Content Warning: Language
Summer was quickly turning into fall and I still had not made any progress towards turning Oscar real.
The good news was that mom had banned dad from cooking. We were all losing weight thanks to his patented burned food diet but given the fact that none of us needed to slim down, mom thought it best if she took over kitchen duty.
I took over garden duty. Most of what I picked went into the fridge, but some of it went into potions.
Poor Annie kept missing her breakfast because I wore her out with tests. She’s good with the cover stories though. Mom and dad never suspected a thing. In fact, they thought the time we were spending together was great! They assumed we had finally bonded. Ha! They have too much faith in us.
“Did you find anything new, Annie? Anything at all? Anything that will tell me what I’m missing.”
“Same shit, different day, Sis. Apparently you’re doing it right. I don’t know why it’s not working.”
“Here. I just finished this one. Drink up.”
“Ugh. If I wet myself again, Ellie, I’ll kill you. I mean…seriously. I will jab this pencil through your neck.”
“Aw, I love you, too, kiddo.”
Annie drank up the potion and we waited.
“Anything? No. Well…I’m kinda itchy. But that’s it.”
“Damn it! What are we doing wrong?!” We’d been at this for two months and had made no progress. I was getting more and more frustrated as time went on and I didn’t know how to fix the recipe.
“WHAT!?” I snapped at the break in my concentration. “Don’t speak unless you’ve found the missing link.”
“Well, I was just thinking. You’re trying to make Oscar real, right?”
“Yes, that would be the point of this plan. Good job, Captain Obvious.” She was becoming more of a hassle than a help.
“Work with me here, Ellie. So you want to make your imaginary friend real. How is testing the potion out on me, who is already real, going to help you determine if you did it right?”
“Annie, why are you just now mentioning this? This would have been really, really helpful like…8 weeks ago!”
“I only just thought about it.” Her smug tone implied otherwise but at least she finally divulged her secret.
Taking Annie’s advice to heart, I revised my plan.
I crept out late one night when the moon cast barely any light. I didn’t want mom and dad to see me sneaking out and I also didn’t want to meet any zombies on the way to the school. Oh, and I was also breaking and entering which is best done in the dark.
Aiden’s new dog noticed me (another “perk” of living right in the middle of everything) and followed me to school. It worked out well because now I had a sounding board for my ideas.
“Damn it, Noodle! I just don’t know which of these potion recipes to use!”
“You’re right. I should just use the original. If Annie is right, then I had the proper recipe all along. I just had the wrong test subject.” I’m talking to dogs now. Maybe mom is right and I am a little off my rocker?
A little of this…
A little of that…
A dash of hope…
Yes! This is the one. I just know it!
I waited until morning to give the potion to Oscar. I wasn’t quite sure what it sounded like to become real and I wasn’t risking mom and dad hearing at 3am. I’d have some ‘splainin’ to do and I didn’t want to bother with that.
As soon as mom and dad left to feed the horses I handed the potion over to Oscar.
There was a lot of bubbling and flashing and spinning.
I was fairly convinced that I hadn’t turned Oscar real but had killed him instead. Then…silence. My imaginary friend was gone.
And this guy was standing in his place.
Annie was so right. He’s totally going to realize what a loser I am. He’ll never take me to prom.