The Spirits Await... Scratches are being carved into the dust-covered floor by some unseen force. The markings look like those of a giant bird. The boys stand in a phalanx, Adrian at the center. On his right stands Boylan, on his left, Welcome. They all watch the circles being carved into the floor. The second circle is finished.
Another circle begins, concentric, one ring closer. "There's nothing to be afraid of," says Adrian. "Says who?" mutters Boylan. The sound comes again. They hear new scratches before they see new scratches being made in the floor. But they see them soon enough, coming toward them. The circle stops, is finished. There is silence. Their fear has given way to acceptance. Not one of them tries to move from the center of the circle. Not one of them has the strength. Welcome points with his hand. "L-look." Not a circle this time -- letters. Carved in the space between the third and fourth rings, one ragged letter at a time.