“Where are we going?” Jessica asked.
“Quiet down, will you? The whole block can hear us at this rate!” Marco hissed.
Jessica rolled her eyes.
“Where are we going?” she repeated more quietly now.
She scanned the ‘block’, but there didn’t seem to be anything except darkness with measured areas of light from the streetlamps piercing through the gloom.
“I don’t think we should be here.”
Jessica didn’t mention that the place was creepy and she was kind of scared. Marco continued to ignore her until they reached a large building a few meters away. Marco crouched by the entrance, and Jessica followed suit. The two pressed their bodies against the building. Marco seemed excited, causing Jessica to be even more worried.
Marco rummaged around in his jacket pockets before pulling out a small object that gleamed for a moment in the dim light.
“What’re you-?” Jessica started, but a jingle of metal and a click cut her off.
She was confused at first, but when Marco slowly urged the heavy door open, Jessica panicked.
“MArcO!” she choked out.
“Shhhh!” Marco responded.
He glared at her so she glared back.
“Are you coming or not?” he asked in a lighter tone.
Shrugging, Jessica followed Marco into the depths of the building. The two emerged into a large central area. Jessica’s eyes glanced at her surroundings. Several long benches were lined up neatly to form longer aisles. She looked up, and was amazed by the array of colors bought by the number of porcelain windows in the room. Under each window, a statue stood beneath it. A large organ that seemed to be falling into disuse was at the front of the room. Then it dawned on Jessica that she was in a cathedral.
“How did you know there was a cathedral here?” she asked Marco.
He grunted, “I just looked it up online for a school project.”
Jessica nodded, but she didn’t believe him. Marco was never that dedicated to school. Instead of saying something bitter about it, she strode over to one of the statues. It was of a woman dressed in very realistic robes. Her face seemed to be in very real pain as she crouched over a much smaller figure that was enfolded in her berth. Jessica bent down to look closer. A little boy was huddled in the woman’s robes, his face distorted in horror. Taking a step back, Jessica noticed that now, the two figures seemed to be cowering from some unknown figure in the beyond.
‘Creepy, but cool ‘, Jessica admitted.
“Jessica!” someone called.
It was Marco.
“Yeah! Hold on!” she hollered back.
Jessica bent down again and looked at the boy. She blinked several times. Now, the boy’s face was pleasant, as if he had never been in horror and fear just moments ago.
“Huh”, Jessica whispered in disbelief. “Must be my mood.”
Before she finished her sentence, Jessica thought she saw the statue wink at her. Honest to God, winked! Jessica shivered, though there didn’t seem to be any draft in the cathedral. She stood up and shook her head in an attempt to regain her senses. As she contemplated what just happened, Jessica just noticed a yellow sign posted next to the statue. In large red words: PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH THE STATUES. A thick black Sharpie had underlined ‘PLEASE’ several times. Someone had also boxed ‘DO NOT’. Jessica turned and realized that all the other statues had the same sign. Shivering again, Jessica walked toward a middle aisle.
“Marco?!?” she yelled.
“Yeah! Check this out!” he called back.
Jessica jogged over to where she heard her friend’s voice. She stopped behind his turned back. Before them, a small congregation of statues was in a corner. What freaked Jessica out was that almost all of the statues were firmly covering their eyes with their hands. The rest had surprisingly pleasant smiles plastered onto their faces. Jessica’s eyes widened.
“Hey, Marco”, she whispered.
Marco turned back to look at her suddenly. He was grinning.
“What?” Jessica asked worriedly.
She didn’t want to be here anymore.
“Look. Let’s leave. This place is creepy.” she said, finally voicing her thoughts.
“Why? There’s nothing to be afraid of. This is a church, after all.” Marco replied.
“NO!” Jessica suddenly burst out.
She tugged at his arm.
“You know what he said! These aren’t just statues! These are weeping angels, dammit!”
She silently cursed herself for not heeding the Doctor’s warning earlier and for not realizing the true danger they were in.
“Relax, Jess”, Marco said soothingly. “This is probably a storage room or something. I don’t really think there’s anything to be afraid of.”
“Besides, that man was out of his mind. You don’t seriously believe a bunch of hogwash like that, do you?” he asked and squinted at her.
