Waldo's Tale

My name is Waldo, and I’m an imaginary friend. Contrary to popular belief, we are not created by the children of the Human Realm. We are assigned by the division of our government that studies the behavioral patterns of human children. Each of us are assigned a kid that we are to befriend and help through important years of development.; we are The Friends. Even though we would help the kids learn valuable social skills and teach them moral values, we were never to grow attached. When the kid no longer needs us, we are supposed to fade away; become nothing more than a fuzzy memory. This usually happens between the ages of seven and ten. It was six year ago to the day that I was assigned to my first kid, the son of Jack and Sally Voldermier, Renaldo. Renaldo was four at the time. It was almost five years after then, that trouble started. Renaldo was nearing his ninth birthday and I suddenly felt him pulling away from me. I had broken the rule- I had grown attached. He grew more and more distant with each passing day. It was breaking my heart, and at the same time filling me with an sickening anger. I was so sad and angry all of the time that it made me nauseated. It was about a week before his birthday when I decided that if Renaldo wasn’t going to be my friend, he wasn’t going to be anybody else’s either.

I met Renaldo in the backyard. He was so excited for coming his birthday that he paid no attention to me. What a selfish child. He looked directly at me but didn’t even see me. Without hesitating, I called upon my reserves of magic and chanted a forbidden and dangerous spell. The air grew cold and the sky grew dark. It was only then that Renaldo noticed me, but he was too late. I remember seeing fear taint his childhood innocence. He yelled something at me but I heard him not. The spell finished with a blinding flash of light-that light, so cruel to think about now that I was surrounded by darkness. Sunlight once again filled the sky, and Renaldo no longer existed, not as a human anyway. He looked at me, the fear still present in his eyes. I recall him asking me something along the lines of, ‘What happened?’, or ‘What did you do?’. I recall telling him, “ I took away what makes you human.” He didn’t understand. I explained that he no longer was a human, at best he was like me-only able to be seen by other Imaginaries. His parents would probably think he was kidnapped and report him missing, but no evidence would ever be found. It would be like he never existed; he’ll become another fuzzy memory, especially since he had a little sister on the way. Jack and Sally would forget about him, eventually.

To say Renaldo was a cowardly kid would be lying, but the thought of his parents forgetting about him scared him something terrible. After his fear subsided, he was angry. He experienced a type of anger that no child of nine should ever know. He was mad at me but I was still his friend. It wasn‘t until I heard the helicopters that I realized the folly of my actions. My government has tight surveillance on all of The Friends, and the spell I performed definitely triggered several red flags. The water I was in wasn’t just hot, it was boiling, and as much as I wanted to stay with Renaldo, I had to get out of the area as fast as possible. I begged Renaldo to come with me, but the trust we had before was gone; perhaps that was part of what made him human. It tore me apart to leave him, but I had to if I wanted to remain free. I took off running, and didn’t look back. I knew the response team would arrive and take Renaldo into protective custody; he would be safe with them. I have no memory of where I ran to. I must have been too lost in my own thoughts to have even cared where I was going. I recollect ending up in an abandoned warehouse. I sat down and picked up a piece of jagged metal. Like all The Friends, I had a tracking device in my hand. I sank the metal into my flesh and carved it out. The pain in my hand was nothing compared to the pain in my heart. I had destroyed Renaldo’s life in an attempt to rid myself of pain, and only succeeded to bring more pain accompanied by guilt. I had been the one being selfish, not Renaldo. I looked down at the tiny tracker in my blood stained hand and decided not to destroy it. I decided to wait to be taken in; they’d catch me sooner or later anyway.

I am in the Waiting Chamber where no light exists. My only companion is emptiness, yet I find something that resembles sanctuary in the dark. One year ago-the day I was taken in-I had pleaded no contest in the counts of using illegal magic and removing a child from the Human Realm and execution was to be my punishment. One of the guards had told me that Renaldo had been granted full citizenship and he was going to be undergoing training so he could officially be inducted into The Guild of Friends and become a member. By the time he completes his training he may even be able to become his sister’s Friend. I am happy for him, but at the same time I am sad. I had taken him away from a happy life and plunged him into an unknown world. Even though things are certainly still new to him, I am confident that he will find a home here.

I’m once again lost in Renaldo’s tale when two guards enter my chamber. They release my from my wall shackles only to put another pair on me along with a blindfold. I am being led to the execution ground, of this I am certain. We stop and my blindfold is removed. The sun is bright and incredibly intense, forcing my eyes closed and bringing tears. I am being read my final rights, but I pay no attention. I walk of my own free will up to the guillotine and kneel down. A crowd gazes upon me as I gaze up at the blade, the instrument one my demise. It shines in the sun and appears to not care one way or another about my life. I sneak a glance to the executioner, his hand idling on the lever. In one swift motion, he pushes it down.





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