We all float up here, too

Here I go again with the “I’m-so-lost” post.

But yes indeed, I’m lost.

I am at the point where I don’t feel any excitement. What excites me currently is reading and writing, plus some good variety shows.

While everyone out there is digging diamonds and changing the world.

Funny because about 2 months ago, I was in their shoes. Big vision, prepared mentality to face any kinds of failure, plans spread here and there. Every hour was like a countdown, every minutes matter the most to me. Allocating how many hours should be spent on certain activity, what should be avoided, and stuff. It was me 2 months ago.

Now I just spend my day thinking about how to get through the day. Maybe skip some hour reading, thinking about what story should I write tonight, should I buy Ultra Milk or Milo?

I wonder if this is really a quasi-quarter-life-crisis or just me having yet another change of heart. If it’s the former, well, I just have to deal with it, don’t I? But if it’s the latter, I wonder why.

I always curious on why many people could be so focused in getting what they want, focused on what they want to do. There’s no change of heart or being attracted on other things. Many have told me that I should be focused on few things that I want to develop, don’t be a greedy prick or jack of all trades. Well, easier said than done.

Now I’m floating. That’s the most apt description I could find.

In the middle of the space, no ground visible. Swam through the air only to know that I’m not moving and I’m wasting my energy for nothing. While others have built a gravity machine to make them gravitate towards the ground, or an aircraft.

The change of heart, the tendency of being a jack of all trade, the sudden loss of excitement are factors that made me hate myself. To the point I think that I am somewhat depressed.

I don’t know.

 

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Jack of all trades

What goes up, must come down.

That’s the natural law. Applies universally, like gravity.

Not only on excitement, but to every aspect of your life, be it about feeling, income, stock market, to health. You have your ups in feeling: the first time having a relationship with someone new, be it a lover or just a new friend who shares the same concern or hobby with you. Ups in income: new jobs, just got promoted, or bonuses. Stock market: “Hey! There’s a new McDonald’s burger and it tastes like heaven!”. And more. But downs are inevitable, too. Having a conflict with your partner, you just got demoted, the stocks are plummeting, and more scenarios like that.

Never once occurred in everyone’s life a stable, upward life.

I am as mortal as everyone else. There are a lot of ups and downs to my life, in this specific writing, my excitement.

In the previous post I ranted about how I wanted to become 12+ different occupations almost in every year.

Years ago, I saw that as a good sign, you know, being a jack in all trades (master of none). Was proud of being able to rap while fixing the computer and writing stories and playing a guitar.

But then work life gave me a nice, hard slap.

I should choose few of those hobbies and focus on it rather than being a swiss-army knife.

It’s quite hard for me because I easily attracted to exciting things. If I don’t stop that, I could’ve end up being nothing.

I really should stop.

 

Keeping my sanity on its place

It’s funny, you think anything
is possible when you’re a kid
When you feel how hard it is to get through a day
Keep feeling like the
“Control” beat, keep downloading it
Every single day is a repetition of ctrl+c, ctrl+v 

I have a long way to go but
why am I running in place?
I scream out of frustration
but the empty air echoes
I hope tomorrow will
be different from today
I’m just wishing

I wanted to become happy and strong
but why am I getting weaker?
Where am I going? I’m going here and
there but I always come back here
Yeah, I’ll probably flow somewhere,
is there an end to this maze?”

BTS – Tomorrow

I have a dream.

I want to left a dent in the universe, have my name written in gold marker.

It is what I always say to myself. As if reenacting the scenes of a movie where the protagonist would achieve what he/she wanted at the end of the movie. Scenes of the successful, wealthy, happy life would be shown as the ending.

If only our life as easy as 1 2 3. As a movie.

We have our own perceived ideal self. A person we would like to become. Some of you might want to be a businessman, an actor, an athlete, working on your passion, or anything that you want. Some of you, I believe, might already in the middle of making your dreams come true.

I, too, have a perceived ideal self. However, along the time goes, it changes. At 11, I wanted to be a detective, people laughed at that, labeling me as “too much comic”. At 15-16, when finance was a big deal for our family, I told my mom that I wanted to be a professional soccer player, not because I love the soccer, but the paycheck. I remember strongly that it was to lighten my mom’s burden. At 18, I wanted to be an engineer, creating cars and company that in the future would be useful for humanity, but then I failed the university test. At 19, a year after failure in that test, I wanted to be a diplomat. But that lasted only for 2 years, and then I wanted to be an academician… only last a semester. After I graduated, I wanted to be a cybersecurity specialist, but the dream was vanished after I entered a private business, wanted to be an HR professional instead, and in the middle of it, I wanted to be a businessman, an entrepreneur. But now, I also want to be a writer.

Yes indeed, this is the age where most of people could not figure it out. However, some people of my age have achieved what they dreamed. Disrupt businesses, broke through an international barrier and proved everyone was wrong about them all the time, met their idol and work with them, even invited by the president for a special meeting.

While I am still here typing some nonsense that people wouldn’t really care of. Unleashing my distress over myself.

I was in the edge of depression. Yes, that could be exaggerating. People who know me might look at me as a cheerful, crazy person. But this writing is a proof that I had a depression fragments inside of me.

The previous post I wrote was a form of it. I had a lot on my shoulder. Juggling between life, between environments, between atmospheres. Bridging communications.

Before writing this post, I took a lot of time to consider writing about this. Mainly because this was private. But then, looking inwardly at myself, I had to admit that I am complex.

I hold a high standard for myself. I am the first child. I have a high ideal self.

My thoughts… They are tangled. Tangled.

I get frustrated over myself. I cannot accept myself. I compare myself to others, especially those on my age.

