Chapter 10

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I woke up cold and damp, with snow and ash falling above my head.  I was lying on the ground, having no recollection of how I’d gotten there, or what had happened to have me back above ground.  The last thing I remembered happening was venturing under the Lustig Theatre after Perry, Laura and LaFontaine.    

            An acrid, foul taste rose up in my throat and I rolled over, dry heaving onto the dead grass of the quad.  I had tried to save Rose and I had failed.

            I sat up.  There were people all around me, waking up on the grass.  They looked as disoriented and confused as I felt.  I couldn’t stop the ringing in my ears.   Had there been an explosion of some kind?  Ash was falling, mixing with the snow from the sky, and there was wood and metal, twisted debris all around. 

Coughing on the stench in the air, I turned around to see a huge hole where Lustig Theatre had once been.

Damn.

            What the heck had happened here?  How did I not remember anything?  What was with me and passing out and losing time?  It had to be a symptom of being in this place for too long, I just knew it.  I was starting to think that I was being affected like Laura Hollis so obviously was, caught up and having the life sucked out of me by this place. There was something that kept me here though, beyond the family legacy I was trying to uphold.

Still, there was no helping it.  The Lusting was gone.

I got to my feet, brushed the snow and ash from my pants and started toward Crowley Hall.  I needed a hot shower, a change of clothes and a good cry. Rose was gone. I couldn’t save her. I was a failure.

I was halfway back, weaving my way through the destruction, when I caught sight of Laura and her usual gaggle of followers, only there were more of them!  My face lit up, the missing girls! Betty!  I was so happy to see her I nearly ran over to hug her, but the look on Laura’s face stopped me.  She looked as though she’d seen a ghost.  Everyone was hurt in some way.  Something wasn’t right.  I couldn’t remember, but the sick feeling in my stomach told me something horrible had happened.  I let them enter the hall first and hung back until I was sure they wouldn’t see me when I went inside.  I didn’t want to interfere with whatever was going on. 

I would see Betty later anyway.  Maybe she would finally give me back that shirt I lent her.

            I was still close enough to listen in, even if they couldn’t see me (they were talking really loud) as I followed them into the res hall. I heard Laura mention something about a blog and Carmilla and a giant cat. The idea struck me as odd, because I remembered that one of the things Professor Cochrane had suggested was that we do a video blog for that project back in September. I wondered if maybe Laura had been doing one.

Once I returned to my room, still filthy from the explosion but fixated on finally, finally getting to the bottom of this, I sat at my desk and booted up my laptop.  I had to know what this blog thing was about.  I did a search on the Silas U network and lo and behold Laura’s blog popped up on the common search tab with a flag next to it indicating that it was both a student work and not to be trusted.  Ignoring the warning, I ran through her entries and saw that she had documented everything. 

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