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An Imaginary Friend


by grapesourhorse

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"Don't worry honey, you'll make plenty of friends!" said the cheerful voice of Atomasphere the Maraquan Uni, to her little sister, Mistletoe the Baby Acara.

      "Yeah," said Gwenhwfarr, agreeing. He was usually quite a brusque and tough Pirate Chomby, but even he could see that his sister's feelings needed to be handled gently.

      "What if I don't?" wailed the Acara, bottom lip trembling, and eyes filling with tears. "Atom, Gwen, please don't take me to Neoschool!"

      Atomasphere and Gwenhwfarr exchanged glances. "You'll always have us as friends if you don't make any at school," Gwenhwfarr said with forced cheerfulness.

      Addie, their owner, who had been eavesdropping the entire time, nodded. "That's right, sweetie," she soothed, "and I'm sure you'll make plenty of friends!"

      Mistletoe smiled at that, sniffed bravely, and picked up her Boochi Lunch Box. "All right," she sniffled, hopping out the door.

      Atomasphere and Gwen watched from the door as the little Baby Acara swam up to the surface of Maraqua. Because Atomasphere was a Maraquan pet, they needed to live underwater, and Gwenhwfarr and Mistletoe had to use Enchanted Maraquan Seaweed Necklaces to breathe underwater.

      Atom and Gwen exchanged glances one more time. "I'm sure she'll be fine," Atomasphere reassured her brother.

      Gwen sighed and straightened his eye patch. "I loved school when I was her age. Acaras nowadays!"

      Addie swatted her pet and smiled, "Mistletoe will be fine," she said, but she didn't sound very confident.

     xxx

      Atomasphere was reading "Annoying Chias" when she heard the door slam open and a wail echo through their underwater home.

      She heard a loud crying coming from the hallway and the soothing voice of their owner, Addie.

      Atomasphere dashed downstairs to find Addie hugging little Mistletoe and Gwenhwfarr standing by nervously; he had never been good at emotional things.

      "They -hic- made fun of -hic- me," sobbed Mistletoe, flinging her small arms around their owner's neck. "They -hic- called me a -hic- Maraquan dweller -hic- and I didn't -hic- make any friends," the Acara continued. "They -hic- stole my Seaweed Necklace -hic- and I almost couldn't -hic- come home!" she wailed.

      Atomasphere swam close to her sister, smiled at her owner, and soothed: "There, there, that's all right! You'll make more friends on your second day. They'll have found something else to tease and they'll find out that you're really not so bad!"

      But the second day was even worse. The Acara came back sobbing like her little heart would break and exclaimed: "I don't want to -hic- go to school anymore!"

      After putting Mistletoe to bed, Addie called upon the help of Atom and Gwen. "What are we going to do?" fretted Addie. "I don't think she should go to school anymore. She's obviously miserable."

      But Atom shook her head. "It's not the school that's making her miserable, it's the teasing and the not having friends."

      "But where can we find friends for Mistletoe?" asked Gwenhwfarr, a hint of frustration entering his voice. "They always say even money can't buy friends."

      "I've got it!" exclaimed Addie after a few minutes of thinking. "She can be homeschooled!"

      Atomasphere and Gwenhwfarr turned bright red and immediately started coughing, their eyes twinkling, and their mouths twitching.

      "What?" asked Addie, folding her arms, but her mouth was twitching like she wanted to smile as well. "I'm not stupid, you know!"

      Atomasphere coughed one last time and said, "Why is Jhudora forever Illusen's enemy?"

      Gwenhwfarr added, "Why does Boochi zap pets Baby?"

      "Where is Altador located?" they both chimed at the same time.

      Addie groaned and slammed her head on the table, making her pets flinch. "All right, it's a horrible idea. What she really needs is a friend."

      Gwenhwfarr rolled his eyes. "Sure, we can find a wonderful friend here for her, Mom. Just get her a Maraquan Grarrl and she's all set."

      Atom stayed silent while this quiet argument was going on, so when she exclaimed with delight, Gwen and Addie looked up, alarmed.

