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We’ll live. I promise..

Chapter Text

Our story begins with a boat made from a piece of sketchbook paper floating down a gutter swollen with rain. 

    The boat bobbed, listed, righted itself again, dived barely through treacherous whirlpools, and continued on its way down Witcham Street toward the traffic light which marked the intersection of Witcham and Jackson. With the rain they've had for a few steady weeks, all the houses were dark on that afternoon in the Autumn of 1988.

    A young boy who was wearing a raincoat and green galoshes ran cheerfully alongside the paper boat. The rain tapped on the yellow hood of the boy's coat, sounding like rain on a shed roof. The boy in the raincoat was George Denbrough, he was eight. His brother, William, or ‘Stuttering Bill’, was sick and in bed with influenza.

 

    Bill sat on his bed, folding the paper precisely, as Georgie drew things in the condensation of the window.

 

"Sure we won't get in trouble, Bill?" Georgie turned to ask his brother.

 

"Don't be such a w- w- wuss," Bill said to Georgie. "I'd come with you if I weren't..." he coughed. "..dying."

 

Georgie sighed. "You're not dying!" He said as he took a step toward the older boy sitting on his bed. Bill looked up from his folding with a surprised, yet amused look on his face.

 

"You didn't see the v- v- v... vomit coming out of my nose this morning?" He said with a slight smile on his lips. Georgie furrowed his eyebrows.

 

"That's disgusting." He said walking over to the bed. Bill looked back down to the boat.

 

"Okay, go get the wax." He said. Georgie looked over to the door, timidly.

 

"In the cellar?" Georgie asked. Bill looked back to the small boy.

 

"You want it to fl- fl- float, don't you?" He told him. George sighed again, looking down.

 

"Fine." He grabbed his walkie-talkie and walked out the door as Bill wrote 'SS GEORGIE' on the side of the boat.

    Down the stairs he went to the cellar door as he passed his mother playing Für Elise on the piano. Hesitantly, he approached the door and grabbed the handle and opened the door which lead into the darkness. He stared down the stairs and his heart was racing.

 

"Georgie," he heard his brother say, abruptly, through the walkie-talkie. "Hurry up." His fingers found the light switch. They snapped it--

--and nothing. No light. He descended down the cellar stairs into the darkness that smelled of dirt and wet and dim rotted vegetables.

 

"Okay," he said under his breath. "I'm brave." Reaching the last step, he looked around the dark room before heading toward a shelf. "Where's the wax?" He asked himself. He looked around on the shelf for a short moment. "There's the wax. Yes." He said to himself again. He grabbed the small box and looked around the room again.

    He froze. There were two glowing eyes staring at him in the corner of the room. Two eyes that were attached to a creature much worse than anything you could possibly imagine. He reached for a flashlight which was on the shelf and quickly flipped it on. Not two deadly eyes. Just some snow globes.

    Thunder screamed and he jumped.

 

"What was that?" He asked himself loudly. "What's that? Oh, jeez!" He cried as he ran back up the cellar stairs.

 

Back upstairs in the comfort of Bill's room, the two boys sat on a desk chair with Georgie's arms wrapped around his older brothers shoulders as he applied the melted paraffin wax on the boat with an old paintbrush.

    He tapped the paintbrush off on the side of the bowl once before placing it in the bowl and handing the boat to Georgie.

 

"Alright, there you go. Sh- sh- she's all ready for you, Captain." He said, smiling slightly.

 

" 'She?' " Georgie asked.

 

"You always call b... b- b- boats 'she'." He told him.

 

" 'She,' "Georgie repeated. "Thanks, Billy," He said and hugged his brother. Bill hugged him back, then gave his ribs a small tickle and Georgie let go of him, giggling. The younger boy sighed. "See you later. Bye!" He said as he began skipping out of the room and running down the hallway.

    He walked outside of his house and turned back to see his brother looking at him from the window. He waved.

 

"Be careful." Bill said to his brother through the walkie-talkie, and the young boy was off.

 

Now here he was, chasing his boat down the right side of Witcham Street. Up ahead were two Derry street stoppers in a row.

Duck under one.

Crash.

He hit his head on the second stopper and fell on his butt. He sat for a short moment and began running again. He was running fast but the water was running faster and his boat was pulling ahead. He heard a deepening roar and saw that only a few feet down the street was an open storm drain.

 

"No!" He cried. For a moment he thought he could catch the boat. But then he watched his boat swing around a few times, and disappear. He got to the storm drain and dropped to his knees and peered in. "Bill's gonna kill me," Georgie told himself aloud. The water made a dank hollow sound as it fell into darkness. It was a spooky sound. It reminded him of--

 

"Huh!" The sound was jerked out of him as if on a string, and he recoiled. There were two yellow eyes down there; the sort of eyes he had always imagined to see in the cellar. He was ready to run--would run in a second or two, when his mental switchboard had felt with the shock those two shiny yellow eyes had given him. That's when a voice--a perfectly innocent and rather reasonable voice spoke.

