Short Story
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                          My Friend Sam
                                      
By Kendric Martin


  For as long as I can remember, Sam has been my closest friend.  He’s
been my only lasting friend, and for good reason.  I’m the only one who can
see him.  As I’m sure you can imagine, having an invisible friend doesn’t
make you the most normal kid in school.  To everyone around me, Sam is
imaginary, a figment of my teenage mind.  By my age, you’re supposed to
have been rid of your imaginary friends.  But how can I abandon Sam?  He is
as real to me as anyone else is.

  The best times are when Sam and I are alone.  He is the only person I can
really talk to.  He doesn't really talk back though... You see, Sam cannot
speak.  To communicate we write back and forth in a notebook.  I don’t mind
much though, it’s a lot easier to write out my feelings than to speak them.  
After years of being the “odd” kid, it’s sometimes difficult to speak at length to
people, so it’s nice to have a way I can be completely open.  So, we write
back and forth.  I tell him about my day away from him at school, and he talks
to me about my problems.  We share all of our ideas and concerns for the
future.

  The only complaint I have with Sam is his anger.  Anytime I have a hard
time at school, anytime people call me names, anytime my parents tell me to
get out and get some real friends, Sam gets angry.  He says terrible, violent
things.  He tells me of the things he would do if only I would let him.

  I’m not sure how my parents found the notebook.  They must have
searched my room pretty hard, likely trying to find drugs to explain my
behavior.  They read the notebook, seeing all the horrible things Sam had
written and all the things I had written to him.  I tried to tell them that I hadn’t
written the bad parts.  I tell them that it was Sam.  They don’t believe me of
course.  They tell me it was time I went to a therapist.  Even though I knew it
would piss Sam off, I agree to go.

  The therapist sat across from me in a high backed leather chair.  I had
gone in expecting a couch to lie on, but there was only another, smaller chair,
in front of her.  As soon as I walked in she spoke to me in calm, soothing
voice.

  “Please sit down Dylan.  Is it okay if I call you Dylan, or would you prefer Mr.
Grayson?”

  I sat down across from her.  "Dylan is fine I guess."

  The woman speaks again in that calming tone. “My name is Janet
Morrison.  I would like it if we could talk about this situation.  Would that be
okay with you?”  I nod my head in affirmation, and she begins asking me
questions.

  "So Dylan.  How are you today?  Are you having any troubles at school?"
she looks at me with what could pass as concern, but to someone used to the
scrutiny of others, I can tell she is studying me like a bug.

  “My grades are good.  I don't have much trouble from anybody at school.  
But that's not why I'm here.  You want to talk about Sam.  My parents are
under the impression that I am imagining him.  What do you think?"

  She seems almost as neutral as she had been before, but I had seen it.  I
had seen the facade slip for an instant.  She was just like the others.  She
thought I was crazy.  I knew that pitying look that had briefly been in her
eyes.  She looks at me with that Lying face for a moment before speaking.  “I
think you are lonely Dylan.  I think that maybe you have invented Sam to
have someone to talk to.  I want you to know Dylan...." at this point she leans
forward and gives that fake concerned look. "... You can always come and
speak with me.  Don't think of me as your therapist.  Think of me as your
friend."  After that, we talked about everything other than Sam.  She didn't
push it, but I knew we would be back on the subject next time.

  There wasn’t a clock in that room, so I don’t know how long exactly we were
in there.  She asked me more about school and my home life.  She was just
as ignorant as the rest of them.  She acted like she wasn’t judging, but I can
always tell.  I told Sam about all that she said.  He was unusually calm about
it.  That should have been the first sign that sometime was going to happen.

  The next morning when I awoke, Sam was waiting to speak to me.  He tells
me that he had gone to Janet's office late last night.  She had been working
late, and Sam followed her home.  Right outside her home he strangled her
to death.  It took longer than in the movies, he said.  After that, he dragged
her into the woods behind her house and pushed her body into a river
running very near her house.  I was upset with Sam.  Not because I thought it
was wrong.  No, she deserved to die for talking about Sam like he didn’t
exist.  I was mad at him for being so careless.  He could have gotten us into
trouble.  About that time, my parents called up to me.  Sam signs for me to
keep quite.  He tells me to play dumb.  So I head downstairs to get the news.

  "Dylan....." my mother begins.  She seems at a loss for word so my dad
steps in.

  "Dylan, we know you really liked Janet.  I don't know how to say this, but she
died late last night.  The police say she must have slipped into the creek and
gotten caught in an undertow.  I'm so sorry Dylan."

  I wait a moment before I speak.  “I.... I don't know what to say.  I just can’t
believe she's dead.  She was so nice.  I really felt we were getting
somewhere."  I hang my head in mock sadness.  They eat it up like I knew
they would.

