The Originals Part I

By , somewhere, MA
There was a cool chill in the air as Simon Button walked home from a long day at school. He walked at a slow pace, not really wanting to go home to all the chaos. Ever since his sister, Cambria, became ill, his house was always filled with strange doctors trying desperately to save her, neighbors giving their well-wishes, and even priests blessing the house. One doctor had given her a year to live, but that was ten months ago, and her ever-approaching death always seemed to be hanging over the house. His parents were always solemn and frantic, and usually just left Simon to himself. He turned a corner onto Grover Street, where a few more leaves fell off the dying trees, and added to the masses on the sidewalk that crunched as he stepped on them.

On the other side of the road, Simon spotted a young child sitting on the sidewalk alone, with her legs crossed. She stared intently into the space in front of her as though trying not to lose focus. All of a sudden she erupted in childish laugher, still looking at the same spot of nothing. “Tell me another story!” she squealed.
Simon continued along leaving the young girl laughing by herself. As he approached his house, he noticed an unfamiliar car in the driveway, and dreaded whatever company they had over that day. He stepped up the old, rotten steps, and slamming the door behind him, instantly heard a bustle of voices and sporadic cries from Cambria. Looking to get away from all the noise, he slipped upstairs to his bedroom.
The old wood flooring creaked as he walked over and opened up a window letting a cool breeze in and fluttering the curtains. As he turned away from the window he was startled by another presence in the room. But when he saw who it was, his face instantly brightened.
“Jamie!” Simon exclaimed, “Boy am I glad to see you!”
Jamie was a lively little boy with rosy cheeks, and sandy blonde hair. He seemed to be the only person Simon could really talk to, and was his best friend. “Wanna play a game?” Jamie suggested, with a beaming smile.
Simon was happy to play with Jamie as much as he could before he disappeared like all the rest, so he ran downstairs, eager to go outside. He was so excited that he almost crashed into his mother who was standing near the bottom of the stairs. She looked at him with a motherly concern, “Where might you be off to young man?”
Simon hesitated, but then answered, “I’m going to go play with Jamie”
Mrs. Button sighed, “I thought you were going to try to stop playing with Jamie and make friends with the kids at school like I asked you to”.
He made a face, “But I like playing with Jamie”
“Honey, you’re almost 13, most children lose their imaginary friends when they’re half the age you are.”
“But Jamie’s not like all the little children’s imaginary friends, mom, he’s… different”

Cambria’s screams in the other room could be heard clearly as the doctor tried to examine her once more. Mrs. Button sighed again. “Just… try to do what I ask, Simon… please,” she said, exasperated. She then left to go see how things in the main room were doing. Simon made a face behind her back and then ran outside.

Outside, Jamie was waiting for him, playing with a loose strand of thread from his shirt. When he saw Simon walk outside he immediately perked up and let go of the string. “I’ll go hide and you count!” he shouted, and then ran into the woods





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Simon awoke the next morning to find the house in a state of tranquility. No strange people were there, and Cambria was actually quiet for once. It always hurt him most to see her when she wasn’t in pain, sleeping there peacefully, as a normal child should. She rolled over and yawned, her pudgy cheeks lifting, and then slowly settling lightly back in place.

Downstairs, his mother was making breakfast, and his father was getting ready to go to work. An announcer could be heard from the television giving the daily news. It was turned down low so as one could hear it, but could also talk over it. Simon grabbed a banana and settled down into a chair, looking at the screen without interest.

“Another child went missing yesterday after a call was made to the Adoption Agency of a stray girl on Grover Street. The Agency pickup left as soon as the call was made but apparently didn’t make it in time before a neighbor spotted a large white van pick up the girl and abruptly drive off. The woman did not catch the license plate number.”

“This seems to be a reoccurring theme,” one of the other reporters remarked

The main reporter continued, “Yes, this is probably the 5th story we’ve heard, just this week, about a new child disappearance. But that isn’t the strangest part! All of these children seem to appear again, not too soon after they disappeared. The Agency has remarked on children appearing at their doorstop, asking for a home, who seem to be extremely similar to the disappeared children. One woman confirmed that the boy she had called the Agency for was the same one that had showed up 3 days later. Whoever is borrowing these kids, at least seems to be returning them,” he finished with a laugh.

After packing up his books, Simon left for the long walk back to school. Jamie tagged along, rambling on next to him. Simon laughed at one point after Jamie had been talking for a long time, “How is it possible, that my imaginary friend has such a mind of his own!”

Silence fell over Jamie as he stopped short. A seriousness that Simon had never seen before fell over Jamie’s face. He looked somewhat hurt, but mostly confused as he stared at the pavement. After a few moments he looked up at Simon and stated, “I’m not you’re imaginary friend.” He said it with no clear emotion, other than confidence in the truth of his statement. He turned around and walked away, disappearing into the air as he went.





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