Real
Ghost Stories

Imaginary friend?

When I was a kid, we lived in Ohio. In the fall, just before it got real cold, we used to get a lot of fog. I don't mean just a faint mist either! I am talking about thick fog that could have you totally hidden if you just stepped a few feet away from someone.

I used to have to walk to my bus stop in the mornings. It was a pretty good trek, and I enjoyed it if the Hysel sisters were with me. If I had to go by myself, I hated it. Not because I was scared, but because I didn't think I should have to walk all that way all by myself, and I was more or less just being a brat about the whole thing!

But one day, I did get scared! It was in the fall, and there was a thick fog over the road. I looked outside, and then at mom, and I think I told her that I didn't want to go to school. If I had told her I was scared, maybe she would have driven me up to the bus stop, but I only said I didn't want to go to school. Since there was nothing wrong with me, she gave me a firm no, and sent me to school. When I got outside, I walked over to the Hysel sisters' house, and as luck would have it, all three of them had the chicken pocks, and now I was REALLY upset, because I knew I had to walk BY MYSELF, IN the FOG! I knew better than to go back home, and fake a sickness. Mother would've seen right through it, and sent me off again. So...off I went, heading for the bus stop, angry and scared.

Now I have to explain something. When I was a kid, I had an imaginary friend named Perceus. I watched this movie called Clash Of The Titans, with Harry Hamlin. Well, I thought Mr. Hamlin was the most gorgeous man I had ever seen. So, very often I pretended that he was with me everywhere I went. I didn't know his real name, so I would pretend to talk to him, and call him Perceus. In the movie, Perceus gets a gift from the gods. A cloak of invisibility. That was perfect for me! If anyone said that they couldn't see him, I would just explain that he had his cloak on. (I know you all are laughing at me right now! So what! Like you guys never played PRETEND) I even introduced Perceus to the Hysel sisters. And when we would walk to and from the bus stop, I would leave the front pouch of my back pack undone, so that the metal clasp would click together, and sound like he was walking with us. None of my friends ever figured that one out, so they really believed that Perceus was there! HA HA!

Well, there I was, about a quarter of the way to the bus stop, and I hear my back pack clicking, and I just decided to tell old Perceus about how bad I was having it. I talked and talked to him, and even threw in the ills that had befallen me the night before when my little brother peed on me while I was in the bathtub! I went on and on, and before I knew it, I was at the bus stop, and the bus was coming. I got on the bus, and when I found a seat, I took off my back pack, and what do you know.... The clasp on my back pack was connected. I was so used to leaving it undone, that I didn't even realize that it wasn't undone! I stared at my back pack, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the sound I had heard wasn't click click click, it was more like footsteps on the dirt and gravel road, that sounded just like mine. I had been so busy complaining to my imaginary friend, and lost in my own little game of pretend, that I hadn't realized that I really did have a visitor walking with me to the bus stop. It never happened again, but I started thinking of Perceus in a whole new way after that!