Mia stood at the threshold of the cellar when she awoke. Realizing where she was, her eyes widened and anxiety abruptly set in as she stared down at the darkened cellar from the top of the staircase. Yet she stood there. Not only was Mia afraid of the effects of her sleepwalking disorder, but she also had a phobia of basements—even more so when they were unlit. It was not the dark but what was in the dark that terrified her the most. Mia was motionless, as if something or someone compelled her to be so. She felt the desperate need for running away to safety, but she needed to know what was down in the darkened chasm. The longer she stood there, her phobia accelerated to paranoia, but her will to move was paralyzed and her bravery rendered helpless. The muscles of her mouth felt fatigued yet she managed to open them to scream, but only a mere whimper expelled. A cold rush came over her like icy hands.
“H … help m … me,” she tried crying out, but it came as a whimper as she trembled with breath vapors releasing from her lips. Her eyes dilated as she saw what looked to be a figure passing at other end of the staircase. Mia took a frightened breath and called, “L-Logan … Lan-Landon, is that you?” Her words were quiet as a whisper.
There was no reply.
Suddenly, Mia sensed she was being watched, not from below but from elsewhere.
“Stay away,” a gentle voice warned.
“I-I don’t know who’s down there.” Mia continued to stare down the staircase.
“He who binds us.”
Mia gathered enough strength to slowly turn her head toward the direction the voice was coming from. She saw the moonlight shining through River’s studio window, reflecting off a ghostly image of a little girl peeking out of the room’s entranceway. Amazed at what she was witnessing, Mia took a jittered breath as she saw the apparition of Samantha Thatcher.
With eyes set at the entrance to the cellar, the little girl grasped the doorframe with a delicate hand. “He won’t let us free.” The ghostly child’s face contorted with fear.
Puzzled, Mia queried, “Us?” Her eyes shifted back to the shadows of the cellar and gasped.
The dreadful presence was near but was not seen.
“He’s coming,” the fragile spirit warned.