This week, we played a spooky session of Truth & Daring by Tim & Kristin Devine of Dice Up Games. We’re all sixth graders and members of the Explorers, a club we formed to encourage us each to “Blaze a trail!” We use an old, rusted out van at the edge of the woods outside town as our clubhouse. The group includes Cat a daredevil and actor who never goes anywhere without her Swiss army knife; Kyle a brainy kid who loves climbing and geology and carries ropes, pulleys, and a compass in his oversized backpack; Fronto a wannabe athlete whose two left feet have kept them off every team they’ve tried out for; and the new kid in school, Agatha, who is timid and has been homeschooled and sheltered by her parents.
Our story begins with Kyle and Fronto talking about this crazy prank that someone pulled at school with all the sports equipment thrown all over the gym. Agatha is lurking nearby but doesn’t approach until Cat shows up and drags her into the group, and we convince her to join us at our clubhouse. At the clubhouse, Cat is talking about the Mothman that her brother saw off Route 29, and we all agree to pretend to be staying over at each other’s houses but to go camping out to look for the mysterious Mothman. Agatha thinks it’s all talk until the group shows up on Friday and drags her into the woods. We’re all hanging out around the fire and talking when someone spots the distinctive glowing red eyes of the Mothman, but it flies off, and we’re unable to find it again.
The next week, we’re staking out the school trying to catch whoever is pulling the pranks that have continued at school, but instead we spy the Mothman breaking in through the back entrance. We follow him as he tears through the school until he gets to Mr. Harper’s science lab and see him struggling to get into the mineral display case. We offer to help him and give him paper to draw what he wants, a stone. Laying out the stones from the case, he takes the slab with fern fossils on it then turns to leave, gesturing to us to follow. He leads us to an abandoned factory where there is a kind of lab set up. The Mothman places the slab into an apparatus, hooks it to electrodes, and flips some switches, causing a cascade of lasers to begin firing at the slab. Quickly the lasers chip away at the outer layer of the slab, revealing a crystal inside that refracts the light around the room into a series of carefully placed mirrors that converge upon the Mothman.
We watch the Mothman transform before our eyes into a human woman, who introduces herself as entomologist Dr. Robins and explains how her experiments with moths backfired and accidentally transformed her. Not long after, back at school, Dr. Robins becomes our new science teacher, and some of us have questions about whether we might want to conduct those experiments again.