Thursday, June 29, 2017

More Kids : Schauermarchen - Act Two


More Kids

This is part two of the Finer Gamer Things Club RPG session of Schauermarchen.

Piper and Joey are together, watching the burning kettle. Billy is moving down the road.  M is at the Glassblower's house with Josh. Kim peers through the cracks of the cottage with the wood cutter.  Old music plays from inside the cottage. The bag is shoved into the cottage and the Woodcutter walks away, leaving the burlap sack inside with the woman. Kim sees a cast iron bed frame inside, a cabinet, a cupboard, but she cannot see the woman claiming to be hungry. The only source of light is a single lantern lit atop the cupboard. Kim drops to all fours and crawls in via the dog door. She squeezes past the burlap sack as a woman calls out, "Is that you, Jacob?" Kim realizes the voice is coming from the bedframe and thinks it might be the woman. Kim finds an axe-head embedded against the wooden floor. She crawls to it and tries to pry it free from the ground. "Rachel? Is that you Rachel?" the woman asks again.  Kim yanks on the axe head, pulling it free from the floor. It is heavier than expected, however, and Kim falls flat on her back. With the axe head, Kim gets back on her feet. She realizes the axe head is heavily stained and what she thought was the brown of rust turned out to be... something else. Kim looks around and grabs the lantern. With it in her hand, she sees the woman under the cast-iron bed frame, lying on her belly with her hair ripped away in bloody clumps. She has no fingernails, with bleeding wounds where they used to be. She has no eyes and no teeth. She begins to motion at Kim, "Come closer.. please... I can hear you there.."

Kim steps back, asking as she moves, "How do I escape this place?" The woman, however, does not see why there's a need to leave. She tells Kim she's in the Village, just like from oh so long ago. Kim realizes the woman used to be a kid just like her. The woman stresses she's very hungry. Kim stresses she does not want to eat human meat! The woman begins to crawl out of the bed to go after Kim, revealing her legs bent at wrong angles. Kim does not move but instead waits for the woman to get closer.  Closer. "The Blue Room," the woman gasps, "The Blue Room will only help you if she likes you. We talked about this before, don't you remember?  She didn't like me, Rachel."  Kim finally admits she isn't Rachel and that her name is Kim. The woman begins to scream, screaming as if she were the one in danger. Kim rushes forward, clamping her hands over the woman's mouth to shut her up.

Piper and Joey watch the burning building. Other children begin to emerge from the houses to watch. Another child, however, yells at them it is not over. That the Grinning Man always comes back. One says they have only until the bell tolls. Many of the gathered kids begin moving, hurrying back to the Orphanage, or towards the Cemetery. Piper wonders if the answers are in the orphanage. Joey wonders if they should go up the hill instead as they came from the Orphanage already.  They reach the dead boy on the street and continue down the road and see the building with the lantern and another building with a shoe sign. Then the hill further down. Piper suggests they go to the lantern first and Joey agrees. M and Josh see the broken glass scattered around and the steel tube against the wall. M uses her jacket as a padding over the glass and tries to go on top, but worries her bare feet might hurt her. Josh sees the shoe sign and realizes there might be shoes they can use.  He hurries there with M. They see Piper and Joey and share their plan. Joey admits she's wearing sneakers and can try going in first. With each step, Joey hears the glass cracking under her weight.  She carefully tries to sweep glass back with the jacket. Joey sweeps the glass off, clearing areas to stand in. Some glass cuts into her still skin. Joey finds a thick glove and retrieves it. She also finds the body of an unlucky kid already buried in the glass shards. Joey snags the steel tube and continues searching for anything useful. She finds an old photograph on the wall with a broken frame showing an old man smiling, a woman in a blue dress beside him and between them, a third figure had been scratched out. Joey finds a box and upon opening it, she finds a compass inside. The compass still seems to work and on its opposite side, it has a mirrored surface. Joey finds another portrait against another wall, a woman in a blue dress holding a baby, but the baby is scratched out.  Finally, she finds markings on the wall, as if someone had been tracking they days. The markings go on and on across the walls. Definitely over a hundred of them.  Joey steps out, realizing whoever was trapped may have been trapped for years. Piper asks if she is okay.

Ashes. Dust. A white hand emerges from the ashes.

