Lindsay, a Notre Dame University graduate, drags along three of her friends for a fun, end-of-the-year journey. She forgets to mention that she is trying to dig up the mysteries of her past. Oh well. They'll get with the program soon enough.


1. Introduction




Lightning shivered through the muddy clouds, a blade cutting through the air with the piercing shriek of its loyal disciple. Shadows huddled behind the weeping trees and swamped bushes. The heavens cried a rain of icy fury, making the earth shiver trying to carry its burdens. The wind gave great gasps of pain as it struggled to direct each drop onto the earth. Every building swayed, trying to avoid the wrath of the storm.  Leaves released themselves from the trees, unable to hang on against the wind any longer.

And in the middle of this storm, stood a small town. Empty. Through the middle of it ran a two-lane highway, which no one dared to go one. It had no name, no identity. It stood there, the few houses, a spirit of the night; if a car did by chance come by the town, it wouldn’t stop, it would keep going as though it weren’t noticed. In the middle of nowhere you could say. In every direction, you could see only the faint line of flat ground. On days clearer than this, the sun could easily be seen fleeing its burrow behind the earth and beginning its journey into the sky.

But this was definitely not one of those days. You could barely see the buildings, let alone the sun.

Now, in the middle of these few houses, was one that stood out from all the rest. It was tall, a cement building with the echoes of a hospital embedded in its paint. It stood crooked, with windows not seeing love in a long time, and painted walls of musty white that ever-threatened to relinquish the weight of the coating. Whispers of lost souls seemed to leak out when you passed by it.

It was said that the small town that grew around it was once prosperous. People lived, played, worked. Until, a small group children playing hide and seek decided to wander into that house. That day, screams came from the house. Parents and authority came rushing over to see what was going on, but when they entered, the house was completely empty except for red writing splattered on the walls reading “HELP” over and over. In their haste, when they left, the door stood ajar. Since then, the house has not been entered or gone near. Nobody dared to close the door.

The townspeople, each night, heard the screams of children echoing from this doorway, so driven by fear, they left, one by one.

One man, his child missing, wanted to stay in hope that they would come back. Only days after he had been left alone, a car driving past this town claimed he lay down on the road, eyes wide, just as they were passing by. They only noticed his recumbent body after their car had jolted over, his blood splattering on their windshield. When detectives examined the body later, they found the word “HELP” cut into his chest. The case was left unsolved.

The house remained empty, vehicles still passing by it. Unnoticed.

But this is not the story. This story is about four college graduates. They just so happened to be going by this town during the storm. And unlike every other car that drove by that town, they stopped…. 

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