 

"Hiya, Georgie," it said. He could barely believe what he saw; there was a clown in the storm drain. The light was far from good, but it was good enough for Georgie to be sure of what he was seeing. It was a clown, like at the circus or on TV. The face of the clown in the storm drain was painted white and had funny tufts of orange-red hair on either side of his balding head with white paint covering his face, both eyebrows painted with a red line going straight down and stopped once they reached his lips. A small, button nose was dead center, painted red. "What a nice boat... do you want it back?" The funny looking clown asked.

 

"Um.. yes, please." Georgie replied, timidly.

 

"You look like a nice boy," the clown said. "I bet you have a lot of friends." He told him.

 

"Four, but my brothers my best-best." He told the clown reluctantly.

 

"And where is he?" The clown asked, smiling.

 

"In bed, sick." Georgie said, sounding almost sad.

 

"I bet I could cheer him up!" The clown said sounding sure of itself. "I'll give him a balloon," The clown told Georgie. The young boy was hesitant he glanced to the side. "Do you want a balloon, too, Georgie?" It asked smiling.

 

"I'm not supposed to take stuff from strangers." He told the clown.

 

"Oh, well I'm Pennywise the Dancing Clown!" The clown in the storm drain exclaimed with a smile. It's cheery presence rubbed off on you. How, Georgie wondered, could I have thought his eyes were yellow? They were a bright, dancing blue. "Pennywise. Yes? Meet Georgie. Georgie, meet Pennywise," Georgie smiled and giggled at the clown as if he were an old friend he hadn't seen in a while. "There, now we aren't strangers. Are we?" The clown said as if it were obvious.

    That's when a woman walked out of her house. She was pulling up her blinds so they wouldn't sway so much in the wind when she saw such an odd sight. A little boy she knew from down the street crouching by the storm drain.

 

"What are you doing in the sewer?" George asked, innocently.

 

"Well, the storm blew me away. Blew the whole circus away," Pennywise the Dancing Clown giggled. His smile went away. "Do you smell the circus, Georgie?" He asked. Georgie leaned forward and suddenly could smell peanuts and vinegar. He could smell cotton candy and frying doughboys and the faint smell of wild animals. He smelled the cheery aroma of midway sawdust. And yet...

 

    And yet under it all was the smell of flood and decomposing leaves and dark storm drain shadows. The smell that was wet and rotten. The cellar smell.

    "There's peanuts... cotton candy... hot dogs... and...?"

 

"Popcorn?" Georgie guessed.

 

"Popcorn!" The clown exclaimed happily. "Is that your favourite?" It asked.

"Uh huh!" Georgie smiled.

"Mine too!" The clown laughed its goofy laugh. "Because they pop... pop, pop, pop, pop!" Georgie began laughing at this and the way his voice sounded. "Pop, pop, pop!"

 

"Pop!" Georgie added, still giggling along with the clown. It abruptly stopped laughing and let out a low growl as its left eye went lazy. The happy presence of the clown seemed less fun, and more... sinister. They sat for an awkward moment in silence.

"Uh.. I should get goin' now." He told the clown. It stared at the boy blankly, almost as if It was panicking.

 

"Without your boat?" It asked lifting his hand which had the paper boat in it. "You don't wanna lose it, Georgie. Bill's gonna kill you," It told him, narrowing Its eyes. "Here, take it," It smiled. "Take it, Georgie." Hesitantly, Georgie began reaching forward.. and--

 

"Little boy!" He heard an unfamiliar voice shout to him. He quickly drew his arm back and looked up. "Little boy!" He saw an older woman on her porch calling to him. "Get away from there!" She began walking off her porch and towards him. He got to his feet and stared, not really sure what to do with himself. "Don't you know you could get sucked in? You're small enough." She told him.

 

"I'm sorry, ma'am," he said looking down at his toes and taking a glance toward the storm drain. The clown was gone as if it were never there. "It's just my boat got sucked in and--"

 

"Heavens, child! A paper boat is not worth your life," she said sternly, then sighed. "I suggest you go home. And be careful. You know about the disappearing kids, don't you?" She asked. He nodded his head even though he really knew very little about the situation.

 

"Yes, ma'am." He turned back up the road, and she watched him until he was out of view. She sighed again and was about to go inside when she glanced down at the drain.

 

"Hmph!" She exclaimed as though she'd heard a ridiculous tale. "Kids these days." She said to herself as she walked up to her porch and pet her cat.

 

Georgie returned home that day with his head hanging and he closed the front door behind him. He just stood there and cried until his mother, Shannon, stopped playing the piano and came to him. She crouched down to his level and looked at him sadly.

 

"What's wrong, George?" She asked her child who was still crying. Bill heard the sad little muffled cries coming from down the stairs and got up from his bed. His mother turned her head and looked at him. "Bill, sweetie, you should be in bed." She said, lovingly, like a mother should.

