Alien - Series Fan Fiction ❯ Floating ❯ PART 1: DERRY ( Chapter 2 )
The school year went by super fast. I had my 13th birthday a couple of months ago. It wasn't that bad of a school year. No clowns and no balloons. Sixth period was almost finished when the intercom turned on “Remember, all kids 15 and under have a curfew of 7:30 and have an amazing summer.” My principal, Chris Stevens (or Mr. Stevens if you are not his family) was not very liked; he didn't really care about us kids until he got his paycheck. He also didn't like it when we failed, which I would have done if it hadn't been for Mr. Li. Mr. Li was one of those teachers who actually liked being a teacher. He wasn't hard on us, and if we were one point away from failing he would give us the D-. That's what happened to me.
The bell rang and that amazing feeling of school being over washed over my body. It was finally summer. I ran out and hopped on the bus. I always sat on the fourth seat back next to the window, usually alone. I put my backpack down between my legs and opened the bus window a little bit more. It was about 86 outside and really sunny with no clouds that the eye could see. I saw a group of friends who most people call the Losers' Club dumping their school supplies in the trash. I knew one from math class. His name was Richie Toizer. He was basically the class clown but most of his jokes were bad. As they were leaving, I saw Henry Bowers and his goons walking up to them and I slid down into my seat so they couldnt see me. He had been looking for me since I had refused to let him use my test to cheat.
He wanted to and I quote “ Beat your ass and use it as a rag”. The only reason that had not happened yet was that I had stayed close to adults most of the time. I didn’t want him to beat me, especially on the first day of summer. I watched as the tall one, Patrick Hockstetter picked up the Jewish kid’s Kippah and threw it right at the bus. The throw was perfect and it went right through the opening in the window and into my lap. I didn't really know much about Jewish culture, but we had a history lesson about Jewish culture when we learned about the Holocaust. I was thinking about throwing it out the window but thought Henry might see me and I decided to just put it in my pocket. The bus driver started the engine and drove off. That was the last time I would see that school.
When the bus came to my stop I could see my mom waiting for me with her head down. I ran off the bus and asked her what was wrong. “Your father is dead”, her lip quivering. “He got shot this morning a little after you left as he was walking to his car.” She just stood there crying. I could see people staring as they walked by. I grabbed her hand and ran inside.
“Mom, is he actually dead?”
“Yes, Paul.” Still holding her hand I thought to myself, why was I not sad, why was I not crying, I couldn't help but feel happy.
“Do they know who did it?” I said trying to stop the happiness that was rising inside of me. I bottled it up as best I could but I couldn't hold it in. I ran to the bathroom before my mother could answer me. I got to the bathroom and slammed the door. What the hell was wrong with me, my dad had just died and I didn’t give a shit. I looked into the mirror to find myself smiling. That gave me a chill down my spine and I looked back down at my hands to find them trembling. I looked back to the door and saw writing on it. “You are welcome, Paul, You owe me. From your only friend, Pennywise the Dancing Clown.” I could not move my feet, they wouldn't even move anyway, I thought. My mind was telling me to run but my body said no. We had learned about fight or flight in science class last year, but my body and mind could not choose so I decided to close my eyes for a good while and all I could hear was the substance on the door dripping on to the white carpet in the bathroom. Then it stopped. I slowly opened my eyes to see the same balloon I had seen when I had first got to Derry. “Welcome to Derry, Paul.” Finally my fight kicked in and I grabbed the scissors that were in the bathroom and popped the balloon. I opened the door slowly and saw the clown.
“Welcome to Derry, Pauly.” He started laughing. Everytime he opened his mouth more and more drool would fly off his huge red lips. “We're gonna have so much fun.” He waved his finger as if he was remembering something “Ah yes, remember to come down to the sewer cause we all float down there. Oh and another thing I can’t wait to kill all the rest of your shitty family. I'm already two down.” He was talking about my brother. I couldn't take it anymore and ran back to the bathroom and sat there crying not about my father but about my brother, Zac, and how I really wished he was here to help me.
My mom broke my sob fest when she knocked on the door to say “Are you ok in there, Honey?” I didn't answer. I just opened the door and for a few seconds I swear I could see that clown's bright orange hair. I ran upstairs to my room tripping on my feet as I ran up. A sheering sharp pain ran down my foot. I heard the f-word slip out. I had stubbed my toe. The stairs stopped right before my room and I had gotten used to just turning the corner. Too bad I had turned the corner a little too early. My mom called out from the bottom of the stairs, “Honey, I know it's hard but you really shouldn't use that language”. I didn't answer her, I just ran back into my room and shut the door.
When I looked down at the doorknob my heart froze. Then it started beating again thump pause thump pause thump thump thump thump. I calmed my body down and took my hand off the doorknob. The doorknob was bloody and dripping all over my floor, but when I looked at my hand the blood had disappeared. I tried not to think of it and grabbed the rag I had on my dresser and wrapped it around the doorknob to stop any more blood from getting on the floor.
