It Vs. Willy

(Craig’s parts in regular font, Paul’s in bold)



            Willy was running.  He had been running for quite a while now, and his legs felt like they were on fire.  However, the terrible burning sensation was infinitely better than what would happen if he stopped running.

            He desperately wanted to look over his shoulder, but he’d seen too many movies to make that mistake.

            “Keep running,” he told himself.  “One foot in front of the other.  Keep moving.  Don’t look back.  Find a safe place.  A place with lots of people.  Lots of lights.  Keep moving.  Don’t stop.  Run. Run.  Run. RUN!”

            Willy felt It’s presence gaining on him, so he ran faster.  He knew It could move faster than he could, especially when It had a target.  Willy knew he was the target, so he pushed his body to its limits.

            He tried to shake It off of his trail by taking random side streets.  Right, left, left, right.  Willy lost count of how many turns he had made.  Another right, left, right, right, stop.

            Willy had made a mistake.  In front of him was a wall.  He had turned into an alleyway that was a dead end.

            He heard It skid to a stop behind him.  Willy turned around and saw It clearly for the first time.

            “You are one UGLY motherfucker,” he panted.

            It stared at him.  Well, Willy thought that was what It was doing; he couldn’t discern anything he thought was an eye.

            “What the fuck?!?” said a slurred voice somewhere off to Willy’s left.  Willy turned.  It turned – or pivoted or rotated or something – Willy couldn’t decide.  Anyway, their attention was now focused on a homeless guy laying under a pile of damp newspaper.  He was holding a bottle.  Willy, seeing an opportunity to not die, dived towards the bum, seized the bottle, hurled it at It, and attempted to turn his headlong dive into a roll, intending to bolt back down alley to freedom.  His legs, though, didn’t cooperate, and Willy’s headlong dive ended rather abruptly against a brick wall.

            Unfazed by the bottle, It growled or shrieked, again Willy wasn’t sure.  He was sure that it was the most horrible sound he had ever heard.

            “Awww crap,” said the bum.  “I guess they were right about those ‘flashbacks’.” The bum then mumbled something about “the brown stamp” and “bad hallucinations” and walked right up to It.

            Willy wasn’t paying attention to what was happening because during his abrupt meeting with the wall, he noticed a small window near ground level that obviously led to the basement of the building.  During his scramble towards the window, Willy heard the bum start shrieking as It did what It does best.

            Before the scream was cut off, Willy dove head first into the window, shattering it, and fell into the darkened room.

            Willy wasn’t fond of clichés, but all he could think of was “out of the frying pan, into the fire.”

            The building was on fire.

            Willy, swearing, turned back, but the window was too high up for him to get out, and the wall was burning rather violently anyway.  With a resigned sigh, Willy surveyed the room.  There was a staircase on the other side which didn’t seem to be burning.  This was good.  Between Willy and the stairs was thirty feet of fire.  This was bad.  Willy heard a thump behind him.  Willy knew what had thumped, and it was very, very bad.

            Willy bolted.  His shoes melted.  His skin singed.  He thought his hair might have caught fire, but he didn’t want to find out for sure.  He just kept running toward the stairs, which, as he reached them, burst into flame.

            “Well yes, of course,” muttered Willy.

            Gritting his teeth, Willy ran up the stairs.  There was a door at the top.

            “Let me guess,” Willy thought, reaching for the knob.

            It was…unlocked.  “Unlocked?” Willy asked in disbelief.  “Huh.”  Willy opened the door and ran forward.  Directly into a brick wall.  The doorway had been bricked up; Willy stumbled backward and fell down the stairs.  This turned out to work in Willy’s favor.

            As he fell backward, It had lunged at him, but instead of hitting Willy, it passed overhead and had crashed through the brick wall.

            Willy didn’t have the time, or the presence of mind, to thank Jesus, Buddha, Allah, and any number of other deities for this bit of fortune.  He picked himself off the floor, ran up the burning stairs, ignoring the pain from the fall, ran past the dazed It, and out the front door of the building.

            Once outside, he continued his quest to escape It.  This time, being more careful about his route selection, Willy headed for the police station.  “They should have enough firepower to take It down,” the said to himself.  “Then again, these are the cops.”

            Willy changed direction and headed towards the nearest public school.

            He arrived without incident, miraculously, although he could hear It chasing him again.  Willy burst through the doors and, wasting no time, screamed “I need a gun! NOW!”

            This did absolutely no good at all, because it was 3A.M. Willy ran down a hallway and selected a random locker, which he jimmied open with a credit card.

            “Finally,” he thought, “something I learned in High School is proving useful.” As he had hoped, there was a handgun in the locker.  Willy grabbed it, took the safety off, and checked to make sure a round was in the chamber.

            Of course, it was too late.

            It pounced on him.

            Willy fired several unaimed shots into his foot.

            Somewhere behind him, a door slammed open.  The next few seconds were a blur to Willy, mainly because It was on top of him, doing God knows what, and Willy was in a lot of pain, both from his foot and from It’s attack.  However, the sequence of events transpired more or less in this fashion:

            The sound of the gunshots alerted a janitor, who was in the science room using the equipment to make crystal meth.  The janitor came out of the room to see It on top of Willy.  The janitor turned around and went back into the science room.  Thirty-six years of working in public schools teaches one to mind his own business.

            The gunshots had also alerted the gym teacher, who happened to be…tutoring…a fourteen year old female student.  The gym teacher, who had been a three time state wrestling champion, and therefore a heavy steroid user, saw that Willy was in trouble and tackled It.  During the time it took It to tear the gym teacher’s arms off and use them to tie up his legs, Willy had recovered enough to grab the gun.

            Willy stood and, this time, aimed the gun.  Before he could pull the trigger he noticed another gun on the floor that had fallen out of the gym teacher’s pocket.

