Chapter 5 - Part 1

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The U.V. lamps outside and the wall lights around the dorm are in full effect. Being surrounded by the darkness of the woods, the bluish-violet lights give the place an eerie yet awesome atmosphere. Combined that with the chirping of crickets permeating the cold night, Biringan just put the scariest horror attraction to shame. But the main attraction still hasn't made an appearance.

According to Shade Rule Three, the Shade appears any time after sunset. The earliest ever recorded was six p.m. So we were standing out here for almost four hours now, our pens and our Shade folders in our hands. I've been hearing some disappointed grumbles, some wanting to go to bed.

Tonight's group was supposed to be Aeris, Leo, Harmony, and Kent (we grouped ourselves based on familiarity) so there's really no need for all of us to be out here. But like Kent said: "As if no one would want to see the Shade in person."

I decided to take one scan of the woods before going to bed. I focus my attention on the ground just outside the reach of the U.V. lamps, where the trees cast long shadows under the pale moonlight.

I caught movement.

At first, I didn't believe my eyes. So I blinked them hard and looked again. This time, I was certain. On the ground, the shadows started moving. "Over there!" I yelled. I didn't take my eyes off of the moving shadows. Successive gasps and excited chatter followed. Even though it's dark and the Shade is of the same hue, it's pretty hard to miss a moving shadow.

Kent walked up to me and draped his arm over me. "Is this cool or what?"

"Remember, write down everything you see and compare it with what we have," Mr. Donovan instructed, reminding us of our duty.

We kept watching the shadows, swirling then rising up to the air like a black vortex, till it formed a figure of a person. The creature has arms and its entire body is charcoal black, its face featureless. The trunk tapered to a point, floating a few inches above the ground. Exactly as was described in our files.

"So this is what Shade Rule Two meant," Leo said, referring to our conversation back on the Karaoke room. Now we got our answer. Shade Rule two said that "the Shade will materialize to as close to a Haunted as possible". As Leo said, the closest would be right next to us. But since we're under U.V. lights, it cannot do that so the Shade adjusted accordingly, choosing to materialize to the second closest location—some distance away in front of us.

Paranormal events are rarely documented. Most I know are internet hoaxes—bogus articles, photoshopped pictures or poorly edited videos. There has never been such a paranormal event as consistent as the Shade. So seeing the Shade for the first time, I can't help but gaze in wonder, maybe feel a bit scared as well. I saw Demi to my right. Being the youngest and coming here alone, I just realized that maybe this was not as fun for him as it is for us. But if he was in any way uncomfortable, he wasn't showing it. He kept watching with great diligence, pen at the ready.

"Hey, is it supposed to be doing that?" Kent said. He slowly brings his arm up, his hand trembling as he points at the woods.

"Like what?" I asked, following where his finger was pointing. The Shade was still there, hovering, motionless. But something's happening. Something I didn't notice before.

On its face, two holes open, revealing blood-red spheres. Black ink surfaces at the center of each sphere, forming an inner circle. It almost looks like the pupil of the eyes. Eyes! They're eyes! But Shades aren't supposed to have eyes, at least the files didn't mention them having eyes.

"Look!" someone shouted. I heard a string of gasps, then silence. I don't have to look around to know that we are all confused looking at the same thing now. "It's moving." the same guy said. The Shade floated behind the trees, hidden from our sight.

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