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The Downward Spiral of Patrick Hockstetter

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Patrick sat at the dining table drinking coffee and picking at his food. His mom made pancakes and had put extra butter on his, smothered in maple syrup. It was one of his favorite breakfasts but he didn't feel like eating.His appetite was almost non-existent. He was exhausted even though he had the best sleep he had had in a while, well since moving to Derry.


"Patrick? You're not eating. Is everything ok?" his mother asked.


Patrick looked up to see his mother's worried eyes on him. It was rare when she actually worried about him, he knew he looked like shit, dark bags under his eyes, his hair unwashed and messy, and he was even more pale.


"Not hungry."


Patrick stood up to go back to his room but his mother noticed how bruised his hand was.


"Patrick! What happened to your hand?!" his mother asked as she stood up and ran to her son.


She grabbed his wrist and began to look over his hand, she noticed the scar but ignored it for now, she saw the bruising and there was no doubt in her mind that her son broke his hand.


"Did you get into a fight?" she asked trying to get information out if her son.


Patrick simply shook his head and pulled his hand away. He really didn't want his parents to see his hand but here he was. His father got up from the table and went to grab his coat and the car keys. His mom started shoving him out the door towards the car and Patrick just went along with it. He was too tired to fight it and his hand really did hurt, maybe he could get some good painkillers.
____

At the hospital the Hockstetter's waited half an hour before they were taken to a room. There was so much white all around and it annoyed Patrick. Everything was sterile clean and smelled weird.
The doctor was a middle aged woman with brown hair tied back and brown eyes that held kindness in them.
The doctor had taken Patrick to get his hand x-rayed and he was asked so many questions that he had a hard time processing. He was forced to take his hoodie off so the doctor saw the scars and burn marks on his arms. He refused to look at her after that.


Once she brought Patrick back to the room his parents were in, she left to get the x-ray. Patrick was silent, he knew this doctor would try to help him and tell his parents about the self-harm.
The doctor was back within ten minutes and she had someone else with her, not a nurse or another doctor, someone in business type clothing. A short black woman in a black pantsuit and shiny red nails. Her hair was tied back in a bun and she smelled faintly of citrus and some kind of flower.


"Mr. and Mrs. Hockstetter, I need to speak to Patrick alone with my associate. If you could please go back to the waiting room, we will come get you when we are done", Dr. Blake, as Patrick realized as he saw her name tag, said.


His parents looked confused and concerned but they got up and left without a word. The door closed and Patrick felt like he was about to be attacked but they both smiled warmly at him.


"Patrick, I'm Linda, a social worker. Dr. Blake brought up her concerns about your physical appearance with me and I'd like to talk to you and ask you some questions if that's alright with you."


"I didn't do anything", Patrick said softly, not looking at either woman.


"Oh no honey you aren't in trouble. We just need to ask how you got so many cigarette burns and cuts on your arms. Also the broken hand with a huge scar on it is a red flag. Do you have any bruises, scars, or burn marks anywhere else?" Linda asked.


Patrick looked at both women and they could see he was scared. He just knew they were going to put him in the loony bin, he knew he would be hidden away forever, no more freedom and drugged up for the rest of his miserable life.


"I'm not crazy."


"Patrick, I know you aren't crazy and whatever has happened is not your fault. Did you parents do all this to you?"


Patrick's eyes widen and he was shocked. He never thought he would be accused of being a victim of child abuse. He knows it all looks bad though and it makes sense that they thought that. Apparently Dr. Blake took his silence as confirmation because she put her hand on his shoulder, only to have Patrick jump away from the contact.


"Do you have someone you could stay with while we conduct our investigation?" Linda asked.


"Uh, my neighbor I guess."


Linda began filling out paperwork, writing things down, and typing things on her computer. Dr. Blake took this time to put up the x-ray of Patrick's hand.


"So your hand is broken, can I ask how it happened?" Dr. Blake asked.


"I punched a wall."


