Morgan threw Max through the open door into the waiting darkness. The pitch black bathroom seemed almost inviting compared to the moving shadows converging from either side. Teri still had a grip on Aiden’s leg, so when Morgan started pulling him inside, Teri had to move along. Max found the switch and fluorescent lights revealed the ugly pink walls.
Teri let go of Aiden and held the door open for Morgan. As soon as they were inside, Teri darted in behind them and pushed the door closed. As she turned the lock, she felt a flash of something almost like electricity pass through the door handle and into her hand. She let go and snapped her arm back, a half-heard silent scream echoing in her ears.
Backpedaling, Teri almost tripped over Aiden. Her eyes were fixed on the door, looking for any hint of the encroaching darkness.
“Is it right outside?” Max asked.
“I don’t know,” Morgan said.
“It is.” No one questioned how Teri knew for sure.
“Can you get out of here?” Morgan asked Max.
“How? That’s the only door, right?”
“She’s not talking about walking out,” Teri said.
“I don’t even know what I was doing, let alone how to control it.”
“So I guess you teleporting us all out of here is out of the question,” Morgan said.
Their conversation cut off as the door groaned. Metal hinges squealed and wood creaked as something pressed against them. The light closest to the door started to flicker, then winked out. Morgan pulled Aiden closer to the back wall. Teri and Max followed as the second light began blinking.
Teri could feel the cold of the night through the painted cinderblocks behind her. The third light started to die, leaving only one between them and total darkness. The shadows clawed at their little circle of light, reaching towards them for a few moments before being forced back. As soon as the last bulb started to flicker, Aiden’s unconscious body shook uncontrollably.
His eyelids twitched but didn’t open and a groan escaped his closed lips. Spasms shot up and down his muscles in waves, each one riding over the last until it was impossible to make sense of the movements. His dark hair was matted with sweat and his head hit the tiling over and over. Morgan and Teri crouched down and tried to keep his head from hitting the ground. Teri could feel every muscle in Aiden’s neck straining against her grip.
“We’re going to hurt him,” she said.
“He’s hurting himself,” Morgan said. “We’ve got to do something.”
Aiden’s movements became more violent. They weren’t trying to hold him still anymore, just keep his upper body off the floor so he didn’t bash his head.
“It’s some kind of seizure,” Teri said.
Aiden coughed. Air wheezed in and out of him.
“Turn him on his side,” Max said.
Teri rolled Aiden towards her, his back to Morgan. Hacking, abortive coughs wracked his chest. Teri could feel his lungs struggling through her thigh pressed against his ribs. Spit shot across the floor, followed by flecks of blood.
Something was pressing out from between Aiden’s lips. Teri thought it was his tongue, but the red covering it was blood. The color underneath the crimson fluid was lighter. Teri made out a nail. It was a finger, a human finger.