Sounds of absolute terror filled the air of the school’s courtyard. Teachers were torn between running for their lives and coming to the aid of the woman they now saw before them.
Mr. Harrison was the first to jump into action. He began by ushering the children back into the school building, assuring them everything was okay as the young ones struggled to come to grips with what they had just witnessed.
The rest of the teachers became aware of Mr. Harrison’s efforts and joined him, managing to herd the children inside within a matter of minutes. As they closed the doors behind them, Mr. Harrison, Mrs. Garrett, and Principal Schepke were the only ones still outside with the mysterious woman.
The woman was still on the ground in the same location she had initially appeared, staring at her hands and body in complete amazement.
Principal Schepke approached her.
“Excuse me, Miss,” she said tentatively. “Here.”
Principal Schepke offered the woman a jacket she had brought outside with her. The woman looked at the jacket, but appeared to not be aware of what she was supposed to do with it. Principal Schepke draped the jacket across the woman’s shoulders.
“Are you okay?” the principal asked. “Can you understand me?”
The woman looked at Principal Schepke and tears fell from the woman’s eyes.
“Can you hear me?” Principal Schepke asked.
“Can you hear me?” the woman said softly.
“Yes,” the principal answered, “I can. Are you okay?”
“You can hear me?” the woman repeated.
“Yes, I can hear you. Can you hear me?”
The woman made efforts to stand. She appeared to be struggling so Principal Schepke gestured to Mr. Harrison to join them, and the two of them helped the woman to her feet.
“I’m here. I’m really here.” The woman appeared confused. Mr. Harrison looked at his watch and wondered how long it might be before the paramedics they had called for Debbie might arrive.
“Ma’am,” Mr. Harrison said tentatively, “do you know what happened to Debbie?”
“Debbie?” the woman asked. “Debbie? I’m Debbie.”
“Okay,” Principal Schepke replied hesitantly. “but the little girl who was here. Where is she?”
“Why don’t we sit you down over here,” Mr. Harrison said, leading her to a nearby chair. “It might be best if you took things slow for a while. And then maybe you can tell us about the little girl who just disappeared.”
The woman sat down in the chair and looked at Mr. Harrison. “Mr. Harrison,” she smiled. “Can’t you see? It’s me!”
She then looked at the principal. “Principal Schepke? You can, right?”
“I’m sorry, ma’am, but we really need to know about–“
“Chet didn’t see me, did he?” the woman asked. “He didn’t see me all naked? He didn’t see me like this?”