Write About Your Childhood Challenge: My Imaginary Friend - LetterPile - Writing and Literature
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Write About Your Childhood Challenge: My Imaginary Friend

John is a poet and short fiction writer who enjoys collaborating on stories with other writers, and partaking in challenges.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The Challenge

"Normally I give you some photos as writing prompts, but I think I’ll change things up a bit for you today...

So no photos today, just one instruction: write about your childhood! It can be a poem, it can be a fictional account, it can be autobiographical in style, whatever, but it has to be true, which is tricky if it's fiction, but you'll figure it out." ~ Billybuc

So, Bill, thank you for the challenge. I enjoyed the example you gave to kick the whole thing off with the excerpt from your upcoming novel 'A Time and a Place' and your adventures with your buddy Frank, playing ball etc. Most of us have that special friend with whom we form a close childhood bond, and I was no exception.

I have written quite a few articles and poems here, over the years, about various parts of my life, but not this particular aspect. Maybe because this was "just a figment of my imagination", and I would "grow out of it" or so I was told. Anyway, I think this meets the brief of being "true fiction."

I hope you enjoy my poem about a very special friendship.

Image by White77 from Pixabay

Image by White77 from Pixabay

My Imaginary Friend

My imaginary friend,

To you, I write this ode.

Tell me where you lived before,

Was this house your abode?


My imaginary friend,

You are my closest pal,

But every time I mention you

I am treated as unwell.


My imaginary friend,

What adventures we have shared.

Your presence in my room at night

Stops me being scared.


My parents tell me you’re not real,

A figment of a troubled mind,

They think that if we leave this house

You will be left behind.


Despite my tears of protest,

And attempts to toe the line,

We moved away that Summer next

They thought you'd fade with time.


Forty years have come and gone

Since we played within those walls,

But Steven you’re still my best friend

And appear whene'er I call.

Image by Merio from Pixabay

Image by Merio from Pixabay

Steven Faraday

For as long as I can remember during my childhood I had a friend, a best friend. He had what I thought was a funny but cool name of Steven Faraway. Steven would visit me almost every day and we would play in my room, or on the swing set in the back yard. I was an only child and had no other relatives in the vicinity, or close to my own age.

My parents said Steven was just an imaginary friend that I had made up because I was lonely. At one time they took me to a doctor (psychologist) to discuss it. He told them not to worry, that it was quite common, especially with only children.

When I was 11 years old we found out the original owners of our house were named Faraday. They had a baby boy who died soon after birth.

That baby’s name was Steven!


Unimagined Friends

© 2020 John Hansen

Comments

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 28, 2020:

Well, I think it was real, but then..maybe it was, maybe it was my overactive imagination. Steven Faraday...hmm...makes you think doesn’t it?

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 28, 2020:

Thank you MsDora. Some coincidence..or was it?

Rinita Sen on September 28, 2020:

Wow the poem! That explanation was kind of spooky. Was that real? I've heard of other people who had imaginary friends as children. It doesn't matter what the world thinks of it, if it gives you solace, its a great thing to have a friend.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 28, 2020:

Beautiful recall of your imaginary friend from childhood! But the coincidence of the previous resident's names makes you story exceptional!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 26, 2020:

Thank you Chitrangada. I agree with you about not being able to comment after articles are moved to the reformatted niche sites. I find this very frustrating. Is glad you enjoyed this and could imagine my imaginary friend.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 26, 2020:

Great response to the challenge, in your most creative way.

The imaginary friend is in fact imaginable through your well crafted poem. I enjoyed going through this.

I am glad, I commented on this excellent hub in time, that is before it’s moved to the niche sites. I have not been able to comment on many writer’s work, because of the recent changes.

Thank you and happy weekend.

Chrish Canosa from Manila Philippines on September 26, 2020:

The website keeps on cutting my comments. Unbelievable!

But anyways I enjoyed reading it! Thank you.

Have a fantastic weekend you and your fam sir JohnO:-)

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 26, 2020:

Hi Chrish, yes it is hard to believe. It would be great to have an imaginary animal friend too. Thanks for reading.

