Chapter Six: Chester
Oops sorry, I did Chester first. I'm glad people voiced their opinions. I was going to do Manitoba but then I realized he had a wife and Mal is like eight right now so lol hell no. I think I'll follow the order they appeared in Revenge of Island. I'll have to see.
It was after he entered third grade when he met another imaginary friend.
For the past year, he and Mike had worked out a simple rotation. Mike would get every other day to play during recess, and it worked pretty well. Slowly, he visited the pink world less frequently. Instead, he found himself able to converse with Mike through his mind. It was weird hearing a voice coming from his head every now and then, but he slowly got used to it. He would talk to Mike often when he was alone. It was actually quite fun.
Geoff had transferred during the beginning of the school year.
"Me and my bros are moving away because of my dad's new job. I heard it's pretty warm there too. I want to party hard with all the cool dudes at the beach, Mal. Maybe I'll take up surfing and meet a pretty surfer girl!"
"That's...nice, that means you're leaving this school right?" He said, poking at his lunch. He had grown accustomed to sitting with Geoff during lunch. The older boy's friends still ignored him like the plague.
"You betcha!" The fifth grader sighed and stared off into space.
"I'm gunna miss this place. But...it's been real, dude. Hope you'll actually grow some muscle on those noodle arms of yours. Then we can go pick up girls in...five years! See you around!"
That was the last time he spoke Geoff.
Without Geoff around, all the mean looks he got escalated.
Not only did they give him dirty looks, they also excluded him from everything. They called him names and snickered about him behind his back. They never directly hit him. They were only elementary school students, suppressed by the fear of authorities and getting into trouble.
Mike on several occasions took control, attempting to reconcile. But it was already an established fact that he was the school weirdo.
He didn't really understand why they did what they did. Maybe it was because of his inclination to being alone. Maybe it was because he didn't like smiling a lot. Maybe it was because he couldn't bring himself to show many emotions anymore.
Maybe it was because he wasn't normal.
His father grew more distant. There were days where he would go home and his father wouldn't be home until the next day. Even when he was home, they would barely exchange more than five words at most.
And slowly, he stopped being sad.
Instead, his sadness turned to frustration and anger.
He was mad.
He wanted to throw tantrums like every other eight year old child. He wanted to break things. He wanted to cause a scene. To let out some stress and have people acknowledge the fact that he had feelings as well.
But he couldn't.
Lashing out at his father would earn no sympathy. The man would call him a immature brat and go on another three day business trip. The other kids would look at him with more disgust if he did so in school.
So he kept his frustration in. He held in all his anger. He didn't lash out at his father. He didn't attempt to defend himself from his classmates. He even kept his rage in when he heard one boy gossip about how he has no mom.
It festered maliciously inside him and he found himself in the pink world for the first time in ages.
"Mal! Mal! Hey! I'm so glad you're here! Come meet Chester!" The boy grinned widely, gesturing to another boy.
He raised an eyebrow and cautiously stalked forward to meet this new friend.
"So...I created another one?" He muttered softly, eyeing his new clone.
"Hey! Watch yourself! I ain't just something you made up, punk! I have feelings too! Brats should respect their elderly!"
"...What...?" His face scrunched up incredulity.
It was weird how this Chester guy looked exactly like him, yet fifty years older at the same time. He had a hunched over back, making him appear shorter than he already was. His eyes were squinted so much, they looked closed. Overall he looked...
"You look like a grandpa." He snickered.
"What was that!?" He looked indignant.
"You kinda do, Chester hehe." Mike stifled a giggle sheepishly
"Shut yer traps. I didn't show up here to get laughed at!" The grandpa-like child turned to him.
"And YOU!" He pointed a shaking finger at him.
"M-me?" He stuttered, pointing to himself.
"I wasn't pointing at overly-chipper over there, was I? Yes you! Now get over here so we can have a long overdue talk!"
"Talk? About what, grandpa?"
"It's Chester, you brat!"
"Have fun!" He barely heard Mike yell out after them.
After they had walked a fairly good distance, Chester complained about having a bad back and forced him to carry him for another ten minutes.
When Chester finally found a spot he deemed worthy, they sat down.
Chester spent several hours ranting with him. They talked about everything. Geoff's transfer, all the other kid's bullying, the way his father was treating him and even his mom's death.
He couldn't keep his mouth shut.
He keep talking and talking. blurting out everything he had ever wanted to say. How much of a jerk his father was. How much he wished to yell back at the other kids. How sad he felt knowing his mom was never ever coming back.
He hadn't felt so good in years. It was nice sharing his frustrations with someone who understood and agreed vehemently. Chester even told him to conjure up some things to smash and break.
"It's your head, ya ninny! Imagine it!" He told him.
So he attempted it.
It wasn't easy at first. After many fail attempts, unicorns, pink fire hydrants and other things he didn't want to mention, he conjured up a puppet.
It was made of fairly flimsy material that could be broken easily. He held it in his hands nervously.