Piper searches around as well and finds a first aid kit in the debris of the room. Pulling it open, it has been ransacked already save for a small stash of cotton. Piper treats Joey's small cuts to bring down the bleeding. A bell tolls. Piper grabs the photo and the portraits, thinking maybe they can be used to make the Grinning Man stop. Piper breaks it from the wall but realizes it is very heavy, dropping it and injuring her foot. Piper tears part of her pajama to bandage her foot and make it better. Piper drops the heavy thing and grabs the photograph instead of the woman with the baby. Joey sees the compass spin, and it points out of the building, then adjust, to point at the Grinning Man.  Piper yanks Joey to head to the back with her.

At the shoemaker's shop, M and Josh get to it and notice the door is barred. The window beside it is broken open and they can see something that looks like an inverted umbrella. M tells Josh she is heading for the back to check for a back door. Josh studies the jagged glass and studies if he can get through it safely. He grabs a rock and tries chipping away at the glass to make it safer. At the back, M finds a fence and decides it's better to head back to Josh. M informs him there's a fence at the back but there's a door too. Josh decides they try the back door for now. They walk along the fenced area, and Josh holds onto the rock to use as a weapon. At the end of the fence, they see someone unmoving and sitting on the floor in the darkness. Josh and M say hello, asking who he is but the figure gives no reply. Josh tries to move closer with M behind him. The figure does not respond to their approach. Josh taps the figure's shoulder even as M motions him to stop. The figure collapses to the ground, and a skull rolls out as bones spill out.  Ashes spill out like dust. They hurry to the back door and turn the doorknob. They step into the room and here in the backroom there is no light whatsoever. Josh returns to the door and decides to try the front again, not wanting to risk the darkness. M agrees. They stop when they realize the skeleton kid is seated once more. Josh says hello again while M runs for the front. Josh hurries to follow M. As they get to the front of the building, they see the Grinning Man emerging from the candle maker's place.

The candle maker's building is standing again. And the Grinning Man is standing before it. The whole place has "reset" it seems. They all look at each other, and they consider burning the photo of the Grinning Man because Piper thinks it might be trapping the Grinning Man's soul. Josh insists they run. Piper agrees. They make their way to the hill. Piper heads back to grab the heavy painting, thinking it would be best to use it. The Grinning Man gets distracted by another child in a nearby house, giving the four time to hurry off.

At the road leading to the hill, Billy looks up at the house. He sees the path leading up to the house and starts heading up, moving as quickly as he can safely in the darkness. Billy reaches out with the candlestick, using it as a makeshift cane as he continues upwards towards the house. He reaches a spot with a terrible rotten smell in the air. He grits his teeth to ignore the smell and keeps moving, ignoring the squish squish that he is stepping on.  He tries moving to the side to avoid stepping on the squishy things. He realizes they are somewhat furry and now the stench clings on to him as he walks. He realizes he can hear faint music and laughter in the distance. The toast of glasses and of piano playing. He hears crickets. He hears cicadas making their mating sounds. He hears waves crashing against rocks and the smell of salt in the air. Billy sees a break in the treeline and moonlight illuminates a mailbox with a number 8 hanging lopsided on its side. An iron fence stands blocking the path. Inside the mailbox, Billy opens the door and finds a parcel. Billy does not want to trigger anything else and closes it, then continues following the path following the road to the top of the hill.  Below him, Billy can see the house and further, the woods with signs of light. Beyond it, the vast cemetery, and fog that surrounds everywhere else. Billy considers heading back down to the house when a voice asks, "Do you want to join us?" Billy turns around in panic, raising the candlestick defensively. There are three kids seated on the cliff edge, with one of them looking at Billy. The two others are just looking out into the fog. They explain they are thinking of just jumping as there is no way out. Billy refuses to accept that. One of the kids even claims he's been trapped here for almost a year. The kids ask Billy to join them. Billy insists he won't. He claims he is not scared. Billy makes his way to the house.

Back at the cottage, the blind woman tells Kim it would be better if she just takes her place. That there's no way out of here. Kim hears the blind woman mutter about the Blue Room enough times that she realizes it must be the place to head for. It must have answers. Kim lifts the axe head and smashes it at the blind woman. She hits the ground, and starts screaming, "One of them is here!" Kim rushes for the door and finds it locked!  She drops to the ground and squeezes through the dog door but finds legs already in the way, blocking it!  Kim scampers to hide in one of the cabinets. As the door opens, Kim hears the woodcutter arrive and the blind woman explains one of the children was here. The woodcutter just tells the blind woman to eat her food and to quiet down. The blind woman mutters about how the child could have taken her place, and how she could go to the cliff and end it all. Kim hears the turning of gears, and the sound of chopping. Wet splatters and heavy thuds. Kim peeks through the cabinet and sees the sack on the ground earlier now on the table, and freshly ground meat begins to pile on a plate. The woodcutter tells the blind woman her food will be ready soon enough. The woman weeps, asking why they didn't just leave when they had a chance. The woodcutter explains their friends are no longer here. And that is good.

