Story – Image Nation 

“Image Nation?”

by Tom E. Bailey

Inspired by his children


Revisit for 3rd R.D.


A young 19 year old woman sits in her Universities Library just staring at the rows and rows of books. She day dreams that the authors of various styles and generations come out from among the shelves and walk over toward her. Some take a seat right next to her. Others look over her shoulder at the blank page she struggles to fill with an original story. Others walk around her in large circles while a few stand to the side and lean against the pillars and other book cases. The woman takes a deep breath and looks to her left. From the second story of the Library she sees a little girl outside the window running and playing in the open space. A smile came to her face as the girl fell in the thick dark green grass and got back up just to run in circles and fall down again on purpose. Just then she felt a tap on her right shoulder. She turned and saw the same little girls standing there. The little girl asked, “Do you have an imagination?”

This is where the adventure began and to this day continues.

The little girl addressed the 19 yr. old, “Let’s run through the book shelves!” “You mean TO the book shelve.” “No, THROUGH IT!” “You mean in and out of and around the library? We Can’t just…” “No, no, no, I’ll show you.” Taking the 19 yr old lady’s hand the little girl ran straight toward the book shelf. The older one tried dragging her feet but the 7 year old continued head long into the obstruction. Like magic they actually went right through it without knocking one book off. The 19 year old caught her breath. The 7 year old was bright eyed and with a big smile said, “See? Imagination…my name is Olivia, what is yours, Bacon breath?” The 19 year old looked back strange and wondered if her breath smelled. A little self conscience she answered quietly, “Nooo, it’s Kyri.” “That is silly, but not sillier than bacon breath for a name”. She rambled on, “Do you want to have silly names? You can be elbow and I’ll be mayonnaise.” The 19 year old looked down and realized as the younger one was rattling off non-scene they had both rose 20 feet off the ground into the center of the library. Olivia said, “ Don’t worry. I do this all the time and don’t even get into trouble.” Then said, “Did you know that Lady Ga Ga is not the face on a silver dollar. I thought she was but my daddy said it is some lady named..Suzy. That’s a weird name. I’d be Suzy but that’s a sillier name than mayonase, don’t you think?” The older girl just grinned nervously and gripped Olivia’s hand hard, hoping this was all just a dream. The 7 year old pressed, “Your naaaaaaame?” “Oh, Kyri…wait, I told you my name.” Olivia just smiled and said, “I know I just wantd to hear it again.” And with that the two suddenly dropped down stopping just 2 inches from the floor. Kyri was a fright. Olivia shouted, “Weeeeee, that was fun!” Kyri looked around and it was as if no one saw them. Students, teachers and staff were all pre-occupied with studying, planning and working. Olivia noticed Kyri’s wonder and said, “oh, they didn’t see. They never do, well, sometimes at Christmas they see things that are just pretend but they are too busy using their brains for other things, other than their imagination.” Kyri nodded slowly and said, “ I see.” “But you, YOU DO HAVE AN IMAGINATION! You see me?” Olivia asked. ”Ah, yeah, but your real.” Olivia smiled and said, “I am as real as you’ll let me be.” Kyri still wasn’t sure what was going on. ‘Maybe I drank too much coffee…’ she thought. Olivia tried to explain, “Don’t you get it? You still have an imagination. You didn’t loose it when you got big or moved away from home. Some people forget how. They forget a lot of things.” Kyri began to fully understand, “What a great composition I could write on this!” She exclaimed. “I could do a study and research the human brain and how it all works and especially in senior citizens and demensia, manic depression, pscitzophronia, psycosis and…” She paused and caught her breath then asked Olivia, “Why are you shaking your head?” Olivia said, “Places are easier to describe when you’ve actually been there.” “Huh?” Kyri questioned. Olivia said, “ Let me show you.” A book flew off the shelf, landed and opened to the Egyptian pyramids. Kyri said, “but…just reading about…” Olivia interrupted, “Let your mind go there. Look at the pictures, that is what I do. The pictures in books or the ones hanging on the wall. Some people don’t even look at em’ but I do. I not only look at them, I go into them. Your mind can take you anywhere. Sometimes mine takes me to scary places I don’t wanna go, but only when I am asleep. When I am awake I won’t let it. We can control our thoughts. Sometimes when I am awake my mind seems unhappy so, when that happens I have to go to places that are happy.” Kyri thought of how many people let their minds control them and then asked, “Are you sure your only 7?” Olivia stood up straight and replied, “7 and a half! My birthday is next month!” Kyri smiled, “No, than your almost 8, in one month you’ll be 8.” Olivia just aid, “Your silly!” Kyri asked, “Are you 7 or you 8?” Olivia simply said, “ate?” “Huh?” Olivia continued, “you said, “You ate?” Kyri smiled again. Olivia laughed, “Ya know i didn’t eat. Let’s eat!” Olivia pulled back her empty hand and flung it toward Kyri’s face, nearly hitting her in the nose then fell on the floor and laughed uncontrollably. Kyri jumped back and looked at Olivia, “What are you doing?” Olivia tried to answer as she laughed out the words, “what ahar You, who, who, doing with pie on your face?” Kyri was confussed. Kyri replied, Oh is that what you did?” Olivia got up and did it again saying, “Did it again!” Kyri saw nothing, Olivia made the same repetitive motions toward Kyri’s face again and again to the point of frustrating Kyri until she finally blocked the pie with one hand and threw an imaginary pie of her own with the other. Kyri’s eyes opened wide and Olivia’s mouth had not only dropped open in shock but it was full of green, blue and bright orange cream pie! Olivia spit out the cream and said, “Oh GREAT, now you get it!” They both laughed and headed out of the library.