Chrish Canosa from Manila Philippines on September 26, 2020:

Wow that's awesome! My small knowledge knows it only exist on

Indie films. I know indie films are base in real life happenings but I never happen to think this one really exist! That's awesome. I'd be happy to have one

I just hope it's an animal not human

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 26, 2020:

Thanks, Devika. It is good to have a friend to talk to whenever you need them (real or imagined.)

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 26, 2020:

Hi John having an imaginary friend sounds an adventure to talk to and adjust to a friendship. Well done on sharing your childhood memories.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 25, 2020:

Hi Millicent, yes I admit it all sounds pretty amazing or unbelievable. I think my parents were just at a loss to understand what was going on.

Millicent Okello from Nairobi, Kisumu Kenya on September 25, 2020:

Hello john.

I found it amazing reading about your imaginary friend. I can just imagine what your parents thought about steveven when they learnt about him.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 25, 2020:

Hi Linda. Thanks for supporting the theory that Steven may be more than just an “imaginary friend.” I am convinced of that, And maybe in time we will understand more about this type of occurrence.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 25, 2020:

This is a very interesting article, John. It sounds like Steven was great company for you. I am certainly open to the idea that he wasn't imaginary. I think there may be some interesting aspects of existence that we don't understand yet.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 25, 2020:

Thank you Cheryl. Yes, I admit it does sound like one of those stories. It makes you think.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 25, 2020:

Linda, I am blown away by your comment. My parents, I recall, just looked at each other in bewilderment..like is this for real? They didn’t say much around me, but stopped treating me as though I was just making stuff up.

Thank you so much for reading, and enjoying this tale.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on September 25, 2020:

John, this is not coincidence. The name is not typical. What was the reaction of your parents when they learned the truth about the former owners of the house? I would have lost my stuff!

I don't know if Bill is handing out prizes, but I think you've nailed this one. I won't even try. Nothing, nothing can beat this.

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on September 25, 2020:

Your encounter with Steven sounds like stories reenacted on paranormal shows. Thanks for sharing.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 25, 2020:

Good to see you Marie. Yes, I am fortunate to have been graced with Steven’s friendship in a time of need. Oh, yes I see how you may have thought it to be my challenge from the title, but, no, it was billybuc’s.

Now I look forward to seeing your response. Thanks for the great comment.

Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on September 25, 2020:

I love the poem, John, and am awed by your imaginary friend who sounds as if he left his presence to keep you company from his previous, almost lifetime. What an honor!

I mistakenly thought this was your challenge, but I see it originated with Billy Buck. I do have a few things to share along this line.

Thank you, John, for taking up the challenge and writing about it.

Blessings!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 25, 2020:

Thank you Peg. I am not sure that this was mere coincidence or something else we don’t understand. Maybe one day we will. This challenge was a good time to write about it.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 25, 2020:

What a freaky coincidence that your imaginary friend had lived in that house. There is much that we do not know between this life and the next. You took on this challenge of Bill's beautifully.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 25, 2020:

Yes, Mary, I think you are right. I am sure Steven was more than just a figment of my imagination. Thank you for reading.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on September 25, 2020:

Oh my. Now, you've intrigued me. It looks like it is not just one of those imaginary friends usually have at such age. This is more than that.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 25, 2020:

Thanks Mel, as they often say “fact is stranger than fiction,” but then again can this be called fact or just a figment of a vivid imagination. I agree that children can see things that adults can’t, but so can dogs..so maybe there is really something that we just can’t explain.

Mel Carriere from San Diego California on September 25, 2020:

Holy guacamole. I've learned you can't just laugh away the things that children see and hear. They are tuned into another reality that we adults cannot see, because the ability to look beyond the curtain gets shut off after a certain age with most of us. It's probably an evolutionary mechanism to keep us from going crazy so we can go out to hunt and gather. Anyway, excellent poem with a kick-ass kicker at the end.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 25, 2020:

Flourish, thank you for sharing about your daughter. It seems very common with only children. I am sure her talking to your husband’s deceased mother freaked you out at the time though.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 25, 2020:

I don’t know what to say, Bill. I agree it was very “freakish” especially looking back. I am glad you enjoyed reading this. It was a great challenge.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 25, 2020:

