I’m home. I’m in my bedroom. I’m potentially not leaving this room ever again as long as I live. Georgia and I should never have gone back to that house on our own. I should never have stolen that book. I should never have called the police. I should never have let the Hawthornes get involved. Fuck me dude I really fucked it up this time.
I haven’t been back to school. My mom almost made me go but I had like a literal two year old tantrum about it in the parking lot so she gave up and sent me back to my room. Like I literally sat down on the pavement and sobbed like the world was ending — and like to be clear here, I’m not online here laughing about how my antics tricked my mom into letting me stay home from school. I was like hyperventilating. I wanted to go to school to prove to everyone that everything’s cool — it’s a lot harder to make up insane gossip about someone you’re looking directly at than someone who’s mysteriously absent, you know? But when it came time to get in my mom’s car and go to the school my whole body seized up and I panicked. My mom had to talk me down. It made her late for work, she almost just brought me with her.
So humiliating. Everything in my life is totally humiliating.
Okay, this is what happened. And know that I really don’t want to relive it, so I’m going to be as brief as possible.
1. Neal, Julian, Georgia and I hiked out to the homestead. (We left Feather Dog in the Circum Street house. He was Not Pleased)
2. We watched from the trees as the members of the Black Lake Cult arrived. Before entering the house they put on huge brown robes and got undressed beneath them.
3. We watched through the windows as they assembled in the living room. Julian explained that they seemed to be casting a circle — each carried a different symbol: a candle, a bowl of water, a handful of dirt, a feather and finally Sheriff Marlow holding a dagger.
4. They all took off their robes. So that’s great. Saw a lotta butts, boobies and balls and not in the good way.
5. They all started chanting. We couldn’t hear what they were saying at that distance but we could hear the hum of their monotonous voices and it creeped the fuck out of me
6. They all knelt down so we could only see the tops of their heads (which was considerate of them) and Neal said, “There’s something at the center of the circle.”
I asked, “What is it?” But Julian ignored me.
“Is it her do you think?”
“No way to know,” Neal said.
“Call the police,” Julian told me. “Don’t say who you are. They’ll come check it out, we can just hide if we need to.”
7. So I picked up my phone and I called them.
“What do I say?” I asked, but someone picked up before anyone could answer.
“911 what’s your emergency?”
So I said, “Madelyn Sexton is being held in the abandoned Black homestead.” The woman on the other end hesitated, so I added, “send police cars right away!” and I heard chaos beginning to erupt around her. I hung up, satisfied, but Neal said, “You better hope that’s true, or we’re all gonna have to get out of here real quick when the cops get here.”
8. We waited, watching them for maybe twenty minutes, just listening to the chanting. Julian said, “the police should be here any moment.”
9. Inside the house Sheriff Marlow raised the dagger.
10. I screamed and charged right in. I didn’t care that the police were going to arrive any minute, or that he might not have been raising the dagger to stab Madelyn. My body just reacted — if it was Mad in there what was I going to do let her get stabbed?
11. The Hawthornes must have followed me in, because next thing I know everyone is shouting and the cultists are falling sideways, startled to find themselves on the wrong end of the Hawthorne’s guns. Worse, Madelyn was not at the center of their circle. It was a lamb, like the lamb I saw months ago out in the woods, it’s feet bound, lying on it’s side inside of a pentacle, drawn on the hardwood with chalk.
12. And that’s when the police arrived.
I can only imagine what they must have thought. They busted in behind the Hawthornes, guns drawn, to find their boss naked and about to stab a lamb in what was unmistakably some kind of pagan ritual, and also under apparent attack by the two enormous strangers with guns and a pair of high school seniors. Like it would be funny if we hadn’t been arrested.
Sheriff Marlow had to explain to his officers that he was a pagan, that the pregnant girl — whose name is apparently Angelica Mission — owned the property and that technically we were armed trespassers.
At this point I sorta lost it. I started screaming about how I knew they had Madelyn, I saw the shackles they had in their basement, I had their freaky book, I knew what they were and what they’d done. Neal and Julian had immediately dropped their weapons when the police arrived, but an officer still had them at gunpoint so although Neal tried to tell me to calm the fuck down, he couldn’t move to intervene so I just sort of screamed a lot about how they were kidnappers and liars and freaks while Mr. Herman, who had pulled on his robes, tried to calm me down, saying they were just wiccans, they weren’t even going to kill the lamb, as if I were having this whole breakdown because of animal rights and that’s when I punched him. I think I broke his nose. I’m not totally clear.
That’s when they handcuffed me. They handcuffed Neal, Julian and Georgia too, for good measure. Then they marched us out of the woods and brought us to the station. I had to call my mom and say I’d been arrested. I had to sit across from Sheriff Marlow while he said he understood that I was struggling with Madelyn’s disappearance, but that his pagan beliefs were his personal business and that just because I didn’t understand it doesn’t mean he was involved in Madelyn’s disappearance.
I spat in his eye. lol
I spent most of the night in jail. The Hawthornes spent the whole weekend there. I still haven’t seen them, but I know they got out because I got a call from Celeste Flynn yesterday. She basically just said the Hawthornes were out of jail and would catch up with me when they could.
Everything is such a mess.
Honestly, I don’t even care. I’ve been laying in bed for two days. Madelyn wasn’t there. They didn’t have her. I’ve gone full pity party.