That long

Gorrister smiled weakly, but gently. "A while yet, I should think," he said. "It takes newcomers a few days before the first spots of glow begin to appear on their skin. If you intend to brave the dangers of leaving this place, you should do it soon as their visions have passed."

For as he had spoken, Will and Daphne had gone completely slack, leaning on each other, almost as if asleep. Except for one thing: their faces were constantly moving, making grotesque expressions as if simultaneously crying, arguing and grimacing in rapid succession. "They will need comforting after their ordeal is done. Ellen, you'll look after Julia?"

Unnoticed behind the group, the woman called Julia had quietly laid down. Now she had her knees pulled up into a foetal position and was similarly cycling through various horrifying expressions. Ellen nodded. "Take care of each other. I eat when Julia done."

"They... look like they're in pain. I-is this going to hurt?" Irene asked scared.

Gorrister closed his eyes for a moment. "It does," he said quietly. "Just not physically."

But before his statement was done, Irene had gone into a trance of her own, her body limp, her face writhing.

"All we can do now," Gorrister said to the others, "is wait."

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