             Meanwhile, back in the science room, the janitor was moving to check on his latest “batch”.  In this process he tripped on a power cord and fell into the cages of the experiment animals.  This sent them crashing to the floor, the doors popped open and a small group of white doves flew out into the hallway.

            As the doves flew past, Willy dove to his right, firing both guns at It.

            It looked over It’s, uh – “shoulder” to where all of Willy’s bullets had impacted the wall.  Willy was sprawled on the ground, weeping quietly as his empty guns clicked pathetically in the dark hallway.

            The sad tableau was interrupted when a fourteen year old girl clad only in her underwear and coach’s whistle wandered into the hallway and shrieked.

            It turned.

            Willy bolted.  Well, not really.  It is hard to properly bolt when your foot has been shot, but Willy made a valiant attempt at it.  He was out of the building and hobbling down the street when it started to hail.  The golf-ball size lumps of ice really hurt as they pelted Willy’s bruised, bleeding, burned body, right up to the point when he fell through the open manhole.

            As Willy lay in the sewer all he could think of was how the newspaper’s “Psychic Sandy” had predicted he would have a five star day.  If he made it out alive, he thought, he was going to make a point of finding her and breaking her thumbs.

            Willy heard It running up to the manhole, but he was in too much pain to try and get away.  It’s silhouette appeared in the manhole above.  Willy could just barely make out pieces of “Tuesday” panties clinging to It.  “That’s odd, it’s Friday,” he muttered.

            It tried to come after Willy but the manhole was too narrow.  It tried to squeeze through but only succeeded in wedging Itself more tightly in the hole.

            Willy grabbed some rocks that were by his side and tossed them towards It.  He missed badly. Of course.  The rocks fell back and hit Willy in the head. Of course.

            Willy and It stared at each other, both unable to move.  Then the rats came and began nibbling on Willy’s body.  It made a noise Willy suspected It was laughing at him, so he threw a rat at it.

            Confused, but not one to miss an opportunity, the rat clung to It and began nibbling.  In a ridiculously short period of time, the rat managed to chew away enough of It to allow It’s easy passage down the hole.

            To Willy, it seemed like the end.  However, just as It was oozing into arms reach, one thing saved Willy.

            One hour earlier, Leo, a sixty-three year old homeless man, had been wandering the subway tunnels in search of a warm, dry place to sleep when he tripped and fell onto the tracks.

            At the same time train 138B had been happily cruising along the same tracks.  The driver, who had a wicked hangover, hadn’t been paying attention, and therefore did not even slow the train when he saw Leo.  Train 138B slammed into Leo, the promptly derailed.  The ensuing carnage set a city record in terms of number of deaths, property damage, and news crews on scene.

            Walter O’Connor, insurance salesman by day, wannabe superhero by night, saw what happened to 138B on the nightly news and knew that, being the City’s Protector (self dubbed), he must help.  Donning his lime green tights, Walter headed to the wreckage.

            Walter’s big problem was his complete and utter lack of direction.  After wandering subway tunnels for a good amount of time, he found himself in the exact same sewer as Willy and It.

            Seeing It oozing towards Willy, Walter snapped into action.  He used his one and only superpower.  Walter started quoting insurance facts and figures faster than any other human could even think of doing.  Wily and It immediately fell asleep.  Walter handcuffed as many of It’s appendages as he could, then picked up Willy and took him to the hospital.

            Willy woke up in the hospital several hours later.  His wounds had been treated, and there was an IV in his arm.  He lay there quietly, not wanting to look around because he knew that if he did, It would be there.  He fumbled around for the call button and summoned a nurse.

             “Ah, finally awake, I see,” she said.

            “Is there anyone or anything else in the room with us?” Willy asked.

            “Um, nooooo.”

            “Oh, good.  It must be gone.”




            “No. It.”

            “Right.”  The Nurse stared at Willy.  “I’ll get the Doc.”

            She left. Willy lay there quietly thinking.  Suddenly, he

was interrupted by a doodle that had previously been

drawn on the page.

            Willy decided to ignore this because it made absolutely no sense at all.

            After a while, the doctor came into the room and examined Willy, occasionally asking questions.  The doctor seemed satisfied after a bit, checked Willy’s chart, and stood up to leave,  He instructed the nurse to increase Willy’s Demerol drip and walked out.

            The nurse set about tinkering with the IV.

            “Alrighty, in a few seconds you should be feeling a lot AAAAAAAAIIIIEERRGHFG mmmmNoooorghmblrf-rgnxrrrble…

            For a split second, Willy hoped this startling turn of events had something to do with the fast-acting Demerol surging through his body.  His foggy mind immediately discounted that theory.  That’s just not the way his luck had been running.

            While It was busy doing unspeakably horrid things to the nurse, Willy flopped out of bed and set about trying to remember where he was.  Slowly his drugged mind figured it out, and Willy flopped as hard as he could at the window.  He missed by several feet, and smacked his head on a chair.

            His second attempt was more successful, if you call flying through a closed window and plummeting three floors in a cloud of broken glass success.

            Willy lay facedown in the concrete parking lot for several minutes, being pelted by golf-ball size hail, which had now been falling for an unprecedented five hours.

            After a bit, he managed to pull himself more or less upright, and moved slowly to the street, where he intended to hail a cab.  Instead what happened was quite a bit less convenient.

            Willy was hit by a cab.  After flying fifteen feet, he skidded to a stop on the concrete.  As the driver of the cab jumped out of the car to yell at Willy in a language that was definitely not English, a Honda Civic rear ended the cab.  The driver of the Civic got out of his car and proceeded to shoot the cab driver.

