Deanna bolted for the basement as soon as she heard Jacob scream. This time she did not feel disoriented as she ran through the winding celler corridors. In the back of her mind, she knew exactly where she was going.
"Oww!" she suddenly cried.
A sharp pain shot up through her bare heel. The floor was covered with shards of broken glass, as if someone had taken a sledge hammer to a hall of mirrors.
But Deanna pressed on.
Painstakingly she made a little path for herself by pushing aside the glass with the side of her foot.
"What happened!" Clay called from the other end of the hall. "Where's Jacob?"
Deanna looked up at him with moist frightened eyes.
"I dont know..."
Every mirror in the Immersion chamber was now broken beyond repair. Some so damaged they were left with only token peices of glass stuck in the corners. The floor was a glittering polar sea of broken glass.
"Oh God!" Lisa gagged.
Jacob lay sprawled out on the floor beneith the largest mirror. His mouth fixed in a silent scream. But that was'nt the worst of it. Something had rammed long daggers of broken glass into his eye sockets. Blood ran freely down his face in gorey tears, staining the blades.
Quickly Clay and the others ran to help, some offering to do CPR. But it was too late. Jacob had lost too much blood.
As Deanna stood in a panicked daze, a faint glimmer caught her eye. Something was moving in a large peice of glass.
The Immersion Chamber displayed to her one of it's trophies.
As clear as an image on a television screen, a scene played out on the glass. A straight-jacketted patient locked into the chamber. Full of frenzy, he lauched himself against the mirrors until the glass shattered before killing himself by slitting his jugular vein.
As she watched the house's memories, Deanna suddenly felt very peculiar. It was like she was plumetting faster and faster down a dark mineshaft, but standing still at the same time.
Was this a hallucination attack, or is something coming, she thought.
The girl knew that voice anywhere. Looking up, she saw her mangled ancestor sitting cross-legged on the ceiling.
"How did you..." breathed Deanna.
"You dont need to speak" said the ghost. "I can hear your thoughts."
"What happened to Jacob?"
"I thought I told you to stay together! You drift apart and this is what happens! You didn't tell them, did you."
"I didn't have time to tell them!" Deanna screamed in her head. "I was about to... but then..."
Gazing into her descendant's eyes, Ellie's anger once again began to cool.
"You're right. It wasn't your fault. Forgive me, Deanna."
Quickly the girl tried to lighten the conversation. She knew how damaging her departed aunt's moods could be.
"I got the map you left."
"Ah, good!" said Ellie. "But it wasn't me."
Deanna felt something cold drop into her stomach.
"Dont be so disturbed. I told one of the Others and he wants out too."
A gust of cool air from blew gently against Deanna from the end of the corridor. Squinting against the darkness, she saw what appeared to be a shruken, emaciated figure huddled against the wall. It was another spirit. But like Ellie, it was one of the few entities in the house that was not swollen with venom.
"That's Philip" Ellie said. "Dont worry about him. He's harmless."
"He's so small." Deanna thought to herself.
"Yes. Philip was one of the younger patients. Only fifteen when this place first burned. He got burned pretty bad, so he's a little sensitive about his appearance."
"Wait a minute" Deanna inturrupted. "I thought you were the youngest patient here."
Ellie heaved a long sad sigh.
"I was the youngest patient to have a family" she said. "Philip was what they called 'a nobody'."
Just as before, another sepia-toned flashback flickered into Deanna's mind. She saw little Philip. A gentle but simple-minded child who had been shuttled from one orphanage after another. When his epileptic fits became too much to handle, he was dropped off at the Vannacutt Asylum. Like so many unfortunate patients, Philip did not live. He simply existed. When the day of the revolution arrived, he stood before the nurse's station with a blank smile as the Others tore the place assunder.
"DEANNA! DEANNA WAKE UP! BREATH! BREATH, DAMNIT!!"
Suddenly the silent movie memory began to fade away, as a blinding white light took its place. Deanna was awash in confusion.
Did she black out again?
But just before the returned to the conscious world, she looked down to see the scarred, tortured form of Philip Kilbride. His stick-like arms wrapped around her waist in a tight, imploring hug.