“Alright, you go first, and I will hold the light for you. Be really careful when you get down off the coffins.”
Julio opened the ladder and tested it to see if it was sturdy. All four legs seemed stable enough to try it.
Up the ladder the boy went; just like a cat up a hollowed out limb of an old oak tree.
When he got up to the top, he did a quick pivot and placed his right foot on the top coffin that was double stacked. He then held onto the iron bars, and put his left foot on the first one. After a pause here, the boy jumped onto the ground, and looked over at Norman.
“I think it’s all fine… just hand me the flashlight through the bars, and try to do exactly what I did.”
Norman handed off the flashlight, but the large end barely squeezed through the bars.
The radio star climbed up the ladder, and grabbed onto the top railing. Here, he gingerly probed with his foot onto the top coffin, and shifted all of his weight. Once he got both of his knees onto the main part of the wood, it was a fairly simple task to pivot onto the lower coffin, and then release onto the ground.
Julio handed back the flashlight, and for some reason took the Bowie knife out of his belt.
“Alright, we’re here… let’s look around really fast, and then we’ll get out of here and head back to the cafeteria.”
There were a couple more sarcophagi in this alcove where they now were standing, and they could see that the monster’s lab was just beyond this section.
As they walked, Norman tried to see what some of the writings on the crypts in the wall had to say. He shined the light up to the first one, which contained some English and Hebrew writing.
In Elohim is my salvation and my Kavod: the Tzur of my strength, and my refuge is in Elohim. Tehillim 62:7
“Well… I guess they had to throw a little realism at all this… that’s my guess anyway. Here’s another one.”
quaerite autem primum regnum et iustitiam eius et omnia haec adicientur vobis… But seek first the kingdom of God, and the righteousness therein; and all these things shall be given ye… Mt. 6
Norman stepped in a little further, and shined the light all around. There was one more sarcophagus, and it was an unusually ornate, rather large one. Both of the boys stopped in front of it to read the words on the top of the lid.
“What soul now lies down, a gravestone near its head
Shivers and bog; what tales thy surely do tell
Twas an Orpheus of sort; but now fallen, now bled
Surely was once beloved… was truly nurtured thus well
Whispering is futile… thus, thy sorrow lies weary
Resting its hope… no, not here
Thrusting said grief in the moment’s true parry
The Moradhaku though absent; yet still may abide near
An Orpheus of sort,
Once beloved, and nurtured thus well.”
“Julio… what the heck is that all about? Do you think it’s some kind of joke or somebody’s weird sense of humor?
“I never really heard of something like that on a grave, have you?”
Julio just shook his head.
“I don’t know.
“I know that they always try for realism when they do a prop. Maybe it was something that one of the staff people read somewhere.”
The boys stared at the writing for several more seconds, but they noticed the batteries were losing some of their power. Norman turned and started to head towards the monster’s lab, but for some reason Julio put out his hand and stopped him.
“I’m sorry to say this, but I kind of lied to you…
“I don’t know why. I guess I just don’t trust anyone right now, but I think I have to trust you. I don’t know any other way to go.”
Julio took a deep breath; then slowly pulled out a small piece of paper from his back pocket. It looked like it came from part of a cigarette package.
“I found it in the pipe in the fountain; just where I left it. There was another little piece that said, ‘Monster’s Lab, touch and say vobis;’ but I threw it over the little bridge and into the lake.
“That’s when I had a kind of premonition… like my uncle was trying to tell me something important. Without thinking, I immediately went up to the door and broke off the lock.
“When I walked inside, it was too dark to see anything, and I was really too scared to come in here by myself.
“I ran all the way to the train shed…
“When I ducked through that fence, and started hearing voices; I figured it out real quick, and picked up a rock… imagined it was the only way we were going to get away from there.
“You know, I started to throw this other piece of paper away, but I figured that I had to show someone else first. The whole thing didn’t make any sense to me, and I wasn’t sure if I could even explain it to anyone.”
It was obvious that the whole night was really getting to Julio. Not simply the concerns about his uncle, but being in this eerie building would just about unsettle anyone.
The boy grabbed at the end, and he slowly unfurled the small piece of wrapper. Norman held his flashlight up to it, and this is what they both saw on the back of it.