            At that time, It jumped out of the window and gracefully landed on the street between the driver of the Civic and Willy.  The Civic driver, still in the midst of his “road rage” started firing at It.  It was not pleased.  It turned on the driver and started to approach him.  The driver, now over his “road rage” tried to run, but, if you’ve been paying attention to the story, he didn’t get far.

            While It was sampling the finer delicacies of a Honda Civic driver, Willy managed to drag himself to the cab and crawl in.  After several failed attempts, he managed to put the car in drive, and he sped off.

            Now, somebody who has recently been given a high dosage of Demerol shouldn’t even attempt to pee on his own, much less drive an unfamiliar car through a freak hail storm while gripped in the icy talons of terror and fatigue.  He swerved back and forth, weaving from lane to lane, running red lights, and sending random pedestrians fleeing in panic.

            Just as he was crossing out of town, there was a loud THUMP on the back end of the taxi.  Willy knew exactly what had happened, and pulled hard to the left, which placed him directly on a set of train tracks.

            The back window shattered, and Willy hit the accelerator.  The car vibrated wildly as it sped down the tracks at a ludicrous velocity.

            Quite suddenly, Willy’s world was flooded with light.  A little voice in his drug-clouded brain informed hi that this was most likely a train.

            Willy was mildly interested to learn that It breathed oxygen, a tidbit he cleaned from the fact that It was doing so half an inch from his ear.

            The obvious thing to do in this situation would be to swerve off the tracks.  Willy tried this.  The wheel turned a fraction of an inch before emitting a horrible popping noise.  The wheel spun freely and loosely, but the car didn’t.

            Willy’s next move was to try and stop the car.  He hit the brake pedal with all his strength, and the car continued to accelerate as he pounded it repeatedly to the floor.  Willy began to cry.

            The only thing working in his advantage was the fact that It seemed to be having difficulty moving around in the cramped confines of the taxi.  However, this did nothing to solve the train dilemma.

            Willy tried to think furiously, but the Demerol had begun to cause hallucinations.

            The furry pink bunny in Willy’s lap looked up at him adoringly.  The bunny made little cute noises as it snuggled up to him.  Unfortunately, Willy was terrified of bunnies ever since a grade school incident involving a trip to a petting zoo, carrots, bullies, and sixty-four albino rabbits.

            Willy shrieked and tried to force himself further into the driver’s seat in an attempt to escape the pink bunny.

            It watched Willy, not quite sure what was happening.  All It did know was that the car and the train were drawing uncomfortably close, soon to be permanently uncomfortably close.  Even It couldn’t survive a head on collision with a train.

            It flexed It’s “back” and two huge wings exploded out of the cab.  The car took flight over the oncoming train.  It caught an updraft and steered the car towards It’s home.

            Despite the terrible pink bunny nuzzling his stomach, Willy was a bit relieved.  He figured that as long as It was concentrating on flying, It wouldn’t be eating (or whatever) Willy.

            The pink bunny laid a hunter’s-orange egg in Willy’s lap, opened the door, and jumped out.  Willy watched it fall, and was only mildly surprised when it opened a parachute and drifted away.

            Willy judged his chances of survival if he were to fling himself out of the car.  He figured he’d survived about as much as he would if he stayed with It.

            “Well,” he thought, “at least I can take a nap if I stay here.”  He passed out into a dreamless slumber.

            Willy was jolted awake by a loud shrieking noise.  He looked around in confusion, and was shocked to see an F-15 jet sipping past the airborne taxi.  He caught a split-second glimpse of the pilot’s confused expression.  It’s not everyday a fighter pilot sees a taxi being flown by a grotesque monster.

            The pilot’s name was Ernest, which is not important, no matter what anybody tells you.  Anyway, he had been sent up to investigate a strange radar anomaly.

            Wally wondered what was going to happen.  Ernest had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen when, on orders, he fired two tomahawk missiles at the cab.  The cab was heading into restricted airspace and the Air force wasn’t taking any chances.

            It saw the missiles coming a split second before they reached the cab.  It tucked one of It’s wings and the veered.  The wing that wasn’t tucked was blown to bits by the missiles.  It was now officially annoyed.

            With only one wing, the cab couldn’t remain aloft.  However, it was just enough to keep the cab from reaching speeds that would crush if on impact with the ground.  The cab floated down to earth in lazy spirals.

            Two more missiles destroyed It’s second wing.  The cab plummeted.  Fortunately, the cab had reached a much lower altitude and, when it plunged into the city swimming pool, it was able to stay more or less in one piece.

            Willy decided he didn’t like being wet, opened the door, and swam to the edge of the pool.  He glanced back at the sinking cab and saw It struggling to free Itself from the cab.

            “I should run,” said Willy.  “Yes.  Running good.” The drugs were still in his system.

            As he ran to the street, he heard the sound of metal tearing as It freed Itself.  As Willy glanced across the street, he saw something that gave him a glimmer of hope.

            A buzzing, flickering neon sign declared a ramshackle little store to be “Black-market Bob’s” Guns Galore.  Willy forced his broken, drugged body toward the store as quickly as he could.

            He was stopped by a muscular, naked Austrian.

            “Ah need your clothes, your boots, ahnd your motahcycle,” said the naked Austrian.

            “Um.  I don’t have a motorcycle, I’m barefoot, and I’m wearing a hospital gown that’s probably five sizes too small for you.”

            The large, creepy Austrian stared at Willy for a handful of seconds before turning around and entering the store.  Willy was debating whether or not he wanted to be anywhere near this guy when several things happened.

            A massive thunder of gunfire erupted in the store, and something inside burst into flame.  At the same moment, It came bursting through the pool fence and began moving quickly in Willy’s direction.

            The fire was spreading quickly, and the Austrian still naked but now armed to the teeth, leapt through a display window. 

