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Professor Wentfield burst through the door of the lecture hall cursing under his breath about his own tardiness.  Hardly any of the students scattered about the hall even raised their gaze to acknowledge his late entrance.  He made a beeline for his prodigious podium and flopped his overflowing, leather satchel on the top before rummaging out a few pieces of paper that he set aside.  Then he deposited the satchel on the floor by the podium and prepared to address the class.

Professor Wentfield was a frail man of average height.  His hair was disheveled and a tad too long.  He had a little gray running through his hair and showing in his scruffy beard.  His nose was angular, but his eyes were bright blue and intelligent, although tinged with a trace of cynicism.  He wore a corduroy beige jacket with brown leather patches on the elbows, a wrinkled white shirt, brown tie, khaki pants, and brown two-tone shoes.  Just before he spoke, he realized that his briar pipe was still protruding from his mouth.  He set it down on the podium and cleared his throat.

“Today we will continue our study of ancient Egyptian burial practices by discussing the sarcophagus.  A sarcophagus is an ornamental receptacle where the corpse or mummy was placed.  The name – sarcophagus – is derived from the Greek sarx meaning ‘flesh’ and phagein meaning ‘to eat’.  The reason is that it was believed the limestone ate the flesh of the corpse instead of the natural processes of decomposition.  In ancient Egypt the royal mummies were usually placed in sarcophagi made of alabaster.

“Mr. Dutton, what were some other common materials used to make sarcophagi?”

Keith Dutton was caught off guard.  He stammered something inaudible as his face flushed red.

“Thank you for that eloquent answer, Mr. Dutton.”  A ripple of giggles traveled across the lecture hall.


Ross Wentfield was an anachronism.  A man born into a world moving in fast-forward.  A man who cared not for electronic gadgets, pop culture, shrinking circuitry, the multi-colored glow of high-density pixels, instant communication, or the ability to cross the world in mere hours.  Ross would have been more at home in a historical era before the industrial age.  Furthermore, Ross loathed the fact that God cursed him to endure the mad, chaotic world that whirred by around him.

For twenty years of his adult life, he had struggled to find his niche in the world of light speed, all the while feeling like a tired tortoise amidst rapid rabbits.  As might be expected, those elder times were the natural place where he sought solace.  Ross devoured ancient history as if his mere knowledge of those times would somehow transport him back there.

Affecting the role of the archetypal college professor, Ross hoped to create an artificial island of the ancient world he so longed to inhabit in the midst of the rampant technological future he so despised.

But as each new class of post-modern students with MP3 players and cell phones attached to their bodies like cybernetic appendages drifted through his classes with their trancelike stares and android expressions, Ross began to not only hate the modern age, but its modern inhabitants too.

These weren’t eager minds looking to study the vast history of their race; they were mechanical and uninteresting boors operating on a rote program like a robot set on autopilot.  Sure, they talked, laughed, and made intelligible speech, but it was all feigned, phony, and worst of all, so very shallow.

While Ross’s interests spanned all of ancient history, his special interest was in ancient funeral practices.  From the ostentatious pyramids of Egypt to the grandiose flaming longboats of the Vikings, Ross was a renowned expert on the burial practices of most ancient cultures.

Ross had written many journal articles on the symbology and pageantry entailed in the act of sending the dead to the hereafter.  But his dream was to finally write a comprehensive book chronicling the many similarities, differences, procedures, and rites of the more prominent civilizations in just how and why they performed such majestic and intricate funerals – some individuals even spending their entire lifetimes constructing elaborate tombs in which they hoped to secure their immortality in the afterlife.

His teaching schedule at Florida State University was brutal and even more demoralizing to such a man as Ross, who saw the world as an incredibly chaotic blur.  It was during one of his gloomier moods when he was feeling the overwhelming weight of the modern world upon his back that he finally determined he had to do something to fight back against his growing cynicism.

And so it was that Ross decided to take his summer vacation in full – something he had rarely ever done – and complete his lifetime’s masterpiece – the most extensive and definitive text on ancient burial rites.  But there was more to his plan.  Not only would he take this time to write his book, but he would also need the perfect work environment in which to do so.

Ross decided to rent a secluded house in the country and officially declare himself on sabbatical from teaching – at least until the fall session began.  The only things he intended to take with him were a couple of suitcases of clothes and toiletries and several boxes of lecture notes and scholarly articles from which to compile his book.