I get frustrated for not writing systemically, blaming my past self for not building a good habit of writing systematically, for not joining the right club or activity that would have helped me in this.

I get frustrated for my imperfect English. I am limited in creating tenses, sentences, a good story plot that’s not cliche. Frustrated for speaking badly. Frustrated over my past self for not studying grammar well enough.

I get frustrated over my overly polite self. For being awkward at meeting new people with new culture, for being hard at keeping contact with people, for being unable to build an intriguing conversation with people.

I get frustrated over myself. Not that I don’t be grateful for what I have. I know comparison is a thief to joy. But my whole self, in my perception, is a mess. It’s like a demolished building with debris scattered to unknown places, and rebuild it with incomplete pieces.

For not being a consistent performer. For being easily distracted. For being… Incomplete.

I get frustrated over myself whose bad at making decision, slow at responding, not focusing to one activity that I like and hopping from one to other hobbies.

In my head, I am totally frustrated, unable to accept myself.

Perfectionist might be a proper term for that. Who knows. I feel like exploding.

At 23 years old, I feel lost.

Lost. Totally lost.

I know what I want, but it seems far away and my current self couldn’t reach it. Even reaching the shadows.

Am I a late bloomer? I always ask myself. If yes, then at what age would I be back on track? Or will I never?

I have swallowed every possible motivation quotes, every possible Quora answers for me. But I seem to be in a different dimension.

I am dying to feel like I am on my track, actually advancing to my ideal self.

But it feels like I am a scattered pieces of puzzle, trying to gather and arrange myself as one. But it seems impossible.

I don’t seem to be able to be happy when I am alone. All negativity would come to my head and fill myself with it.

I don’t know.

I just don’t know.

This writing is a rant, maybe a healing, maybe a piece of art to some, but a trash to mine. I intended to make it as poetic as possible, but that’s not my forte.

 

If all ears could welcome

I have been thinking lately, about writing honestly.

I am convinced and has been telling people that writing has a therapeutic effect, it heals.

Especially in a world where only few percentages of people would listen.


 

Call me judgmental, sensitive, or any names that crossed your thoughts. But some amount of people have a dim hearing.

Not in a literal sense. The deaf could hear even if the sound does not received by their hearing, but by facial expression, anomaly in habit, even slightly.

In my experience of reading some books regarding loneliness, self-help, and fiction in general, empathy and listening are the main weapon to eradicate depression and sorrow. That’s why people tell stories to each other, creating bonds they named as ‘friendship’. We all know tragedies and bad events are bound to happen at some point in our life, we don’t know for sure the exact time and date, but bad things… They will come, soon or later.

We divide people into several categories; introvert, extrovert, ambivert, or other -verts you could ask for. Extroverts are known to be open, introverts are known to be tight-lipped, while ambiverts depends on condition. But despite the categorization, bad things and problems does not know those divisions.

Some people like to tell stories, some people like to save the secret rock bottom, some likes to hold it up like a giant. Some of us know how to handle it alone, some of us don’t, and need a help. A help that does not always in a form of action, but in a form of listening. In a form of ‘tell me what’s wrong, I’ll listen to it’.

It is ironic and sad at the same time knowing there are people out there who could feel sad but relieved with only three words:

Are you okay?

You need me?

I do know a lot of people who come with all of their troubles at hand, dropped it, and just go home without a ‘thanks’. I surely do.

They just send you messages, asking for help, or an advice, or anything–they want you to listen. Sometimes, you would think that that is reciprocal, you’d get your turn to be listened to.

But you don’t. In fact, they just vanished at times like those. At times you need a help, not a physical help, but a mental help.

I think it is not a rocket science, to change view and see from your friends, counterparts, partner, or anyone’s view.

It is not only important in interpersonal relationship, if you ask me if that’s important in real life, here’s the proof:

Learning to see things from another’s perspective

Why Understanding Other Perspectives Is A Key Leadership Skill

Understanding the Other Person’s Perspective Will Radically Increase Your Success

See? That’s not hard, I guess.

I had listened to various stories, whines, complaints, anything that similar to telling stories. But only for one side. The other side’s gone for good.

I’m not an avenger, nor do I hold grudge.

But what if they do the same to the others? I might be able to hold it just good, but people comes from different background aren’t they? I suppose some of them have different levels of mental health.

What I am asking is simple. Listen to others. Ask them if they are fine or not. Acknowledge their perspective. Look from their side.

You don’t have to literally look from their side (of course you don’t, that’ll be a comedy material right there).

But pause and think.

If they got mad when you don’t listen to them, ask yourself ‘why? Is there anything wrong with this person? Is he/she in dire need to be listened?’

You might say: “You don’t have to be mad, just tell me what’s wrong and I’ll listen”

Heck yeah you will. No you’re not.

Like you, people have their own rules, their mind set it up.

Your rules might be loose, but many people don’t. Many factors behind it.

You just have to listen, that’s not hard, I presume?

Just sit back. Well– maybe you must ask a few questions.

I had a fair share of that experience. Like, you know, people fired me texts and chats… Asking for advice, help, seeking someone to listen to. I okayed them, and afterwards they’re just busy with themselves.

Once I have a friend for years who likes to type like a tons of chats. Asked for my advice on love life and stuff. I have, wholeheartedly, answered with a careful thought and precision. But then poof. Gone.

On my big days, that friend didn’t come or even say anything.

That one was a pain, for real. Was a friend I really cherished back then, but hey, life happened.

Seriously, I think my standards for close friends should be revised monthly, if not daily.

Review: IT by Stephen King

Review: IT by Stephen King

“Beep-beep, Richie!”

We all float down here”

it-recent-cover

 

I will miss reading this.