            The Austrian showed no emotion whatsoever when he saw It.

            The bunny drifted lightly to the ground and hopped up to Willy.

            The Ernest-piloted F-15 swept low for a strafing run, guns blazing.

            The Austrian saw the F-15 and turned his recently acquired surface-to-air missile towards it and fired.

            Willy saw the pink bunny and dove away, which was the only smart things he has done in the past two hours.  It passed harmlessly overhead, for It had been lunging at Willy.

            It smashed into the Austrian and proceeded to maul him.

            The SAM slammed into the F-15 and exploded, completely destroying the plane.

            As It munched on the Austrian, Willy noted that it sounded like metal being crunched up.  “That’s odd,” said Willy.  When It finished with the Austrian, it once again turned It’s attention to Willy.

            Behind It, Willy noticed the sky had lightening.

            Willy knew this was his way out.  As It slowly approached him, the first rays of sunlight appeared from the horizon.

            :It can’t survive sunlight,” Willy said.

            Sunlight hit It, but It kept coming.  Apparently, It didn’t get the memo about the sunlight thing.

            The bunny put on a pair of sunglasses and pulled out a large drum.

            Willy looked at the bunny.  “Oh, don’t even go there,” he said.  The bunny shrugged.  Willy shook his head, and was mildly dismayed to hear a subtle grinding noise in his neck,  He was on the verge of moping about this when the reality of his situation dawned on him, and he decided to put self-pity on hold in favor of running for his life.

            He took off, lurching in the painful hobble of somebody who has spent the night being beaten, burned, shot, drugged, and generally abuse.  It may have been adrenaline, or perhaps he was too stoned for his injuries to impede him as much as the should, but Willy was setting a decent pace, albeit one that looked like some sort of new dance craze.

            He rounded a corner, with It in hot pursuit, and was overjoyed to discover he had chanced upon the city police station.  Willy lurched up the stairs to the front doors, hope giving him new energy.  He collapsed inside and began dragging himself to the front desk.  He reached it and was trying to pull himself to the front desk.  He reached it and began dragging himself upright when It burst through the wall next to the door and lunged toward Willy, latching onto his legs and pulling him violently backward.  Willy’s face smacked into the floor, and left a smear of vibrant red blood and a trail of teeth as It hauled him backwards.

            The startled receptionist was on her feet in a split second, springing into action.  She jumped up, grabbed the shutter over the window and pulled it shut.  She promptly returned to the very important task of filing her nails, making a mental note to call someone as soon as she was done with her left hand.

            After a few quick kidney punches, It dragged Willy from the station.  When his head bounced off of three or for steps, Willy had lost count, he, mercifully, passed out.

            It moved down the street, with Willy in tow, past two uniformed policed officers who were beating a random minority.  Neither took much interest in It.

            For the next hour and a half, Willy drifted in and out of consciousness.  He was aware that he was being dragged.  Oh yes, and it hurt.  A lot.

            When Willy finally awoke completely he noticed he was hanging upside down.  It was nowhere in sight.

            This must be It’s lair, he thought.

            If Willy were forced to describe It’s lair, he would have said, “I wouldn’t have expected quite so many sequins and glitter.  Or the 1960’s style bead curtains.  Or the Disco lights.  The waist high piles of skulls, yes.  The lace doilies on the Victorian-era couch, no.”

            Of course, Willy wasn’t in any condition to speak.  There was too much blood flowing out of his mouth.  He wondered if It would be irritated about the stains on It’s purple shag carpet.  Upon reflection, Willy assumed it wouldn’t be a problem, if the large bile stains dried on the opposite wall were any indication.

            Willy struggled weakly against his bindings, which he noticed were made of wicker.

            Wicker? Willy thought.  What the hell?

            Willy pondered this, but stopped when he noticed he was completely naked.  He sighed and accepted that this was probably the least of his worries.

            A phone rang.  Willy looked around and noticed that it was directly below him.  His hands were bound together with strips of some sort of futuristic-looking Vinyl material and were dangling below his head.  With some effort, he was able to grasp the phone.


            There was a pause on the other end.

            “Hello?” he said again.

            “Good morning sir!” a chipper male voice said.  “I’m calling on behalf of AT&T! I’d like to tell you about our new money saving long distance plan!”

            “Dear Lord help me!” screamed Willy.

            “I’m sorry, sir, I’m not the Lord.  My name is Brad and help you I can!  I can help you save up to $35 a month over your current long distance provider!”

            “I’m tied up!”

            “I completely understand, Mr. It! We all get tied up in contracts when it comes to phone services!  With AT&T, there are no contracts!”

            “You don’t understand,” sobbed Willy, “I’m trapped here!”

            “With AT&T, you won’t be trapped in a plan that doesn’t fit your needs!”

            “Listen, Brad, I’m literally tied up and trapped in this house!  Please send the police, the army, or the NRA!”

            “Yes,” said Brad, “it is criminal the way our competitors treat their customers.  Be assured that we at AT&T treat our customers with the utmost respect.”

            “YOU DUMB SHIT!” screamed Willy.  “A huge monster has attacked me and has dragged me into its lair! It is going to kill me!”

            “Sir, I don’t need this.  This job sucks.  I owe six months in child support and have to work three jobs just to make ends meet.  The last thing I need is you jerking me around.  If you don’t want the fucking service, say so and quit wasting my time!  I’ve got a quota to fill or I get fired.  So do you want the damn service or not?”

            “Ok, sign me up.”

            “Thank you sir!  We’ll switch you over!  You have a good day, Mr. It!”

            “You, too,” mumbled Willy.  If he couldn’t escape It, he was damn well going to inconvenience It.

