“Pay no attention to the dead and dying, continue down the hall. On your right, there will be a door that leads to a waiting room, you’ll remain there until your name is called,” the voice came from a faceless cloaked figure.
The cloak hang in midair around an invisible body. The other students bowed their head, so I did the same and adjusted my jacket so that the camera lens on my phone was directed at the ghastly sight. We began to shuffle down the hall in a group. I could see that the torches along the wall were hanging of their own accord, bobbing gently on the flowing air in the stoned chamber. Again, I moved the camera and whispered some commentary. I tried to get shots of the others’ faces but couldn’t even see them myself. Everyone wore a hat or had hoods and masks on, obscuring their faces. Like the invisible entity had said there was a door at the end of the corridor that led to a room made of bones.
There were holes, small openings in the lay work of the bones that allowed me to see out into the day where the sun was still shining high in the afternoon sky. It made things more real and less like I had stumbled onto a cult nestled in the heart of my town. Being able to see the clouds that I’ve know to spot and burst so well reminded me that I was just over the hill and in the woods not in some other realm. Maybe this was another world, though?
One by one a voice called out names and one by one people vanished. Some returned a few minutes later blind and horrified. The ones who could make it out of the room fled down the corridor. The others laid curled on the ground sobbing quietly. Even though I wasn’t supposed to be here, would my name still be called? My insides battled with the desire to know what lay beyond this cult’s curtain of bones and wanting to flee while I still had my sight.
Only me and another person remained. They stood staring out through one of the openings, mumbling to themselves like they were preparing for a test.
“Hey,” I called. “Do you know where we go when they take us?”
The person stopped their mumbling and crossed their arms behind their back before turning to face me.
“Edgar Skal,” said the disembodied voice, and the person vanished so that I was left alone in the room with the blind and crying.
“Screw it,” I said and whipped out my phone. “I don’t know what if anything is about to happen, but for anyone who is watching this live feed should know that I did all of this to get to the bottom of the truth, to finally find out the answers to why so many of kids and teens end up dead or missing or worse in this town. If I don’t return, there’s no one left that would miss me, but please share this as widely as you can. We can’t let the truth die.”
“Joan Robinson,” the voice said.
Like the smoke of a dying fire, I was split, twirled, and sent up into the air.