*Welcome to The Roar’s 2015 Horror Story! WARNING: Read at your own risk*
It wasn’t a dark and gloomy night. And it wasn’t eerie. The clouds weren’t drifting slowly and ominously through the sky. It was simply pitch black, like the moon went into hiding and no one was sure when it would come back. The only light visible came from the sporadic rooms still lit in the Glen Towers at Towson University.
Students were going about their nights as usual. For them, the night was normal. Run of the mill. People were in the common rooms, filling it with music, laughter, and voices. Others ate, some slept, some watched TV, and others studied late into the night.
The RLC, Jamie, stood next to the front desk with her 10-year-old son, Bentley. While students passed in and out of the building, she was looking nervously out the door.
“Jamie, is everything okay?” A concerned young front desk worker with long brown hair asked, noticing her expression.
Jamie jumped slightly at the break from the silence.
“Oh…yes. I’m fine, honey.”
Jamie made a weak attempt at a smile and the front desk worker hesitantly turned back to her homework.
Jamie steered her son around the corner and back to their room. She was never very good at hiding her emotions. They were always written all over her face, like an open book for the world see.
“Bentley, go play with your toys.” She motioned to the array of toys strewn all over the floor.
Jamie walked into her bedroom. She all but collapsed onto her bed. She sat up with her hands pressed onto her thighs as if this was the only thing that would keep her together. She stared at the white brick wall in front of her. She peeked out at Bentley who was making a series of car noises, hot wheels in hand.
Suddenly, a slight crack rang through the room. Jamie’s head snapped back to her wall and in at least five different places, the white paint was now cracked, begging to be peeled off.
Jamie’s eyes widened. She was frightened, but it wasn’t a surprise. She knew this was coming.
Wordlessly, she got up and hurried to her phone.
“Guys, you need to shut up. We’re going to get caught.”
“And if I get in trouble, I’m completely blaming you, Jason.”
“Me? I didn’t force you to come out here.”
“Yeah, well this was your idea.”
“Guilty by association, none of us are off the hook.”
Six students rustled past bushes in the Glen Woods. Gravel cracked under their feet.
“We’re just going to make a little fire, roast some marsh mallows and hot dogs, how much trouble could we really get in?”
Twigs broke under their feet as they travelled through the woods. They were by no means stealthy, but the pitch black of the night fell over them like a curtain.
“Listen, at least pull out your phone and put on the flashlight. I literally can’t see anything.”
“You literally, can’t?” One of the boys joked, eliciting a laugh from the others.
“Yeah, literally! And when I can see again-”
Suddenly, a light shone through the middle of the group. Jason stood at the front of the group waving his phone in the air.
“Happy?” He asked.
“Yes.” Mariah answered flatly. She made a small wave of her thick, curly hair.
“Where is the little fire pit again?” Jordan, who was 6 feet 4 inches, asked towering over the rest of his friends.
“Pretty sure it’s right through those trees,” A.J. replied squinting through his wiry glasses.
They continued on around the bend which revealed an open field.
“Oh, I see it!” Rachel pointed excitedly.
The group walked up to a stone fire pit. It was pretty simple. Several rocks made a circle in the ground about 3 feet wide, and the center was slightly dug out.
“Looks more like a grave than a fire pit.” Jason noted.
“Why would you say something like that?” Mariah snapped.
“Calm down. I was kidding.”
“Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were,” AJ commented. Each head looked to him, a mix of curiosity and concern.
“What are you talking about?” Lila demanded, stepping towards AJ. He pushed his glasses up his nose, obviously dumbstruck at his friends lack of information. They looked at him expectantly.
“Tell me you know the story.” AJ scoffed when no one said a word.
“Please enlighten us, oh wise one.”
“…These grounds used to be a maximum security prison like two hundred years ago.” This didn’t seem to trigger any lightbulbs so AJ continued, “it burnt down to the ground, like hundreds of people died. How did you guys not know about this?”
“They must have left it out of the orientation spiel,” Mariah rolled her eyes.
“Ok…I’m freaked. I’m done with this,” Rachel said rapidly.
“Let’s just start the fire,” Jason commented, kneeling down to place some firewood in the center of the pit. The others quietly sat down and pulled out supplies from their bags. Lighter fluid. Lighter. Skewers. Hot dogs. Marshmallows. Chocolate. Graham Crackers.
Soon, the fire began to roar and cackle.
“So wait, how did the fire start?” Jordan asked.
“Please don’t go into this, I’ll get too freaked out,” Lila said trying to hush them with her hands.
Suddenly, something rustled in the bushes near them. They all froze in horror.
“What was that?”
Stay tuned for Part II…