2 months it takes for me to finish the whole 1,138 pages, cover-to-cover. IT was a quite memorable novel for two reasons:

  1. I really, really wanted to read the novel and watch the 1990 movie since roughly 2 years ago, and
  2. Very first novel I read after I bought a Kindle

Never thought that I’d finish reading this, though. Before jumping into reading IT, I read the reviews on Goodreads and Reddit. What people said about the novel at some point influenced me, should I read It first before other novels or should I not read It at all and just watch the movie? was the initial question before I read the novel.

People rambled about chronological order in reading Stephen King’s book, some of them recommended Pet Sematary, Misery, The Stand, Tommyknockers, and Carrie before reading It, others ranted about how bad the ending was (I thought the same, too, but not that bad), and others considered It as Stephen King’s magnum opus.

But pushed by the fact that I am curious of how scary Pennywise is, I decided to read It and jump to the other novels afterward. Indeed, I didn’t read other novel than It. I read Haruki Murakami’s Dance Dance Dance, too, but that was an exception, because at the time I only reached the first 100 pages of It, which I know everyone will say boring and tough, and Dance Dance Dance was only 300 pages long (Finished it in 3 days).

Now that it ended, I felt like a winner and a heartbreak at the same time. For the former, this was my first ever 1,000+ book that I finished, it took a chunk of my time, but it was worth it and never came to my thought before that I’ll read that much page. As for the latter, I should give you a warning on heartbreak because King is known for his great character development, which means you’ll get close to the characters in the novel (Even I felt bad for Henry Bowers and Hockstetter). So when it ends, it’ll leave a hollow space and some absurd aftertaste.

ABOUT THE BOOK

It tells the story of a creature addressed as It or Pennywise as It introduce Itself, who comes back to a town called Derry every 27 years. It feeds upon children and only visible to children. Almost every time It is about to come, the killings of the children in Derry increased significantly, leaving the adults confused about what was happening. Pennywise Itself could change shapes into the fear of every children, be it Mummy, Leper, Werewolf, or others.

Pennywise was about to face Its first ever threat, seven kids who called themselves ‘The Losers’ Club’, comprised of William “Big Bill” Denbrough, Ben “Haystack” Hanscom, Richard “Richie” Tozier, Eddie Kaspbrak, Beverly Marsh, Stanley Uris, and Michael Hanlon. The event started after Bill’s brother, George Denbrough under the rain in Derry, 1957. George was playing with his boat when suddenly the boat, brought by strong current on the gutter, fell down to the sewer. George met Pennywise and had his hand ripped by Pennywise.

Bill and his friends, intended to avenge George, traced the existence of Pennywise and find ways to kill It. However, as the journey goes on, they have to face other non-Pennywise threat.

WHAT IS GOOD FROM THE BOOK

Firstly, strong character development. The first 200-300 pages are, as I mentioned above, tedious, boring, and quite dull. The backstories of every character was told, how George was killed, Eddie’s overly protective mother, about the first appearance of Pennywise, the back-and-forth years from 1957 to 1985, also adult Mike Hanlon’s diary. But this sets a strong foundation when the story advanced gradually to the climax. I found myself cared for these characters and rooting the kids to go against Pennywise and Henry Bowers’ gang. It was also the main cause of my heartbreak when it ended, because… You’ll find yourself. The bottomline is, you will care for these kids as if they were your gang, although Richie was noisy as hell and sometimes annoying the frock out of me, but when he faced danger with Bill, I couldn’t help but hope he could be safe.

Secondly, fresh scare. For us grownups, how scary and violent clowns could be? Best they could do is creep the heck out of children. To us grownups, clown doesn’t scare us, bills, house prices, deadlines do scare us. That’s the gist of the story. As a kid, we imagine things and get scared over things that often considered as “silly” by the grownups.

I had the fair share of being scared as a kid, too. There was a rumor on our school that below the mosque, a door leads to another dimension and ghosts like Pocong and Kuntilanak resided there, so we formed a group (A toddler version of Ghostbuster and cheap version of The Losers’ Club) to exterminate these ghosts by reciting Holy Quran verses. Another time, we were having an in-house camping on the school (I just realized as a grownup that our school might be short on budget so school’s the option). The school has, amazingly, what we called Terasering (A ladder-like rice field) but not really a rice field, just the shape resembled it. We built a tent on each ladder and I was placed on the edge second (out of 8 or 9) ladder. The night was coming, and I alone could not sleep, strangely. When suddenly there was a BRAK! sound right above my tent. It was a sound of a dirt or sand being thrown at my tent. I recalled it was on 1am in the morning, everybody’s asleep. THAT remains a mystery.

Alright, moving on.

The scare on this book didn’t rely on the Pennywise Itself or other form of It. But how unexpected it was. Imagine you were talking with your girl/boyfriend on the car about having your 4th anniversary, the song played on the background was “Endless Love” or other suitable songs, and when you are about to hold hands, there was a head fell to your car. Or imagine you were having an ice cream and having a great mood, then a blood dripped from the ice cream. That was how It was.

Got legitimately scared when there was a scene where Beverly visited her house as a grownup, didn’t met her father but an old lady instead. A sweet, sweet old lady. What do you think about old ladies? They were generous on the cookie and cooking, made you Darjeeling-like tea with that bright eye smile. Beverly experienced this and for minutes, the talk went well when suddenly in the middle of conversation, the old lady mentioned Pennywise without Beverly realized. Gave me creeps.

Thirdly, disturbing stories. If you love horror, you must love disturbing things. Things that aren’t normal. This can be found on the book. A lot of it. Not that I enjoy it, but as a fan of horror you’d find an admiration and curiosity of how limitless a possibility humankind could do (And how weird humans are). These disturbing stories underpin and strengthen the brand of It. Things like children-killing, children-beating, children-intimate-relationship (this one scores a major controversy, I felt bad typing it so I put it in an euphemistic language), and many more disturbing things.

