Their eyes have all fused together, frozen in time. Their mouths, linked by a chain of taunting words, have become one twisted smile, whispering, over and over, “Bad boy, bad, bad boy.”
He inhales deeply, and watches the cloud of smoke escape his lungs, washing away the face of the ghost who haunts him. He knows it is only a matter of time before It takes another form, so he reaches for the bottle and waits.
There It is again.
This time, It pretends to be Rejection.
He knows better. He would recognize It anywhere.
He laughs as he downs another shot. His head spins, making It flail around like a fool drowning in a puddle of rainwater.
It comes back as Depression.
He crushes up a pill and sweeps sweet relief up his nose, into his brain, where It is hiding behind a memory.
It comes back as a Scornful Look from a passerby.
He throws his fist out, beating It off the face of the poor boy It has momentarily inhabited.
The adrenaline flows through his veins, hydrating his thirsty heart, feeding the monster It created with an anger so vast, so deep, so freeing.