 

"I- I- I know, m- Mom. But what's wrong with G- Georgie?" He asked from the top of the stairs. Georgie looked up to where his brother was standing and began sobbing even louder. Bill came down the stairs and lightly grabbed Georgie's shoulder. "W- what's wrong?" He asked. The small child hugged his older brother tightly and continued crying.

 

"I lost your boat, Billy. I'm sorry," He cried. Bill just sighed. "I couldn't keep up with it." He said a bit after his crying died down.

 

" 'She', Georgie." Bill said. Georgie looked up at his brother and smiled.

 

"Fine, then. I couldn't keep up with 'she.' " He said. Their mother gave a short laugh and got up.

 

"At least you're okay," She smiled and patted her boys' heads. "George, please go upstairs and change into some dry clothes," He nodded and ran up the stairs. She turned to Bill. "And you, young man, need to get back into bed." She said crossing her arms. Bill smiled and was about to go upstairs when his mother pulled him into a hug. "I love you, Bill." She said to him and placed a quick kiss on the crown of his head.

 

“I love you, too, M- Mom." She released him and he went up the stairs to his room. He lay on his back on his bed and stared at the ceiling, tapping his fingers on his chest. He could have drifted off to sleep when a soft knock tapped on his door. He sat up and looked to the door.

 

“Come i- in." He said. Georgie had a light green towel placed atop his head when he opened the door. He looked sad.

 

"Bill, could I come in?" Georgie asked.

 

”W- well, I just s- s- said you could.” Bill replied, jokingly. The little boy entered the room and plopped himself down at the foot of Bill's bed.

 

“The boat fell down a storm drain."

 

"Oh." Bill said, sounding mildly disappointed. Georgie leaned in close to his brother as if he were about to tell him a secret.

 

"Can I tell you something that sounds silly but you promise you won't laugh?" Georgie whispered. Bill nodded, now leaning in as well. "Someone took the boat." He whispered again.

 

"W- what?" Bill asked, confused. "Who? Why are y- you acting like it's a big s- s- secret?" He asked the younger boy, with confusion. Georgie hung his head.

 

 "You can't laugh," he started. Bill sighed then nodded. Georgie pointed his pinky out, needing Bill to promise. After a hesitant moment, bill entwined his pinky finger with Georgie's. "There..." he paused. "There was a clown in the sewer and he took the boat," Georgie looked into Bill's eyes with his own, truthful big eyes. "He was about to give it back, but an old lady told me to get away from there because I could get sucked in!" He added, quickly. Bill furrowed his eyebrows and leaned back. He could tell when Georgie was lying, and he knew he wasn't.

 

"Georgie, d- d- did you fall while you were playing outs- s- side?" He asked his brother. "Or did you catch m- my sickness?" He asked, reaching to touch Georgie's forehead with his hand. The younger boy scoffed and leaned back. He crossed his arms and looked furious.

 

"I knew you wouldn't believe me." He said, clearly hurt. He jumped off of the bed and stomped out the room.

 

"G- G- Georgie, wait!" Bill called to his brother. But he could already hear Georgie slamming his door and his mother shouting for them to quiet down. He sighed and leaned back and softly hit his head on the pillow. He wasn't sure when he fell asleep, but he knew he did because he remembered dreams of clowns and paper boats.

Chapter Text

A week or so after the incident, it was finally Halloween for the Losers Club, and the rain had finally stopped. Bill, Richie, Eddie and Stan went as the Ghostbusters. And Bill got stuck taking Georgie out Trick or Treating, who went as Batman. The group wasn't... let's just say they weren't very happy about it.

"What the hell, Bill?" Richie said angrily as they waited in Bill's room for Georgie, who was getting into his costume.

"It's n- n- not my fault. My mom said th- th- that I had to." Bill told them defensively. Richie groaned while Eddie avoided eye contact as Stan just crossed his arms and shook his head.

“It just really sucks, Bill,” Eddie began, calmly. “Because of what happened last year.

"When we got stuck with the Bowers Gang." Stan reminded.
Georgie and Avery Hockstetter had been friends since kindergarten, meaning more beatings for Bill, because of time they would have to spend together. He could recount the numerous times he’d have to go over to the Hockstetter home to babysit Georgie and Avery with Patrick. He remembered the rest of the Gang would come over, leaving Bill to watch the kids while the older boys would watch porn in the basement or get high.

"I'm s- sorry, guys. I c- c- can't get out of this." Bill told them. That's when Georgie came through Bills bedroom door with his silly costume on and a cute grin on his face.

"I'm ready to go!" He announced. The four boys were silent before getting up from wherever they were sitting (or leaning) and heading towards the door.

"Alrighty, let's get this show on the road." Richie said to no one in particular. They grabbed their pillow cases and headed out the door.

