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Chapter 6

Nick went down stairs and out the side door into the back yard. Ever since they stepped into Ted's house he
had felt uneasy. At first he couldn’t tell if it was just from the sneaking around without anyone home but it was more
than that. It was a feeling like being in a haunted house, someone could jump out at you any moment. He didn’t let
his friends see that though. He was the tough one in the group and needed to keep up appearances.
The back yard was small, it’s outer edges surrounded by the Wampanoag Pine Forest. There was a white
patio table centered in the middle of the yard with grass growing up around it’s legs. He noticed a clearing in the
grass along the edge of the forest. The ground was tampered down with pine needles as if the location had been used
frequently. He could see cigarette butts all along the sides of the grass along with styrofoam and red plastic cups.
The collection of trash though was only along the rim of the circle. The center was cleared and clean. One of the
patio tables chairs sat up on the edge of the bank closest to the forests trees. Standing just outside of the circle,
something inside him seemed to scream to not going inside of it’s edges
.He began to get a sense of dread and a shiver ran up his spine. A cold sweat began to take over and he
could feel his heart beating rapidly in his chest. The sun was beginning to set overhead, though it would still be light
out for another half hour or so, the forest behind him projected it’s darkness into the yard like a shadow.
Nick gathered his bearings and with a hurried pace, went towards the house again but before getting far
noticed something out of the corner of his eye. He stopped and slowly turned his head towards the circle and what
he saw chilled him to the bone.
Though he had never seen blood, albeit a few cuts and scrapes before, there was no mistaking what it was.
In the center of the circle dried, darkened blood covered tiny chipped bones. What kind of bones, Nick wasn’t sure.
He certainly wasn’t going to stick around and find out. He ran as fast as he could up the stairs into Ted’s room.
Morgan was gone.

Where the hell is Morgan? He asked Ethan who looked at him dumbfounded. The closet door was open
with a bunch of clothes and shoes all over the floor.
“We need to get out of here Ethan! NOW” He grabbed his Ethan’s arm which seemed to awaken him from
his trance and they both sprinted down the stairs, through the living room and out the front door. The two ran like
the wind, not looking behind them, down the driveway onto Lafayette and didn’t stop until they got back to Ethan’s
house.
“What the hell happened Ethan? Where is Morgan?”
“He’s gone” Ethan remarked, almost questioning himself.
“What do you mean gone? Where did he go?” Ethan looked at him and nervously said.
“I don’t know Nick. One minute he was there, the next minute he was gone.”
This made no sense. He was gone for less than 10 minutes. Morgan was the type of guy who would at least
tell you he was leaving.

“You couldn’t hear me calling for you?” Ethan asked in an angry tone. “I saw you in the back yard. I called
out to you for almost 5 minutes but you were just standing there.”
He saw Ethan looking at him, waiting for an answer. He sure as hell didn’t hear him calling him. “Look I
didn’t hear you alright.”
“Okay, but I still have no idea where Morgan is. I looked everywhere for him. He’s gone Nick”. Nick paced
around anxiously. Within a 2 hour period, 2 of his friends had gone missing. What was going on. It was getting dark
and his parents would expect him home soon.
“Think you’re parents will let you stay the night?” he asked Ethan.
“My mom’s working the night shift this weekend and well, you know my dad.” He certainly did. His father
was never around. Usually he could be found at any of the local town bars. If not at any of those, he could be found
in the drunk tank at the police station.
“Let’s go get your stuff. I don’t think either of us should be alone right now”.
Chapter 6

