“When I was little, I didn’t have an imaginary friend, I had an imaginary bully. She was a little girl of my age, who looked just like me, and took great delight in being cruel. This included doing things to make my parents furious, like punching my little brother. One day, when I was about thirteen, Ludwig showed up and wrapped all two hundred of his copper-bladed arms around this evil version of me. There was a warm light, like a camera flash made of lava, and then she was gone.”
— Sam Fleming, “Ludwig”
Are they in our imagination, or are we in theirs? Mad Scientist Journal has brought together twenty-six tales of people with uncertain existence. These accounts range from cheerful to dark, stopping off at frequent points between. Imaginary friends share space with witches, monsters, nightmares, and maybe a few things that have not yet been dreamed.
Included in this collection are stories from E.D.E. Bell, Jade Black, Die Booth, Maureen Bowden, Veronica Brush, Jacob Budenz, Sam Crane, Matthew R. Davis, Julian Dexter, Sam Fleming, Troy H. Gardner, Kiki Gonglewski, Lucinda Gunnin, Neil James Hudson, Blake Jessop, Vivian Li, Tucker Lieberman, K. K. Llamas, Christine Lucas, M. Lopes da Silva, Ville Meriläinen, Jennifer R. Povey, Lizz-Ayn Shaarawi, Kayleigh Taylor, Jieyan Wang, and E. R. Zhang. Interior art is provided by Errow Collins, America Jones, Leigh Legler, and Ariel Alian Wilson. Cover art by Luke Spooner.
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