To the Boy I Saw in Fever Dreams

I knew he wasn’t real, but that made it easier somehow.

Jillian Spiridon
3 min readMay 24, 2022


Photo by Jonas Jaeken on Unsplash

My pulse races as if I’ve just run a marathon in record time.

Three nurses hold me down while a fourth injects me with what I’ll later know was a tranquilizer. I won’t remember the before of what happened — what led to the moment I was treated as a danger to myself and others.

Afterwards, I lay against the hospital bed, limp, my eyes staring straight towards the closed door.

Minutes or hours pass, I can’t tell. Another nurse peers through the square glass — checking on me, I’m sure, since that’s just part of her job.

I’ve given them trouble this go-around. That’s all I really know.

In a space between awareness and something like sleep, I conjure up a phantom who sits on the side of the bed, fingertips lightly passing over my head.

My eyes flutter open, but there’s no one there.

The vision’s not so much a hallucination as a coping mechanism. Voices in my mind whispered secrets to me — or so I believed — and they were my brand of crazy.

I breathe in and out, trying to steady myself in this room that’s become a type of prison.

It all started with a boy and a cry of loneliness. Grief may have paved my road, but the truth is that I was looking for something — someone — I would never find. That path led me to the idea of a person, a figment of what I thought I wanted and needed, till I almost imagined him into being.

But we don’t live in a magical realm of the universe. Words aren’t spells, and people aren’t mages in some tabletop game. Whatever power I would have in a chaos world doesn’t translate to more than pages filled with ink here.

It’s so disappointing.

But it’s also exhausting to draw out a string of lies just to make a story that might come alive in someone else’s head — and that’s if you do it right.

I don’t need to be haunted by memories. I can haunt myself just fine with the shadow beings I create from the pieces of people I’ve met or seen.



Jillian Spiridon

just another writer with too many cats