18 Nov Don’t Knock Back
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"Don't Knock Back"Written by
Estimated reading time — 8 minutes
The following excerpt is from the personal journal of Walter Harris Junior collected after his disappearance which took place on June 7th, 1946. This documentation is only for the personal witness, study and possession of Walter’s parents, Los Angele’s local law enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
To my wonderful mother~
The walls in my room were always cold and quite, but they were still my walls and they always did what they were created to do. At least they used to. They used to protect me and promise me that nothing could ever breach their sturdy confines as long as I shut and locked my window every night. That use to be the mutual understanding that I used to have with the walls. Not with just mine you see, but with every set of walls in any room I have ever visited. But that was before. Before the It came….
My life before the It came was more… simple. Life was easy. Life was fair. Life was… safe. Every night you and Father would kiss me goodnight and tuck me in. Your job to protect me and keep me safe from harm was over and now it was the very walls in the house to fill the duty of protector until the next day. The walls couldn’t talk or move or do anything other then just stand there, forever destined to remain solid and unbreakable and in reality that was far more comforting then anything else you could ever accomplish. But then the It came. The walls still stand, but they aren’t the same. They shiver now. They cry and they fear the It just like me. They fear it because they know just as I do that nothing can ever truly stop the It…
It all started four days ago, which happened to be a Sunday. This Sunday was calm and warm just as the one before that and the one before that. After church, You cooked a nice roast dinner after shopping with father. You had purchased a brand new Summer dress and some new ribbons for your hair and father had picked up a brand new microwave after seeing the broadcast in the television. He couldn’t believe that such a thing existed. A machine that can warm up your supper? What was not to like? Shopping for these types of things kept your minds off of the problems in Europe as well as in our home country. It was the way you coped with what was blooming outside our front door. I guess you felt like your walls were being threatened as well.
After dinner, you and father kissed me goodnight like every other night. You shut off my light and left me for my dreams. I remember feeling like my room was smaller and more clustered this night. Like something had literally morphed my walls into that of a playhouse. I remember feeling sick, which caused me to stay awake and stare at the empty ceiling above me. That was until I heard the It for the first time.
“Knock, Knock, Knock” the wall on the far end of my wall let out. I couldn’t believe what I had heard. It couldn’t have been no earlier than 2:00 A.M, and there my wall was, revealing a sign of life. No. Not my wall. The thing outside my wall. The It.
I jumped out of bed and listened closely. No movement or noise, just the gentle chirping from the native suburban crickets and the sound of the Jefferson’s dog Rufus barking loudly down the street. It was calm and peaceful as if nothing had changed. Just another Sunday night. I had concluded at first that I had imagined the knock. After all, my room was on the second floor and there were no trees surrounding the outside of my bedroom wall, so what or who could possibly knock on my wall and more importantly why? I brushed it off and laughed at the thought of a flying alien visiting me just to knock on my wall three times. So it was then that I was caught off guard and decided to knock back on the far end of my wall to mock my idiocy. “Knock, Knock, Knock” My fists gently clanked against the wall as I laughed at myself and patiently walked back to my bed. Half way there I was struct by the return of another three knocks, this time closer to myself and more louder and direct than before. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. It had been minutes before I decided to knock back. Minutes of whatever was out there to listen to me doubt myself and snicker. I’m not alone.
I had returned to my bed that night after hearing that and pulled the covers over my head. I didn’t want or need to know what was out there. I just wanted to sleep and forget what had happened and wake to the sound of your voice telling me to get ready for school.
The next day had come and I had told my only friend Jimmy what had happened the night before. I didn’t expect him to believe me, but I at least had hoped for some type of logical excuse from his end. Something that would comfort me. Anything. He couldn’t and wouldn’t give me the satisfaction. He blew it off as if what I had said were nothing more than a joke. I hated him for that. I hated how easily he could push what I had told him to the back of his mind as if it were the last thing he could care for when that was all I could think about. After much thought I had decided to tell you and Father about what had happened. I decided to tell you… both of you. It was a mistake. Mother, you laughed while father angrily told me that I was too big to be afraid of monsters. “You’re 12, now act like it!” He screamed as he shook the morning paper in my face. I was alone to face the It. Just me and the walls. Just the two of us.
The next night came, but this time neither of you had come to say good night. Father, you must have convinced mother that I was too old for your comforting company. If it were any other night, I would have agreed with you. I stood up for what felt like two hours just staring at the far end of my room, towards the wall. The thought of me slipping into unconsciousness while the It came terrified me more than the It itself. Sure enough as I began to drift into uncertainty, a sudden knock filled the entire room with tension and fear. “Knock, Knock, Knock” it rang from where it had last left off from the night before. I knew it was the same exact spot because of my Mighty Mouse poster that marked it’s last visit. I squealed and threw the covers over my head. I knew it was out there, listening for my reaction. Any reaction. I was paralyzed at the thought of some hideous green, wide-eyed alien patiently listening with its ear perched against my wall. I closed my eyes and it wasn’t soon that I began to whimper. I was alone and the It knew it. We both knew it.