WHAT IS NOT GOOD FROM THE BOOK

First and the foremost, disturbing stories. If you didn’t really like horror but curious about the book, I suggest you better read other King’s book. As mentioned above, this has gory, disgusting elements that involves kids.

Secondly, verbosity. The book could be trimmed to only 500 to 600 pages if not because of King’s incessant words explaining things that are beyond needed. To some extent, I felt it was needed to explain deeper about the character. But at some point, I felt that this was too much. I don’t really need to know about other characters other than the canonical ones. You’d find a lot in DERRY THE INTERLUDE chapters that explain the history of Derry and appearance of Pennywise in some occasion. Okay, I need to know about how Kitchener Ironworks and Blackspot exploded and engulfed in flames, but I think I don’t have to know about Bradley Gang, Claude Heroux, and others that didn’t really strengthen the story in my opinion. Didn’t make much difference if they aren’t there.

Third, Pennywise’s true form

*CONTAINS SPOILER READ AT YOUR OWN RISK*

Pennywise is best known for Its clownish look with tufts of orange hair, wearing a clown suit with orange pom-poms dangling on it. I thought that the Pennywise we know is the true form Pennywise, and frankly, Its clown form is what I enjoy being scared of. The Spider was… not scary at all. I lost it when Bill, Bev, Ben, Richie, and Eddie saw the true form which was not a clown, instead of a larger-than-life sized Spider. Somehow it was a turn off for me. Hope the 2nd chapter of Muschetti’s IT doesn’t involve Spider or any arachnids.

FAVORITE MOMENTS

  1. When The Losers’ Club (Except Stan) were having a reunion at Jade of the Orient, they were about to open their own fortune cookie and turned out an eyeball, a cricket, and other disgusting creatures came out of the cookie and they were forced to not say anything and ‘dummy up’
  2. The Rockfight. What portrayed on the 2017 adaptation was only the surface, the book described a way more brutal rockfight between The Losers’ Club and Henry Bowers gang
  3. Adult Ben Hanscom’s library tour. This was another unexpected moments where Pennywise showed up breaking the peaceful situation. Ben was talking to the librarian then suddenly a voice called him up, it was Pennywise

 

CONCLUDING SENTENCE

All in all, It was an enjoyable book despite of its verbosity. It was tough to chew but every chapter, every part of the story will take your imagination wander to a place you’d never thought before. Though depressing, but I really, really enjoy it. Highly recommended for horror fans, but for those who just about to be a fan of Stephen King, you might want to try others like Misery and The Shining, if you don’t want to jump to It right away.

THANK YOU.

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Writing Prompt Challenge #2

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PHEW. This was quite tough to write. Mainly because I didn’t get a proper sleep and it affects my mind. Couldn’t think clear and my wordplay somehow become dull. But I gotta deal with it though, the idea’s on my mind already.

Enjoy the story! I will gladly hear your feedbacks!


 

CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR FIRST CHILD banners are standing still in front of Denny’s newly-bought house. The house that was bought with a 60 times installment, with God-only-knows interest. Her wife, Dina, is 2 years younger than Denny. There was a joke that Denny married Dina because of their not-so-different name (Denny’s family loves superstition, so…), but Denny made Dina sure that love is the main reason.

Another reason why Denny married Dina was because both of them are horror maniac. Denny’s ex-girlfriends (about 2 or 3 of them) broke up with Denny because of his strange hobby of reading and collecting horror-related toys and books and other stuff. “Horror are strangely satisfying for me. There’s something fun and satisfying about scaring and being scared, you know? You’re walking on a street then suddenly a man with smiley mask bouncing around or walk with hands or legs moving in random direction… is it scary? Of course! The nature of uncertainty and unknown are scaring, but exciting in its own way.” Denny once said to one of his friend. His love of horror extends to his behavior, people could not understand him either. His first girlfriend was having a birthday, Denny planned a surprise at 12 o’ clock, sharp. A cake was prepared and around 10 or 20 thin and colorful candles are attached to the delicate top of the cake, but only God and himself knew why he wore Scream mask that day. When the girl was sleeping, Denny entered her room (with parents’ permission of course) and poked her in the arm using a toy knife. As expected, within the next minutes, Denny got hit by a thrown silver make up box. Broke up ensued immediately.

That didn’t make Denny stop and revise his life choice, though. Next girlfriend had the same fate with the previous. Only, this time it was her graduation. Denny showed up wearing red wig, denim jumpsuit, and striped long sleeve T-Shirt like worn by Chucky. Broke up ensued, again. The third one, was for the sake of prank video. Denny paid a visit to her house one day, and when she was cooking, Denny changed his clothes and wear Jigsaw mask. Walked slowly and poked her from behind, saying “wanna play a g-g-game..?” got slapped. Broke up ensued, again.

Dina stood out from the rest of the girlfriends. She met Denny right after they graduated from University of Riverbrick. Dina told Denny that she heard a lot about him, “Your seniors talked about you a lot, some despise, some entertained by, some loved your strange hobby. I eavesdropped those conversations, and I thought I should meet you.” Denny then asked why would she want to meet a freak like him, she said “Not many know that I collected posters of Jason Voorhees, Pennywise a.k.a Bob Gray, Valak even. Unlike other groups of gals, my friends never visited my house after one of them knew that I collect horrors. If you, by any chance, visit my house, you’ll meet dozens of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, and many classics such as Poe and Lovecraft.” Denny’s jaw dropped, it might be a simple jaw drop, but inside his mind and heart, he felt a sudden ‘click’ sound when Dina told him her collection, SHE IS THE ONE signs crossed his mind like a motorcycle in Jakarta’s rush hour.