"Be careful, love you!" Bill heard his mother call out just as he closed the door.

The five boys began walking down toward Witcham Street and talked about things like school and movies (or, in Richie's case, jokes).

"Georgie!" They all heard a young boy call out. They turned and Georgie's face lit up. He waved and began running toward his friend. And where four other boys were. Great. The Losers all groaned simultaneously and started walking to the other kids.
George and Avery hugged. Avery was a boy who shared a very similar face to his brothers, but with softer features and a button nose. But they had the same dark hair (though Avery’s was shorter), the same gray-green eyes and the same Cheshire grin. He was dressed up as Superman, and the two boys immediately started talking about each others costumes.

As the for the other four boys, Henry Bowers was dressed as Michael Myers, Patrick Hockstetter was dressed as Leatherface, Victor Criss as Axl Rose, and Belch as Slash.

"Look-y, here," Patrick began. "It's the Losers Club." He grinned. The others chuckled.

"Look-y here. The Bowers Gang." Stan retorted, bravely. Before anyone could say anything else, Avery grabbed Georgie’s hand, and the two little boys ran off to hunt their treasured candy.
The Losers crossed to the other side of the street in order to avoid the other group of four (and because they knew for a fact the other group wouldn’t do it to assert their dominance).

Stan nervously kept glancing at the other group, who kept stealing kids’ candy.

How could they be so cruel to almost everyone else, Stan thought, but give Avery every ounce of love in their cold hearts?

He wasn’t wrong. Avery was basically the entire groups younger brother, kind of how Georgie was like the Losers’ little brother. They would treat him kindly, despite the fact that most young children annoyed them. They would protect him no matter what.

“Stan?” He heard Richie wake him from his thoughts.

“Hmm?” He asked.

“Oh, good. I thought you were a mummy,” he chuckled. The other three boys looked at him with confusion. “Because he was walking, but he looked like he was dead?” He tried to explain. “Oh, whatever. It’s not funny if you have to explain the joke.” He said, slumping his shoulders. Eddie gave him a sympathetic pat on the back. So the night went on with Richie continuously making shitty jokes and children getting their candy stolen.

•••

The boys eventually made their way down near the local church which was giving out candy. They waited in a short line, waiting for their beloved candy.

“Billy Boy.” Patrick whispered. Bill whipped his head to his right to see the tall boy a couple feet away from him as he wiggled his finger in a way to lure him. He had taken off his mask and a huge grin was spread across his features.

“Y- y- you can go, Stan.” Bill said, turning to his friend behind him in line.

“Okay. I’m not saving your spot for you.” Stan said to Bill as he walked over to Patrick.

“What i- is it?” Bill asked.

“Follow me.” And with that, Patrick was walking away. Bill followed next to him. They walked down Neibolt Street, past houses until they finally stopped at the house at the end. A house which was surely about to fall to the ground. A house with a yard covered in litter and dead grass. The infamous Neibolt house. Patrick starred up at the windows for a moment before walking up to the door.

Oh, my god. He’s gonna kill me. I’m about to die. At the hands of Patrick. What a pathetic way to die! The small voice inside Bill’s head screamed at him.

“Denbrough,” Patrick said, suddenly. “Come on.” He waited for Bill, and the boy finally realized what he said, and began to walk towards him. Patrick opened the squeaky door and casually walked in as if it were his own house. Bill followed in after him, and as soon as he closed the door behind him, he was slammed against it.

Patrick’s lips were on his own. It took a moment for the boy to register what was happening, and as soon as he did, his eyes grew wide with confusion and a bit of fear. The taller boys body was pushed against his, so Bill was trapped against the door. He slowly kissed the shorter boy and gently ran his hands through his hair until Bill tried to push him, and Patrick backed off. He looked down at his work of art. Bill’s lips were shiny with a coat of saliva on them, and his face had flushed pink. The lighting was far from good, but there was still a tiny shred of light in the sky which gave off muted purple light in the room.

“W- w- w- why d-did you d-do th- that?” Bill asked in a weak voice.

“Because I felt like it,” Patrick shrugged. “Did you like it?” He asked quietly, almost nervous. Bill looked down at his toes and clenched his fists around his pillow case. He didn’t exactly know what to say. Patrick could tell if he was lying, and he was afraid the rest of the gang would come out and beat him up, maybe call him homophobic slurs. He thought about that more. No, they’d make fun of Patrick, too.

“Y- Yes.” Bill replied almost too quiet to hear. Patrick grinned his Cheshire-like smile, and leaned in to kiss him again. This time was a bit less gentle. Bill finally relaxed, closed his eyes, and kissed him back. Patrick slid his tongue past Bill’s lips, searching every inch it could reach.

Bill couldn’t help it anymore, and let out a soft whine. He regretted it immediately. Patrick stopped all his movement and leaned back. Bill’s eyes were wide with embarrassment and he could only stare at Patrick. The taller boy cupped Bill’s chin, and scanned his face. He smiled softly with his eyebrows furrowed. He began kissing Bill again, and only when Bill kissed back is when he pinned Bill’s hips against the door with his own and started grinding against Bill.

