Todd led them further into the basement of End House. The last place that any of them wanted to be.
A long dark hall loomed ahead of them at the same spot where the basement wall had just stood a few seconds ago. Now a huge metal door stood closed at the far end.
Todd suspected that this door was much closer than it appeared—vampires were toying with reality again. He pointed out the door to Sam. “They’ll be waiting for us beyond that door. Keep everyone close behind us as we enter the room.” Turning to the others, he said, “Remember that nothing will be what it seems. Reality is going to be twisted and distorted, so it will be difficult for us at times to distinguish the truth from the fiction. Just quietly follow my lead.”
They began walking down the long hallway, with Mike and David lagging behind. As Todd cracked open the door, a blinding green light flowed out from the room, hitting him in his eyes. “Don’t worry,” he shouted, “we can fight this illusion and any others if we refuse to let our minds believe in them.” Once he entered the room, the glaring green light swiftly disappeared. They followed him into a circular empty chamber with a large raised stage at its center.
Todd’s eyes traveled up the solid brick walls, noticing that they extended far upward into the great emptiness above. Great, another illusion to frighten our already frazzled group.
The center platform began to turn, slowly revealing four people in hooded black robes. The stage ceased turning once the robed figures were directly facing the newcomers. In unison, they pulled back their hoods to reveal their true identities. The group was shocked to be staring at the faces of Shirley, Hank, Minnie, and Frank—people that they had assumed were their friends.