Meanwhile with our nine remaining students,
“Oh my god, we’re all gonna die!” Nate’s shrieks pestered its way through his classmate’s ears.
“Nate relax it’s just a blackout, probably because of how old the house is,” Jess replied from somewhere in the darkness.
“Yeah man get a hold of yourself,” Jaxon demanded. A loud slap rippled from someplace around them, so it’s safe to assume that was Jaxon having Nate “get a hold of himself”. Shortly thereafter the lights came to life, yet again with a slight flickering as before. Coincidentally, with a similar resemblance to Scotts and Mrs. Hathorne’s disappearances.
“Alright so that’s three blackouts and two missing adults,” Jess murmured silently, “so maybe after one more blackout Mrs. Hathorne and Scott might come back?”
“How does that even make sense,” Jaxon seethed angrily.
“Well, I don’t see you with any big ideas,” Terrah jeered, defending her friend.
“Actually I do have one,” Jaxon smirked, “it’s called we all wait here until the adults come back because they’ve probably gotten lost upstairs and are on their way back right now.”
“How can they get lost, Scott is literally the tour guide,” she yelled, “he can’t get lost!”
“Yeah well it’s the only logical explanation because it’s not like we’re living out an entire horror movie scenario,” he argued. Speaking of horror movie scenarios,
“Wait a minute,” Olive interjected, “you guys…where’s Carl?” Terrah and Jaxon stopped arguing and looked at Olive, the rest followed. The silence was unnerving, spooky even.
“Scratch that,” Jess whimpered, “three blackouts and three disappearances.” Jess and Olive seemed identical at the moment, both wearing the same look of fear on their faces.
“Everyone relax, Carl is probably in one of these rooms, besides we just saw him, so he couldn’t have gotten far,” Max said, trying to calm everyone down. Thankfully, it worked, immediately the classmates scattered across the first floor of the manor looking for their lost friend. Searching from top to bottom the rooms were ransacked with various voices screaming “Carl” at the top of their lungs. Unfortunately, the search ended with nothing and the group gathered back up again with morale just as low as before.
“That’s it, everyone’s disappearing, so we’re probably all going to end up dead,” Nate sighed, sitting on the floor in defeat.
“What is it with you and death, Nate?” Jess questioned concerningly.
“I don’t know where he could have gone,” Max exhaled, “we checked all of the rooms. It was clear that at this point Max had lost his cool demeanor.
“Well,” Olive breathed silently, “we didn’t check that one.” She had her hand pointed towards the last remaining room that went seemingly unchecked by her peers.
A coffee-colored door stood in front of them, its ghostly aura screamed at the children. Everyone stared, but no one said a word. They were all too terrified as to what could be behind that door, a dead body? Blood? Or – more pleasantly – Carl. Jaxon broke the never-ending silence,
“I think we should nominate Terrah to open the door,” he said cowardly, pushing her to the front. Terrah, surprised at the fast movement, tripped on her feet, then shortly got off the ground to glare daggers at Jaxon.
“Some brave jock you are,” She exclaimed, dusting herself off. The two stuck out their tongues childishly, like a pair of angry siblings. Terrah crept stealthily towards the door, gently turning the handle. The group huddled around her curiously, still slightly fearful as to what might be behind the door. But much to their surprise there was nothing, just a big, black, empty room.
“Huh,” Terrah said bewildered, “that’s strange.”
“This must have been cleared out for storage when Scott started the tours,” Jess exclaimed rationally. The group shared a silent agreement, all starting to turn a blind eye to the room.
“Wait!” Olive shrieked, causing the rest to stare at her, “that’s Carl’s bracelet!” She rushed into the room crouching beside a small rubber bracelet left on the floor.
“Are you sure?” Terrah intervened, “it might be Scotts.”
“Yes I’m sure, It’s the one he got when we saw the Shining together, it was our first date-,” She quickly stopped, “uh…I mean, our first hang.” Terrah gave her a knowing look, but seeing her classmates’ worried face she quickly knew how scared Olive felt.