They decided to name their first son ‘Dennywise’. Named after the famous Stephen King character, Pennywise, but playing with Denny and Dina’s name. ‘Dennywise’ contained D & N (Both Denny and Dina have those characters), and ‘Wise’ is their wish for their newly-born son. Strange name, the neighbors said, but the name gave them an odd satisfaction.

The neighbors and the couple’s relatives and family concern about Dennywise’s house environment. Denny’s mom worried about plethora of horror stuff, from bloody masks to life-size Pennywise figurine. “That’s not a kind of environment you’d wish your son to grow up, Denny” His mom said in a one-on-one talk with Denny “Why don’t you put those disgusting stuff in one room and let your son grow up in a totally NORMAL environment. I can’t imagine if Dennywise–even I wanted to hate that name–grow up and do pranks or strange things like you. I just can’t, Denny” Denny’s mom added.

But Dina and Denny persisted on placing those horror stuff on their default place. If you enter their house, the first thing that will greet you is a 3D picture of Sadako hanged on the living room, the iconic getting-out-from-TV picture, scare-guarantee for guests. That was on your right. On your left, hanged masks of Jason Voorhees, Leatherface, 1990 Pennywise, Jigsaw, and recently hanged, 2017 Pennywise mask. It looked exactly like this:

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The living room was separated into two parts, divided by 4 lined rectangle display glasses filled with Denny and Dina’s horror collection. On the first cabinet, there’s dozen books from the moderns like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, Joe Hill, and R.L Stine, classics like Edgar Allan Poe, H.P Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson and more. The second to third cabinet is filled with small figurines like Jenglot, Pennywise, and Alien. The fourth cabinet is filled with horror DVDs. These collections are like the second child for Denny and Dina, every Saturday they would spare 1-2 hours (While Dennywise was sleeping) and clean the dusts or any microscopic dirt out of their collection. (Of course, they spent chunks of rupiah on those).

Right behind the display glasses, the other living room has the life-size Pennywise figurine. Sitting on a chair on the corner beside the TV, facing the main living room. Sometimes, either Denny or Dina would tangle red balloons in either hands of the figurine. For what purpose? They don’t know either.

These horror stuffs become Dennywise’s friend in growing up. In his first two years, Denny was seen frequently sleeping on the life-size Pennywise figurine’s lap. Dennywise also allowed to watch gore and horror movies along with his parents. For a 3 years old child, Dennywise has a horror portfolio already. He watched A Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 1990 & 2017 IT (Denny and Dina had a heated debate with the ticket seller to let Dennywise watch), The Shining, Paranormal Activity, and The Ring.

It all fun and games until one night.

On Denny’s birthday, his little family celebrated with cheesecakes and movie night. That night, they re-watch The Ring. Unlike a normal family that would close their eyes along the movie, Denny’s family enjoyed the whole thing without even a gesture to close their eyes or ears. Dennywise even said in a laugh “Sadako! Sadako! TV! TV! TV!”.

When the TV scene came, slowly Sadako crawls.

Closer.

Closer.

Dennywise laughed “Sadako! Sadako!”

Closer.

One hand got out of their TV. Other hand got out, again, from their TV.

“Did we put on the 3D version?” Denny thought.

Now the head got out, revealing strands of hair falling out like a fallen spaghetti.

“Din, tell me this is the 3D version we played.” Denny said to Dina.

“It’s not, mas.” Dina replied.

While the conversation continues, half of Sadako’s body had been out from the TV. Her body looked more real than a 4K resolution, the pale skin looked genuine to the point Denny and Dina could see the lines of Sadako’s hand, her nail also reflected the light of the chandelier above them.

Denny screamed and turned the TV off in a flash.

Sadako didn’t disappear. It stuck in the middle of the TV. Clawing the carpet, struggling to go out from the TV. The carpet’s now filled with scratch marks, some strands of hair fallen, forming a lot of S, tangled each other. Sadako shrieked, her shriek was deafening.

Denny and Dina sprinted to their bedroom, leaving Sadako alone on the TV.

Contrary to his parents who are sweating bullets, Dennywise laughed and repetitively mentioned Sadako mixed with his puny laugh. “WHAT WAS THAT!?” Denny screamed. Dina, as clueless as Denny, leaned to the wall, clutching her only son. While her brain process the seemingly impossible scene she just witnessed, she multi-tasked by slowing her rapid breath. One or two words were about to jump from Dina’s mouth, but she closed it.

Their bedroom was like the other room, it’s filled with horror stuff. IT 2017 movie poster hanged on the wall. The poster shown Georgie in his yellow slicker and Pennywise standing strong, clutching red balloons blocking it. The poster was seen directly by Dennywise.

Denny peeked from the keyhole of their bedroom to the living room. No trace of Sadako at all. “Was it still there, mas?” Dina asked. “Don’t think so… Let me take a look” Denny got up from where he was. Slowly opening the door, creaking sound breaks the silence. Shit… The creaking was creepy. A thought crossed his mind. On his hands, he hold a broom with hardwood grip, he holds it like a sword.

Sadako’s not there. But the scratch marks and strands of hair were both empirical and tangible. He doesn’t believe it either, but when he touched the marks and hair… “It’s real…” he said to himself, picked the hair and brought it back to the bedroom.

“Din, touch this.” Denny handed the hair on his hand. Dina’s eyes widened, her expression turned grim. “I don’t really know what’s happening. No idea. This hair’s as real as MY hair.” Denny rubbed his forehead and wiped the sweats residing on it. In the next minutes, both Denny and Dina were silenced. But their thoughts are screaming aloud. Fuck this! crossed each of their minds, reflected on their dreary faces.

