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IT and THEM, a culinary love story.

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Eddie Brock awoke with a start, bolting up on the couch. He could feel something was wrong, tickling the back of his mind. He could feel that the symbiote wasn’t with him, and was afraid of what it was up to. The length of time that the symbiote could spend apart from him had been increasing. At least it followed his rules about letting Eddie decide who needed eating.

*Choke* Eddie tasted the blood in his mouth, and spit it onto the floor beside him. Dark brown with bits of fur. Only a stray he hoped. Eddie walked into the kitchen and poured himself a light brown water from the aging faucet. He rinsed out his mouth a spit into the sink.

Eddie felt his pocket buzz and slid out his phone. Derry Public Library was centered on the display. “Derry?” he thought to himself and answered it.

”Hello” he said.

“Eddie Brock?” the voice on the other end asked.

“Yeah, whosethis?” Eddie responded.

“It’s Mike Hanlon Ed,” Mike said, expectantly.

“Mike who?” Eddie asked.

“Mike Hanlon, from Derry,” Mike stated, and then waited.

The image of his six young friends swimming flashes in his mind. A warm day at the end of summer in ... Derry? Derry. Swimming in the river, right where the warrens drained into it. His stomach fluttered with the nervous excitement.

“Mike! How’re you doing? Oh man I haven’t thought of you since forever. I forgot you there for a second.”

“You forgot me for more than a second,” Mike answered.

“How’s ...” Eddie struggled to remember the other names from that day in the river. They were on the tip of his tongue.

“You’ve got to come back Eddie.” Mike stated, Eddie could hear the strain behind his voice.

“What, like to Derry?” Eddie asked.

“It’s happening again. You promised to come back if It returned.” Mike said.

Eddie was about to tell Mike that he couldn’t just leave, but he answered “Of course, I’ll book a flight and rent a car in Portland.” He didn’t mean to say that, but the promise. He had to keep his promise.

“I’ve made reservations in two days, at the Jade Dragon. We’ll all be there.”

“Yeah, I’ll see you there.”

Eddie hung up the phone and put it face down. He held the edge of the counter, his heart was racing. He was panting. He was afraid. He watched his tears hit the counter *pat* *pat* *pat*.

A warm skin slid up his leg and over his chest. The symbiote soothed him and took the form of a white sweater. His breathing slowed and he stood up.

“What’sss Derry Edsssss,” the symbiote asked. “It’s my hometown, where I grew up,” he answered.

“How come I don’t know about Derry Edsss? I know everything about Edssss. Everything Edsss knowsss, and thingsss Edsss doesn’t know.” the symbiote hissed.

“I just forgot about it,” Ed guessed. He could feel the symbiote poke about in his memory. Ed shut his eyes and screamed “STOP!”

“Very excited to see Derry Edssss, I’m so hungry, there is a lot to eat in Derry.”

Eddie was filled with It’s intense hunger; Their intense hunger. He looked into his reflection in the kitchen window and sees a white sweater, with a white and red smiling clown holding a balloon. Somehow that clown seems hungry too he thought.


 

“Look I’ve got to back home for a while on a tip. Can you do me a favour, look up any murders or missing persons in the last 6 months in Derry Maine. Get one of the interns on it,” Eddie said into the phone. “Look I’m at the airport, I got to go, just get me that research,” he says and hanging up.

The cab pulls up to the terminal and Eddie gets out. He hands the cabbie two twenties and say’s, “keep the change.”

The cabbies reaches for the cash clumsily. “Thanks,” he sighs, his eyes are lost in the breeze in Eddie’s sweater. The red balloon sways to and fro in gentle summer breeze.