After acquiring the services of a real estate agent and spending a couple weekends of virtual house hunting, Ross finally found the perfect little cottage.  Once all the paperwork was in order it was just a matter of a few weeks before the spring semester was over, and he was able to leave.  At the end of April Ross packed his run down 1961 Austin Healey with his bags and boxes and set off for his summer hermitage.

The house was a Cotswold Cottage nestled in the woods not far from Marianna, Florida.  The property it sat on was well-wooded and tucked away from the country road that ran by it.  Ross turned onto the gravel drive and paused to take in the view of his new summer home.

The cottage was a two-story, asymmetrical house with casement windows.  It had a large stone chimney in the middle of the house and a steep gable roof of deep red shingles.  On one side of the upper floor was a small dormer window.  On the opposite end of the house was a bay window overlooking a large flower garden – a perfect place to take a break and enjoy the fresh air or a toke of his pipe.

Ross let a tranquil smile spread across his face before continuing down the drive and parking.  He retrieved the key from an envelope the realtor had sent him and let himself in.  The interior turned out to be even better than the exterior.  The living room was the center of the house and from it, doors led to all areas of the house.  The ceiling was vaulted, and the fireplace dominated the wall.  Although there would be no need for its services during the sweltering Florida summer, it still provided an atmosphere of down homeness.

The kitchen was quaint, but the bay window provided the illusion that the kitchen was bigger than it really was – plus, the view of the flower garden was perfect.  Ross could already see himself drinking coffee, eating breakfast, and watching the birds and insects roam the flowerbeds still damp with the morning dew.

The master bedroom was on the ground floor and Ross immediately fell in love with the possibilities it afforded for his work.  On one side of the bedroom was a small alcove with a desk nestled inside.  This time Ross let a huge, toothy smile break across his face.

Everything about the small cottage was perfectly cozy.


The next morning Ross enjoyed his breakfast and coffee just as planned.  He then set about the task of unloading the Austin Healey and unpacking.  Having done this, Ross showered and stepped outside to enjoy the flower garden and smoke his pipe.  It was only late April but already the thermometer read 92 degrees.  The worst part about the Florida heat was the oppressive humidity, but the flower garden was shaded by several palm trees, a magnolia, and a tall cypress tree.  In the middle of the garden was a small wooden bench supported by cast iron legs.  A welcome breeze swept through the garden as Ross sat on the small bench to pack his pipe.  Now this is perfect.  I’ll set up my writing area on the desk in the bedroom and in no time, I’ll have a daily work schedule.

And that’s exactly what Ross attempted to do.  His routine would consist of waking at 7 o’clock and making coffee and cooking breakfast.  He would enjoy his breakfast at the bay window as he caught the morning news and drank coffee.  He would then shower and set straight to writing at the desk in the bedroom.  Depending on how well the writing was going for the day he might take a break at 10 o’clock to have a pipe in the garden.  He would pause for lunch at noon and return to writing after an hour.  His “work day” would end at 5 o’clock.

Ross tried to settle into this routine quickly and efficiently except there was one unusual hurdle.  On his first full day of his routine, he paused from writing a passage on megalithic tombs.

The term megalith means large stone.  Megalithic tombs are tombs that are usually built above ground and are constructed so the tomb is encased by large stones – usually slabs.  Many cultures would cover the tombs with earth or smaller stones and the practice of decorating the tombs was common.  Much archaeological evidence has been found to support the theory that burial rites such as feasts and funerals were common among many megalithic cultures.

Ross paused because the temperature of the room had noticeably fallen.  He had goose pimples on his arms.  This place has a hell of an air conditioner.  He rose and went to find the thermostat.  After a few moments of hunting, he found it in the living room and was surprised to see that the thermostat was set at 78 degrees.  The thermometer on the thermostat was reading 65 degrees, though.  Confused, Ross fiddled with the controls and, having satisfied himself that he had shut off the air completely, he returned to writing.  But the temperature remained cold.  Ross returned to the thermostat and fiddled with it some more, but the temperature continued to hover at 65.

On Saturday Ross decided to make a trek into Marianna and buy some groceries and several items he had jotted down.  He never would have predicted to need the last item on the list – a sweater.