The four of them continue up the road.  They soon reach the last cottage and its sign reads The Grocer. They soon can smell the terrible rotten smell coming from it. It looks like the biggest structure among the shops. Josh and M opt to check it out, leaving Joey and Piper behind.  Joey and Piper reach the entrance to the path, ignoring the horrible stink. They grab hands and walk through, feeling a hint of hope rising in their hearts.   Inside the grocer's, Josh and M hold their breath as they step into the dark place. They can barely see inside the place, although they can tell there are a lot of shelves and the ground is sticky and wet with the marks of a hundred footprints. Josh walk deeper into the place, struggling against the sticky floor that clamps on his bare feet. They find more items rotting in the place despite the lack of vermin in the area. Josh finds himself staring at rows and rows of glass bottles with white fluid. Josh attempts to open one of the bottles and pries the cork free.

Kim hurries through the woods and sees Piper and Joey vanish into the darkness of the path.   M  sees the cemetery at the opposite end and sees a bell tower at it.  She considers running there.

The stench increases as Josh uncorks the bottle. The gloop inside is like paste. Josh walks further down the room, past the shelves, and finds something useful: a meathook. The tip, however, seems to be twisted in the wrong way. Josh begins to feel nauseated from the terrible smell. His eyes catch sight of a bathtub between two shelves. He approaches it and finds three young kids curled and hugging each other. When Josh tries to say hello, one of them opens his eyes to look at him.The child asks Josh if the man in black is gone and Josh explains they tried to burn him. The child admits he found a hook, stabbed it behind the Grinning Man's head and killed him, but he came back. Since then, the other kids have been too scared to move. The children do not even remember where they are from anymore. The child admits he's gone to the cemetery and tried talking to the man who stays there. The man works for the Grinning Man and gives him a bag that he has to bury. The bag sometimes has small voices.  Josh tries asking what's in the house and the child admits he has been there a few times in the past. The child shares he's seen the cellar. How there were these items that shone like stars. Cutting things. The child's voice trails away. Josh tries to convince them to go with them, but the child no longer responds to him. The child seems to be muttering something over and over.

"Shone like stars.  Six tools.  The cellar."

The stench is strongest now. Josh realizes in terror that the source of the stench is the bathtub.  The two children with the speaker have long been dead.

Piper and Joey continue heading up the path, despite the growing stench of something rotten. They begin to feel the wet sticky smell on the ground. The smell seems to follow them as they continue up the path. The two can hear the faint piano and laughter in the distance. They continue higher where there are breaks in the darkness. By the time they reach the mailbox and the iron gate, another figure emerges and approaches the gate. Piper pulls Joey to duck beside her in the darkness, with the painting raised slightly up to cover them. They see the figure to be Billy as the young boy approaches the gate. Both girls try making sounds to lead Billy to them. Reunited, Billy warns them that they do not want to go up there where there is nothing but hopelessness.  He opens the mailbox and they gather to look at what Billy pulls out: an old parcel wrapped with twine. Billy pockets the twine and they see handwritten letters and postcards. The letter speaks regretfully about something that happened to children. Piper and Joey quietly slide the gate open and approach the house on the hill. Joey asks Piper to keep watch as she approaches the entrance to the house.  

Kim peeks and sees the woodcutter feeding the blind woman sausages, explaining they are not allowed to use fire and cook the food. Kim takes this opportunity to sneak out and escape. "About time you stepped out," the woodcutter speaks up as Kim slides out the cabinet. She brandishes the axe head, but he easily swats her back with his arm. The axe flies from her hands. He stomps his boot against her face, causing her to black out.