Dr. Blake nodded and whispered something to Linda before leaving the room. It was quiet for a while, only typing and writing could be heard and Patrick just sat there waiting. He wasn't sure what his parents were going to do. Linda had Patrick fill out paperwork about himself while she left the room, most likely to take his parents paperwork.
Dr. Blake returned and began taking care of Patrick's hand, she had a cast put on and put his arm in a sling to keep his hand as still as possible. The cast was uncomfortable and the sling hurt his shoulder but he stayed quiet.
Linda returned after Dr. Blake finished and had given Patrick a bottle of pain killers. At least the pain could he dulled some.


"Alright Patrick, I have spoken to your parents. I will be driving you to your house to get some things, everything you will need, we don't know how long this will take so please get everything you can think of since you can't go back until we are finished and have deemed your home safe", Linda explained.


Everything was blur after that, Linda walked him to her car, they passed his parents in the waiting room and his mother was crying and his father looked angry. He wasn't sure if his father was angry at him or the situation. Probably both.
The drive was quiet, Linda didn't say much and Patrick was fine with that.

They arrived at his house and they walked in and then up the stairs. Linda even followed him into his room which was annoying but she probably had to. He grabbed his backpack for school and set it on his bed. Then he grabbed a duffel bag and filled it with clothing. He managed to sneak his box of contraband into the bag. He grabbed a sketchbook and pens and pencils, his phone charger, and earbuds.
He figured that was enough, after all, his parents didn't abuse him so it shouldn't take too long for them to realize that. Linda took his duffel bag and he grabbed his backpack and they left his room.
They left the house and walked next door. Linda knocked on the door and Mrs. Tozier answered the door.


"Yes?" she asked a bit confused.


Linda made introductions and explained the situation. Patrick stood there awkwardly and wished that this moment would end.


"I don't understand, why did he tell you here?" Mrs. Tozier asked.


That's when everyone heard a loud voice come to the door. It was Richie and he looked worried when he saw Patrick.


"Patrick? What's going on?" Richie asked.


Patrick shuffled his weight onto his other foot and kept looking at the floor. He wanted to disappear. He didn't know anyone else, he had no family nearby, and he really was a loser with no friends other than his neighbor.


"He is welcome to stay here, I didn't realize my son was good friends with him. Please come in", Mrs. Tozier motioned for them to come inside.


"Come on, we can go to my room", Richie whispered.


Richie grabbed the duffel bag from Linda and they quickly went upstairs to let the adults talk. Both boys sat on Richie's bed and Patrick explained everything. He was embarrassed but Richie deserved an explanation.


"Damn dude, I'm sorry."


"Its fine. My parents are pissed though", Patrick said.


A knock at the door interrupted them and Richie stood to open his door. Linda walked in holding a business card and handed it to Patrick. It was white with raised black lettering with Linda's name, email, and phone number, along with her job title.


"In case you need anything you can call me, day or night".


Patrick nodded so Linda left and Richie closed the door again. Patrick stuck the card in his pocket and flung back on Richie's bed, laying on his back. Mrs. Tozier walked in, which earned a glare from Richie for not knocking first.


"Patrick, you are welcome to take a shower if you want, towels are in the linen closet beside the bathroom. I'll be making lunch soon if you're hungry. Richie, show him how the shower works please".


"Thank you Mrs. Tozier", Patrick said softly.


"You can call me Maggie".


Patrick grabbed a change of clothes and Richie walked him to the bathroom and grabbed him a towel. He explained the shower and then looked at Patrick's hand.


"Can that get wet?"


Patrick shook his head so Richie ran out and quickly came back with plastic wrap and duct tape. Patrick grinned and sat while Richie wrapped the cast, lots of plastic used, and a lot giggling from the both of them. Richie had used way more tape than necessary so when he was finished, it looked hilarious but it was definitely waterproof.


"Thanks", Patrick said.


Richie beamed at him and left the bathroom. Patrick turned the shower on, undressed, and got in under the hot water. It felt so nice after feeling gross for hours. He used Richie's shampoo that smelled of apples and it made him smile.

 


___

 

 

Patrick walked back into Richie's room fully clothed, he wasn't wearing a hoodie since his shirt was long sleeved but you could see his collar bones since the shirt had a swoop neckline, not too big to look girly though.


"Feel better?"


"Yeah, thanks", Patrick replied as he sat down beside Richie on the floor with his back touching the bed.

