Dream Worlds Are Born

Story 617: Volmar


#1

I’m not the most emotionally stable man by any means. I was raised by my father who was a distant, short tempered man. I didn’t grow up with any family around and I wasn’t allowed friends over. I didn’t even have friends outside the house because I was homeschooled and didn’t know what a computer was until I moved out. Truly ninety nine percent of my life was spent on my fathers property before I turned eighteen. Not only that but the only thing my father would ever tell me about my mother was that she abandoned us shortly after I was born. Knowing what I know now, I doubt she left. I hired a private investigator to find her, spent more money than I care to admit and there’s no record of her after her supposed run away from her responsibilities as a mother. I suppose I should explain why I don’t believe she went anywhere of her own free will.

You see I had an imaginary friend growing up. I had always thought I made her up out of a deep desire to have a connection with anybody. I only ever saw her in the attic and when I asked why she couldn’t come play with me she said this was her home. Truly I more talked at her rather than have any real conversation. I’m not sure she had much language skills though sometimes she’d try to talk to me a little. I never questioned anything about her existence after the day I brought her up to my father.

He was the one who told me she was an imaginary friend. Being naive and sheltered with nobody to ask but my dad I believed him. She meant a lot to me and she seemed happy to see me when I climbed up those stairs…oh how I wish I had known she was real…how I wished I’d helped her. Even when I was out of the house it was common among people that children had imaginary friends. When I was twenty eight my fathers house burned down with him inside. He slept through the fire and thats when it was discovered, the woman in the attic. The real…once living woman.

Turns out she had been abducted when she was only three years old which would account for the poor language skills. They didn’t know if my father had her the entire time but he had at least had her since I was eight. I hadn’t had any interest in the attic before then. I of course didn’t know her age but she looked like a girl in her early teens, maybe thirteen or fourteen. The police confirmed what I thought. She was only five years older than I was, or would of been had she still been living today.

I can barely look at myself which I’ve been seeing a psychiatrist about. They’ve told me countless times it isn’t my fault but after I left, how could I have continued to be such a moron, how could I have left her there to suffer alone with him. They have me on a few different kinds of pills which I thought were actually helping, if even a little but her ghost came to me about a month ago.

She still can’t talk much. I’d say she has the speaking skills of a five year old at best. I wanted to ignore her, feeling I was going crazy but I had wronged her once…a few days after her arrival at my home I could ignore her no longer. How could I betray her a second time? It’s nice having her around, honestly I’m so fucked up from being so isolated and having the kind of father I did I can’t keep any friends. I don’t want her to leave but when I saw a news report about a woman named Abigail Holfoldings who helped a police investigation through talking to spirits I decided I wouldn’t fall into the trap I was imagining her again, no, I needed to talk to this woman and maybe actually help Viola this time.


#2

I wasn’t sure how to approach Mrs. Holfolding, how to ask for her help. I wasn’t good at interacting with people, but I needed to try. I had sent her a message on Facebook and hoped I didn’t sound insane. I knew she dealt with ghosts on a daily basis, but I was a whole other deal. I jumped when I saw her out of the corner of my eye as I stared at my computer screen, waiting. She hadn’t meant to sneak up on me, it was just she didn’t make any sound when she moved. “Sorry.” She said.

“It’s fine, um, we might be going somewhere soon.” She nodded. “Hopefully I can help you.” I swallowed. “I’m sorry, you know.” She tipped her head to the side. “Never mind, it’s nothing.” I wish I could better explain to her what had happened to her, what kind of man my father had been. I wished I could express to her how I had failed her. I don’t think she realized it was my fault, at least I thought it was anyway.


#3

She pointed to the door and I knew she wanted to go out again which was it’s own personal hell. She was so amazed by the simplest things when she was outside and it tore me apart all over again knowing she may have never experienced a day outside after being taken as a three year old. Dealing with her now as an adult everything about her told me that she had been a constant prisoner of whomever had taken her and then his father, if he hadn’t been her original captor. She hadn’t had a normal life for even a second. My secluded life as a child was paradise compared to what she must have lived through and I wish more than anything I hadn’t been such a stupid kid. If I had just realized she wasn’t something I made up out of desperation I could have saved her once I was old enough to leave my fathers house.

“alright, lets go” It hurts but I was determined my father was going to be the last person that told her what she could and couldn’t do. Where ever she wanted to go, whatever she wanted to do, I was going to make sure she had all the freedom in the world, even if it was just a little too late.She watches me get ready then follows me to the door. I double check to make sure I have my cellphone incase Mrs Holfoldings answers me. I hope heaven is real and this woman can help her get there.

