Imaginary Friend

Kylie Rae
2 min readJan 31, 2023

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Marjorie Mullens flipped a pancake in one pan and mixed shredded cheese into the scrambled eggs in the pen on the back burner. She tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear and checked on the toaster. Then she heard the patter of feet as her daughter trotted down the stairs into the kitchen. She clambered onto the barstool near the counter and leaned on her elbows to watch her mom cook.

“Morning, ladybug. Hope you’re hungry.” Marjorie reached over and booped the tip of her nose.

Lillian, ladybug, frowned at her mother. Instead of answering, she said, “Michael said he’s mad at you.”

Marjorie half-smiled and chuckled. “Michael? Who’s Michael?”

Lillian took one pancake off the stack and rolled it up to eat it plain. “He’s my imaginary friend.”

Marjorie nodded, back to flipping pancakes and was about to ask why Michael would be mad at her when a strange memory floated to the surface of her mind. Like looking at grainy camera footage, a young girl in a flowery dress playing tea party by herself. No, not by herself… with her imaginary friend.

“You know…” she served the eggs out onto plates. “I think I had an imaginary friend named Michael when I was your age. But when I grew up… I guess I forgot about him.”

“I know.” Lillian took another large bite of pancake and frowned at her mother.

Marjorie flinched and looked at Lillian’s face. She tried to laugh, but her daughter’s face had such a strange expression on it. Nothing like she’d ever seen before on a seven-year-old. “What? What do you mean, you know?”

Lillian raised an eyebrow like she was shocked she had to spell it out. “That’s why he’s mad at you, mom.”

Marjorie froze in the act of pouring more pancake batter into the pan, the liquid pooling into a much larger pancake than she’d meant for. She blinked several times and forced her brain to process what her daughter had just said.

“I don’t understand… sweetie… what do you…”

Lillian stopped chewing and finally met her mother’s gaze straight on, and the glinting light she saw there chilled her blood.

“Michael says you’ll pay for how you treated him.”

Marjorie blinked several times, her mouth hanging open. “I’m sorry?” Her mind struggled to understand.

“It’s too late for sorry.”

Marjorie’s breath cut off as she felt hands wrap around her throat. Her own hands scrambled up to peel at the fingers, but there was nothing there to grab. A gasp escaped her mouth, but the grip tightened and her knees gave out.

Lillian watched her mother struggle for air and took another bite of her pancake.

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Kylie Rae

Independant author | Book lover | Whiskey Drinker | Mother of two crazy boys | www.kylieraewriter.com