I found some interesting information on imaginary friends while writing this piece, but it was a picture (the one at the end) that prompted this idea. I wanted to leave it short and sweet.
Mom watched with amusement as Becca carefully spread the strawberry jam on her sandwich. Eight years old and already insisting upon doing so much herself. It almost made up for this imaginary friend business – the doctor had said children usually outgrew imaginary friends by age seven at the latest.
She ruffled her daughter’s bobbed blonde locks of hair, and Becca fidgeted out of her reach. “Mom…” the girl complained. She wrapped up the sandwich and placed it gently in her backpack with the other one – the sandwich for Casey, Becca’s imaginary friend.
“Sorry,” Mom said with a soft chuckle and threw her hands up in defeat.
“Well, I’m off. Casey and I are going to play.”
“Yes, and I am sure Casey will appreciate the sandwich,” Mom replied, trying to keep a serious face.
“She will. Strawberry is her favorite too.”
Mom just continued to nod as Becca shouldered her backpack and skipped out of the kitchen’s backdoor. She watched as Becca crossed the yard and disappeared into the dense greenery of the trees lining the yard.
“Imaginary friends…” Mom said, trying to remind herself that it was the sign of a creative mind and nothing to be concerned with.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Casey? Are you here?” Becca called, once far enough away from the house.
“I am always here, little friend,” a deep voice replied.
Two golden orbs, like tiny suns, waxed into sudden existence several feet in front of the girl. The eyes, each easily the size of her head, hovered in the air for the span of a few breaths, and then the greenery of the forest around them shimmered until a long, scaly muzzle the color of summer leaves appeared inches in front of Becca.
“Welcome back,” Casey murmured, the edges of her mouth curling up in a reptilian smile and showing a mouthful of teeth lining her muzzle.
The girl giggled and threw her arms around Casey’s nose. “I missed you!” the girl told the dragon. “I wanted to come visit you everyday! But school and Mom kept me away.”
“I missed you as well, little one,” Casey admitted, and nuzzled the girl back with the tip of her long nose.
“Casey!” Becca exclaimed, sprinting to her backpack. “I brought my favorite doll, Heather. And my favorite book. And sandwiches and tea, so we can have a real tea party!” The girl pulled items out of the bag in a flurry of motion, setting each on an old tree stump as she introduced them. The last item out of the bag was a bottle marked Lipton filled with light brown liquid.
“Strawberry?” Casey asked, tilting her large head and widening her eyes.
“Of course! I know it’s your favorite!”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This story and all related material are the original works of Awaiting the Muse and Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti AKA Jamie Roman. All rights reserved.
Awaiting the Muse by Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti AKA Jamie Roman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at https://awaitingthemuse.wordpress.com/.