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Lodestar: Chapter Six

March 10, 2019


The camera footage opens on a woman in a brown suit jacket and red blouse sitting behind a large wooden desk. Her greying brown hair is pulled back in a bun as tight as the wry smile on her face. A placard on her desk reads “Sandy Pierce - Dean of Students.” Much like the Ollie Kent interview, there is a camera set up and recording over Sandy’s shoulder and pointed at Jeremy Grecian who is sitting at the opposite end of her desk.


Sandy Pierce’s office is much nicer than Kent’s Port of Peculiarities. It’s well lit, well kept, but the mood based on Sandy Pierce’s face was less than hospitable. While the Port of Peculiarities wasn’t the tidiest place in the world, it gave off a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Even if Sandy Pierce wasn’t glaring a hole into Jeremy, the room itself would have been enough to tell the cast and crew of “Trips Into Terror” that they were not welcome there.


A pair of hands holding a clapperboard lower into the camera shot. The date on the clapperboard reads “07-30-2018” and the words “Trips S4E5 - Lodestar” and the time-stamp 15:42 appear digitally across the front. The clapper is brought down and the board is pulled back off camera.


“Mrs. Pierce, what happened in Baxter Hall on May 5th, 1976?”


“Do you want the truth or do you want to hear the same little fantasy story that people like you enjoy?”


“I’m just here to find the truth, Mrs. Pierce. Please, just tell me what you know.”


Sandy sighed whilst removing her glasses and rubbing the bridge of her nose where they had been sitting.


“Andy Krol was a disturbed young man who snapped that night and took another student’s life because of a nervous breakdown. He was promptly arrested and is in prison for his crimes.”


Grecian’s head nods.


“You mentioned a fantasy story just a moment ago. Can you elaborate for me?”


“You already know it or you wouldn’t be in my office right now.”


“Humor me then, Mrs. Pierce.”


Sandy put her glasses back on and fixed her gaze on Grecian.


“All right then. There were those on campus that believe Mr. Krol was researching the occult and had summoned some demonic entity that possessed him last night. Krol believed the demon inside him beat Rebecca Jordan to death with a brick and that he was an innocent bystander. The media picked up on this story and blew it out of proportion.”


“It doesn’t sound like you believe Andy could summon a demon. I’ve been practicing the dark arts for fifteen years now and I can tell you from firsthand experience that a mistake can open a doorway to allow demonic entities entry into our world. If Andy didn’t know what he was doing, then it is possible that the “fantasy” story is a reality.”


Sandy’s stern gaze breaks as she chuckles. Grecian’s body stiffens in response.


“Mr. Grecian, Andy Krol was a young man with an untreated mental illness who probably listened to too much Ozzy Osbourne and Alice Cooper. Regardless, there is no paranormal entity or force at this college.”


“If that is the case, then why did you invite us to film here?”


“To finally put all of this nonsense to rest. For too long our campus has had to deal with ghost hunters and paranormal investigators coming here to do what you do. We are a place of higher learning.”


“You don’t seem to like us very much, Mrs. Pierce.”


There is a touch of annoyance in Jeremy’s voice that Sandy acknowledges as her eyelids narrow.  


“No, I don’t. I think you’re con artists who take advantage of gullible people who want something to believe in. I hope that the millions of people who watch your show will see you stumbling in the dark, shouting at “demons”, and realize just how silly all of this is.”


“Ollie Kent didn’t seem to think this is silly. He showed us news articles from the last thirty years that report instances of violence and strange behavior coming from Baxter Hall.”


“Ollie Kent is a fool. You interviewed him in his shop, correct? Did you not notice all the price tags and t-shirts? Ollie Kent needs people to believe in this nonsense to pay his bills.”


“Mrs. Pierce, we have made believers out of skeptics.”


“What you do with your time is not my concern. Mayor Queen has asked that you be allowed to film in Baxter. You have one night.”


“And cut!”


Jeremy stands from his chair and walks off camera without a word. Sandy watches him move across the room before jerking with the slam of her office door.


“Thank you for your time.”


“I expect you to be out of my office in the next ten minutes.”


Sandy looks up at Stephen Clifford who had been operating the camera. With a grimace, she stands from her desk and moves towards the office door.


“Well… she’s fun.”


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