“Don’t worry Olive,” Terrah said crouching beside her, “we can all go try looking for him upstairs, maybe he was somewhere that we missed.” She looked at her friends pensively and they all shot back reassuring nods in return. Everyone started trickling away from the door, all except Olive.
“Are you coming?” Terrah asked, looking at her.
“No,” she replied, still staring at the bracelet, “I think I’ll stay here.” Terrah reluctantly nodded towards her and left without saying another word. Olive sat, alone on the cold wooden floor, in her hand remained the rubber bracelet. She felt hot tears prick her eyes as she wondered if she’d ever get to see Carl again.
“Olive?” A familiar voice shouted from somewhere outside. Her head perked up immediately, recognizing that voice anywhere.
“Carl?” she yelled. Olive stood to her feet, rushing out of the room in search of him.
“Olive?” His voice piercing through the halls. Using her sense of direction Olive felt that his voice was coming from upstairs. They must have found him already! She ran through the house, swerving when she reached the staircase, already running towards the top. She looked around, hoping to lock eyes with his but she still couldn’t see him anywhere. Deciding that he might be in one of the rooms she picked one at random hoping it was the right one.
“Carl? Are you in here?” she yelled into emptiness hoping that he’d reply back from somewhere. The atmosphere around her remained quiet, with no response from anyone. At this point Olive couldn’t hold back the tears, they rushed down her face in loud uncontrollable sobs.
“I must be going crazy,” she cried. Olive sat against the wall, head in her hands, and let the sadness overwhelm her. It was only then she realized which room she walked into. It was a bedroom of sorts.
A large twin-sized bed sat in the middle of the room, with large overbearing posts standing at its sides. It was laid with sky blue sheets, looking soft to the touch. The bed had probably been bought for a child, perhaps the daughter of the family that Scott had mentioned. She gazed around the room with blurry eyes, just wishing she would look up and see Carl’s smiling face. Olive’s legs started to feel numb, so she sat up, deciding to look around the room since she didn’t have anything better to do. The floor had been carpeted with plush white wool, most likely taken from an innocent sheep, Olive thought sadly.
“Damien – what are we going to do?” a hushed voice exclaimed silently from somewhere behind her. Surprised Olive turned around, but there was nobody there. I must really be going crazy, Olive thought.
“We can’t keep up with the medications, she’s suffering,” the same voice answered again. Olive might have been going slightly nuts but she knew that she heard something. Olive started searching, thinking that it might be a recording or a leftover phone from a previous tour, maybe it can help us call someone she pressed hopefully. She searched the bathroom connecting into the bedroom, underneath the bed, even in the closet that had been marked off-limits, but nothing turned up. Dejectedly, Olive sat on the bed giving up on her search.
“Mr. and Mrs. Abraams – I’m sorry to tell you that your daughter hasn’t made much progress,” a different, more masculine voice answered this time. That was it. Infuriated with this ridiculousness Olive stormed out of the room having it up to here with these random voices. There wasn’t a man or a woman, and it certainly wasn’t her Carl. She had been hearing something, that’s all.
Exiting the bedroom, Olive stood in the hallway within the second floor of the manor. She wasn’t sure of what to do now. She could go back to the group, but even the sight of their pitying faces made her stomach fill with dread. Olive simply stood in the foyer, deep in thought. Then suddenly she heard a loud chime from one of the clocks nearby.
“Dong…” The noise sounded similar to that of a grandfather clock, which made sense since they were common back then, Olive speculated. The entirety of it seemed unusually familiar to her, she had heard the clock previously, right before Mrs. Hathorne’s and Scott’s disappearances. Hold on, she had also heard right before she realized Carl had been missing. Could that somehow be related to the adults somehow ceasing to exist as well? Before Olive had more time to think over the idea she heard the second chime of the grandfather clock ring through her ears.
“Dong…” And just like clockwork, an immediate blackout followed. Shocked Olive screamed, flinching at the sudden change in her surroundings.
“Terrah? You guys? Anybody!” She wailed in dismay hoping that somebody from the class had been nearby. However, she was too late, for the remaining students of Willowbrook Middle had already returned to the first floor, stunned to see yet another one of their friends missing. The last thing they heard before the lights came on was the blood-curdling scream of Olive Moore.