Such strange little faces, those faces carved from stone.
I see them outside the church building, carved into the grey rock around the door corners, or up near the guttering. I found out that they are called 'grotesques,' and as I stand beneath them, peering up into their cold eyes, I am always a bit intimidated, and disgusted, but also I am interested in how human each face looks.
Grotesque? Maybe. Human? Quite possibly.
Not just human, but unique, individual. Each stone face carries an expression, reflected within a personality. As individual as if they were alive and walking about. I shiver; what a thought.
I look at long faces, and rounded faces; large eyes and narrow eyes. Each group of features sneering and snarling down at me each evening as I pass by. What is their problem? I think to myself with amusement. I wish that they could talk to me, tell me their stories. Where did they come from, and what was their life like? And what terrible deed did they carry out, to end up where they have, leering down at passers-by?
I pass by again this evening, walking my bawdy little dog, enjoying as always, the quietness of the evening in my sleepy little village. Dusk is starting to fall, and as usual, I stop at the church cemetery to look up at the faces, whilst Toto has a wee among the grasses and gravestones.
The stone faces seem to look down at me with ever more severity in their ghastly expressions, and I imagine judgement from them; one, wild-haired and big-nosed, the middle face thin and pinched, and the third man wide-faced and scowling. But this evening, something is different.
For a start, Toto won’t relax and do his business. I try and usher him off to do what he needs to do, pooper-scooper at the ready, but he emits a low, deep growl which makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Despite the mild evening, I shiver, and pull my light outdoor jacket closer around me.
I look about me inexplicably, I cannot explain my nerves. Toto is low to the ground, walking in circles. He seems distressed, and I am distressed too; not just because I have never seen my dog behave this way before, but because tonight something is wrong, something is so wrong with this place…
Every few seconds, the dog stops and stares up at the stone guardians, then looks at me quizzically, as if for reassurance, for me to explain to him what is making us both so uneasy. But I can’t. I am shuddering with fright, as I reach up to touch, to touch the coolness of that stone face. I hear Toto yelp, as if in warning, as I murmur, “It’s okay boy, it’s okay…”
I cannot see…
I cannot see, I cannot move…
Cold, it is so cold. I am cold, numb to the bone.
My body feels encased, but I can blink, yes, I can blink.
I blink, and I look down, and I see grass, and I see…
…a small stone dog, laid at my feet. Or where my feet would be if I still had them. I am peering down from above the church door; I can tell this from the view I can see, but I can’t fathom how I am so high up. It cannot be possible, it cannot be possible. I am so cold. Where is my Toto?
I see every detail of the top of Toto’s still little body, his every whisker and curl of hair, his teeth bared in a snarl, all lovingly recreated in cold, grey, stone.
Elsewhere in the quiet, sleepy village, a man walks slowly, finally freed from his stone prison. He is finally free.
Please leave a like if you enjoyed my creepy tale… or I will come and encase you in stone!
About the Creator
A mum, a friend to many and I love to explore dark themes and taboos in my writing. I am an optimist with a dark side...
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