December 8, 198X
No sign of Father Carter or Scotty, and now there was a dead body on our hands with no trace of who the murderer could be.
I was planning on bailing when the blizzard calmed down. Money or not, this wasn’t worth it. Whether it was the Devil or someone whose inner psychosis had caused them to snap under the pressure, lives were in serious danger.
I talked my plans over with Dr. Leon and Lois over lunch.
“I’m onboard.” Lois stabbed her fork into her meatloaf. “And then I’m telling the police that Dr. Lewis let a pedophile have ‘alone time’ with his kids.”
“It wasn’t intentional,” Dr. Leon began, but when Lois and I glared at him, he changed his course, “but I’ll do the same. Not to mention one of them’s still missing. Poor Scotty. He was such a happy kid. God knows what’s happened to him.”
The lights flickered and I reached for my cross, clutching it tightly. Lois shuddered. “Don’t. Don’t even start. I bet it was Father Carter who killed the inmate.”
I thought about Father Carter compared to Ollie. “Maybe? I always figured Ollie was stronger.”
Lois shrugged. “Desperate asshole is a desperate asshole.”
That I couldn’t argue with.
Dr. Leon sighed and pushed away his half eaten plate. “Not hungry anymore. We’ll find Father Carter and Scotty soon though. There’s not that many places they can hide out here,” He said.
The only thing to take comfort in, yet three days in and we still couldn’t find them. A puzzle no one had an answer for.
December 9, 198X
This was the last day.
Hugo was interviewing Chloe this time, looking tenser than a stretched rubber band. Chloe sat across the table, her hands folded in with each other as she smiled sweetly.
“Hello Mr. Hugo! Is it really snowing outside? Can we go play together?” She asked.
Hugo chuckled as he twiddled his pencil between his fingers. “I don’t think so, Harus. We’re staying in here until you decide to piss off back to hell,” He said.
Chloe’s jaw dropped and shock exploded across her face. “How did you-“
“What? Did you expect me to forget you?” Hugo leaned in and smirked. “I remember all the friends Emmet loved to bring in, and I remember your foul mouth. You’re a bit of a bitch.” He leaned back and cocked his head. “Now. Are you gonna leave the little girl alone?”
Chloe’s expression twisted into something dark before she turned to the window, right where I was sitting. “No. Chloe needed me. She let me in! Your power won’t move me.”
“You wanna bet?”
Hugo took off one of his necklaces and swung it around his finger. Lois looked up from where she was monitoring Chloe’s brain activity. “What are you doing?” She asked suspiciously.
“Exorcism, love.” Hugo started walking around Chloe, whose small face had gone pale. “This wasn’t the deal, that little kids would have a demon marching around their heads.”
“This hasn’t been approved by Dr. Lewis-“
Hugo’s snort cut Lois off. “I really don’t give a shit about a man who knows dick on how to parent. I’m not letting this demon stay inside Chloe any longer than it has to be. You want to make this easy, Harus?”
Chloe spat on Hugo’s shoes.
Then the room went dark.
I heard Lois scream and Hugo shout something before I was knocked to the floor. Terror filled my chest when I felt a pair of familiar hands wrap around my throat. Not again. This could not be happening again.
This time I could still breathe, but I couldn’t get up. I was paralyzed. Then I heard a voice.
“… you start to believe in that cross now?”
The distorted voice laughed, a sound like radio static.
“One moment, one moment too late, Barbie.”
A finger stroked down my face, attached to an arm I still couldn’t see.
“You look just like your mother.”
The emergency red lights clicked on and whatever had me pinned was gone. I heard the others in the room gasping and hacking, I stumbled to my feet to see at least two of the others were passed out, the others trying to force breath in through bruised throats.
I gripped the cross before I ran to the interview room. It was like a tornado had been through there. The table was knocked over, the monitoring equipment smashed and smoking. Hugo was laying across the ground. Lois was slumped over her chair, groaning quietly. Chloe was nowhere to be seen. I went to Lois first and shook her awake.
Lois’ eyes flicked open before she gasped. “Oh shit! Shit, shit, shit! Chloe!” She looked around wildly. “Holy shit, the kid threw the table- Hugo!?”
Hugo groaned before raising a hand.
“I think we’re fucked.”
Chloe had vanished the same way Scotty and Father Carter had. The only thing the power was running was the heat. There was no lights.
Hugo and I were together, everyone was ordered to remain inside their rooms until the power came back on. No one wanted to be alone. Especially me.