Again, contrary to his parents, Dennywise laughed innocently. What was different from that laugh was, Dennywise didn’t mention Sadako along with his laugh, but this time, Pennywise.

“Pennywise! Pennywise!” Dennywise yelled playfully.

His mom told her to calm down. Of course, in the middle of a nonsensical scene they just witnessed, it’s the best option to shut up and figure out what is happening. If Dennywise is 10 years old, a simple “Shh… We’re thinking” would work like a charm. But knowing that Dennywise still far from that age, Dina must press her anger and hush him in a gentle fashion.

Knowing that the threat had subsided, Dina and Denny walked to the living room where Pennywise figurine sits, they were aiming for refrigerator. “My throat’s burning, Din. Let’s fetch a cold–” Before Denny finished, there’s a figure standing before them.

Holding red balloons with WHY DON’T YOU DIE TONIGHT 🙂 printed in black in each of the balloons.

It’s Pennywise.

Worse, it’s the Pennywise figurine on the living room.

“Hello there, Denny and Dina… Oh and the little Dennywise, ho ho ho!” Pennywise burst with laughter

Denny spent minutes processing the figure standing before him. Pennywise’s eyes aren’t there, it’s as black as an obsidian, face painted white with wide forehead, its lips bloody read. A real blood.

“Din, to the bedroom!” Denny sprinted and ran back to the bedroom.

“Aw… Don’t run away, pwease pway wif Pwennywiiiiiseee…” Pennywise laughed out loud.

And chased them.

Luckily, the family got back to their bedroom and locked the door, with Pennywise still on the living room, laughing.

“Something isn’t right, mas.” Dina told her husband. “This happened every time Dennywise mentioned some random character” Dina continued. Her husband nodded “I noticed that, too. Maybe our baby was cursed or anything I’m not sure, but for now, let’s stop watching horrors, Din”. Dina agreed immediately.

While they were talking, there’s a knock on their door.

“You suuuure don’t want to play with Pweeeennywiseee?

“Don’t answer it, Din. Don’t talk” Denny muttered.

“Aw… How mean, fine then. Let me invite you to my game” Pennywise said

Dennywise didn’t say anything, his eyes starts to dim. “Penny….wise” he mumbled.

“Din, I don’t know this will work or not. But go to the bathroom, sing some lullaby, let’s see if something’s changing if Dennywise’s sleeping. In the meantime, I’ll hold the door from Pennywise.” Dina doubted the decision, worried of her husband’s life. “Just go!” Denny commanded.

Dina sprinted to the bathroom, locked the door, and hugged her children while singing some nursery rhymes. The singing was off-key, but she tried her best to sing from the bottom of her heart, the heart that’s mixed between worrying her husband and wanting to protect their only son. Dennywise started to close his eyes. But the Pennywise mumbling still won’t stop.

The knocking sound came again, louder. But it’s not the bathroom, it’s their bedroom. Without realizing, Dina let out her tears, soaking her cheeks. She wiped right away, afraid the tears will disturb Dennywise’s sleeping process.

Denny stand behind the door with his back against it. He prayed in his brain and holding the door as hard as he could. Preventing Pennywise to go in.

The knocking sound stopped. This time, there was a sound similar to chainsaw.

Denny figured out the sound in a flash. It was the sound of Pennywise’s jaw and tooth, like that in the movie. Denny then moved away from the door, predicting Pennywise will hit its tooth to the door.

He’s right.

The door went bang! with teeth penetrating the door. A circle bite mark appeared on their door.

Denny’s shaken. “Din! How long ’till Dennywise asleep? Can you be quick!?” Denny screamed.

Dina got out of the bathroom, smiling. Dennywise fell asleep. Pennywise disappeared right away (They can see from the hole Pennywise made).

“Din, we really have to throw off all of our stuff. For our safety. Really. Really.” He cried and hugged his wife, she agreed, he knows. There was no argument whatsoever, the decision was unanimous.


3 years later, the family would only watch children-friendly shows. Shows like Tom and Jerry, Spongebob Squarepants, and Larva. The Pennywise figurine was not there anymore, Denny didn’t throw it off, but Pennywise disappeared by itself that night. Scary masks aren’t there anymore, DVDs were being sent to horror community by the couple, all of those display glasses were filled with family photos, Happy Meals, and Dennywise’s toys.

At Saturday nights, the family would go visit Dennywise’s house and let him play with his friends. This had been a tradition ever since the scary night happened, the main purpose was to avoid Dennywise think or mention any characters again. The couple realized that Dennywise wasn’t cursed; but he has a gift to realize his imagination if it is strong enough.

The family lived happily like other normal and happy families,

 

 

Until that night.

 

That night, Denny and his wife were teaching Dennywise about basic conversation.

“Dennywise, if you are asked by someone ‘what is your name?’ how would you respond?”

My… name is D-D-Dennywise, sir” He stuttered

“Good job! How would you spell your name?

Instead of D E N N Y W I S E, he slipped his tongue

“P-E-N-N-Y-W-I-S-E, my name’s Pennywise, sir!

 

Denny and Dina froze. Their heart skipped a beat. Can’t breathe.

“Hello Denny, Dina, and my little Dennywise! Ha Ha Ha!”  a sound could be heard behind

“It’s a clown! It’s a clown!” Dennywise pointed his finger to a figure behind his parents.

“Well, shall we pwaaay a game wiff Pwennywiseeee?” Pennywise broke with laughter

 

A sound of chainsaw could be heard.

Writing Prompt Challenge #1

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Hi! This is my first time doing a writing prompt challenge. While there are a lot of options ranging from fantasy to young adult to romance, I took the horror option because it was the most challenging of all.

Basically, writing prompt is some sort of stimulation or ideas to write upon. You were given a short condition and it’s up to you to develop the stories and characters on it.