I go to get in my car but she shakes her head no and points to the sidewalk “you sure, I don’t mind taking you somewhere new” she looks at the sidewalk so I start to go down it. I’m not sure why she doesn’t always want to get in the car so I can take her somewhere she hasn’t seen but I don’t question it. Same old same old to me probably isn’t the same to her anyway. From what I’ve seen in movies, the world is so new to little kids they can do the same thing over and over and not tire of it so given the fact she hadn’t been allowed to have a life at all beyond being a toy I figure it’s just one of the ways she is like a child still.


#5

:ghost:


#6

She always reaches for my hand when we walk and I’m almost relieved when she can’t touch me. I don’t know what I’d do if she could, not after everything. I watch her out of the corner of my eye as she turns her face up to the sun and I feel like crying. Everything she does is so innocent, but it still hurts. “Volmar?”

“Yes?”

“What’s wrong?”

I shake my head. “Nothing, are you enjoying being out?” She gave me a nod, but I could see she was frowning. “I’m really okay, I promise.”

“Okay.”


#7

I stopped every time I heard my phone go off, hoping it was the woman who could help me. I knew since she had a family it might take Abigail awhile but I couldn’t help but hang on my phones every chime. I fell asleep that night with still nothing from her but in the morning relief swept through my body, she had answered. I started looking around the room for Viola as soon as I read that this woman would help. I hadn’t finished reading the entire message yet but I wanted Viola to know I was really trying to do something for her , that we had hope this time.

She wasn’t anywhere to be found right now so I attempted calling out her name, wondering if she might come to it. I yelled her name then finished reading the message. When I looked up Viola had actually come “hey, that woman is willing to help us. All we have to do is go to her. She apparently owns a house specifically for meeting people like us. She’ll help me understand and maybe help you better understand why you came to me, why you can’t move on and finally be happy”

She seemed confused and next thing I knew she tried to take my hand again but of course, she still couldn’t. I didn’t know what to say to her so I put the address in google maps then messaged the living woman to let her know we were definitely coming. I had googled the address before answering so I’d be able to tell her a rough estimate of how long the trip would take. No journey in the car took what the GPS said precisely and sadly I didn’t have the money to fly us where we needed to go.


#8

“It’s going to be a long trip, Viola, I hope that’s okay.” I said and she still looked so confused. Maybe she’s just overwhelmed. I thought to myself and I messaged Abigail. I was surprised when she messaged me back offering to get me a ticket. I didn’t want her to, I didn’t want to owe her anymore than I’m sure I would. I quickly declined and told her we would be there as soon as possible.

I put my phone on its charger then started packing. Viola watched me the whole time and I couldn’t help but feel nervous at what I might learn about her, about how she really felt, if she hated me. “Is there anything you want me to bring?”

“A book.” She answered and I nodded. I had bought a volume of fairy tales that she seemed to like and I always wondered if maybe her parents had read them to her when she was little. Maybe a part of her remembered those happier moments before my father took her.


#9

Once everything was in my bag I tripled check, just to be absolutely sure. I was mostly checking for my medication. I wasn’t sure how much it was actually helping me but it was important to my therapist and her opinion meant a lot to me. I wouldn’t be even as stable as I am without her. It clicked with me I had an appointment tomorrow so I called her, hoping she’d pick up “Hey Volmar, is everything alright?” she sounded concerned but the last time I had called her personal cellphone I had been debating suicide so I understood how much this call would concern her “I’m fine, I promise. I’m just going to miss my appointment tomorrow and I didn’t want you worrying.”

“Okay, did you make a friend?” how hopeful she sounded for him made him almost embarrassed to tell her yet again no. “No, I’m just taking a trip. I really need it and I’m on my meds still. I triple checked that they are in my suitcase”

“Okay, I’m glad you’re going out and doing something even if it’s alone. Please feel free to call me if you need to talk. Even if you want to do our appointment over the phone I’ll keep your time slot free”

“Thank you”

“I mean it, I’m proud of you…and Volmar. You deserve to have a good life” she was always reminding me of that. I told her goodbye and hung up the phone. I almost cooked something to save a little money but I didnt feel like doing the dishs and I knew I’d be gone too long to let them sit in the sink so I decided I’d just stop somewhere cheap for breakfast.

Next I got dressed then asked Viola “are you ready?” she smiled at me “yeah”


#10

It was strange having Viola sitting in the car next to me and I couldn’t help but notice she looked a little nervous or frightened. “Viola, are you okay?”

“Yeah.” She replied softly.

“Are you sure?” We weren’t far, but if she needed me to stop I would.

“Yeah, thank you.”