The shorter boy let out a startled whine, and tried to back his hips away but there was nowhere for them to go. If he wasn’t hard before, he was now. He pawed at Patrick’s chest and moaned quietly, involuntarily bucking his hips forwards. The older boy chuckled into the kiss. Bill began so desperately to get Patrick’s clothes off, but Patrick wouldn’t allow it. He’d keep messing with Bill’s hands, and eventually, he just had to try and hold them up against the door next to Bill’s head. Bill wanted more, he needed more.

“Patrick!” The two boys heard Henry call from outside. All action immediately ceased and Patrick released anything pinned.

“I know I saw them come over here.” They heard Victor say. Bill’s heart was pounding 1000x faster than before. He knew he would get brutally butchered if they were caught doing... this. It was shameful for two boys to touch each other like this.

“He was with Bill, wasn’t he?” Belch asked. No response. Bill assumed Victor nodded. Patrick gently pushed Bill away from the door, and stepped out. The tall boy was lucky for his covering costume, and the dark night, or else he would have to face probably one of the most embarrassing moments a boy could face.

“Hey, guys.” Bill heard Patrick say, nonchalantly.

“What were you doing in there?” Henry demanded.

“Oh, just exploring.” Bill could almost hear the smirk in Patrick’s voice. Yeah, exploring his sexuality, maybe.

“You should have told us. We would have gone with.” Belch told him.

“Hey, didn’t I see that fag go with you?” Victor asked. There was a brief silence.

“No, I think I saw him go towards the train yard. I would have followed him, but this place was just too tempting.” He replied with a bit of what almost sounded like sarcasm in his voice. Then there were receding footsteps, and they were gone. Bill let out a breath he didn’t know he’d been holding. He turned around, and was about to leave before he looked down and saw the tent in his pants. He leaned his forehead against the door and tried to think of things that would turn him off.

Granny panties, vomit, his grandma, diarrhea, flies,

Patrick.

He eventually decided his boner wouldn’t be going away, so he thought for a moment of his options:

He had none.

He looked around at his surroundings, and knew this was a bad idea. Some crazy hobo could be watching him, but he brought his hands up to the top of his costume, and pulled the zipper all the way down. He was only wearing a tank top and his boxers underneath the outfit. He sat down on the ground with his back leaned against the door again, and slowly brought his hands into his shorts. He wrapped his cold hand around his member and began stroking himself to the thought of Patrick.

The thought of how the taller boy kissed him, and how he would grind against him. The thought of how his beautiful dark green eyes stared down at him, filled with lust.

Little did he know, another set of eyes watched him which were filled with such lust and wonder. The eyes of a creature far worse any one of us could imagine.

His soft moans filled the space he was in. He trembled over the edge and came. He sat there for a moment collecting himself, and then pulled his outfit back on. He smoothed his hair back, and walked out into the streets, and back up to the church where his friends were waiting.

“You told me you saw that little shit sneak off to the train yard!” Bill heard Henry complain as he walked into the church parking lot. He looked around for Georgie to find him sitting on a chair one of the church members had probably provided with Avery sitting in another chair next to him, both boys leaning on each other almost asleep. He walked up to them, and Georgie sleepily looked up at him.

“D- do you th- think it’s time t- t- to go h-home?” He asked his brother. The little boy sleepily nodded, and slowly stood up.

“Bye, Avery. I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?” Georgie said. Avery nodded with droopy eyelids, and then closed them. Then Bill saw his friends walking over to him.

“Dude, where’d you go?” Richie asked.

“Seriously, we were really worried.” Stan said.

“Are you okay?” Eddie asked doing a once over to check for any injuries. Bill felt as if he were being ambushed. He glanced over to the Bowers’s Gang who were obviously eavesdropping, and were all staring at him, and back to his friends.

“I- I walked down to the t- train y- y- yard.” He lied. Stan sighed, then looked down at Georgie, who was falling asleep while standing.

“I think it’s time to get this one home.” He said quietly to Bill. Richie poked Georgie’s cheek, and the little boys eyes popped open. The rest of the group began to walk their separate ways, leaving Georgie and Bill to walk home by themselves.

“Where’d you go with Patrick, Billy?” Georgie asked tiredly. Bill said nothing for a moment.

“H- h- h- he n- needed m- me t- to help h- h- him with s- something.” He lied. Georgie looked up at his older brother. He knew he was lying.

“Your stutter gets worse when you lie.” The little boy muttered.

“W- what? N- n- no it d- doesn’t!” Bill said, angrily.