Richie was playing a video game and Patrick just watched and made a few jokes that had Richie cracking up. Patrick couldn't play since one of his hands was out of commission but Richie made sure he felt included. 


"Boys! Lunch is ready!" Maggie yelled from downstairs.


Richie shot up but Patrick stayed sitting. Richie turned back and looked at Patrick. He was about to ask if he was coming when Patrick spoke.


"Go ahead, I'm not hungry."


Richie ran downstairs but was back quickly with two plates in his hand and two cans of Coke being held against his side with his arm. He sat and handed Patrick a plate and a Coke.


"Mom said I had to bring you food. She is a really good cook."


Patrick stared down at the food. It was some chicken dish, a casserole maybe. It smelled good but Patrick really didn't feel like eating. He tried opening the can of Coke but he couldn't do it. Richie took it and opened it for him and handed it back with a smile.


"Thanks. So what is this?" Patrick asked pointing at the food.


"Poppy seed chicken casserole. Its pretty good, has shredded chicken, poppy seeds, cream of chicken soup, and broken Ritz crackers with butter for the topping, try it."


Patrick took his fork and tried the food. It actually was pretty good so he took another bite. Richie put on a tv show, Courage the Cowardly Dog, and they sat quietly eating and watching tv. Once finished Richie took the dishes to the kitchen. Patrick closed his eyes and felt content.


"You sleepy? You can take a nap", Richie said when he got back.


"I'm fine, the painkillers make me feel a little tired but I'll be fine."


Patrick was not fine. Richie sat back down beside him to watch tv and Patrick fell asleep within a few minutes, his head falling on Richie's shoulder. Richie didn't mind, he sat there and let Patrick sleep.

After a while Patrick's head started to slip down so Richie carefully helped Patrick lay down with his head in Richie's lap. Richie ran his fingers through Patrick's soft hair and just watched tv for a few hours.
Maggie had walked in at one point but upon seeing Patrick sleeping and her son putting his finger to his lips and shushing her, she nodded and softly shut the door.

 


____

 

 

Blood was everywhere. Patrick looked at his hands and his body and he was also drenched in blood. It was warm and thick and he hated how it felt. He looked around trying to find the source but it was so dark he couldn't see much.


He walked around trying to find something, anthing, but he heard howling and growling. He turned around but saw nothing. He began to run, feeling like something was after him.

He heard shrill screams pierce the air and he startled and fell. He looked around and saw several black shapes moving closer to him, surrounding him. 
He felt something pierce his skin on his arm, then he felt it on his other arm, then his neck, he kept feeling pricks everywhere and he began to freak out and scream. He touched where the pain would hit but nothing was there.


He grabbed his hair and yanked, screaming at the top of his lungs. The black shapes had gotten so close they could almost touch him. He realized the black shapes had eyes, red beady eyes that stared him down. He covered his head and started to cry. He felt hands all over him, touching everywhere, smearing the blood on him.

 


____

 

 

Patrick woke up to being shaken, his eyes opened and he realized he was laying on the floor, his head in Richie's lap. He blushed and sat up.


"You ok? You started screaming in your sleep", Richie said as he looked at Patrick.


Patrick nodded. His dreams kept getting weirder and still were very unsettling.


"I'm fine. Nightmare."

 


____

 


That night as Patrick laid in Richie's bed next to Richie, he thought about dinner earlier. Maggie had made Lasagna and it was good but Patrick didn't eat much. Her husband Wentworth came home just in time for dinner and he must have been informed of their visitor because he didn't act surprised.
Dinner was quiet, Richie made a few jokes and crude comments but other than that, it was a quiet meal. The boys went back upstairs after dinner and watch a movie, Ghostbusters.


Richie turned over facing Patrick who was laying on his back and smiled. Patrick couldn't help but smile back. Richie put his arm around Patrick and cuddled up to him, his face at Patrick's ear. They laid there for quite some time just enjoying each other's company.


"I like the glow in the dark stars", Patrick broke the silence.


Richie chuckled. He had put those stars on his ceiling when he was seven. Eddie had given them to him as a birthday present and Richie actually left his party in the living room to go put the stars up in his bedroom. Eddie complained they would miss cake but Richie assured him they couldn't do cake without the birthday boy.


