1.02 Her Only Friends Were Imaginary

Agnes woke with a hazy feeling clouding her head. The room was too bright, but it settled into a soft glow as she started to recognize the features that came into focus.

My old room…
How did she get here?
“Aggie? Nellie? Breakfast is ready!” The voice echoed up the stairs of the familiar home.

“Mom?” Agnes rubbed her eyes as she pulled herself up from the bed. “Is that you? How?”
She rolled out of her bed, rubbing her face harder and harder as if that might clear the fog away from her vision - away from her head.

Cornelia shoved the door of Agnes’s room open with a confident stare. “If you don’t get downstairs soon, I’m going to eat your pancakes!”
Without thinking Agnes threw her pillow at her, but Cornelia was already gone from the doorway and she missed.

She moved towards her dresser to change but froze when she saw herself in the mirror.

There was a soft whisper through the house, and Agnes remained awed by how strange all of this world felt.
She was dreaming obviously, but she had never lucid dreamed before.
A familiar dog bark echoed in her ears and she jerked her head out of her trance.

The blue and green dog yipped again, his tail happily slapping the floor beside him.
Bear responded, happily jumping into his play stance.

Wait, when had she changed clothes?
Bear had never been this big when she was this age. When she was young Bear always appeared to her as a puppy. She had wanted a puppy, so her imaginary friend was a puppy.

Almost all kids had imaginary friends at one point or another, only Agnes’s never went away.
She learned to stop talking about them when her mom and dad started talking about therapy. Money was tight. They didn’t like admitting it. They weren’t living paycheck to paycheck, but health insurance barely covered the basic necessities in the Valley - it sure as hell didn’t cover therapy.

Apparently her imaginary dog was reason enough for her parents to shell out the cash for several sessions anyways.
Bear didn’t go away because of the sessions, but rather because she had to start ignoring him. Even then she sometimes doubted it was for good. She continued seeing him more and more infrequently until the last time she can even recall it was when she was 21.

A couple of fruity drinks and a person taking their dog on a walk can do that to a person, though.
Or well, just her in this case.

Agnes followed Bear down the steps of her old home where her mom was placing the pancake platter on the table.
“Agnes, dear, can you get your sister? She’s outside.”
A beetle slowly crawled its way across the table and Agnes watched it. “Sure thing.”

Bear was already plunked down, his tail thump-thump-thumping against the wood floor behind her. As soon as Agnes made eye-contact with him, he turned and trotted through the doorway and out of view.

“You’re not still talking to that imaginary dog, are you Agnes?” Her mother chided her as she walked back towards the kitchen.

“Aw, leave our Aggie be.” Her father only briefly looked up from his paper as he spoke to give her a wink. “There are worse things in the world than imaginary puppies.”
“Simon!” Her mother hissed, but Agnes had already begun heading for the open door. “A twenty-three-year-old girl should not have an imaginary friend!”

Agnes stepped through the doorway, shielding her eyes from the blinding light.

I’m at school? Pretty cliche for a dream. Agnes chided her own head, before she realized precisely why she was here.


Agnes’s mother and father hated him.

Agnes did too, if she was honest. There was no reason for a twenty-six year old man to hang around with a seventeen year old girl. He had never done anything wrong with her, that Agnes could tell at least, but it still made her highly uneasy. Cornelia had been so love-struck, though.

Agnes’s body moved on its own. “Nellie! What are you doing?!”
Why did she have to relive this?
Cornelia did not look pleased.

It was funny how perfectly that angry face was etched into her mind. She had never really let go of it, had she?
“Agnes you can’t be serious!” She hissed with fervor.

Agnes remembered the force of which Cornelia had shoved her back had hurt, but thankfully it didn’t now.
“He’s so old, Nellie!” Agnes started, and Gunther had chuckled behind them which only seemed to increase Cornelia’s fury.

“Would you stop calling me that?! It’s really lame, Agnes.”
“Aw, Cor! Cut her some slack. If she’s still got imaginary friends then she’s just a kid!” Gunther jeered.
Agnes wasn’t angry now as she had been when this originally played out, yet her voice responded with pure rage. “You told him?!”

“Of course I told him, he’s my boyfriend.”
“He’s a creep!” Agnes pointed at him spitefully. “What grown man hangs out with high schoolers?!”
Gunther held his hands up then, “woah, I’m not here to be called a pedophile.”
“Well then maybe-”

Cornelia cut her off. “Don’t you have therapy you need to go to, or something? Go home, Agnes. Tell mom and dad about this and many more people will know about how the only friends you have are your imaginary ones!”

They had never been so angry with each other before; they also never got to properly work out their fight.
Agnes didn’t speak to her seriously again until…

Until after the accident.
She slumped down on the side of the road.

“If I hadn’t needed therapy… they wouldn’t have been in that car.”
...I wouldn’t have been in that car.”

Bear sat by her side, the familiar thump-thump-thumping of his tail on the ground. With a small whine, he rested his head on her shoulder.
Once again she could see the beetle moving around carefully in the grass and her eyebrows furrowed, the weight in her chest pulling her down. “But… why do you want me to see this?”

There was no answer.


  1. OI HER parents were ruuuudddeee, let her have her DOG. It’s NOT Agnes’ fault that they died, I mean THEY’RE the ones who wanted to bring their perfectly fine girl to therapy (shakes fist)
    Always EW Gunther, ew, ew, that IS pedophilia, sorry to tell you CREEP, but not sorry at all.
    God Agnes get ready for VALIDATION, cause you’re special

    1. I know, she was really young too, in my opinion. Imaginary friends aren't all so bad, especially when they're like Bear. ;)

      Gunther I was a bit concerned about including, but he's always a significant chunk older than her in game, so I rolled with it and the ideas ended up fitting.

      LOL Indeed isn't she just a little special? Seems that necklace likes her quite a fair bit... or maybe it doesn't? Hard to say when it's making her relive some painful memories...

  2. I love the way everyone is styled, especially teenage angst Cornelia. 😀

    I never knew Gunther was that much older than Cornelia, ew, ew, ew! I love that you incorporate those things from the game, though.

    Definitely some horrible things to relive. The car accident was not her fault!

    1. Thank you! I really dig how they're styled too. It felt right, also didn't feel right to imagine Cornelia somehow rolled out the womb with purple hair! XD

      Haha that was a bit of a sneak-in from the game. In my game he's always an Elder LONG before Cornelia is, so I tried to imagine how that would play out when they were in their youths.

      :( Poor Agnes has a lot on her plate to work through, and guilt is definitely one. It'll be a great day though when she conquers it!

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  4. I hope Bear knows he's a good boy. I mean I have that feeling that he's not really a dog but I want my dream of Atalan having magical dogs. Otherwise this vacation into your mind isn't fun at all and I want out! :P