A siren was blaring overhead. The ground below him was a knotted maze of tree roots and pine needles. He
opened his eyes but saw only blackness. His arm was broken.knowing this, because he’d broken it 3 times before.
Though the pain was more of a dull throb at the moment he knew the real pain would come soon.
He tried to gain his night vision, squinting into the darkness. He could see he was surrounded by trees but
could see nothing else. There was no moon, even if there had been, the trees would have blocked out any light
reaching the ground. Struggling to get up, his head swam with dizziness, he wanted nothing more than to go back
into the comfort of sleep. He gathered himself and got to his feet finally. Covering his ears he tried in vain to block
out the incessant noise which permeated the forest. He had never heard a noise like this before. It was like a
combination of an alarm clock and a tornado siren. He began walking, straight ahead, with no sense of where he
was walking to.
“Heeeellppp” He called out to no one. If this was where he thought he was, he knew no one would be
answering.
He couldn’t hear much over the sirens but was able to see the occasional animal scurrying passed him.
Where there other animals here? Larger more nefarious animals? , He quickly hastened his pace.
How he had gotten here was something that was racing through his mind as he tried to navigate through the
thickness of the trees. Backtracking he tried remembering.
He was in Ted’s room. Nick had gone outside and he was putting the stuff back into Ted’s closet that Ethan had
managed to get all over the place. That’s when his memory became hazy, broken up fragments of time. Ethan was
sitting on the bed yelling at him. There was a panicked look on Ethan’s face. He saw him calling out the window
into the back yard. He couldn’t remember if he had called back to Ethan. There was a smoky haze that filled Ted’s
bedroom.

Morgan walked on, lost in confused thought. How was anyone supposed to find him? Then again, was
anyone actually even looking.
The siren sound had become muffled the longer he heard it, turning into just background noise in his head.
With each step his legs were becoming weaker and more wobbly. Not knowing how far or how long he had been
travelling he decided to stop and rest. There was a tree which had fallen down causing it to split into 3 large pieces.
One of which made a nice bench for him to sit.
The night was hot and humid, causing thick beads of sweat to fall down onto his face. It was still August
and the heat would not last much longer. He was at least thankful for that. Better to be stuck out here now than in the
dead of winter. With his right arm he searched the right pocket of his baggy shorts and found nothing. Carefully he
did the same with his right hand to the left pocket. He felt something in a plastic zip locked bag and fished it out. It
was meatballs from dinner between two pieces of bread. He had forgotten all about that. He had planned on giving it
to Ted after he hadn’t shown up for dinner. It was now a soggy mess and the sauce had begun running through the
bread. He took it out of the bag though and ate it anyways, devouring it in less than a minute. As he relaxed, sitting
on the tree his thoughts went back to Ted and his room.
They hadn’t found Ted at the house. The only unusual thing other than Ted not being there was the pot roast
cooking in his oven. Not only was Ted supposed to be eating at his house, no one in Ted’s house ever cooked. Ted
always told him they got take out or he just had some cereal when he would ask what he had had for dinner. He
wondered where Ted was now, if he had ever made it home.
He wondered why Ted had given such a strange reaction to the duffle bag. He had never seen him act that
way before. It was a reaction of fear and anger as soon as Morgan had tried opening the bag. Unanswered questions
would cause anyone to become curious. He hadn’t bothered to ask anything else about what was in the bag due to
Ted’s initial outburst but the thought of it stuck with him all day. As if he was having an epiphany, Morgan got up
from the tree and began running.
He remembered the closet, everything about it. He was putting Ted’s stuff back into the closet and saw the
duffle bag on the floor, not even realizing it had fallen out. Ethan had been behind him on the bed reading one of
Ted’s comic books and not paying attention as usual. The thoughts he remembered were ones of do and don’t. Do
you really want to open this, betray your friends trust? His curiosity always got the better of him though. Looking
behind him again to make sure Ethan wasn’t looking; he slowly began to unzip the top of the bag. At first it didn’t
even look like anything was in the bag even though it weighed probably 35 pounds. He moved the opening wider
and saw books, papers and small glass vials, some with liquid inside of them. He took out one of the books and
looked at it. It was a hardcover book with writing he could not read. He wasn’t sure what language it was in but
none he had ever seen. He opened the book and began skimming through it. Most of it was just writing, a few pages
though showed crudely drawn pictures and diagrams of various devices, none of which Morgan had ever seen
before. He put the book back and took one of the glass bottles. It was small oblong vial with a cork pushed deeply
into the top of it. There was a red liquid inside which had the consistency of melting Jello.
“What’s that?” he had heard with a jolt, dropping the vial to the floor which shattered into a million pieces.
His mind became terrified. What had he done? Ted would never trust him again. He looked over at Ethan who was
calling for him.
“Morgoh”? he whimpered as his head frantically searched the room. He got up from the bed and went into
the hallway still calling for him.

