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American Fantasy Horror

“ Jack! Wait up!.” a voice rang throughout the beautiful park on a sunny day. Jack was not having it, running away from his best friend Connor. He didn’t turn back even for a second. “ Jack! Come back! You don’t have to run away from what you love. Helping others with their mental health can be scary but you can never overcome your fears if you don’t give it a try!” Connor screamed at the top of his lungs. Sweat was dripping down Jack's neck, it was hot outside, but his anxiety from what he had just heard moments ago made it even worse. “ Ah I just wish.. I could disappear.” Jack thought to himself. Those were words he would come to regret very soon.

Connor and Jack were best friends that grew up with each other. They always had each other’s back. They were very close and were with each other every step of the way. Played sports together, pushed through school together , and much more. They both had the same dream, to change the world and rid it of mental health issues. To become the best of the best therapists and help millions. It was a dream like no other, fueled by their tough past and their surroundings. Connor and Jack were the epitome of best friends. So it was only natural that when Connor passed away due to a tragic house fire, that Jack was left devastated. Ever since that day, when he stood there at Connor’s funeral crying his tears out and wishing Connor would come back, something had changed in his life. Connor came back… but not in the way you would expect. Connor had come back as a ghost who would continue to haunt Jack throughout his life. A ghost forcing him to go down the path he loves yet fears most. The life of a Therapist. 

“ I'm telling you Jack. I get it okay, I get it. You're afraid because you have mental health issues of your own that you developed after my death. You think that because of your suffering you can’t help others. Jack you're stronger than that.. Come on do it for us.. You're not just going to let our childhood dreams go to waste are you. Plus!, i'm right here aren't I? “ Connor exclaimed. “ Shut up.. Shut up! You.. You are not Connor.. You're a fake. The real Connor was nothing like you.. Who even are you! And why are you haunting me!” Jack was having a panic attack. Jack had just finished his uncalled for four mile run when he decided to outrun Connor’s ghost. To his demise, it didn’t work. Connor’s ghost had no plans of leaving.. Ever.

Later that night, Jack was sitting in his dark room alone. After barely shaking off two physically painful anxiety attacks. Jack closed his eyes and let the tears fall down his face. He felt nothing but pain. His closest friend was gone. An imposter came back to haunt him. He had no job and had no clear idea of a future. He suffered from multiple mental health issues. He felt.. so lost. Jack looked down at the list of hobbies he wrote down earlier. Only one word was repeated on that piece of paper. “ Helping others.” Jack knew there were multiple ways of helping others , but therapy was something he always encouraged and wanted to be a part of his entire life. However Connor’s death changed everything.. He no longer had the willpower nor the healthy mind to sit and listen to others problems. “ How could I ever live out my dreams if my mental health is ruined.” Jack wondered. Meanwhile Connor’s ghost watched Jack suffering from a corner in his room. Connor felt awful.. He knew he was hurting Jack.. he also knew Jack believed him to be an imposter. But Connor knew something Jack didn’t and Connor knew he couldn’t give up on Jack.. or else Jack would no longer be here. 

“ I only have a week left.” Thought Connor’s ghost to himself. With such a short amount of time Connor was determined to help his friend live out his goals except he didn’t know how. Jack got up suddenly and ran out of his room. He started sprinting as fast as he could to the rooftops. He finally arrived at the very top. He laid down on his soft blanket atop his house and stared at the night stars. “ Me and Connor would do this every weekend when he would come sleep over. “ Jack thought to himself. Connor watched him silently out of view with teary eyes. Every time he would catch Jack doing something they used to do.. It would hurt. It hurt Connor knowing they could no longer share those moments.. No matter how hard he tried to convince Jack.. it just never worked. Jack always thought Connor was just an imposter ghost who was a false image created by his mind to ruin his life. But Connor decided the least he could do for his friend.. Who lost his way of life all thanks to Connor’s death.. Was to stop at nothing to make sure Jack lived out all of his dreams. 

The next morning Jack awoke to the sound of something rustling nearby. He got up and looked out of his window, but to his shock he saw nothing. He could still hear it , it was somewhere nearby. Jack opened his window and jumped out quickly. He could hear the noise coming from somewhere nearby. It was behind the river , somewhere by the lake. He ran over to the lake and his eyes caught a person standing by the river. As he walked closer he noticed the person had tears running down their face, as they stared deep down into the nice clear blue waters. Jack approached them without ever noticing Connor’s ghost hiding nearby watching the encounter with a sneaky smirk. 