“Yes, it does.” Georgie told him with a surprising amount of calmness in the little boys voice.Bill just scoffed and continued walking alongside Georgie. They got home at 8:17PM. There mother was on the couch reading, and greeted them when they got inside. Their father had already gone to bed because he had grown tired from work. Bill and Georgie did a candy exchange, then Bill went up into him room, changed into his pajamas, and crashed onto his bed. He was exhausted. It had been a long night.

•••

Victor and Belch both knew they saw Patrick go inside Neibolt with Bill. They knew what he was probably going to do, because they also knew Patrick’s feelings towards boys and girls. But, Patrick did not know they knew. The only member who didn’t know about Patrick’s feelings was Henry...

or so they thought. The Gang had driven a couple out a hours out of Derry to see a rock concert back in August. Belch decided it was too dangerous to drive so late in the dark, so they pulled onto an off road next to a forest and slept in the car. Nobody really fell asleep that night because it was so uncomfortable, trapped inside of such a small car filled with four teenage boys. Around 4:00AM, Patrick had gotten up and left the car.

“Where are you going?” Belch whispered to Patrick before he closed the door. Patrick jumped at the sudden sound and accidentally kicked the door, and the sound got Vic to fully wake up, and Henry was just listening to the whole ordeal.

“God, you scared me,” he chuckled. “I’m just going for a stroll. It’s cramped as fuck in there.” He told them.

“Whatever. Just be careful.” Belch said, placing his hat over his face. Patrick stuffed his hands into his pockets and walked off into the cool Summer air. After about 20 minutes, Henry began to worry. Wait, no. Not worry. Henry Bowers does not worry about people. He sat up in the chair he had leaned back so he could lay down, and reached for the door handle. As he was stepping out of the car, he heard Vic whisper.

“Patrick, be quieter.” He said with his eyes closed.

“Not Patrick, dumbass.” Henry snipped.

“Fuck, sorry.” Vic whispered.

“Where are you going?” Belch asked from beneath his cap.

“The fucker’s been gone for 20 minutes. He probably got eaten by a fuckin’ bear, or somethin’.” Henry told them. They both just groaned, and tried to fall asleep. Henry wandered off into the night, looking for Patrick. “Patrick? Patrick, where the fuck are you?” Henry whisper-shouted into the trees. He was extremely lucky the moon was so bright that night.

He actually got eaten by a bear, didn’t he? Henry thought for a moment. Suddenly, he heard a slight groan somewhere. “Patrick?” He whispered. He followed the sounds of the groaning until he was Patrick sitting on the ground with his back propped up against a tree. He was about to say something to him when he noticed what was going on. Patrick’s black skinny jeans were pulled down to his knees, and his hands were stroking his cock. Henry backed up under a tree where the light couldn’t reach him, and knew that he was turning red. He would have turned round and left Patrick, until he heard what came out of Patrick’s mouth next.

“Oh, H- Henry...” the lanky boy whispered. Shit, did he see me? Henry thought. “Please...” Patrick let out, his tone laced with lust.
Is he... thinking about... me? Henry couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He was going to be sick... until his tightening pants told him otherwise. He looked down, and almost gasped, but he knew Patrick would hear him. Henry started to back away from Patrick, and pulled his muscle shirt down past his crotch. He made his way back to the car, and both of the other boys immediately groaned as he slammed the car door closed.

“Do you have to be so loud?” Belch complained.

“Fuck off.” Henry huffed as he laid down on the seat.

“Find Patrick?” Vic asked.

“No. I’m sure he’s fine, though.” Henry lied. Vic shrugged, and laid his head back down on the window. A little while later, Patrick returned to the car. It was probably around 5:00 in the morning. Belch sighed as Patrick entered the car.

“Should we just start driving?” Belch asked the rest of the group which he knew was awake.

“Yeah.” Vic replied.

“Definitely.” Patrick told him.

“I don’t give a damn.” Henry remarked. After a few moments of silence, Belch sighed again, and started up the car.

 

Victor and Belch found out a few weeks later in early September. The four boys decided to stay the night at Patrick’s for a group project in school. It was the first time they had had one in a few years because Patrick’s mother was extremely picky about keeping her house clean. She made an exception for school.

“Welcome to my humble home.” Patrick said as unlocked and opened his front door. Avery shoved passed the four of them and stomped up into his bedroom. He was upset that Patrick’s friends were allowed to stay overnight when he had never had one. Nobody was home except for the five boys; Patrick’s and Belch’s moms always met up on Fridays (to discuss things such as their kids, school shopping, and other things), and Patrick’s dad was at work.
When Patrick and Avery’s mother got home, she was shocked to find the boys actually working on their science project.

“Patrick, would you please come help me with dinner?” She had walked into his room and asked. The tall boy sighed, but got up and agreed to help; it was something he helped her with every night.

“I’ll be right back,” Henry told the Victor and Belch. “I’m gonna go take a shit.” He said and walked out.

“Alright then.” Belch said as he added some green paint to their interpretation of a plant cell.

“Hey.” Vic whispered to Belch as he poked his shoulder.

