Dreaming Underground (Chapter 1: Tears)

At least that stupid clown wasn’t there anymore.

But that begged the question, where had it gone? It didn’t seem to still be in the house with him, but how could he know for sure? And even though it wasn’t in the room with him, he still didn’t feel safe. How could he? - hearing the manic laughter of some insane, malevolent monster resonating from deep within his skull, and while the voice that ever so sweetly commanded him to take the pills that were no longer where they were supposed to be was suffocating him from inside his own head. Pennywise may not have been there in a physical sense, but he was still haunting Eddie’s mind.

Even curling up in a ball and pretending none of it was happening was difficult, the agony in his arm making even the smallest movements into trying tasks. Feeling his breathing becoming increasingly shallow at the thought, he reached up with his uninjured arm and breathed into his inhaler, thankful that he’d managed to hold onto it during the struggle (unfortunately the same could not be said for his medication, which Pennywise had personally thrown out of a first-floor window and which he would not be scrabbling around in a pile of rubbish for; he’d just have to get his hands on some new ones – if he ever managed to get out of the house).

He hadn’t heard screams or shouts for quite some time (and in fact the last ones he’d heard were his own) leading him to believe that there were only two real possibilities as to what had happened to his friends since he’d gotten trapped there: the first being that they’d simply abandoned him to save themselves and the second being that they were all dead – murdered at the hands of the monster that had trapped him there. He wasn’t sure which one was worse. This realisation prompted him to breathe into his inhaler once more.

And if they had all left him to die, the worst part was that not a single one of them had decided to come back for him – not even Richie.

The floor he was lying on was utterly repulsive and he wanted his pills now more than ever but it was hopeless. They were all gone. Just like his friends, it seemed.

But he did have one last thing that never failed to give him hope. Keeping his broken arm resting on his chest he dug his free hand into his pocket and took out something he’d never let anyone else see. In his hand was the scrappy remains of a bracelet he’d been given as a young child – around six years old – and never went anywhere without, though he had lost it for a while a few years back, which was how it ended up with missing beads and frayed threads.

He held it in his hand for a short while, rubbing his thumb across the beads and playing with the black and yellow threads – that had, he was certain, once been different colours altogether. To his dismay, along with the hope it always gave him, this time came sorrow as his mind wandered back to how he’d been left in the house of a monstrous being alone, with no way to escape or even defend himself against an attack. And without his pills to give him strength, he felt weaker and more helpless than he ever had done before.

That’s when the tears started threatening to fall and with each passing moment – and with every longing thought of his friends, and one in particular, who had still not returned to him – they grew closer and closer to carrying out the deed. Though he wouldn’t have been inclined to admit it to anyone else, he had already cried that day. Of course he had. And his so-called fragility was well known to everyone who’d ever met him, but nobody else needed to know just how weak he felt.

It knew. And Eddie was well aware of that fact.

While it may have also brought him an overpowering feeling of self-hatred and despair, the bedraggled old bracelet that was missing most of its beads but had never lost its memories had done its job, filling him with a sense of determination that was just enough to get him to momentarily block out the pain and stand up off the dirty grey floor. There had to be a way out and if no-one else was going to show it to him, Eddie didn’t have a choice; he had to get out of there.

Except that before he could take a single step, an unseen force hit him like a ton of bricks on the back of his head, knocking him to the floor once again. This time, he didn’t get back up.


It felt like a dream. God only knew how long he’d been out for, but once he came around, it suddenly didn’t matter that he was in more pain now than he had been before, that the shattered bones in his arm wouldn’t stop reminding him of their condition for a single second, or that the room Niebolt House seemed to have melted away around him and that an even dirtier, more sickening environment had appeared in its place.

None of that mattered because Richie was there, standing just a metre or so in front of him.

And because of that, it took Eddie a while to realise he was lying on his back in a sewer, covered in God knows what. It was all so repulsive that he heard his mother’s voice yelling at him from inside his head again, reminding him of how sick he was – something he’d never be able to forget – and his lungs started to constrict inside his chest, his heart hammering away against his ribcage like it was trying to break through the bones. He instinctively felt around for his inhaler, only to find that it wasn’t where he’d left it.

Anxiously glancing up at Richie with eyes brimming with tears and desperation, he caught a glimpse of his inhaler lying in waste by Richie’s feet. The look on his friend’s face was incomprehensible – his eyes oozed concern, but he didn’t seem to be as worried for him as he usually would be, and yet his lips were curling into a smile that seemed almost sinister, like he was enjoying his friend’s distress. Richie was weird (there was no denying that) but this wasn’t like him at all.