For this writing prompt, I don’t have specific characters or plot to refer to. It’s just what came to my mind and I write with it. This was based on many Indonesian ghost-hunting shows, as it fits with the writing prompt and I could make something with it. Plus, I am currently reading IT which story is also similar to this.

So this is my first seriously written (and rewritten) horror, enjoy!

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“Here with us, Roni.” the MC offers a handshake “Roni, thank you for coming to our show” MC continued.

“You’re welcome, I’m thrilled to be here” Roni replied. His face shows a nervous expression; was it because of the haunted house or the fact that Roni appeared on local TV show? Roni didn’t understand either.

“Roni, the house is rumored to be haunted by locals, several witness told the crew that some visitors told they saw a lot of… things. Pocong, kuntilanak, some even big spiders, clowns, and a 25-year old man said he saw a dementor from Harry Potter” The MC look flustered saying Harry Potter, she couldn’t believe it either. Dementor? Should we ask him again if he’s on drug or something? a thought crossed her mind.

“I am aware of the rumors very well. Which is why, when I heard ‘Dua Dunia’ will shoot here, I immediately send an application” Roni said with excitement (or disbelieve?). “I want to prove the rumors” he added.

The MC explained the rule to Roni; stay on taped area, do not bring any lights except the given candle, do not litter, you will stay for 5 hours, and do not say offending things. If you can’t stand it, scream or wave to the camera. Roni nodded, the crew attached the equipment required for the shoot: GoPro on head and clip-on mic. Good luck! The MC said to Roni, he give a thumbs up in reply and darted to the site, escorted by a crew.

“I heard this house reacts to personal fear” the crew told Roni while they were walking. “That explains the dementor thing. You know what’s sillier than that? A visitor once saw a Durian” the crew laughed. Roni grinned, a formality.

He walked through debris of rock. Unlike the preview Google Images and YouTube, the house is enveloped by darkness, visibility is almost 30%. The police line tape was covered by glow-in-the-dark stickers, making it glow although visibility is at minimum level. Roni was placed on the first floor. Hanged near the door a picture of an old lady grinning with two teeth dangling right under the upper-lip, her eyes black hole, a lot of wrinkles featured on her chocolate face. Upon glancing at this picture, Roni felt a goosebumps on his neck. In front of him stood 6 pillars circled by that glowing police tape, forming a runway with pillars as the border. The last two pillars couldn’t be seen due to visibility issue.

Beside the second line of pillars, two rooms stood face-to-face. The right one is bathroom, the left is a bedroom, a crew told him. On the ceilings, there was a broken fan with only three hands instead of four. “There’s a mirror on the end of this room” he remembered a crew told him that, too.

“Time starts now, Roni!” The MC announced, Roni, again, gave a thumbs up.

Roni sat down on the mountain of rock debris with candle placed on the floor. The candle lights a limited part of the house, Roni took the chance to take a good look to the nooks and crannies of the house. The pillars are enveloped by decorative rocks of various color, but due to the darkness it wasn’t eye-catching.

Roni spent his first 45 minutes staring at the darkness, deciding what to do for the next 4 hours and 15 minutes, singing some cheerful songs (he knew it won’t help), reciting prayer, and occasionally, throwing rocks.

He prepared 5 rocks to throw, first rock was thrown. thud sound echoed

Second rock thrown. thud sound echoed

Third rock thrown. thud sound echoed

Fourth rock thrown. thud sound echoed

Fifth rock thrown. No thud sound echoed

Roni’s eyes widened. His heart skipped a beat.

“…one more rock” Roni said with heart almost jumping out of his chest

Sixth rock thrown.

No thud sound echoed.

He stood up. A walking sound approached with 1 second interval. Roni hold one more rock (He know it’s not a human but for no obvious reason he hold a rock instinctively).

From a total darkness, imprinted an outline of a lower body. Without the upper part of it, walking independently. It gets closer each second, emitting a sound similar to a knocking. At first, Roni considered this as an internal prank from the crew, like the forums always pointed. “When I was on the show, I saw a boom mic pole used to knock the wooden wall on my right. Foolish of them, they probably forgot that the pole was silver, so a light from the candle reflected on the pole. But to make things scarier, I pretended to be scared” a user in a forum wrote. This must be a machine or God-knows-what… Roni assumed. At this point, his level of confidence spiked for a moment, knowing he could either kick the machine away from his sight or pretend to be scared. The first option seemed more interesting, he said to himself.

Just when he about to proceed with the kungfu-fighting, the lower body emerged. Both rocks he thrown minutes ago stuck on its hip, as if the lower body caught it. The whole lower body just stood before Roni, a horror sight of which he could not believe. Roni gasped, gathering micro energy from his inner body to scream, while at the same time his brain processed the whole being of that lower body. That lower body was literally a lower body parts of a human, from hip to toe. It has a leftover spine jutted out, as if that spine was that lower body’s head or neck. Blood gushes out and drenching the pants the lower body wear and puddled on the floor. To complete the horror, that lower body wears Aladdin shoes with pointy end.

Roni’s brain finished processing the thing that stood before his eye, the brain concluded: That’s not a machine or anything, doofus. That is a fucking lower body part of human. Ya hear me? A H U M A N.

The room filled with shriek sound produced by Roni, he sprinted forward with candle on his left hand, around the second pillar, entering the bathroom. Roni arrived at the bathroom. He leaned against the wall. Behind the wall Roni heard barraging knocking sound of that Aladdin shoes, as if that lower body was looking for Roni.

