A Meeting of ‘It’s


‘It’ – first came to me when I was down with the flu. Burning up like a star expending the last of its energy; I awaited my supernova.

‘I could die here,’ I thought.

I could close my eyes and my body might meld into the sheets, sticky with sweat and snot. Maybe I would have boiled there, cooked in the shadows despite the aircon at its coldest setting; trying, but unable to abate the sunfire dancing along my skin. My spirit felt weary–wishing for the first light of this story’s end.

The dreamscape took me then, into a blank void where I could neither feel my conscience nor my body. I was floating, vaguely understanding the new form I’d taken as my finger passed through the physical me.

It was a wonder at first, seeing my room as a being that violated all laws of the underworld. Caught in the in-between of life and death, I realized I was living out stories only told in myths. However, the novelty wore off when I took a turn and saw ‘It’ standing tall at the end of my bed. 

‘It’ isn’t corporeal. A reaper maybe? Although it doesn’t have a defined body of sinew,  muscle, or a voice. But, the two orbs of white that marked its eyes were the most notable things. The glow—cold in shade—reminded me of stars who’ve lost their warmth. It sent shivers down my form. 

Then something took hold of the air, a stifling pressure came down on the space around me. It held me down by the scruff of my neck.

Thump, Thump, Thump.

‘It’ prodded closer to my body with a body cloaked in shadows.  Gnarled and twisted, ‘It’ made a grab at the feet of my vessel. I screamed, shaking in the hold of my own mind.

“PLEASE. PLEASE WAKE UP. WAKE UP. IT’S ONLY A DREAM!” I shouted, panicked as I tried to reconnect my mind to my arms, my hands, my legs, my toes.

 ‘What if, what if, WHAT IF?’ I thought. Death seemed so imminent at that moment.

And then I awoke to ‘It’ staring back at me from the void. Its shape melded with the other objects lined by the dark in my room, before disappearing. With a whoosh of the wind from my aircon, I could no longer see its eyes.

Cold sweat broke through my body, clawing its way out from my soul and meeting the icy winds that brushed against my skin. The pressure was gone, but I found no strength to lift my arms from the swamp in my sheets.

“Being a ghost was better than being this weak.” I exhaled shakily, pained and tired.  

I scanned the shapes in the dark once, twice, thrice over before succumbing again to the void.

‘It’ – next showed itself to me once in the midst of a summer day. June it was, and I was exhausted, burned out from my work. The lack of emotion in every zoom meeting left me more drained than my lack of a sleep schedule. I only looked forward to the lunch breaks those days: my nap times. 

I had roughly two hours before the next call, so with music filling all of the lonely corners of my sickly pale room, I crawled into bed and promptly passed out. This time I dreamed—an occurrence rare for me—of old walls painted baby blue, yet chipped until they shone a pasty yellow. It was nostalgic, to see my elementary school; dearly missed teachers and friends had my heart racing to show them the new person I’ve become.

I walked the halls, looking at past memorabilia locked into little nooks of classrooms, bathrooms, and the yard until I bumped into her.

“Coach Carla!?” I exclaimed with a gasp.

Looking at her, I recognized the familiar graying hair; her crow’s feet stretched fondly as I ran up, grabbing her hands as if I truly did go back in time. 

“Didn’t you say you’d leave for retirement?” I asked; naivety showed in my gaze up at her.

‘When did she get so tall? Or did I just get shorter?’ I noticed in wonder. 

“Oh, I’m not leaving anymore! I decided to stay another few years.” She said with a smile. Her grip on my hand remained firm.

“Oh really? But, I remember something else….”

Then I felt it, feelings of distant sorrow washing over me, past the hazy fog in my mind. 

‘This is a dream.’ I realized with a startle.

I remembered the day when I hugged her goodbye, and that was years ago.

Shudders ran through my soul as I reformed. I could feel the tethers tying my soul back to my arms, hands, legs, and toes. I could feel the cold air of my room chilling my skin, my body and mind back to sync, but I was still incorporeal…

“I-I’m sorry Coach, but I have to start heading home,” I said sheepishly, glancing down at those gray eyes before spinning around for an exit.

I was met with silence. A pressure forming—warping—the walls, from blue to a bleeding yellow. A false warmth in the pale sickly shade.


Then I felt it. A void opened up next to me, and the grip on my hand turned suffocating. Lines of flesh faded into shadows; the very ones ‘It’ resided in. They seemed to be drawn in scribbles, a pathetic attempt at manifesting an otherworldly being into existence. 

