It took a very, very long time to get back, but I had to be cautious. With the slats of the rope bridge gone, the only way back was to crawl across the rope. It took about three minutes to walk across the bridge. It took what felt like ages to crawl across the rope. I was thankful I had a few quiet moments in Arkham to rest and recover my energy. Without that, this surely would have been impossible. I could feel my hands and legs start to bleed as I slid across the rope one painful length at a time. I didn’t even know if passing through the entrance would even get me back to the main room, or if this accursed room would chain infinitely into a different rope bridge. I had no choice though. I had to tell the others. Saving Arkham was within our grasp.
I collapsed to the ground when I made it across and kissed the ground. I survived this challenge. But I couldn’t delay. I rushed through the door and was relieved when I passed through the hallway. So, it wasn’t an infinite loop in this direction – only moving outward from the main hub, with the further out you go, the thinner the separation between the dimensions. That discovery is how I stumbled on a way to get Rita to the other side, and how we were all going to get out of here. Once we were safely back, we would be able to create a new plan. What that plan would be, I had no idea, but it would be better than staying here and dying one at a time.
I made it back to the book room and was surprised by what I saw. The first thing I noticed was Silas was dead on the ground. A brief surge of rage flared up within me. There was no reason for us to continue dying here, when we could all make it out.
“Finn, you’re back! We were so worried,” Agnes said. She stepped away from conversing with Minh and Preston, who both had ashen looks of horror etched on their face, and ran over to give me an unexpected hug. “We’re losing so many people. Minh and Preston just told me we lost Mark. Where is the rest of…”
“I can explain,” I said.
Yorick looked at me. “Are you the only one?”
Yorick walked up to me and looked me dead in the eyes. “Where did everyone go, Finn?”
“He was about to tell me,” Agnes said.
“TALK!” Yorick yelled. “Where did everyone go?”
“Leo and Marie are dead,” I said simply. “But Rita is not.”
“Then where is she?” Yorick asked. He seemed to be losing his mind. I felt increasingly uncomfortable around him.
“Back off of him, Yorick,” Zoey said. “Finn doesn’t deserve this.”
“I walked into a room with four people and was the only person to walk out alive,” Yorick shot back. “And now, Finn does the same. I need to know.”
“And I’ll tell you.”
At this point, others were gathering closer. Pete was off in a corner with Duke. He was normally a bit of a loner, but I could tell he was listening. Ursula, Minh and Preston had turned their attention to us as well. Wendy was approaching Agnes. She looked strangely braver than I remembered as she took Agnes’ hand.
Wait a second.
“Where’s Sefina?” I asked.
Agnes spun around. “Oh my god, where’s Sefina? She couldn’t have just vanished, could she?”
“Did she explore somewhere without us noticing?” Ursula asked.
“She wouldn’t do something like that,” Agnes said, her voice pained at the loss of her friend.
“She just disappeared?” I asked.
“Seems like it,” Pete said from his corner. “Unless she went off to die by herself in a room for no reason.”
The room went silent.
“I have a very good idea of where she is,” I said.
“Start giving us some straight answers, Finn,” Yorick said, clearly still worked up.
I raised my hand to tell him to calm himself. “The South Room has an infinite loop of bridges in it and the further down you go, the thinner the walls between the dimensions become. As soon as you are in the second chamber, if you know what you’re looking for, it’s already thin enough for you to slip back into Arkham.”
The room erupted with questions at this revelation. I couldn’t hear what everyone was saying and I again had to shush everyone with my hands.
“Shut up everybody!” I yelled. “Now, listen. This is what happened to Rita. I slipped into Arkham, not on purpose. It was just for a brief second and I came back. After I returned, I figured out how to do it on purpose. Then, I brought Rita with me. She collapsed soon after out of exhaustion from the temple, but she was still breathing, so I knew she was fine. I took her back to Miskatonic University and the good people there helped her return to her room. I left her a note to tell her to go back to the mausoleum, since that seems to be the entry and exit point out of here. If we return from here, that’s where we will appear.”
“We can… we can escape?” Minh asked, incredulous.
“I expect there’s a good possibility Sefina slipped back out of the temple as well,” Finn said. “But I don’t know how she could have done that from in here. It was probably not on purpose.”
