The voice was a thin whisper, like a dry leaf whisking past my ear. I cocked
my head and tried to decipher where it came from, and a sharp piece of hay poked my temple.
The smell of fuel filled my nostrils, and once again I wondered where the stench came from,
exactly. Old machinery, like Roly had said, but the smell seemed even stronger than before, to the
point of being stifling.
The last thing I remembered was a lull of silence falling over us after Jake and Smith had
stopped crying, and I had dozed off on the cold, hard floor of the barn. How long ago was that?
I couldn’t remember. My head tingled, and my body felt full of lead, as if I’d been sleeping for
“Who just said my name?” I called out. “Roly? Jake? Smith?”
No one answered. Were they all asleep?
“Hello!” Cold panic seized me. What if Peter had slipped in here while I slept and
But wait. I couldn’t let my fear get the better of me. I listened closely, and heard the
other members breathing. Still lying on my side, I scooted over to my right and bumped Roly
with my knees.
“Wake up!” I yelled. I bumped him harder. “C’mon, Roly! You gotta keep trying to
undo the tape! You’re our only hope!”
Roly didn’t make a sound.
Had we been drugged?
I was about to let loose another yell, when the tenuous whisper came back. “Harvey, it’s
no use. They can’t hear you from where you are.”
My breath caught. It was the same voice I had heard earlier today. The one which told me
jealousy didn’t become me.
But that had been my imagination. My dad was dead.
“Harvey, there’s a broken down tractor in the corner. Also a gas can. You smell
A scream rose in my throat, but I swallowed it as if it were a bitter pill. Certainly I
was losing my mind, hearing my dead father talk to me about tractors and gas cans.
“If you want to get out of this mess, you’ll have to remember that.”
“This isn’t real,” I whispered.
“It’s real, but the connection I have with you is slipping a little every day--the memories,
the love we shared. So you must listen now. There isn’t much time.”
I searched the dark--for what, exactly, I wasn’t sure. Did I really think I’d see my dead
father looming above me, like a ghost in a horror movie? I saw nothing, either because it was too
dark or because there really wasn’t anyone there.
It was the latter, of course. Even if I were in a lit room I wouldn’t see a thing. My
father died in a car accident. The dead cannot come back and speak, no matter how much you
wanted them to.