Josh backs away from the bathtub, but then turns to discover the Grinning Man is behind him! Josh charges forward, running successfully out of the store, but not before the Grinning Man grabs him by the hair briefly to tear part of his hair off his scalp. The pain forces Josh to drop the items he had collected and he smashes headlong into someone else outside... M and Josh tumble to the floor in pain. The Grinning Man closes in on them, reaching for their legs. M wiggles free and tries to back away. Josh pulls free from the Grinning Man but stumbles atop of Josh. Josh gets back to his feet and he stands still, not breathing. M begins to scream as the Grinning Man seems confused and stares only at M.  It begins to grab and pull both of her ankles. M tries to bite the Grinning Man's hand to force him to drop her. Ashes flutter away from where she bites him, but it is enough to make him drop her.  She limps away as quickly as possible in the opposite direction, towards the cemetery. Josh feels his lungs burning as the Grinning Man begins to dig through his pockets for something. Josh realizes the thing cannot see him so long as he holds his breath. It finds the coin it wanted to find, and it begins to walk towards the house on the hill.  Josh finally exhales, and just lies on the ground, watching the man walk away.

The front door of the house on the hill is not even locked. Joey tells the others to watch either side of her while she leads the way with her steel tube. Billy brandishes the broken candlestick while Piper lugs around the heavy portrait. The entrance hallways show the chessboard-like tiled floor. They see the other doors and the staircase leading up. Joey steps in and stops on a white tile. Somewhere in the house, a piano key sounds. Joey looks at them, wondering if this is some kind of musical steps. Billy steps on a black tile beside Joey's. Nothing happens. Piper steps on two tiles, one black and one white on each foot. Then a piano key sounds again.  The kids slowly progress, carefully stepping forward but the piano key sounds suddenly stop. The three stare at each other, uncertain what to do. Piper mutters, "Run!" and the three rush for the staircase.  The wooden stairs creak as they stand on the first wooden landing. A flash of movement. Joey holds the steel rod at that direction and they see the sound of a scream, a wedding dress, then the sound of something snapping.  But they blink and see only a lone rope hanging on the wooden landing.  The piano keys sound once more below.

Kim slowly comes to consciousness and finds herself pressed against the wall. The woodcutter is bringing in large blocks of wood. Kim tries to talk to him about how he told her how to get away, how he could help her get away. The woodcutter admits she is the one helping them. He asks her if she knows any of the other kids and asks her to try to lure one of them to come here. He asks if she knows of the one on the tree. Kim admits she can try but asks why. The woodcutter promises if Kim can get another kid to come to the cottage, she would not have to worry about them anymore. But as Kim tries to move, she realizes she's tied up. The woodcutter refuses to let her lose and tells her to lure them over by calling for them. She admits that's not going to happen. The woodcutter tells Kim he's really sorry and that "she's had enough. It is time for her to move on." Kim, however, growls that he cannot make her do it. He insists she has to be willing.  He admits none of them knows why they are pulled here, or how to escape, but they know "they" want them to do certain things and that this is their place.  Kim asks if he tried escaping. He confesses he was nine when he first got here, and the blind woman was someone he only met ten years ago. She was with her siblings, Jacob and Rachel. He lied to the blind woman, claiming her siblings escaped. "But the Grinning Man needs a woman in the cottage." Kim, however, feels there are still things to try to escape. He backhands her and tells her she needs to choose.  "Are you food or will you keep living? There's nothing to eat in this blasted place! Are you food or keep living?" Kim growls she will keep living. The woodcutter smiles and explains that's the same choice the old woman made... the decision to live as the blind woman rather than to become food as the children.   As Kim looks away, she sees the crack on the wall showing the boy with scars watching her. The boy realizes Kim needs help and he sneaks in through the dog door to untie her. The Woodcutter begins hitting the old woman to knock her unconscious. Untied, Kim sneaks out with the boy to get away from the cottage before the woodcutter notices.  "There has to be a woman!  Noo!  Come back!" the woodcutter begins screaming. The boy climbs up the tree and Kim clambers up after him.  But as the woodcutter keeps screaming, the Grinning Man arrives and enters the cottage.  They hear the woodcutter begging for time, claiming that a replacement is coming. But the Grinning Man is not content and the woodcutter goes silent.

