to notice the raccoon. You maintained your composure, not wanting to startle the other children, who already thought you were weird,” commented Raccoon Friend.

“You're saying that I saw a raccoon in the middle of the school garden … that is very unlikely,” stated Edward as he waited for the friend to continue his story.

“You watched as the raccoon moved frantically about, crying out. Soon you realized that it was young enough to where it was probably looking for its mother. You wanted to help it so badly but didn't want to make a scene. Soon, however, you watched as the mother raccoon made an appearance, and they crawled away happily. That night you made a raccoon mask and I was born.”

“So by the time I was four, I had made three masks of foil …” considered Edward as he began to recognize where this story was going. Raccoon responded, “You was a very creative child.”

“Alright, what happened next, Mr. Raccoon?”

“Since you weren't able to take your fox mask to school, I was your comfort and went with you to school every day. I would make you laugh and distract you from the other children. Sometimes I would even visit that garden and smell the flowers,” continued Raccoon Friend.

“I am assuming you were the class clown.”

“On Halloween, you were allowed to wear the fox mask. At school while wearing the mask, you were finally happy. They had a small celebration and decided to play 'Ode to Joy.' When they did so, you began to dance around the room, enjoying the music. One of the other boys didn't like this at all and decided to push you onto the floor. You started to cry, but fortunately, no one saw because of the mask. I was there for this. I wanted to cheer you up, since we were friends after all. So after the small party, I took the bully's hat which he had left resting on the desk and brought it to you. Do you remember this hat Edward?” Raccoon Friend queried as he placed the green striped fedora on the table.

“I'm afraid not, but it's a nice hat.”

“Remember us Edward—you have to. Remember all the fun we had? All the time we spent together? We made a promise to you—do you remember that Edward? Please … please Edward, remember us.”

Edward simply looked away as Raccoon Friend sulked his head. Edward was growing more and more tired with each passing day. When would all of this finally end? Raccoon Friend stood and left the table with a very sad expression.

Kitty Friend then entered the room along with Pig Friend. They sat at the table where Edward waited patiently for them to start. Pig Friend was staring at Edward with a stark expression. “We are almost done Edward, but if you still don't remember, then I don't know what to do.”

Part 6: A Kitty and a Promise

Chapter 1

Edward had just finished hearing Raccoon Friend's story and now waited to hear Kitty Friend's. He knew there was only so much information they could feed to him and hoped that they would soon forgo their little operation.

“So we all know Kitty Friend can't talk. She will use her hands to speak, and I will translate.”

He watched as Kitty began to make several gestures he didn't recognize. Pig Friend seemed to be watching her hands with great concentration. Edward looked towards his watch. It had been a whole minute, and the pig still hadn't offer any kind of translation. Edward let out a sigh as he waited again.

“Um … Give me a moment here. It's pretty hard to translate, and it is quite a bit of information,” stated the pig as he looked awkwardly between Edward and Kitty Friend. “Okay, okay … I'm pretty sure she said, 'Hello.'” Edward simply slumped in his chair as she made more signs. However, it didn't take Pig Friend nearly as long to translate.

“Halfway through the school year, you were walking home from school as Raccoon Friend followed. However, Raccoon Friend was distracted at the moment when you heard a small meow. Looking into a paint can, you found a small kitten covered in blue paint. You tried to clean her off before placing her in your backpack. You quietly took her home and into your room. You secretly began to take care of her.”

“I remember her … I named her Kitty,” Edward supplied.

“She had lost her voice, and you were not sure why or how. She became very weak so when your parents found you taking care of her, they mentioned she was very sick,” said the pig.

“I remember. It got the point where I would hold her and all she would do was struggle to breath.” Edward remarked with sadness. Pig Friend continued to translate.

“Sadly, she died soon after that in your arms. To cheer you up, your parents bought you this.” stated Pig Friend as Kitty placed the cat plush on the table. “That night you made the kitty mask.”

“Do you remember us now Edward?” inquired Raccoon Friend.

“My answer remains the same,” said Edward as he tossed the stuffed animal next to the green striped hat.

“Then, we try one more time to reunite you with your memories. This is our last bet Edward—your last chance to remember,” informed Pig friend as he reached out and touched Edward's face.