“If you need me to pull over, don’t be afraid to say so.”

“Okay.” She gave me a smile and I swallowed down that lump of sadness and guilt. Maybe she was just afraid of being so far from home, if she thought of my place as home.

“It’s going to be okay, I promise.”


#11

“You’re not mad?” the question threw me “Of course not.” I knew I shouldn’t over think the question though. I tended to ask people the same question for no reason, it came with being abused it seemed. “all I want is to help you be happy Viola.” she smiled at me again and went back to looking out the window. Thankfully my bladder was amazing, even for a man. I also was no stranger to missing meals so I drove straight there, actually arriving sooner than the GPS thought I would. Probably because I had been fortunate enough not to really hit traffic along the way. I think all GPSs account for at least one spot being stop and go.

I was glad to see another car already parked there, Abigail must be here waiting. I could see her and two men coming out the door as I parked. I was going to let Viola out but she floated through the car door like it was nothing just as I approached her side of the car. I noticed Abigail and one of the men saw Viola right away. I wasn’t used to others being able to and it was nice to get the reassurance her ghost was truly with me.

“you must be Viola” Abigail said softly, a warmth to her voice. Viola nodded and Abigail asked “why do you seem upset to meet me?”


#12

Viola looked at Volmar and frowned. “I’m no mad Viola, I promise.”

“I don’t think it’s that.” The youngest of the two men said. “I’m Lewis, her son.”

“And I’m Christian.” The other man said.

“This is my dad.”

“Oh.” I was a little amazed. Lewis looked like he was in his early twenties, but his parents didn’t look much older than he did.

“He wants me gone.” Viola said and her words nearly stopped my heart as I looked at her. She looked upset and I didn’t know what to do.

“Viola, I…you don’t understand. You…my father…” I swallowed, I wasn’t going to cry in front of these people.

“Volmar.” Her voice cracked a little and so did my heart. Why was she so upset? I just wanted her happy.

“Okay, easy, it’s okay.” Abigail said softly. “Why don’t we go inside, get you something to eat and drink Volmar and we’ll figure this out.”


#13

I gave Viola one last look, wishing she understood I didn’t want her to move on because I didn’t like her. I wanted her to experience peace. I just had to hope Abigail and her family could make Viola understand. After they fed me Abigail spoke “I know it’s been quite the drive. Do we want to get right into talking or do you want to rest?”

“I’m not going to be able to rest, especially not when she thinks I just dont want her around. Please, help me talk to her.” I told her everything about my childhood then closed my plea with “I’m still learning how to be human. I never know what to say or what I should do. I want her to understand…I want her to know how important she was to me as a child, how important she is to me now. I want her to know I sought you out because she deserves to have peace”

I was impressed with how well I explained even that to Abigail. My sessions truly had brought me a long way when it came to being normal and being able to express myself. “Okay” Abigail looked at her husband and she asked him “could you make us some coffee then?”

“of course” Christian got up out of his seat and Abigail looked at Viola “He really does care about you and like you Viola. Why do you feel he just wants you gone” It took her some time “he went away”

“He didn’t know you were real Viola. His dad convinced him you were imaginary.” The sad part was she was more broken than me and that was what truly made communication so hard. I wondered how much she even understood living in an empty attic, only a child or maniac ever giving you company. She hadn’t had a tv, I never saw a book or magazine. Her whole life had just been sitting in an attic, waiting to be used.


#14

“Viola,” I let out a sigh, “I just want you to be happy.”

Lewis rested his hand on my shoulder. “Volmar, are you happy?” It wasn’t the first time someone had asked me that question.

“Not really, I mean I care about Viola, I do, I’m not normal…I’m broken, but at lease I can give her something.”

“Freedom.”

“Yeah.” I met Viola’s sad gaze. “It’s not that I wanted to leave you, I really didn’t know. If I had, I would have done something.”

Abigail nodded. “Why did you find him Viola?” She asked as Christian came back in to set with us.

“He’s my friend.”

“What’s happening?” Christian asked Abigail.

“She thinks Volmar wants to get rid of her, we’re trying to explain that’s not the case.”

“Viola, I can’t see you like my wife and son and Volmar can, but you have to know he brought you here because he cares.” Christian said gently.


#15

“but I want to stay with him. I’m happy now”

“really?” Abigail asked and Viola nodded “he was the only time I was happy”

“but you know if you move on you can have a new life, a new childhood, you could have so much. You never know how you’ll be reborn. I just want you to know that” Viola looked over at Volmar “can I stay?”

“Of course you can. I just wanted to help you Viola. I thought you’d like to move on.”

