“Tell them what? That we are all in danger, but we don’t know from what? Tell them we’re being watched, but haven’t seen anyone watching us? They’ll think we are on drugs. Think about it.” Mellissa told me. I shook my head in disbelief. I wasn’t making this up. “Come with me Mellissa, I’ll prove it.” Mellissa asked me how, but I didn’t have an answer. So I pulled at her arm to follow me as we began to walk away from the dock.
Perhaps Mellissa followed me because she was my friend or perhaps she followed because she wanted to humor me. But whatever her reason, we began walking toward the large stump nervously. Half way to the edge of the forest, Mellissa grabbed my hand. She looked more scared then I was. “Are you sure you want to go into the woods? Maybe we should get one of the boys?” she pleaded. I shook my head no adamantly. “It’s okay Mellissa. Whatever was watching us is gone now.
I just want to look around. Maybe we’ll find a clue or something that will show you I wasn’t imagining it. If we don’t find a thing, I’ll go back to the lake and go swimming with you Mellissa, I promise.” I said. That was enough for Mellissa and we began to make our way through waist high brush to get to the stump. Neither of us was dressed for struggling through brush and an occasional ouch was heard.
But finally we made it to the stump. That was when I saw a partially hidden boulder. I waited for Melissa to arrive beside me. Once together, we made a slow circle around the rock, while at the same time glancing nervously at the forest surrounding us. Then I stopped so suddenly that Mellissa bumped into me. Instead of asking why I had stopped, she noticed my eyes were looking down at the side of the boulder and her eyes looked to the same spot.
I felt shivers go up my spine as she also stared at the inverted pentagram carved in stone. I traced my fingers over the pentagram and as I did so, a biting cold feeling shot through my body. It was so cold that my knees began to buckle beneath me and Mellissa helped me keep my balance. When I looked into Mellissa’s frightened eyes, I whispered nervously. “Do you know what this is, Mellissa?”
She replied with innocence, “Sure, it’s just an old pentagram. I have a friend in my English class that has one on a necklace.” I shook my head and said, "She doesn’t have one like this one.” I took a finger and pointed to a part of the pentagram. “This one is an inverted pentagram, the sign of Satan worship. We have to tell one of the counselors. I can feel something evil in this place.
I don’t want to stay here. I want to go home.” I told Mellissa. As I broke down crying, Mellissa hugged me and tried to calm me down. “It’s just a carving Martha, a very old carving. Whoever etched it here has long since died.” She said in a reassuring voice. Just as we were about to make their way through the brush and back to camp, Mellissa noticed a path, a trail of sorts, much less difficult to walk on then the brush we fought our way through.
Against my better judgment, I gave in and followed Martha. But the further we walked along the trail, the more it seemed to take us away from the camp. Several times I urged Martha to go back to the rock with me, but Martha was adamant. She was sure the path would lead back to camp. As we made a turn in the trail, we began to see water and there was relief in our eyes because we felt we had found our way back to the lake.
Soon we would be back in camp. But we were mistaken. What we saw couldn’t be possible, yet ahead of us, there it was. It was the remains of a very old church made of stone. Only the front wall of the church remained, with a cross on top. The rest of the church looked like it had exploded, with large pieces of stone everywhere. The church steps descended into the edge of the small swamp. At that point, I was already tugging on Martha’s arm, trying to pull her back so we could leave, but Martha shook off my grip.
“What a cool place Melissa. We can’t leave now. This place must be hundreds of years old. I can’t leave without taking something back with me. Something that will prove we were here or else everyone will call us liars.” Martha said. I didn’t want to tag along and go to the church. But I didn’t want to go back to the rock alone so against my better judgment, I followed Martha. Something that I noticed right away was that all the trees surrounding the stone church were dead.
Yet the rest of the forest was green and full of life. Something kept clawing at my sanity. Why would someone build a church next to a swamp in the woods? Why were there no roads? Why were there no other buildings? How was this church destroyed and why?” Martha was getting too far ahead of me and I yelled at her to slow down. I guess she didn’t hear me so I made my way to her side more hurriedly, until we both stood on the steps facing the front of the church.
The sky was bright blue and the stone cross atop the church stood out so nice. There was absolute quietness. Not a sound could be heard. It was as if every creature in the forest held their breath at that moment. Not even the wind was heard. It was deathly quiet. For the oddest reason I felt that this place had waited all these centuries for me and Mellissa. I don’t know why I felt that way. The entrance of the church was shaped in an arch and the remains of the doors were scattered on the floor of the church in a million pieces.
Though the doors had been made of a thick heavy wood, what was left of the doors was scattered over a wide area and in small pieces. It was as if the doors had exploded. What was more astounding were the walls of the church and roof. They were gone. Well, not gone. They were here in heavy chunks everywhere. What could have caused such a church like this to be destroyed? It had to have been a horrible and powerful explosion I thought to myself.