            Willy had been hoping the phone call would be some sort of miraculous “Deus ex Machina” plot device to get him out of his mess.  No such luck.  Willy knew that he was going to have to rely on his wit and resourcefulness to save himself.

            “I am so fucked.”

            Willy decided to cry himself to sleep.  He had read somewhere that if you had a problem to think about, it often helped to take a nap, because one’s brain would continue to mull it over.

            Willy cried, and eventually dozed off, which was a blessing because his nose had begin to run, a horribly uncomfortable experience when one is dangling upside down.

            Willy dreamt of pink bunnies dancing in a construction site.  A big smilie-faced sun bounced merrily in the sky overhead, while birdies sang and swooped in happy circles.

            Suddenly, the sky darkened.  A shadow passed in front of the sun, and Willy realized it was an eclipse.  All the bunnies and birdies stopped, and stared reverently at the rare celestial event. 

            The face of God appeared, haloed with the flaring corona of the eclipsed sun.

            “WILLY!” spaketh the Lord.

            “Yes, Lord?”

            “I AM THE LORD!”

            “I know.”

            “I HAVE HEARD YOUR PLEA!”

            “Oh, good.  Can you help me?”

            “I AM THE LORD! OF COURSE I CAN!”

            “What I meant was, will you?”

            “OH, SURE. NO PROBLEM!”

            “Great!  What should I do?”


            Willy was jolted awake by the phone.


            “Mr. It, this is Brad…”


            “Fuck indeed, Mr. It.  I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news.”

            “Somehow I doubt you can make my day any worse.  Is this about my long distance plan, Brad?” asked Willy.

            “No, sir, this is about the Ikea book shelves you ordered.”

            “Ikea?  I thought you worked for the phone company.”

            “That’s one of my other jobs.  I’m also an Ikea rep.”

            “Oh, what’s going on with my book shel…What the hell am I saying?!?  Brad! Listen closely!  I’m being held hostage!”

            “We went over this before, Mr.  It,” said an annoyed Brad.


            “Wow…that must suck.”

            “WELL NO SHI…Hello? Brad?”

            Willy looked up to see It holding the phone cord, now no longer connected to the wall.

            “Ummmm…Hey…” said Willy, completely at a loss for what else to say.  His normal response would have been to scream like a little girl, but, quite frankly, he was tired of screaming.

            It walked over to Willy, smacked him once, then left the room.

            Willy dangled, the defunct telephone hanging limply from his hand.  A breeze from the air conditioning caused him to sway gently as he stared blankly at what appeared to be a human ear glued with blood to an antique curio cabinet.  He stayed like this for quite some time rocking gently back and forth.

            The first thought to enter his mind was how badly he needed to pee.  There were certain problems presented with this, the worst of which being that if he just let loose with it, he would wind up urinating directly into his own nose, being naked and inverted as he was.

            Shit, he thought, though thankfully THAT didn’t seem to be an issue at the moment.  Willy began to struggle, wriggling in jerky motions, trying to loosen his bonds, but this only resulted in distressing his bladder further, and actually seemed to tighten the wicker which was holding him captive.

            Frustrated, Willy flung the telephone awkwardly across the room, where it smashed what was most likely a priceless Ming-Dynasty vase.  Hundreds of things that were most likely human teeth spilled across the floor.

            Well, Willy thought, I’ll be paying for that one.

            Sure enough, It came barreling through the door, making loud, agitated noises, and flew towards Willy in what was most likely a fit of violent, homicidal, blind rage.

            On the bright side, Willy’s bodily waste problem solved itself, if not neatly, then certainly quite efficiently.

            As It drew uncomfortably close to Willy, the sound of police sirens echoed throughout the room.  It froze.

            “YES!” screamed Willy.  “Score one for Brad!  The cops are coming, you ugly motherfucker!  You may kill me, but the police will get you!”

            Six police cars raced up the street towards It’s home.  It appeared agitated.  Willy’s hopes faded as the sirens faced off into the distance.

            “Uh…hey…just kidding about that whole ‘ugly motherfucker’ thing.  I actually think you are quite handsome…” said Willy.

            As It turned back towards Willy, he saw an opening.  Willy rocked himself forward and smacked It as hard as he could.  He then remembered that It had two wings blown off It’s body and seemed no worse off.  Willy didn’t think his hit would even be noticed.  He was right.

            It once again smacked Willy.  Hard.  It was rearing back to hit him again when the front door opened.  In walked a balding, twenty-something year old man.

            “Hey, It,” he said.  “Don’t forget that rent is do tomorrow and…awww damnit! Did you break my teeth vase?  Did you forget the talk we had about respecting each other’s things?!?  That’s it!  Your friend has to go because A) You have a vase to glue together and B) He’s blocking the TV.”

            It groaned and turned towards the shattered vase as the man came over to Willy.

            “Why do we have to go over this every other week, It? This happens again and you can just move out.”

            The man let a perplexed Willy down and kicked him out the front door.

            Willy sat down on the porch, wondering if he should knock on the door and ask for some clothes.  It was raining now, viciously, and Willy was very cold.  After a short time, he decided just to go home, stick to alleys and back streets, and hope to find something to cover himself with.

            It was night again.  Willy had no idea of the exact time, but it felt late as he set out into the cold wet darkness.  He wandered, naked and alone, in great pain for hours.  The rain never let up, and he was shivering uncontrollably on the verge of hypothermia when a flash of lightning lit the street, and he finally recognized where he was.  From here, he knew, it would be a good forty-five minute walk to his apartment.

            Two hours later, Willy collapsed through his door, which he had needed to jimmy open with a hairpin.  During what should have been a straightforward walk home, he had become lost again, and wandered around in the torrential downpour for what seemed like years.  Along the way he had stolen a blanket from the cleanest hobo he could find, but after ten minutes it had only become a vessel for carrying several pounds of freezing water.

