Where is Joe?

Still no answer. You stare as far into the darkness as your eyes permit, but he’s definitely not there. To the left of the house you can barely make out a solid structure far in the distance, like a tool shed or something. There is certainly no person between it and yourself. The other side of the house is nothing but woods. There’s no place for Joe to have momentarily wandered off... He’s intentionally hiding from you.

You knew there was something weird about this. You’re positive now that Joe knows the secret about Nicolas Dias, whatever it is. He had insisted not only on coming here, but on walking here. No doubt he needed the time to plan his escape, or his ambush, or whatever he’s doing. You quickly think back through your conversation with Joe, and the moment you first mentioned Nicolas Dias. You have to assume now that everything he had said after that point could have been lies. Dias being dead, Joe knowing him from college, and all that about how no one knew he was into the occult. You can’t trust anything anymore, except maybe Cal. But what does Cal really know about Dias anyway? Does he have any connection to this at all? Or are you both just meddling awkwardly in someone else’s business? Completely at a loss, you decide to at least knock on the door and see if anyone is home.

Two firm knocks rip through the silence like thunder. You glance behind you, half expecting Joe to appear from around the corner of the house when he realizes you’ve knocked on the door. But the scene still looks the same: dark, empty, foreboding. It is painfully obvious that you should not be here, and yet you wait for an answer. No one is going to answer the door. You know it. Your hands find their way to the doorknob. You just want to find out if it’s locked or not, and then you’ll go home. You turn it slowly, quietly, as if trying not to disturb someone’s sleep.

It is not locked. Whether this is what you hoped, or feared, you don’t actually know. But it doesn’t matter right now. You ease the door open and gradually take in the sight of the dark room. You get the impression that its inhabitants are in the process of moving out, or in. There is furniture, but it’s not arranged properly. A large chair sits against a wall, facing the corner of the room rather than the center. A coffee table stands askew near the middle of the room, and a number of objects are piled in a small heap near the door.

And then you notice something else. There’s a torn piece of paper right at your feet, where it could easily have been slipped underneath the door. You pick it up, and step back from the door. In the faint glow from the distant streetlights, you manage to read the scribbled note.


Mr. Dias--

I need your help. You know that we have to

do something. Please trust me. Tell Edward

what it's safe for him to know. I'm allowed

to talk to him, but I won't risk it again until

he understands. Destroy this note and

contact me ASAP.

--Cal B

Radovan, if you are reading--

I'm sorry

The End

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