God, you guys It's been way too long! I'm so sorry, but things are hectic here and I feel awful for leaving ya'll hanging. Short, but an update is an update, ain't it?

Jonah had never come. She waited and waited by the tracks for hours, alone and paranoid that the worst had happened. And the worst was that Jonah had been caught running to her, had been dragged back home and beaten like an animal by Aickman for his insolence. The thought made her sick, and she couldn't just leave now. The train came rumbling by and she was tempted to jump it, but where would she go? How would she take care of herself without Jonah? And above all, she couldn't just betray him like that. Not the last person on this earth she truly trusted not to abandon her.

She waited four days before she heard what had happened. It was everywhere- the paper was in everyone's hands, and the story was the primary discussion at everyone's dinner table.

Aickman was dead, mysteriously burned to cinders with other members of the séance. All were accounted for except for one: Jonah.

XxXxXxX

Eloise almost didn't go in. She stood on the front porch of the Aikman house, arms folded and facing the door. The house was empty, she knew that, but if she did go in, would she find an answer?

The door was unlocked, much to her convenience. Now inside, the house was cold and unlit as she walked timidly through the halls. The air was unbearably still and quiet and made her all the more nervous. She reached into her pocket, fiddling with the little trinket to soothe her fears. Her hand slipped, and the metal coin clattered to the floor and rolled away. She chased after it until it finally rolled to a stop. It took her a moment to realize she was standing directly in front of the door to the morgue.

Her throat went dry as the desert. Something was down there; something black and unforgiving. And it wanted to meet her very much.

Knowing full well that she would regret this, Eloise turned the knob and swung open the door. She could see very little as the room was only illuminated by a single small window.

It was much cooler down here as it always was, but something about this cold was instinctively unfriendly. Eloise walked across into the work room where the gurneys and the furnace lay. What a mess. Bottles of chemicals and nasty-looking tools for preparing the bodies were strewn across the room haphazardly.

A slight tickling sensation appeared on the back of her hand. Eloise glanced down at a black, hairy, eight-legged speck creep across her skin and shrieked, shaking her hand wildly to send the thing flying. The offending spider fell to the ground and crawled out of sight, much to her relief. She looked up from her embarrassing episode and gasped.

There was a man standing in front of the furnace. Only it wasn't a man, she was sure of it. It had a hollow face and ghostly white skin with tiny, bloody symbols carved into the flesh. A cold terror swept across her as the thing stared down at her with white, lidless eyes and she felt its anger radiating in waves. It hated her. It wanted her to suffer. It reached out to her, clawing and grasping with a filthy bandaged arm and Eloise screamed. She backtracked and stepped on an empty bottle of formaldehyde. She fell back, unable to slow down or regain her balance and all her weight fell onto a box of tools and instruments used for embalming and such.

The pain was brief but undoubtedly agonizing. There was no movement- she was paralyzed now- and the only sound that came was the bubbling of her own blood and saliva streaming from the torn cavern that used to be her mouth. The two-tonged metal fork jutted from her mouth, glistening with her blood, looking like snake's tongue. Her fingers clutching the coin loosened and uncurled and the trinket dropped and rolled away, once again abandoning its master. There was no moment of peace or clarity. There was only panic. Then- raggedy arms surrounded her and pulled her away in a cold embrace. She was their captive now, and they would be damned if they would let her go.

XxXxXxX

Eloise was frightened. As far as she could tell, she was totally alone now.

Pitch freaking black.

Everything bad happened to her. All the damn time.

The blackness wasn't so terrible but she had a feeling that she shouldn't stay here. If she got out of this unfamiliar dark, what would she find?

The thought of that kind of loneliness made Eloise feel a little sick, or more accurately, like a brick of lead had settled in her stomach and was expanding.

That was the thing about pain. Thinking about any kind of pain made her feel like vomiting, but when it came to actually experiencing it, she could handle it just as well as Jim.

Suddenly through the darkness came a slight whining sound, like gears of a machine just beginning to grind- and it was trying to tell her something. She couldn't see or feel anything, but the noise only grew, cutting through her like a knife. What was it saying?

It told her things- things that would destroy her sanity and her faith. Screaming, she collapsed to the floor and began to cry. "God hates me! He hates me!"

"YOU JUST LET ME DIE!"

A/N No, it ain't over. Review please and tell me your thoughts.