Chapter 2

Little Edward pressed the button on his tape player, and the music began, playing the intro to “Ode to Joy”. Enjoying the music, he sits down. The friend's gathered around him in a circle. Kitty Friend placed her head on Edward's knee, and he petted the top of her head.

“We'll be friends forever won't we Fox?” asked Raccoon Friend.

“Of course we will. You guys are more than I could ever ask for.”

“We'll never leave you. We will be your friends ‘til the end of time,” proclaimed Pig Friend.

“I could never ask for more …” responded Edward as he stood and began to imagine composing the classical piece.

“You'll never have to ask for more, Fox.” said Raccoon. As Edward continued to compose, Pig Friend proceeded to tie a sheet around his neck.

“Through whatever may happen, we will also be right by your side,” stated Pig Friend as he stepped away and Kitty Friend placed the fox mask on him. Edward took a bow, and Raccoon set the green striped Fedora on his head. As the volume of the music increased, Edward outstretched his arms and began to spin. The Friends relaxed and sat in front of Edward, watching him in amusement.

“The witty fox will never feel alone again,” announced Raccoon Friend as Edward continued to spin around and round. Soon Kitty Friend began to use her sign language while Pig and Raccoon spoke in unison. They made their promise to Edward.

We'll never die,

We'll never get sick,

We'll never let you down,

We'll never ignore you,

We'll be your hope and reason to live,

We'll be your friends forever,

Edward stopped spinning. He had a rather large smile behind the fox mask. He thought that this might be the happiest day in his life.

Little Edward nearly crashed onto the bed as the Friends took their places lounging about the room. Edward removed his fox mask, and the hat merely fell onto the floor. He smiled at Pig Friend who sat across from him.

“Can you please play 'Moonlight Sonata?'” asked Edward.

“Can we … um, listen to … Oh, what's his name … Mr. Mercury?” questioned an enthusiastic Pig Friend. Edward plainly responded with a no and so the pig pressed the button and the piece began to play.

Chapter 3

As Edward began to wake up, he heard Raccoon Friend say, “It was the best of times.”

“Even after all that I have said, you still try to plant illusions in my head,” retorted Edward.

“You still don't remember.”

“There is nothing to remember” contended Edward in a rather angry voice.

“I am not this Fox person … Nor will I ever be!”

After this statement, Raccoon and Kitty left the kitchen.

“You disappoint me Edward …” said Pig Friend as he walked out of the kitchen. Edward thought to himself that he would never forget the look Pig Friend had given him as he had looked back at him. It chilled Edward to the very bone and left him with an uncertain feeling. He decided that the day was close enough to being finished. However, for a while in bed, he had Pig Friend's look stuck in his imagination. It persisted to haunt him.

Part 7: Drastic Measures

Chapter 1

Alone in the kitchen, Pig Friend contemplated the situation. Pig Friend looked towards the living room where Raccoon and Kitty Friend were lounging around with gloomy looks on their faces. He had to do something—something to make Edward remember.

“Never have I met such a stubborn man as you … Edward.” Pig began to remove a sheet from the roll of paper towels, tearing it off slowly. “Will he ever recognize us as what we truly are? I don't think so … I think he'll just sit there and ignore us for all eternity. There has to be something I can do?” He balled up the single sheet and placed it in his mouth. As he began to chew, he could hear electronic music begin to play softly.

Pig Friend roamed around the kitchen for a while, thinking to himself, pondering what could be done; however, his mind was blank. Frustrated, he opened the fridge and poured some pancake syrup into his mouth. The electronic music then flickered out. As an idea seemed just out of reach, his head twitched back and forth in irritation. If anyone had seen this motion they would have been startled at its sight. He paced back and forth trying to make the idea return. He sat back down at the table when it suddenly did. He began frantically tearing jagged pieces off of the roll of paper towels. His body was slightly shaky, and he couldn't keep still.

“What do you have when your world just falls apart, hmm? You have nothing! And what always makes you feel the sadness?”

He continued to shred the paper towels as he spoke. “It's when you realize what you don't have anymore. It's when you realize it should be there and it's not! That’s how I can force you—force you to remember …” Pig threw the rest of the roll at the wall as he began to chuckle. Finally, he let out belting laughter, and the music returned. However, the music had a sinister and driving beat, almost psychotic sounding.

