It was very hard to concentrate over the whimpering of Dr. Pinkett.
Being the only adult present, we felt that he probably should have been setting a better example, yet, he seemed intent on demeaning himself and his station in any and every way possible.
“I’m imagining that the average person would be trying to escape right about now.” Lauren said in that cold, monotone voice of hers.
“Exactly.” I replied, “Which is exactly why we should stay.”
Pinkett was clamoring at the walls, curled up in the corner of the room and maintaining a high pitched, sort of wheezing sound which, we presumed, was meant to represent his absolute and complete terror.
“But I heard that there were monsters here?” Lauren continued, her voice barely audible over the commotion outside.
“What’s the matter, Lauren?” I asked, “Not frightened are you?”
“You know I don’t feel things like that.” She replied, her eyes moving over to the quivering form of Pinkett, sweating and trembling in his own excrement. “But I don’t think this place is healthy and I find the sight of blood splattered corridors to be upsetting to Norris’ well being. So I think we should go.”
Pinkett began making the obligatory cries for his mother.
“We can’t go, Lauren.” I stated, putting on my best authority voice, “We have to stay here and take what is coming to us. We are being judged and we have to accept that. Hell is coming and it is coming for us.”
Pinkett yelped and urinated himself for the second time as the rec room down the hall exploded outward.
“You boys have emotions,” Lauren asked of Norris and myself, “Is that man becoming irritating?”
I replied to the affirmative and Norris mumbled something about Surfing USA and instantly, we felt a surge of energy about us, like licking a Tesla coil. Lauren stepped toward Pinkett and with a voice like that of Tom Waits gargling razor blades, spoke into the recesses of his soul.
“STAND UP.” She said, “BE BRAVE.”
And with that, the whimpering stopped.
Pinkett steadied his spine and rose to his feet, as brave as David, as proud as Heracles and walked to the eastern doorway. Lauren was a Sensitive, capable of creating complete and absolute emotions and their resultant actions in others, whilst being unable to feel any herself. Irony at work.
“Worry not, children.” Pinkett said boldly, his chest bulging beneath his beige cardigan, “I will go and face this enemy and when smitten, we will dance the road to freedom amongst its bones.” He laughed, an heroic laugh whilst putting his hands upon his hips and throwing his head back in a gesture of jocularity before charging wildly down the hallway.
“We should go see Mikey.” Lauren said as the energy returned to her. “He’ll know what to do.”
“If we must.” I grumbled, and I took Norris by the hand and followed Lauren through the western door, the bloodied and terrible screams of Pinkett fading into the distance as we went.
* * *