Here's the next bit. Valete.
All I could do in my shock was huddle, staring in horror at the beast staring back at me, waiting for death. But after several horrible moments passed, the dragon hadn’t moved and I wasn’t dead. Then I sat up shakily, laughing at myself – for I now noticed that the Dragon’s back was covered with dead leaves, and his serpentine body was grey and stony. The dragon was a statue; horribly life-like and life-size, but only a stone statue!
I had fallen through the wall into a grassy courtyard, surrounded by high stone walls; and my dragon was not the only inhabitant. After brushing myself off I peered cautiously around my dragon. My eyes beheld more statues – the courtyard was filled with them! I stepped out from behind the dragon and walked by their silent figures. Most were animals, such as a leaping dog, a crouching wolf, and a magnificent horse armed for battle. There were also some strange figures my eyes could not remember ever seeing before. The only human figures were two knights, and a maiden. They looked both young and sad. I marveled; what a strange place for all these stone figures to be, and how strange to have this stone garden adjoining the graveyard and obviously secluded from intruders! No one else must have known about it, for the statues were so beautiful and life-like that someone was sure by now to have taken them away to a museum or turned the place into a tourist attraction. There was no entrance into the garden, either; it was completely surrounded by high walls (except for the new gap which I had made). I was exceedingly puzzled.
That night I lay long awake, thinking about my discoveries; and when I finally slept, the stone dragon entered my dreams.
Over the next few days I visited the graveyard and the stone garden regularly. It became my secret hide-out. I would spend all day reading, stretched out along the dragon’s back, frightened no longer of his roaring mouth. Of all the statues he was my favorite. I would make up stories about him, pretending he was mine, and how he flew me all over the hills. The other statues became my friends as well; the War Horse was the noblest of all, and the leaping dog was his trusty companion. I grew very fond of them.
But I started having very uncomfortable dreams; my dragon would actually come to life; but he was not the friend I had imagined. He would chase me till I nearly died of fright, or he would eat my other friend the War Horse. On one particular night my dream became so frantically, horribly real that it jerked me awake, and I sat up in bed, panting. It was still dark, about two in the morning.
I got up, and looked out the window. Now that I was awake, I felt restless, as though I was waiting for something I-didn’t-know-what to happen. I paced the room a little, trying to get tired enough to go back to bed. I sat down on my bed, yawning.
And as I sat down, a scream tore through the air, splitting my head with its shrillness. I leaped up in fear and covered my ears as it rose, a piercing cry of pain or despair; and I had a horrible feeling that it came from the direction of the graveyard. I rushed to the window, but I could see no one. The Scream ended with a moaning wail, and then I heard hoofbeats, galloping heavily. I cowered as they came near, but peered out trying to catch a glimpse of whatever it was – but it was too dark to see anything, even a vague form, and the hoofbeats passed away. With head nearly as bewuthered as it was filled with fear and pain from the Scream, I pounded down the stairs and out the door. But the night outside was once again as quiet and still as it had been when I had first awakened. I shivered, then went back into the house. It passed briefly through my mind that it was strange Uncle Remus hadn’t been wakened by the Scream.
I went back to bed, but my nightmare returned and this time, the Scream rose and fell throughout it.
When morning came I took my book and headed up to the graveyard as usual, but my nightmare and the strange doings of the night before had not left my mind, and I was filled with a fear and sense of foreboding as I neared the old stone wall. As I went passed the archway and glanced up at the gargoyle, it seemed to me that his expression had changed from his usual sneering grimace to a look of mourning and despair. The change disconcerted me, but I went on resolutely toward stone garden. I didn’t strike me till then that a graveyard can be a creepy place.
I ducked through the gap in the wall, and patted my dragon on the nose – and as I did so noticed that a tooth of his was missing. I stared for a moment, then assumed I must have carelessly knocked it off without noticing. But as I walked passed him into the courtyard, what I saw when I entered startled me- or rather it was what I didn’t see. The War Horse was gone. There was nothing but a light patch showing where he used to stand, and the dog that had been leaping near his side lay crumbled upon the ground.
Unknown terror filled me. Why had he gone? Who had taken him? What was wrong with this place? It suddenly seemed to be haunted with evil. The other statues stared mournfully at me, and the dragon leered in a menacing way that he had never done before. I was filled with a desire to escape, to leap through the gap in the wall that in my terror seemed to be closing in, trapping me in the dreadful courtyard of stones. I raced down the hill with fears of who-knows-what chasing me, and didn’t stop or look behind till I had rushed into the house and locked myself in my room. I looked out the window, but nothing of the graveyard could be seen from where the house was. I slid down to the floor, shuddering.
That was yesterday, and I have not gone back to the graveyard since. The memory of the Scream haunts me still; but though I am fearful, there are still many things I would know. What has become of the Horse that is no longer there, and why, and how he was taken? I wonder too about the dragon – what part did he, and will he, play in these strange happenings? It is still two months till my parents get back. Filled with fear as I am, I have a feeling that this story has only begun, and that the Statues in the graveyard have not finished with me.