It was then that Pig Friend went on a sort of rampage in the kitchen. He slammed his fists into various food items such as the graham crackers, crushing them to pieces, all the while laughing aloud and also to himself. With his teeth, he ripped open a bag of dry pinto beans, and they spilled across the kitchen table. He forced his hands against the table, scattering the beans and other debris even more. He leaned his face forward and licked the debris, before slowly sliding off the table, his head twitching.

Pig Friend had been waiting in the closet, the music riffing through his head. He was waiting for Sun Friend to appear for his daily task of waking Edward. When the Friend finally did appear, Pig Friend reached out and wrapped his arm around the Sun Friend's neck. Pig Friend tossed the other Friend to the floor before he could wake Edward. He then made his approach, standing on the very bed Edward lay resting upon. Pig Friend thought to himself that he had much to prepare. He stared at Edward for a long while before ultimately speaking to the sleeping Edward, “I'll force you to remember ….”

Pig was standing outside now next to Sun Friend, who was on his knees tied up with imaginary bonds.

“Wake him,” said Pig Friend to the unresponsive Friend. “Wake him!” he screamed, and this time Sun Friend complied.

Chapter 2

Edward opened his eyes, and after his vision began to focus, he noticed he wasn't in his bed. He heard the aggressive pounding of electronic music as he woke. His arms were held behind his back and when he tried to pull them around, they didn't move. With great struggle, he managed to get up on his knees. He looked around and saw that all the Friends were on their knees with their hands behind their back—all except Pig Friend.

“What's going on?” asked Edward as the pig walked behind the tied Friends.

“Well, you just don't seem to want to remember us … so I thought I would try a different approach.”

“What are you thinking tying me up like this?” requested Edward, who began to wonder what Pig Friend had in mind.

“You made me Edward … you pushed me to a point of desperation!”

“What exactly are you planning to do?”

“I'm tired of talking. It's time for action.” responded Pig Friend as he continued to pace back and forth.

“What are you planning!” shouted a frustrated Edward.

“You won't acknowledge us … so you can't have us.”

“There has to be another way …” cried a desperate Raccoon Friend as the pig kneeled in front of him. Pig Friend grabbed Raccoon by the back of his head and laughed.

“No, there isn't...” asserted Pig Friend before he moved away from Raccoon Friend.

“But … why this? Why do you think this is the only way? Don't you realize what you're doing? You can't do this!” pleaded Raccoon.

“This is how far I am willing to go,” whispered Pig Friend as he moved behind Moon Friend.

“This is nonsense!” yelled Edward.

“Why is that Edward? Didn't you say it yourself? You want us to go away!” retorted Pig Friend as he slid his finger across Moon Friend's neck. As it slid across, dust seeped out, and soon enough, Moon collapsed into pure dust. “Well, Edward, do you remember us now?”

“Stop …”

“Stop! Why stop? We're nothing to you …” said Pig Friend as he grabbed hold of Sun Friend's head. He held it for a moment before tossing Sun to the ground. As Sun Friend hit the ground, he became dust.

“Stop! I remember—I remember all of you!” shouted a now amenable Edward.

“It's too late Edward. It's just too late!” screamed Pig Friend as he moved behind Kitty Friend.

“You said—you said that you'd never leave me …” Edward stated with a very sad expression.

“That was then, this is now,” replied Pig as he slammed his hand into Kitty Friend, and she exploded into dust on the impact.

“No!” Edward screamed at the top of his lungs. As Pig Friend moved to Raccoon and whispered in his ear that everything was going to be okay, Edward watched as he mercilessly rendered a shocked Raccoon Friend into nothing but dust.

Edward then noticed his bonds had been released and held his hands to his face, covering his look of shock. He kept muttering to himself that they were gone.

“Why! Why would you do this to me? They're gone …. No! How could you?”

Edward let himself fall to the ground in disbelief, tearing at the strands of grass beneath himself. “I remember … I remember.”

Edward looked up to see Pig Friend standing before him with a grim look on his face. He watched as he unbuttoned his over shirt, revealing that the black shirt underneath no longer had a picture of the apple tree—it simply had nothing at all. Pig Friend then began to bow as he held a single finger at the edge of his throat.

“Now that you remember what we mean to you, you have to live without us,” declared Pig as he slid his finger across his neck. Pig Friend then exploded into dust, and the dust seemed to float in the air for an eternity. Edward only held the same shocked expression as the last Friend vanished into the wind.