The sweater helped to fend of the chill but the problem with the air still persisted.  No matter how much Ross attempted to finagle the thermostat, the whole house remained downright cold.  Ross placed a call to the realtor and explained his dilemma.  The realtor promised to contact the house’s owner and get back with Ross.

The second week drew to a close and Ross still hadn’t heard from his realtor.  His writing was coming along swimmingly, but the chill was becoming a huge aggravation.  Ross began making frequent trips out to the garden just to warm up.  On Saturday morning Ross phoned the realtor again and she explained that she was unable to reach the owners since they were in Europe vacationing.  She promised to send out a maintenance man to investigate.  Ross, not feeling very reassured that this would happen in a timely manner, decided to once again drive into Marianna and purchase, of all things, a space heater.


On Monday things took an even more unusual turn.  Ross had his space heater running beside his desk and was in the middle of writing an introduction to crypts.

In medieval times crypts became common burial choices for prominent people.  The crypt was traditionally built beneath churches, chapels, or castles.  By the 1800’s the building of crypts had become traditional practice in family estates of wealthy families.  These family crypts were incorporated as either freestanding mausoleums or included in the main structure of the estate – either in the cellars or as attached portions of the main structure.

At this point Ross paused because the chill was still encroaching upon his desk.  The space heater had definitely improved the situation; it was making a valiant effort in the local battle but was failing to make much progress in the war.  This house feels like a crypt.  The thought had no sooner passed through Ross’s mind than a decidedly sinister wave of dread spread through his body.  It was as if a transformation had taken place.  Suddenly, the house took on a new aspect to Ross’s perception.

To shake away the funk he was feeling, Ross decided to step out to the garden and have a smoke.  The day was a brilliant day with not a cloud in the sky.  The heat of the sun felt refreshing to Ross, and he stood in the sun for several moments while he packed the bowl of his pipe.

As he sat on the bench and lit his pipe he regarded the house.  It repulsed him somehow.  Like suddenly finding out a person you share close proximity with has a highly contagious disease.  Ridiculous.  I’m being completely ridiculous.  There is nothing queer about the house other than a faulty cooling unit.  Hell, I should be thankful that it’s overcooling rather than not working at all.  I wouldn’t even be able to stay in it at all if the air conditioner didn’t work.

Ross finished his pipe and continued to convince himself that his feelings toward the house were completely irrational.  Having steeled himself to return to his book, he decided to try and help the space heater by shutting the bedroom door.  Surely the space heater can manage to heat just the bedroom.

So, Ross closed the door and sat down at the desk to pound away at the chapter he was writing.  His goal was to work until lunchtime.  He typed away and the heater did a superb job of heating the room.  Ross even shed his sweater.  He worked for a solid hour and then he paused from his typing.  The chill had returned.  Turning, Ross froze in horror at the sight of the door standing wide open.


That night Ross awoke to the sound of footsteps crossing the upper floor.  He had only been upstairs once and that was when he first arrived.  His inspection of the upstairs had shown it to be only a couple of rooms and empty except for the sparse furnishings typical of guest bedrooms.  He had no reason for going back upstairs after that.

Now he was sitting up in bed, his heart galloping in his chest as he listened to the slow creaking crossing the ceiling.  His mind swarmed trying to figure out what the sounds could be.  The idea that there could really be a person upstairs was ridiculous.  Yet, his eyes played across the bedroom looking for something that could be used as a weapon.  The only thing he saw was an umbrella.

The creaking could now be heard descending the stairs.  Ross slipped from the bed and retrieved the umbrella.  He was a frail man and certainly no fighter.  He crouched behind the dresser trembling in fear, trying to control his breathing, and weighed his options.  Is it really someone in the house?  What if it’s no one at all but just my imagination?  The creaks are too faint.  It could just be noises that houses make.  But what if it is someone?  What if the door opens and they find me?  Do I stand a chance?  Should I run for it?  Should I try and reach the car?

And then Ross realized that the creaking had ceased.  Somehow this made the entire situation worse.  Now he was faced with the dilemma of whether he should go and investigate.  He was terrified and deep down he knew that he had not the fortitude nor the courage to open the bedroom door and walk into the living room.

How long he sat crouched beside the dresser he didn’t know but it seemed like an eternity.  The house remained deathly quiet and eventually sleep overtook Ross.  He awoke in the wee hours of the night, his muscles cramped from sleeping in such an awkward position.  His fear had passed, and he groggily rose and slipped back into bed.