            Willy crawled slowly to the bathroom and ran a hot bath, passing the time while it filled by vomiting furiously, at first all over the floor and walks before he managed to fall in the general direction of the toilet.  After his stomach was entirely emptied and he’d been reduced to dry-heaving painfully, he managed to get into the blissfully hot bath, which begun to overflow.  Willy braced his legs so he wouldn’t slide underwater, and lapsed once more into unconsciousness.  His last thought was that, for all the pain and agony he was in, at least his horrible ordeal was, at long last, over and done with.  Warmth and blackness flowed comfortingly across his mind.

            As Willy lay, bobbing in his overflowing bath, the water gradually began to flood his bathroom.  It seeped into cracks in the floor sealing, and saturated the electrical wiring, which shorted out and set the walls on fire.  Willy, who was dreaming dimly of beautiful women massaging the knots out of his muscles, was entirely unaware that he was trapped in a cube of flame.

            Willy woke up as he was sailing out the small bathroom window.  He thought he was still dreaming.  After all, what were the odds of being in midair three stories up all of the sudden, with his vision filled with a tower of flame and It hurtling through the air after him, rage and hate painted on what might have been It’s face?

            Pretty darn good, apparently.

            Time seemed to slow as Willy fell.  A number of thoughts went through Willy’s head: How did I get here? I wonder how much It pays a month for It’s place.  Did I leave the water running? If I had three horses…Willy’s thoughts came to an abrupt stop because his body had done the same, right on top of “Psychic Sandy”, who was on her way home after catching a late movie.

            “Solves that problem,” groaned Willy.

            It gracefully landed in the street ten feet from Willy.  Willy didn’t care.  It started to growl at Willy when It was promptly hit by a semi.

            Willy watched in amazement as It struggled to It’s “feet”.

            “That musta hurt,” said Willy.

            It nodded It’s “head”, then was run over by a garbage truck.

            Once again, It stood up, a but more slowly this time.  It was obviously hurting as It regarded Willy.  It seemed to be trying to decide whether It should go after Willy, or go home and lick It’s wounds.  It chose the latter.  Willy just didn’t care anymore.

            Just as It disappeared down the street, a fire truck, four police cars, and an ambulance pulled up in front of Willy’s building.  The EMT’s saw Willy and rushed over to him.

            “My God!” said one.  “This horribly injured naked man killed ‘Psychic Sandy’!”

            “I guess she didn’t see it coming,” remarked the other.

            “Actually, she did.  Did you not read the paper today?  She wrote a lengthy article about it.”  Willy proceeded to pass out.

            When he awoke, he was all bandaged up and in a prison cell.  After a brief conversation with the guard, he learned he was being charge with the murder of “Psychic Sandy”.  Figures.

            Willy tried to look on the bright side.  At least he wasn’t naked anymore.  And he’d be safe here.  He figured that when he told his tale to the cops, they’d lock him up in a padded room.  It would be soft and comfortable, and he might get to take walks in a nice garden with the other loonies.  Willy smiled and lay back on his bunk.  He thought about how much simpler life would be, and how, when all of this was sorted out, he would move to the coast – he didn’t care which one – and meet a nice girl.

            His daydreams were interrupted when a guard tapped on the cell door bars with his baton.

            “Yes?” said Willy.

            “We’ve been talking to some eye witnesses, Willy, and it seems that all of this has been a mistake.  Obviously, you’re as much of a victim here as anyone else.  We’re going to release you.  Do you have somewhere to stay?”

            “You can’t do this! I’m being stalked by an un-killable beast!” Willy cried.  “Aren’t I obviously insane?”

            “You’ve had a hard day, pal.  It’s obvious you’ve suffered some mental trauma.  I’ll have an ambulance pick you up so the docs can give you a more thorough exam.  In no time at all, you’ll be back in the world, resuming your life right where it was interrupted by this tragic accident!”  The guard said cheerily, unlocking the door.

            “Fuck,” said Willy.

            “Poor guy.  It’ll be alright once you’re out of these solid, impenetrable walls, no longer surrounded by scores of well-armed, highly trained men standing vigilantly on guard 24 hours a day!”

            “Oh, woe is me.”

            “Chin up, there, Chief!  Things could be a lot worse!”

            “I’m sure they will be.”

            “Every cloud has a silver lining!” said the guard, tucking his arm under Willy’s, and helping him kindly out of the cell.

            Willy sat, his bright dreams of loony-bin safety shattered, in the police station until the ambulance arrived.  Then he lay quietly on the gurney as the paramedics checked him over during the ride to the hospital.  Willy wondered how few hours he had left before It invariably came back for him.  It was obviously a being of pure Evil and Maliciousness, and Willy knew he’d spent the better part of two days being an enormous pain in It’s ass.

            Willy figured his fate was sealed, so he wasn’t surprised when the ambulance was quite suddenly rolling over and over repeatedly.  Willy barely reacted as he careened off the spinning walls of the ambulance, being pelted by medical equipment and screaming paramedics.  He wondered idly what was going on.

            He didn’t have to wonder long when the ambulance finally stopped rolling, landing right side up, fortunately, and It tore the back door off.  It stepped into the back of the vehicle, grabbed a dazed EMT and folded him into a position Willy didn’t think was healthy.

            Willy glanced around and noticed a drawer full of syringes.  He opened the drawer, grabbed a handful, ripped the plastic covering the needles, and lunged at It. Willy crashed into a surprised It and started stabbing away. 

            It struggled against the flailing Willy, finally tossing him aside.  It stood up to It’s full height and walked slowly towards Willy.  With each step, It appeared more and more sluggish.  Finally, It collapsed at Willy’s feet.