After several moments, Edward stood up with a somber expression. He spent a moment staring at where the Friends used to be. He had never felt so alone in his whole life. He turned to look at the sunset and noticed Twiggy's old cross lying on the ground. This cross had a whole new meaning for Edward. It now also marked the spot where he had lost the Friends that had stood by him through the worst of it all. Edward lifted the cross and placed it back into the ground. For a long while, he watched as the sun continued to set.

Part 8: Memories

Chapter 1

Holding his head with his hands, Edward sat in the kitchen. He felt a great amount of despair. He couldn't believe that he had actually lost the friends that had been with him since childhood. He dreaded what he had done to them. As he raised his head, he could hear the piece, “Egmont Overture,” in which the intro matched his mood.

“What am I supposed to do now?” asked Edward to no one in particular. “They were part of my everyday existence. All those years I ignored them …. How could I be so naïve? They were all I had.”

Then he saw a vision in his mind of the Friends. Pig Friend was in front with his hands outstretched, while Kitty and Raccoon Friend stood behind him, facing the left and right with their arms outstretched in a vertical V. The vision drew closer and closer to Pig Friend's face, until it went into his eye. Edward saw a spiral of colors. Within this whirlpool, he saw visions of memories. Memories of the times he had spent with the Friends. He saw his child self playing with Raccoon Friend in the school courtyard. They were tossing the hat in between each other as they circled around and around.

He relived a memory of running through the park with Kitty Friend. They were being chased by what seemed to be the largest dog that they had ever seen. Little Edward had fallen down, and Kitty Friend reached out her arm, smiling. She helped him up, and they climbed a tree to escape from the dog. Then, the owner had retrieved her dog, and Edward had to convince Kitty to come down from the tree.

Soon enough, he saw a vivid memory of little Edward and Pig Friend rolling around in the mud behind the house as it rained. They splashed and played ‘til night fall. They let the rain wash away the mud and returned to the house. That night, they fought over what music to listen too. Undecided, they took turns listening to their favorite songs. They hadn't slept at all that night

The last vision he saw within the spiraling colors was of the Friends making their promise to him, while he listened to “Ode to Joy.” He appeared to be spinning in slow motion wearing the mask and cape. The hat had already fallen to the floor. Lastly, he heard them say and sign that they would be his friends forever.

Chapter 2

Edward returned from the vision and was left in tears, resting his head upon the kitchen table. He asked himself how long he would be haunted by these visions. How long would he have to suffer for his mistake? For a long while, he simply cried until finally, he raised his head and stated aloud, “I'm sorry ….”

“Are you really?” questioned the voice of Pig Friend, which seemed to echo unnaturally through the room.

“Are you there? Are you back?” asked an excited Edward as he rose from the table.

“No.”

“Why can't I see you?” inquired Edward as he frantically looked around the room for Pig Friend.

“I'm in your head.”

“Where are the others?”

“In your head.”

“What do you want from me?” asked an estranged Edward.

“Nothing. I have succeeded in making you remember.”

“Is there nothing I can do to get you back?” questioned Edward as he waited for a response. “Pig Friend?” Still no response from the Friend. “Pig ….”

After receiving no reply, a depressed Edward decided it was time to retire, and so he made his way into the bedroom. He lay there for what seemed like an eternity. Edward could still see the memories of his friends. He couldn't sleep, and he knew why—there was no Moon Friend to lull him into slumber. And so he simply waited ….

Chapter 3

Edward had been lying there with nothing but his thoughts. It was only after several hours that he began to hear a new kind of music. This music grew louder and louder and was composed of both classical and electronic elements. It was the most beautiful music he could imagine and it drew him towards the kitchen.

When he arrived he saw the three masks laid out on the table along with the fox mask. Edward watched as one by one the Friends blurred into existence. They grabbed hold of their masks, and just as they placed them on, they focused into view.

As the music played, Edward then noticed that the Friends had cups filled with tea. Kitty Friend poured a pitcher of tea into a cup next to the fox mask. Edward took hold of the fox mask and slowly put it on. He took a seat along with the Friends, and they raised their glasses to him. As they took sips of the tea, Edward then raised his glass. The Witty Fox had returned and so had all his friends.

The End


© Copyright 2018 A.W. Richey. All rights reserved.

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