  My mom speaks up, having gathered her wits finally.  “We’ve been talking
about it, and we don't want to send you back to another therapist.  We should
have never sent you in the first place.  I'm so sorry Dylan."  At this she begins
crying.  I may not be that close with my parents, but I can’t stand to see my
mother cry.  I walk over and hold her until she stops.


  "It’s okay mom.  I know you were trying to help."  I smile at her and go back
to my room.

  My parents didn’t send me to another therapist.  To avoid future problems, I
no longer speak about Sam.  He tells me he doesn’t mind.  He didn’t like when
people call him imaginary anyway.  From then on we took it upon ourselves to
hide our new notebook under a loose floorboard.  For a while there were not
any problems.  That is, until I had the pleasure of meeting Viktor West.

  Viktor West is the school bully.  He messes with everybody that's not big
enough to fight back.  He had no interest in me until he found out I had been
to a therapist.  The first time I had a run in with Viktor, I was in between
classes heading to Algebra.  Suddenly I fell my body get slammed into the
lockers.  “Well, look at the little loony!  The psycho can’t even walk straight."  I
look up to see Viktor Standing over me.

  "What do you want Viktor?  I don't want any trouble."  I know I sound weak,
but there is nothing else I can do.  I've seen him beat other kids.  It’s not
pretty.

  Viktor looks at me with that cruel expression unique to bullies.  “I hear Your
Psychiatrist died.  Did you kill her or did you just drive her to suicide with how
nutty you are?  I bet you did kill her.  How did you do it Nutty?"  He pulls back
his fist to hit me when another voice rings out.

  "Mr. West!  Unhand Mr. Grayson at once!"  We both look up to see the
Superintendent, Mrs. Kramer.

  Before releasing me, Victor whispers in my ear “I’ll get you, nutty.  Don't you
worry about that"  He then gets taken in to the principal’s office.  The rest of
the day I avoided Viktor.  I finally made it home without another run in.

  When I got home, Sam can immediately tell something is wrong.  I tell him
what had happened.  Sam did not like it.  He told me that he wanted to kill
Viktor just like he had killed Janet.  I try to tell him it isn't worth it, but he is so
furious he does not notice.  I make him promise not to do anything.  Sam
swears to me that he will do nothing.  In a way, Sam kept his word.

  Two days later I awaken from a hellish nightmare.  Reaching over to turn on
my lamp, I see blood on my hands.  In my sleep addled state I assume I had a
nosebleed in my sleep.  I flick the light on.  There is too much blood.  There is
no way it had come from me.  Sam is sitting calmly at my desk.  When I ask
him what he had done, he told me he had done nothing just as promised.  He
tells me that he had taken my body like he had many times before.  Anytime
he had written to me before I learned sign, it was him controlling my hands.  
Anytime he had moved objects, it had been me under his power.  He made
me see him doing it all.  He didn’t want me to know he had that power over me.

  Sam tells me that Janet wasn’t the first murder “we” had committed.  The
few close friends I had when I was younger had died in strange accidents.  He
was very careful not to let suspicion point toward us.  He didn’t want anyone
to come between us.  He wanted me all to himself.  He tells me that he is all I
need.  For the first time I truly fear Sam.  I sit on the edge of my bed in a
frightened stupor.  I know he will kill again.  No telling how many times he had
already killed.  I must be locked up.  I can’t let him kill more innocent people.  I
run out of my room, headed for my parent’s room.  I get to the end of the hall
before he catches me.  He grabs me by the throat and arm and drags me
back into my room.  I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  It’s my hands
around my throat.  I try to stop, but I have no power over myself.  Sam throws
me onto the bed and pins me.  My vision fades as I "see" Sam Strangling me.

  The next morning Dylan’s parents call for him to come to breakfast.  Getting
no response, his mother goes up to his room to wake him up.  She opens his
door and sees he is not in his bed.  She sees a stain on the bed and lifts the
covers.  A large blood stain spans the bed.  Panicking, she yells for her
husband.  He runs up to her and they both follow a trail of blood leading to
the closet.  When they open the door, Dylan's mother lets out a bloodcurdling
scream.  She collapses onto the floor in front of the cold body of her son.  
Dylan’s wrists are cut all the way to the crook of his elbows, bone and muscle
exposed.  His face is lifted up in a joyous smile.

  Dylan's parents hold each other and cry shamelessly.  They blamed
themselves for not seeing he needed help sooner.  Silently sobbing, the
father calls the police.  They have to tell them about all the Dylan's problems.  
They tell all about Sam and the Journal.  They leave out one part though.  
Something they never even told their son.  When the Dylan's mother was a
child, she had a Mute brother that killed himself in the same way.  He had slit
his wrists all the way to the elbows and he had done it with a smile on his
face.  Her brother’s name was Sam.
About Kendric Martin