            “What the…” wondered Willy.  He then noticed one of the syringes still sticking out of It.  On the side it read “Morphine”.  Even It couldn’t take 16 syringes worth of morphine.

            Seeing his chance to end this once and for all, Willy found a piece of glass and bent over It.

            Before he could start disemboweling It, a man dove between It and Willy.  Willy stopped and blinked.  The man appeared to be a damn dirty hippie.

            “Stop right there, man!” the damn dirty hippie yelled.  “I’m not going to let you kill this beautiful animal!”

            Again, all Willy could think of was “What the…?”

            “What my partner is trying to say,” said a man dressed as a state game warden who had suddenly appeared behind Willy, “is that you could be penalized quite heavily for killing this animal.  We’ve been tracking It for sometime and, according to our records, is the only one of It’s kind.  Therefore, It is an endangered species and protected by the Federal Government.”

            Willy started to cry.

            “Oh, man – you sick bastard! You’re crying because you can’t kill!  That’s so sick, dude.  You’re sick!  Sick!  Where’s my LSD?” said The Hippie.

            The Hippie began digging through his pockets, looking for his acid while the Game Warden checked It’s vital stats.  Through his tears, Willy wondered how the Game Warden was actually doing this.

            “Son, it looks like you’ve had a hard day.  But I want you to understand that this is a sacred member of God’s Creation.  It deserves to live just as much as you.”

            “It’s been trying to kill me for THREE DAYS!”

            “Son, that’s just It’s nature.  Why would you persecute It for doing what It’s made to do?  Would you kill a squirrel for eating nuts?”

            Willy was about to retort that most squirrels don’t accumulate body counts, but was distracted when It began to stir.

            “Um. Bye.”  Willy shoved past the Game Warden and the gently swaying Hippie, and ran down the street.  He was about half a block away when…


            “Whoa, this is some good shi-“

            A horizontal geyser of blood erupted from the back end of the ambulance and flooded the street.  The ambulance rocked back and forth, dull, wet thuds echoing down the street.

            Willy risked a glance over his shoulder just in time to see It exit the ambulance.  It made a loud, angry noise and hefted the ambulance over It’s head.

            “Shit,” Willy thought, putting on the speed.

            It through the ambulance, which sailed through the air, dropping a trail of mangled corpses behind it.

            As Willy hauled ass down the street he heard the pitter-patter of It’s feet closing in on him.  What the hell am I going to do, he thought, well there’s one thing I haven’t tried…

            Willy stopped running and turned around.

            “It!  Honey, baby, sweetheart!  Big Guy!  Chief!” he yelled, forcing a smile onto his face.  It stopped two feet away from Willy.  Willy walked up to It and threw his arm around It.

            “Let me tell you something, kid, you are something special.  The teeth, the claws, the growling, the indescribable shape, the killing…it’s beautiful, babe.  But you are missing one thing, and that’s exposure!  What’s the point of being an unstoppable killing machine when no one knows who you are?  You could really go places, kid, and I’m not just saying that.  I see a lot of nearly unstoppable killing machine everyday, but they don’t hold a candle to your raw talent and charisma.  What’s holding you back from being the best known and well paid It in the world?  I’ll tell you.  Representation!  You need an agent, you big beautiful animal, you!  You need someone who will go to bat for you with these industry types.  Someone who knows the business.  Someone who knows the lingo.  Someone who can grab the industry by the balls and make them take notice!”  Willy wasn’t the sort of person who could do this, hell, he wasn’t even an agent.  Hopefully, It didn’t know this.

            “Think of the great monsters out there today:  Loch ness, Bigfoot, Corn Yeti…they don’t have a tenth of your ability combined!  Compared to you, they look like Strawberry Shortcake, only not as viscous.  The only reason they are so big  is because they have agents.  So tell you what, kid, you go home, get cleaned up, and I’ll go make a few phone calls and get you on every TV show in the area by noon on Tuesday!  A week from now, you’re going to be bigger and richer than Oprah!  Hell, I’ll set it up so you can kill Oprah!  So, like I said, go home, rest up, and I’ll call you tomorrow.  Get ready to reach for the stars, kid, because you are going somewhere!

            Willy pulled his arm away from It and walked away.  “Dear lord, could that have worked?” he asked under his breath.  Just then he felt one It’s claws rip through his shoulder.

            “Nope,” he said.  Bleeding profusely, Willy took off.  Again.  Willy reflected that if he came out of this alive, he was going to be in great shape.  He looked around as he ran, and once he got his bearings he decided where he should go.  He put on some extra speed, knowing that he was only making his heart beat faster, which was causing him to lose blood at a quicker rate.  Willy didn’t particularly care.  If he stopped, he’d die.  He figured bleeding to death would be a bit slower than the mauling.

            He rounded a corner, and his destination came into view directly ahead of him.  Willy hoped it was open, but had no way of telling what time it was.  It was still early, he knew, and there were only a few cars in the parking lot.  He tore across the nearly empty lot, leaving little splatters of blood on the pavement as he approached the mall.  He was almost within arm’s reach of the glass entrance doors when he tripped and sailed through one of them head first. 

            “at least I don’t have to worry about the mall not being open,” he mumbled as he crawled through the shattered door, flicking bits of glass out of his gums with his tongue.

            Willy stumbled to his feet and bumped into a security guard.

            “Most people, when presented with a door, have the sense to open it before proceeding through,” said the guard as Willy extracted a glass shard that had been driven through his nose.

            “Yeah?  Well I’m not bound by the constraints of society.”  Willy sputtered, peppering the guard’s face with speckles of blood.

            “That’s nice.  But I’m afraid you’re still going to need to be paying for OH CHRIST WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?!?”