The next day came and went. I didn’t even bother telling Jimmy or you, what had happened this time. I couldn’t take the feeling of being completely hopeless again and at least this way I could feel like I had some control over my life. Mother, you noticed my blank stare and sudden mood swings and had correctly guessed that I had not slept correctly in the past couple of nights. You had told father, but all that did was anger him more. When bedtime arrived I couldn’t stand the thought of being trapped in my room so I begged you both to let me sleep with you. Furious, Father stuck me in the face and locked me in my room as you watched in silence. After that I truly did not know how to feel. A part of me blamed the It for what had happened but a greater, more lucid part blamed you both for what was going on and for being so oblivious to my cries of help. For a few minutes I even fantasized about the It breaking through my wall and killing me as you both watched in horror. Maybe then you would regret would you had done. Maybe then you could see how selfish you were.
I stood up from my bed that night… last night. I knew the It would come, but this time I wanted it to come. I dared it to come. Sure enough as the night swallowed the entire neighborhood into a hypnotic slumber, the It rang for me. “Knock, Knock, Knock” It gently tapped from beneath my Mighty Mouse poster and from behind my wall. I sat up, now angrier than ever and pounded three times against the hard drywall where I had guessed the knock to spawn. “Knock, Knock, Knock” My fists boomed in response. I waited, but no sound had returned. As I walked away in triumph, the knock returned, this time more confident and closer to my bed. I followed the sound again and pounded in the exact same spot as the It. No fear. “Knock, Knock, Knock” it quickly responded, almost excited at the thought of my continued involvement in it’s game. In my agreement to play along with it. I responded one last time. As tears fled from my eyes and my knuckles acked from the hard ticky tacky, I pounded in response to the It. I was tired of the fear. Of the waiting. Of the playing. Of the games. I had decided that if the It was brave enough to visit my home in the wee hours of the night, that I myself would show it that I too was not afraid to play. Minutes had flown by without a response from the It. A wide smile spread across my face as I studied the wall. I had won. Tonight was my victory. My feeling of triumph would be short lived however. As I giddily stepped towards my bed the sound of knuckles dragging against the outside of my bedroom wall in three sudden bursts followed each step I had taken. It was then that I realized that the It had no intention of stopping or even taking a break from the game. The It had only paused to let me think that I had won. I now know just how cruel the It was. The knocking was the It’s way of letting me know that it was there. But this? This was nothing more than enjoyment out of my torment. The sound of the dragging and then the clanking made my bones shiver and ache with terror. As soon as the third knock echoed, I had seen just what the purpose of the knocking was. The loud thump had landed just inches away from my bedroom window. The entire time that I had played the game, I never stopped not once to think where the knocking was slowly but surely leading to. “Oh no…” My heart stopped at the thought of some horrid monster crashing through my window after leading it there. I quickly climbed into bed and patiently waited for the sun to rise without another sound.
I begged you both one final time out of desperation and I payed heavily for it. My face and backside ache and burns from the belt. Now I know what has to be done. Tonight is the night that I meet the It. I now know that the madness won’t stop until I knock that last and final time. The game has to end.
My eyes strain on my window as I write this. I think about my life. My future. My parents.
I’m writing this for them… for you. When the It comes, it will knock again and I will knock back and i’m sure it will greet me at my window. My hole in the wall.
I want you to know that this is your fault. I truly want you to know….
The It has called for me. The knocks came just as sudden and surprising as the first night it had come. I’m not as frightened as I had imagined. Maybe it’s because I no longer have anything left to lose or maybe it’s because I have finally caught a glimpse of the It. I had knocked in response to the It and it did indeed greet me at my bedroom window. How silly of me to think the It was a scary green alien like from the movie pictures. It’s actually a clown, Mother. A clown! And he has balloons. Bright red balloons. He tells me he’s here to take me far away from you both. Somewhere where you can never hurt me again. I trust him. This is goodbye Mother. You and father have no one to blame but yourselves.
Sincerely, Walt Jr.
Walter Harris Jr.’s remains were found on June 12th, 1946. At this time, both local law enforcement and the Bureau have no leads or suspects. The body of the victim has shown signs of abrasions on both the head and neck, due to some type of scratching and/or biting. Surface lacerations also cover the severed arms and legs of the victim as well. Signs of extreme fatigue also evident.
~Signed 6-13-1946 by coroner James Lee Wilson