She dropped his hand roughly.
“Don’t you tell me to relax, Marco! I’m serious! I’m leaving! If you’re not out with me, I’ll drag you out!”
She stood, fuming for several moments, waiting to see Marco’s reaction. He smiled again.
“You know, you’re kind of cute when you’re angry”, he mumbled.
He reached an arm forward, but Jessica slapped it away before storming out. When she got out of the supposed ‘storage room’, she immediately broke into a run. The sense of panic was now overwhelming her. Jessica veered past a statue that she hadn’t noticed when she and Marco had wandered in. She kicked open the door and ran out onto the street. The streetlights seemed to be dimmer than before, and a few flickered in and out hesitantly. A light rain had come up as well. Turning, Jessica wanted to scream in anger when she realized that Marco hadn’t followed her out. Tilting her head back, she let the raindrops land on her face. She sighed heavily and looked back at the door. Jessica squinted, but couldn’t make out anything beyond the darkness surrounding the cathedral entrance.
“OH mY GoD!” Jessica groaned in exasperation.
She clenched her fists in an attempt to muster her courage.
“Right. Yeah.” Jessica consoled herself. “Let’s go.”
She didn’t move. Her feet seemed rooted to the ground.
“Come on, Jess”, she whispered to herself.
She tensed when she heard something crack nearby. With her heart pounding in her chest, Jessica charged back towards the church doors and erupted into the main room. She stilled. Various creaks and clicks could be heard above her. Was that Marco? What was he up to? Jessica decided to take a risk.
“Marco??” she yelled.
“Marc-o, Mar-co….” the cathedral seemed to whisper back.
Jessica rubbed her arms in attempt to calm down.
“POLO!” Marco laughed loudly.
“This isn’t funny, Marco!” she yelled back in irritation.
“POLO.” he shouted back, his voice more faint now.
Jessica huffed. This wasn’t a game anymore. Both of them were in danger and Marco was NOT helping. She stood where she was for a few moments, contemplating what to do. A breeze ruffled her hair slightly.
‘But there’s no window open….‘ Jessica suddenly realized.
Something touched her shoulder.
Jessica screamed and ran to a set of stairs that was perched at the side of the cathedral. Something seemed to be following her, and Jessica didn’t want to know who or what it was. She sped past countless statues that coincidentally, all had wings. Many of the still monuments wore the same robes and had hands cupped around grinning faces. Like what she saw in the ‘storage room’.
Jessica yelped as this dawned on her, and she dared a glance back. The statues looked more life-like now, and several of them seemed to have advanced several meters in her direction.
‘The stories can’t be true. No, they can’t be. Please, no. ‘ Jessica pleaded.
She turned her head back and nearly bumped into another statue a foot away from her. She screamed again and immediately ran off into another stairwell. The image of the statue were imbedded in her mind. Rather than seeing the plain stature that the other statues donned, this one had claws for hands, outstretched towards Jessica. What scared her even more was the horrid face and monstrous teeth that seemed to be screaming at Jessica. The girl tripped on a step, causing her to sprawl forward. Incredibly fast thumps from the lower levels spurred her to get up. Jessica didn’t know what to do; this place was like a labyrinth. She decided to run in the general direction that she had last heard Marco’s voice. Upon reaching a floor that seemed free of statues, Jessica risked calling out again.
“MARCO!!!!” she yelled desperately.
“Polo.” something whispered.
Jessica froze and turned to see who it was. A few yards away, stood a statue. Its face seemed contorted in pain despite it being made of stone, but what put her off was the necklace hanging round its neck. Jessica stifled a gasp and held onto the wall for support. She tried keeping her eyes on the statue, but tears blurred her eyes. She knew only one person who wore that necklace. After all, she had bought it for him as a birthday present.
Jessica tried stumbling away from the statue, but her terrible state of mind left her dizzy and she lost her footing on the fraying edges of the dull red carpet. Instead of getting up, she crumpled to the ground, not taking notice of the flickering lights above.
Then all went dark. All that could be heard was Jessica’s breathing. And something else.
“M-marco??” she whispered through the darkness.
A sound that reminded her of nails against chalk came in reply.
Then there was a cold breath against her neck.