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Chapter 2

     The Story The Authors
"Hey!" yelled Assistant Principal Hadley. "There's two kids here!"
"Oops," said Adam, "I was wrong."
Geraldine decided to run for it. She ran - straight into Joe's legs. "Whooah!" said Joe, and he fell into the hole he had been digging. Suddenly there was a strange scream. Geraldine rushed to the hole.
There was nothing there. Not even Joe.
Geraldine was very surprised. "My name is Geraldine so don't call me magician," she mumbled. "I can't make people disappear. So what the heck is going on here?"
Adam suddenly bumped into Geraldine and they both fell into the hole. That wasn't too weird. The weird part was that they were still falling quickly after ten seconds. And the hole had appeared to be only six feet deep.
"Fucking idiots!" cursed Assistant Principal Hadley. "No matter what you do, someone can be trusted to come along and fuck it up!"
He lit a cigarette and exhaled savagely into the damp night air, then peered over the edge of the hole and looked hard at the illusory dirt bottom, hard as he'd ever looked at anything, as if his eyes might through sheer force and intent tear through the mysterious veil to see what lay on the other side. They'd thrown ten test subjects in already, one a night for the last ten nights but they'd all been human fodder, a bunch of Sonoran wetbacks Officer Hickey had found working the fields over on the Barr plantation for a dollar fifty a day. He'd worked out a deal with Old Man Barr... You don't say nothin', neither do we... Anyway, not a one of them had emerged from the hole alive, but well, no one was going to come looking for them when they didn't appear at the breakfast table tomorrow morning before school. Adam and Geraldine, of all the ! And even Joe had a wife and kid...
Assistant Principal Hadley, on the other hand, was a confirmed bachelor with a good many skeletons in his closet, and the last thing he wanted was to be around in the event questions began to be asked. There was really only one thing for him to do, then. One chance to avert total ruin...
He flung his cigarette into the gurgling, oily ribbon of Black Creek, rolled up his sleeves with a great, slow deliberation, and jumped into the hole.
The first thing he saw was the bottom of the hole giving way just before he hit it, to a seemingly endless hole. The sides changed to a strange white wood that Assistant Principal Hadley had never seen before. After about five minutes he landed on a surprisingly soft mat. He saw some writing in the wood stuff.

Terry Sjalk was here, October 19, 1999

Vandalism! thought the shocked Assistant Principal Hadley. But there was more so he read on.

Wandis Alga was here, October 20
Gideon Logg, October 21
Carvey Gissel, October 22
Ofilia Algakad, October 23
Nola L., October 24
Leopoldo Liss, October 25
Tecla Lakk, October 26
Nestor Lagak, October 27
Halbert Skla, October 28
Joe, October 29

Assistant Principal Hadley was shocked. These were all the people he had thrown into the pit! He looked around. They must have gone through the small corridor to his right. He was about to follow when he noticed two seventeen-year-olds writing:

Geraldine Gombrowicz, October 29
Adam Aokagakkle, October 29

Beads of perspiration were rapidly forming on his balding pate. They're all here, he thought, every last one of them. Hands quivering, he reached into the inside of his suit jacket and withdrew the time-beaten leather book that had been his written memory for so many years. Opening the worn pages, he read the names and matched them with those inscribed upon the walls. The same. Each one. Fear gripped him in its icy vise. If they are here, then so must be the others. All the others. He must stop them before it was too late, before the world learned the truth. About Amelia Earhardt. Glenn Miller. Elvis. D.B. Cooper. Jimmy Hoffa. Abe Frohman

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