Eddie helped Richie put them up, he did his best to create constellations, Richie just put them all over the place randomly. Eddie had managed to create one constellation, the little dipper, Ursa Minor, and wanted to make the big dipper, Ursa Major, but Richie didn't leave enough stars left so the rest were just randomly placed.
Richie and Eddie had laid in bed side by side looking at their work. It had been fun and Richie swore he would keep those stars until the day he died. Now almost ten years later he still had them and swore he would take them to college.


"That cluster of stars right there is Ursa Minor. Eddie made it for me. He bought me the stars when I turned seven. He was going to make Ursa Major but I used up too many stars. He was going to have them be me and him, best friends forever." Richie explained and pointed to the constellation.


Patrick smiled. Richie was so lucky to have friends who cared enough to do things like that for him. He felt a twinge of jealousy but it was gone as quickly as it came.


"He really cares about you", Patrick whispered.


He felt Richie stiffen. He knew they were close, apparently they had been friends for a decade at least, of course they were close.


"Yeah, he is the best friend I've ever had other than Stan. You're not so bad yourself though."


That made Patrick laugh. He wondered what it would have been like to be as normal as Richie and his friends were growing up. He wondered if he had grown up in Derry too if they all would have been friends, if Richie would have been his first kiss, maybe even more than friends.


He felt Richie's hand on his cheek, slowly pulled his face over until their noses touched. He felt Richie's lips softly touch his, chapped but still soft, and felt the hand that was on his cheek slide up into his hair. He felt Richie's leg move over on top of him and he felt his hand slide up Richie's thigh.
Richie had deepened the kiss and moaned into Patrick's mouth and Patrick squeezed Richie's thigh, his hand right at the edge of Richie's boxers. He felt Richie grind against his side and that's when his hand slipped under Richie's boxers and slid up to his ass.


Richie was careful with the arm that was under him, Patrick's bad hand on the bed. They both were beginning to get hard, their making out a little sloppy but more heated. Unfortunately the sound of footsteps and the door handle being turned caught their attention and Richie sprung back. They settled next to each other with room in between and pretended to be asleep.
Maggie opened the door and peaked in with Wentworth right next to her.


"Why did Richie have him sleep in his bed? With him?" Wentworth asked.


Maggie shut the door again softly and their whispers could be heard by both boys since the adults stayed at the door.


"He wanted Patrick to feel safe. He isn't sure what happened but he knew if it was him he wouldn't want to be alone", Maggie responded.


Their whispers began to fade and the sound of a door closing let them know that Maggie and Wentworth had gone to bed for the night.


"So you wanted me to feel safe? That's fucking cute", Patrick teased.


Richie blushed but he quickly got on top of Patrick, straddling him, and brought his mouth down to Patrick's for a deep kiss. Patrick moaned and wrapped his arms around Richie and slowly ran his fingertips up and down Richie's back. Richie's hands were in Patrick's hair and he started grinding against Patrick, both their dicks coming back up to attention.
Richie started kissing down Patrick jaw, then down to his neck, lightly nibbling. He felt a jolt of pleasure run through his lower abdomen as his dick touched Patrick's so Richie bit Patrick's neck and sucked. Patrick of course moaned and didn't think about having a hickey in the morning, all he was thinking about was the heat pooling deep down and starting to boil.


"If you keep this up I'm gonna-"


Richie's breath hitched and his body tensed up, Patrick knew what that meant, and his body also found it incredibly hot so he followed shortly after. Both boys panting, Richie still on top of Patrick, his face nestled into Patrick's neck.


"I fucking jizzed my pants, now I feel gross", Patrick said making Richie laugh.


They both got up and cleaned up, put on new boxers and laid back down.


"Sorry, uh it was kinda hot almost getting caught making out", Richie said sheepishly.


Patrick looked at him and smiled. "Of course you're a little freak".


Richie turned on his side, Patrick did the same and held Richie, he loved spooning him, it felt so right. He squeezed a little and kissed Richie's neck.


"Goodnight Richie."


"Goodnight Patrick."