"Well? Are you going to break it or stand there like an idiot?" Chester leaned against a rock, one of his many failed conjurings.
"Y-yeah...but...I don't know...I've...I've never really...broken something before." His father would've killed him if he made a mess.
"It's for your own good, kiddo. Let out your stress before it eats ya alive. If you don't, it'll come back to haunt you when you're as old as me."
"Heh Chester, you're my age." He snickered, his grip on the toy tightened.
He took a deep breath and stared at the toy in his hand.
The painted on smile stared back up at him.
"Okay...just...think..." He muttered to himself reassuringly.
He closed his eyes and thought.
He thought about his life. His eight years of living.
"I'm going on a business meeting in the US for a few days."
"...have a safe trip..."
"It's Father's Day Poetry Party! Where's your daddy, Mal?"
His hands twitched.
"What is wrong with that child? He's always by himself during group activities."
"His father never came to any parent teacher conferences either, I wonder if his family relationships are tense."
His fingers tightened.
"You think you're so cool? Geoffrey's gone now, you can't hide anymore!"
"Yeah, Geoff was our friend, then he started hanging out with you!"
"Everyone else is playing, why are you just sitting there? Are you stupid?"
He began squeezing the toy.
"I'm going on another trip. I'll get you a babysitter."
"Bad news, the babysitter can't make it. You know how to make a sandwich, right?"
"Oh...I guess you're the only one that wasn't chosen for a kickball team...well you can go join Jack's team over there."
"No one wants you here, doofus."
"It's pair share time! Pick a buddy!"
He gritted his teeth.
"Oh right...it's your birthday. Sorry, I can't make it. I'm in Florida right now...happy birthday."
"I-I'm sorry, Mal. I tried to get them to like us better but they called me weirdo and stupid...I'm sorry."
"It's alright...I'm the weirdo...not you."
His lips trembled.
"Why is he always by himself?"
"Who knows...but he is kinda cute."
"Kayla! He's weird!"
"Remember Geoff? He was so popular! And then he became friends with him. Now he's transferred! He must be bad news."
"Yeah...bad news...like a curse."
"...Like a monster."
He felt tears welling up.
"Shhh...shhh, now blow out the candle."
"Happy birthday~ I made you your favorite cake!"
"Now listen to me, honey. You need to hide in here, okay? Think of it as...as hide and seek! The seekers are the bad guys, don't let them find you, okay? Don't come out no matter what or you'll lose. When...when its over, I'll make daddy promise to take you out for ice cream, o-okay? I-I love you so much."
He took a quivering breath, tears threatening to fall.
The bad guys.
"Heh, I thought I saw a little brat running 'round when we staked out the house. Where is he now?"
"I- I don't know what you're talking about-"
"Cut the crap, woman. That's a pretty necklace you got there. Could probably be worth a few grand."
"J-just take it. Leave me and this house alone!"
"Relax, hun. As soon as we take what we need we'll leave..."
"But unfortunately madam, you saw our faces...and maybe your little brat did as well. We can't let you go now can we?"
"Woah, bro you totally sliced her up good!"
"I know right? Her face too, did you see how scared she was? Freaking hilarious!"
"Where's the brat?"
"I dunno. The dad's not home. Maybe he took the kid with him...we should get the hell outta here before the cops come. We've got enough fortune to live like kings for the rest of our lives!"
He saw red.
With a savage yell, his mind grew blank.
Chester watched his original smash the puppet on the ground while yelling unintelligible words. He saw tears running down the boy's cheeks in steady streams, his eyes glossed over in pain and hurt.
Young brats shouldn't have to suffer like this. He thought to himself bitterly, staring impassively at the puppet that was starting to fall apart.
He dropped the puppet eventually. It was now a pile of dented and mangled limbs. His breaths were ragged and hoarse, tired from screaming.
After giving the boy a minute to calm down, Chester sighed.
"You let it all out, brat?" He asked quietly.
He received a curt nod.
"Alright then...now that it's out of your system...you can leave all your frustrations to this old grandpa."
"Leave it...to you?" His voice was low and scratchy from yelling.
"A kid like you shouldn't be dealing with this. Leave it to the old timer. I'll be fine and dandy. The wars back in the days were way worse." He shrugged and waited for the boy to comprehend his words.
"...Thank you...gramps." He watched the boy attempt a a smile, wiping at his tear stained face furiously.
It brought a slight smile to the old man's lips.
See~? I told ya it would be longer.
I like this chapter. Chester is such a sweetie pie.
But Mal...*gives the poor guy a hug* Sweetie, don't worry I don't hate you. Bullying is not cool, kiddos.
Though, a little boy violently smashing a puppet to pieces is a bit...odd. Well, I guess Mike gets that habit from him lol.
Ahhh crap, the only reason I have chapters out every two days is because I usually write two to three chapters days in advance so I have a stack of unpublished chapters ready to put up. I procrastinated and now I'm out of chapters to put up. Have to start writing again now OTL
Reviews are appreciated. Thank you for reading