Within a minute or two, the Aladdin shoes sound subsided. By this time, Roni had successfully lowered his heartbeat from 120 bpm to steady 80 bpm (Roni learned this from Sports Science, 120 bpm means watching horror and 80 means normal. He concluded this himself). The candle, surprisingly, after some intense horror action, didn’t go out. Knowing this, Roni expressed a gratitude.

The bathroom where Roni resided was quite enormous in size. This must be a house of some crazy rich bastards or something… Roni muttered. Despite wrecked, the layout of the bathroom clearly described that this used to be a place for a well-off family, the sink and mirror on far right of the room, bathtub forming a boat complete with its drape (though tattered already), floor with marble slab on it. In fact, almost everything on this bathroom are covered by marble.

While he was enjoying the luxurious view, something knocked the bathroom ceiling. It was another thud sound.

Thud.

Thud.

The sound subsided. Roni prepared his stance to run (or scream). While observing the ceiling, he became aware that there was a square hole above the bathtub covered by square ceiling tile, not that big, but fits a body if there’s something wrong with the ceiling.

Thud.

Thud.

The sound came back. This time, it gets firmer.

Thud thud thud thud thud thud.

Roni became aware that the sound is getting closer to the ceiling tile.

The ceiling tile moved. Roni goosebumped. A creaking sound emitted from the ceiling tile. Slowly, the ceiling tile moved and a square hole become obvious. Roni foolishly focused on that specific tile.

A face appeared. Not from the ceiling, but from behind the bathroom door. Roni wasn’t aware, by this time. He was too focused on what was coming from the ceiling.

The face gets closer to Roni’s back.

It was the old lady from the picture. It (or she) tiptoed behind Roni’s back, grinning with her dangling two teeth and black hole dark eyes. This time, her body was shown fully. Wrinkles everywhere, arms and legs so thin that it was hard to tell whether that is a skin or bone, hair falling every time she moved, and walked like a spider. Slowly.

Roni noticed there was nothing in the ceiling. He guessed that it was probably a rat or cat (he sworn that if it any of those he would smack out of it because it scared the hell out of him). When he was about to turn back and lean on the wall again, he noticed that something is behind him.

“Buhihihihi….” 

Roni pulled a heavy breath. Hold it in his lungs.

“Buhihihihi….” 

He turned his head slowly. A face of that old lady welcomed him with smile. Slowly. creeping towards Roni, like a four-legged spider.

Roni jumped. Dashed from the bathroom with candle on his right hand. This time, he ran back to the first place he came in. Where an infrared camera reside.

From afar, he waved his hand to the camera.

“I GIVE UP! I FREAKING GIVE UP!!” Roni waved has hand interminably.

He kept on doing this until he arrived. Only to realize that

There was no camera, at all.

The place he first came used to have a door and some rock debris. He recalled the image perfectly.

But no door or rock debris. Only wall. A solid, concrete, thick wall stood before him.

Roni abruptly realized there was no police tape either. Only pillars.

He slapped his cheeks hoping there was a glitch or error in his brain.

No error at all. Let alone a glitch.

This is that freaking point where I stood! He screamed in disbelief.

THIS IS THE FREAKING POINT WHERE I STOOD!!

Desperate, Roni waved his hand to every direction possible. There’s a little belief in his heart that on some corners on this floor, attached a CCTV or hidden camera or anything. There’s a little belief in his heart that this was a dream. A little belief that somewhere behind this floor there are some people laughing, that he will be featured in YouTube video titled “Ghost Prank” or something, that he would beat the crap of those people if this is true. A little belief that within a minute, there will be an MC saying “we’re sorry for the technical problem“.

But none of that happened.

A face came out from the bathroom, it was the old lady. She peeked from the bathroom and started to walk with her arms and legs, slowly creeping up towards Roni. Producing sounds that nothing less than creepy.

“Buhihihi…..”

Roni shrieked. He tried waving as a desperate measure.

The old lady approaches. Slow but sure, straight to Roni’s direction.

Time stretched.

In a milisecond, Roni realized that the lady was something he was scared of. It was the picture which gave him a goosebumps upon entering this place. The lower body thing was a horror figure from MUTILATED movie he watched when he was 8 years old. He remembered clearly that it was the first horror figure that scared the heck out of him.

“The crew! It’s what the crew said!” Roni said

Roni tried to think the moments he felt joy, graduation, family gathering. As he do this, he closed his eyes.

Unfortunately, fending off fear was not easy.

The joy, graduation, family gathering moments abruptly changed.

He remembered suddenly, a scene in a movie where a person slept hugging a bolster, and in a second, the bolster changed to Pocong. The Pocong’s face appeared 5 centimeters in front of that person’s eyes.

“Crap.”

Roni opened his eyes.

A Pocong’s face appeared in front of his eyes, in a form of bolster. Without thinking, he throw the Pocong away. Tried to think another joyful moments.

As this happened, the old lady gets closer and the lower body thing reappeared and walked to Roni’s direction.

The Pocong, somehow magically, gets up and starts bouncing towards Roni’s direction.

Roni, again failed avoiding scary thoughts. Now he thought about Pennywise from IT.

Pennywise appeared alongside the Pocong, old lady, and the lower body thing.

“Hi Ronnie… You sound so much like Georgie” Pennywise said with a grim laugh.

Roni gave up. From thinking joyful moments, from running away, from hoping that there’s an exit somewhere. He just leaned against the wall, cornered. While the four of his fears walked towards him.

Pennywise opened its jaw, as wide as a plate. With teeth like a saw, its eyes protruded and its tongue swaying.

The old lady jumped to the wall, then grabbed Roni with her arms and legs. Pocong and the lower body thing just stood and bounce.

Roni is immobilized, cannot move his body. As this happened, Pennywise, with it’s saw tooth and wide jaw opened, stood before Roni.

Roni muttered,

“I should’ve stayed at home…”