That was when I realized that Martha had wandered through the entrance ahead of me and I found myself all alone. Quickly I made my way towards Martha, almost tripping and falling on debris. “What are you doing Martha? We have to leave. I have a very bad feeling about this place. Please. Let’s get back to the camp and tell the teachers.” I pleaded. Suddenly we both stopped dead in our tracks when we saw to the left, just a portion of a doorway that descended into darkness. It was a stairway leading to a basement I guess.
Beside the doorway was a statue of angry figure, which was holding a type of cane with the head of a skull on top of it. Don’t ask me why I wanted to go into the darkness. I didn’t have an answer as Mellissa began to pull me away. “What are you doing? You don’t even have a flashlight silly. Come on.” she said and I watched Mellissa walking toward the rear of the church. When we reached the back of the church, we could see an open field with at least 50 headstones, maybe 100.
It was a cemetery, a very old cemetery. Suddenly, there in the center appeared a bright glowing circle, like a globe. It was so bright; the bluish light hurt my eyes. I was petrified, no, hypnotized. I couldn’t move. I just stared. The ball of light appeared out of nowhere and hovered before slowly moving among the headstones as if it was looking for something. I wanted to back away slowly, I wanted to leave. My heart was pounding and each heart beat was as loud as thunder.
Suddenly, I began walking towards the cemetery fence. Mellissa cried out for me to stop, but I never heard the sound of her voice. She rushed to my side to stop me, but by the time she had reached me, we were both just a foot or two from the fence. It was a terrifying moment for Mellissa yet a fascinating moment for me. I wasn’t a strong believer in God, Angels or Satan like she was. I didn’t really buy into the go to church and fill the plate with money thing but then I wasn’t a disbeliever either.
At that moment, I felt overwhelmed. I was witnessing something that I knew nothing about. I didn’t know what it was or what it wanted, but there it was. I didn’t feel it was evil and I didn’t feel we were in danger. In truth, I was feeling sad. This was a very lonely place. Suddenly, the glowing object began to move closer to us. It was making a direct line to us. Neither of us said anything. We just stared and when it reached the fence it stopped.
Before Mellissa could speak, I was immersed and surrounded in a bright blue light. I had a warm feeling all over and no longer could see the cemetery, the forest or Mellissa. There were voices all around me. I could hear their cries, anguished and suffering voices. I didn’t understand what was happening. The blue lights were so beautiful. Then as suddenly as the blue lights appeared, they were gone. I found myself alone in a room with a small window.
I saw no door and realized that the window was far too small for me to crawl out of. I was about to go to the window and cry out for Mellissa when a small child appeared before me. His eyes were closed and he was kneeling in prayer with his hands clasped together. He looked like the most innocent and kind child I had ever seen. It was then that he opened his eyes and I saw such sadness, that my heart felt like it had literally been ripped out.
When he spoke, it was with kindness as he said, “I will pray for you Mellissa.” Then as suddenly as he had appeared, he vanished. Now I found myself along side of Martha, but this time the glowing ball of light was gone. I anxiously and impatiently told Martha what had happened to me and she gave me that am I on drugs look? “You’ve been next to me the whole time Mellissa. I didn’t see any blue light. Let’s get back to camp and tell everyone what we found.” she said.
She didn’t have to say that twice. We were walking quickly back towards the church. But as we got near the wall with the stairway going into the darkness, something made me stop. I can’t explain why. I turned my head and peered into the darkness and that is when I saw his face. The anguished face of a man, a terrified man, who cried out, “Take this crucifix. Take it and may God protect you.” I saw only his face and his hand thrusting the intricate silver crucifix at me.
But his eyes. I will never forget his eyes. They were pleading for me to take the crucifix and I did. Suddenly, I saw only darkness. Mellissa didn’t know I had stopped and when she had turned back she saw I was still in the church. She yelled frantically for me to follow her and I ran to her side. I put the crucifix in my pocket. “Are you crazy? I thought you were right behind me all the time. Why did you stop?” she asked.
Rather than tell her what had happened, I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “Come on, let’s get back to camp.” I never told her about the crucifix in my pocket. When we reached the rock neither of us slowed down or complained as we made our way through the brush to the other side. It was an unbelievable rush of relief to see the familiar cabins of the camp and our friends. But it wasn’t friends we were anxiously straining to see, it was a teacher.
Not just any teacher, but Mr. Jenkins, the one man we trusted to hear our tale. Once we made it to the camp we broke into a run as our hearts raced faster than our feet. Our eyes searched faces and places trying to locate Mr. Clark. Friends called out to us or waved, but we never heard them or saw the puzzled looks they gave us. Martha was just a few feet ahead of me as she veered to the right towards Cabin #4 and I saw why.
Mr. Clark was showing three boys how to split firewood with an axe. Martha began to slow down, allowing me to catch up to her and we reached Mr. Clark at the same time. Immediately both of us began desperately telling him what we had seen and encountered. But our voices over ran each other and with concern in his eyes, he raised up both of his hands and motioned for us to calm down. He could see the fear in our eyes and motioned for us to follow him.