“If Sefina knew what she was doing, she would have come right back and told us how to escape,” Agnes reasoned. “Just like you are doing now for us.”
“Well,” Ursula said, moving to stand close to me, “I hate to put a damper on this, but we still don’t know enough about what’s going on to just up and leave. We came here with a mission remember? To save Arkham. We haven’t figured that out yet. There’s still too much left undone for us to leave. For example, we still don’t know what’s in the North Room. Roland, Rex, Jenny and Calvin are still not here. We don’t know what happened to them.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Pete said. “There’s only two options. Either they’re all dead and they can’t come back because they’re dead or they’re alive and they can’t come back because they’re still exploring. One of those two things.”
At this point, Yorick let out an animalistic scream. “NO! I refuse to stay here any longer! Finn, if you know a way out, let me go!”
“Yorick, we can’t-”
“Ursula, shut up! You’re a fool for wanting to stay here!” Yorick turned to me. “Finn, you’re getting me out. And Wendy, you come too. It’s not right for a young girl to be stuck in here in this hellpit.”
“No,” Wendy said. “I can’t. I… I agree with Ursula! I won’t leave until we’re done!”
“I can’t believe this,” Yorick said. “If you all want to die, be my guest! Finn, leave me back in Arkham – just like you did with Rita. I beg you.”
I sighed. “Does anyone else want to come with me and Yorick?”
I scanned the room. Agnes and Ursula, I expected to stay. Zoey, too. But I was stunned to see that absolutely nobody else wanted to leave. Minh and Preston both stayed silent. Pete acted like he didn’t even hear me. He looked entirely unaffected. In fact, Duke was sound asleep at Pete’s feet and Pete was gently stroking his head. It was strangely peaceful.
“Looks like you’re the only one, Yorick,” I said. “Well, I’ll escort you out then.”
Yorick and I walked into the South Room, where, as I expected, the ropes still hung up across the chasm.
“I was on the other side of this when I got Rita out,” I said. “At this point, you’ll have to crawl across the ropes. From there, there’s another bridge. Cross that bridge, then you’ll notice a small part of the wall that is a little bit wavy looking. If you push into it, it will expand and you can slip through it.”
“Thank you, Finn,” Yorick said. He gave me a hug, but unlike Agnes’ hug, this wasn’t coming from friendship or relief. He seemed… he seemed even now not right in the head.
“I’m not going with you. The others seem intent on staying, so I’ll have to stay too. Greater good and all that. You’re on your own. I have to go back and talk to Ursula about what we should do next. But when you’re on the other side, meet up with Rita and Sefina, if she is there. Goodbye, Yorick.”
I turned around and walked away, leaving him to his own devices in the South Room.
The bridges were as Finn had said. It had all been as Finn had said. But when the time came, I couldn’t find the spot in the wall… I was too exhausted… too drained… and I thought if I… if I went further…. the dimensions became thinner, did they not? Isn’t that what he said? The spot would be bigger further on. I crossed another bridge. Then another. And another. And another. And I tried to find a spot. And I did. I found a spot so big, I could just walk into it standing up and now…
What wondrous suns.
June 18th: YORICK, transported to Carcosa
June 17th: SEFINA, transported alive via a portal to Arkham
June 16th: MARK, devoured by an abomination in the West Room
June 15th: SILAS, succumbed to earlier poisonous gas exposure while in the Book Room
June 14th: AKACHI, succumbed to poisonous gas in the East Room
June 13th: RITA, woke up alive in Arkham
June 12th: LEO, shot dead by Finn in the South Room
June 11th: REX, torn apart by byakhee in the North Room
June 10th: MARIE, fell into the chasm in the South Room
June 9th: CAROLYN, head smashed by Lola in the Button Room
June 8th: JOE, shot himself in the Lust Room
June 7th: SKIDS, dismembered in the Greed Room
June 6th: JIM, possessed by Ambrose in the Lust Room
June 5th: DIANA, possessed in the Lust Room
June 4th: MATEO, drowned in the Sloth Room
June 3rd: DAISY, shot dead by Roland in the Gluttony Room
June 2nd: NORMAN, disintegrated in the Envy Room
June 1st: LOLA, abandoned in the Button Room
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