MISHAWAKA, IND.--Early morning is the perfect time for a jog around Bethel’s beautiful campus. The sun up in the sky lines the horizon. Everything covered in morning dew. It glistens off every blade of grass. The sidewalks, damp and gray, stretch far along the campus, winding and turning. The hills make for vigorous exercise. The leaves have just started to change from the summer greens to the autumn fiery yellows, reds, and oranges.
However, one particular morning the atmosphere was different -- it was a little unsettling. A light fog covered the ground in a blanket of white mist. As the runner ran her usual path the air became thick with fog. She stopped to take a break near the Bethel clock. The ticks of the clock would ring through her ears forever as she was never heard from again.She was not the first person on Bethel’s campus to disappear. Over the years, several maintenance workers and grounds people have ended up missing. The information was buried for years; kept from the students and staff who remained oblivious to the string of disappearances. This instance was different, because she was the first student to ever disappear. They said she was a runaway, but everyone else knew differently. The Bethel grapevine grew rapidly with rumors about the disappearance. Reasons arose like her missing home schooling or failing her classes. But, it was only midterms -- and everyone knows there’s still time to bring your grade up after midterms. All of these rumors were far from the truth and Patrick knew differently. He had seen something down in the pond during an Oakwood pond swim. It seemed to be a tentacle dangling beneath the water. When he told the others what he had seen, they laughed in his face and played it off as a joke. It was anything but a joke. He knew something wasn’t right and he was going to get to the bottom of it. He started digging around in the library archives for answers. However, faculty was soon made aware of his “interests” and told the administration. They asked Patrick to stop digging, but it only made Patrick want to know more. People say, “Curiosity kills the cat,” but Patrick needed to know more. Realizing that faculty would be of no help, he went to the only place he could think of to learn more about the strange disappearances. Notre Dame. Soon he had hundreds of theories and questions. Patrick decided to narrow down his search with the only true way to get information; gossip. He asked around if anyone had heard about the strange disappearances at Bethel. It was all gossip really, strange rumors that couldn’t be true. Or could they? Patrick wondered if something fishy was really going on here. Some of the rumors were crazy ranging from the girl being made into dog food at the local factory, or the girl being taken by a monster living on Bethel’s campus. (That’s why it's called the “Bethel bubble,” you see? It’s a trap.) How could a monster live on campus and not be seen? Could it be true? Could Patrick put an end to all the questions and stop anyone else from getting hurt? Unfortunately, during his trip to the library, another faculty member disappeared. Patrick felt responsible, but he kept searching for answers. At the crime scene, there were marks showing a struggle. This gave Patrick some evidence to follow. A huge wet spot, little black dots in a line, a purple shiny scale and slimy black liquid. What in the world was going on here? As Patrick turned to look at the pond, he saw a tentacle slithering back into the water. It was true. There’s been a monster living on campus all this time. As he shivered at the thought of the havoc this monster will wreak, Patrick’s roommate tapped him on the shoulder, “Hey, you okay?” Patrick looked into the water to see the glowing green eyes fade into the dark abyss. “Yeah, yeah, let’s just go back to Oakwood.” They walked slowly back to Oakwood. And even though Patrick was in shock, at least he knew the rumors, weren’t rumors at all. They were true. Note: the above story is fictitious. Any resemblance to real-life characters or events is coincidental.