As Jack approached this little boy , he noticed something odd. The boy was holding a pocket watch. The pocket watch looked awfully familiar to something Jack had seen before but he couldn’t quite put his finger on what it was. “ Hey buddy! Are you okay? “ asked Jack in a calm caring manner. The boy never looked up. Jack knew something was wrong.. The boy wasn't moving , he was only looking down , refusing to look up. Jack tried once again. “ What are you up too buddy?” The boy didn’t bother to look up nor did he respond. As Jack got closer his eyes landed on the pocket watch and his body froze. The pocket watch.. It was frozen in time. Not only that.. the pocket watch was an item he was gifted when he was a kid. “ What could it possibly be doing in this random kid’s hands?” Jack wondered. 

Connor’s ghost smiled at himself as he disappeared in thin air. He was watching the encounter from a distance. “ Hey kid! That watch is mine! Let me see it!” Jack took the watch out of the kids hand and started to walk away. Something grabbed Jack’s shirt which made his heart skip. “ Please give me my pocket watch back.” exclaimed the boy. “ What! Your alive? “ Jack was in shock. “ That pocket watch was a gift I was given by my best friend before they passed away the other day. I must hold on to it till the end.” Jack was in shock. He looked down at the pocket watch one more time to make sure it was his. “ No. This is MY pocket watch and my best friend gave ME this before he passed away. How dare you try and mock me.” exclaimed Jack. The kid looked Jack straight in the eyes and said “ Look closely at that pocket watch.” Jack looked down.. And ten seconds later. He saw the truth. The pocket watch showed him everything.

The kid standing in front of Jack.. was Jack after his life stopped. In other words Jacks life stopped the moment his best friend died. Nothing ever changed in his life ever since then. It was as if he was frozen in time.. This pocket watch.. The time never moved ever since that day. He lost the pocket watch the day his best friend died.. And now he found out why. It was because he let his circumstances and pain take over his life. He let his torture take him over and made him lose what mattered most to him. Fulfilling his goals to make himself and his late best friend happy. This little boy standing in front of Jack was nothing more than a ghost of his past. A ghost that reminded him that life and time are both precious things. He could stand still and cry and let his pain eat him up but that would keep him frozen in time till his time runs out. Or he could grasp ahold of whatever he has left and fight till the very end. Jack had tears rolling down his face as he watched the ghost of his past disappear into thin air. He knew what he had to do.. He understood now. Jack was afraid however, his anxiety and pain started creeping up reminding him it was not going to be easy. But he decided it was his time and got straight to work. 

Jack dedicated the following years of his life to studying therapy. He studied harder than everyone else , and despite all of his mental health challenges , he found ways to overcome them. He started going to a therapist regularly to help take care of his mental health problems and get some insider information on how this field of work operates. Two years later Jack graduated from University , and was standing outside of the building where he would start his first day.. As a therapist. 

Jack walked in through the front doors. He could smell the nice smell of flowers as he took a very clean deep breath through his nose and exhaled. The place smelled beautiful. He started walking towards the front desk , he could notice a figure waiting there smiling at him. As he got closer , his heart started to pound. He started to see things , everything that led him up to this moment , everything that he worked so hard for , it was finally his time. It had finally come. Jack arrived at the front desk and looked up. His heart dropped , the person at the front desk. It was Connor.. Connors ghost. “ You! You.. where did you go? You disappeared on me such a long time ago.” Jack was confused. “ Jack.. I love you dude. You freaking did it. “ Connor was smiling through the tears rolling down his face. Jack’s heart suddenly started to pound so fast. Jack could not believe his eyes. “ Connor? Connor? Connor! Is that.. That’s really you! Oh my gosh Connor!” Jack started to cry. As Jack embraced Connor in a hug he heard Connors final departing words. “ Congratulations Jack , you did it , for both of us. You lived out our dreams and today you start your first day as a Therapist. Thank you , it’s been a pleasure watching you. You are amazing. Goodbye , take care now okay? “ Connor slowly started to fade away after saying his final words of goodbye to his best friend.

Jack closed his eyes as a smile spread across his face. The tears would not stop falling, but Jack felt content. He knew his best friend had watched him work hard and get through everything and live out the goal they had since they were kids. “ Thank you Connor.. I'm going to give it my all. Goodbye.. Take care. “ The last tear rolled down his cheek and disappeared.

January 26, 2021 03:11

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1 comment

Bobby Bone
14:35 Feb 04, 2021

Wow....great story.


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