Shauna, some things that happen are hard to explain. A lot of people wold be freaked out by this but it just seemed normal the time. I think Steven must have been a spirit...what other explanation could there be? Thank you for the generous comment.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 25, 2020:

Oh, that’s just too spooky! I love it! My daughter is an only child and used to have conversations in her room at night with my husband’s deceased mother whom she never really knew (she was only 18 months old or so when her grandmother died). My daughter also had a troupe of imaginary friends with vivid stories. We thought the whole thing was a little odd but have since met other only children and their parents who tell similar accounts.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 25, 2020:

Holy cow, John! That was a bit freakish, and yet very sweet and touching. Holy cow, he repeats again. Great response to the challenge, my friend. I absolutely love this!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 25, 2020:

Wow, John! Your imaginary friend wasn't imaginary at all. Did you actually see the spirit of Steven Faraday when you played? The fact that your imaginary friend had a first and last name, albeit unusual, was no coincidence.

Excellent response to Bill's challenge, my friend. You've left me in awe.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 25, 2020:

Good point, Eric, it is not beyond he realm of possibility that Steven is in fact one of those. It is interesting to hear that Gabe has an imaginary friend and is the only child at home too. Thank you for the comment.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 25, 2020:

Hello Pamela. Yes, there are many things in life that defy explanation. It does seem common in only children. I did have a other and sister come along later but they were much younger than me. Thank you for reading and glad you enjoyed the tale.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 25, 2020:

I wonder if Steven is a muse or an angel, or maybe both. I never had an imaginary human friend. My son does though.(only child at home)

I very much enjoyed this. Great twist at the end.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 25, 2020:

That is a fantastic story about your childhood. I would think it is common to have an imaginary friend when you are an only child and lonely.

The fact that the name was real is amazing. I think there is a lot we do not understand in this life. I enjoyed your poem and the explanation, John.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 25, 2020:

Hi, Anupam. The scenario may sound a little scary when you hear about the background of the previous family that owned the house, but Steven wasn’t scary at all. Thank you for reading and the generous comment.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 25, 2020:

Thank you Ann. Having an over-active imagination is one thing, but when you are made to feel like there is something wrong with you it is a different story. I I felt some sense of validification when the facts about the previous owners of the property was revealed. Steven and I are just watching football haha.

Anupam Mitu from MUMBAI on September 25, 2020:

Wow John! Excellent compilation again. loved the poem and then the background of that imaginary friend. At first, I felt a bit scary but then I realized the psychology behind that.

Hope you are doing well.

Ann Carr from SW England on September 25, 2020:

Wow! That's quite something, John! Brilliant poem and great story. I must say the explanation caught me by surprise.

I know lots of people who had imaginary friends when young, usually, as you say, only children. It's so common and I was quite surprised that your parents took you to a psychologist. That must have been a bit daunting for you.

Hope Steven continues to come when you call.

Great response to Bill's challenge.

Ann

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 25, 2020:

Thank you for your expert analysis, Lorna. Yes, I am sure I had a very active imagination..still do. I am so glad you enjoyed this.

Lorna Lamon on September 25, 2020:

Children often have imaginary friends for different reasons. Personally I think it shows you had a very active imagination to create a best friend. I enjoyed the story within the poem - great ending which I'm sure Steven enjoyed. Loved it.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 24, 2020:

Rosina, thanks for reading and I am pleased that you enjoyed reading this slightly different tale of friendship.

Rosina S Khan on September 24, 2020:

Thank you, John, for this perplexing poem. I was spellbound by the twisted ending and revelation at the end. All in all, a gorgeous and innovative poem. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 24, 2020:

Thank you, Umesh. I am glad you enjoyed it.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on September 24, 2020:

Beautiful, well presented.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 24, 2020:

Yep, some people think it's pretty weird, Brenda. But, very interesting I must admit. Don't tell Steven I'm talking about him, okay?

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on September 24, 2020:

Wow! That is so interesting.

Imagine the look on your parents face when they realized the little boy had the same name as your imaginary friend.

Loved the ending that he is still your best friend & comes out whenever you call.

Great write.