“Hmm?” He asked, tearing his attention away from the painting.

“We should look through his things.” The blonde boy said with a devilish grin on his lips. Belch chuckled at Vic’s immature idea.

“Okay.” Belch said to the blonde as he stood up. First, they looked in his closet. There was a dresser with four drawers. In the first three, all they found was clothing. Boring! In the last one, they found a whole collection of junk; spare lighters, hairspray, lighter fluid, a green ruler, some condoms, and a bit of lose change. Nothing important. Next, they looked under his bed. At first, all they found was some old socks and totes full of LEGO’s, but Belch heard Vic mutter something.

“What the fuck?” The skinny blonde boy had muttered.

“What is it?” The round boy asked him. Victor sat up, and there was a curled up magazine in his hands. At first, Belch was confused and thought it was just a magazine, but as he looked closer, he saw what it was. The cover had a half naked model on the front. A male model. Victor slowly opened it up, and the first page had another man in a heated situation with a woman. The rest of the magazine was mostly men. They knew exactly what this was. It was a pornographic magazine for women.

“So he’s... gay?” Belch asked no one in particular. There was a heavy silence that filled the room.

“I mean, I guess so...” Victor said after a while. “You’re... not gonna tell Henry, are you?” Vic asked.

“Oh god, no.” Belch replied quickly. There was a feeling of relief. For some reason, neither wanted Henry to find out, and they both knew the other felt that way. They both knew how Patrick would be treated after that. They cared about their ‘fearless leader’ Henry, but they also cared about Patrick. They weren’t gonna risk ruining a perfectly good friendship. Suddenly, there were footsteps coming down the hall. Victor violently threw the magazine back underneath the bed as Belch grabbed the paintbrush he had left on a paper towel. Henry walked in and just stared at them for a moment.

“Anything wrong?” Belch asked in an odd tone.

“You’re holding the brush backwards.” He replied, and walked over to sit on Patrick’s bed. Belch quickly flipped the brush around as Vic chuckled at him. Patrick called them down for dinner just as they finished the project.

•••

Patrick and the rest of the gang walked back a few blocks to get Belch’s car. Victor carried the sleeping child bridal style in his arms. Belch dropped off Patrick and Avery first because he didn't want to have the kid sleeping in his car too long. He would then drop off Victor and Henry, who lived in the country part of Derry. They lived on the same street, but at opposite ends. The one who lived in the middle was a boy named Mike. True, they bullied him, but never on his own property. They had once pestered him while he was working in the field behind his house.

It was a boiling July morning. The boy, Mike, was scything the field. He gracefully swung the scythe around in the tall grass whilst humming a pretty little tune to himself, trying to distract himself from his aching muscles. He heard some footsteps behind him, but didn’t think much of it, assuming it was his grandpa. Before he knew it, he was being violently hurled to the ground. Mike let out a pained yelp as he fell on his right shoulder; It was definitely dislocated. The scythe flew down next to his head. As he looked up, he saw Henry Bowers and Victor Criss at the end of the scythe.

“Hey, Mikey.” The blonde boy said in a taunting tone. Henry leaned on the scythe; his hands resting at the end, with his chin on top while Victor leaned on his elbow. They were a mighty kingdom with no balance, about to collapse.
Mike squirmed around on the ground, trying to back away from these insane little boys. He was in pain, but he was not weak.

“Vic, would you look at that! I think he’s trying to leave!” Henry said in a shrill sort of tone.

“You’re right, Henry. I think he is trying to leave.” Vic said, trying to accommodate to what Henry was going to do.

“Well, we can’t let that happen! Why would you want to leave the party already, Mikey?” Henry asked as he reached down for Mike’s white shirt. He lifted the boy up by his collar, and raised him high enough that his tiny toes were barely touching the ground. He yelled out in a mix of fear and pain as his arm loosely dangled at his side.
“Now,” Henry growled out, his eyes were filled with a crazed sort of gleam... and something else? Mike couldn’t tell this state of fear.
“We’re gonna show you how to properly beha-- oww!” Henry yelped out as he felt a sharp pain hit him in the back of the head. Mike’s grandfather had whacked him in the back of the head.

“Don’t you boys know anything?” The old man said angrily as he wiped his hand on his jeans, as if he was discarding a germ the boy could have shared through his hair.
“This is our property, and you just decide to come up to a poor, unsuspecting boy and whack him? What kind of.. person does that?!” The old man choked on anger as he watched Henry slowly lower Mike to the ground. He didn’t even know what to say; he was filled to the brim with rage, and the boiling sun did not help the boys’ case.
“And I’ve already called the cops.” He told them truthfully. Leroy knew Butch was Henry’s father, and he may have hated that man, but he believed he would whip Henry into shape. He wasn’t completely wrong about the whipping part. Henry’s eyes grew wide with a fear no other man could possibly comprehend, and he bolted.