            Willy, knowing full well what the fuck that was, grabbed the guard by the collar and hauled him around, keeping the guard between himself and It.  He was away and stumbling up the down escalator by the time the guard’s torso struck him in the back.  Willy fell forward and cracked his head on the edge of the escalator stair.  He lay very still under the torso as the escalator hauled him downward.  When he reached the bottom, some of the scab tissue on his legs caught on the escalator as the stairs folded under.  Strips of his skin were sucked into the mysterious sub-escalator mechanism.  Willy regained consciousness and immediately began to scream.  He wrenched his leg out of the escalator, leaving more of it behind than he’d have liked.

            He looked around, and was surprised to no see It in the vicinity.  He sat in his puddle of blood, puzzled.  Willy had two choices: 1) Continue fleeing, putting as much distance between himself and It before It continued the chase, inevitably tracked him down, and rearranged body parts Willy would have preferred It left alone, or B) GO back and figure out where It was.

            “Either way, I’m screwed,” he said to himself.  “Might as well satisfy my curiosity.”

            Willy took the “up” escalator, carefully avoiding the part where the escalator loops back around, stepped off and looked around.  He saw It standing in front of a music store.  From the store came an Enya song.

            It appeared to be in a trance, slowly rocking back and forth to the soothing music.  Willy walked up to It and waved his hand in front of It’s “face”.  It didn’t react.

            “Music tames the savage beast,” said Willy.  For some reason this amused Willy, and he started laughing.  He snapped his fingers in It’s “face” and still no reaction.  Taunting fate even more, Willy walked in front of It and mooned the creature.  It continued to sway.

            Willy pulled up his torn pants, deciding to go back and try choice number 1.  As he paused one last time to look at It, the Enya song ended.  The 110 disc changer in the store randomly selected the next track.  In keeping with Willy’s luck, the next song has Marilyn Manson’s “Fight Song”.  Marilyn Manson does not tame savage beast.  Quite opposite, really.

            It turned It’s “head” and stared at Willy with a renewed interest.  Willy wasn’t sure what It did next because he was preoccupied with running away.

            As he hauled ass through the mall, Willy passed a group of nuns.  Irrationally, Willy’s first thought was “Nuns go to malls?”  His second thought was more practical.

            Stopping quickly, he grabbed a rosary necklace one of the nuns was wearing.  He grabbed the cross on the necklace and held it out towards the advancing It.

            “Please don’t let It be Jewish,” he said.

            It wasn’t Jewish, but It also wasn’t a vampire.  It was, however, extremely close to Willy.

            Suddenly, Willy was clubbed across the back of his head.  He spun around and received a face full of one very angry nun’s fist.

            “OW!  BITCH!” he screamed, completely not remembering the revolting murderous beast behind him.  Reality reinstated itself in Willy’s head and began dragging him away.  Willy frantically whipped at It with the rosary, he screams muffled by It’s flesh.  The nun grabbed her rosary and kicked Willy squarely between the legs as It hauled him away.

            Willy’s breath was running out as he clawed at It’s flesh; he was about to pass out when his foot caught on something and he was jerked from It’s grasp.  His head smacked against the floor.

            Gasping for air, but not wasting any time, Willy struggled to his feet and ran.

            Well, almost.  He was almost through his first step when he quite unexpectedly face-planted into the floor again.  His foot was still stuck on something.

            He peeled his face off the tile and scrambled forward, jerking his foot free.  His show popped, and he fell again, forehead bouncing off the floor.

            Something grabbed his pants and jerked back.  There was a ripping noise as his pants tore off, and Willy once more kissed the floor.  This time he managed to get his feet under him, though, and he was off like greased lightning.

            He risked a glance behind him as he hobbled full steam away from It, which was giving chase and still holding Will’s pants.

            Since he wasn’t looking where he was going, Willy failed to see the balcony, until his body had completed a full somersault in midair after flipping over the railing, and by that time it was far too late to do anything about it.

            “Fuck.”  Willy, facedown once more did not hace time to appreciate the finer artistic merits of the glass and metal sculpture before he traveled through it.  It slowed his descent by catching sharply and repeatedly in his skin.  As a method of quick deceleration, it was remarkably efficient, if somewhat painful.

            Willy did not stop to wallow in self pity when he finally came to rest face-first in the jagged remains of the sculpture he’d just destroyed.  He was up and running, his body (barely) operating on automatic.  He fled, bouncing off objects and people, leaving smears of blood everywhere.  He wasn’t, at this point, very aware of anything, and was blinded by the copious amounts of blood pouring out of his scalp lacerations.  It was therefore inevitable that something bad happened.

            Namely, he stumbled through several little orange cones and “Caution” tape just before tumbling into an empty elevator shaft.

            Luckily (ha,ha), he didn’t fall far, since he was already on the first floor.

            Willy lay on the bottom of the shaft, staring through his own blood at the open doors many feet above him.  There were no doors on this level, open or otherwise.  Willy knew this instinctively.

            Willy sighed wetly, bubbling at the mouth a bit, and decided to simply lie there and feel sorry for himself since a quick scan of his surroundings revealed precisely zero options for escape.

            He glanced up to the open doors a floor above, bright mall light pouring into the dusty, oily gloom of the elevator shaft.  He heard a shuffling, a scream.  Something fell through the doors, trailing a comet-tail of sticky liquid.  Willy couldn’t immediately identify what it was as it fell.  Realization dawned in the split second before Willy was crushed beneath it.  It was a body impaled with a dozen orange construction cones.  Willy counted them.  He had nothing better to do.

            The light from above was irregularly eclipsed.  Willy shifted aside the cone that was poking him in the face.


            Light glinted off It’s smile (if that’s what it was).  Resigned, Willy watched It step over the edge,  Time seemed to slow as It crawled down the wall, closer…closer…

It reached for Willy…