We sat on my bed, back to back for several quiet minutes. Maybe an hour. I’m not sure. I broke the silence.
“My mother was possessed when I was ten years old.”
Hugo tensed. “… I thought you didn’t believe in all of that,” He said, turning his head back.
I laughed. “I don’t know any more Hugo. I don’t know.”
The most terrifying to me, up to this day, is the unknown. Why things happened. Everything had an explanation that could be defined by chemicals in the brain, how you were raised, your genetics. Everything could be explained by that.
“My mom always called me Barbie. No one else did,” I shifted until I was leaning against the wall, so I could see Hugo’s reactions, “it was our thing. I was her Barbie. She was… a very thoughtful woman. You would’ve liked her I think.”
“I’m terrible at being thoughtful. So probably not.”
I elbowed Hugo gently. “Knock it off. I’m being serious.”
Hugo raised both his hands. “I’ll behave! So… what happened?” He asked.
“… I’m not sure how it happened. It wasn’t an overnight change. It was over the span of a few weeks, I think. She stopped going to work after her brother died. She spent all her time in the room. She never wanted to talk to me. She started complaining of hearing things in the walls. Things I never heard. She hated to be close to me. I was a child who loved hugs. Mom always encouraged that. But when I went in for a hug one day, she… she pushed me. I hit the back of my head on the counter. My dad came home to me crying and my mom sobbing, telling me sorry and that it wasn’t her that did that.”
Hugo rested a hand on my shoulder. “You don’t have to tell me more.”
“I feel like I do.” No one knew these things except for a therapist. “My mom was diagnosed as a schizophrenic. She got worse. Began talking to someone. Someone no one could see.”
I started to pick at a hangnail I’d gotten a few days prior. “Dad just told me he was like mom’s imaginary friend. I’m surprised he didn’t leave her. Dad took care of her for the last part of her life. Until she beat him up, flung him across the room and just… ran off screaming. I was in the room when it happened, I just… wanted to show my parents my A+ on my math test.”
Hugo didn’t say anything. I pulled loose the hangnail and a little blood welled up. “She threw herself in front of a truck, according to dad… I’m not sure if that’s the truth. I always wanted to explain what happened to her. And now I wish I hadn’t.”
It was only a second of silence before Hugo pulled me into a hug. I hugged him back so tightly I thought I’d break his ribs.
We stayed like that until the subjects from B-2 escaped.
It was almost midnight. We’d almost fallen asleep when the door slid open and a man slipped in. I screamed and threw my flashlight at the figure.
The light illuminated his face briefly before it konked him over the head. The man shouted and nearly toppled over, but I recognized his voice.
Hugo stood up and picked back up the flashlight, flashing it on Ernie’s face. His face was covered in swollen bruises. I got up. “Ernie? Why are you out-“
“Everyone’s out. Everyone’s out now. Rex is dead!”
Ernie’s bottom lip quivered. He looked near tears. I hushed him and had him sit down, he looked like he’d been beaten half to hell. After he caught his breath he opened up about what happened.
“Everyone was on lock down. Dr. Lewis was questioning us about Chloe, if any of us had seen her. Then I heard Rex scream, and everything went to hell. Doors all opened up, everyone got out. It was like… It was like everyone in the room just went crazy! Everyone started attacking each other, and, hell I almost got caught up in it until I realized what I was doing. I just got the hell out of there but not… not before…”
Ernie’s eyes welled up with tears. “… Poor Rex,” He whispered.
Hugo gulped, but I took a deep breath. Stay calm. Stay calm. “What happened to Rex?”
“… I found his body in his room. Gutted and hanging from the ceiling.”
My heart dropped.
“Wasn’t recent either. His body was all bloated and dried out, he’d been like that for days but I, I knew that kid! I knew it was him screaming!”
Ernie shook his head. “Everyone kept on fighting and I ran. We gotta hide. Can we bar the door?”
Hugo stood. “We have to get out of here. Now.” He went into my wardrobe and grabbed my coat, flinging it at me.
I caught it but shook my head. “Hugo, none of us know how to fly a plane-“
Ernie blinked hard as if to clear his vision. “I know how to fly a plane, just haven’t done it in a few years. I’d never fly in the weather like we have right now, but… do we have a choice?”
Hugo answered for me.
“We don’t. Let’s try to find the pilot, but if we can’t, Ernie you better remember quick.”