Mike Jumped up and ran to where Neil had been standing while Alice tried to calm Brenda. He waved his arms in the now empty space and then backed away shaking his head.
“This can’t be happening. It’s just not possible.”
Brenda was crying and shaking her head. “What the hell is going on? Why is this happening?”
“We don’t know Brenda. We’re trying to figure it out.” Alice put her arm around the girl and spoke soothing words in her ear.
Mike walked back to the table and fell into his seat. He continued staring at the place Neil had been standing. He bit his lip and then let out a soft laugh.
“Well, apparently there is a way out. It just doesn’t involve doors.”
They all went silent. Brenda calmed down and Alice leaned in toward Mike.
“What did he say before he disappeared? I know what’s going on?”
“He didn’t get to the last word but I think that’s what he was going to say. What do make of it?”
Brenda wiped her face and frowned. “He figured all this out. Why we’re here. He must have.”
“And that made him disappear?” Alice was dubious. “We can’t say for sure, can we?”
“No”, Mike allowed, “You’re right. It could have been a coincidence, but what did make him disappear? Where is he now?”
Brenda shrugged her shoulders. Alice was deep in thought.
“What is it Alice? What have you got?”
“Do you remember what we were talking about just before he disappeared?
Mike thought for a moment and shrugged. “We were saying how strange it was that none of us remembers the last time we ate.”
Alice stood up and began pacing. “Right, and then he walked over there. He must have realized something. Maybe he figured out why we can’t remember and that led to figuring out why we’re here.”
“Yeah, but what good does that do us? We don’t know what he figured out and we don’t know if that’s connected to him disappearing.”
He rubbed his eyes and sighed. “Look, everything here is impossible. If there are no doors then how did we get in here? How can someone just disappear into thin air?”
“Okay, look, we don’t remember the last time we ate. We know our names, but what else do we know? I know where I live. I know what I do for a living, but the more I think about it there isn’t much else.”
“Alice, do you believe in Heaven and Hell?”
The look on Mike’s face unnerved her but she brushed it off. “No, I don’t. I’m an atheist. Why?”
“That’s what I figured. Now there are three things we all have in common.”
“I don’t see how – “
A gasp from across the room had all three of them swivelling their heads in unison. A man was lying on the floor near the far wall staring at the ceiling. He sat up abruptly and stared at them.
“What’s going on? Why…who are you people?”
They looked at each other and Mike let out a low whistle.
“This just keeps getting stranger. Come on over and sit down. We’ll tell you what we know if you’ll do the same.”
The man stood and looked around the room before moving toward the table.
“I don’t see any doors.”
“Well, you figured that one out faster than we did,” Alice allowed. “Tell me, when was the last time you ate?”
“What? I…damn, I don’t remember…”
“That’s the key,” Mike declared. “That and – “
He turned to the newcomer. “I’ll bet you don’t believe in Heaven and Hell.”
“What’s that got to do with anything?” He sat down and looked them all over.
“That’s what we’d like to know”, Brenda sighed.
Part 4 Tomorrow