As everyone was talking over each other, an eerie music started playing, capturing everyone's attention. I turned to see that little Bridgit was glowing. Her eyes were shut and she looked completely relaxed. All of a sudden opened and she was looking straight into her brothers eyes. I heard myself gasp.
“I love you.” was all she said before two glowing figures appeared. It seemed like they had stepped out of her.
It took everyone a moment to take in the figures. They were glowing and almost see-through, kind of like how you would imagine a ghost. The figure on the left was Bridgit. Her smile that we were all so used to lit up her face and she looked exactly the same as the actual Bridgit. The figure to the right was a girl around my age, but I had never seen her before. She was wearing a long dressed that's bottom shifted on it's own, the whole thing looked like it was made from silk. A moment later the figures disappeared and at the same time Bridgit's body slumped to the ground.
Nobody moved. Nobody knew what had just happened or what they could do. I took a small step forward and took a breath. I took a few more steps forward and dropped to my knees beside her small body.
“Bridgit?” I shook her gently. “Bridgit!” I cried her name and heard it echo all around us in the tunnel.
“No,” I heard a whisper from behind me. “It can't be, I don't understand.” The voice belonged to Sophia.
I felt sobs raking my body. I started to shiver, but it wasn't even cold. The water from the damp, cement ground started to seep through the knees of my pants but it didn't matter. Nothing mattered. Bridgit wasn't moving, she wasn't breathing. The sweet, innocent little girl was gone.
Wait a second. I thought. 'Innocent' .... like the plaque said? Is it possible that Bridgit was the only one who understood it?
I pushed myself to my feet and stumbled while turning around. Everyone was still standing in the same spots except Kat, who had moved to Matthew's side and was holding him. There were no visible tears, but it was obvious that he couldn't fully comprehend what he had just witnessed. Matthew was muttering things under his breath, things that I couldn't hear.
“Sophia?” I whispered. She turned her head to acknowledge me and I motioned for her to follow as I made my way back the way we came from. Our footsteps, along with the heavy breathing of the other inhabitants. A tear ran down my face.
“I know, Sam.” she tried to comfort me, the fact that her voice was shaking and she was obviously on the brink of tears didn’t reassure me. “She was too young-”
“Innocent.” I whispered.
“That's right, she was too innocent.” Sophia said.
“Like the plaque.” Was all I managed to whisper, but I could tell that Sophia understood. Her whole face lit up in realization. Her eyes widening to a size I would usually think is impossible.
That's when the tunnel started to shake. I started to stumble and loose my balance. My had found Sophia's forearm and I managed to stay on my feet. There were many gasps and even a few screams that could be heard from the group. A white fog filled the tunnel, making us all blind. I could feel Sophia but I could not hear her.
“Don't panic!” Daniel's voice rose above all the noise, booming through the tunnels like thunder. “Everyone stay calm.”
The panic and noises died down, but the tunnel was still rumbling. The fog was hot, and with every moment it got hotter, threatening to burn our skin. At last I couldn't stand it any longer, and right when I thought that I was going to burn completely, the fog disappeared and the tunnel cleared.
The tunnel was still rumbling and moving. The sound deafened me and made my ears ring.
I looked over to the rest of the group. Several of them were huddled together, curled around each other, protecting one another.
Mila and Rachel stood together, huddling and holding onto each other. I thought about the fact that I had never seen them really talk before, but in that moment, they seemed like they were close friends. We had all become so close, even though we had only known some of these people for a day or two. It was incredible how much everyone had bonded and how we all felt the need to protect each other. It was especially crazy how close Sophia and I have become. We had been close years ago, but started a dislike towards each other as we grew older, and now, we were working together, we were helping each other and we're friends.
“Look!” Kat shouted over all the noise, pointing towards the plaque.
The plaque had turned black. And was shaking even more than the tunnel, and it started to grow. The plaque was gone now, replaced by what seemed to be a black whole. The darkness grew until it shaped an arch, taller than any one of the inhabitants. The darkness stopped moving at the same time that the tunnel stopped rumbling. Everyone stood there in shock, staring at the door.
“Well,” Daniel started. “What are we waiting for?” He propelled himself forward, towards the door and off of the wall he had been leaning against. Daniel stood in front of the door for a minute before sticking his fingertips through the darkness, then he pushed his whole hand through. His arm disappeared into it, followed by his shoulder. Then, the boy disappeared completely into the darkness.
All of the other inhabitants exchanged worried and nervous glances, but there were no noises that came through to tell us if it was safe or not.
All of a sudden Daniel's head reappeared, just his head.
“Come on guys, you've gotta see this!” He gaped. Everyone looked toward Sophia for instructions and Daniel's head disappeared once again.
“Go on.” Sophia motioned, and the inhabitants started wandering curiously into the swirling darkness.
I watched as Rachel disappeared and she let a gasp escape her, and then she was gone.
When it was my turn, the only other inhabitants left were Sophia, Noah, Matthew and Kat.
“Noah, have you decided to come with us?” Sophia asked, turning to the young boy.
He looked absolutely petrified. And I don't blame him. He just met a sweet, innocent little girl, then watched her die. But the child looked up at Sophia with his big, blue eyes, and nodded.
That's when Sophia turned to me and I knew that it was my turn to go through.
I took a step towards the darkness and stopped. I inhaled deeply, preparing myself for what I was about to experience. I didn't know what to expect. Slowly, I walked into the darkness.
The experience was only a moment. I couldn't see, but I could feel goose-bumps form along my arms. A huge shiver ran up my spine, making me shake. And then I was through.
I definitely did not prepare myself enough for what I saw when I got through. Nothing could have prepared any of us for what we saw.
The inhabitants that had gone through were all standing together. We were on a cliff, high above Hades' realm.
I took a couple steps toward everyone else, near the edge of the cliff and from behind me Matthew appeared. I've never seen him look so silly, his eyes were wide and his mouth opened in a slight gasp.
Next to come through was Kat, I got a glimpse of Matthew walking over to her and gently touching her arm,
Huh. I wondered to myself. I had barely ever even heard him talk before.
Sophia and Noah came through next, they were holding hands and the young boy had tears rimming his eyes.
I turned back towards them and walked over. I looked into Sophia's eyes and we shared a silent agreement and Sophia let go of Noah's hand and I took her place. He shied away at first, but after looking up at me for a moment he accepted my hand and the three of us joined the rest of the group.