May 13, 2012
Joe’s awareness heightened as the slow creep of fear spread out under him like the chill of an open freezer door.
The crucifix was gone. Joe stared hard into the darkness, but he could not bring his eyes to focus on the old wooden cross, nor the tarnished bronze form hanging on it. By day, that decades old artifact alone adorned the wall of his spartan quarters, but no light or glint of metal came from that place now.
Joe’s eyes were shut out by the darkness, all around, but he could hear. First … an odd shuffling sound, like the rustling of leaves, drifted up from below him. Then a low melody, soft and ending almost before Joe’s mind perceived it, came along behind it.
The dull sound floated around him for a tiny moment, and quieted.
Leaves? Joe’s mind tried to take hold of the irrational idea. The dormitory window was firmly shut. In fact, it was welded shut by decades of re-paintings, long tentacles of rust. Even Derrick had not been able to pry it loose. Derrick was a big guy – and a one time weight lifter before finding God and the Seminary.