He awoke later than usual the next morning to the disturbing sight of the open door.


Ross was paid a surprise visit by the real estate agent later in the day.  He was sitting in the garden having finished a bowl from his pipe when the large silver Cadillac pulled in the driveway.  He knew it was the realtor by the large placards adorning the sides of the car.

Ross rose and walked to greet the real estate agent who he had only known through phone conversations.  He was pleasantly surprised to see that Mrs. Jenkins was a very attractive woman.  She looked to be in her early thirties.  Her hair was brownish-blond, stylish but not overly done.  Her pantsuit was beige with matching high heels.  The blouse beneath the jacket was white satin, cut just low enough to be stylish and sexy but still smart and business-like.  Her makeup was conservative for she didn’t need much to enhance her natural beauty.  She removed her large sunglasses and walked over to intercept Ross.  Ross noticed that she wasn’t wearing a wedding ring as he smiled and stretched forth his hand as he greeted her.

“Ah, Ms. Jenkins I presume?”

“Hello, it’s nice to finally meet you, Mr. . . . I mean, Professor Wentfield.”

Ross was temporarily at a loss for words as he took in her large, white smile and deep green eyes.  “Please, call me Ross.”

“And you can call me Annabelle,” she replied.

“Very well, Annabelle.  By the way, that is a lovely name.  I don’t think I’ve ever met an Annabelle.”

“Oh, it’s from a poem by Poe.  My mother was a huge fan of his poems.”

“Yes, yes, I’m quite familiar with it . . . so sad but romantic too.”

“Well, that’s my mother for you.  She always was attracted to things that were melodramatic and a bit morbid.”

“So what brings you out here?”

“Oh, yes, I spoke with the owners about your cooling problem.”

“Great.  Come on in and we can talk in the, uh, ‘igloo’ as I like to refer to the house.”

Annabelle accepted Ross’s invitation to sit and have a cup of coffee while she explained that the owners had told her that the problem with the house was with the thermostat.  They had had a problem with it before and had it fixed but apparently it needed to be completely replaced.  They had promised to have a fix-it man that they knew to come out and replace it.  Annabelle had no idea how long this would take.  Ross had no real reason to doubt the owners but something in the back of his mind told him that it was all a lie.  He sensed that there was a darker explanation lurking underneath it all.  Of course, he didn’t want to admit this to Annabelle. He was too entranced by her beauty and was too busy trying to affect the role of a man that she would be interested in.  Was he actually flirting?

As he watched her car retreat down the drive, he felt giddy.  Fool!  I was acting like a damn schoolboy.  Look at how gorgeous she is.  She would never go for someone like me.  She was just being polite and here I am acting like an idiot.  How embarrassing!


Ross dreaded the oncoming night.  While it was still daylight, he at least had the courage to thoroughly explore the upstairs and ensure himself that it was quite empty.  Then he checked the downstairs and made sure everything was locked up tight.

That night Ross had the most unusual dream.  He had never had a dream so vivid in his life.  He ran across large rocks that fell away to the crashing waves of the sea.  Ahead, higher up the rocks, fled the slender form of Annabelle.  She wore a long white gown that the wind threw into an ethereal flurry behind her.  He ran after her calling her name over the pounding surf and the howling wind.

Cresting a rock, he saw her disappear in what appeared to be a gray mausoleum built into the façade of the cliff.  Arriving at the mausoleum, he looked inside to see Annabelle reposing on the marble slab of the tomb in the most seductive and sultry pose.  She tilted her head back and beckoned him to have her as she pulled her gown up.  Overhead the winds shrieked, and angelic air spirits cavorted in wild ecstasy.

Ross entered the mausoleum and approached Annabelle.  Suddenly he was on her and the rapture of their union was washing over him.  The surf pounded the rocks, the air elementals howled, and Annabelle sang out in pleasure.  Her cries turned into a hideous scream and Ross looked down to see he was embracing a decimated corpse and that it was he who was screaming.

The sea was roiling and churning, and the air spirits were fleeing.  Something ominous was approaching the mausoleum.  Ross turned to the open doorway, and he could see that the raging sea was spitting up demonic faces of death and decay.  The cold arms of the Annabelle corpse were wrapped tight around him, holding him in place as he stared at the open doorway waiting to see what hateful creature would appear there.  He sensed the harbinger of doom getting closer and closer and then he was waking up, crying out.