Josh sits up and finds there is no one around anymore. This glimmer of hope fuels him to activity and he decides to make his way up to the house on the hill.  On the opposite side of the area, M reaches the cemetery and finds there are no gravestones, but lots of small graves. The shed in the area with its blackened windows stands by the belltower. Beside its door, an iron shovel. M limps towards the shed, avoiding stepping on anything as she approaches it. The shed door opens and an old man steps out. The man walks out in his ruined clothes and reaches for the rope to ring the bell. M grabs the shovel and smacks it against the man's head to knock him out. The man yanks at the rope to make the bell toll, but then drops to the ground unconscious. A voice yells out, "No!" as a younger boy emerges with a bucket in his hand. The boy swings the bucket at M, hitting her hands to drop the shovel. The boy claims the old man has been helping them and M admits she just wanted him to stop ringing the bell. Another girl emerges from the shed and tries to wake the man. M asks for their names, but the boy just insists the old man has been giving them food and has been the only one helping them. The girl states her name is Theresa and that they've been lost here for more than 24 hours. M asks if they found a way to get out but Theresa admits they don't know either. The boy is frantic about how the old man was the only one who helped them. The old man is known as the Gravedigger and if he fails to ring the bell every few hours, the Grinning Man gets angry. Theresa explains time runs differently here and that when the sun rises, something odd happens. The sun should rise come the third time the bell rings. M helps them carry the Gravedigger into the house and when asked again about his name, he admits he does not know.  Inside the shed, there are apples, a lump of cheese, and drinking water. The boy locks the door behind them. Theresa soaks a rag in water and tries to treat the Gravedigger. They have M say sorry to the Gravedigger, who accepts it and admits he knows what they are going through.  He admits the Grinning Man and the Blue Woman own this Village any may be brother and sister, or husband and wife. The Gravedigger has no idea why they were chosen but knows they are useful to them in some way.

The three enter a room with soft blue colors all around them. The furniture looks to be in perfect condition, especially the mirror on the dressing table. There are a hairbrush and a few other baubles on the dressing table. There are small flickering lit candles in the room. There is no adjoining room. Billy fishes the letter out, seeing there's enough light to see here. Piper walks towards the dresser, walking past the bed. Joey fishes out the compass and sees the arrow moving then stopping in a certain direction. Joey turns the compass to look at the mirror and sees nothing but her reflection... but then fingers that brush her hair. Joey nearly drops the mirror. She asks if anyone saw that, but no one responds. Piper holds up the portrait and realizes it aligns with the dresser. Piper holds it up to see the complete image of the dresser with the woman in the portrait, but as she puts the painting down, the woman remains in the chair at the dresser.  Piper feels the fear grow.

Joey moves towards the window and sees the compass adjusting in that direction. Joey places the compass down on the floor and uses the steel rod to break the mirror on the compass. She doesn't want to see the woman in the reflection anymore. But as the glass is falling, there's a hit of color at the direction of the dresser.   Piper begins talking to the woman at the dresser and she asks if Piper is "her all grown up." Piper says yes. The woman at the dresser smiles.  Joey holds up a glass shard and points it at the dresser, to see there is someone there.

Billy reads the letters about how the seven children have died. The ship they were on had sunken and none of the seven children survived the incident. The governess survived the incident and is being kept in bed until she is fit to travel to see them. Billy is starting to see droplets of water falling from the paper.

Joey sees the woman Piper is talking to, and worse, she has a baby in her arms. Piper hears the woman state, "Come look at your sister, all grown up!" Piper stops in front of the woman and is told she can touch the baby. Piper shakes her head, snapping out of the daze, and backs away from the dresser.  The woman looks concerned. Piper admits something does not feel right. The woman insists everything is alright. They all got home safely. They all are home. Billy continues reading that none of the bodies were recovered and that the most they can do is offer prayers. Billy starts reading them aloud more, and that each time they hear the bell toll, the prayers to the seven children are sent to heaven.  Billy realizes the water dripping from the papers are salty.  Piper asks the woman if she is bringing all the children home. Piper insists this is not home. The woman growls that Piper is not "one of them."  Piper tries to change tactics, stating they are like their children. "If you bring us home, our parents will be happy to see us just like you will be." A soft bell rings. The woman tells them that their Father is home. The three realize she most likely means the Grinning Man.

Josh stares at the entrance of the trail to the house and he sees the Grinning Man already heading up the trail to the house. He decides to carefully follow him quietly and not make any sounds. He dorps to the ground at one point, too scared to continue forward, and weeps quietly.

Kim looks at the tree boy and considers staying with them to stay safe. Kim, however. feels determined to find a way home. She thanks the boy at the tree for helping her and she insists she has to at least keep trying.