I went to my bed and laid down, staring at my ceiling. All I could think about was his eyes, his silver dollar eyes, his big orange pom poms his stupid shoes. So I did the only thing I could to take my mind off it. I turned on the radio to my favorite station 81.7 Derry. My dad got me a radio for my 13th birthday, and I have used it ever since. Music helped to take my mind off things. Elvis was one of my favorites. His voice and melody always calmed me down. Lucky enough they were playing one of my favorite songs, “Jailhouse Rock”. I turned the radio up so loud I couldn't even hear my own thoughts. I started to feel better until I heard, “Let's rock everybody, let's rock everybody in the whole cell block was dancin' to the Jailhouse rock. Sad Sack was sittin' on a block of stone way over in the corner weepin' all alone. The warden said, Hey, Paul, don't you be no square if you can't find a partner, use Zac’s corpse and float with the rest of us.” I took my baseball bat that I got for Christmas and swung as hard as I could at the radio. It flew across the room and smacked the wall with a loud bang. BIts of the radio flew all over my room. I thought it was over until I heard the radio croak out, “You'll float someday. Bitch”. I stood frozen watching the radio expecting the clown to emerge from the radio but it never did. Finally I recovered and sat back down on my bed and cried.
I cried not for my brother not for my dad but for myself. Why couldn't I just have died? Why can’t that clown just kill me? I was starting to think of suicide but knew how hurt my mom was gonna be. When my brother died she almost killed all of us when she had accidentally used spoiled beans. Thank God my dad saw the can and smacked my plate out of my hands. I saw my mom get beat for the first time that night. I pushed that thought out of my mind. I looked at the radio and sighed. I picked up all the bits and pieces and threw it into the closet and looked out the window and into the next door neighbors house.
The Denbroughs lived there, I had seen their oldest, Bill, at school every once in a while walking to class. My mom had told me to go over there and make friends with him, but I always said “He already has friends. They're called the Losers' Club or at least that's what people call them.” I always would think, if they're losers then what did that make me. I had an answer, an outcast no one gave a damn about.
Bill’s little brother, Georgie, had gone missing when we had moved here, and I think he blamed us for his brother's disappearance. I laid back down on my bed and stared out the window. I thought well at least you still have a family. I went to sleep at 5:18 that night.
The doorbell woke me up. I waited to see if my mom was going to grab it, but it kept ringing. I sat up on my bed and yelled, “Coming.” I ran back down the stairs and checked the clock. It was 7:46. It was too late to be the mailman I thought as I opened the door. It was the Denbroughs. I could see the looks in their eyes, they came about my father.
“We heard about your father. It's horrible, isn't it Bill?” Bill's mother, I can't quite remember her name, had super blonde hair. She was a housewife just like my mom, except now she had a husband and my mom didn’t. Bill’s dad was Zach, whose name I did know because he worked on our electricity a couple of times. He worked as an electrician for the Bangor Hydroelectric (one of Derry’s main hydropower corporations). Bill had the same blue eyes as Zach but Bill had his mother's face. One thing Bill didn't have in common with his parents was that he had a stutter; it had gotten worse and worse after his brother went missing.
“I-I-Im so s-sor-rry, m-man.” I wonder sometimes if it's fake. If it is, he does an amazing job.
“Is your mom in there? Is she ok?” Bill’s dad asked. I thought about it and decided to let them in.
“MOM!” I yelled. I didn't know where she or if she was even here. I started to say that she must not be here when I heard a clunk from the basement. Pennywise had been out of my mind until I heard that. My blood stopped. It was my mom emerging from the basement.
“Yes Paul?” She stops and looks at the Denbroughs, “Uh, Sorry I wasn't expecting any company.” She started rushing around trying to clean as fast as she could.
“It’s-s ok m-a-am. We were ju-s-s-st stopp-p-ping by to-o see i-i-if you guys ar-r-e o-o-k.” Bill finished the sentence with a smile. My mom just looked at Bill and sighed.
“Paul took it the worst, but I think he is fine.” I had forgotten that I had been crying in the bathroom earlier that day. I started feeling angry that she had thought I was crying for that bastard.
I replied to her, “I’m fine, Mom.” I thought they were going to leave after that. Turns out I was right. As they were walking out the door, Bill’s mom stopped.
She asked, “Bill wanted to ask you if you would go on a bike ride with him tomorrow.”. I thought about it for a second. I thought, was there really any choice but yes?
I replied, “Ya, sure. I guess it will be good to get my mind off things. What time?” Really I just wanted to go to get out of the house, but I wasn't going to say that.
“Do-e-es twe-e-lv-lve work for yo-u-u?” I thought about it and remembered it was summer break. I didn't have anything else going on.
