Imaginary Friends – Chapter 11
Ten-year-old Paige Holley has made a new imaginary friend. A talking cricket named Chuck.
Chapter Eleven – Parents
Paige Holley wanders downstairs after seeing the backyard blanketed in snow from her bedroom window.
“Mom, is school canceled?”
A muffled noise brings her into the living room where Paige finds her parents tied and bound to dining room chairs in the center of the room. Paige shrieks and takes a step back as Mr. & Mrs. Holley plead with their eyes, handkerchiefs stuffed in their mouths to dampen their screams.
Chuck walks out on the arm of the couch in front of Paige’s parents, smoking a tiny stogie. “It’s all come down to this, kid.”
“What have you done, Chuck,” Paige whimpers.
“Why, I haven’t done a thing.”
Paige runs to her mother and removes the gag.
“Paige, please.” Mrs. Holley cries, mascara running down her cheeks. “Just untie us and you won’t be in trouble, sweetie. We promise.”
Paige’s eyes well with tears. “Mom, do you think I did this?”
Mrs. Holley shakes her head. “This isn’t your fault, dear. If anything it’s our fault.”
“Chuck did this, mom. He’s right there.”
Paige points at the couch arm where Chuck waves his cigar. Mrs. Holley looks at the empty couch and back at her young daughter, helplessly.
“Just untie us, honey.”
Paige panics and sprints into the kitchen, knocking the phone off the wall and dialing.
Det. Harry Schette falls out of bed, breath reeking of whiskey and presses the receiver to his throbbing head. “Whuh, huh? Buh.”
“Det. Schette, it’s Paige Holley. Chuck’s about to do something bad.”
Det. Schette groans up off the floor. “I’m on my way, kid.”
The only car on the unplowed roads, Det. Schette skids and slides through the snow before stopping in front of his partner’s home. He knocks on the door fruitlessly for a few minutes before noticing smoke rippling out from under the garage door. Harry lifts the door open and is met with a cloud of smoke to the face, rocking him back on his heels. Harry races to the driver’s side door of his partner’s car, yanks it open and Det. Ricky Faulk collapses lifelessly onto the cement floor. Harry cradles his late partner in his arms for a moment before narrowing his eyes, marching back to the car and peeling out in the direction of the Holleys’ house.
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