M sits down and hears from the others that there is no way out. She looks around for anything that might prove useful if she were to still head out. She grabs an apple and asks the Gravedigger where else one can hide.  He admits there isn't really any safe place, although the boy admits he overheard some friends who may have started creating hiding places under the ground. Or in the trees. M looks outside and finds no one else currently out. She decides to grab the shovel but feels a strange sensation as she touches the wood. The Gravedigger smiles.  "If you want a place where you don't have to keep running, you can just come back here. It is not a hard task ringing the bell when he wants you to and burying the bodies when he arrives."  M walks away with the shovel. It makes her skin tingle.

The Grinning Man silently moves up the stairs.  Joey sees the compass arrow moving again, and isn't sure what it is following. A bell tolls in the distance. Joey asks Billy about the prayers, about how there should be prayers when the bell rings. Piper looks at them, not sure if it would work, but if the prayers were supposed to send the children home... Billy admits it's pointless how everything always looks the same. Everything probably resets. But Joey thinks they should at least try. Piper hears the woman at the dresser say, "Darling."  Piper turns to look the other way and they see the Grinning Man at the door. "Remember my love," the woman at the dresser says, "We cannot show them our grief.  Smile."

Joey draws out the candle and the match. Piper tells Billy to give him the letter to let him know what happened to their children. Joey admits maybe he never opened the mailbox! Billy looks at the letter and realizes it isn't even wet, despite dripping water earlier. He darts forward to slip the letter into his outstretched hand.  Joey slips on the glove holds the candle in the gloved hand and prepares to light it. Piper pulls out the photo she found earlier and hands it to the Grinning Man's other hand. Joey lights the candle. The Grinning Man stares at the two, and the growing flame of the candle begins to illuminate the place more. Billy growls at them stating that they're sorry but their kids are dead.  Piper admits they will be praying for them, but they have to let everyone else go. The Grinning Man is reading.  Joey utters "May they rest in peace," and she brings the candle to burn the Grinning Man's sleeve.  The Grinning Man does not respond and continues to read even as the fire spreads up his arm.

Kim feels hopeful. She believes there is a way out. She walks back to the main area. She hears the bell in the distance. She sees how everything has reset. She looks back at the woods and wonders if even the two have reset. She wonders if it's like a new day. She walks towards the hill, hoping to find the path to the house.  She realizes the boy on the road is gone. She hears screams at the orphanage and sees the doors slam open as some kids start running. One runs out and it is the boy Kim saw dead. The boy runs past her, telling her the man might be here. Kim runs alongside him, confused how he could be alive again. They duck towards the cottages and Kim realizes that even if she dies today, she can still be alive tomorrow. The boy runs for the lantern cottage and attempts to slam the door open, but the door swings open and he falls into the broken glass.

Josh looks up and sees smoke beginning to rise from the house above.  He wonders what has happened up there.

M sees the orphanage and the kids running. She sees the Grinning Man emerging out of the Orphanage. She sees him dragging a boy by the leg out of the doors.  She looks up and sees a window crack open, and there she sees a woman peeking out.  M gasps.

The Grinning Man burns now. Piper grabs Joey and Billy and tells them it is time to run out. They hurry out and rush into the courtyard as the fire spreads more and more around the house. As they reach the landing, the three see two bodies slam onto the ground from somewhere above. Billy realizes it was the suicide pact he had witnessed?  But wasn't that so long ago?

Kim can see herself suddenly running from the orphanage, rushing for the glass blowers cottage.  M can see herself peering out from the window.  Joey and Piper stare at the bodies on the ground and see it is their own bodies on the ground, hugging each other. Billy realizes the kid he saw at the cliff at the top.. he was the kid who was asking him to jump.

They make their way up to the top of the cliff. Billy, Piper, and Joey feel now pointless about trying to run. They reach the cliff at the top and stare at the fog in the distance.  Billy hears a voice and he turns around to see himself staring from the darkness. Billy reaches out to him, asking him to stay with him instead.  But Billy sees himself make the decision he just made earlier.  Piper and Joey decide to jump, giving up.

Kim sees Josh and the two knowing understand what is happening.  Josh feels the futility of it all.  He wanders away from the path and walks to the cottage.  He grabs a blanket and he sits down, covering himself. He realizes it's all pointless.  Kim shakes her head, determined to still find a way to escape. Somehow. She just has no idea what she should do.

M hears the voices crying. Screaming. Weeping.  M realizes there's no escape.  But M looks down and sees the shovel in her hands and realizes someone has to prepare the graves. Someone has to dig.

And ring the bell.

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