“Yah. I guess I will see you tomorrow.” I tried putting on my best fake smile, but I don't think it fooled anyone.
They waved goodbye and closed the door. My mom headed back down to the basement and I headed back into my room and into my bed. I looked over into my closet and saw my radio. It was sitting atop all the bits and pieces that flew everywhere after I hit it. I thought to myself what a complete waste of a good radio. After that I turned back over to my window and drifted off the sleep. I dreamed of what it would be like if Zac, who coincidentally had the same name as Bill’s dad except they were spelled differently, was still alive. I don’t think much would change seeing as he would be in college but at least I could have still seen him open the present I got him for Christmas. It was a baseball card signed by his favorite player Sandy Koufax. I saved my allowance for a few years to buy it for him. It wasn't in the best condition but it still had the name Koufax written in blue ink written on it. I got it a few months before my birthday which was nowhere close to Christmas, unless you were counting backwards. After he died, I sold it for 100 bucks. It paid for cab tickets to go see his grave. So maybe he did profit from the baseball card after all.
The clown never left my mind that night while I was dreaming. Why didn't he just kill me, he clearly has some kind of powers. He had gotten into my house unnoticed, my mom somehow didn't hear or see it, he got into my radio and changed the song. He also knew Zac’s name. Why did I have to be afraid of clowns?
I awoke the next morning with a horrible headache. I turned on my side and looked back into my closet once more. I saw the radio I had destroyed, all together again. What the, I thought. I got out of my bed and grabbed it from atop my mound of dirty clothes that had been there for many weeks. I put it back on my dresser and turned it on. It worked! I was glad, but I was also scared. I had completely destroyed it last night. I decided I didn't want to go through that again and I left it.
I hopped in the shower and remembered that I had a bike ride with Bill. I got out of the shower half naked, “MOM.” I yelled down the stairs.
“Yes hon?” she yelled back.
“What time is it?”
“Umm, half past ten.”
“Thanks.” I dried off with a towel and got dressed. I looked in the mirror and laughed. God, was I ugly. My brunette hair didn’t match my white skin nor did my skin match my eyes, which are blue. I took my comb and combed my hair straight down my eyes. I could feel the tickle of my hair brushing up against my eyes.
I put on my plain green shirt and my shorts and went downstairs to see what was for breakfast. I don’t know what I expected but my mom didn't make anything. I looked around the house for her but couldn’t find her. I decided to just have some of my Corn Chex for breakfast. As I was pouring my cereal I saw a bug crawl out of my bowl. By the time I looked at the bug in my bowl I had swatted it away. I checked the clock, 11:15, I had 45 minutes until the bike ride. I hated thinking of it as a playdate or hanging out. I didn’t want to hangout with him, even though I wanted friends, and clearly he didn’t either. I decided to use these 45 minutes to find my mom, if she was in the house.
I tried downstairs first because that was the only place I had not looked. My basement was creepy. I rarely went down there but I had to find her so I had to get my courage up. It was completely pitch black in the basement. I put my right foot on the basement steps. CREAK. I put my left foot on the next step. CREAK. I did that over and over again until I got to the bottom of the stairs. I knew that the light switch was on the other side of the room. I got ready. I sprinted across the room. As I was running I hit something and fell on my butt. I could feel the air seep out of my lungs. I started crawling on my hands and knees to the light switch. I started feeling up on the wall and I finally found the light switch. I flipped it on.
I looked around the room to see what I had hit. There was nothing. No obstacles, nothing that would have knocked the wind out of me. I stood up and called for my mom. Nothing. She wasn't here. I realized I could have just called for her from the top of the stairs. Man was I stupid. I decided to leave the light on so I could actually see where I was going. I started walking and it happened again. I hit something and it threw me back. This time my head hit the wall and I blacked out. As my body shut down I could see it. The clown. The one that calls himself Pennywise.
When I came to the lights were back off. I stood up and felt my head. I had a bump the size of a small golf ball. Goddamnit, I thought, I was just about to go hang out with Bill. That's when I heard the doorbell ring. I decided that if I walked slowly maybe I could feel this invisible obstacle in my way. As I reached what I thought was the middle I tensed up expecting to hit something but I didn’t. I just kept walking. When I reached the bottom of the stairs I ran up to the top. My head was still hurting. I yelled at the door, “I will be out in a second.” I then remembered the bump on the back of my head. I decided that I was going to put on a hat to cover up the bump. I ran up the stairs to my closet and found my Boston Red Sox hat. The hat was given to me a couple of years ago for Christmas by my dad. No time for lingering, I thought and headed back downstairs. I couldn't help but wonder where my mother was. My next thought frightened me. Maybe she was dead. I put that out of my head and put on my shoes. I grabbed my bike and took a deep breath. Social interaction, something I was not good at. Yay, I said in my mind sarcastically.