The walls receded back into the void, and ‘It’ stretched its neck out from my peripherals until we were face to face, tangled in each other’s gaze. A grotesque meeting between man and mind. Like maggots on a new corpse, the eyes showed an endless cycle of whirls and twirls, leading my mind through the prerequisites for nausea.

Thump, Thump, Thump.

White noise filled my head and quakes shook my core. I focused on my fingers, imagining points connecting the ligaments, the joints, and the blanket I could feel clenched inside my fist. Begging, I wished for my fingers to unfurl from the iron grip it held.

“Let go please… Move!” 

It felt like millennia passed until my pointer twitched. Breaking the spell as my eyes shot open to my yellowed ceiling. 

“Ugh.. I need to sleep more.” I said with a huff, bringing my hands up to warm them. The quivers were evidence of my frazzled nerves.

Head pounding, I made a grab at my phone only to drop it again with a groan.

I still had more than an hour left until my call…

‘It’ – most recently came back to me a few days ago, in a nightmare. Junior year had begun and my responsibilities came back with a violence I wasn’t prepared for. They latched onto my back, digging their teeth into my jugular with scary accuracy as they sucked out the energy from my heart. It wasn’t surprising when the stress inevitably bled into my unconsciousness, its hold on my heart was unpleasant; constant.

The dream started out small, and insignificant. 

“Hey, can you look this over for me? Thanks!” said a friend, as she passed over her laptop. My duties as a friend needed attending.

“You should come to office hours today.” said a teacher, holding my quiz marked up red. My GPA was at risk.

“I never see you doing homework! It’s always games, games, and games.” said my mother over dinner. My image as the perfect daughter was crumbling.

My life was stretched thin on that metal desk chair as I tapped away at my computer. My heart was suffocating. The deadlines tore at me as they grew closer and larger. Shadows lined the undersides of my eyes and I couldn’t differentiate in my haze that this reality was not my very own. 

But then it all disappeared when she popped up.

“Mrs. Jay? What are you doing here?” I asked.

“Well dear, I saw you hard at work so I brought some snacks in case you were hungry.” Mrs. Jay grinned as she handed over some chocolate. Tears sprung up at the snack I haven’t allowed myself to have in ages.

“Don’t work so hard! Take a rest with me, I’ll keep you safe here.” She said, with her hand held out in invitation. It was tempting. So tempting to leave my anxieties to the dust in this room, to leave with her and indulge in all of the things I’ve been restricting from my body. I wanted it so bad.

“I would love to—” 

But then the reality of the space came crashing down. I was waking up, and the grip on my heart came back tenfold.

Thump, Thump, Thump.

Blinking away tears, I saw ‘It’ above me. It had me encased, with hands on my shoulders keeping me locked in place; paralyzed. 

Wide-eyed like a deer I froze before instinct kicked in and I kicked out. 

‘My legs are free?!’ I realized, as my mind and body connection broke through the spell.

I flung out my legs—free from the grip—into ‘Its’ face. Toes and all went smashing into ‘It’s head(?) and the pressure on my shoulders disappeared. My body sprung up with a vengeance, clawing, flailing, a dance so ungraceful yet powerful in its nature, I ended up on top of ‘It’. 

“Who are you?! Why do you keep coming to me? Scaring me? What do you want?!” I hissed. My muscles were spasming in my effort to remain strong. To hold onto my sanity.

‘It’ stared at me before shaking me off with an ease so unnerving I fell back onto my bum. 

“I- I am not scared of you. Not at all. So back the hell up!” I growled, and my hands began to shake with my adrenaline.

With a raise of ‘Its’ hand, it came down gently, through my hair. Stroke by stroke my heartbeat settled, my anxieties fell away, and that constriction on my heart? It all went away too.

‘It’ gave me another look, and past the squirming whirls, I felt the fondness and familiarity often shown in the eyes of old friends. It was bizarre yet enlightening. 

Then onwards, whispers followed me on the wind, and ‘It’ remained, out of sight but not out of mind.

Now here I am, writing out my recollections of ‘It’ in my new form. I now know that ‘It’ means no harm. ‘It’ only brought occasional fright with its strength and my powerlessness. But, I’m not unequal to it. Here in this void, I maintain my freedom, from life and death, I remain with a companion who cares for me more than I could ever measure. After all, ‘It’ is one with me and my mind, in life and the afterlife.

Unto the next night,