“Henry!” Victor called to him. But he was already gone. Victor looked at the other two with a look of disgust, anger, and pity before he bolted in the same direction Henry had.

“Come on now, Mike. It’s okay.” Leroy said to the boy as he helped him inside.

Victor knew exactly where Henry ran. Back home to call Belch. By the time the blonde boy got inside, he already heard Henry rapidly speaking into the telephone.

“I- I need you to come pick us up,” he told Belch. “I know you’re busy, but... it’s my dad.” With that, Vic heard a brief I’m on my way, and then the line disconnect. Henry turned around, and Vic fully saw his face. He was crying. He felt so small and weak. Vic remembered that look from the first time they met in kindergarten. When his mother had left. Henry furiously wiped his eyes. He was not going to let Vic see him cry, despite the fact that he’s cried in front of him more times that he can count.
Belch and Patrick got there around 30 minutes later, just 4.9 minutes before the cops would arrive. Henry remembers going to a sunflower field with them all that day. He also remembers his fathers words.

“If you’re going to assault the nigger, don’t get caught!” He told him angrily. He then remembered a beer bottle being smashed over his head.

•••

Victor was still holding the sleeping child in his arms while Patrick unlocked his front door. Patrick’s mother was in the kitchen, and on the phone (assumingely with Belch’s mother), while his father was watching television. The woman had given her boys her beautiful wavy dark hair. Avery inherited her soft features, while Patrick received his fathers sharper features. Their father had also given them their green eyes, while their mother had blue ones; neither of them had gotten their fathers strawberry blonde hair.

“Oh, hold on, Cathy,” she said into the receiver, and placed her hand over it. “Is he asleep?” She whispered to the boys. They nodded, and she continued chatting on the phone.
The blonde boy placed Avery in his bed, and Patrick walked him out. It was starting to lightly rain.

“See ya, shit heads!” He yelled to them as they drove away. He saw Belch stick his hand out the window, and flip him off. He walked back inside and ran up to his room before his father could stop, and interrogate him with questions. He quickly changed into an old KISS shirt and sweatpants, and headed back downstairs to grab a snack. When his mother caught him digging around in the pantry, she gently whacked him on the head. He laughed, for he had already grabbed a Fruit Snack, and tried to run away, but his mother grabbed the back of his t shirt. He turned around, and found her holding up his mixtape and headphones. She put her hand over the receiver again, and whispered to him.

“I found these in the laundry room.” She handed them to her son.

“Thanks, mom.” He whispered back to her, and placed a kiss on her temple. He then bolted up to his room. The good thing about having clean-freak for a mom is that she always knows where everything is and where everything’s supposed to go.
He placed his headphones over his ears, and it turned out he was in the middle of a Mötley Crüe song. It then changed into I Want to Make Love to You by Foghat. He listened whilst laying on his bed, and relaxed. The song was oddly calming to him. He listened as his eyelids grew heavy, and he could no longer keep them open.

He woke up in a cold sweat, and bolted upright. His heart was pounding, and it felt like it was gonna burst. After a moment of doing a few breathing exercises his mother had taught him, and his heart raise came down, he took off his headphones which were blaring Blue Öyster Cult’s (Don’t Fear) The Reaper. He then glanced over at the clock.

4:19AM it read.

He laid back down, and tried to fall asleep again, but recalling the nightmare over and over again did nothing to ease his stress.

He remembered a tall... man? No, it was a clown. He remembered the big, stupid red puffs on his shirt and the red balloons.

Would you like a balloon, Patty? It had asked him. It’s strange voiced echoed throughout Patrick’s mind. It had to be standing at least 10 feet away; Patrick wasn’t sure how he was hearing him so clearly. A big dumb smile was on It’s face as it offered a balloon to him.

Don’t call me that. Patrick had told the clown. It was a nickname only six people could call him. Anyone else who used that nickname were making fun of him, and he knew it.

Ooohhh. Is that any way to treat a friend, Patty? It mocked him, the corner of It’s lips tugging downwards.

I said don’t call me that! He yelled at It. The clown released all of the balloons, and let them all float away. It’s arms went to It’s sides, and tightly stuck there. It’s demeanor suddenly changed, and the sunny blue sky quickly began turning dark. Patrick only now realized that they were standing in a field.

Pattttyyyyyyy. You shouldn’t have been so mean. It growled out at him. Suddenly It’s face began changing. It’s eyes were going opposite directions, and It’s face slowly began mutating and changing. It started to shrink. Patrick watched in horror as it took form of what appeared to be some sort of misshapen dog. Patrick was terrified of dogs ever since a pit bull had chased him in a park when he was little. The dog-like creature looked at Patrick with a terrifying thirst.

And it began bolting towards him. The grotesque legs snapping whenever one would touch the ground, and a deeply disturbing sound escaping it. It sounded like a mix of an old man wheezing and screeching. Patrick screamed, and that’s when he woke up.