“I want to stay” she said again and Abigail jumped back in “then you two stay here a few days if you can. I’ll be here to help you two communicate better if you need it and then you also have a few days to truly know if you want to move on to your next life or stay in this one”


#16

“I couldn’t impose on you like that.”

“You’re not Volmar.” Her tone is gentle, yet I can hear a slight bit of reprimand in there at how ridiculous my words probably sounded. It was almost like she was mothering me in a way.

“Stay, Volmar, it’ll help.” Lewis added. “My parents wouldn’t open up their homes if they thought you were going to be a problem or take advantage of the situation. Let us help you and Viola.”

I nodded. “Okay, I’m sorry, it’s just all of this is a bit overwhelming. I really don’t know how to act.”

“Spend enough time with us and you’ll learn.”

“He’s right, maybe we can do something normal while you two are here, take you fishing or something, just get you out there. It’s not good staying cooped up, I should know.” Christian added.


#17

“Thank you guys” I said gratefully then looked over at Viola “do you want to experience fishing? I mean…as much as you can now”

“yeah”

“then we’ll go fishing tomorrow. I’ll run to the store and grab some stuff” Christian said then began looking for his car keys. I might have protested the trouble but I came here to make Viola happy and I felt this might. Regardless it would help her make her decision on if she was going to move on to a new life or stick around with him. I didn’t feel worth it but if she decided to stay it would be nice once I worked through all this tremendous guilt weighing me down. I may not have known but god I truly would give anything to not have been so damn stupid.

Christian left them and Abigail suggested “you really should rest Volmar. You have to be exhausted from driving and emotionally from everything”

“yeah, I am pretty beat”

“I’ll show you where you can rest”


#18

“Thank you.” I said as I sat my bag down on the floor.

“If you need anything, let us know. I’m going to talk to Viola more.”

“I know she thinks I want her gone, she thinks I think she’s an inconvenience. I just want her to find happiness and she can’t have that if she stays with me.”

“I’ve known spirits that enjoy staying on the material plane, maybe she’s one of them.”

“But she could have a real life, a childhood, parents. I can’t give her anything good.”

“That’s not true, Volmar, she came to you because she cares about you, because your her friend. She trusts you.”

“What if she decides to stay? I can’t really interact with her or anything like that other than talking to her.”

“We’ll talk about options once she’s made her decision. There’s no rush, both of you need to take your time.”


#19

She left me with those words and I collapsed onto the bed she had given me. I must have fallen asleep instantly because next thing I knew Christian was waking me. “were you ever even under the covers?”

“No, I was more tired than I thought. I think I passed out”

“come to the kitchen, lets have breakfast.”

“Is Viola there?”

“yeah”

“How does she feel today”

“she wants to see you” I got up “I’ll be there soon” Christian left me and I joined them as soon as I was changed. Not much in this life could motivate me but Viola could. I’d do anything to bring her happiness. I offered her the best smile I had to give when I saw her beside Abigail “we didn’t think you should miss breakfast” Abigail said to me and I thanked her for sending her husband to wake me. I sat down where I was directed and ate, hoping she’d tell me something of her talk with Viola.

I got nothing of the sort so when we we were in our cars to head to where they liked to fish I asked her “how’re you feeling?”

“I’m okay”

“what did you and Abigail talk about last night?”

“a lot”

“do you…know how much you mean to me” she nodded and I felt relief. I decided to add “I wasn’t using you like my dad used you. We were really friends. I thought about you so much when I left home. I swear to you on anything and everything if I had known you were real I would have gotten you out” I think she finally believed me, I sure as hell hoped she did. I didn’t go see her because I was a bored child killing time, she had meant so much to me.


#20

“Have you ever fished before?” Lewis asked as he and Christian put lures on all the poles.

“No, I wasn’t really allowed to go out and do things. My father was very controlling.”

“Well it’s easy and you’ll get the hang of pretty quick.” He handed me a pole then he and Christian lead me over to the water.

They showed me how to cast out and once mine was out in the water they explained what a bite felt like. I was embarrassed that I didn’t know any of this, especially when it seemed so simple. Viola came up to stand next to me, her eyes curiously watching the water. “Do you like it out here?” I asked.

“Yeah, it’s nice.” She answered.


#21

I found myself having a really good time. This was probably the happiest I had been in a while so I decided I’d make fishing something I did fairly frequently. Christian and Lewis cleaned the fish then Abigail made an amazing lunch with what they had caught. Viola and I mostly talked to one another with the aide of Abigail between lunch and dinner. Through the evening Abigail and her family taught us a few games, it had been such a good day and I hoped Viola had enjoyed it as much as I did.