The Originals Part IV

By , somewhere, MA
After she left, Simon stood there awkwardly as Dr. Applebom went back to his desk. “You can sit down if you want,” he said as he picked up a screwdriver, “We’ll get started in a moment, I just need to finish fixing this.” Simon took a seat on a blue and pink striped hospital bed. A white cat was curled up sound asleep on top of a green bookcase that was set up next to the desk. There were a few books on the bookshelf, but mostly it was filled with small wind-up toys, stuffed animals, and other figurines. To the other side of Simon was a large machine, pushed up against the wall, with blinking lights, and wires connecting to the bed he was sitting on. As Simon was staring at the wires, Dr. Applebom plugged in the small machine he was working on into the larger machine, and clicked a few buttons.
Dr. Applebom’s face appeared right next to Simon, “Hi,” he said abruptly, startling Simon. He laughed and then clasped his hands together, “Let’s get started!” He walked over and grabbed a checkered clipboard from his desk, and then sat down in a cushioned chair next to Simon. “Now you, mister, have not said a word since we’ve met. Tell me a little about yourself.” He looked at Simon expectantly, wearing the same quirky smile.
“Uhm…” Simon didn’t know what to make of this place, and couldn’t think of anything to say to this bizarre figure sitting before him.
“Shy one, are you? Now I already know your name, but why don’t you start by telling me the name of your imaginary friend.”
“Jamie,” Simon muttered
“Jamie,” the Doctor repeated to himself. “Imaginary friends are strange things aren’t they? Seem completely real to one person, and yet imaginary to all the rest. Does Jamie seem real to you, Simon?”
Simon nodded as he stared at his hands.
“Well, I’m going to tell you a secret,” the Doctor’s voice lowered, “Can I trust you with this secret, Simon?”
Simon nodded again.
Dr. Applebom leaned in close to Simon as though someone else was in the room that he didn’t want to overhear. “Jamie’s real,” he whispered in Simon’s ear, and then leaned back into his chair. This information didn’t seem to startle Simon as much as the Doctor expected, and this upset him.
“If Jamie’s real, then why do you want to get rid of him?” Simon asked
“Because he’s bad!” Dr. Applebom replied immediately, “Because he’s using you.”
“How?”
Dr. Applebom settled into his chair, satisfied with the questions he had been asked. “Well, Simon, Jamie created you. His whole people, whom I like to call ‘the originals’, created all of us. We’re all imaginary friends to the originals… or at least were at some point.” He licked his lips and continued, “You see, although they created us, they did so with selfish intentions. We are bound to them until they get bored of us, and then we are just tossed away like an old toy. You are not Jamie’s friend, Simon, you are his slave. ”
He leaned in closer, “That is why us slaves must revolt,” he spat. “We must show the originals that we’re not just some child’s play toy, but real people.” He pinched a piece of his skin to show he was actually there, “You’re real, aren’t you Simon?” His head cocked to the side as he stared at Simon through his glasses.
Simon wasn’t sure what to do so he just nodded once more.
“Good,” Dr. Applebom said, “Now, to show we are real people, we must get rid of our imaginary friends so we are not bound to them; do you see my reasoning, Simon?”
Finally Simon decided it was time to speak, “No, actually I don’t see your reasoning at all. I am not Jamie’s slave at all, I am his friend, and he’s mine.”
He laughed and stood up from his seat, “So naïve, little one. But no matter, that is only because you do not know how much better life is without an imaginary friend, you’ll see.” He went over to the machine and pushed a few buttons, and a slight whirring noise began. “Now, the good thing is, since imaginary friends leave so often, it is quite easy to get rid of them. All we have to do is make you… unappealing to Jamie, so he gets bored, and leaves… forever.”
Simon stared at the machine in horror, wondering what the Doctor was planning on doing to him to make him so ‘unappealing’. “Don’t worry”, Dr. Applebom reassured him, “Children get bored very easily, all I’m going to do is ask you not to look or talk to Jamie for a very long time. This,” he motioned toward the machine, “is just a precaution in case you don’t comply.”
“I won’t do it,” Simon said sharply, “You’re not taking Jamie away from me.”
The Doctor sighed, impatiently, “Simon, Simon, Simon, I’m not taking anything away from you. I’m merely giving you your life back. Don’t you understand yet? I’m helping you.” He pushed Simon onto the bed he was already sitting on, and strapped his arms and legs down.
Simon thrashed around on the bed screaming, “You’re crazy, let me go! Let me go!” Pain shot through Simon suddenly as the machine buzzed wildly.
“Sorry,” the Doctor said with a smile, “You were being annoying. I promise I won’t do that again as long as you just do what I say.” He walked over to the other side of the machine and pulled on a lever making the bed Simon was on move into a vertical position. Across from the bed there was a poster with a bulls-eye, each stripe a different color. “So, all you have to do is stare at this poster and not say a word. After a few hours you’ll be done. Under no circumstances do you look away from this poster or mutter a single sound, unless I specifically tell you to. And if you disobey me…,” he tapped the machine next to him.




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Jamie stumbled over branches as he made his way through the dense forest. He pushed through a group of bushes and appeared in a small open area in the midst of the large wood. At first it was empty except for him, but the moment he wanted Simon to appear, he did.
“Hey Simon!” Jamie greeted to the unresponsive body standing next to him. Simon flinched at the sound of Jamie’s voice, but didn’t look at him or make any other notion that he was aware of Jamie’s presence. “What’s wrong with you?” Jamie asked casually, and then sat down on a nearby log, playing with an old tennis ball he had brought with him. When Simon still didn’t respond, Jamie looked up again, this time with concern.
“Are you okay?” Jamie asked, getting up and walking over to the place where Simon had been staring. Simon glanced into Jamie’s eyes, with a pleading look, but only for a split second. Then he started screaming wildly, and thrashing about. When he quieted down, he continued staring straight ahead.
Jamie began to back away, scared of what Simon seemed to have become. He turned around to go back home, but before he left the clearing, Simon spoke, “Jamie, please don’t leave.” The words had quickly stumbled out of him, but the last word was accompanied with a grunt of pain, before the screaming started once more. Jamie looked on with horror, but what he saw was his friend who was in pain.
“I don’t know what’s happening,” Jamie replied, “But I’m not gunna leave you.”





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