“The Doom Statues” — Chapter 22

Jason McGathey
9 min readMay 25, 2024

“So you’re in with the ones starting that school back up, eh?” the old man says to them, then nods before they’ve even responded, “okay, we heard they was doin’ somethin with that property, but we didn’t know what.”

After cresting one final steep hill, Jeremy, Denise, and Lydia encounter a small, well manicured plot of land, then a gravel driveway with large, clean, brand new looking, light grey rocks. Beyond that, a tan and brown mobile home, with some old man tossing wood scrap onto a fire in between.

He glances up at them, wearing a quizzical expression, though not alarmed in the slightest by their presence. Simply staring back down at the fire for a couple more seconds, before appraising them again and raising one hand in a cautious hello.

As they draw nearer, he immediately takes a chatty, neighborly turn, dispelling any threat of unease between them. When possible to do so without staring, Jeremy attempts to take stock of this figure, one of those hardy country types who seemingly live forever despite poor diets and who knows how many other bad habits. His indifferent if thick head of greyish white hair — kind of matching the gravel, actually, Jeremy observes with a smirk — blows every which way in the breeze. A short, stocky frame clothed in burlap jacket, jeans, and work boots, his face craggy with battle scars, and mostly red…