Two weeks passed with no unusual occurrences.  Even though Ross didn’t have the nightmare again, the memory of it continued to haunt him.  On several occasions he caught himself daydreaming about Annabelle and would frequently take out her business card and toy with the idea of calling her, but he never summoned the courage to go through with it.

The chill in the house persisted and he continued to run the space heater as he wrote his book.  The door remained shut and Ross thought that maybe the strange things he had experienced with it were just the fancies of his imagination.  But ultimately, it was just the calm before the storm.  One day Ross was writing about the history of King Mausollos, the Persian satrap of Caria.

Of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, two were constructed for purely funerary purposes.  The only one left standing, and by far the most famous, is the Great Pyramid of Giza.  The lesser known tomb was built to house the remains of King Mausollos, the Persian satrap of Caria.  It is from this structure that we have acquired the name of the mausoleum.  A mausoleum is traditionally a free-standing structure that serves as a monument and housing for the dead.

The original Mausoleum of Mausollos was the idea of his sister and wife Artemisia after he died in 353 B.C.  Artemisia, losing her beloved brother and husband, wanted to build him the most stately and elegant tomb as a commemoration.  The Greek architects Satyrus and Pythius were commissioned to design the tomb.  The structure stood 135 feet tall and each of the four sides was adorned with sculptural reliefs.  Four Greek sculptors were hired – Timotheus, Bryaxis, Leochares, and Scopas of Paros, each to contribute their artistic skills to one side of the tomb.  The tomb was so majestic that it was considered by Antipater of Sidon to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Suddenly, a strange sensation overcame him.  It was a feeling of being closely scrutinized.  As if someone were trying to read his thoughts.  Ross had a vision of someone watching him flash through his mind and then a chill breeze swept across the back of his neck.  Ross jerked forward and spun around.  The door was standing wide open.

Ross fled the house.  He grabbed his shoes, his wallet, and keys and ran to the Austin Healey barefoot.  He fumbled with the keys and dropped them as he tried desperately to crank the car.  It roared to life, and he slammed the gears as he kicked up gravel in his haste to flee.  He decided to drive to Marianna in an effort to put distance between himself and the house, but as he drove, something unexpected happened.  The feeling of being watched didn’t diminish.  Instead, the feeling grew!

This is insane, he thought as his eyes quickly darted looking for the source of the watcher.  Now I feel even more vulnerable than I did in the house.  Was that someone in the field?  That car – is it following me?  It’s not just isolated to the house!  This is nuts!  I’m nuts!  I’m losing my mind.  It’s ridiculous that there could be something that’s watching me – that’s after me.

It was in the back seat.  Now it was crawling over the headrest.  His throat constricted in a spasm of chokes and coughs.  It was tearing at his lungs.  Tearing at his mind!

My God, it’s just my mind imagining that something’s there!  But I didn’t imagine the door!  Oh no, there’s no way in hell that I imagined that the door opened.  I know I closed the door.  Whatever opened the door is the same thing that’s doing this – that’s after me right now.  It wants me to return to the room!  No!  Wait!  It’s just the opposite!  It wants me to come out of the room because it can’t enter the room!

And then Ross was slamming on the breaks and lowering the gears.  Tires squealed as he threw the car into a turn and raced back to the house.  He struggled to decipher the feelings, all the jumble of sensations and events that were twisting his mind and nerves.  He gasped for air and struggled to remain as calm as possible.  For whatever reason there was a presence that was after him.  Whether it was just a fancy of his mind or a real force outside of himself was irrelevant.  All he knew was that when he was in the room it couldn’t enter.  It could only open the door and watch him.


Thirty minutes later Ross nervously paced the room as he puffed his pipe.  The door was securely closed but, unfortunately, it didn’t have a lock.  Ross feverishly wracked his brain for a solution to his dilemma.  Everything’s unraveling.  My plans for my book.  All I wanted was to have a quiet summer writing my book.  But this thing had to corrupt it all.  What is it about this room?  Wait a minute!  It is the book!  The thing is because of the book.  I have to finish the book to vanquish it!

So, Ross attacked the typewriter like a fiend.  He typed without pause for at least an hour before the tell-tale chill wrapped its icy fingers around his neck announcing that the door had opened.  Ross rose cursing and screaming at the presence in the next room.  Before closing the door, he yelled into the empty living room.

