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:
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.
Dennywise laughed “Sadako! Sadako!”
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.
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.
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.