I wasn’t allowed to view the body – my parents were worried it would “damage” me. As if I hadn’t been damaged enough.
Before momma let them take me away, I started getting sick. Sometimes, I can’t stop from shaking. I get bad headaches and soreness all over my body. Sometimes, my arms are so stiff they’re hard to bend. It made momma sad and scared.
All in all, my services made everyone happy. I was a hero to the girls, and enigma to the boys. I was content. I should have known there would be consequences.
In a daze, I continued to run, choosing random pathways and praying that some exit would reveal itself. No matter how far I ran, however, I was greeted with looming masses of books, watching me eagerly for signs of distress.
My mind was racing. I wanted to run for the door that was swinging open on its hinges, but I couldn’t. Not with Tracy still in the apartment. The thought of her trapped in my room made me sick to my stomach. No, I had to protect her, I had to.
“It’s in the flesh, it’s in the blood, it’s Black Magic.”
I scrambled to my feet, swinging the backpack onto my back, leaving the flashlight – which had turned back on – in the dirt. I lunged for the rope and pulled myself up with a strength I didn’t know I had. A few moments later, I was out of the chicken coop, gulping in gallons of fresh air.
I saw the hole in the floor. I got closer and realized that there was a door in the floor, with a ladder leading down underneath the locker rooms. I tried to shrug it off, thinking that it probably just led to some electrical shit. But this weird feeling was nagging at me.
“I don’t like this box. It’s pink and it’s creepy.” She held it up in her left hand, her right poking at the ballerina on top. “And why is she so SKINNY?” she huffed. “She looks dead!”
My breath hitched in my throat because somewhere in the back of my mind I had seen enough to know what it was. But the rest of me was still clueless. Fighting this internal battle, I turned slowly towards the table.