Forever Friends (Friday Fictioneers, June 2013)

Copyright Indira, by way of Scott Vanatter

The last Friday Fictioneers of June.  How time flies!  Interesting photo prompt this week; this one came to me immediately.  Not often that happens. 

Alice found him in the woods.  Or did he find her?

Whatever, they’ve become firm friends, inseparable.  Her mother pretends she can see him too, laying a place for him at the table next to her.  Even an imaginary friend is better than none at all, she says sadly.

He just rolls his eyes, and Alice giggles.

They’ve played together every day.  But he’s starting to fade.  Sometimes his image shimmers, parts of it dropping away; she worries he’ll soon vanish completely.

So when he dances on the opposite pavement, urging her to join him, Alice steps out without hesitation.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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106 Responses to Forever Friends (Friday Fictioneers, June 2013)

  1. paulmclem says:

    Sounds like a bad LSD trip. Not that I’ve partaken of such substances of course. Good one. Reminds me I haven’t killed anyone off in my 100 words for a few weeks. Something I’ll need to remedy.


  2. Fantastic! I love your take on the prompt!


  3. writelindy says:

    Hi Sandra. This was a great take on the prompt. The last line tells the entire story. Great writing.


  4. Dear Sandra,

    You have me shouting, “Alice, don’t do it!” Nice one.




  5. Gabriella says:

    Yes, you do make us want to shout to her, don’t you? Nice one!


  6. Eep, sounds like it is turning into a dangerous friendship for Alice. Now I’m wondering if he’s really malicious or doesn’t understand the danger cars might pose for her.


  7. nightlake says:

    Poor Alice. Her mother needs to take the situation in control, immediately..


  8. lepirategunn says:

    Well, I almost didn’t dare read to the end knowing of your predilection for the jugular…the words left unsaid are the tragedy.


  9. misskzebra says:

    I felt left out as a kid because I didn’t have an imaginary friend.


  10. Helena Hann-Basquiat says:

    Oh, how horrid! How wretchedly, creepily, wonderfully horrid! Brilliant take on the prompt, darling! I guess Casper got a little lonely.


  11. In my custom, people are advised not to dance to imaginary beats, but not when they fill your ears so loudly. Poor Alice, she believed him to be real. I love the ending!


  12. We all need a friend like that, and the sadness of inevitable change and loss comes through clearly in your piece. Very good job.


  13. “Alice, stay put,” cried her mother. “I’ll bring the plate over to your dancing friend. I’ve told you a million times that you are not to cross the street without me.” And so her mother pretended to bring the plate across the street. A bus passes sonorously.

    There – another happy ending. And on to Hollywood the script will go.

    Ugh. Your last line hurt me. I had to close my eyes and shout ,”No!.” or redo the ending. i chose a redo.

    Good job. Randy


  14. Oh, Sandra… A beautiful story and an excellent punch in the gut!


  15. I guess we better not ask Alice about drugs or crossing the street in front of a bus
    hmmm sad 😦


  16. Linda Vernon says:

    A chillingly great tale Sandra! 😀


  17. Shreyank says:

    Kaboom ! Nicely done as always


  18. Oh, no! Another dark, if not stormy, tale.



  19. Sandra, as you know, I always enjoy your writing. This piece is no exception. A lump went to my throat on your last line. Expertly revealed.


  20. TheImaginator says:

    Ah – it’s all as real as we picture it to be; which makes that last line so tragic…


  21. Interesting and a bit alarming.


  22. Carrie says:

    it started out so innocent and them WHAM! Literally 🙂


  23. Penny L Howe says:

    All within 100 words. Amazing Sandra. A fantasy, a childhood story, a twist at the ending and a probable sad one too! Just excellent (well not the outcome) but the writing definitely! 🙂


  24. Shainbird says:

    Very good, I can see him vanishing in the picture!


  25. howanxious says:

    Oh! A heart wrenching tale but beautifully crafted..


  26. zookyworld says:

    I’ll echo howanxious’s comment, since this story is very well told, love the “or did he find her?” part. For me, that introduced a mysterious element right away.


  27. kz says:

    oh my god, it’s so chilling. you’re always able to execute original, wonderfully creepy stories in 100 words like no other. 🙂


  28. That was great – like the others – and I must say the idea of running across the street in front of a bus has always terrified me! I have been in Greece, by the way and I am not sure, but sometimes my page comes up in Greek!


  29. Joe Owens says:

    I wonder if this was the last thing Alice saw before checking out of the world?


  30. EagleAye says:

    Oh this is wonderfully written, and that’s why the end is so terribly chilling. What a great story.


  31. marymtf says:

    On the whole I’ve got only good things to say about imaginary friends. granddaughter had one that she found a great help through some tough times. Every family has one someone they prefer not to talk about, I suspect your IF is one of those exceptions to the IF rule.


  32. elmowrites says:

    Sandra, this story has so many layers and each one breaks my heart – I was wondering where her father was, why she had no friends… and then you hit me with the last line. Serialisations be damned, I demand that you write a happy ending next week! 😉


    • Sandra says:

      Thanks Jennifer. I’m glad you saw the layers, I tried not to make them explicit and I wondered whether I’d gone too far. Happy endings? … hmmm 😉


  33. Brian Benoit says:

    Woah: scary, dark ending there Sandra! Love the description of the shimmer, and the way he “dances” on the pavement. Well played


  34. Beautifully sad, Sandra. The image is so sweet, it brings tears to my eyes just to read it.


  35. Really good story. Kudos!


  36. troy P. says:

    I just can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this one Sandra! Well, I suppose I just did a bit now, didn’t I? Anywho – wonderfully done!


  37. unspywriter says:

    You really do have to watch out for those imaginary friends. Nicely told tale!

    Here’s mine:


  38. Terrific tale then POW!!


  39. rgayer55 says:

    the nice thing about imaginary friends is you don’t have too many arguments with them, or at least, I don’t 🙂 This one doesn’t play very nice, though. A very imaginative story, Sandra.


  40. A real love story. To give up your life for somebody (The way I read it??) Beautifully done.


  41. Oh Alice.. Hope she makes it anyway


  42. JackieP says:

    Ouch! Poor Alice. Goes to show even pretend friends can kill. Great take on the picture.


  43. wmqcolby says:

    Score points once again! Imaginary friend or not, Sandra, that was good and chilling!
    Makes me happy! 😉 Well done!


  44. Honie Briggs says:

    whoa there Alice, let’s find something to do…INDOORS! Nicely done, Sandra.


  45. Uh oh. Bet the mom wishes she’d gotten help for her instead of playing along with her fantasy friend.


  46. Kalpana says:

    My blood ran cold at the end. There I was thinking it’s a lovely soft story about imaginary beings when it goes – wham! You really drew me in there.


  47. Dee says:

    Well, you did write a funny one recently…
    I loved the build up, I knew it wouldn’t end happily, or did it?
    Well written as always


  48. Sarah Ann says:

    That is one very naughty imaginary friend. Love Alice’s giggles and his rolling eyes – could see the pair of them doing it. Such a pity he wasn’t what he purported to be. Great story.


  49. Kwadwo says:

    It’s surprising how growing up can rob us our childhood imaginations.
    Well written piece. I like the innocence of the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Dear Sandra,

    That was a chilling story. One of you best ever and that’s saying a great deal because yours are consistently high quality. Very powerful writing and so inexorably scary.




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