Terrah watched as the chaos unfolded in front of her. Mrs. Hathorne and Scott both still trying to open the door, heaving and pulling and tugging, the students around her simply fell into a panic. Finally, Scott stepped away from the door.
“Okay, kids, this isn’t a problem! We might just have to spend some extra time here until someone can come to help us!”
“Who? There’s nothing up here for miles, and none of us have our cell phones! We all left them on the bus!” Nate howled. The children started screaming, some sobbing uncontrollably. Samantha looked like she was on the verge of fainting, Ally stood next to her, making sure she was there in time. Carl started running around like a decapitated chicken, squawking out of fear. And in the midst of everything, Max stood with his expressionless face, seeming to have no care in the world. Even if they were obviously snowed in this creepy manor and would probably have to spend the night, or perhaps longer. Perfect nightmare fuel.
“Everyone relax!,” Mrs. Hathorne screamed, silencing the class, “I still have my phone with me so I can call the bus driver to get someone to help.” She dialed his number and waited, the ringing echoed throughout the room.
“Bring, Bring, Bring.” She waited a few seconds. The sound continued echoing.
“Bring, Bring, Bring.” No answer.
“That’s it – we’re all going to die here!” Greg cried, sprawling himself onto the floor.” If before was chaotic, then this was hell. The children were divulging into absolute paranoia and insanity. Not one person looked fine, in fact, even Max looked nervous, and he’s Mr. Cool and Collected!
“Don’t worry kids,” said Scott, “I’ll go figure this out! I’m gonna go up to the attic to see if I can signal the bus driver from the window.” He walked a corner and disappeared from sight, leaving the students in silence, and in fear.
25 minutes later, there was still no sign of Scott. And Terrah feared the worst. The seconds passed in her mind, ticking away. All she could think about was if she was going to see her family again. Mrs. Hawthorne fidgeted uneasily. Suddenly, a clock from somewhere in the manor rang loudly, sending its music towards the group. Everyone was turning their heads, desperately trying to figure out where the sound was coming from. And then, the lights went out, several people screamed. But the lights immediately came back on as quickly as they went just as the final chime rang out across the manor. Mrs.Hawthorne finally said,
“Alright, this has taken long enough. I’m going to call Scott.”
“Bring, Bring, Bring.” No answer. She called again. Nothing. The kids fanned out, looking all over the manor for Scott, calling his name. Nothing. Scott was gone somehow. Inexplicably, Scott had vanished from the premises. All the kids panicked deciding that it was best to go back to the foyer and wait.
“He said he was going to the attic,” Mrs. Hathorne whispered. “Alright you kids stay here while I go look for him, nobody leaves.”
“Please, we’re snowed in with no way out, how are we going to leave unless we magically teleport outside,” Jaxon said sarcastically. Mrs. Hathorne walked in the same direction Scott had left, a mere half an hour ago. And just like that, the students were alone, no authority figures, no way out, and no chance of staying sane in the next few minutes. Terrah sat uncomfortably on the stiff sofa in the foyer, her mind racing. Glancing at her peers she could tell they were all thinking around the same thing,
Had Mrs. Hathorne found Scott? And will we get out of here alive? Terrah glanced anxiously at the small glitchy watch she wore on her wrist, squinting her eyes as the clock read 4:55. She sighed, at this point she would be at home with her parents and siblings getting dinner ready, ultimately messing up and ending up getting takeout from some Chinese place. Tears threatened to brim her eyes and she desperately blinked in hopes of getting rid of them. Her friend Jess plopped down beside her, the weight of the couch shifting.
“I wonder if we get trapped here then Mr. Jackson won’t give us the math test on Friday?” She questioned pensively as if actually considering it. Terrah merely giggled at her friend’s comedic manner, pleased to have someone there to cheer her up.
Trailing behind Jess, Nate, Max, and Jaxon entered the foyer sitting in some chairs in front of them.
“Well, I suppose the good thing about this is that we all might end up on the news.” Nate laughed awkwardly. Terrah shrugged in response, standing up and wandering absentmindedly around the house for what seemed like hours, but in reality only a couple of minutes.
She found herself upstairs, the walls lined with flowery wallpaper, already peeling off at the sides. The floor plastered with hardwood, and yet somehow, after hundreds of years, it still looked new. Terrah’s eyes jumped from place to the other, finally landing on the large grandfather clock standing in front of her. To say it was beautiful would be an understatement, with its ornate carvings. Swirling around the face were hundreds of detailed designs. Each one was more intricate than the last. There were curves, handles, everything you’d expect to see on a clock. But this was different, it felt different. For whatever reason Terrah found herself drawn to it. Walking unknowingly, she drew closer. Her hand was just about to brush against it when she heard some crying from the bottom floor, breaking her from the trance.
It was probably just Samantha having some kind of mental breakdown but she felt she should go check, just in case. Turning around, Terrah headed for the flight of stairs when suddenly, the clock rang again, stopping her in her tracks. It was five o’clock. After the second chime, the lights went out again, similarly to when Scott had disappeared. Terrah looked around in fear – and after the last chime, the lights yet again came on. Shaken, Terrah called out, “Mrs.Hawthorne?” No response. She called out even louder, “Mrs.Hawthorne?!” But again, no response. Mrs.Hawthorne, too, seemed to be gone. She went back down to the main foyer, where there was a slight panic. Students all crowded around each other, faces covered with distraught.
“Like, what is going on?” Samantha whimpered, latching onto Jaxon’s arm. Jaxon uncomfortably slipped away from her, moving to stand by Terrah, much to her displeasure.
“Is everything okay?” Terrah asked. Jaxon said nothing, he just stared at her, eyes filled with worry.
“Mrs. Hawthorne hasn’t come back yet,” Jess said, filling her in, “And we’re not sure if she ever will.” Terrah’s eyes widened, first Scott and now their teacher! Samantha was right, what the heck was going on?