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The Marvelous Day
It all started when Joe stole Dani’s doll from her room and ran leaping and hollering his war cry down the hallway. Into the living room he went, running along side his imaginary friend Vinny, who was dressed as a cowboy. Dani followed close behind, screaming. Joe thought this all a marvelous game and he tossed the doll back and forth to Vinny as he leapt from couch to couch.
“You’ll drop her and break her!” cried Dani, stomping her feet. But Joe never did. The lamp however, was not so lucky. Just as Joe leapt over it and caught the doll back from Vinny, it fell to the floor with the tremendous CRASH!
Mom came running and found Joe standing beside the broken lamp, holding Dani’s doll over his head.
“Joseph Andrew!” she yelled. “What have you done?” Joe hung his head and kicked at the floor. Mom made him give back Dani’s doll and then sent him to the corner.
Joe stood in the corner with his arms crossed. He thought it was horribly unfair that only he had gotten in trouble, when it was actually Vinny who had knocked over the lamp. But since he was Joe’s imaginary friend, he was invisible to everyone but Joe.
Joe thought about this as he stood in the corner. Suddenly he got an idea. “Vinny,” he whispered. Vinny always stood in the corner with him, even though he was never sent there.
“Could you make me invisible, like you?”
Vinny looked very serious. But then, he always looked rather serious and he scrunched his bushy eyebrows together as he always did when thinking, and said in his deep voice, “I could, if it were your one wish.”
Joe looked delighted. He knew, as all children know, that imaginary friends could grant one wish for their child. Most children wished to be pirates or princesses for a day, or to slay a dragon, or to play with the fairies. But Joe thought it would be marvelous to be just like Vinny. He would be invisible, and would never get in trouble.
“You must say the right words,” said Vinny.
Joe closed his eyes tight and said, “I wish with all my heart that I were an imaginary friend like Vinny.”
Vinny looked surprised, but he could not undo Joe’s wish, and so, taking off his large cowboy hat (Vinny always wore very large hats) he took out a glowing candy and gave it to Joe, who ate it.
Joe felt little tingles all over his body and suddenly there was a loud Pop! and Joe was an imaginary friend. But he noticed that as soon as he had changed, Vinny started to disappear. “Where are you going, Vinny?” he asked, a little scared.
Vinny looked sad. “Now you are an imaginary friend and not a boy,” said Vinny. “I can only be an imaginary friend to a real boy.”
Joe was sad. “But wait!” he cried. “I don’t want you to go! I take my wish back.” Joe said the right words again.
“It won’t work,” said Vinny. “The only way for you to be a real boy again is if you get Dani to wish you were real.” And with that, Vinny disappeared completely.
Joe was sad, but forgot that when Mom came in the room. He ran around, jumping on couches and hollering, but Mom didn’t even see him. He could do whatever he wanted!
Soon, Dani cam into the room and saw Joe. “Why are you yelling?” she asked.
“Who are you talking to, sweetheart?” asked Mom.
“I am talking to Joe.” said Dani matter-of-factly. “He’s my imaginary friend. Can’t you see him? he’s jumping on the couch.”
“I’m afraid not, sweetheart,” said Mom. “But if I did, he’d be in trouble!”
Joe laughed with glee. He didn’t get in trouble! Then he remembered Vinny and what he had to do to get him back. He jumped over to Dani.
“I used to be your brother.” he told her.
“No you didn’t.” Dani said. “I would remember if I had a brother.”
Joe’s face fell when he saw that she didn’t remember him. “But I was,” he insisted. “And I could be again if you wished it.”
Dani shook her head. “I don’t think so,” she said. “You would just take my dolls and tease me, like a mean brother.”
Forgetting that he had done that very thing just that morning, Joe said, “No I wouldn’t! We would play all the time and go on marvelous adventures where you are the princess and I am a dragon you must slay to save the prince!”
Dani smiled. “Really?”
“Yes.” said Joe. “You only have to wish I were real.”
Dani shook her head again. “I think we should play first, then I’ll make my wish.”
Joe didn’t want to play with Dani, but he had no choice.
“Right then,” she said. “I am a princess and you are an evil pirate king who has stolen my crown. I will fight you for it.”
Joe liked the idea of being an evil pirate king. “Alright,” he said.
And off they went, fighting with imaginary swords. Sometimes Dani would win and steal back her crown, and other times Joe would win and keep the crown. They played liked this all afternoon until Mom came to see what all the ruckus was.
“What are you doing, sweetheart?” she asked Dani. She said nothing to Joe, because of course she couldn’t see him. He fidgeted where he stood.
“I’m playing with Joe,” said Dani.
“Who is Joe?” asked Mom.
“He’s my imaginary friend,” said Dani.
“That’s sweet,” said Mom, giving Dani a small hug.
Joe wished Mom would give him a hug too, but she couldn’t see him and didn’t remember him.
Joe, feeling very sorry for himself, he sat down in the corner and cried. He wished Mom would talk to him, even yell at him.
“Why are you crying, Joe?” asked Dani.
“I’m not crying,” sniffed Joe, rubbing away his tears with his fist.
“Yes you are,” said Dani.
“I want to be your brother again.” said Joe tearfully.
Dani looked thoughtful. “If you were my real brother, would we still have adventures like we did today?”
Joe thought about it for a moment. Today had been marvelous fun. “Yes,” he said. “Everyday.”
Dani smiled and clapped her hands. “Then I wish with all my heart that you were my real brother, Joe!”
As soon as she said those words, Joe felt something tingling in his pocket and he pulled out a glowing candy. He gave it to Dani, who popped it into her mouth. Joe’s whole body shimmered for a moment. Then, with a loud, Pop! Joe felt like his old self again. A shadow appeared beside him and suddenly Vinny reappeared. “You’re back!” Joe cried, laughing out loud. “Thank you Dani!” He hugged her.
Dani hugged him back and said “Can we play again?”
“Yes!” shouted Joe. Off they went, pretending to be pirates and princesses, and getting very dirty in the process.
When they came in for supper, Mom was waiting for them. She saw how dirty they were and shook her head. “How on earth did you two get so dirty? Joe–“
Joe jumped in. “We were just playing Mom. And now we’re going to wash up.”
Mom smiled. “Well then. Hurry up! I made your favorite for supper!”
Joe and Dani smiled and skipped down the hallway. It had been indeed a marvelous day.