Eddie’s suspicions only intensified when he watched his grinning friend raise a foot and crush his inhaler right in front of him a moment later.

Eddie’s heart immediately sank, his eyes widening as he became the personification of shock and horror. But he didn’t scream. His voice was too hoarse, his throat too sore from all the crying and screaming he’d already done that day to make another sound – and besides, Richie was still Richie, no matter how strangely he was behaving; he must have had explanation for his actions, even if he didn’t understand it straight away. That was just something you got used to when you were friends with someone like Richie Tozier for so long.

His thoughts were almost instantly distracted from the fragments of his demolished inhaler scattered amongst the repulsive water of the sewer when his friend darted closer to him without warning, offering his hand and helping him up. Wincing at the pain in his broken arm, his bones complaining of the ever so slight movement, Eddie reached out and took his hand without hesitation.

“Don’t worry about that,” Richie advised him, his eyes flickering over to the broken pieces of plastic floating about in the shallow water. “You don’t need it. You’re stronger than that… You don’t need your pills either, you know,” he added after a moment, his gaze returning to meet with his friend’s.

What happened next was a blur for Eddie as his closest companion’s behaviour became even more erratic. Something stuck into his foot as he was shoved backwards (he probably just stepped on one of the pieces of what used to be his inhaler), his back crashing hard into the wall behind him. The pain in his arm escalated, immediately taking his attention away from the discomfort in his foot, but then another feeling attacked his senses.

Not pain or agony, or disgust or discomfort, but something… warm, something just as intense as the pain coursing through every fibre of his being but much more enjoyable. He didn’t understand at first. He wasn’t sure if even Richie did at the time. All he knew was that suddenly his best friend’s lips were on his, moving against them slowly, and he didn’t mind. Before he could even comprehend what he was doing, Eddie found himself kissing him back.

For a moment it seemed like nothing else mattered – not his broken arm or the monstrous clown that was still terrorising them, or even the question as to how the two of them had ended up there in the sewer when the last thing he could remember was feeling abandoned in the house on Niebolt Street.

But this sort of bliss and happiness, for Eddie Kaspbrak – as for all the losers – was never anything but short-lived and disappointing.

When Richie finally pulled away, his hands returning to his sides instead of Eddie’s, his hair had already begun turning orange and the smile on his suddenly cracked, pale face looked even more sadistic now than Eddie had imagined. In fact, he no longer looked like Richie at all, but It.

And all he found himself thinking was I’ve just given my first kiss to a freaking demonic clown.


The Beat  |  Tears of a Clown  |  Lip-synched on Top of the Pops (1979)

“Tears of a Clown” by Iron Maiden

Maiden Monday

All alone in a crowded room
He tries to force a smile
The smile it beamed or so it seemed
But never reached the eyes, disguise
Masquerading as the funny man do they despise

Spoiler Alert: this is NOT a duet with Smoky Robinson.

Apparently, this song is inspired by the struggles and suicide of Robin Williams and is Bruce’s favorite song on the album. 

Some great wah-pedal effects on the first part of the guitar solo make it sound huge.

It’s also the shortest song on the album at 4:59.


He’s displaying every micro-expression tell in the book. 80% of how we communicate with one another is nonverbal.

The Tears Of A Clown
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
The Tears Of A Clown

The Tears of a Clown - Smokey robinson & The Miracles

Now if there’s a smile on my face,
It’s only there tryin’ to fool the public
But when it comes down to foolin’ you
Now honey, that’s quite a different subject

But don’t let my glad expression
Give you the wrong impression
Really I’m sad,
I’m sadder than sad
You’re gone and I’m hurtin’ so bad
Like a clown I appear to be glad

Now there’s some sad things known to man
But ain’t too much sadder than
The tears of a clown
When there’s no one around

Now, if I appear to be carefree
It’s only to camouflage my sadness
In order to shield my pride I try
To cover this hurt with a show of gladness

But don’t let my show convince you
That I’ve been happy since you
Decided to go
Oh, I need you so
I’m hurt and I want you to know

Now, there’s some sad things known to man
But ain’t too much sadder than
The tears of a clown
When there’s no one around

Just like Pagliacci did
I try to keep my sadness hid
Smiling in the public eye
But in my lonely room I cry
The tears of a clown
When there’s no one around

The Tears of a Clown was written by Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and Hank Cosby and released by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles in 1970 under Motown Records. The song hit both the R&B and Soul music charts at #1 


Words: 1 K 

Warning: Bullying

In a fleet of panic, you tripped over a branch that had been buried in the mud by the storm. Planting your hands into the ground with a harsh thud, your head snapping forward, you then felt the warmth of blood trickling down your face from where it came in contact with a rock. Your ears were thudding with the feeling of your blood pounding due to the fear that had been subdued in the moments between meeting the Bower Gang’s stare and launching yourself into a mad run. 

