Think back to the days you were a child. Where your only genuine concern was what sorts of ways you could entertain yourself for the day. Perhaps you spent your time playing a video game that you still enjoy today. Or maybe you were really into sports, having your parents drive to practices and games at hours they would rather still be in bed for. Perhaps you spent your childhood exploring bodies of wilderness instead. Trudging through creeks, climbing trees, etc. Whatever your childhood activities consisted of, it’s possible you had an invisible companion of sorts. An imaginary friend, if you will. What would you do if I were to tell you there is a way to talk to them again?
See, that imaginary friend you had, wasn’t just the figment of your overactive imagination. Instead, what you saw was the spirit of a child, cruelly taken from this world before their allotted time. And trust me, these spirits aren’t too happy about their untimely death. This is why they fade away as you age; children are more sensitive to this sort of thing. As you grow, you gradually lose the ability to see and commune with them.
Anyway, as I previously stated, there is a way you can reconnect with your old friend via a simple ritual. Although, before I continue, I cannot advise you to do this in good conscience. There’s no shortage of ways it can go horribly wrong. There’s no real reward for this either. You won’t receive great wealth, vast knowledge, immortality, or anything like you would find in other rituals. But I doubt that will throw too many of you off. The seed of curiosity has been planted. And for some of you, that’s all the reason you need.
So I shall tell you what you will need and give you some helpful suggestions. You will need an isolated area where you can start a fire and something that somehow connects to your childhood. This can be a toy, baseball glove, childhood photo album, etc. Don’t worry; it doesn’t have to be the exact item from your childhood; the actual object doesn’t matter as much as the bond between you and your old companion it represents. I highly recommend you have a reliable vehicle with a full tank of gas and see any repairs it may need. Trust me, the better condition your car is in, the better off you’ll be. Oh, and leave the keys in the ignition. Of course, if you don’t have a car, that’s fine, but that will reduce your chances of surviving greatly.
To do the ritual, go to the area you will build your fire any time night has fallen. It doesn’t matter what time, just as long as you complete the ritual before midnight. Regarding the fire, all you have to do is ensure you don’t wind up burning down the surrounding area. Once you’ve got a fire going, look at the childhood object you have brought and allow yourself to reflect on your childhood. Relive all those happy memories of growing up, then throw the object into the fire. Then, close your eyes and say the name of your imaginary friend three times.
Keep your eyes closed, do NOT open them! You may hear children laughing or whispering. But whatever you do, keep your eyes closed. If you’ve done it correctly, you will no longer feel the heat of the flames nor the crackling and sizzling sounds of fire. It will be as if the fire has gone out. Open your eyes. Standing where the fire was will be your imaginary friend.
Your old companion will act overjoyed to see you and inquire how you wine been and what’s new, the way a friend you haven’t seen in a while would. Don’t be fooled; they’re not happy with you. In fact, they are furious at you for daring to forget about them and want nothing more than to rip you apart. Don’t worry; you’re not in any danger, at least not yet. It’s in your best interest to get as much conversation out of them as possible to pass the time. The longer you can stall them, the less time they’ll have, although admittedly, this typically will only buy you a few minutes. Eventually, your imaginary friend will suggest one of two games to play. Tag or Hide and Seek.
If they say they want to play tag, run! Don’t take a second to delay; just run faster than you ever have in your life! Don’t try to say anything; just get your ass to your car! They do not care if you don’t want to play their game. You are past the point of no return, and you’ll play their game whether you like it or not. Once you get to your car, drive away. It doesn’t matter where you drive, but it’s better to avoid large cities where you’re constantly having to stop at stoplights and let pedestrians cross. Your best bet is to drive in remote areas. You don’t want to stop for too long.
As you drive, you’ll notice headlights in your rearview mirror. Best to pay them no mind, but whatever you do, do NOT pull over to let them pass. If you do, it will be too late. You will be driving all night; try to limit your inevitable stops and make them as brief as possible. Your pursuer will only be a couple of seconds behind you. Signs they are closing in are the sounds of children laughing and sudden chills. Stay in one place too long, and you will seemingly fall asleep. Your friend has caught you. You will be on the run until 7 in the morning.
If your friend opts to play Hide and Seek, once again, run to your car. You will have a fifteen-minute window to find a place to hide. If you fail to hide during that time, just give up. Nothing can save you. If you can find a hiding spot, remain there until 7 in the morning. Remain as quiet and motionless as possible. As you hide, you will hear vivid voices so realistic you will swear they are just outside your hiding space.
They will vary from your parents calling your name, loved ones desperate to find you, police officers demanding you to come out with claims they have warrants for your arrest, and frantic pleas for help while banging on your hiding spot. Anything you can think of, your imaginary friend will try in order to draw you out. Putting earbuds in your ears to listen to music will do nothing to stop the voices. No matter what you hear, do NOT leave your hiding spot until 7. If you do, then you will seemingly fall asleep.
Don’t worry; as long as you manage to avoid your pursuer until 7 in the morning, you’ll be okay. The spirit will be banished, and you will be free to continue as you see fit. You could even do the ritual again if you wanted to, but that would be pretty stupid. Don’t worry; you won’t be haunted or stalked by anything afterward. You’ve won the game, after all. But that’s only if you managed to avoid the spirit. If you fail to do so, I’m afraid you will not have a good time.
At first, it will be as if you had merely fallen asleep. Only upon waking will you realize just how bad it is. You will awake in an open field made entirely of dirt, infinitely expanding in all directions. No signs of life whatsoever, no vegetation, nothing. Don’t worry; you’re not in Hell or anything like that; technically, you aren’t even dead. Your soul is just trapped here for all eternity.
Don’t worry about your body; I’m sure your imaginary friend will take good care of it, now that it’s the one using it. Oh yeah, I should have mentioned that earlier. That’s what is on the line in this game, your body, your life, your very existence. And if you wind up here, you’ve lost. Feel free to walk around your new home, although I’m afraid you’ll see nothing of interest. Just a dull overcast setting with the footprints you leave in the dirt for company.
I wouldn’t feel too sad about it. You have much bigger problems that demand your attention. As you stand in this field, you will begin to see something coming toward you. These are the spirits of children who died prematurely, and they won’t take kindly to you trespassing. Negotiate, bargain, run, scream, plead, fight all you like; there’s no fending them off I’m afraid. They will drag you kicking and screaming away to punish you for your insolence.
Your torture will be too gruesome for words; just use your imagination. The pain will never fade or even recede; your torture will never cease, even for a moment. You will be unable to die despite your desire to do so to end the pain. You will not be shown mercy, and no god you may worship can save you now.
But don’t let that dissuade you from reuniting with your old friend. Certainly you would love to see them again, reminiscence about simpler times. I mean, there’s no way you could lose this gamble now could you dear reader? So I shall conclude with a question. What game do you prefer? Tag or hide and seek?
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