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Bad Influence

“Come on kiddo, lets go meet up with Mom.” I said, reaching a hand out to little Kenny. Who would have thought a day at the fair would be so exhausting. I felt like I could fall asleep where I stood. Kenny, as usual had a bottomless supply of energy like only small children possess. A day of eating funnel cakes and cotton candy probably didn’t help the situation.

He hollered, “Let’s get ice cream!” Bouncing and tugging my arm in the direction of the ice cream stand.

“No.” My own stomach turned at the thought of more junk. “You’ve had enough, and we told Mom we’d meet her outside the flower building now.” I resisted his pull and plowed onward.

“Billy wants ice cream!” Kenny insisted, trying to pull his hand away. When I tightened my grip, he began to whine and fuss. Looked like the long day was taking its toll after all. “There he goes. We have to follow Billy.” He pulled wildly on my arm; man he was strong for a little guy.

“I don’t care about Billy,” I said, and I didn’t. That imaginary friend of his was becoming an increasingly bad influence. He loved to encourage an awful lot of naughtiness. Too many carpet stains and broken knick-knacks were being blamed on Billy. I was in no mood. Time for a talk. I squatted down to look my son in the eye.

“Kenny, ” I sighed, searching for the words to get through to him when I saw something over his shoulder that dropped any coherent ideas away. A green and yellow dragon the size of a German Shepard was bounding toward the ice cream stand. I couldn’t be seeing this. Squinting, I tried to get a clearer look; it must be a kid in a costume or something.

“Daddy, plleeease?” Another tug on my hand, and I blinked. When I looked again, it was gone. Definitely time to go.

I decided to let my wife drive home.

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