“I know you’re there!  I can sense you!  And I also know that you can’t cross this door!”  Then a maniacal laughter erupted from Ross’s throat as he slammed the door and returned to the typewriter.

It was only minutes later that the door flew open again.  Ross tried to ignore the presence and kept on typing. As he typed, he could feel the presence invade his mind – as if it were glaring right into the heart of his soul. Still, he forged ahead and did his best to concentrate on his work.  No matter how hard he tried, the assault on his sanity was too much to block out.  The only solution was to ensure the door remained closed.

Ross decided his course of action and bolted through the living room.  Immediately he felt the dreaded sensation of something menacing on his heels.  He knew what a person being chased by a wild predator must feel like.  The fear that forced his heart to accelerate and his adrenaline to surge propelled him on.  He was at the front door and frantically twisting the knob.  He flung the door wide and shot towards the car.  Then a hard swipe across his heel made him stumble and he was falling into the gravel of the driveway.  He instinctively put his hands out and went sliding.  He didn’t take the time to nurse his scraped and bleeding hands.  He recovered and kept running.  He could feel it bearing down upon him.  He arrived at the trunk of the car and quickly attempted to slide the key into the lock.  There was the brief sound of metal scraping metal and then the key was in, and the trunk was opening.  Ross felt something slam into his back and fell forward into the yawning trunk.  He struggled and flailed.  His hands locked around the small toolbox he kept in the trunk, and he twisted trying to fend off his assailant.  Ross gnashed his teeth and squirmed free of the trunk.  He felt the icy grip on his throat again.  But it wasn’t enough to prevent him from scrambling back to the house, the toolbox clanging and his hands bloody.

He made it into the bedroom and collapsed panting and gasping for air.  He had made it!  He slammed the door and then he shoved the dresser in front of the door.  He knew it would take more than that though.  He opened the toolbox and rummaged through it until he found the hammer.  He turned to the large armoire.  It took only a few moments to empty it of the clothes.  Next, he began slamming the hammer into the armoire, ripping pieces of wood off.  As each piece came free, he used it to nail over the door.  After several strips were secured over the upper part of the door, he moved the dresser and continued dismantling the armoire.  Finally, there was no free space left around the door frame on which to secure another strip of wood.  He had done it!  He had completely closed off the doorway.

Ross let the bloodied hammer fall to the floor and then he used the bed spread to wipe away the blood from his palms.  It was time to finish his book.


An ossuary is a repository for human bones.  The receptacle can be a hole, a box, or even something as large as a mausoleum or church.

Probably the most elaborate and infamous ossuary is the Sedlec Ossuary in the Czech Republic.  It is located beneath the Church of All Saints, a Roman Catholic chapel and popular cemetery.  The cemetery’s rise to popularity was due to the piety of one of the abbots named Henry.  He made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land at the behest of King Otaker II of Bohemia in 1278 and returned bearing soil from Golgotha.  The consecrated soil was spread over the abbey cemetery.  This made the cemetery become a desirable location for people all over Europe to want to be buried.

When the Black Plague swept through Europe the cemetery was overwhelmed with the bodies of the dead.  The cemetery was expanded.  In the 1400’s a Gothic church was built on the site.  During its construction many remains were unearthed and the first designs of the ossuary were incorporated into the church.

In 1870 the ruling Schwarzenberg family commissioned an artist and woodcarver named Frantisek Rint to tackle the task of sorting and ordering the stacks of bones.  No one was prepared for the outré results of Rint’s work.  The grotesque artistry of Rint is astounding.  He created ornate chandeliers of bone with skulls prominently incorporated.  Long garlands of skulls snake across the ceiling, sconces of bones support candles, and monstrances of bone flank the altar.  The Schwarzenberg family crest was completely rendered in human remains.  Rint even signed his work by leaving his autograph written in human bones.

Ross stopped typing as the space heater fell silent.  Immediately the temperature of the air inside the room began to plummet.  There was a sudden change in the presence.  It was no longer hovering outside the door.  Now it was in the room!  It had all been an elaborate trick – just a demonic game of cat-and-mouse.  Ross stood and the room spiraled madly around him as the truth of his predicament dawned upon his addled mind. The presence was swirling around him like a maelstrom now.  A dour sense of doom spread through Ross’s body.  Professor Wentfield collapsed against the door of the bedroom cursing under his breath about his own foolishness.

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