The Attic Of Alumnae Hall


A chalk madness spreads out in front of you, while flashing cameras intermingle with the light streaming through the window. It looks as though some sort of fire or other deadly accident occurred here, for gouges have been made in the walls surrounding the far doorway, a terrible odor -- mixture of sulfur, acrid chemicals, and charred wood, metal, and stone assaults your nose, and a woman lies dead.

The chalk madness seems a mix of charcoal and plain schoolboard chalk, the white kind. Bizarre symbols, some of them astrological symbols you might recognize from the morning horoscope, litter the metal grating, the cardboard and plywood coverings, and the walls. In the center a new chalk design has sprouted, on that encircles a flashlight whose batteries are completely drained, as well as the crumpled figure of a dead woman.

She is older, and might be beautiful in a kind matronly way, were her face not contorted into the most appalling expression of terror you have ever imagined. One hand clutches her chest, ghostly pale from the chalk, the other lies open near the dead flashlight. Preliminary reports from the medical examiners suggest death from shock or heart failure. Her eyes are glazed over; she is completely blind. Were it not for that, you would swear she saw something that scared her to death.