“Ethan I’m right here, what is wrong with you?” but Ethan didn’t answer. Ethan came back into the room
and went to the window. He opened it up and began calling out into the backyard to Nick.
“Nick…. Niiiiicccccck…. Heeeyyyy Nick”. Morgan could tell Ethan was getting scared. He had begun
pacing back and forth by the window, every thirty seconds or so calling back out to Nick.
“What the hell is going on” Ethan asked, sitting back down on the bed looking towards the closet, right at
Morgan.
“Ethan?” Morgan called out into the room. His own voice seemed distant, like it was being played back to
him at a low low volume.
Not sure himself what the hell was happening but still nervous that he’d dropped the vial all over Ted’s
floor he began to pick up the larger shards of glass. Sticky red gelatin type liquid clung to his fingers like superglue
which had coagulated all over Ted’s floor. What a mess. He glanced over at Ethan who had suddenly retreated to the
farthest edges of the bed, curled up in a little ball calling out. “Help me, help me, help me, help me” He whimpered
over and over, still looking at Morgan.
“Jesus! Ethan what the hell is wrong?” He asked again. “why are you freaking out?” Other than the mess
on the floor, nothing else in the room seemed to be out of the ordinary.
He got up from the floor was about to walk over to Ethan when he noticed the mirror on the wall next to
Ted’s bed. His heart began to beat faster and faster in his chest. He looked on in horror as his own body was fading
in and out in the mirror like he was coming in and out of focus. One second he was there holding the pieces of glass
in his hand. The next second his face was gone, showing only his legs and torso. Then he was completely gone and
he could only see the glass floating in the air. He dropped the glass pieces on the floor and Ethan looked over in
horror as they hit the floor one by one. Morgan could see the fear in Ethan’s face, the confusion and the tears in his
eyes. It was the same kind of fear he’d felt the first time he met Ted’s mom.
He slowly backed away from the mirror, still fading in and out of reality. He felt something behind him and
lost his footing and crashed right into the liquid on the floor. The room filled with smoke. Not a smoke like fire,
more like a heavy mist. Suddenly he felt his insides moving around violently. His arms and legs were shifting in
impossible ways. Twisting like putty in the air. His head moved behind him and he was looking at the floor. His left
arm was curled up behind him as well. The room was becoming more and more dark and smoky as Morgan’s body
brutally twisted shrunk and expanded. The room was soon completely black and he felt as though he was floating.
The twisting had stopped and he began to hear a whirring sound in the distance. With a jolt his arm hit the ground
breaking violently. Morgan screamed in pain and passed out.
He ran through the forest with alarming speed. Dodging trees and low hanging branches with ease. He was
now terrified, cursing himself for opening the bag. He knew now from the way he had landed that his arm had
probably still been behind him. There was nothing he could have done to prevent it. He was just happy his head had
returned right side up. A tree branch slapped him in the face and the thought faded. His legs felt like battery acid,
burning and pumping. He refused to stop though. He needed to tell someone, warn someone even. Would they
believe him though because how do you explain something like that.
The ground beneath him was becoming softer. The root systems he had been running through became
thinner and thinner and soon disappeared all together. Maybe he was getting close to a road? Looking up he could
see that the trees were thinning out as well. Still no moon though which frustrated him.

Still running blind in the night he picked up his pace, with the hope that a road, or even a house would soon
save him. The ground around him began to feel like soft sand, much like the beach he went to as a kid, which made
it harder to run. He fought through it though and with a boost that even surprised him he sprinted even faster. That’s
when he felt it. The earth below him wasn’t there anymore. He was falling. The first crash was just a scratch, his leg
hitting a rock. The second crash was worse when his back catching the side of the rocky overhang caused his shirt to
be torn to shreds and his back to become sandpaper. The third crash he would not remember. His body landed with a
muffled thud against the grassy ground.

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