Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Something Wicked

Back in In Blackest Night , I discussed the church complex that I grew up in. Basically, the church was several buildings connected by outdoor walkways. The old Chapel was turned into the Teen Chapel because of some unusual circumstances that took place there.
We discovered, some months prior, that a window that faced the tree line could be pried open easily. This allowed us access to the then all-but-abandoned Chapel. But we never went in when it was getting dark outside. We never turned on any lights, which would draw attention to our secret playground.
One night, several of us tweens had been left by our parents/rides home. It wasn't unusual for families to show up in several cars so it was actually very easy and common for someone to be left behind. We got to a phone and called our respective families for a ride home and now were waiting outside for someone to show up.
I saw it. Each of the kids in our little group saw it. Movement, down the walkway near the Chapel. Human-sizes movement. It looked like monks were walking around the building. Some of us went to look but we didn't see anything. We went back to the rest of group and talked about what we had thought we had seen and what should we do next?
Only two of us, me and J----, saw what happened next. A figure in a hooded cloak turned the corner on the walkway, heading for the Nursery. In fact, Julie says she heard the distinctive sound of the Nursery door close. We hatched our plan.
The boys (C----, S----, and I) went to investigate. The girls would stay behind and see if anyone slips past us and/or alert any adult who might show up what was going on. We split up.
When we got to the Nursery door, my heart dropped: the door was unlocked. We slipped in and figured out how to search the rooms while keeping an eye on the door, preventing anyone from getting past us. Room after room was empty. The final room, the room I had seen an angel in as a child, awaited. We approached the door.
A figure stood in the middle of the room with his back to the door. As we watched, he raised his arms and his cloak fell away revealing... nothing. It was as if he had turned into air, the cloak falling to the ground as if it just collapsed.
We had planned on trying to tackle whomever we found; instead, we ran. As we rounded the corner, C----'s father, a state trooper, showed up. With minimal prompting, we got him to check out the Nursery. We saw his flashlight bobbing through the rooms from the outside (we were instructed to stay put) and then he came out. Something was draped over his nightstick which he held at arm's length, as if it were a snake. It looked like a cloak. He put it in the trunk of his squad car and waited until everyone's parents had shown up to take us home.
After that night, the Chapel was inspected. A group of volunteers went in to paint the walls. It seems they were covered in "water stains". Interior walls with no pipes had water sprayed on them that formed a dark red stain. Yeah, we didn't believe them either.
On a dare, we went into the HVAC closet of the Chapel. There, resting on a wall stud, were some implements of dark rites including a small dagger and a small gilded cup with blood stains. The next time I dared to go look, they were gone. I don't know who took them.
Somehow, we were allowed to have a haunted house for the first and last time that year. Where? The Chapel of course. I was the Phantom, a creature of the catacombs. A bit of a stretch but an apt character for someone who had explored the lower level of the Chapel.

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