Have you ever felt like you were dreaming when you were awake?
Like things that should line up don’t? Little things like a raven flies by and lands on a telephone wire, you know this happened, maybe not like ‘swear on the bible’ know, but you saw it. You know you saw it, but when you look up there is no raven and just when you start to question what you thought you saw, a raven flies up and lands on the wire. Things like that. Or when you’re tying your shoe and everything gets wobbly, you didn’t move but the world around you seemed to shift, or change. I guess, they call it a ‘glitch in the Matrix’ but this is real life. And it happens.
Anyway, my point is…
This is how the world feels to me. Everyday. And it started after I crossed that threshold. I call it a threshold even through it was just where the cement floor of Deakin’s dad’s Garage met the concrete outside. Where the garage door would land if it were closed. I call it a threshold cause the moment I crossed it everything got wonky. It felt like the ground beneath me dropped, and I know that is a cliche term, but it is literally what it felt like; like the ground lowered two inches. I caught my balance and looked up at the sky again, it was blue all of a sudden. The storm clouds were just–poof–gone. But I know Murph saw it too, he looked up at it, he looked back at me. He could prove I wasn’t crazy, if I could catch up to them.
But I knew I would never get a chance to ask.
Even then, in that moment stumbling down the driveway towards the alley, after him and Deakin’s old man. I knew I would never have an actual conversation with Murph. I had lost sight of them, which was also strange because I could have sworn they were just turning up the alley when I followed. At that time I assumed I must have a concussion or something from falling. I glanced back over my shoulder to make sure Deakin was still where I left him, and that I didn’t somehow blackout and skip time, and there he was shaking on the floor in a little ball.
I felt bad for him, but I was grateful he was still there. A better person might have stayed and helped him, but I was being driven by my need to know what Deakin’s old man knew. I broke out into a sprint and ran down the alley towards main street, where I assumed I would catch up with them, but they were nowhere to be seen. I kept going right back into the mouth of the forest, right back where I had just escaped from. I didn’t know if they had gone that way, or not, but it was like I had lost control over my actions.
It was almost like I wanted to see It again.
I was no more than ten feet from the first row of trees when I heard it. Laughter. Familiar laughter. I slowed and that’s when I saw them. All of them. Walking out of the woods like nothing happened. Like I hadn’t just seen their bodies torn into irreparable pieces. Like everything that had happened in the last hour just hadn’t. I froze and watched them as they trickled past me. My heart had become a wrecking ball in my chest. I was going to puke, then I felt a hand land on my shoulder.
Deakin’s old man stood beside me, looking past the boys into the forest. ‘Best, you forget all a this, now.’