Deton Academy’s layout could best be described as an asterisk.
The center contained the courtyard. It was a circle, with stone benches around the sides, and a fountain in the center. It’s ground was concrete, and jutting out from it were five sidewalks, all on different sides.
At the end of the northeast sidewalk was the boys dorm. It looked like a giant house on the outside, and an apartment building on the inside. On the Northwest one was the girls, which was pretty much the same.
Directly to the north was the main school. It contained all of the classrooms. It looked like an old, 1950’s school. North of the school was the library (which Claudia and I weren’t allowed inside anymore, after her little outburst with the librarian).
To the southeast was the shop, which was basically a giant garage. That was where all the IT classes were. Claudia and I only went out there once in the entirety of our stay at Deton.
The final sidewalk, the southwest, led out of the school. It was marked by a gate that said, “Deton Academy for Troubled Youth” above it. The gate looked oddly like a prison gate.
Between all of these areas were small grassy areas, like miniature parks. There were a few trees. Nobody had time to wander around in these sections except on weekends, since classes took so much time. It was difficult to do anything. Claudia and I were lucky to get into the library.
Even then, we probably shouldn’t have. Classes were harder than at normal schools, and we spent all weeknights studying.
Claudia and I wandered around on Saturday, not knowing what to do.
“So,” I said. “The only lead we have is the address and phone number, and we can’t even use it.”
“What do you mean?” Claudia said. “Of course we can.”
“How?” I asked.
“By calling and asking for the people’s information,” she said. “Then, we contact the families and ask them about it.”
“That’s a good idea,” I said. “But wouldn’t it look a bit suspicious?”
“Hm,” she said. “I guess it would. And we can’t go back to the library.”
“Thanks to you,” I interjected.
“Yeah,” she replied. “It had nothing to do with that motherfucking inept librarian.”
“You didn’t have to say what you did,” I said.
“Well, whatever,” she said. “We have to do something.”
“We could break into the school tonight and use the computer lab,” I said.
“Yeah,” she replied. “That’s a great idea. It’s not like the cameras would see us or anything.”
“Fine,” I said. “I’ll get a pass from the Dean.”
“You can’t even talk to her,” Claudia said. “How would you get a pass?”
“I’ll figure something out,” I said.
By now, we had walked from the girls’ dorm to the school building.
“Just wait out here, and I’ll get whatever we need,” I said.
I entered the building and went to Dean Carter’s office. It looked like an executives office from a large corporation, and behind her desk, she looked like an executive.
“Hello, Simon,” Dean Carter said without looking up from her computer. “What can I help you with?”
I had to use all my strength to speak.
“I need a pass to the computer lab,” I said. “I need to check my e-mail, and I’m not allowed in the library, thanks to Claudia.”
“You know you’re not allowed to use the computer lab unless it’s school related,” she replied.
“Can’t you make one exception?” I asked.
“I guess,” she said.
She pulled out a piece of paper and scribbled on it before handing it to me.
“Thank you,” I said, and ran out.
I was exhausted. I had never spoken to someone for that long, except Claudia and my parents.
I ran to the computer lab, and spent the next few hours finding last year’s graduating classes parents’ information.
“I got it!” I yelled as I exited the school.
“Good,” Claudia said. “Now let’s go call the people.”
Claudia and I were in the girls’ dorm.
“First is Damian and Sarah Gretchen,” I read off the list. “134-555-9934.”
Claudia was calling the parents, for obvious reasons.
“Hello,” she said into the receiver. “I called to ask when the last time you heard from your child was… Okay, thank you. You helped me SOOOOOO much.”
I could hear the sarcasm in her voice.
“Well?” I asked.
“Last week,” she said.
We made several other phone calls, but we always got the same result. It made no sense. Maybe Patrick and Alice were actually crazy?
I had no idea what we were getting into.
Alice watched Simon and Claudia. They were heading in the right direction. They just need a little push.
Alice closed her eyes, and gave Simon a dream…
That night, I had a dream.
I was in the courtyard, in the middle of the night. Something was coming for me. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew where I had to go. I had to go to the library.
I broke a window, and climbed through. I hid under a computer desk. It was in the library, but I wasn’t safe yet.
I looked up, and saw the corner of a piece of paper sticking out.
As soon as I touched it, I woke up.
The next day, Dean Carter came out to find me outside of the girls’ dorm while I waited on Claudia.
“I’ve given you back your library privilege,” she said. “I realize that it was Claudia’s fault that you two were banned, and so I’ve revoked your punishment.”
“Thanks,” I said as I stared at my feet.
I immediately sprinted to the library, and looked under the desk from my dream. Sure enough, the paper was there. It was another journal entry.
I ran back to the dorm after I read it.
“There you are,” Claudia said. “What happened, your favorite porn site get shut down?”
“Not now,” I said as I handed the entry to her. “Just read.”
She read through it.
“Holy shit,” she said. “This renders our investigation from yesterday…”
“Pointless,” I said. “It contradicts everything we learned.”
From the journal of Patrick Brendon
December 17, 2009
Oh, God. Oh my FUCKING GOD!
Alice is dead. Or, at least, I think she is. I don’t fucking know. She dropped, but she was still breathing. It was like she was lobotomized or something.
I’m hiding in the library. I hid the entries I said I was going to, but I haven’t escaped yet. Umbra is in the library with me, but it doesn’t know where I am.
It wants to kill me. THEY want to kill me. I don’t have a chance. Not a FUCKING chance! They are going to kill me, or worse, lobotomize me, too.
I’m going to hide this entry under a computer desk. I can’t wait anymore. I have to run. If you find this, it means that Umbra is still free, and I failed.
Just know, Alice is gone. She disappeared. I went back for her body just before hiding here, and it was gone. It may not seem important right now, but it will be. Just remember: she’s gone.