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Mr. Jengles

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"Mummy, Mummy look, look!" The little boy cried.

"Yes, yes dearie sweet, eat your peas. They will help you grow up big and strong." replied his mummy.

***

The little boy sniffed and wiped his nose on his sleeve.

He saw it, he saw it, he saw it for sure.

He was not imagining.

He definitely saw Mr Jengles out the window, staring in again.

Mr Jengles and his creepy stick arms reaching out and his spindly twig-like fingers almost tapping on the glass.

Almost.

Just like everyone _almost_ got to see him.

Everyone but the boy who was never alone now.

He used to be around a lot less when the little boy was littler.

Nowadays though, he was always there, right there off to one side.

Sometimes behind a pane of glass or sometimes much closer in the room.

He never spoke to the little boy, just smiled his musty, morbid grin of dirty, broken teeth and rotten gums.

The boy would even hide under the covers to get away from Mr Jengles, but he was never gone.

Just there.

Over there. Mr Jengles never hid in shadows or the dark.

He was even brightly coloured.

The world would move past him as he would stand in the middle, no one else seeing him.

He could have been waiting for something, maybe for the right moment?

Still no one but the boy saw him. Maybe Mr Jengles didn’t want people to see.

***

"Honey, he needs to see someone- a specialist! This cannot go on. Our son is too old for imaginary friends. People are beginning to say things. My god if someone from work found out our child is defective-."

"Yes, yes dear, we will send him to someone. I am sure it is just a phase."

***

The little boy went to see a lady that let him draw pictures and tell her all about Mr Jengles.

"His eyes are like shiny white holes in his head, but he can see everything.

He know where you are, so even if you hide, he can find you.

Even if you are under the covers and he smells funny, like old socks and he looks like fire but isn't.

He doesn't have legs though.

He never moves when you look at him, only when you blink or look away.

He smiles and smiles and smiles."

The lady said he had a creative mind and should come and see her more often to tell her about Mr Jengles.

Then she asked if Mr Jengles ever told him to do anything.

"No silly." The little boy said. "He has never spoken a word to me. He can’t speak.”

The lady had a whispery chat with his Mummy and Daddy.

The lady said to the little boy to not talk to people about Mr Jengles because they wouldn’t understand.

Daddy nodded his head and told the little boy to “Never Speak of This Again.”

***

He tried very hard to not say anything, but Mr Jengles was everywhere.

Now he had started to move when the not-little-boy-anymore would stare at him.

When the little boy had tried to run away, Mr Jengles would follow him, sometimes getting close, sometimes reaching out to him, dragging his slithery end bit behind as he tugged himself along with his funny twig-like hands.

His teeth would chatter, “Clicky-clack, clicky-clack, clicky-clack.”, as he slithered along.

This just made the little boy ever-much-more frightened.

He tried to not move then and Mr Jengles would stop, as if waiting for him to run.

***

Sometimes the little boy would wake and Mr Jengles would be hovering over him.

The little boy could smell him better up this close, like wet dog and rotting garbage on a hot day.

Sometimes the little boy would cry.

Daddy would get mad and yell when there were cries in the night.

The little boy would just cry more and the onetime he said Mr Jengles name and Daddy got even madder.

The little boy got so upset.

“You never believe! You never see! I am not imagining him, Mr Jengles is real.

He is always there and you never see! I’ll show you not to believe!”

The little boy was pretty sure Daddy finally saw what the little boy always saw and that is why before all the red, he cried out “No! Mr Jengl-“

***

“It is such a pity about what happened.

Apparently he had a history of instability, so it is non-too surprising though.

Have you decided on a treatment plan yet?”

***

The little boy was not-little-anymore and in the special room he stayed and waked and slept.

They gave him pretties to eat and blankets to make forts out of and told him to be a good boy.

His mummy and daddy never came to see him, but they were dead.

Mr Jengles stayed every day and stared and stared and stared.

He didn’t move anymore, not after what happened.

Maybe the not-little-boy had scared Mr Jengles like Mr Jengles had scared him.