Aiden didn’t know whether to be upset or embarrassed that Morgan had pulled the door open.
“You must have loosened it,” Max said.
There was only the slightest hint of a laugh in his voice, but Aiden definitely noticed. Teri saw the tall senior clench his fists, but in another moment, they relaxed. Max didn’t know how close he’d come.
They looked down into a yawning pool of darkness. The gloom was so thick it was like staring into murky water. Teri shivered half from the cold and half from the scary basement. She pulled her phone out. Her fingers were numb as she hit a button and lit the screen up.
Morgan had split a flat locking bolt neatly in two. Everyone stared at it for a moment as the impossibility sank in. Of course it was no more impossible than rewinding time.
“Man, that’s cool,” Aiden said.
“Yeah,” Max said.
The wistfulness in the boys’ voices told Teri they were jealous of the girls’ strange powers. Teri would’ve given hers up and more if it meant none of the crazy events of the past couple days had happened.
Teri realized she was just standing there in the freezing wind, shining her phone down the steps and into the basement. Aiden and Max were too busy being jealous, and Morgan was a statue. Maybe she was tired, or lost in thought, or embarrassed. That left Teri to lead the way down.
The steps creaked as soon as she put any weight on them, but the sound was faint compared to the growing howl of the wind. The narrow opening into the basement turned the howling into a shrill scream. That only made what she saw down below even freakier. The basement wasn’t as rustic as the storm doors had led her to believe. There was an actual floor, some kind of tile.
Unlit fluorescent lights hung from the ceiling like cobwebs. There were whiteboards on the walls, and freestanding ones on wheeled mounts. If there was a bell ringing every forty minutes, it’d almost be like being back at school.
Teri let out a shriek as half of the lights turned on. Max was frozen next to a light switch near the stairs. Morgan was still making her way down the steps.
“Shh,” she said. “We really don’t want to get caught in here.”
Aiden came down last and pulled the door closed behind him. Teri watched him run his fingers over the broken lock. With at least a thin layer of wood keeping the wind from tearing the heat from her exposed skin, Teri felt a little warmer. In the harsh light she could still see her breath curling through the air in front of her though.
“Look at that,” Max said.
He almost walked right into Teri. Once she regained her balance after dodging, Teri checked what he was looking at. The whiteboards were covered with writing, and charts, and photos. Photos of them. Most of the pictures were grainy, but Teri recognized the hallways of the school. She saw her and Morgan, walking to lunch by the look of it. The picture was from just last week, she remembered the outfits they’d had on.
There were dozens of pictures. Maybe it was Teri’s anxiety, but most of them seemed to be of her. There were plenty of Morgan though, and quite a few of the two of them together. Sprinkled throughout the photos were a few of Aiden and Max. There were others as well, Teri recognized everyone. They were all from Louis Harbor High.