Fighting the weakness of your body to continue and the burning sensation of exhaustion creeping up on you, you gasped for air and swung your arms. Jumping off a large rock to carry yourself farther, scrambling to get under the cover of something. However, with sounds of echoing laughter from behind you, coming through the trees, you were forced to pause in your running for a split second, frantically looking all around for an escape. Your tear-stained eyes searching everywhere for a possible hideout, you didn’t find anything at first, which was longer than you preferred. Your heart slamming into your chest and your head becoming dizzy from the sudden lack of movement, you wiped your eyes and saw the entrance to the sewer system, water dripping from the edge and vines twisting their way into the darkness. 

Not thinking about what consequences may lay ahead, you then pushed yourself forward and gave all your energy into running into the system. Now having a destination allowing for you to maneuver the rocky beach that flooded into the river with skill, just as you had done many years back when you were a child, something you hadn’t questioned as being a risk to whatever you were about to face. 

Even though you had heard about the children going missing and the dangers of getting lost in the dark waters, but nonetheless, your feet splashed through the water and that was the last thing you were thinking about. All you wanted to do was get away from the Bower’s gang. The boys who had been hunting you down since the first day of Freshman year and making sure your life was a living hell. Even though you had done nothing to them or their leader-Henry, who was the son of the town’s sheriff. Who turned out to be just as much of an asshole as you would expect from his son. 

At first, no sign or noise came from the gang as you darted into a seperate opening of the sewer system. You sighed in relief, your lungs burning and your legs heavy from the work in speeding around corners of different tracks in the sewers. Like a maze, it was only when you slowed down that you leaned your hand against the wall in order to rest. Taking it off to see the glint of red wetness covering your palm. 

Furrowing your eyebrows, you suddenly heard the cackling laughter of Henry behind you. You whipped around and heard your voice crack in the stumbling words of desperate pleas falling from your tongue. You were surprised with yourself of how fast you were to get on your knees, or, fall–as Henry had pushed you into the murky water. The smell of blood and rotten goods filling your lungs and making you shiver.

“He-Henry please don’t hurt me. Henry please! I’ll do anything just-” Henry grimaced and pulled his blade from his pocket. The light from his lighter illuminating the grin that had plastered itself to his face. 

“Get ready to eat shit, bit-” Henry, approaching you and just about to take hold of your shirt, was then grabbed by a blurry figure. Flung into the wall and coming splashing down, you watched in horror as the sound of maniacal laughter filled the sewer. Blood stained your clothes from where the water splashed, and you managed to catch a glimpse your savior-a man, a clown’s face. It was then when you heard Henry’s screams pierce your ears, and the sound of flesh ripping and tearing spliced all of your attention.

Harsh breaths coming from your agape mouth, you gripped the wall, pressing your back against it while you watched the man engulf the boy, the one who was terrorizing you, and who was now being terrorized. Your shoulders hunched and the water soaked through your pants, you found yourself smiling. It took you everything you had not to run, one-half of your head telling you to run faster than you had been, yet the other half telling you that this clown had just saved you. 

You bit down on your tongue, biting down until you could taste blood. A few minutes later, the clown had fallen into a squat, his ruff covered in blood and the bells that were weaved into the fabric around his neck jingling the more he moved. When done with tearing through Henry’s chest, the clown turned to you with eyes so intense you gulped down the lump in your throat and shakily balled your fists. 

Ready to run if you had to.

“There’s more of them coming.” You spoke clearly, conveying the lack of fear you had. Which was a lie even to yourself. But you didn’t want to end up like… 

Pennywise noticed you staring at Henry, who’s eyes had gone gray with his mouth open in the screams that had stopped abruptly. Standing, Pennywise then stood up without any notice from you, abruptly appearing only inches away. He had no sense of space as his fingers slid along your face and wiped your tears away. Smelling the blood that had dried against your temple but forcing himself to look away. “Come with me little rabbit. They won’t be able to find you in here. You’re… Safe.”