Chapter 15: Let the Game Begin

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Sadly, I didn't go straight to Caleb's room like Mrs. Harmon told me to. I quickly made my way to the fourth floor, and into Mr. Harmon's so-called art room. It wasn't locked, so I just walked in. What was inside were paintings, hundreds of them. Sculptures, clay pots, colorful rainbow mannequins that were positioned into strange figures of something more monstrous than human.

The more I stared at each painting and mannequin, the more I saw something I didn't want to. I saw the eyes. It was like each one was staring directly at me. Each painting was somehow alive. It sent shivers down my back.

I had to ignore everything in the room and focus on what I actually came for. The box. I started looking in dressers, behind paintings and the mannequins. Touching one of the manikins felt so uncomfortable. They were so soft. They were nowhere near the light in weight. It was like picking up an actually human being.

"Emily?" Caleb asked, nearly scaring me to death.

I told him to close the door quickly, but he ignored me. Instead, he walked over to me and held my hand. He pulled me outside of the door then pointed to something on the floor. There were waxed fingers that completed a square. A box made of fingers and it was in plain sight.

This was the box. Caleb picked it up and handed it to me.

The last thing I wanted to do was touch that thing. It looked so disgusting. The wax that covered it was brown and sticky. It was a bit heavy, and as much as I wanted to shake it or open it, I did not. Caleb couldn't seem to stop staring at the box.

"Do you know what this is?" I asked him.

He shook his head. "Not the box, but the book," he whispered in a small voice.

"What?" I asked him, unsure of what he had said. Before I could get an answer, Jasper called me from downstairs.

"Emily! Come on, he'll be here soon!" he yelled.

I looked back at Caleb. "I'll be back. I promise."

He looked at me and took my hand. Tears began streaming from his eyes. "He's getting ready," Caleb stated.

"For what?" I asked him, feeling a bit confused.

"For your last hide and seek game," Caleb said. "Go!"

There were tears in my eyes. I quickly ran down the stairs and met up with Jasper. Leaving Caleb behind hurt me in ways I could not explain. I felt like there were rocks in my throat. Jasper dragged me behind the house, and we started running toward the trees farther ahead.

"We can get back to the house this way," he said then noticed the box. "That's the box?"

"Mr. Harmon could see us from here!" I exclaimed, ignoring his question.

Jasper looked behind him. "Well," said out of breath," he hasn't got here yet."

We ran until we were no longer visible from the mansion. After fifteen minutes of walking, we managed to make it back to the abandoned house where we saw Violet sitting on the porch with Tate and Caroline. Her face lit up when she noticed us.

Jasper and I rushed over to Violet and handed her the box.

"Is this it?" Jasper asked, catching his breath.

"Yes," Violet said with a smile. "Now I can be free? Can I really be free?"

Jasper started smiling. "Ryan said this would work, remember?"

Violet closed her eyes. "I really hope this is it, Jasper. Its been too long."

All of us watched her as she pried open the box, breaking off fingers. Some cracked, turning to dusk. Honestly, I was a bit scared. I didn't know what was going to happen.

When the box opened and all the top of the fingers were destroyed, what lay inside the box were many different bags of dirt or sand. When I got closer, I realized it wasn't sand at all. It was all ashes.

After a long moment of silence, I finally spoke out.

"You don't know which one is yours?" I asked Violet.

She gave me a smile. A smile that said, "I don't care."

I reached out for her shoulder, but she backed away from me.

"Violet," I said in a calm voice. "You don't know what can happen to you if you open the wrong one."

Violet held all the bags in her hand then reached behind her pants. She pulled out a box knife of the sort then, in one long cut, all of the ashes spilled onto the porch in front of her.

"Let's hope something good." Violet then fell to the ground, however, stopped and stared at the ashes. "Oh my God. These aren't ashes. It is sand. Feel how soft it is, guys. It's fake! It's fake! He lied to me!"

Jasper went to help her but deep and load echoed moans from inside of the house startled us. The moans grew louder, and there were now screams from hundreds of voices. Screams of hatred, pain, and agony. I heard men, woman, and children. Some voices didn't sound human at all.

All four of us except Violet ran off the porch. We kept our eyes on Violet, who held her chest and breathed heavily. "Violet, come on!"

Violet then pushed herself off of the porch and stood up to face us. "I'm never leaving this place, am I?" Her head slowly tilted to the side. Veins began to appear on her face, her teeth were now sharp, and she had an excessive amount of teeth that I haven't seen before. She looked at us in the most frightening way. Something was happening and not at her own will.

 Something was happening and not at her own will

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"What happened?" Jasper yelled out.

"I don't know!" I yelled. "We need to run!"

Tate screamed. When we turned to face him, looking at us were three masked children. The masks were so distorted, so terrifying.

Everything then turned dark and my hands were pulled behind my back

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Everything then turned dark and my hands were pulled behind my back. There was something over my head. I then heard a familiar voice behind me. Let me tell you, I was beyond confused.

"Let the game begin," Mr. Harmon said.

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