You know that feeling of a presence behind you? the calm breathing on the back of your neck? the small sounds of footsteps behind you? the chills you get on your back? the floorboards creaking?
I walk into my room after coming back from an exhausting day of school. All of a sudden, the temperature drops. My body is overcome by fear. I feel an unusual presence behind me. All the hairs on my back spike up. My heart races. I take a deep breath. 3...2...1. I jerk my head back. What...? I choke on my spit. It takes me forever to compose myself. I scratch my eyes and focus on the figure standing at my door. It can't be...
"C-Coby, what're you doing here...how are you here?..."
A note drops onto the floor. I slide the note towards myself using my feet while remaining eye-contact with him.
"I need your help".
I scrunch my eyes and focus on the fine details on his face. Before I can say anything, a loud shutter comes from the basement. He grabs my hand and drags me out of the house, into a bright light. I feel my heart beating outside of my chest. I look around.
"My 4th-grade dream car!" I cry out in wonder. Floating right in front of me, a matte black Ferrari.
We stop at a lake far from my house.
"What is going on Coby? How are you here?" I shakily ask.
He sighs and throws his face into his hands. "I can't leave. I've been with you ever since you've made me up."
I stare at him. "That still doesn't explain that noise from the basement" I say. "I go with you in every dream, every daydream about your crush, including every nightmare you've ever had. This monster you manifested is deeper than some childish fear, and it's been following me. I've been to the dream council, but they say you're the only one who can help me since you were the one who made me" Coby explains.
I shake my head, "H-how is this real? What do I have to do?" I say.
"You have to face your fears" Coby says. "But how?" I hesitantly ask. "You have to come in your nightmare with me"
I haven't thought about him in years, and now he's real? How is that possible? Does he feel betrayed because I've pushed him aside for all this time?
"Pete, are you ready?" Coby asks. One second I'm walking in my room and the next I'm at a lake with an imaginary friend who somehow has been alive this whole time.
"What about my family? I can't just disappear and go on this wild adventure. I don't even know how to stop this 'monster'?" I ask. The wind howls, possessing every tree it passes.
"I'll take you back to your room. Try to relax and go to sleep. Once you've fallen asleep, we will enter your nightmare and stop this monster" Coby says.
A lurching shudder shakes the floor beneath me. I fall at the sudden movement and shuffle backwards. Drops of sweat travel down my forehead despite the odd cool air. Sinking to the floor, I pull my legs up, hoping for my eyes to adjust to the darkness.
"We're here" Coby says. I hear a loud thump coming from behind me. It vibrates everything around u...