When the TV cut to the emergency broadcast, everybody was dead silent. Just as the message from the TV was finished, everyone went into worried chatter and murmuring. It wasn’t long for people to start pulling curtains over the windows and the front and back door being locked. One can sense the still air of fear in the house. Clayton went to turn the volume down on the TV as the message kept playing, and all the lights were shut off all over the house. Now it was only the dim screen of the television that they could see.
Milosh and Bartie came back from the kitchen and saw the screen and hearing the message playing over and over. Bartie then said, “Everyone calm down! We just need to wait until they tell us that the emergency is over.”
“He’s right. I’m sure we will get through this.”
Unfortunately, Clayton wasn’t so sure. Something about tonight felt as if it was much darker and more menacing than others. The wind was howling from outside that rattled the windows, and there was a stomach-hollowing silence.
There was growling and shrieking outside. Elijah turned off the television and looked around, everyone looked like they were internally screaming witth panic in their eyes. Clayton turned to Bartie, “We should barricade the door.”
“What? Clay, we’ll be-”
There was banging on the doors, as if multiple things were trying to bash their way in. The growling was loud and guttural. Bartie said to the others, “Everybody move the couch to the door!”
Elijah and Milosh help two guys move one of the couches against the door, the feet of the couch creak in each shift and slide. No one could see what was beyond the windows, as they were all afraid of looking out and attracting what could be outside of their door. The door was probably going to crack under the pressure of the mob of unknown things on the other side. Bartie pulled out his phone and checked his social media, almost everyone on campus was stuck in their houses. He then sent a text to Avice Rowen; a chapter head of the Epsilon House, “Avice, are you able to let us inside your house if whatever is out there breaks in?”
“As long as you assure the same for us, Bartie.”
The banging kept vibrating the door as the shrieking and growling continued. Clayton went upstairs, heading towards his room to go through his closet. He brought out a wooden box with a brass latch and opened to find a roll of cloth and some crystals. Clayton pulled out the roll of cloth and rolled it out onto the floor, revealing a grid in gold. Clayton liked the therapeutic feeling of ritual, and it was why he got into occultism. He didn’t know if magic really existed or not, but the meticulousness and mystery of his rituals soothed and entranced Clayton when he was alone by himself.
He took the crystals an laid them on each circle in the grid, but noticed the crystals glowed in the light from the window. Clayton turned to look through the window and saw a dazzling show of lights in thge night sky. It was an aurora borealis, in this part of the world. He couldn’t believe it, his jaw dropped in awe.
Clayton turned back to the glowing crystal and took a deep breath, xcosing his eyes as he hovers his hands over the crystals. He breathed in and out, his mind drifting from his senses. Slowly, reality felt like it was fading away, everything being stripped away except himself. Clayton felt his hands shivered in tingles. Something was going inside him. The pin and needles spread all over his body and in his head, his heart was pounding in his chest. Clayton opened his eyes to see the northern lights outside and his vision began to spin, feeling dizzy an invisible force pushed back his hands from the crystals. Clayton’s veins in his wrists were a faintly luminescent blue.
What did this mean? Clayton never saw anything like this before. He put his things back into the wooden box in the closet, going back downstairs to the others. Elijah turned around and asked, “Hey, where were you?”
“Had to do something real quick.”
“What was it?”
“No time to talk, what about the door?”
“Still intact, but it’s starting to give.” Elijah and Clayton turned to the door, it was starting to crack as the scratching and growling continued.
Bartie turned to Elijah and asked, “If this place gets overrun, what’s our escape plan?”
“We’d have to make a run for through the back door, but we don’t have a way to escape.”
“Shit.” Bartie sighed, he looked back to the door where was how starting to fall apart. Bartie shouted, “Everybody upstairs, now!”
Everybody ran upstairs in a frenzy, Bartie following with the others. The last person to come upstairs was Milosh who slammed the door shut as they all heard the front door bust open in a loud crack. Bartie turned to the crowd of people and asked, “Alright, are we all okay?”
Everyone nodded in assurrance. This was started to get too much for some of the students. The growling and shrieking was now clear for them to hear. Kyle said, “What the fuck are those things!?”
“Fuck if I know!” Elijah barked at Kyle.
Clayton turned to Bartie and asked, “Hey, do you have some camera surveillance of the house?”
“There’s a utility closet in nearby, we have a computer that has access to the cameras.”
Milosh said, “I will stay at the door, you go check the cameras.”
Clayton and Bartie go down the hall with the others, while Milosh and a few people kept watch of the door. They reached the door with the a Utility sign and opened the door to a cramped closet but there was a computer in on corner.
Clayton turned on the computer and opened up live feeds of the cameras, and what he saw on the first floor shocked Clayton and everyone else. Elijah said, “Wait a minute, they’re-”
“Shadows,” Clayton concluded, “Living. Shadows.”
Bartie raised an eyebrow, “No way, there has to be some sort of rational explaination.”
Clayton rolled his eyes to himself, scoffing at how Bartie was trying to look for simple answers to something right in fron of them.
Elijah watched the screen, the living shadows were a crowd, ransacking the whole main floor. He then looked to the camera of the back door and it was empty. He said, “The backdoor is out way out, but we have to figure out a way to get those things out of the way.”
“How about we call security?” Bartie asked. Elijah replied, “Try calling them. Maybe they can give us time to get out.”
Bartie pulled out his phone and dialed the campus security office. There was ringing from the phone as the shadows ravaged the floor below. Then came a female voice on the phone, “Campus Security.”
“Hey, someone is inside the Omega House and I believe they’re dangerous. Please send help immediately!”
“We’ll have someone come over as soon as possible.”
“Sir, we are getting multiple calls similar to your’s. Please bear with us for now and stay with everyone inside, if any. Alright?”
“…Okay, thank you…”
Bartie hung up the phone and turned to Elijah, “They’re sending someone.”
“Fucking hell, one officer?! We’re fucked!”
Suddenly, there was silence. The shadows stopped moving but they still remained silhouettes. They were looking towards the stairs. A plunge into dread was felt by everyone on the second floor. Clayton whispered, “They figured out where we are…”
The three of them rush to the others who were safeguarding the door. Milosh turned to see them and said, “What’s going on?”
“Shadow people…They figured out where we are.”
“Wait, shadow people? Clayton, what are you talking about?” Milosh looked confused as he approached the three. Elijah said, “Literal ghosts. That’s what Clayton is suggesting.”
“Clay, please. Listen to me, it’s not ghosts. They’re probably burglars.”
“I’m not risking it, Milosh!”
Clayton had to think, what could he could do possibly help the others. Whether or not magic or any powers he thought he posessed were real, Clayton placed his hands on the door desperately and muttered under his breath, “Eximo ad Abyssum, cludo ianua!”
Elijah, Bartie and Milosh watched along with everyone else as Clayton chanted to the door over and over. They didn’t know what to do with Clayton seeming to lose his mind in the panic and fear for his life. Then there was another voice on the other side of door,
“Exsolvo ianua, ne nos tollo!”
It sounded like a battle of incantations, the voice on the other side was distorted and warped. Clayton’s voice was breaking from the trembling all over his body. There banging on the door, the chanting growing louder and more aggressive. Milosh looked around to think, what should they do if they were going to survive? He grabbed Clayton and pulled him away from the door. Clay screamed, “No! Fucking let go of me!”
The door bust open and revealed Clayton. It was a Clayton made of malignant shadow. The dark Clayton growled, “Join me!”
Clayton stretched out his hand, and to his surprise, a blue glow of light shot out of his hand to impacted with the shadow double, sending it down the stairs.