“The Doom Statues” — chapter 27

Jason McGathey
4 min readJun 12, 2024
back patio at artists’ retreat

They flip open the hatch and descend the stairs, The steps are an untreated, roughly hewn wood, though appearing surprisingly solid and unblemished considered they must have sat here for years in the dark, unused. At the bottom lies a solid concrete landing area roughly fifteen by fifteen feet, leading up to the water. A short tunnel section extends behind the stairwell, though the passage ends in that direction just behind the stairs, allowing only enough room for those.

A handful of residents are already hanging out down here, marveling over this sight. A few hardy souls have disappeared down the tunnel, following this natural spring, though nobody has yet reached the end of it. It’s just a wide, eerily still channel carved into the concrete, with paths along both sides wide enough to easily walk. The ceiling is a curved, light colored tile, while the walls continue in concrete, about three quarters of the way up the wall, until meeting the tile. Light bulbs are mounted every so often along both walls, and while Kidwell says that a couple of the ones near this entrance snapped to life, however weakly, with the pull of a little chain, all the ones they’ve tested further down failed to work.

“I’ve been in the process of switching out the bulbs as we go or, you know, made a note to test out the wiring if that doesn’t work. Most of them have, though,” he explains to…