      "I've got it!" exclaimed Atomasphere. "She can have an imaginary friend!"

      Addie's eyebrow shot upwards skeptically and Gwenhwfarr coughed into his kerchief.

      "Crazy," he coughed.

      "Shut up," Atomasphere coughed back, glaring. "Don't you see? It's a perfect idea!"

      She leaned forwards and started to explain. When she was finished, Gwenhwfarr remarked, "You're not crazy after all sis... that idea's just about insane enough to work!"

      Atom smiled wryly and commented, "Why, thanks Gwen, I love being called insane."

      Addie shook her head, a small smile on her face. "Relax, you guys. I hope this works!"

     xxx

      When Mistletoe awoke the next morning, she saw her sensible, intelligent, older sister babbling into the air. Normally, such behavior would shock her into silence. But as she listened...

      "So, Daisy, do you eat waffles for breakfast?" There was a pause. "Oh my Fyora, I had no idea you were allergic to waffles! I'll go and ask Addie if we can have hotcakes instead. Are you allergic to hotcakes?" There was another pause-"Oh, I'm so glad, because I love hotcakes!"

      Mistletoe glanced at Gwenhwfarr, and to her great alarm, he was also talking to thin air. "So, Jake, how DID you beat the Space Faerie?" There was a pause here. "Ohh... now I get it! You're so lucky that you can afford the Ghostkersword and that Yo-Yo of Death. I don't think I'm poor, but I'm definitely not 'that' rich!"

      Mistletoe, with alarm so big that she thought her head might burst, saw that even her owner, Addie, was talking quietly to the air.

      "What's going on?" she wailed, thinking her family had gone insane.

      Atom smiled and said: "Mistletoe, this is Daisy, my imaginary friend!" she said cheerfully. "That's Jake, Gwenhwfarr's friend, and that's Jess, Addie's imaginary friend!"

      Mistletoe gaped with awe. "You all have imaginary friends! I want one! Where can I get one?"

      Atomasphere smiled, "Right in your head, Mistletoe! You have to create her! What species is she? Or is it a he? What color is he? Or she?"

      Mistletoe smiled. She was so young, and so untainted by logic, that her imagination spread to the vast lands of nowhere.

      She closed her eyes and mumbled, "My best friend is a Plushie Kacheek named Sophia... Sophia Madison, but she wants me to call her Sophia... she's Jess's pet... and she has a Faerie... Faerie Kadoatie named... named..."

      "Lulu," suggested Addie, smiling to herself.

      "Yeah, Lulu..." mumbled Mistletoe, smiling slightly.

      There was a pause, and then the little Acara burst into laughter.

      Atom, Addie, and Gwen exchanged alarmed glances.

      "Oh, Sophie, you're so fun!" giggled Mistletoe, swatting the air.

      The three smiled at each other, obviously relieved. Project Imaginary Friend had worked for Mistletoe!

      "Mommy, can Sophia come to school with me?" begged the Acara.

      Addie smiled. "Of course, Mistletoe, she's your imag-friend!" she said hastily.

      Mistletoe gave a squeal of joy and flung herself into her owner's arms before picking up her lunchbox and dashing out the door, laughing with Sophia.

      Addie smiled warmly at her two pets, especially Atomasphere. "Well, looks like your plan worked, Atom," she praised. Even Gwenhwfarr looked impressed.

      "Yeah, well, I guess it's good-bye to Jake, Jess, and Daisy," Atom said, feeling peculiar.

      Addie paused. "You know what? I think that there is no age limit to imaginary friends. I know for sure that I'm keeping my Jess."

      Atom immediately brightened. "Then I'm keeping my Daisy!" she smiled and walloped her friend, giggling.

      Gwen cracked a smile. "I guess Jake might be useful with finding treasure..."

      Addie looked at her two pets, so dear to her, and thought about her little Baby Acara. Imagination had triumphed after all.

The End

Dedication: *triumphant music* To NaruPocky! *waves glass* To my dedicated fans, stalkers, those who give me encouragement and companionship, thanks. Extra special thanks to Coco for motivating me. ^^

 
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