He rounded the same corner my mother vanished into. Deja vu overcame me and it sent an unnerving feeling down my spine as he stepped into the room.
“Alicia, your mother cannot tell you why you are here, or why she is here. But she does have a story, and it’s time for you all to listen.” His deep voice cracked and his big, empty, light blue eyes remained steady on me as he spoke. He stood, studying the room, keeping one hand in the pocket of his hoodie and running the other through his long, black hair. My cousin, Jolie, adjusted in her seat, probably trying to release her pent up nerves. As soon as he heard her shuffle, he turned to her and warned, “stay seated. It’s not time yet.” He finally pulled his right hand out of his pocket to check the time on his watch. What he had left of his fingers were mangled and twisted and his fingernails were brown and crusted. Realizing what he had done, he quickly hid it back into in the confines of his hoodie as he slowly paced out of the room.
I glanced over to my younger brother, Toby, who looked… excited? Like he was about to walk down the steps on Christmas morning and find a corvette sitting under the tree. He was 16 after all, and he was sitting there, smiling, like a clueless child. We caught eyes and I asked why he was wearing that face.
“I know, sis. I think I figured it-”
There it was again, that strange noise that sliced through my stomach. That loud shrill. It didn’t sound like any human I had ever heard. Could it have been some kind of a machine? Or animal? I don’t know what that noise was, but it was daunting and taunting me to find out.
I looked back at Toby and asked him what he was saying and he refused to speak or make eye contact with me again. What does he know that I don’t?
I suddenly stood up from my chair, as my family looks over at me, silent. What is wrong with them? I stand by the hallway and look back at my family. “I guess I’m doing this alone then.” I swallowed and took a step into the narrow space. After about five steps, I felt a strong grasp on my shoulder yank me into a dark room, I banged my head on something and collapsed into the floor.
To Be Continued…