As they stepped out of the library Alexx ran up to them and said, “Hey Kyri!” and before she could answer he said, “Hi Olivia!” Kyri was surpisingly shocked, “You see her too?” “Of course!” Then he addressed Olivia with a head nod toward Kyri, “She is more sillier than YOU!” Olivia then asked both of them, “Have you met my sisters? The are hiding in the bushes!” Kyri and Alexx looked and saw 2 little sets of eyes peeking out of the bushes. Olivia called out, “Com on girls!” Two younger girls came running out, one straight for Alexx and the other to Kyri. They swept them off their feet and hugged them as only siblings could do. Alexx spun Madi around in a circle and said, “You’re my favorite sister!” knowing this would tease his other sisters. Kyri spun Abbey around and said even louder, “YOU’RE my favorite sister!!” Olivia spun herself around in a circle and shouted, “I’m MY favorite sister!!!” Abigail, the youngest said, “Your all my favorite sisters, except Alexx cause he’s a BOY!” Madi agreed, “Yeah!” Kyri and Olivia smiled big and Alexx said with pride, “I am a boy, just like our daddy is a boy.” Olivia said, “Let’s go see him.” And they ran off.

Abigail asked questions the whole way there. Madi kept stopping to pick-up flowers and Olivia kept complaining that it was too long of a walk. Kyri and Alexx tried to play word games and ‘Eye Spy’ with the girls to keep them entertained but it just didn’t seem to help them. Olivia asked why daddy lived so far away. Kyri and Alexx were thinking of how to explain and Abigail said, “Cause he works there.” Madi said, “Cause he doesn’t live close to us.” Kyri and Alexx looked at each other and Alexx said, “But, he is always with us in his mind.” Olivia corrected him, “You mean in his imagination!” Kyri spoke up and said, “Well… no, in his heart. He sees us, just like I see you. You’re my sister and he is our dad.” Abbey said, “I wish he lived with us.” Madi said, “He can’t live with us and with Kyri and Alexx cause we don’t live all close together.” Olivia said, “ Someday we might.” Alexx said, “ But what Kyri is saying is that we are all always on each other’s minds and in each other’s hearts.” Madi said, “That’s cause we love each other.” Abbey said, “I love mommy!” Olivia said, “I love pie!” She grinned at Kyri. Kyri said, “Yeah, pie in the face.” Suddenly someone dropped from the trees above them, “BOO!” It was their dad. “Did I scary you?!” Abbey almost cried and the rest just shrilled, “Daddy!!” Once the youngest saw it was okay she joined in the big family hug. Olivia said, “Daddy, are we in your mind?” He smiled and said, “Your more than in my mind. Your in my heart!” Abbey said, “An’inyou’ mayonation?” They all laughed at the way she pronounced things. He assured them, “Yes and in my imagination we are always together, no one and no distance can ever come between us there.” Madi said, “But, we are really real, not just pretend.” Their father said, “Yes your really real, as real as can be and so am I, even when you don’t see me or maybe forget where I am. I am still here…” He reached out and touched each of their hearts individually. Olivia added, “And here.”, as she touched his head.” “Yes and here”, touching his own head. “Some day we will all live together, in a mansion! I learned that in Bible school one summer” Olivia said. Kyri and Alexx’s eyes met. The warm glow of the sunset began to fall on them and their dad reassured all of them, “Yes, we will. Now, who wants to eat?” Olivia said, “I want some pie!!!” “Cookies” rang out Abbey. “Cake and poptarts” chimed in Madi. “I don’t like cake!”, said Alexx. “Do you have any coffee” asked Kyri. Their father smiled and he asked, “Do you have an imagination?”

The end sounds so final so I will write…

Continually Continued!

Thanks for reading, Beetle


If you enjoyed that you may enjoy

“The Park” – a short story about 3 boys who sneak into an abandoned amusement park and discover that it has a mind of its own.

Online publication of “The Park”:

“Fair Science” – a short story of a weird, crazy but brilliant scientist who invites three children into his mansion and his mind.

Online publication of “Fair Science”:

YouTube playlist of stories being read: My stories:

For a list of other stories go to:

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