A/N: This is my submission for the Review Game's February WCC. The prompt is: "You know how sometimes when you're drifting off to sleep you feel that jolt, like you were falling and caught yourself at the last second? It's nothing to be concerned about, it's usually just the parasite adjusting its grip." -David Wong in "This Book is Full Of Spiders (Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It). The character names are from John Dies At The End/This Book Is Full of Spiders. But nothing else. (Also, if you haven't read JDatE, you seriously should). Oh, and the short sentences are intentional.

"I only want to talk to you."

The doctor (crazy sterilized monster, if you had a knife he would be gone) reaches out to grab your hand, but you ain't falling for that.

Not again.

Last time they tried to 'kill' It you were empty and tired for days. Fever dream after fever dream…and It lived on inside of your brain. Fed on your exhaustion. They were only helping It. They wanted It to live.

You know that.

You jerk your hand back like he bit you. Jam it in your pocket. You know the drill. He's going to ask you about John. Everyone asks about John.

And after he asks you, you'll be good to go and your mom will pick you up and take you home.

(To the basement. Where you live. Because it's kind of detached from the house, and you're nineteen. Can't be seen living at home. Would ruin your reputation. So you say you rent the basement.)

"So, David, tell me all that you remember about John."

Fucking routine. Never ends.

"My little brother. He liked Batman. Couldn't stand Spiderman. He was cute. Had a scar on his thigh for some reason or another. Three years younger than me," you say. Being difficult on purpose. It likes when you're difficult. Sends you little shots of pleasure.

"I meant—about what you believe to have happened to him."

"He vanished from this plane of existence," you say. Shrugging. It's no big deal anymore. Been five years. You're coping.

"Tell me about the day he…vanished."

"Can't remember much. It was August. Hot. We were outside. Playing Jedi. I had my knife. Tied it to a stick, used it as a lightsaber. John didn't have anything. He tried to grab the knife-stick from me," you say.


"He was gone. Poof. I have dreams about him. Sometimes. Nothing remarkable."

"And the fact that he was gone led you to believe that he was in another plane of existence?"

"Mom wouldn't talk about him. Dad left. I used to think he died. But he didn't. He just went somewhere else," you say.

"Your mother…well…do you want to know what actually happened to John?"

It gets angry then. But you gotta control It. It wants to hurt the doctor. Cut his head off. It's whispering that you're right.

John just disappeared.

But you'll humor the guy. "Okay, what actually happened to John?"

He can hear the skepticism. It's pretty obviously dominating your voice.

"How long has it been since your last blackout, David?" he asks. Stalling, probably.

"Dunno. Year?"

"Do you think it's possible that you blacked out during your last day with John?"

"No," you say, and that's the truth. Your blackouts happen when It gets complete control of you. It was just an acquaintance when John was around.

The doctor pulls his phone out, and It wants you to smash the fucking thing to bits. If he's gonna tell you his twisted lie about John, he should just do it.

Eventually he holds the phone out. A picture. Teenager. Boy. Handsome. Scar down his cheek.

"…and?" you ask. Handsome teenager. So what.

"That's John, David."

Doc's voice is gentle.

It is not happy. In fact, it's yelling at you.

Don't believe him, don't believe him.

"He's sixteen now. David?"

"What?" you spit, and you know that It's injecting literal venom into your words. Hopefully it'll melt his face off for lying so badly. "That's not John."

"It is. David—he moved away with your dad."

"Why?" You're trying to control yourself, but you're breathing pretty heavily. Freaking out.

Right along with It.

"Because you hurt him. You gave him that scar, and you were about to kill him when your father found you. He was scared. Naturally. He wanted to be away from you."

"Why are you lying to me?" you ask.

Hands out of your pockets now. They're slamming against the table as It starts to take over your brain.

"David, calm down." Doc's standing up, hand out. "I hate telling you just as much as you hate hearing it."

"Somehow I doubt that."

"Control yourself, David. Control It. Sit down. It's alright."

"It's evil and it's mad and I'm mad."

"David—put the chair down. Control—"


A/N: All feedback is appreciated, and non-RG reviews will be returned.